As some of you know, I was featured in an article a few weeks ago about Surviving the Holidays as an Infertile. It was first posted on AOL's Parentdish site and then it debuted on AOL's home page. I had no idea of the firestorm heading my way.
More than 300 people commented on the piece, most of whom, said words of support and empathy, telling their own infertility horror stories. However, there were also some who felt that I was selfish for wanting my own child and not wanting to see pics of my friends' kids on Christmas cards (which I meant in a very tongue-in-cheek manner, unfortunately it didn't translate well in print), and that I should adopt (which is mentioned in the piece, but clearly people didn't read that far into the article and made hasty accusations).
I honestly couldn't believe how many people were downright cruel in their commentaries. God love my boss's daughter who wrote a beautiful retort to their slams, and my best friend, who commented no less than six times in my defense (and that of other infertiles who feel similarly).
It just goes to show that unless you've been in our shoes, or doctor's stirrups, as the case may be, please, please, please don't judge us.
I'm also guessing that most of the Negative Nellies are also proud mamas who never had to struggle to get pregnant.
I've said time and time again that a person's choice to become a parent, no matter how that blessed event occurs, is a personal decision, and unless you're Octomom, people should refrain from judging and pushing their own views. I'm all for Freedom of Speech and being able to voice your opinions, but when you're castigating someone you don't know (and infertile couples, in general) for simply wanting a child, you've crossed a line.
Stay tough, trying mommies! I know I am!
Hey everyone - Jack Bauer here.
It has been an interesting couple of weeks with Lu being picked up by AOL
and now by Cafe Mom on her postings about not getting Christmas Cards that
only have kids on them. I admit, some of the comments have made me a
little bit frustrated because people are making some big assumptions about
my wife and me on the basis of one posting. What it has reinforced, is my
belief in the prying and judgmental nature of some people. I guess as a
guy, you don't have to constantly listen to other men droning on endlessly
about their kids like women do. Or, when I get asked if I have children
and I say, no, most men won't ask follow up questions.
To be honest with you - even before we had these challenges of infertility,
I didn't like Christmas Cards with just the kids on them. I love my
friends and I enjoy their children - but my friendship is with the parents,
not the kids. I really want to see pictures of my friends and how they
have changed over the years. Want to include your kids? Great! But, our
relationship is with the adults, not the child. Family pictures are
wonderful and there is no painful feelings at seeing those pictures. But
what irks me is the people subsuming their identity to being "blah blah's
mom". I guess that is ok for some folks, but I just don't understand it.
The thing that just floored me is the amount of judgement that these people
were passing. People assuming that this is the focal point of our life,
people criticizing us for not adopting (hello, read the article and you
will see we are), and people criticizing us for pursuing an international
I don't know folks, maybe it is just me, but I don't feel like I can judge
anyone to the extent that these people felt was within their right. Lu was
trying to provide an outlet for infertiles to realize that someone was on
their side and she gets attacked and called things like selfish, bitter and
a whiner. This is directed at the woman who volunteers to help kids and adults with special needs and could rattle off the names, ages and favorite colors of approximately 40 of her friends kids? Little secret - old Jack here could probably only remember about 3 of the kids
Going into this holiday season, I think the best thing that we could all
try to do is to be a little less judgmental of people and try to empathize
a little bit more with the challenges that each person has in life.
Happy Holidays to everyone.