Thursday, December 24, 2009

All I wanted for Christmas was a baby...

So I asked for a baby for Christmas but I didn't get one. Lame. Maybe I'll get one next year?

My husband and I hope one day to be parents (the sooner the better), and I hope one day to be pregnant. In the mean time--although the wait can be extremely tiring and trying--I can be positive. The more you struggle, the more you have empathy for others struggling. I also look forward to being a mom one day so I have more empathy for the mom's in my life too. (Love you girls!)

I have a lot of friends and family members that have kids. I've heard a lot of discussions among them about 'What not to say to a preggo woman,' and I hear a lot of discussion about how people without kids 'just don't understand what it's like to have kids'. There is amazing advocacy out there for new moms and pregnant women, which is awesome cause they completely deserve it! I'd like to start a conversation about advocacy for people without kids, and who can't have families the conventional way, or as quickly as others. There aren't as many of us, so maybe this type of advocacy isn't given as much thought. So while I am careful about what I say around moms or pregnant women, I'd also like to call for similar courtesy towards us non-moms.

So here's a list of what not to say to women who don't have kids, and who aren't pregnant (No exaggeration, these are real life things that have been said to me and my friends who are struggling to have families.)

1. It's your turn to be pregnant! (said by a preggo woman to a friend of mine struggling to have children).
2. Holidays must really suck without kids. I would be so bored on holidays, if I didn't have kids, like you guys.
3. Being a mom is so awesome, you should really give it a try.
4. Why haven't you had kids yet? You must not be into the kid thing?
5. What is taking you so long to start a family?
6. You just really don't get what it's like to be a mom. You have no idea, being a mom is seriously the best thing ever.

Just some thoughts. This isn't a bitter post. Seriously, there are no hard feelings. I know most people have really good intentions. I just wanted to raise some awareness. And most importantly I'd like to thank all the wonderful people in my life that hug me when I'm sad about not having a family, and are always sensitive and supportive as we try to start our own family. I feel blessed to have so many supportive people around me!


Mrs. B said...

You are going to be an amazing mom, Em. I love you!

Just_Kelly said...

I'm waiting and happy with that decision. Things I’ve had said to me:

• Better hurry up before you dry up.
• Do you not want kids? What do you mean you have stuff you want to do first? That sounds pretty selfish…
• So you’re one of those feminist, career types, egh?
• Adopt? Why? You might get a retarded baby… wait you really are thinking of asking for a retarded baby? WHY?!?!
• Animals don’t replace babies.

Texas Harveys said...


Lindsey Sharp said...

Em I wish so bad you got a baby for Christmas! I love you Em and think you and Benjamin will make the best parents someday! Sometimes I think Avery wishes you were her parents haha! I am so sorry, I can't imagine how hard it is for you guys, love you.

rebecca and eric said...

I can't believe the crazy things people say! Luckily I've had a lot of friends who struggle with infertility so they've taught me a little about what not to say. Thanks for your tips as well! Hope you guys had a great Christmas!

Brittany said...

I completely agree! I hated when people asked me those things too. No one even knows if they will be able to have kids until they really try, and sometimes even have help or adopt. It is a personal thing as a couple and with the Lord. I think it is dumb to ask. I can see asking something like, "Do you want to have kids someday?" Or, "Do you want any more kids?" I think those are reasonable, but the rest are rude. We can all be parents in different ways. I am glad you posted this one! I also am glad that you are such a great friend and sweetie and I know you will be a great mom when the time comes. (I think of you all the time when I see Aubrey's hair. I think she has a lot of red in it :)

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Erika Hill said...

I also wanted a baby for Christmas. And last Christmas. And the Christmas before that. It's always really presumptuous to say, "I know what you're going through," because the only person with that kind of true empathy is Jesus, but in many ways, I'm right there with you.

About 6 months ago I was checking out at the grocery store, and I was buying prenatal vitamins because it seems responsible. Brent was with me, and the cashier excitedly asked, "Are you expecting?" I smiled and said no, hoping this would silence her. However, she was persistent in her enthusiasm; "Hoping to? Practicing?" At this point, Brent and I looked at each other uncomfortably.

She persisted. "That's so exciting!" At this point, what I should have said was nothing; what I actually said was, "Yeah...I mean...we've been hoping to have kids for about 2 years now, so it's kind of past the excitement phase, but...yeah."

When I said "2 years", she froze. I thought that this would end the conversation. But it didn't. She then proceeded to tell me that there are people in her ward who tried FOREVER, and finally they adopted, and then got pregnant, so don't worry, there's hope for me!

I think that often times people are trying to be interested and supportive, but what they really are is nosy and tactless (there's really no good answer to the question, "Why don't you have kids yet?". Even the stories about the people who adopt and then get pregnant--I know you've heard them--don't do anything to change my fertility or lack thereof.

Em, I'm kind of sad that I haven't ever met you in person. I think we would get along well. Thanks for letting me get to know you through your blog.