As with everything I write, this is unfortunately garnered from my actual experience. When I first started telling people what was going on, I was met with a buffet of unsolicited advice and insensitive comments about infertility - as outlined below. In fact, each one of these statements was ACTUALLY spoken to me. Since I was caught off guard with all the ignorance, I didn't come up with the best responses. But I've taken the liberty of laying out some better response suggestions for you in case you should find yourself facing the same dilemma. I'll add it to the growing list of things you can thank me for later.
If you're in the infertility club or the not being able to ever have kids because of a weird uterine anomaly club, you could be writing this post. But that would be kind of alarming, because I'd wonder how you got the password to my blog and then I'd start questioning what other passwords you might have and things between us would get awkward pretty fast. So I'll just write it. Even though I realize you could, mmk?
Dumb Things People Say When You Can't have Kids
1. Well if you adopt, just make sure you do it from America - there are so many kids here that need to be adopted!
My Response: Adoption? Ok. I wasn't even thinking of that yet. But thanks.
Better Response: Oh really? I wasn't aware there were any orphan children in the United States. With this newsflash, I suddenly realize it would be inconsiderate of me to rescue a child from a third world country, whom has a good chance of otherwise tragically dying, if I can just pick one up right around the corner. By the way, speaking of decisions, should you really be having a third kid when you couldn't even afford the first one? #justathought
2. That means you have room for lots of dogs!
My Response: Oh. Yup. Yea, I can definitely do that.
Better Response: That would be great advice if I liked dogs! Or even wanted dogs. Or you weren't the worst. But yea, I heard dogs and children are pretty similar. Especially the new 2016 talking dogs that can draw you pictures for your fridge, you unbelievable idiot.
3. I never really saw you as a kid person anyway.
My Response: Errr. Um...
Better Response: Hmm. That's an interesting slam trying to disguise itself as a silver lining. Since we're both here, let me lay down on this couch and maybe you could explain a few more deep rooted desires and life goals of mine? Starting with the fact that I want to punch you in the throat.
4. It's ok. A lot of people don't have kids, ya know?
My Response: Yea. That's true.
Better Response: What kind of trivia shows have you applied for lately? Please tell me that you're not wasting this incredulous wealth of knowledge just on me. And since we're speaking in generalizations - a lot of people aren't annoying either, but you are. Wonder why that is? Shouldn't you know the answer since you're a trivia wizard?
5. Well the doctors told _____ she could never have kids, and she did one day. Just need to hope for a miracle!
My Response: Miracles. Yea.
Better Response: The only miracle that could happen to me is magically growing a brand new uterus. (may need to switch this terminology around for yourself) But thanks for your incredibly insensitive and cliche message of hope. There is, in fact, nothing more annoying to a person in this situation than to remind them their only chance of having a child is for an extremely rare, miraculous event to occur.
6. Oh, doctors always get things wrong.
My Response: True.
Better Response: I'm going to need you to put on your thinking cap for a second. Infertility isn't usually a scenario of doctors being wrong. It's usually a scenario of malfunctioning - or in my case - abnormal reproductive organs. So, although I appreciate the thought, I think that the chances of four different doctors, 2 ultrasounds, and an MRI being correct are > than the odds of your theory. Now go eat some ham.
OK. Now that's off my chest, I do have some actual, legitimate advice to those of you who are faced with insensitive comments from friends and family regarding your infertility.
Remember they are all idiots. And I mean that in a nice way. And I mean in regards to infertility - I'm sure they aren't idiots in every way because why would you be hanging around with them? Most of them don't understand anything about infertility, the hundreds of issues under that umbrella, surrogacy, or adoption. So, how mad can you be? Well, a little. And I was. Or, maybe disappointed is a better word. Unsolicited advice, especially regarding something as personal as family, adoption, and infertility is usually unwelcomed.
So remember they are coming from a place of ignorance. Secondly, they probably aren't intentionally trying to hurt you. Why would they? If you truly believe that's the case then, you need to go on a serious friendship hiatus. So if they aren't trying to intentionally hurt you, you need to figure out whether they are really just that clueless about who you are as a person (ie. the person who said I wasn't a kid person) or they are just grasping at straws trying to comfort you (ie. person who suggests miracles can happen). Because these two situations are handled very differently. It's always the intent that matters most.
But you know that. Because you're not an idiot.
More reading on this topic:
Wondering who's the mysterious wordy genius behind these posts? Follow this little rabbit trail to read more About Me! The use of the term genius is open to interpretation.