Here’s my advice in FERTILITY ROAD a glossy, lifestyle-themed magazine designed to address the key issues surrounding female and male fertility, presented in a style and tone that is a world away from the stuffy, science-based material that dominates much of this subject area
How can you best fend off well-meaning family, friends or even stranger’s comments?
Parenting expert Sue Atkins, who has counselled many mums and dads through fertility treatment and pregnancy offers the following advice.
“Why aren’t you starting a family yet?
People presume things all the time in life and rarely mean to hurt when they ask this question. I think it helps to spend a little time just pondering your reply and I encourage the people I work with to jot down their ‘stock answer’. It can be different for different people – one response from work colleagues and general acquaintances, a different deeper answer for family and friends and people who really know you. From clarity you get confidence.
Wild Confidence – You’ll be FINE!
It’s very helpful to stay relaxed and positive during this process and to learn to be in a balanced emotional state. You can achieve this through meditating, gentle exercise or saying a positive affirmation – like “I am grounded, centered and positive”. The emotional roller coaster of IVF and fertility treatment is tough enough without wildly exaggerated hopes or fears. So it helps to stay grounded, positive, relaxed and focused on being happy throughout the process, whilst also learning to adopt the attitude of gratitude for all the good things in your life. This helps you to filter life through the positive and will help you to feel more balanced and in control of your life.
“You can always adopt”…”Its not meant to be”
It helps to see life from the perspective of other well-meaning friends and family. One simple exercise I do is to stand on a piece of paper with your friend/family/partner’s name on it and assess what you see from there, hear what you hear and feel how you feel from your friend/family/partner’s perspective.
This helps you to see life from your friend, or mother in laws point of view. This exercise helps you to focus on their intention in this remark; usually it is to help you cope with the possibility of disappointment.
It’s my life!
The journey of fertility is a very private and individual experience for each person, as well as for each couple. I think it’s helpful to remember that one size really doesn’t fit all during this process and people only have to be confided in on a ‘need to know’ basis. You choose who you give a ‘stock’ answer to and who you share your inner most thoughts with.