Baby planning and infertility – When words hurt
Have you ever thought how our families and friends are only too eager to share their opinion about when we should have children, how many children we should have and then how to raise the children that we already have?
There are several couples who are happily married, yet they decide not to have children, even though there is nothing wrong with their relationship and they don’t have fertility issues. On the other hand, there are couples who choose to have more children than the norm. Others cope with infertility issues and receive constant (and often unrequested) advice from family and friends about their problem.
In an ideal world, the decision when to have a baby is left in the parents’ hands, and nosy relatives know their boundaries and refrain from stupid comments yet in the real world many couples often have to cope with prying remarks about their family planning.
Baby planning and infertility – How do you stop hurtful remarks?
Nosy co-workers, friends with children and sometimes even distant acquaintances often butt in with personal questions. Family dinners transform into a nightmare, when you hear the infamous “When will you make me a grandma/ aunt?” and you are secretly coping with the pain of another failed attempt at becoming a parent.
Then there are those who are simply not ready to become parents. Succumbing to the notion of having a child just to make your mother or your mother in law happy, or not to feel left out of your clique of friends who have children, is like giving these people total control over a decision that will influence the rest of your life. Babies are not only an enormous financial burden that not every couple can afford, but they also bring with them a set of responsibilities that will change your life forever.
The funny part is that these comments don’t stop once you get pregnant. The instant your first child is born, you will start hearing remarks as to when are you going to have a second child and so on and so forth.
So how do you stop these stupid comments? Here are a few tips to navigate the tricky topic of impertinent questions.
Baby planning and infertility – Tips to stop hurtful remarks
Decide how much you can take – taking jibes from a co-worker on a daily basis is very different from having your Aunt Matilda pick on you during a family dinner at Thanksgiving, so set your limits accordingly.
There are instances where we are so sensitive to a topic that we jump to the most innocent pun and we over- react. Going into a hysterical rebuttal, when the situation doesn’t call for it, will leave you with a bitter taste for days and will rarely settle the issue. Try to keep your emotions under control, even when it gets painful, and try to think before you say things which you might regret.
Ignore them – Unfortunately inopportune comments from friends and family happen too often to let them get under our skin. Not answering an impertinent question often sends a subtle message that you are not willing to discuss the matter further and will cut the conversation short, so silence and a sour facial expression might be a trick that works.
Joke about it – A good joke with a perfect timing often sends a subtle message that you are not to be messed up with. Try to divert the attention from a painful topic.
Be direct – when all else fails, there is only one way out of it – find a quiet moment and face the person who is picking on you. Usually there is always a ‘ring leader’ who feels he or she is entitled to openly judge you.
Keep the drama for some cheesy reality show and concentrate on getting the message across without hurting anyone’s feelings. Start with the premise that this person is acting in good faith, and does not understand that these comments are hurting you, and assertively ask him or her to stop.
Avoid painful situations – You don’t have to go to every baby shower you are invited to, if you don’t feel like it and if you really must go to a family gathering where you know your situation will be brought up, you don’t have to stay till the end of the party.
Yet you shouldn’t distance yourself from those you love because of your situation. Many times our expectations are much worse than what happens in reality, so make an effort to give the party a try, before you decide not to attend, you might actually enjoy yourself.