When I wrote this title I initially put ‘What to do if when asked if you’re going to have children’. I then changed it to what to do when someone asks because I’m pretty sure it is inevitable that someone will ask at some point if you are of the age when many of your peers are having children.
When struggling with infertility, being asked his question can lead to feeling awkward, confused as what to say, and bring up the pain and despair all over again.
My advice from our infertility experience is to have an agreed strategy for what to say in these situations. We found being honest was the best way to avoid further embarrassment and questions. We agreed that if someone were to ask if we are going to have children we would say ‘we are not sure we are able to’ without giving any further details or indicating who the ‘problem’ may lie with.
In our experience, the person asking the question found the situation and response more awkward than we did. It didn’t lead to in-depth questions or interrogations, and it enabled us to accept the reality of the situation. Saying things out loud can take the power and emotion out of situations.
There is an approach to painful situations where you tell many people as possible your story and find gradually the emotion diminishes each time you share it. It doesn’t change the reality of the situation but can take out any intense emotion tied up in it.
So I recommend you agree with your partner what will you both say when asked about having children. This also enables to know that both of you are singing from the same song-sheet, both using a script you are happy with.
You may find with this approach you’re not so scared of people asking the question and when they do you’re more at peace as you respond.