Dear fellow infertility friends and warriors, I need your advise.
So this year is my twenty year school reunion. I went to the ten year and it was pretty diabolical… All the same school dynamics and cliques ten years on. I’m not the only one who felt that way and two good friends of mine from school who I keep in touch with plus one other who wasn’t such a good friend, all decided not to go. We started a whatsapp group and usually share inappropriate jokes and be rude about people from school. It’s been light hearted so far. Two out of the four of us have children and two of us don’t. The other one who doesn’t has chosen not to have children and they all know about my struggles. Recently the group dynamics have shifted with the one girl sharing posts and articles about mothering and then various discussions ensue. For example last week she messaged ‘you know you’re a mother when you mouth fuck you behind your child’s back ‘ (her daughters is 18 months). Yesterday she posted a long post about how awful the world is and how much she worries about her child and they all agreed you need fellow mother allies in this terribly journey of motherhood. Now, I know you need allies… Of course you do and I know mothering is hard and I’m sure there are times when you want to shout expletives behind your toddlers back. But given that there are only two mothers in the group, why on earth can’t they just sms eachother directly?
One of the (many) worst parts of infertility for me has been that it is so utterly isolating and ‘othering’. I feel like I can’t connect with my peers, as though I am different and don’t have anything to offer on one of the primary shared experiences of women my age. I don’t get to talk about breastfeeding and sleep and teething and first days at school and birthday parties and and and. And now I feel the same way on this group and I don’t like it. But I am also a peacekeeper and hate to be melodramatic about this whole thing. I’ve considered just leaving the group, but know that will cause confusion and concern. I’ve considered asking them to limit their discussions but I feel immature doing that. I’ve also considered just sucking it up and ignoring the messages (ie. Continue what I have been doing). Sadly the truth is that when I suck it up I avoid rocking the boat but am left with the all too common experience of internalising my own emotions. What to do?! What would you do or what have you done?