I like randomly inserting myself into fertile world conversations. I was at first tempted to not take this ad too seriously. It’s an American Greetings Mother’s Day card ad, so the fact that it’s completely barfy goes without saying. However, I strongly object to the “being a Mom is the TOUGHEST job on the planet” nonsense, so that in and of itself is worth sounding off on. More importantly, I then noticed that there was no representation of the infertile perspective in any of the comments. “Well, THAT just won’t do”, I thought as I decided to add my two cents. Better to be there than not there, right? There were comments from mothers, people who hate their mothers, people who lost their mothers, comments from every side of the Dad perspective, I think even a few animals chimed in. Mothers of dogs, mothers whose dogs lost their mothers………
Take a look. My comment is in there under Sarah C.
Ok, now so what I love is that, aside from the one comment I got, my comment was just ignored while people continued going back and forth about the whole ordinary Mom vs Dad thing. I entered the conversation a bit late, but still.
Oh, and then I love how the one response I got, though totally decent enough is like “my problem is I’ve been in bad relationships”. Yeah, you know, cuz just like bad relationships infertility results from poor uninformed choices and from being brainwashed. I can break up with my infertility, really? Why I had NO idea!!
Some of the comments are interesting, especially those from people who have OTHER tough jobs. Looks like you don’t have to be infertile to find this ad offensive, or at least obnoxiously exclusive.
I just find the whole dynamic (or lack thereof) pretty damn funny.
Here’s my response in case you couldn’t find it combing through:
I am an infertility survivor with no children. My husband and I have just gone through three years and eight months of trying to conceive that entailed one surgery and ten failed fertility treatments, all at an out of pocket cost of $77,000. Our medical case unfolded in such a way that it made sense for us to continue for as long as we did. We are currently too depleted on EVERY level to pursue adoption.
Let’s get a few things straight. First, I understand that this is merely a card commercial, the first of many that I’ll be bombarded with during this season that is so painful for the infertile community. I take it for what it is, my response is more directed towards the other responses.
Second, for those who lost their mothers or who were abused by theirs, I’m truly sorry for all of your losses.
And third, even after everything I’ve been through I still believe that being a parent (Mom or Dad) is a tough job. I have no trouble appreciating my mother. In addition to being a great mother, she has also been my biggest support and cheerleader throughout our battle with infertility.
Now, to those who want to make the claim that being a mom is “the toughest job on the planet”, have you given ANY thought at all to how excruciating it would be to be denied the privelege? How about trading the cruel hardships of interrupted sleep, trips to the bathroom, and showers you describe for the depletion of your bank account (since most health insurance doesn’t cover the medical issue of infertility), which will pay for countless fertility drugs with debilitating side effects, endless objects rammed up inside of you, infinite needles and visits to the doctor, waiting, confusion, and perpetual grief, trauma and loss that turns upside down and devastates many aspects of your life? Any takers? Oh and don’t forget, you’ll have to give up your child/children and all that goes along with them in order to do it – the love, the relationship, the genetic connection to the combination of you and your beloved, family holidays, birthdays, all future milestones, every moment that you’ll teach, share and impart something important to your child – you have to give all that up in order to get your sleep and bathroom privacy back. Aaaahhhhh, “fertile world problems”.
And to those who “want acknowledgement” for the nurturing of the greatest gift of your life: I have no objections to any credit or praise you may receive. But that you should be in wanting of anything does make me wonder if you have a true awareness and appreciation for what you already do have. Also, it is important to note that, although I came out of over 3.5 years of trying to conceive, 1 surgery, 10 failed fertility treatments, the grief trauma and loss that goes along with it and a depleted bank account with both my sanity and my marriage well intact, nobody kisses my ass. Nor do I expect them to. The truth is most of us work hard in life, whether it’s at a job or commitment we choose, or because of an unfortunate unjust hand we’ve been dealt.
The people who were rubbed by this video the wrong way are not any more flawed than anyone else. Their perspective is simply angled more towards the unfortunate overly self important martyr thread that all too often runs through conversations about motherhood these days. People who produce offspring are the lucky recipients of nature’s fine programming, not the victims of it. Perhaps I should make my own video and interview people for the job of infertile – a job that, unlike motherhood, NOBODY chooses.
This Mother’s Day may the moms out there enjoy the gifts they’ve been given as well as taking a few moments to hold a thought for those of us who are not as fortunate. In the meantime, next week (April 20 – 26) is National Infertility Awareness Week.