When your parents spend more time with your siblings with children

By Dann Alexander 

Personal and workplace prejudice, we have written about within these very pages. One of those personal prejudices may go beyond just a normal run of asking “when”? As in when are you going to have children? Typically, most stories of sudden breaks within one’s social circle come from those without children.

Stories of their friends being so busy with their children that the most they can hope for is a conversation on social media. Some may find themselves wondering why they have not been invited to a particular friend’s gathering or event, yet a mutual friend who has children is invited and attending with kids in tow. These kinds of things can be very hurtful.

They can hurt even more when and if a circle can be broken in an otherwise peaceful family situation. Parents may opt to spend more time with children who have brought grandchildren into the world. Of course, a family could be fortunate to have everyone get along well, with positive relationships throughout, regardless of everyone’s personal circumstances.

It is understandable for grandparents to want to be active in the lives of their grandchildren. And naturally, that would likely mean more time spent with the parents of those kids.

Those who cannot have children or have chosen not to, may feel hurt in those instances. I have read a few stories where people admitted to feeling like failures because they could not produce children for themselves and grandkids for their parents.

If you are fortunate enough to have your parents in your life, be happy that they are around. It is very likely that if they are choosing to spend more time with their grandchildren, it is not with the intention of making you feel bad.

Even so, if you do have feelings of being pushed aside, I suggest you speak up. Let your parents know that you want more time with them. The same applies for any friends that you might feel are shutting you out.

As I learned the hard way, life can change in an instant. People can go in an instant. Let those close to you know that having no children does not mean you want to be less included in their lives.

If you are childfree or consider yourself childless, have you felt that you are seeing less of family and friends? If so, how have you dealt with it?

Based just outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada, Dann Alexander is the Author of Planned UnParenthood – Creating a Life Without Procreating which is available at Amazon and other online retailers. Twitter @WriterDann


  1. raniergurl_04 says

    I just love this site and all the articles on it. I’ve responded before to other articles, but this one kind of tugged at me as well.

    My folks (are amazing!) but are a bit more inclined to take the time and effort to travel and see my brother and his 4 kids. Granted, I do live farther away (2.5 hrs) but I know if I had kids, she and my dad would be here more often. I try to let it roll off my back, my parents are generally very fair with me and my 3 siblings. But it is hard to ignore some days.

    As for my child having friends. That part almost bothers me more. Being squeezed out of their lives due to time constraints because they have a growing family. When I decided to not have kids and as I grew older, it always surprised me that some of my closer friends chose to have kids so quick. And I knew that as I got older the number of my friends without kids, who had time for me would grow smaller and smaller. And that gets lonely. Not lonely in the fact that I wish to have kids to fit in, but lonely in the knowledge that your worlds are going to continue to drift. I know it’s possible to continue good friendships when one starts a family and the other doesn’t, but it certainly doesn’t come natural.

    I married a wonderful man who was a full time dad to 2 boys. And I sometimes have to remind him that I’d like to hang out with some couples who don’t have kids. Who aren’t in search of a play date. Problem with that is, we don’t know any other couples like that. And little wonder, he’s been involved in the whole child’s sports rotation for years….you don’t really meet other parents without kids in those circles lol.

    In terms of how I’ve dealt with it? Hobbies. I’ve gained more hobbies. I read voraciously. And I do what I want when I want. And those are all basically the little reasons I have chosen to not have kids. I know I’ll find someone out there with a similar situation and we will have a great friendship. You just have to keep an open mind and keep looking.

    • Hi Raniergurl, always great to hear from you. I like your honesty and openness. I am sure that a lot of people share the same issues that you have and so are finding some relief reading this. I am not sure where in the world you are, but if you happen to live in London, then why not come and meet other childfree and childless people at our first meetup meeting? All the details can be found here:
      Thanks for your feedback on the site. This is what it is all about. A place where childless and childfree people can find support and inspiration and inspire others as well.

  2. raniergurl_04 says

    I was looking at your meetups before I posted, actually. I am from Minnesota. Smack dab in the middle of the US. a mere 4000 miles away:/ Those meet ups look great though!

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