Why fertile and infertile moms should stop shaming one another

One of my all-time favorite movies is Raising Arizona. It is about a childless couple who decide to kidnap one baby from a local set of quintuplets.

“They have more’n than they can handle!” insists police wife, Edwina, to her ex-con husband, Earl.

It is a dark comedy, but the brilliant Coen brothers bring a strong sense of realism to the farce. This is achieved in no small part through the remarkable performances of stars Nicolas Cage and Holly Hunter.

When I was around 14, I was told by my doctor (erroneously) that I would have difficulties conceiving. Throughout my twenties, I obsessed about ticking biological clocks and the inevitable years of fertility treatments in store.

When Edwina turns to Earl in the movie and instructs him to, “Go back in thar, and get me a baby,” after a failed first attempt at child abduction, I fell in love.

I wanted someone just like Earl. I wanted someone who would hold my hand and move the stars to make my dreams come true (although legally-sanctioned options were my first preference).

Ultimately, my doctor was proven quite wrong. I am practically a fertility goddess based on the single au naturel attempts it took to conceive each of my three sons. Tempted to go back and smack that doctor upside the head for the years of angst and worry he caused, I have decided to embrace gratitude instead. Yet had I known the truth, there definitely would have been far more non-father material bad-boys in my romantic past. The time constraints of anticipated IVF cycles kept me on task.

Sometimes I run across agendas that seek to scold those with children. They blast moms for being unsympathetic to the fertility struggles of others.

I thought I was infertile for SIXTEEN long years.

I did not disparage moms. I did not make demands of what people could or could not say to me. I did not ask people to refrain from mentioning Mother’s Day or keep me off the baby shower list. Most women who have faced infertility aren’t policing the world, but that is not what agenda-pushers would have you believe.

In a world gone mad over spinning the latest emotional landmine, I feel I have the moral authority to say that infertility sucks. What also sucks is being treated like a villain when you do in fact have kids.  The current mood encourages moms to assume that every woman out there is experiencing infertility, so God forbid anyone mentions their babies.

Don’t celebrate motherhood. Don’t post pictures of your kiddies on Facebook. Be ashamed. Feel guilty. You suck.

I say screw that.

Motherhood is magic. I will use my own judgement when it comes to individual friends who are struggling–this is what free will and personal assessment are all about.  I simply cannot be onboard with any campaign that seeks to shame me for the most important role I have ever held.

If being a mom is wrong, then I don’t want to be right.

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