Infertility Etiquette- Who knew there was such a thing?!
We’re back! Sara and I are joining forces back here on Simple Swaps today because it’s been one of those weeks. You feel it too? Phew, we thought it was just us!
Holiday chaos is just beginning with Memorial Day right around the corner. BBQs, potlucks, pool parties are starting to become a weekly thing. As much as we love a great social hour, we also have found since opening up about infertility family and friends aren’t quite sure what to ask when we run into each other. It’s like we’ve broken some secret silence and people care so they want to ask, but at the same time, aren’t quite sure what’s appropriate. Don’t worry, we appreciate your thoughts and concern and are here today to help you out!
Infertility etiquette – it’s our hot topic today and we hope this helps make those social encounters just a bit more relaxing.
See that sparkler up there? That’s how we feel sometimes when going to gatherings where we are literally the only ones sans kids or with one. (Remember, infertility affects those with kids too!) Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE to play and cuddle the cute little nuggets our friends and family have been blessed to have, but part of us feels envious.
Anyways, this isn’t a sob story of “why us” today, so we’ll stop right there! We’re truly blessed to have the life we have and know in time we’ll get the full house we’ve always wanted.
In the meantime, here’s what you should know about infertility etiquette from our crazy minds!
Please don’t avoid us! We don’t want to be the elephant in the room.
- Chat with us just like we did before! We’re still the same people, just laying a little more of our laundry out in the public eye. Good questions to ask, “How’s life in …? I see you’ve been busy, how’s that …. coming along?” – Good fillers here can be from items you’ve seen on social media (come on, we all have it), or from hearsay your family has told you.
It’s okay to ask about infertility if the person/couple has actively told you or announced on social media they are going through it.
- Now, we will preface this is not okay with everyone going through infertility. We want to refer you to Resolve to check out some important features on this topic. While we are open about this, many don’t feel the same comfort level.
- Things to say, “Saw your post on fertility. Just wanted to say we’re keeping you in our thoughts and are here if you ever want to chat”, or, “I wanted you to know I’ve been thinking of you. If you want to chat, I’m here.”
- If you keep it short and sweet like that, it allows the other person to respond based on their comfort level.
- Liz: I will preface, depending on the stage of treatment I’m in, I may be super open to chatting or may be a hormonal mess. If I slowly walk away and you don’t see me for a while, it’s the meds. I’m crying in the bathroom, just bring me a glass of wine :).
General note: Never ask a couple if they are trying or why they don’t have kids! Or, are you going to try for a second?!
- You don’t know what’s going on behind close doors, so let’s keep the fresh summer air alive and avoid any situation where infertility has not yet been announced to the family or friends. As you know, this is a condition many do not like to speak about. Be mindful and simply make those generic comments like, “I love your dress! Where did you get that?”; “How about them Bears? Think they’ll be any good this year”. Insert any article of clothing or sports team and hopefully that has you covered for a solid 3-5 minutes!
We also wanted to share this article we were both quoted in back in April for National Infertility Awareness Week in Parents Magazine. It’s an important read that talks about what other women going through infertility would like you to know!
Now, let’s get to those recipes! We’re not about to throw in the towel on those fertility fueling foods. We’ve rounded up some great recipes here to get your creative juices flowing. Choose one of these to bring to the next cookout that will also secretly help fuel your fertility too-shh! A win win for all!
In my fertility journey my husband helped me immensely to not take things personally. Some people are just insensitive (they are the hardest right?!), but I can’t change their behavior. The funny thing about grief is it hits you when you least expect it! I could sit through an entire baby shower and be legitimately happy and have a wonderful time…but then I’d see someone pushing newborn twins in a stroller for 30 seconds and lose it! When people would ask “isn’t it time for #2″ I’d remind myself they had the best intentions and just smile and give a short reply. Or sometime (when I was having one of *those days* I’d make it really awkward and say, actually we’re trying for #5, #2, 3 and 4 are with the Lord.” Yikes. 😉
Elizabeth Shaw says
Oh Laura, you are so kind to be so honest! I love that response, as much as it hurt I am sure, it definitely made them realize I’m sure how sensitive and deep these topics go. I ache for you and am so happy at the same time your family has evolved into the bundle of joy it now is! Sending you warm hugs!
Tara | Treble in the Kitchen says
These summer recipes are on point, but the etiquette!? Love it! Such a helpful guide for so many situations.
Elizabeth Shaw says
Thanks Tara- I appreciate your support!