Over the years, I have had a lot of conversations with TTC women, and one of the most common things from these conversations, as well as my own experiences when I was TTC, is that almost all of us have felt the need to apologise all the time! Somehow, the TTC woman is always made to feel guilty and ashamed about her condition, and this should absolutely not be the case. It is time to stop apologising already!!!
You don’t have to apologise to your in-laws!
Some of us don’t have it easy at all, with our in-laws. Some of the stories I hear literally give me goose bumps! Some of the grief we get from in-laws are overt, some are passive aggressive, but in whatever the form, they still hurt. And they inadvertently put the TTC woman in a position of trying to do better, just to be able to please her in-laws. She finds herself having to over compensate, for this supposed flaw of hers. She finds herself literally tripping over herself just to please Mama, or please Papa, or please Aunty!
Take a seat, hun! You don’t have to apologise for anything! If anyone wants to give you a hard time, well, that’s their problem. Just be yourself, and don’t kill yourself trying to make up for your delayed motherhood. Why do you have to apologise for something that’s not your fault? If they don’t like you now, trust me, even after you have the babies, they still won’t like you. Just remain respectful and accommodating, and leave the rest to God.
You don’t have to apologise for looking good!
This one really gets under my skin, anytime I hear it.
So many of my friends have told me how they have been scolded for wasting time on their appearance, instead of trying to get an answer to their problem. Hmmm, interesting! Who knew looking good and being fertile were mutually exclusive! Well, they aren’t. The fact that you are still waiting and praying for your BFP doesn’t mean you have to look like a hag! Some people think you are not praying hard enough, if you still have time for makeup and hair extensions. If you are not wearing a scarf, your body is not devoid of jewellery, and your face is not bare, you never start be dat! And that is just a whole load of garbage! I know a lot of us know people who have fit this prayer warrior stereotype, but have lived less than stellar lives…underneath those chin to ankle dresses have often been thieves, cheats, premarital pregnancies, the whole lot! So it doesn’t follow at all!
I’ll digress as I contemplate why we are so shallow minded, in this society of ours! I had this problem when I was in University, but in a different context. As an Engineering student, I never fit the mould of how a typical female Engineering student was expected to look. The fact that I had time to brush my hair, wear makeup, and look my best, was an issue for some of my (female) lecturers. They thought I wasn’t a serious student. One of these lecturers was my course advisor, and she gave me hell for all my 5(ish) years! But guess what! I did better than some of my more studious looking classmates.
So girl, please slap on that red lipstick, pull on your heels, and be your glamorous self! You don’t owe nobody no explanations!
You don’t have to apologise for spending your money!
When we were still TTC, my husband bought a new car. And in the middle of all the celebration and ‘washing’, I will never forget what one of his friends said to him. My husband had a few friends over for drinks, and at the height of the alcohol consumption, his friend exclaimed “You are there buying cars, instead of having children!”
My husband has spent the last 6 years trying to convince me that the guy didn’t mean any harm, that he was drunk, bla, bla bla. But I’m sorry, I can not forgive that man. Even now, when he comes visiting, all he gets from me is a very stilted greeting. I just can’t move on from that!
Why do people think that you shouldn’t treat yourself because you are TTC? Are they helping you calculate and/or save the money for treatment? Are they worried you are diverting money you could have been using to chase a baby? What is it that turns people around us into killjoys, ever ready to pull us down from the high of the acquisition of a new home, a new car, a well deserved vacation? Why? Why? Why?
My dear, never ever let anyone make you feel the need to apologise for doing something that makes you happy! You know your pocket. You know your budget. If you choose to give yourself a treat, please go ahead and do so. Aint nobody’s business what you do with your money!
You don’t have to apologise for doing well at work!
One of my best friends is a super star in her office. She is Madam Efficient. Your typical definition of an efiko. And luckily, her employers have recognised her hard work, and she has risen fast. She is promoted pretty much every year, and, at a young age, is already in her company’s senior management. You would think her achievements would be enough for everyone around her to applaud. But no way! Before she got married, there were always whispers about how she was focusing on career and not looking for a man. Oya now. She finally found a good man and got married. But when she didn’t get pregnant on time, the whispers shifted focus. Nobody cared about her achievements, all they cared about was her inability to conceive!
Another of my friends told me of the time she called her Mom to tell her about her recent promotion, and rather than congratulate her daughter, her Mom started whining about how she needed to slow things down, and how it wasn’t a good idea to accept too much responsibility, especially as she was still TTC!
Girl, if you are flying the corporate ladder, you don’t have to apologise. If your efforts at work are being recognised, you owe nobody no apology for the perks and rewards that come your way. You worked for it. You earned it. Like looking good, working hard and TTC are not mutually exclusive. The most hard working employee could still be the most dogged TTC amazon.
So, make sure you apologise to nobody!
You don’t have to apologise to your friends!
If you have good friends, they should understand if you don’t want to go for that baby shower, or aren’t yet ready to visit that friend who just had a baby. Look, you are not an angel…you are only human. True friends should understand if you are just not ready to be in that situation, without too much explanation.
If you find yourself constantly having to apologise, defend yourself, or even lie, to protect yourself from a potentially upsetting and depressing situation, then you might not have the best people around you.
You don’t have to apologise to your husband!
This is a little bit of a sensitive one…and is for those women who are unlucky to have partners who turn on them, instead of brave it with them. Some men are just cruel, and resort to taunts and jibes, as each baby-making month goes by.
If this is you, honey, you have to make him understand that this is not your fault! You didn’t create yourself. Even if your infertility is as a result of earlier sexual promiscuity on your part, what’s happened has happened, and nobody gains anything by pointing accusing fingers.
You don’t need to apologise about anything. He’s either with you, or against you…and if he’s against you, you both might need to address some deeper issues in your marriage, that go way beyond fertility.
You don’t have to apologise to yourself!
Yes hun…you don’t have to apologise to yourself! And here’s what I mean.
How many of us have had those pity parties, anytime Aunt Flo lands? It’s okay to cry and be disappointed, and even okay to hate your body for all the faux symptoms it gave you…a few times. But sweetie, you need to make sure you don’t make a habit of it! When the first day of each new cycle is filled with self hate and loathing, that’s not good at all!
Babe, don’t be too hard on yourself. Your body is not the enemy!