Monday, November 8, 2010

A Talk with Dear Ol' Dad About Mom

As many of you know, I continue to have a hard time figuring out how to deal with my mother in this whole process. So, I decided to call on my dad for some expertise.

He's hard to talk to - mostly because he works in cube-land and can't talk easily at work and my mom is always around at home, so can't talk with him there. I decided to call him at work anyway last week to talk about this pain I feel about my mom.

I told him how she and I have always had a close relationship and that now, with her constant unwanted advice - even though I tell her repeatedly that unwanted advice isn't helpful - I don't even want to spend time with her anymore. It's gotten to that point.

I feel like in a way, I've lost my mom.

He says that she hasn't changed. That she's always been this way - giving unsolicited advice and, at times, not being sensitive about it.

And I know I've changed. I know I'm now hyper-sensitive about anything anyone says.

I don't know where to go from here, though. Just accepting that our relationship has changed? That it's ok to not talk with her about this stuff anymore? Dad says she comes at all of this with a loving heart for me, and I know that... but practically, she's not listening to me about what I most need from her - her listening ear and her empathy. And until she can get that, which I'm beginning to think will be never, then I simply can't talk with her about infertility anymore. It's too painful. And more than that, it really angers me. And I have enough to deal with without being angry about her.


  1. My mother (and others) say hurtful, less sensitive things. But, I will also admit that I am more sensitive right now. And, the range of what I find comforting is limited and it is VERY easy to accidentally stumble into the danger zone with me. This being said, your mother has said some truly NOT helpful things that people should NEVER say to anyone going through infertility.

    If you have provided your mother with this feedback and she is chosing to continue say these harmful things, then you have a couple of options:

    --avoid your mother
    --try to talk to your mother and accept that she is not going to be able to soothe you, and, therefore not try to change her
    --teach your mother how to soothe you. When your mother says something that upset you, say, "mom, that's not really want I want you to say right now. I'd rather you said something like "x" or just listened to my while I talk and say that you're sorry this is happening to me and I don't deserve this.

    As a little example, my mother constantly tells me that I just need to stress less, be more relaxed, eat more, exercise less, etc. etc. All of this fails to recognize that we have male factor issues which are the primary contributing factors. I tell my mom that changing the things she suggests still won't impact the male factor issues and are hurtful to me, when I have already tried much of the above with no success (no more running, gained weight, go to yoga, listen to relaxing cds, sleep more, etc). She also continued to tell me about how xyz friend has another baby, etc. etc. I finally told her to not talk to me about anyone else's pregnancy or children b/c it is upsetting.

    This is hard. I hope the conversation with your father helps.

  2. I read your post and realized I don't talk to a lot of people about my private life because they just don't know what to say. They end up saying "chin up" or other stupid stuff. Or they change the subject.

    To the people I wanted most to talk to I had to tell them to stop trying to fix me and just listen and say "ok" or "hmhm" because I just want them to listen, I don't want advice.

    I avoided my family for two years and it has made a huge difference, I'm more detached.

  3. I so relate to your feelings about your mom. I love my mom, she's a great mom and all, but she's really been the worst about my infertility. She just doesn't get it, no matter how hard I try and she tries. We're just on 2 different pages or maybe books altogether. Just so you know you're definitely not the only one!