Trying to conceive can be a deeply emotional and personal experience for many couples. To add to the challenge, it often comes with a barrage of well-intentioned but sometimes intrusive questions from friends, family, and total strangers. In this blog post, we’ll delve into this question, some possible answers, as well as how to cope.
“When are you starting a family?”
Raise your hand if you’ve been asked this at least once. If conception is taking longer than expected, or you’re already undergoing fertility treatment, this question can be particularly loaded. It’s important to know that you do not owe anyone any explanation – you have every right to decide if and what to share.
Many people ask this question in an attempt to make conversation, without realizing how painful it can be. If this is the case, keeping the answer simple and changing the conversation is an option: “Not sure. So, do you have any holidays planned?”. Not answering at all is also another possibility – most people will realize they’ve asked the wrong question.
If the person asking is someone close to you, responding with honesty and vulnerability can help set clear boundaries about the complexity of building a family. “We’ve been trying for a while now, and we’ll share any news when we’re ready,” allows you to maintain your privacy while acknowledging the question. If you’re ready to share more, offer to have a private conversation in a safe space. This can be an opportunity to educate those around you about the complexities of fertility help raise awareness, and foster empathy.
Deciding whether to tell someone about your fertility isn’t always straightforward. It’s also something you may wish to discuss as a couple before situations where this question may come up.
Responding to ‘advice’
Depending on your answer, some people will go on to offer advice. Politely acknowledging advice and setting boundaries when needed can help you navigate these interactions. People often offer well-meaning suggestions without realizing how much of a negative impact it can have.
Coping with the emotional toll
Understanding and managing the emotional toll of infertility can be overwhelming, and questions about starting a family only intensify that stress. As we’ve noted earlier, open communication with your partner is vital during this period, as is seeking professional help when necessary. Fertility clinics, support groups and counseling services can offer invaluable support, both emotionally and practically.
As you navigate questions about having kids, remember that your journey to parenthood is a personal and unique experience and that you have every right to decide what – and when – to share. Setting boundaries and seeking support when needed are essential to maintain your emotional well-being during this time.
Monitor and take control of your reproductive health on your journey to baby with the YO Home Sperm Test. Learn more here.