Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Walking on eggshells?

Today's questions revolve around how those with children can or should interact with those going through infertility. I often get asked from friends how they should act around their friends dealing with infertility. What can they share? What should they not say? Is it okay to talk about their kids? How can a mother share vital parts of her life and her identity with her friend suffering with infertility? To share might hurt the friend, but not to share, is to withold a large part of herself and in a way dimish the authenticity of the relationship. How can a someone be respectful of a person/couple going through infertility and yet not walk on eggshells, worrying that something they say might be hurtful? What have you found to be helpful in your own relationships? How have you found this balance with your friends?

Looking forward to hearing your comments and thoughts!


  1. For the most part, please share all the good happy details! I want to rejoice with you! Please just don't complain about your children. Don't whine. Find another sympathetic mother to whine to, but share all of your joys with me.

    P.S. There's a difference between sharing sorrows and complaining, of course. As a friend, I'd want to share your sorrow, just not your whining.

  2. I completely agree with anonymous. Sharing sorrows can be talking about how your child cried through the night and you were so upset because you didn't know how to soothe him/her. Complaining/whining would be, "Uggh, this kid won't let me get ANY sleep! You're SO LUCKY you don't have to deal with this yet!"

  3. Ditto to both posts above. When talking about your kids, don't bring me into it at all. No, "just wait till it's your turn" type comments amidst the kiddo storytelling, please. It also helps to have other things to talk about. If all the mom does is talk about her kids, that can get annoying, fertility issues or none.

  4. I agree with the above posts... esp about a mom who only talks to me about her kids. I LOVE to hear about them but if that is all we can talk about we need to find a common interest beyond kids.

    Also I have a hard time when all the news I'm hearing about is people having babies or dealing with kids. There are some people in my family that seem to only talk about all the kids in my extended family or the women who are pregnant... That's not always what I want to talk about.

    One thing I personally love is when a friend, sister, or sister-in-law makes me feel like I have a special impact on their kids. When I'm told I'm the fav aunt, or see that the parents tell the kids to give me extra hugs, or (this is bitter sweet) when I have a niece or nephew ask me about kids for us I know that they are loving me and praying for me as a family.