When you are holding off on children, don’t want to reproduce, or are struggling with infertility, people can be very insensitive.
Please try not to let insensitive people take away your joy or make you feel any less! Live your life the way you want and if you are struggling with infertility, I wish you strength during this process.
Before I had a child, people would constantly ask me when I would be having kids and continued to push me towards it before I was ready. They never asked my husband these questions, just me.
I pushed off having children until I was 30 because we both weren’t ready. We were working towards our futures and bringing a child into the equation wouldn’t have been a smart move. Then, we struggled to conceive for two years, which made things difficult – for me.
I didn’t mind people asking if we wanted to have children. I just did not like the comments because of how they made me feel.
I was told I was selfish for not having kids yet and one lady even insinuated I didn’t know how to procreate. She rudely stated ” do you not know how to make kids? Do I need to teach you some moves? I will show you how.”
Another noticed we didn’t have kids yet and commented, “Wow, you’ve been married longer than us and have no kids still? We already have three!”
While getting my nails done, the nail technician encouraged me to have kids early or else they may “turn out funny like my co-worker’s son,” she pointed out.
I was constantly bombarded with “when are you going to have children?” or “don’t you want children?” over and over again. The pressure was real!
That’s what it’s like when you are a married child-free woman. At least that is how it was for me. However, when you are struggling with infertility, it’s even worse.
I started to feel like I was at fault and my guilt could not be eased.
I didn’t want my MIL to cry because she wanted to see what her son’s child would like and it would be my fault it never happened.
It may seem ridiculous to think that way, but people’s constant comments and questions affected me.
It was overwhelming at times, but I tried to maintain hope.
If You Are Struggling with Infertility
I’m really sorry if you are going through any of this now. I know the questions get tiring and sometimes, people can be brutal, especially if you come from a culture where children are basically a requirement.
I was open about my struggles, but I kept this information quiet towards certain people who I knew would make me feel bad.
In some societies, women are treated like second-class citizens when they can’t conceive (even if her husband is the actual infertile one). It really needs to stop!
Fortunately, these days, there is a lot of help out there. There are also online resources to assist you or provide support, but be careful which ones you read. It’s easy to get sucked into the websites with misleading information especially when you are desperate. I’ve seen my fair share.
Be careful of anyone trying to sell you any magic fertility potions! Really.
Also, one thing that helped me is doing things that made me feel better. Do things you love and what makes you happy. It will help ease your mind.
I exercised a lot, ate right, and I took a well-deserved vacation (a road trip across America). It made a huge difference in how I felt. You don’t have to do anything crazy. Just do something (anything!) that will make you feel less stressed, if you can.
Finding the Help You Need
When I was struggling with infertility due to endometriosis (read more here), I looked into a lot of things, but what helped the most was getting the right medical care. I know this is a no-brainer, but I can tell you I saw many doctors before someone could truly help me.
I was referred to an infertility specialist to perform a laparoscopy (you can read my experience here) and got pregnant soon after. I feel fortunate because my odds were very low. When I was first seen, IVF wasn’t even a possibility. My laparoscopy was the determining factor in whether or not I may have a chance.
I am grateful that my gynecologist referred me to an infertility specialist because he was extremely knowledgeable and skilled. It was the first time someone sat down with me to explain my situation, as well as my options and ways to improve my health. He also did an excellent job during my laparoscopy, which gave me hope.
While finally receiving the help I needed, I didn’t feel so alone anymore, especially when I met many others in the same boat.
It truly strengthened my journey.
I’ve known many people who have gone through infertility now. Some have adopted or have used infertility treatment options, while others have made peace with their decision to be child-free. I’ve even met a few who had a surprise baby after years of struggling.
Everyone’s path is different and each couple will hopefully determine what is right for their family together.
I hope that whatever direction you choose or whatever path life takes you, you will be happy and at peace with your decision.
Let’s also encourage an environment of respect towards people’s choice to not have children and support those who wish to have kids but are not yet able. A little bit of kindness can go a long way in my book. What do you think?
Have you ever experienced social stigma for living a child-free life and how did you deal with it? How did you find hope? I would love to hear your experiences!