We just celebrated Father’s day and as usual, social media was agog with wishes, pictures and stories about fathers and their awesome deeds. Sirs, the spot light is on you today, and even this week. We are still celebrating Fathers.
In all of that, several wishes and accolades went the way of the single moms, who have to pull double duty; being father and mother to their children.
I cannot begin to talk about how much it matters that both parents are on ground for the upbringing of their children. Or the unconditional support they offer each other and how much just knowing you have got a shoulder to cry on or a face to smile into makes so much difference in how you face life’s battles.
Now, what if the kids are not here yet? What if the address is still on TTC Avenue? The kind of support you get from your man at this time is definitely key. No mom wants have to deal with the fertility treatment all by herself. Interestingly, at this time, you will find that there different types of support available from the male folks.
The waiting rooms of fertility clinics tell a good story about this support and they are sometimes a true reflection of the kinds of support these women outside the walls of the clinic offer. I have grouped the kinds of spousal support TTC moms get, in to 3 categories.
- The Super Supportive Spouse:
For me, it always a pleasing sight to see couples in clinics. It tells me they are working this together. While that might not be an every appointment occurrence, it’s nice if DH shows up and offers as much support as he can.
In the extreme case of the super supportive spouse, he knows his partner’s cycle like the back of his hands. Her menstrual period, how long it lasts, whether it is regular or not. Sometimes, this TTC dad even knows more about their partner’s cycle than their partner knows. They are so up-to-date regarding all TTC news and matter
While there is nothing wrong with this, it can be a bit irritating, a little on the extreme side, and it piles on unnecessary pressure on the TTC mom.
- The ‘I’m here if you need me’ Spouse:
I think I like this kind of spouse better. With this spouse, you do not doubt where his loyalty lies. He is always in your corner, although he will not come on strong and insistent that you MUST go for your appointment or try that new medication that the doctor mentioned, or ask you when you last saw the Egg White Cervical Mucous, (yes, there are men who know exactly what that means, and they are no doctors). Or track your cycle on HIS phone!
This spouse will go with you to the hospital, hold your hands and hardly make conversation, and when he does, it’s not about the reason you are at the hospital.
He is more likely to play with his phone, while he’s in the clinic. He asks questions only when he is really interested, and heaves a huge sigh of relief once he is out of there.
- The One-Woman Squad:
Even I know that there are different reasons it happens. I can’t always help but wonder about the whereabouts of the husband. My imagination goes into overdrive, when I see a woman alone at a fertility clinic. I just wonder. There are women whose husbands have never followed them to the clinic, not once, for whatever reasons and it’s just so sad.
The nurses might even start thinking, do they really have a partner or should they put in an order for some donor sperm already?!?!
I admire these ladies. They are tough, always showing up solo. Doing it by themselves.
No judgment though. Maybe they have super busy spouses?! Or just uncaring ones. Whatever is the case, it’s lonely going through a fertility treatment on your own. Fertility treatment isn’t one of the quickest, non-involved processes in the world. It’s hard work; from the initial consultation, preliminary tests, monitoring appointments, to injecting oneself…the list goes on.
While it’s true that it’s not the easiest thing to put on a relationship, it’s not easy to carry alone.
And when a cycle does not work out as planned, the feelings of hopelessness are just not easy to bear alone. It helps a great deal to have a supportive partner during this time, but not everyone has it.
It does not matter what front TTC moms put up, that they are handling everything so well. The truth I have come to realize is, it’s not always true, but they have just had plenty of time to practice their façade.
Whichever category you fall into, if it works for you and your relationship, then that is fine! But if it’s less than you need or deserve, please communicate. Sometimes, our spouses don’t even know when they are hurting us, unless we air our feelings. You might even come to realise they are dealing with their own emotions as regards the fertility treatment journey.
When you communicate well and are on the same page, it goes a long way in cementing the bond in the relationship. And if communication doesn’t work, another option is to find support elsewhere, for the sake of your mental health. Be it your family, friends, or an online support system like our community
TTC is not for the faint hearted. If you show signs of weakness, it doesn’t mean you are weak. It simply means you’re strong enough to identify your weakness and work on it.
Stay in love and stay supportive.
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