I am certainly not an expert in the childless life. I am an expert, however, in living MY childless life…so I can only tell you from my experience. While in the midst of battling infertility it seemed like everything was a trigger. Every word, every comment, every glance.
There is no magic phrase but I either heard these or would have liked to have heard them:
- How are you doing?
- I am not sure what to say.
- How can I help you?
- Would you like to go shoe shopping? Let’s be fair…this one works in every situation.
- I love you.
- Can I ask a few questions?
- I am here to listen if you’d like to talk.
The important thing is to actually say something. Not talking about a not kid doesn’t make the situation better. It puts a spotlight on the elephant in the room. Say something but whatevah you do….try to avoid these.
What suggestions could you add to the above?
This started as a top 10 list but I kept adding. These are 16 things I could think of in about 3 minutes. Maybe stupid is the wrong word….but insensitive or tread lightly just aren’t cool blog titles.
I will always believe that 99% of people are good and never mean to hurt anyone. For the most part, people are good hearted and never want to cause pain. They aren’t bad people or idiots at all. As an example: Over 20 years ago I was at a co-worker’s mom’s funeral. We went up to her afterwards to hug her and provide comfort. I wanted to make her feel better and tell her not to worry about coming back to the office for the next few days. “Don’t worry about coming back right now. The office is quiet. It’s dead, dead, dead”. You know…because one dead wasn’t enough for me. The conversation stopped and everyone stared at me dumbfounded. I tried to nonchalantly recover. My co-worker (who was burying her mother) tried to rescue me and started thanking us for attending. They were all going celebrate her mom’s life at a nice restaurant…..so I followed up the first gem with “Man, you guys are so lucky…I just LOVE that place! Ya’ll have fun”. I think I got escorted to the car after that.
So….if you are or were trying to get pregnant you’ve heard every one of these:
- You are just stressed. You need to stop trying and then it will happen.
- You don’t want kids. Mine are a pain in the butt.
- Do you want one of my kids? One day at work someone said this. It started with “do you have kids?
- Why can’t you get pregnant? Why can’t you shut yo face!?
- I wish I could go home like you and not have to worry about cooking dinner for my family. I’ve wanted to throat punch these people.
- What is wrong with you? I HAVE throat punched these people.
- Which one of you has the problem? You or your husband? As all wives know, the answer to this question is obviously always “it’s my husband’s fault”…but not in this situation….
- You need to hurry up because you are getting older. This one makes me want to flip a table.
- My friend’s neighbor’s best friend’s daughter couldn’t get pregnant then she (insert random suggestion) and got pregnant immediately.
- You don’t have kids? Why not? You don’t want kids? This is a conversation I have at EVERY. SINGLE. NAIL. SALON.
- Are you sure that you two are doing it correctly? Always meant as a joke. Not funny. And yes. Yes, we are.
- I wish you could get pregnant so you could experience the greatest joy you’ll ever have. I take back what I said earlier. These people are idiots.
- Having a baby will change your life. See #12.
- I never lived until I had a child and became a mother. I hope you get pregnant.
- Be careful if you try IVF because you could have a bunch of kids. Kids aren’t M&Ms….but, like M&M’s I’d rather have a whole bunch of them as opposed to none.
- Are you seeing a specialist? Well…we actually decided to consult with this stranger who lives in his van at the car wash…… YES! OF COURSE IVE SEEN A SPECIALIST!!!
Man! Those infertile women are sensitive! Well…you know what? We weren’t the first 486 times we heard these comments. So what the heck CAN you say?? Check out another one of my blog posts. And come back soon!
If your car is abandoned you probably won’t spend a lot of time and effort washing and waxing it….Well, not the greatest analogy….but there are days when I wonder why I even think about eating healthy or taking care of myself because quite honestly, I am angry at the shell of a body I am living in. The most basic thing. Women for a gazillion years (I verified this on the internet) have been getting pregnant and having children. Gazillions of years. And…..then…..me. Something is broken inside and let’s be honest, something is broken inside.
For some reason, the workouts and healthy eating used to feel like the right thing to do because I was taking care of what would soon hold precious cargo. Over the years though I’ve changed my routine and it has affected me physically. I am not sure if the blah that has become my body is because I am getting older or because I just stopped caring. It is probably a little of both but I am leaning toward the latter.
I need to stop blaming everything on infertility. It is hard not to though. For now, I will try to stay away from the candy jar (my weakness) and choose meals that aren’t covered in some delicious gravy…or bread…or pasta…. I will start working on my physical health so I have energy to battle what’s going on in my head.