I haven’t participated in Writer’s Workshop for awhile, it goes along with all my blogging sucky-ness. But this week a topic struck me and I figured, hey, I can write on that.
1.) List 10 things you wish you could say to strangers who share unsolicited advice about your parenting skills.
OK, with some slight modifications. The prompt I’ll write about
1.) List 10 things you wish you could say to strangers who share unsolicited advice about you
r parenting skills trying to conceive (TTC).
And I’m going to pair it with the things people say to me.
To clarify, I don’t get this advice directly much. I’ve told very few people I’m TTC because I don’t want the advice. I know enough other people TTC who get it CONSTANTLY, and with the whole SAnD the thought of having to deal with the constant criticism is pretty terrifying. (ETA This is not directed at anyone specifically. On the other hand, I have gotten at least half of these comments directly.) I don’t even really write about it on my blog, which was supposed to be my safe haven where I could write about what I wanted, because now I “know” my readers online and I’m scared of what THEY might say to me.
(Side note, that’s probably also much of why I haven’t been blogging much. Because TTC is a big part of my thought process at the moment, but I don’t feel like I can really write about it.)
So maybe this’ll help me get my confidence back so I can say whatever I want again.
Here we go!
1. I’m pregnant! And we weren’t even trying!
OK, this one is half a joke. I am happy for all my pregnant friends, or friends with newborns.
Even if I do kind of want to punch them in the face and go sulk rather than offer congratulations. Really, I am. There’s just also a part of me that’s extremely jealous, which battles with that happy part.
So starting for real…
1. You’re young, you don’t want kids yet!
Actually, I do. You don’t know my situation. You don’t know my background. You don’t know what it is to be me. And you aren’t living with my hormones. So shut it.
2. Stop thinking about it so much!
It is kind of hard to stop thinking about something you really want. Here, I’m going to give you a million dollars, probably within the next year. Now stop thinking about what you’ll do with the money and all your new free time. Wait, you mean it keeps intruding on your thoughts? Funny, that…
3. Stop worrying about all these details!
I want this to happen. I can increase the odds if I have sex at the right time. And those odds are only 20% success if my timing is perfect and there is absolutely nothing impeding things. And the only way to know when to have sex is to “worry about the details.” So yeah, I’m going to.
4. I knew someone who couldn’t get pregnant, and then she stopped trying so hard and it happened!
Good for her. That is not everyone’s story. I counter your story with a stack of stories of women who were just relaxing and letting it happen and couldn’t get pregnant, and then started “trying so hard” and got pregnant the next cycle.
5. Have you ever thought that maybe you’re infertile?
Nooooo, it’s never crossed my mind. /sarcasm. Of COURSE I have. I’ll cross that bridge if I come to it. In the meantime, I’m trying not to think about it to avoid the whole stress thing, so thanks.
6. It’s not a big deal (that you’re not pregnant).
Actually, it is a big deal. This is a long, slow process, and it rips my heart a little every time another month passes and I’m not. I can point you to a whole community of women who agree.
7. There’s always next month!
Next month is a long ways away, and a long time to wait. It’s hard to comprehend how little one chance a month is until you’re living it all.the.time.
8. You know, stress can stop you from getting pregnant.
Gee, thanks. I am aware of that. I am trying not to stress. But unfortunately, managing stress is not as easy as deciding to turn it off.
9. Just relax and enjoy sex.
Actually, I do enjoy sex. I actually enjoy it more while trying to make a baby. And remind me when this became your business again, anyway?
10. You shouldn’t be upset, it’s only been (x) months.
Every month you end up not pregnant after trying sucks. Ask women who have been there. And in my case, it feels like I have been trying 6 months to a year longer than I actually have, because I so! desperately! wanted to get pregnant long before we started trying, but held off because of circumstances outside of my control that I didn’t fully accept or agree with. So while it may only have been (x) months, it feels like a lot longer to me.
And there you have it, my list of 10 things NOT to say to a woman TTC. Or at least, my list of the first 10 things that came to my head.
I get the stupid things people think and say. Several years ago I remember reading the blog of a woman who was sharing her pregnancy news, and mentioned how she cried the first few times she “failed” a pregnancy test. I was shocked and a little disgusted. Really? Crying? And saying you “failed” it? So you’re not pregnant yet, no big deal, there’s always next month.
Now I’m a woman who has cried at a “failed” ovulation test. And that’s not even a failure, it may turn positive tomorrow! And you can get pregnant without it ever turning positive, anyway!
Hormones are crazy powerful things, y’all. There’s a reason the human race has survived.
So allow TTC women their grief, and if you must comment, keep it to, “Good luck!”