The number one thing people need is love. As humans, we want to know we have value and that people care about us. It’s in our nature. So send us love. Let us know you’re thinking about us. That’s all.
Treat us like everyone else. Invite us to things. Don’t walk on eggshells around us. Tuck away the looks of pity. Smile at us. Hug us. Unless you’re not a hugger, and that’s cool.
I know there are times when you’re going to have to be sensitive about certain subjects and it’s hard to remember all the rules. Being politically correct is hard. It’s time consuming and trying to remember every single thing I’m supposed to or not supposed to say is nearly impossible. So we know you’ll have lapses in judgment, just like we do, and that’s okay. Apologize if you notice.
Most importantly, be aware. Know that we’re in the situation. Notice that there are wonderful people out there in the world going through this exact struggle. Realize it’s difficult and challenging for us. Every day is going to be different. One day we’ll be happy and have no troubles going to a baby shower or a kid’s birthday party. Another day, we want to hide out, eat all the chocolate, and not think about babies or kids or families. Just be aware that this is normal for us and it will probably be like this for the rest of our lives.
Cut us some slack if we walk out of a conversation about your kids that we aren’t in the mood to hear. Don’t get me wrong; we don’t want you to stop talking about your life or not talk about your kids. We’d be talking about it, too, if we were you. But we’re not. Sometimes we just need to take a step back from it all. It has nothing to do with you.
Listen. We’ll come to you when we’re ready. We’ll discuss the things we’re comfortable talking about. Don’t offer suggestions, just listen. Be there for us. Let us hug you randomly.
Be aware that there will be days when we don’t feel like doing stuff, or going places. There are many days that can be hard on us, depending on what stage we’re in. Here’s a list of examples:
- Mother’s/Father’s Day
- Baby showers
- Kids’ birthday parties
- Back-to-school time
Know that small things can trigger us. We never know when or what will be the trigger. It all depends on what stage we’re in. I’ve been known to cry at baby showers, church, family get-togethers, the store, restaurants, McDonald’s, basically anywhere. Commercials have triggered me. TV shows and movies can do it, too. Just give us our space, let us work through it, and welcome us back with open arms. It can be awkward for us, so don’t make a big deal of it.
Know that everyone’s journey is different. Every body is different, so our challenges aren’t the same. Each process that is tried and it fails is a huge blow – emotionally, financially, and mentally. It’s a punch to the gut when we’ve already been knocked out. Understand that this can be traumatic for us and we might not want to talk about it, even with our closest family and friends. And that’s okay.
Remember: Love. All we need is love.