(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.