Yes, Virginia, There Are Lovely “‘Fertiles” Out There

M E M O R A N D U M

To: The Fertile Community
From: The Infertile Community
RE: Bridging the Chasm Caused by Infertility

We're talking about you, and, I confess, it's not always in a good way. We spend a fair amount of time in the infertility community sharing anecdotes about how little our "fertile" friends, family and acquaintances "get us." You give us lots of good material to work with. Just a few days ago, The Wall Street Journal (who would have thought?) had a blog post up, The Swell Season: Haunted by Reminders of Infertility, that provided some examples of the typical casual dismissals and a few downright, huhs?

For instance someone (clearly fertile) likened infertility to "an allergy that you 'should just accept' and move on from..."

Um, I have allergies and I am infertile. So not even in the same ballpark.

And from the woman who had an easy pregnancy, "why shouldn’t I be able to gloat? I was the happiest pregnant woman out there and only gained 15-18 lbs total."

Is gloating ever a good thing? Heads up, gloating girl, here's the definition: To feel or express great, oftenmalicious, pleasure or self-satisfaction. Now I just hope your son/daughter doesn't face infertility 'cause I get the feeling you're not going to handle it very well...

To be fair there were also some comments surmising that infertility would likely be difficult to experience:  "I think that extended infertility and/or the thought that I would never have kids would be pretty hard to take." BINGO!

But in this time of brotherly love, I do want to highlight those who DO get us -- one couple in particular shared a level of sensitivity and understanding that truly stands apart. They are the latest recipients of the Coming2Terms Act of Kindness Award. ...

Moms: We Hear You Loud and Clear

                                                                                            
Updated to share two links revealing a reality different than what the conventional mom community experiences:


Ack! What's going on? If I were a conspiracy theorist, I'd be convinced we were in the midst of a well-coordinated, full-on assault against those who can't or don't have children.

You may recall the judgmental Orlando Sentinel Mom's at Work blog I referenced in my last post. Who knew it was the tip of the iceberg?
This week Mika Brzezinski weighs in.
Mika, Mika, Mika...I really expected more from you. We're contemporaries. I watched you tackle tough topics as a reporter, saw you anchor the weekend national news. Did you really write not one but two posts all but arguing that children are essential to fulfillment?
"Women face enough pressures and challenges in a workplace that is still depressingly biased against a female's success. Add to that, the fact that the very thing many women I know find most rewarding (having kids) is now frowned upon."
Having kids is now frowned upon? Mika, you must be seriously distracted to have missed out of the whole mommy movement. Just check out Mom's Rising or Mom 2.0 Summit or the Motherhood Project or Maria Shriver's latest report, A Woman's Nation Changes Everything. As Melanie Notkin points out in her editor's note on Savvy Auntie the report weirdly overlooked the fact that not all women are mothers:
"The study, meant to change the way government policy and businesses modernize with the new standing of women in the economy - a change I completely support - interchanges the word "woman" with "mother" so often it's as if all women are mothers."
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mother's day ban

Mother’s Day: From Meh to Arrghh!


Newsflash: Non-moms do not represent a unified voting block, as evidenced by the 46 responses to my recent request for non-mom perspectives about Mother's Day on HARO. Much of the differences in opinion stemmed from the circumstances that led to being a non-mom (e.g. those who chose not to have children vs. those who wanted children but weren't able to).

Sure there are some -- yours truly being one -- who find the over-the-top mommy marketing palooza hard to stomach, but other non-moms take a more zen-like approach. Where we can all agree, though, is around the idea that all women -- not just mothers -- deserve a nod for all they do for their families, communities and the world at large. Here, in their own words, are more thoughts from non-moms on Mother's Day.

Thank you!! It is nice to see someone willing to acknowledge that there are woman not called 'mother' out here. Gritting my teeth is exactly the way I get through it. Every commercial for mother's day has me running for the remote control. Any other channel will do. I feel anger at the assumption that all women must be or will become a mother. My mantra becomes soon another 'holiday' will be here and they'll forget all about this mother's day business.But it is all around you. In the magazines, on the TV talk shows, 'news' shows, entertainment; talk about who is pregnant, how awful it would be to not experience the wonderfulness of pregnancy and having children. It seems when the childless woman is mentioned it is as the butt of jokes or with a sad shake of the head, if she gets thought about at all. I wish there was a better way to get through it than Haagen Daas, Hershey's and trying to close it out of your hearing and your mind. --Lee
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