Saturday, August 15, 2015

Me, selfish?

How I miss the times when my older niece was little. When she took me for who I am, without any judgement.

Random fact: I never ever talked about my infertility with my parents nor my brother. They never asked anything (out of politeness). So I just didn't tell anything. It is awkward: how do you start talking about infertility with your parents?

But they do know, since somebody from distant not-blood related family met me at the fertility clinic years ago and told person A who told person B who told...

Back to my oldest niece. She is now almost 8. Until now it was always the most natural thing: that in my life there is my husband, we live together in a small flat. Alone.  And this was always the most normal thing. This is the way our life is.

Here is conversation that she started out of the blue, on the stairs of their house, also my parents and my brother were present.

Niece: "Klara, so, are you planning to give birth to my cousin or not?"
Me (very shocked by the question): "Not."
Niece: "But - you mean not now or not ever?"
(I started to laugh since the situation was just so absurd, my parents and brother pretending to not hear anything  and also - because the girl really does not know that her aunt will be 50 in 7 years and that at this point questions like this are just silly.)  
Me: "Never ever!"
Niece: (who is - as most kids -not used to not getting what they want-started to scream): "But this is so very selfish from you!!!"
(Me, walking away from the conversation and finding excuse of going home early).


I guess now is time for my beloved Rolling Stones.
You can't always get what you want.


  1. I understand that it had to be painful to experience, but I think that once you have pulled yourself together it would be great to talk to your niece. You can hopefully teach her to be more compassionate and understanding. It would be good for her to know that as badly as she wants a cousin, you wanted even more to give birth to a cousin.

  2. Ouch! I can't even believe that she called you selfish. I guess on some level I can understand her curiosity, but to call you selfish is just rude. Also, I can't believe that your brother didn't step in and call her out on her inappropriate behavior.

  3. Oh yes, exactly what Katrynka said. I really think that children can understand if we tell them that we would have loved a child just like her, but we couldn't.

    And that not having children isn't selfish! Because you are a woman with a huge heart, and definitely not selfish.

  4. Ugh! I understand. Every time we visit our young cousins they bring this up. As my aunt and I are close in age, she was recently expecting, and her son who was 6 or 7 at the time said to his mom,
    "You'll be grandma when we have kids."
    Then turned to me but still talking to his mom
    "She'd be a grandma too, if she ever had kids."

    It almost dumbfounds you sometimes.

  5. Hi Klara,
    it is the first time that I visit your blog, and I already feel less alone. A few days ago, I found out that my last IVF cycle (Egg donation in Czech Republic) was unsuccessful. After a lot of treatments in France, all ended with disappointment, my partner and I are starting to consider giving up and taking back our life and our love for life... Thank you for your blog !

    1. dear Sabine,
      thank you so much for your kind comment. It reminded me of the post František & Eliška that I wrote more then 3 years ago:

      I am sorry that your dreams did not come true. Nor did mine. So - it is time to find new dreams. And as you have written: taking back our life .

      Wishing you all the best. And - I will be very happy if you leave another comment.

  6. My two cents guess is that she was just repeating something she had heard at home, namely that childfree people are selfish (even the pope said something along those lines recently). Without knowing your brother and your parents, my guess is that even if they at some point heard that you had been seen at a fertility clinic, already forgot all about it, and probably think that if you had wanted that kid, then the fertility clinic would have done the trick. That is after all what is widely advertised when you pass by a fertility clinic.

    I don't know how you start talking about infertility with your parents, but I wonder if it would be easier with an 8 years old, as at least she will not come up with that story of the distant cousin of the hairdresser who could not have children and then adopted and got pregnant...

    1. Yes, I agree. Selfishness is the statement that a child heard somewhere. Very sad really.
      I might tell her our story when she is older. Not now.
      Now I really know - deep in my heart - that I don't ever ever want to talk about infertility with anybody, except people who went through the same thing as I did.

      And - I am grateful for my younger niece, aged 3. For her I am just the best auntie ever. Without any judgement. Judgement will come later on. Until then I am planning to enjoy the joy.

  7. Oh ... ouch, is right. I'm so sorry this episode took place. I distinctly remember when my nearly 4-year-old nephew interrogated us about why we didn't have children at an extended family dinner gathering. It hit like a sucker punch so I have a good understanding of how this must have felt. ox

  8. Ouch indeed. :p I agree with Lara, above. When you hear a child say something like that, that's not something they've thought up on their own; it's something they've overheard from the adults in their life and they're just repeating it. :p No doubt if she remembers this when she's older, she'll be horribly embarrassed, particularly if she realizes that her words hurt you. (((hugs)))