EDITED: After receiving feedback and reviewing my words, I realize some of my comments may come off as parent shaming which I never want to do. Moms are allowed to complain. They are allowed to let the mental and physical drain exhaust them to the point of needing a break or at least a vent session. My post is simply my reaction to hearing others complain about the duties of motherhood when I for so long have wanted to be a mother myself. Does this mean someday I may become a mother and never complain about the workload? Absolutely not. That’s completely unrealistic. In fact many moms probably read my posts and from their perspective thought, “wow, she doesn’t have a clue.” They’re right. It’s all about perceptions, reactions, and feelings. They are all valid. I’m just opening up and documenting mine publicly. I never write with the intentions to make others feel guilty or like less of a person/mother in any way. I value what you do. I value you. And I value your feedback. Always.
If you follow me on Instagram, you probably witnessed my first on screen meltdown when I found out we would not be able to proceed with our treatment during the month of April. I wanted to enjoy the break and relax a little, but at the end of the day I felt hopeless and a little guilty. Once I was traveling for work and buried in creativity, I felt a little better about the whole situation. It was short lived though.
Fast forward to the first of May, everything every mother is saying and doing is pissing me off. I always want to be completely honest and open in this space, but I also have to protect the innocent as I share. (Innocent meaning that they just do not get it.) So as I write out here what’s bothering me, I hope being vague does not come off as passive aggressive. I’m awkwardly honest, so please trust that if we have a close relationship, you’d know if something you’ve said or done has hurt me in some way. This is simply a space for me to work through my perceptions and feelings as part of this journey. (And sidenone, they are only perceptions and feelings. That is all.)
I reacted pretty strongly to something a Facebook friend posted this week and threw up a very reactive post in response. I quickly took it down because a) people who say insensitive things aren’t usually reflective anyway and B) it was allowing negativity into my life. A friend messaged me soon after and basically said that people are going to say insensitive things with the best of intentions throughout this entire process. And she’s right.
Here’s what I wish the publisher of that original post knew. Infertility is a whole spectrum of issues. You are not me, and I am not you.
As more and more women reach out to me and share their story, I’m realizing how little I have experienced in terms of loss. I’ve read messages about multiple failed rounds of IVFs, miscarriages, and YEARS of uncertainty. I will never assert myself as an expert on this subject or as someone who knows exactly how those women feel because I don’t. Their story is not mine. Mine is not yours.
I’m not sure if it’s because we are approaching Mother’s Day or what, but I’ve seen more posts than usual about how hard it is to be a mother. I get it (well as much as I can) that kids are a full time job. I was a teacher to 30 at a time all the live long day, and they were in the worst stage of life. There’s just something about the rants I read that make me want to literally throw my phone. I want your bad day. I want the worst days.
It’s so unfair for me to be angry at these people though. They are stressed or are having a bad day, and it literally has nothing to do with me. At all. People can’t screen everything they say and do based on my current situation. Some day I’ll make posts like that too, and some girl will be furious or overwhelmingly sad on the other side of the screen. She’s allowed to be.
I do hope I remember her though and speak and act with the sensitivity I know she needs. I want to be that friend for her.
Takeaways this past week:
- Society has made us feel inadequate if we don’t have a connection to a given topic. If you do not have fertility issues, that’s amazing. Celebrate. You don’t have to give advice about it or really even acknowledge it. When you force yourself to participate in a conversation it feels just that: forced.
- You can show us support with a simple, “I’m thinking about you.” Our doctors have our backs, and I guarantee you most of us are scouring the internet for message boards filled with women just like us. You don’t have to share your knowledge from hearsay because we are researching into the early morning hours.
- DO NOT send us a message this Mother’s Day. Just don’t. Life advice: if you ever feel like you don’t know what to say, it’s most likely a time when you shouldn’t say anything.
So that’s really it at this time. I’m cranky, and I’m ready to get back in the doctor’s office. I have a great mom who sacrificed a lot for me, and I’ll be celebrating her big this weekend.
I’ll also be taking several days off from social media for personal reasons obviously. You may think, “Well Kara you can’t just hide things, so you don’t have to deal with them.” To that I say, yes I can. There’s even features for it now thank God. Also, you may be a jerk.
If you are a mom, how damn lucky to be you. I sincerely wish you Happy Mother’s Day. Sincerely.