Friday, October 19, 2018

Failure To Launch: How Should You Act Around A Friend Struggling To Conceive?

When you’re a mother, your kids fast become your world. You can’t imagine life without those 
extensions of yourself in it. Watching a child grow up is about the most rewarding experience any of
us could ever have. Once you’ve done it, you’ll feel like anyone would be mad not to.

The trouble is that not everyone can. In fact, around 10% of women in the U.S. alone have difficulty
conceiving. That’s approximately 6.1 million women who want babies but can’t have them. That’s 
a pretty large number. Such women often have no choice but to either give up on parenthood or seek 
from surrogacy and donation agencies like ConceiveAbilities. Even if they take the latter option, 
there’s no guarantee they’ll see success.

It can be heartbreaking, and unimaginable for someone who already has a family. Which is why it 
can be difficult when a friend comes to you with issues like these. The chances are that you’ve 
always considered this as ‘something which happens to other people’. It’s one of those problems 
that we always keep one step removed. That’s understandable. Why would you want to consider the
reality of a childless life?

But, if your friend is coming to you with this, it’s because they’re struggling. As such, your reaction 
is essential. As much as you may not understand their struggle, you should do what you can to help 
them along the way. And, you can do so in the following ways.

Tone down the parental gushing

Let’s be honest; us parents like to gush about our children’s achievements. Whether it’s their first 
time using the potty or their first day at high school, we could tell a wall about it if it looked interested.
By all means, you should still share these things with your friend. But, it may be worth considering 
toning this down a little. Despite their struggles, they’ll still want to hear about what’s going on with 
your family. But, if your kids are all you talk about, they could soon find it difficult to be around you.
This may become especially the case if you have a baby. So, go ahead and tell them these things. 
But, tell them and then move on. Don’t do what you usually would, and talk about these things for an
hour or more. That isn’t going to help anyone, least of all the friend in question.

Let them get stuck in with your kids

As much as you shouldn’t talk about your kids ALL THE TIME, don’t be afraid to let your friend get 
stuck in with them. Though you might not think it, doing things with your kids could help to make 
them feel better. Children are the best medicine, after all. Babysitting or playing with your kids will 
probably take their mind off things more than anything else at the moment. And, that alone could give
them a much-needed break. So, rather than locking the door and ushering your children out the 
moment they appear, make room for them. Plan days out where you can all go together. This could 
be about the only thing you do right now which will put a smile on your friend’s face.

Don’t be afraid to ask about it

As with any health issue, you may feel afraid to ask about this after your friend’s initial revelation. You
may think that you have to wait until they bring their struggles up again. Perhaps you feel better not 
talking about this at all. But, as your kids absorb your life, so too will your friend’s lack of success 
here absorb theirs. What’s more, it isn’t always easy for couples going through these things to talk 
about them. As such, your friend is probably desperate to talk about this, but reluctant to burden you.
Let them know that you’re there by bringing this up. Not all the time, of course, but there’s nothing 
wrong with asking how things are going. If your friend doesn’t want to talk about it, you’ll be able to 
tell straight away. They’ll go quiet, or evade your question. More often than not, though, you’ll find the 
news comes pouring out of them. Then, you only have to listen and try to understand.

Helping a friend through issues like these won’t be easy, especially as you’re a mother yourself. But,
by keeping the above points in mind, you can do everything possible to help them at this difficult time. 
And, isn’t that what friends are for?

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