Monday, February 22, 2010


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 bear with me...


  1. The main thing is that being a fantastic couple is so great in and of itself! It's easy to get mired down in the meaning attached to words when they are surrounded by such big issues in our lives - but the reality is that you have something that is really special, and it doesn't need some qualifier-phrase like "family of two" to make it important!

  2. Ugh, I hate to admit it too, but I think Mr.LC is right... We are just "a couple" as well. An awesome one at that, but indeed - just a couple.

    Maybe we should creata commune. Then we could qualify as "A GROUP of individuals living under one roof".


    Just a thought...

  3. Hmm...

    I don't think blood relation has anything to do with it, because then what about adoptees? I am not blood related to "Mr. SillyHille" at all (thank God!) but I love him more than anyone that I AM related to genetically.
    I think that you CAN be considered "any of various social units differing from but regarded as equivalent to the traditional family". You and Mr. LC are "different than" the typical, storybook "family unit", but different isn't WORSE, and I think you're equivalent to any family I know. Actually, you're probably much BETTER people than MOST families I know...
    I think family is just a sense of belonging to something that's always fluid and changing; sometimes it's people who look and act like you, sometimes it people who understand you for the way you look and act, and other times its just loving the people you call "family"... genetics aside. You are a family if you SAY you're a family.

  4. I had a similar comment told to me today about how I couldn't understand how busy weekends can be until I have kids. Really? I am so hoping you and Mr LC become a 'family' soon, one way or another.

  5. I really like SillyHille's take on this, but I will admit that the classic definition of "family" still makes me scream. (ARGH!)

    Though possibly pathetic, T and I consider ourselves and our cats to be our "family." When speaking to the kitties, it's always, "Go show mommy what you learned how to do!" or "Ok, enough of that now. Time to get off of daddy's lap!" Others would probably roll their eyes, but it's all we have to hold on to at the moment.

    This weekend, we were browsing houses currently on the market, and the term "Single Family Home" really struck me. These homes are meant for a FAMILIES. I guess "couples" should just stick to condos? Pshaw!

    The way I see it, you and Mr. LC have grown and nurtured multiple embryos. Though microscopic, they were still your family. Your babies who tried their hardest to make it. They should not be left out of this equation. *hugs*

  6. Ah yes, I too have been faced with the "family" situation. Mine is opposite of yours ~ I was saying to J how we are NOT a family and it hurt him. He responded that we are each other's family, we do not need children to make us a family. We have each other, we support each other and we weather the storm together, that is what makes a family. So I have adopted that philosophy myself ~ I had to for my own sanity.

  7. I consider my husband to be my family, and we just happen to be a couple. In turn, DH's family was never there for him (His fav song is Cat in the Cradle if that tells you anything), so he considers my family to be his family too. And like Meg, our dogs call us mom and dad :p

    Having said that, it really rubbed me the wrong way when so many people came through my brother's visitation line and said, "well, at least he didn't have a family." I mean really, who were they talking to? His sister, his parents, his brother in law. All family.

    The word can mean so many different things, and it's all ok.

  8. I consider this frequently. I am not able to consider myself as part of anything other than a 'family', although I do agree with you. It's just that my heart is currently incapable of accepting the reality.

    I will often think 'I would love to add to our family' - though it is just us 2 and 2 kitties. Even my kitties want us to have kids, ya know? More pets for them...

    Overall, this whole thing hurts so badly..... D^%$ it...

  9. Don't let one definition of family get you down, you and Mr. LC and your furbabies are family. All your combined relatives are family too. Even if you want to consider yourself not, I would say that your couple status is much stronger and loving than many many "families" out there. I do understand the point you are making, I'm just saying you already have enough on you and to not let this definition get you down. Hugs

  10. I think those definitions are a bit old school. Families are built in such different ways these days.

    We may not be families of the "traditional" sense, but I do believe we are families just the same...I'll claim the "head" job though if that's what it takes. (-;