If you have been around people long enough, chances are you have met either a friend or a family member who has struggled with infertility. The fact that we know someone doesn’t necessarily mean we know what they are going through. We all have struggles in life, and no one person’s struggle is exactly the same as the person next to them; they might be in similar predicaments but not exactly the same. When people get married society immediately starts expecting them to start having children, but again this is not always the case. For some it happens immediately while for others it might take a bit more. The effrontery people have to start asking marri d people some questions or even telling them what to do in their marriage just beats me. Inasmuch as many friends and family say these things or ask certain questions from a good place, I honestly think they would be doing the couple a great favor by just keeping some of these things to themselves. Well, actually there are things you can say to them, just be careful to sift through your words before pouring them out.
Through this journey I have been told many insensitive things, I’ve had to answer many questions, and I have also wondered about many relationships. I’m going to list below some of the things you should never say to a woman who has been married for sometime. That she hasn’t told people anything doesn’t mean she’s not going through a hard time.
1. It will happen if you worry less: This is something I have heard people say to me. Most women who are married want children sooner or later, and every woman who is struggling with infertility worries. Telling them to stop worrying is not a guarantee that they will stop, and there’s no guarantee that when they stop worrying they will conceive. Say something else please.
2. When are you going to start having children? Like I mentioned before, most married couples have a plan for their future, and when to have kids is not an exception. Many people view this as a normal question to throw at newly married couples or couples who have been married for some years. Sorry if I think differently, but it just comes off as rude and nosey to me. I believe what married people do to have children is nobody’s business. If you care about them that much then look for a better way to speak to them, or better still just pray for them. I have even had someone ask me when I am going to give grandchildren to my parents, saying I was furious is an understatement. You aren’t even my parent and you’re asking me that question? Instead of writing those cruel words to a woman who for all you know might be going through painful hospital procedures, painful surgeries, hard times in her heart, sleepless nights e.t.c, why not write her a prayer instead? I believe she would find a short prayer more helpful.
3. Just take your time and enjoy life: This is when I almost lose it. I remember one time when Ben and I were vacationing somewhere, we met this white Zimbabwean couple who were also vacationing with their set of twins. We got into a conversation and they asked if we had kids yet, we said no. What followed that answer literally spoiled my evening because I had been admitted at the hospital days prior to that trip. Telling a couple to enjoy life and not care about having kids now is just absurd, it gets on my nerve when people say things like “take your time and enjoy life now” or “you are still young.” Hold on!!! Do you know for how long I have wanted kids? And who are you to determine the appropriate age for a woman to have children? And don’t get me wrong, I know people say these things from a kind heart, but excuse me!! Whoever told you that we won’t enjoy our lives with our children? Granted, things change when children come but they definitely don’t take out of your joy, they add to it.
4. Children are too expensive, just get a dog: Okay, I have to sip my 🍵 here. What did you say ma’am? I should get a dog, like seriously? Why don’t you have your house filled with dogs? I was at a store just two weeks ago and this elderly lady in her 70’s started a conversation with me, I reluctantly obliged and she told me about her daughter, asked me if I had any children yet, I answered her and she told me to just get a dog. 🤔 Like seriously madam? I always say, if you don’t know what to say just say nothing. I love dogs but a dog can never replace a child!!!
5. Why not try IVF: I’ve had many friends and family members tell me this. Listen listen, a couple who is struggling in this area knows about these things more than you think you do. IVF is a not something you can just decide on in a day; some couples spend years contemplating, praying and saving toward this procedure. A couple might have nothing against IVF or they may not even want to go that route, the point is, whatever and however they feel about it, the final decision is theirs to make.
I know some of you reading this may have committed one or two of these blunders against women and their husbands. Not to worry, we all make these mistakes, especially when we don’t fully know the right things to say. Instead of saying these things, let’s rather say things like:
1. You can count on me if you ever need someone to talk to.
2. I can never understand what you’re going through, but I know God is in control, and He will guide you through it.
3. If you have struggled in this area yourself, why not say something like “I know what you’re going through, I’m holding your hand and keeping my fingers crossed for you. Or I’m keeping you in my prayers.
4. Because you’re an awesome person I know you’ll be a great mom/dad/parents one day.
Have you ever struggled with infertility? What are some of the questions you were asked, and how did you deal with them?
Your comments mean a lot to me as always. Do have a lovely weekend.