“When will you have a baby?”
“What’s taking you so long?”
“Don’t you want to be parents?
These are some of the dreaded questions that are posed to every couple but made even more uncomfortable if you’re trying to have children unsuccessfully. Just about every couple that deals with infertility deals with these awkward questions and comments.
How do you respond?
It is perfectly normal to feel anxious, upset, or defensive when these types of questions are thrown your way. When you are coping with infertility, being asked questions can remind you of your lack of control in the situation and trigger your feelings of pain and loss. Not everyone may respond in a compassionate manner and could end up giving unsolicited advice or making inappropriate comments. Some also may be asking innocently and not aware that their questions could cause you pain.
Deciding whether or not to disclose infertility issues is not something that should not be made in the heat of the moment. Although you don’t owe anyone an explanation, sometimes it can be beneficial to have prepared responses to the most common questions you may get asked by friends and family. Keep in mind that family might just be focused on having a new role like a becoming a grandparent or an aunt and not realizing it might trigger upsetting feelings.
If you are not willing or ready to address the question, here are a few responses to have ready:
- “We are not sure. How is your new job/hobby/project going?” This response allows you to steer the conversation away from family planning quickly and on to a subject that your friend or family member is wanting to talk about.
- “I would rather not talk about it, but thank you for asking.” This response is firm and polite, and shuts down the topic in a respectful manner.
- “How long did you and your husband/Uncle John wait to have children?” This allows you to flip the conversation away from you and turn it into an interview and learn more about others and their parenting journeys.
- Or, if you are ready to share some of your infertility struggles you might use that moment to start with a response such as, “Actually, we have been trying for some time and we are having some difficulty.”
Remember, you can always choose not to answer at all. You can pretend you didn’t hear the question, just smile, and change the subject. Most people will get the hint. If you encounter someone who does not, just respond with, “I would rather not discuss this now” and if they persist, just walk away. Coping with infertility is a difficult enough road without having long drawn out conversations that you are not emotionally prepared for even if they are your friends or family.
If you find yourself needing someone to talk to, our counselors at Aspire are always here to listen. Schedule an appointment at any of the Aspire Fertility Clinics or call the:
Houston Clinic: (713) 425-3003
Dallas Clinic: (214) 414-3806
Atlanta Clinic: (678) 274-6760