Oct 23, 2011

Feeling alone...at church

In the world of infertility I have felt no more alone than while at Church. Not during mass, per se, but while in the church. And the more I think about it, the more it makes me sad. Of all the places in the world that is the last place I should feel alone. 

(Please let it be known before you read on that I do not feel abandoned by, forgotten by, or without God and Jesus - that's not what this post is about. I did feel this way at one point but I have long since moved on from those dark thoughts)

Churches are built around a sense of family. Family. If you ask someone to draw a picture of a family, what do they draw? 99% will draw a mother, father, a kid or two and dog, probably with their house as the background. If I showed most people a hand drawn picture of a man and woman, most would say it's a picture of a couple, not a family. We, Mr. Slick and I, are by social confines not yet a family. And sadly, our Church parish, like many others also conforms to this social norm. 

Following mass recently (due to a lovely stomach virus we did not attend mass this weekend) I was reading the bulletin for possible groups for Mr. Slick and I to join. We're feeling alone and wanting guidance so we thought first to turn to our parish. 

There are groups for the following: First time Moms, Mom's of two or more, Mom's of preschoolers, Dad's group, Seniors group, Knights of Columbus, Homeschool group, Little Saints and Scholars, Catholic Daughters, and Newlyweds. 

There are only two groups dedicated for couples of childless parents (or at least those who don't have children at home); the Seniors group and the Newlyweds group. We don't fit into either category. And I actually met a few of the people in the Newlyweds group - all of which were already pregnant. 

Sadly, this is the norm. I looked to a neighboring town's parish website for possibilities and they had many many more groups as it's a larger parish and town but with more options of groups did not bring more options for childless couples. We don't fit the mold of what most churches define as family and that makes me both mad and sad. Infertility affects 1 in 8 couples. Sometimes during mass I look around at all the other families there and sometimes see a couple, clearly married and always wonder if they're infertile too. Or if their kids are just visiting grandma and grandpa's for the weekend. 

One day I might fit this mold but someone will always be left out. 


  1. I feel the same way at our church! We have teens, young adultish(college-35 years old)(which of whom 85% have kids and the rest are college students or unmarried), the family group, and the old timers. My DH and I struggle to fit in, because we've been married for 2 1/2 years and have been struggling for 8 months to have a baby. Everyone talks about their kids, which I mean is good, but makes you feel out of place. But when you have PCOS and don't know when you will be able to have kids, it's a struggle. I found someone else in my church who is struggling with infertility through my blog and we facebook each other through this time. I have also told my small bible study group about it and they try to be supportive. I'm sorry you are struggling and I hope that you can find a niche in the church somewhere!

  2. It's very frustrating to feel this way, especially at church. I'm so glad you've found a friend at church and have that connection - we all need that someone we can talk to :)