When you're infertile, you throw around the phrase "family of two" quite often. I know I have defiantly stated that we are a family of two, with some furbabies to boot.
But how many times have I heard people tell me that it wasn't until they had children that they truly became a family?
True, the other week Mr. LC said, quite matter of factly, "No, we're not a family. We're a couple."
It stung even though he wasn't trying to sting. Mr. LC likes to deal with reality, the present, and the more I thought about it, the more I realized he's 100% absolutely correct...we--the mister and I--do not constitute a family.
For further proof I consulted the dictionary, good old Merriam Webster. Here is what I found:
The first listed definition said this: a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head. Well, um, ok. We are a very small group of individuals living under one roof but I can tell you there isn't a 'head.' So no, that doesn't really fit.
Second definition said "a group of persons of common ancestry"--nope, we're not related. Next was "a group of peoples regarded as deriving from a common stock, race, etc. etc."--again, not what I was looking for. There was discussion of the scientific version of 'family' and then finally, finally, the definition of what most people think of when they use/say/hear the word.
"The basic unit in society traditionally consisting of two parents rearing their children; also: any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family; spouse and children."
And come on: the 'various social units' they are referring to are not 'two adults without kids'--they are referring to single parents, same sex parents, etc. You can't get away from children being an essential component of family.
So yeah, I guess we aren't a family, despite my repeated attempts at making us fit into that definition.
We are a couple.
A damn good one, if I do say so myself (did I mention that when I flew in late late late from SF the entire house was spotless--oh my wonderful Mr. LC!) and we certainly enjoy our couple-hood (long trail run this weekend, walk around Town Lake, yoga together, out to eat with good grown-up conversation sans any interruptions, a long nap on Saturday afternoon...etc. etc.) but it ain't family and it ain't family life (did you catch the nap, the run, the out to eat without any interruptions?)
Thoughts? I'm not trying to be a downer, I'm just trying to be practical and it's something that's been on my mind. In living through infertility, I have spent a lot of time trying to tell myself that it isn't as bad as it is, that it could be worse (most definitely could be!), and maybe sometimes sugar-coating things...all reliable coping mechanisms.
But if it doesn't quack like a duck, walk like a duck, or have feathers like a duck...let's face it, it isn't a duck.
Edited to Add: I hope I am not offending anyone. I'm speaking in terms of me, and Mr. LC, and our situation only. Obviously if anyone wants to call themselves a family of two that's fine by me, whatever works, I'm just kind of working through some of my previous coping mechanisms...so bear with me...
2 years ago