With Thanksgiving and Christmas nearly here you might be filled with excitement and festive cheer. Or you might be dreading it because you remember what happened last year.
That awkward conversation with Aunt Judy when she asked ‘when are you going to start a family?’ And the way she kept making comments like ‘You’d better hurry up dear and not leave it too late.’
As if you haven’t been doing everything you possibly can to get pregnant. As if you’ve not been trying. As if you don’t know that time is painfully ticking on and the thought that you’ve left it too late doesn’t enter your head almost every day.
You don’t need to be reminded of it by Aunt Judy the minute you sit down to eat turkey.
It can feel like you’re stuck in a no-win situation. If you answer Aunt Judy with the truth that you’ve just been through your 3rd failed rounds of IVF, then chances are she’s not going to get it. You know from previous experience that she’d start judging you and asking more questions. You just don’t want to go there.
So what are you left with? The other option is to try and shrug off the questions and change the subject as quickly as you can. To walk out of the room, go to the toilet or make a drink. Anything to avoid the baby question.
You don’t want to have to deal with it. The judgement. The criticism. The questions.
Whether it’s Aunt Judy, the taxi cab driver or your colleague at work, it’s hard to answer the baby question. Why does the baby question get asked? All. The. Time.
The thing is people who haven’t struggled to get pregnant just don’t understand how painful it is to be asked about when you’re going to start a family. Their hearts are in the right place. They are just being people, feeling awkward themselves and trying to make conversation.
It’s not their fault. They just don’t know what to say. And so a baby question pops out. They have no idea how painful it is for you.
You can play it several different ways depending on who is asking and how you feel.
The most important thing is to do lots of self-care. When you’re feeling strong and fully resourced then nothing can touch you.
Next, run through in your mind what response you could give when you’re asked the baby question.
- You could gracefully divert the conversation. Sometimes it’s kinder to everyone to do this. It’s easier to move swiftly on. To avoid being overly triggered.
- Or you could open up and tell Aunt Judy what’s going on. You never know, she might surprise you. If you speak your truth, you could get the support you crave. If she really knew what you were going through, the questions might stop.
Let me know how it goes and have a Happy Thanksgiving.
All my best,
Rachel Bolton BSc (Hons), Lic. Ac., Lic. Tui Na.
I empower women to see themselves as Fertility Heroes and help them to optimise their fertility, get pregnant and have healthy babies.
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