Thursday, June 16, 2011


Just discovered that the mombie who called me 'toxic' and inspired this blog is pregnant again and was pregnant while attacking me for 'daring' to suggest that we should boycott mother's day.....makes me feel ill.

Had already put her on limited profile, and had hidden her status updates a loooooong time ago, am thinking it is time for the DEFRIEND.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

STFU, Parents

Thanks to a reader / friend for sending this website my way. Hours of fun to be had. Have linked down the side of this blog too.

Best way of avoiding the obsessed parents on facebook is to hide them from your newsfeed, just in case anyone needs the tip :-)

Bad mother's day gift = cheating

My new favourite site, Jezebel, has a post about how women will apparently cheat if they don't get a decent Mother's Day gift!

Apparently, it's even worse at Valentine's Day.

Seriously, if my husband were to spend an Outrageous Sum of Money That We Don't Have on a Hideous Gift That I Don't Want, that would be more likely to send me down the cheating path. No self-respecting woman needs revolting mass-produced and overpriced Michael Hill Jewelry.

Happy 'go hide under a rock' day

This is what I would have liked to post on facebook, but am certain I would have had a face-spank for doing so:

"Happy 'go hide under a rock' day to all those who can't and don't have children - those who have lost children, tried to have them but can't, chosen not to have them, or who have lost contact with their children."

Seriously, my facebook newsfeed is one massive Mother's Day overshare.

Thanks to M though for including me in her own facebook post and as one of the women to be celebrated today - it meant a lot.


One of the reasons this Mother's Day is harder than last time is not just because of the continued lack of conception, but because my Grandfather just passed away, and I have to face the hard reality that he will never know my children (if we have them). We were very close and it would have been wonderful for them to have met their Great-Grandfather, but now he will only be a Great-Grandfather on paper. I blame myself (irrational I know) for not conceiving 'in time' to make him an in-person Great-Grandfather.

This is the kind of irrational nonsense that we childless ones enforce upon ourselves.

Anyways, I will suck it up and remember to call my Grandmother today (she is the type that will appreciate it), although I would like to point out that I think it's more important that I've organised to stay overnight in Wellington after work there tomorrow so that I can spend some time with her - I don't need 'Mother's Day' to think about her and show her that I love her.

the irony of Mother's Day

So the 'incident' that spawned this blog occurred on my facebook page, where I 'dared' to suggest a boycott of Mother's Day and suggested celebrating my friends who can't / don't have children. It was suggested I was 'militant' and didn't want to 'celebrate' motherhood. Rather insensitive suggestions from a high school friend who was married a month after S and I and popped a sprog pretty soon after.

I ended up deleting the post and logging off facebook for a time after she continued to contact me via facebook chat (even after a request to leave me alone). It appears that she was deeply offended at my lack of 'celebration' of motherhood, yet she just couldn't see how exclusive and ostracising a day like Mother's Day can be. It seems that it's ok to have a 'day' where we celebrate mothers, but we're not allowed to celebrate the non-mums. Irony much?

Am I hyper-sensitive? Yeah probably. Am I sorry for that? Not really.

I'm sure if my own Mum felt a desperate need to be honoured tomorrow, I would do it, because I love and appreciate her. In fact, she has just messaged me to say thanks for a care package I organised recently for her birthday, filled with treats for the next few weeks while she finishes her PhD. She knows I'm thinking of her and don't require Hallmark to remind me I need to do that.

Anyway, something I did write on my facebook post is how I felt two years ago at a Church service (not my own Church) where ALL the women were given a prezzie to celebrate Mother's Day. It was the best feeling ever, as I felt celebrated for the woman that I am, without a 'child-requirement' as part of that.

What saddens me is that I took a risk yesterday in posting my 'boycott' suggestion, and the quick and harsh response from someone who is blessed to have a child has led me to making anonymous posts about how I'm feeling. I wouldn't dare make insensitive / jealous comments on their photos of new babies so how come she can do it back to me when I express what's happening in my life?

infertility and facebook 2

this article definitely sums up how I feel....

infertility and facebook

ok so this is a tad exaggerated but makes a good point

Friday, May 6, 2011

what makes a family?

Even more irritating than the "when will we hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet?" question is the "when are you and S going to start a family?" question.

Blunt answer: we have started a family, when we got married 2 years ago. S is my family, and I am his. We are a family of 2. We don't need children to be a family!!!

three little people

To balance the post below, here is a more positive one about how good friendships can be built between the fertile and the not-so-fertile, leading to joy, hope, and healing for those involved.

Since moving to Nelson, S and I have had the privilege of being significantly involved in the care and wellbeing of three little people, who we love dearly. Our friendship with their amazing and strong solo mum has allowed us to have wonderful little people in our lives, making our lives richer and fuller as a result.

Our friend, who I will call M (for Mum!) has always been incredibly open with regards to her children, and never fears in involving other adults in their care and wellbeing. Since the breakdown of her relationship, one thing that S and I have been able to do is role model a healthy adult relationship to these little ones, which is so important for their own future adult relationships.

I think it's partly the strength of her character, and partly her Maori culture, that allows M to be open about the upbringing of her kids. There was one situation when the oldest child was regularly calling me 'Mummy', to my extreme embarassment, and I was hugely surprised that M didn't care a bit, in fact, she welcomed it. The same child also made it quite clear to S and I that she didn't want us having our own children, we guess because that would mean our attention would be diverted away from her!

Where other parents in our circle of friends have left us off the invite list for their children's birthday parties, M has done exactly the opposite. We are always invited, not just to the party, but to the birthday dinner or breakfast. We are invited to school assemblies, ballet rehearsals and other significant events in the lives of these wonderful children.

M and her children have spent a lot of time at my office, and they bring me flowers and draw me pictures. We have their photos on our phones, fridges and walls.

It has been a big blessing for both S and I to have contact with these three children and to be included in their wider whanau. They are funny, interesting, fun, smart and talented little people, and we enjoy watching their skills develop and their personalities grow.

The approach that M has taken has been beneficial for all involved, for her, as she has formed a friendship with us and allowed us to provide her with support, for us, because we have the joy of having young children in our lives, and for the children, because they have adults in their lives who they can trust. Rather than shutting us out and aiding us to 'avoid' children (easy to do, because of the pain), she has done the exact opposite, and while sometimes painful, there is much joy through the pain. By almost forcing us to get involved with her kids lives, M has helped us to have the joy of young children in our lives, something we could easily let pass us by given our own personal circumstances.

Dealing with Infertility: a How to Guide for friends and family

I’ve thought long and hard about whether to pen this post but after 12 hours of feeling churned up about the issue I have decided that getting it all out on paper (the laptop version) will help with the processing of my feelings, and maybe serve as an educational and useful tool for a few people out there.

Fertility, or lack of it, is an awkward issue. It can destroy friendships, relationships, and the self esteem of those involved because of the sheer hugeness of it all, combined with the insidious silence that is often associated with all things to do with female reproduction.

I have known since age 23 that I have a fertility ‘issue’, having been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) following years of irregular periods, strange weight gain, body hair and oily skin. I read up on PCOS, took the information to my GP, who ordered the necessary blood tests and internal uterus / ovary scan (fun – not) and confirmed my thoughts. I have PCOS, which means that my ovulation is out of whack. It doesn’t make pregnancy impossible, but it certainly can make it more challenging. I’m fully aware that I may have to go through the horrors of hormone treatment, medication and IVF, and that there is still no guarantee of a child at the end of it all.

It’s always been in the back of my mind, but it wasn’t until my marriage to S in 2009 at age 29 that the reality started to really weigh on my mind. S and I visited our GP, whose advice was to ‘get cracking’, which we promptly have done but to no avail yet.

One of the total arseholes about having PCOS is the irregular periods, meaning that 5-6 times a year I have ‘hope’; my period hasn’t arrived for 8 weeks and we immediately think ‘ooh, could it maybe have happened naturally’. Then comes the purchase of a pregnancy test with the heartbreaking single blue line as a result.

This doesn’t just affect me, it affects S deeply too. The only times I have seen him cry during our marriage is when he admits how painful our conception issues are for him. It must be doubly difficult for him; having to comfort me and the (irrational but real) guilt I face, while also feeling heartbroken himself.

I sometimes wonder if people are aware that we are not childless by choice, particularly given my commitment to my career (whatever my career will morph into!) and passion for feminism, choice and women’s rights. The reality is that until re-connecting with S I wasn’t desperate for children (although I did have a plan to have them one day), but once we had started dating again I have been burdened with an overwhelming desire to make a small creature that is part me, part S. I love the idea of having children who look like him, maybe have his personality, or mine, or their own! Yes, I can rationalise that it’s probably hormones talking, but that doesn’t take the pain away.

The reason this has all come to a head is the pain of having to endure another round of “mum’s are the best”, “being a mum has completed me” nonsense that comes up during the commercialised marketing opportunity that is Mother’s Day. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem celebrating mothers (mine is amazing), but I DO have a problem with the sheer hype about Mother’s Day that has the opposite effect of a celebration on many people; those who have lost children, those who can’t have them, those who are trying and trying to have them, those who have lost Mother’s, those who have become estranged from their Mother’s, those who were adopted and desperate to find their birth Mother, those who had their children taken from them when it was socially unacceptable to have a baby out of wedlock.

I am grateful that my Mother has always seen Mother’s Day as a commercialised waste of time, and has instead encouraged us to do nice things for her on a regular basis. She would rather us attend her PhD graduation, make her regular cups of teas and have long phone chats, instead of making a big fuss of her on a random day that has been designed to generate $$ for companies.

I make the comparison with Valentine’s Day. I’d rather S made me cups of coffee when I’m working on an essay, gets up in the morning with me when I have to get to the airport early and buys me flowers / chocolate / wine / ice cream occasionally. It would suck to be in a relationship when it was only celebrated once a year. I would likewise encourage those who go overboard on Valentine’s Day to also think about the effect of their celebrations on others. Since struggling with our infertility issues I have become acutely aware that shoving my happy relationship in other people’s faces could actually be really hurtful for those who are going through a breakup, separated from a loved one, bereaved, or single and lonely.

This isn’t to say we shouldn’t celebrate the happiness in our lives. But we should also do so sensitively and also keep a look out for our friends and families who have tough burdens to bear and think about their needs.

One further point before I leave you with some ‘do’s and don’ts’ for supporting a friend or family member who has infertility issues. Being a mum is not “the best”. People who say that are unintentionally ostracising and demeaning the work and lives of those who are not mothers. Just because we’re not mums doesn’t mean we can’t be “the best”. It doesn’t make us less loving, less caring, less hard working, less smart, less connected to people, or less valuable. We do other things that matter: we advocate for people, we work as cleaners, doctors, teachers, bus drivers and politicians. I am no less a fully-fledged adult woman because I haven’t popped out a sprog yet.

• Involve us in the lives of your children. Just because we don’t have them doesn’t mean we don’t like yours. Invite us to birthday parties, baptisms, school assemblies etc. When you leave us out but invite your friends who do have children you only ostracise us further.
• Do allow us to say ‘no’ though if it is a bit too hard.
• Ask us about our work and actually put some genuine interest into it.
• Organise a girls’ night, get a babysitter, and keep children out of the conversation.
• Remember that we childless ones can have sleepless nights, stress, and sickness too.

• Pity us. Treat us as human beings with full lives, because we don’t need children to have a full and interesting life.
• Expect us to get super excited when you get pregnant / have a child.
• Give advice on how to get pregnant, or promise that we will get pregnant one day. How could you possibly promise that?
• Tell me a story about someone that I’ve never met with PCOS who got pregnant after trying for years. How could that possibly help me?
• Forget about your childless friends after you’ve had a baby. We’re still here!
• Stick endless posts up on Facebook about your children’s nappies, teeth, sleeping routines etc. No offence, but no one really cares.*

* Ok, so that may be a little harsh, I don't mind hearing about children occasionally but when it's all I ever see it's quite a put-off and makes me assume that you have nothing else to talk about. For me, seeing your posts about kids all day is the other side to you putting up with constant political posts from me.