Here's an advice column question and answer, if you're into that sort of thing.
Childless Couple Vows to End Friendship over Kids
There's so much to unpack here.
First of all, NO. There is no comparison between losing parents that lived full lives (and with whom you have memories) and losing children with whom you didn't get to share life. I've already explained that here.
I can agree that "a mature adult learns to process sadness and tolerate discomfort, and not punish others for it." BUT... Processing not only sadness, but devastation and traumatic loss, is a pretty big deal. It takes time. I don't think it's wrong to give some people a couple of years to do this. I mean, that's a pretty tall order, am I right? Plus, people that are in the situation like this/mine (living life without children after surviving infertility) are not punishing others; we are simply taking care of ourselves in a world that, not only does not take care of us, but that also absolutely does not understand, nor have any iota of compassion, understanding, or space for us.
We are just living our lives like anyone else, thank you very much.
So I drafted a response letter in my mind.
Dear "Friends Until Kids,"
I'm sorry your friends are draining you. What you may not understand is that they've been through this before. Things change after you have kids. And that's okay. Understandable even. You're right that choosing not to adopt or not go through IVF is their choice. It's one that spares them any further trauma.
I'm here to say: your friendship with them may indeed be limited. They have probably been down this road before. They know how it goes and they are just giving you a heads up, even if the warning is early in its time. You'll learn soon enough--that your time will be made up of (insert your child's name here). Your friends? They already know.
It's complicated. Your friends can volunteer; they can be mentors or teachers; they can be an awesome aunt and uncle. But there are appropriate and necessary boundaries for those roles. There is no substitute for that parent-child bond.
It's okay. That's just how it is. But for people who wanted what you're getting, well, they're just probably giving you space at this time. Space to enjoy what you have. For you to enjoy your life. While they enjoy theirs. So, it's nothing negative. Not from you, not from them. They just know how it goes. With Love~
One Who Knows