What to say to someone who is Childless – not by choice.
Why do people feel like it is their place to ask why you have no children?
The problem with asking that question is that you have no idea what is going on behind closed doors, i remember just after my miscarriage we saw a family friend who doesn’t know about our fertility struggles and they said ‘oh it’l be you two having kids soon then’ just out the blue, totally off topic, and the pain in my stomach was immense, i had just lost my baby, possibly the only one i will ever have a chance of having!
I just walked away, i must have looked so rude and hubby made some excuse or other and then caught up with me, i was in tears, sometimes it feels like you can’t escape from it anywhere!
These days i am much more emotionally stable and have informed a lot of our wider friends and family of our situation, this was mostly to try and avoid sudden questions and give ourselves a little bit more control over it and so far its working better, but now when kids are brought up some people just act really awkward around us, i am very aware that people feel like the subject is a mine field and really have no idea how to deal with it!
But they make me feel odd, and different..
I want to scream at them, i’m not diseased, i’m not a total freak, i just cant have children!!
So maybe we just need to have a little more education for people who do feel a little awkward and how it would be better to act, thus World childless week where the aim is to break the taboo.. so here are my tips…
- If the person who has fertility issues talks to you about there issues, they clearly feel in an emotionally safe place to talk about it, and it is okay to ask questions and be part of the conversation.
- Only talk about it if you really are truly engaged and interested, most probably this is one of the most important things in this persons life and they will feel very strongly about the subject, equally it could have taken them a huge amount of courage to bring the subject up with you.
- Don’t just dismiss it and tell them that it will happen one day, this person has a diagnosis for a reason, if it isn’t medically possible for them to get pregnant then it won’t and its hurtful to suggest that it will!
- Adoption is NOT a replacement for natural children.. it is a choice a couple can make when they feel like they are ready, please don’t imply it is a ‘second prize’ after IVF fails!
- It really isn’t needed to be overly sympathetic and say how sorry you are a million times and how hard it must be, in my experience, actually infertility can make for very strong individuals!!
I really do appreciate that talking to someone who has lost a child, having fertility problems or with failed IVF cycles can be daunting, but i promise you we are normal people who want to be treated as such, the more we all talk about this the more people will realise that there is no Taboo involved with being Childless!