I'm done letting my empty womb dictate my self-worth

Dec 5, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Image: Annie Spratt

My husband and I had almost been married two years when I finally stopped letting the fact that we didn’t have kids get to me. After hundreds of questions, people telling us that they were pregnant before they told anyone else (I started to think this was some sick joke), and many tears I finally overcame the feelings and self-doubt I had been dealing with for longer than I can remember.

More: 3 tips to get the emotional support you need during infertility

Here are nine things I realized when I stopped letting my empty uterus define my self-worth:

It’s OK to be jealous, but don't let it consume you

There were several people I developed very angry feelings towards because they were pregnant, talking about getting pregnant, or documenting on social media every glorious day they spent with their adorable kids. I am a genuinely nice person and this almost destroyed me. Not to mention how unhealthy it is to sit and compare your life to someone else on a day-to-day basis.

Don’t be mean

This goes without saying. People aren’t trying to get pregnant just to make you mad or sad. Try your best to be nice and if you need to have a good cry, grab some chocolate and do it in private.

You are doing the right thing for you

Who hasn’t fallen into the trap of not feeling good enough because you aren’t doing what people think you should be doing? You have to do what is best for you and your husband, and own that decision with everything you’ve got.

People will say stupid things

It is inevitable that no matter how many times you’ve told someone something, they will probably make a stupid comment about your situation at some point. Smile, brush it off, and try your hardest not to punch them in the face.

Be honest

This one can be extremely hard when you are dealing with family because you want to make them happy. I live to please the people I love, but I dug myself in a deep hole telling family members what I thought they wanted to hear. In the end I was the one who ended up getting hurt. There is nothing wrong with being honest with the people you love. They should stand behind your decision and love you no matter what.

More: 6 signs you might be struggling with infertility

Enjoy life

My friends with kids often made comments about how I was missing out on life without kids because I was so stressed about having them. Travel, stay up late, sleep as much as you darn well please, and go on lots of date nights with your husband, because once you do have kids all of that will be a rare occurrence.

Your husband probably won't understand everything you're going through

I hate to break it to you, but men don’t have a uterus so they aren’t the ones being judged for having an empty one. It’s important to share how you feel with your husband but understand that he might not be able to empathize with every single emotion you are feeling. I went blue in the face trying to get an "I understand" from my husband and it never came.

Stop caring what other people think

Your mom has probably been telling you this since you were in pre-school and it turns out this advice can help you in this situation. I was convinced everywhere I went people were starring me down with dagger eyes because I was married, of child-bearing age, and didn't have a kid. It really isn’t anyone else’s business so stop caring what they think.

Your time will come

Whether it be naturally, through fertility treatments or by adoption your time will come. Just because you aren’t a mother right now doesn’t mean you will never be one. Love yourself the way you are and don’t let your empty uterus get you down.

Originally published on BlogHer

More: What I wish someone had said to me when I struggled to conceive

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