Fertility Network UK
13,556 members22,050 posts

Insensitive comments - why?

Hi All, hope everyone is having a good start to the weekend! I have just returned home after my Christmas work do.... I thought to myself after a difficult time recently i'll make the most things and let my hair down and have a fun night. All was going well until right over the table in the middle of dinner someone asks 'so are you going to have babies then?' All eyes looked upon me. Could not think of anything witty to say to deter from the subject. I just responded with a 'I hope so, one day' and that was it. Awkward situation to say the least. Why oh why do people think this is an appropriate question to ask? I have never asked anybody such a personal question, even before hubby and I started trying and never will, especially in front of 20 people!! I do understand that these comments are well meant but don't people see how insensitive they can appear? Every conversation that subsequently followed was about motherhood... 'How nice was it before we had kids?' 'You know, those days when we could lie in or go to the cinema and have a good night sleep' etc etc etc. On and on it went until I could finally make my excuses and leave. I am now cosy at home with hubby and our two fur babies. Apologies for the rant but needed to offload. Wishing everyone lots of love and BIG hugs on their journey ❤ xxx

62 Replies
oldestnewest

People just don’t get it do they! It’s such a personal question. And to ask it in front of loads of other people makes it even worse. Sending you hugs x

1 like
Reply

Thanks lovely. You're so right, people just don't get it do they!?! Unbelievable. Sending you BIG hugs too and wishing you every success on your journey ❤ xxx

Reply

Ah yes the bloody comments, people are just so bloody nosey if nothing else! My husband now just tells people we are having IVF, he says if they don’t want to know then they shouldn’t bloody ask! I’m not quite as brave as that! Xx

3 likes
Reply

Hi lovely, I felt like I wanted to do the exact same thing last night! Somehow I managed to clench my teeth. It's unbelievable how nosy people can be isn't it!?! Wishing you every success with your journey ❤ xxx

Reply

That is wild! Really sorry to hear this. So unacceptable for people to be intrusive and downright interfering- yet many do! I think alot of people lack social etiquette and decorum to ask these personal questions. There really is no excuse for this. People need to THINK before they speak. The amount of shocking comments I have had said to me is unbelievable and even incredibly hurtful. Try to enjoy the rest of your weekend. Always remember you are strong and a survivor.xo

2 likes
Reply

Thanks lovely, sorry to hear you've had hurtful and insensitive comments said to you. There really is no excuse is there? Your kind words have made me feel lots better already! We are all survivors and so strong for what we're going through. Sending you BIG hugs and wishing you every success on your journey ❤ xxx

1 like
Reply

Thanks. Wishing you all the best in your journey too. It will soon be 2018- a new year, new prospects,new beginnings,hope.xo

1 like
Reply

I have fingers and toes crossed that 2018 will be a better year for us all. Sending love and hugs ❤ xxx

1 like
Reply

I had that said to me and I had said it will be when I'm good and ready for it which could be anytime.

Reply

What happens to that people is that they have no or very few friends or are completely ignorants.

Come on! Nowadays the normal thing is that you know somebody that has fertility issues or at least you have read something about it. I believe everybody of a certain age understands that It is a very frequent problem and that should stop them from asking such things. Conclusion: no friends or complete ignorants!

I really wish you all my best... hope everything gets better soon.

And remember: when you feel down, remind yourself that you do have friends, knowledge, sensitiveness and common sense (all uncommon in present days) 😉😘

1 like
Reply

Thanks lovely, your response has made me feel loads better! It was made worse as I was the only one sat there without children. Not going to dwell on things this weekend though, trying hard to get into the Christmas spirit and look forward to what 2018 will bring. Hope you're doing ok? Sending you BIG hugs and wishing you every success with your journey ❤ xxx

1 like
Reply

You were actually so nice replying , I don’t know how I would have reacted and my reply would be for sure horrible . I really can’t take if someone asks or passes insensitive comments . I straight away feel like saying mind your business or punching .. sorry , it happened to me and I was so horrible and sooooooooooooooooooooo angry. Just ignore or reply some nice comments so they won’t ask again.

But that great heart needs to be treated well asking this before so many people 😡😡😡

1 like
Reply

Thanks lovely for responding and for your kind words. Sorry to hear you've had some insensitive comments too. There really is no excuse is there!?! I actually feel cross with myself for not just being totally honest and saying bluntly 'i don't know if I can have children' in the hope that maybe this will put a stop to all the nosy questions but at the moment I am trying to keep things private. So difficult though when you work in a small team. Will not dwell on things, keeping positive that 2018 will be a better year for us all. Sending love and BIG hugs ❤ xxx

1 like
Reply

Ahh the intrusive questions. I can honestly say after 7 years of trying for our family my buffer has dropped!! Oops! If they want to ask those questions I will give them honest answers!

On the flip side of the coin those people that are asking often don’t have the same troubles as we do and won’t understand the difficulty and emotional impact of direct questions. Try to formulate witty comebacks and train your brain for those questions it can help with self preservation. Happy Saturday to you!! ☺️☺️

2 likes
Reply

Thanks lovely, great advice! Hope you are ok and wishing you every success with your journey sending you love and BIG hugs ❤ Xxx

1 like
Reply

Thank you lovely and to you too!!!! We are heading into donor IVF treatment soon and I’m feeling cautiously optimistic about it. If it’s meant for us it won’t pass us by!!! 😘😘 In the meantime in carb loading with Christmas goodies!!!! Yum 😋

1 like
Reply

Have a lovely Christmas and wishing you every success xxx

Reply

Agree with mostly everything you said. But I personally feel most often these women really don't ask such questions because they don't know the suffering or something but as an intentional bitching (sorry for the word). There are so many things to talk about on a Thanksgiving or family dinner like work, movies, interests, fashion world gossip, global crisis - why on earth they even pick the topic of kids. Don't we all know if it weren't for some reason (be it fertility issues or time or willingness) we'd have had one by now?

1 like
Reply

You are entitled to your views however I will politely disagree that for most, those questions will not be coming from a place of being unkind. I have had many a challenging conversation with women & men and it’s often down to not having experienced those troubles and actually that’s something I’m grateful for, I would never want anyone to experience this agony. Most probably people ask those questions because it has come fairly easily to them. In addition its one of the questions that you get all the way through your life like: when are you getting engaged, then married, then children, then second children, retirement... They are life events that are ‘social norm’ in reality it doesn’t happen that way.

They ask about children because it’s something that (for the most lucky of us) is shared. Try not to take it personally they have their lives, I have mine and actually we are happy together as a couple and having children would the icing on the cake. Best of luck to you both xx

2 likes
Reply

My reply to those things are it will be when I am good and ready for it which can be anytime in the future.

4 likes
Reply

Great advice lovely xxx

Reply

Can't completely deny whatever you said Dolly but not everyone is concerned either and those questions just out of causal contexts either. Isn't it obvious someone who had a stable SO for quite some time or engaged for long enough to have kids by now would have had it if it weren't for a reason. My speculation was intended for those situations. Be it they don't want it or they can't have it even if they want it - but in both the cases when you're asking " when are you two having kids" is obviously getting too personal. The close friends and immediate family who are really supposed to get into the details would probably know the reason already. So, the others (not so close) can do without getting into asking the question - come'on you can expect people to be sensible enough to not ask too many questions (for obvious reasons). I never had a baby I'm trying for one but it's futile so far - so I'm not on the same page with them either but I still don't ask " why are you having a second baby" right? Because it's their choice, it's personal. Likewise, it's not wrong to expect people to acknowledge they are not on the same page (struggling to have a baby) and should probably refrain from questions of "when you're having a baby" and then go on to discuss their babies knowing someone in there is suffering for not having those tales.

1 like
Reply

Totally agree xxx

Reply

One woman (at work!) said to me “oooh you’re so skinny” -I’m normal by the way. Then she said “you need to have a baby, that’d fatten you up nicely”. 😳 that was the time I was crippled with shock and couldn’t say anything! Can kind of laugh about it now, I think she was definitely being a B! 😂

1 like
Reply

These are exactly the people I'm talking about! So, sorry you've to deal with it too. I get very mixed feeling to those comments - something like anger, anxiety, self-pity and obviously remorse. It's easier to handle once the moment has passed. At that moment it's like a thunderbolt which apparently subsides and becomes a funny thing. Sending good luck to you all! XOXO We'll have our days of joys someday.

1 like
Reply

Good luck to you too !! I always find it hard coming up with something clever to say at the time something like this happens and then could kick myself for not saying anything! Like you, I get filled with mixed emotions which end up taking over xxx

Reply

This makes me so frustrated, people just have no idea and really don’t get it. I did have someone say to me ‘oh so your not gona bother with children now you’ve got dogs’ to which I replied i miscarried last month and there face dropped. She caught me in the wrong mood as I’m not always that brave. Glad you was able to leave but sorry you were in that position xx

1 like
Reply

So sorry to hear that you have had such insensitive comments. They can be quite hurtful can't they? Sometimes I wonder if I am being a bit too oversensitive as I can take things to heart sometimes but either way, the topic of children is very personal. I wish I had the confidence to give a witty direct answer just to end all the questions xxx

Reply

They sure can and I’m not sure why everyone’s so desperate to know when others are having/has children. I find the question ‘have you got children’ so difficult now as I want our baby to be recognised but there’s such a lack of understanding I don’t want to feel like I’m justifying myself the whole time. I don’t think your being over sensitive, this is a tough journey which is often made harder by others insensitivity xx

1 like
Reply

Bless you lovely. You're so right though, I honestly feel people can be so nosy and have absolutely no clue as to how we feel. I don't just don't understand it, of all the things people could ask and chat about, why be so direct about such a personal topic? I do hope things get a little better and that 2018 will bring us happiness and good health. It's difficult but trying hard to feel a bit more frestive xxx

Reply

I know your so right, id never dream of asking people when there having children even before I knew I’d have to go through IVF I’d never bring that up over dinner. Definitely I hope 2018 is the year for us all, I’m trying hard this time to but remember we deserve to enjoy the Christmas period even if it’s in our ways that’s okay to xx

Reply

I'm so sorry to hear about the insensitive comment that you had to face! :( I guess we should rather be in bad mood and retort to insensitive and naive people bravely.

Reply

Oh dear, sorry that you had to be through it. I pretty much got used to it by now and I don't think all of them were really trying to be just friendly. Urghh! The baby topics get on my nerves and the worst part it never ends. Anyway, you can lighten up in here. Let me tell you two of the best reply to such insensitive questions that I've read in one of the discussion - so that we can laugh at it and feel better.

Some neighbour asked the woman when she is planning to have the next baby and she retorted as soon as you start babysitting out elder one quite frequently for the whole night while we DTD in peace. :D

One of the MIL told her DIL - you should buckle up now because we want kids in the family around the same age and all of Alex's siblings are having kids. The DIL (who happens to be suffering from infertility and needed IVF) said, "oh I'm on it - was just thinking how to ask you for the 20K for IVF but now brought-up the topic yourself". She said her MIL never bullied her thereafter. :P

Hahaha. We'll have our day for sure till then let's just ignore these comments. :)

2 likes
Reply

Brilliant comebacks ❤️❤️😂

2 likes
Reply

Thanks lovely, such great advice. This has cheered me up enormously xxx

Reply

It really is a very personal question and some people just don’t think at all, they assume everybody can just have children without trouble and the reason we must not have children is because we just don’t want to.

I always said to myself next time I’m asked a question like this I’ll be ready and I’ll say “unfortunately it’s not as easy as that for everyone” or something along those lines. But when it happened I was always just as shoked to be asked about it so openly like it was nothing and I never used my response and would say something like “one day”.

I wish people would just start thinking before they speak. They don’t realise how insensitive and hurtful that kind of question can be xxx

1 like
Reply

Hi lovely, you're so right. I think until you have experienced such a difficult situation it's very hard to fully appreciate and understand the emotional rollercoaster we go through. Sometimes I worry how I must come across being one of the only ones without children, I think there is a general assumption that I just don't want them. I'm starting to think seriously about being totally honest and open with everyone now and maybe that will stop all the inquisitive questions xxx

Reply

I bloody hate it when people stick the knife in like that! Often they don't realise things like that can hurt.

1 like
Reply

You're so right xxx

Reply

I'm sorry that you had a horrible night Poppy. Unfortunately we can't stop people from being insensitive .all we can do is brave it and maybe one day we will be able to just tell them off.hope you are OK.

2 likes
Reply

Thanks lovely, I'm okay and not going to dwell on things. Like you say, we are all such brave strong people with our journeys at what ever stage we are at and I think we have to keep reminding ourselves of that. Hope you are ok too xxx

Reply

People are so annoying! 😤😫 I’ve had several insensitive things like this, including 3 male work colleagues moaning about their kids etc. Sometimes I can come back and say sweetly “not today”. Other times I’ve felt so awful and crippled without able to respond. Did you hear about the NZ prime minster? She said it’s 2017 & that’s a ridiculous question, or something like that. I hope next time I’ll say to whoever mind your own bloody business 😉 also get up and walk away quickly. Take care & enjoy your fur babies 😊 Big hugs 💜 xx

1 like
Reply

Thanks lovely, I feel like that's exactly what I want to say!! Such personal questions are so intrusive and can be quite hurtful. My fur babies know exactly when hubby and I are not right and have been our rock throughout this past year, don't know where we'd be without them. Sending love and BIG hugs and wishing you every success with your journey ❤ Xxx

1 like
Reply

The bit about the nz prime minister probably doesn’t make sense for our situations but she did have a good come back to the inappropriate question!

What kind of fur babies have you got? We got a kitten a few months ago 😻 animals are just amazing! Xx

1 like
Reply

Aww, kittens are just adorable. We have 2 siamese cats who love a cuddle and chat to us all day. We have had them since kittens. Animals truly are amazing xxx

1 like
Reply

Sorry about this. Unfortunately, people who have had children easily or not experienced infertility issues just don’t understand and they probably never will.

You answered well, I don’t understand why people feel the need to ask anyway! They just really nosy, but don’t actually care. So I never share with them what I’m going through and that’s why we’ve decided to keep our issues private.

1 like
Reply

Hi lovely, same with us. I have only told my manager purely for time off work if needed. My manager has been extremely supportive and I don't regret telling her for a second but would rather not discuss with anyone else as it is such a private topic. I agree, i just don't think anyone truly understands the ups and downs unless they have been through the same thing. Thank you for taking the time to respond and wishing you every success with your journey. Sending you BIG hugs and love xxx

1 like
Reply

They will never no the struggles, of how it feels to deal with infertility, xx 😘

1 like
Reply

You're so right xxx

Reply

After 4 years of trying I take no notice of people's comments. In fact every member of staff knows about my journey in my work. Therefore I don't get these types of questions. Not for everyone as I know some people like to be private but I feel I shouldn't have to keep this a secret. I do think I work with an amazing bunch of people they are so sweet that they consider my feelings, one lady recently had her 1st grandchild and asked me if I wanted to see a pic and if I'm ok about talking about her. Of course I am it's a fact of life some people can have babies others can't but I'm not ready to give up trying yet!! Xx

3 likes
Reply

That's such an amazing attitude and I have been contemplating being more open recently. I work with a lovely team and we are a small team so know each other quite well. It is quite early days for me and hubby but the whole thing has been a bit of a shock to be honest and I think I have had a few difficulties processing things really. We have been together for years and have always said that we would have a family and to then be suddenly faced with difficulties when I never knew there was anything wrong with my body has been hard to digest. I understand this is the same for alot of us and have found this forum so helpful to talk things through. I have recently opened up to my Manager as I have needed time off work for appointments and it can be tricky getting time off at last minute. She has been absolutely fantastic and so supportive and has respected my wishes to keep things private. She has also said if I ever need a chat I can knock on her door. This has taken a huge weight off my shoulders. Do you mind me asking if you were open with everyone right from the start ? Sometimes I think maybe this is the right thing to do, just announce things but don't want to end up the 'office gossip' so to speak xxx

1 like
Reply

So pleased that you found my comment inspiring, was worried it may cause offence. I just told everyone from the very beginning because I found it easier, I thought people would gossip more not knowing why I kept popping out for appointments etc. They have all provided so much support, I've had a m/c and an ectopic in the 4 years we have been trying and it was great having them there for me throughout. Of course I really would like a family more then anything but I've also decided to put a limit on trying and treatments. I will be 28 in March and plan to keep trying until I'm 30. After that point if it doesn't happen we are planning on doing 5 years of enjoying life (holidays etc). Then we thought we would look at adoption of fostering. Obviously we won't ever go on contraception just in case lol! I know so many people who just gave up and then fell pregnant xx

1 like
Reply

Thank you lovely for sharing your story and for your response. Such a healthy way of looking at things, truly inspiring. Wishing you every success with your journey and sending you BIG hugs. I've got fingers and toes crossed that 2018 will be a great year for all of us xxx

Reply

I've even had a high up manager touch my stomach whilst saying something similar! In front of people. He's quite the joker and I'm quite thin so I said. Yeah looks like it's cooking great! (Sarcastically.)

Very tempted to make a youtube blog and try to raise some awareness and stop this ignorance. I just don't know. Would it do any good?

2 likes
Reply

Hi lovely, well done for coming up with such a great response but sorry to hear you have been subjected to such insensitive comments. Any chance to raise awareness is good, whether it makes a difference or not but at least you can say you've tried to do something positive. Wishing you every success with your journey and sending you BIG hugs xxx

Reply

Big hugs. Yes I'm sorry it's happened to you too. I really want it to stop. Its not ok. Best of luck to you love xx

1 like
Reply

Thanks, and same to you xxx

Reply

I know what you mean. Every time we have a new starter at work they always ask if I have a family, I say no and then they ask if I want a family and I get upset. When will people learn not to ask that question!! Also if a child misbehaves near me people ask are you sure you want kids. Well of course I’m sure!! I’m not going through all this for nothing. Good luck with everything and stay strong xx

1 like
Reply

Hi lovely and thank you for your response. It seems to be the first questions someone asks doesn't it!?! Wishing you every success with your journey and sending you BIG hugs xxx

1 like
Reply

Thank you xx

1 like
Reply

I think you can answer that question with “I haven’t been fortunate enough to have a family yet” and most people then stop asking. Most!

1 like
Reply

Thanks for advice and for responding, I do need to get better at thinking of quick answers. Wishing you every success with your journey and sending you BIG hugs xxx

1 like
Reply

You may also like...