Social isolation due to not having children

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Most PTSD sufferers experience some kind of social isolation; however, I find that mine stems not from having PTSD, but from other life choices I've made (hence this being in general chat). I have never wanted to have children...I knew this even when I was a child myself. Three years ago, I finally had my tubes tied; I couldn't find a doctor who would do it before that. I don't hate children, but I don't want any.

At 31 years old, I now find myself completely socially isolated from other women my age because it seems all they can talk about are pregnancy, kids, and child-related topics. Right now I have 6 pregnant friends/acquaintances, and that's about the rate it's been at for the last couple years. I realize this is just the stage of life that most "normal" people are at - where they want kids. It's totally foreign to me, and was even before I had PTSD.

We go to BBQs for my husband's squad, and I find myself hanging out with the cops instead of the wives. This is usually because I don't care to listen to discussions of pregnancy-related health issues, cervix dilation, or what preschool is best. I've tried before to change the conversation to different topics, but it seems they've all lost the ability to discuss anything besides topics related to child bearing and rearing. I even avoid Facebook anymore, as most of my friends' statuses (except for a couple of single ones) have to do with ultrasounds, vaccinations, bodily functions, or what their kids just said or did. It's as if they've ceased to exist as a person themself. I haven't even spoken with my best friend from college in over a year, as she seemed to lose the ability to discuss anything non-child related as soon as she got pregnant.

Has anyone else dealt with this? I'm just getting very frustrated with it.
Hi Mina

While I have a child I personally can't stand the way pregnancy and children are now such a competition rather than a natural part of life. If you don't have the right pram these days you can even be shunned out of social groups. Everything is discussed and compared and I find I gravitate to male conversations as I can't stand the competitiveness, bitchiness and self indulgence that seems to come with pregnancy these days.
Hi Mina, I never wanted kids as a child but had two anyway. I'm glad I did, but I don't like holding conversations with woman who only speak of their children or pregnancy. It gets boring real quick.

About 10 years ago a friend of mine came back to visit her parents and I drove to see her while she was in town. I wanted to catch up with her on how she is and what has changed in her life, and she kept talking about her kids and I got a bit frustrated because I didn't know her kids (She lives in a different state) and wanted to know how her life has changed since we last seen each other (which was 5 years prior to that) but to no avail the conversation was all about her children. I think I started to disassociate LOL

The last time I spoke to her on the phone was about 4 years ago. Again, she couldn't talk about herself, just her kids. I wonder if maybe some people put their identity in their children, marriage, work, illness etc. and can't seem to talk about anything else?

I think I ramble off topic way too much? But anyway I understand your point and yes, I've dealt with this. It doesn't keep me isolated though, and I wonder if you could find a support group where there are other woman who chose not to have children?

I think that might be an option to help you overcome the isolation feeling and meet other woman who have a variety of things to talk about.

Maybe it's time to find some women folk who have a balance between maintaining their own identity and being mothers? I know 4 women in the local arts community who have toddlers and they appear quite balanced and they're fun to hang with at events, whether they have their children with them or not.
It does change things considerably, doesn't it. One of my best buds had a daughter 4 years ago, and it's completely altered our friendship. I'm the god father, and still see them regularly, but it's different now. I'm thinking about getting back into martial arts again in the fall. There's a different focus there.

Just wait till those kids get a little older.....The talking back will start, the temper tantrums, the school grades falling off, the experimenting with drugs, dating, drinking.......

Instead of talking about diapers, strollers and baby sitters, these parents will be talking about how they'd like to knock some sense into their kids heads, where did they go wrong as parents, and how much stress they are under now......

Not one parent is immune to it, no matter how wonderful a relationship that they have with their children.....

These parents are just proud to the point of rudeness.....They will soon be enlightened about parenthood and all of it's glory!!!!!!
Thanks for the is good to know that I am not the only one to run into this.

Nicolette: I agree that it's awfully competitive. The latest trend here in the US seems to be natural, at-home childbirth. One friend and her child almost died doing this, yet the "natural" ones totally look down on the "hospital" ones. :rolleyes:

Tammy: You are right on about the identity thing. I've also looked for child-free by choice groups around here, but it's a fairly small, white-bread place so nothing like that exists (and I'm not up to establishing it right now). I'm still trying to meet like-minded women through things like craigslist, though.

Midi: You're right...I am trying to meet people like that, who are balanced. Just gotta keep looking I guess :smile:

Cragger: I have actually thought about doing martial arts to meet husband is asking his colleagues for information about a reputable center.

She-Cat: LOL!!! It is those times that I will talk about my guinea pig and dog and make everyone jealous :wink:
I am child-free also, by choice so I have found older friends who never had children either or have children whom have left home. The friends who do have little ones can't come to my BBQ's until Junior wakes up from his nap, then they have to leave when he gets cranky. And yes, all they talk about is the cute center of their universe and trying to determine if he is crying because he is hungry or wet. I respond that because we have cats and not kids, we are going to Europe for the sixth time next month. The mommy club hates me for that.
You and I can start a child-free subgroup.
Hiya Mina,

My husband and I have been trying for our first child for years now. It appears we have fertility issues and may well need assitance in order to conceive. Whilst our isolation from parents is obviously for completely different reasons, I do know what you mean. Kids everywhere, arent there? Everyone pregnant or got kids and talking about it! :Hug_emoticon: I understand that the choice youve made may make you feel like this, especially if everyone around you can't talk about anything else! You are not abnormal though, you've just chosen a different path, which is perfectly reasonable, and people should have more to talk about in light of the fact that you wont be having kids
I, too, feel the isolation. Almost all my friends have just had babies or are on their way. They just get caught up with what is definitely a time-consuming turn of their life. Even when I try hard to maintain contact, many of them pull away as they don't see us having much in common anymore, which makes me sad. My decision to not have kids is in large part situational (dating's not exactly a priority for me) and partly intentional (I don't think I could handle it, as I am now). But around my friends, I feel very left out.

It has helped to broaden my friendships. Where a couple friends and I used to shop, eat or take a weekend together, they don't have time to do that as often. So I have tried to cultivate more friendships to sort of spread myself around. Doing activities like classes (martial arts and art) has helped me feel connected to the community, too.
I totally understand the feeling of isolation due to lack of children. In this country, it's like you're worthless if you're a woman and have no children. The first question they ask is "how many children do you have?" They don't care if you have a husband or a boyfriend, they just want to know about the children.

I've spent many hours crying about the situation. I'm single and would be a virgin if it wasn't for the gang rape. I'm not a nun so I could get married, but it doesn't seem like there's anyone on the horizon at the moment. I'm 40 now. The child that I conceived was miscarried. So, it seems like that child was my only chance at motherhood. Maybe some time, I'll post my poem--"I Hate Mother's Day". At times I feel like I am denying my very self when I deny that I have a child--he/she just died before he/she was born.

So, what do I do when all the people talk about is children? Sometimes I talk about my nieces and nephews. I even show photos of them. I think that some people gave up talking about kids to me 'cause I have 8 nieces and nephews to talk about. Sometimes I talk about the kids I teach at the classes (one group at the home for kids with AIDS). Sometimes the "overkill" works so we can talk about something else.
Sleep problems! No sleep is something I understand without children or with them Sleep is an issue so I can empathise with friends that talk about sleep and babies, I know what sleep deprivation can do so I can agree with some one and hopefully give nothing away about that area of my life. Sometimes friends can seem insensitive on this subject as I am sure also that I fall into that category myself at times, we are all human after all is something that connects us. I like my mornings too much I don't do PM's.
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