For some, Mother’s Day is one of the hardest days of the year. There was a time when that was true for me.
The news from our fertility specialist wasn’t good, and Mother’s Day was like a neon sign reminder that my dream may never be fulfilled.
Friends who knew we were trying for a baby would often bring it up and so, for anyone who’s wondering, here’s what NOT to say to your childless friend:
1. ‘How’s the baby-making going?’ – This question probably annoyed me most of all. Mainly because the answer was so painfully obvious. There is no baby bump, therefore the baby-making is not going very well, thank you for reminding me!
2. ‘Don’t worry, you’ll fall pregnant.’ – The hard truth that I needed to accept was that, I may never fall pregnant. I needed to make peace with that.
3. ‘You don’t know how lucky you are not to have kids!’ – This is like sitting down to a three-course meal in front of a starving person and then complaining that the steak is slightly overdone.
4. ‘I’m so sorry… I’m pregnant.’ Of course, I was at that age when all my friends were having babies… except me. I learnt to separate my genuine happiness for them, from my grief. What made it difficult was knowing that at every pregnancy announcement, all sideways glances were on me, wondering whether I’d break down, or whether my smile was real. I assure you, my joy was genuine. I may have cried into my pillow that night, but my joy for you was real.
5. ‘We weren’t even trying and we just… fell pregnant!’ That’s great for you, but statements like that make your childless friend want to punch you in the face. Be a little bit sensitive.
What you could say instead is how much your childless friend means to your kids and how you value her friendship.
Remind her that she’s still incredibly special and her worth isn’t measured by her ability to procreate. Tell her you’re praying for her and standing with her on her journey.
And make sure you make some ‘child-free’ time to catch up with your childless friend.
Videos like the one below are funny if you’re the one who has kids, but incredibly insensitive to those who don’t.
We’ve all been there, so put yourself in her shoes and don’t expect your childless friend to just know what you need. It takes a community to raise a child, and I’m so incredibly grateful for my friends who don’t have kids yet. They treat my kids like royalty and they’re my ‘go to’ when I need emergency help.
Cheers to you, woman whose motherhood dream is unfulfilled. You are more precious than you could ever know.
The Fatherhood Foundation Incorporated trading as Dads4Kids is a Harm Prevention Charity listed under Subdivision 30_EA of the Australian Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 with Tax Deductible Status (DGR) for donations
Dads4Kids – Building Men. Growing Fathers. Changing Generations.