Written by Rebecca Paradis, Guest Blogger
My name is Becca. I’m an ER nurse living in Alaska with my husband, Aaron, and fur baby, Abby. Aaron and I have been trying to conceive for a year now. It’s been a year of dedicated cycle tracking, basil body temps, cervical symptoms, all the things. Every month that goes by we become more settled into the idea that having a biological child may be a bit more of a challenge for us. Next month we meet with my OB/GYN to begin fertility testing. I’m a newbie to this whole world of infertility and in that short time I’ve learned that it can be a lonely, desperate, isolating place to be.
Anyway, fun fact about me, I love podcasts. I rarely even watch TV anymore (except December because of all the Christmas movies of course), but I always have a podcast on. The other day I was listening to one of my favorites and the guest on the show was a young woman. A leader in her industry and clearly very strong, both physically and mentally, she made a comment that I initially misunderstood. I thought she said that women were being raised to feel incompetent, when in reality she said confident. While the latter makes more sense, it was incompetence that really caught my attention. Are we as females raised to feel incompetent?
How often when you’re scrolling through social media do you feel completely incompetent? Didn’t get your workout in for day before you went to work, cleaned the house, made dinner, and paid the bills? Well, you must be really lazy. Despite all the things we manage to do in a single day, it is the one thing that we didn’t have time for or prioritize that we beat ourselves up on. That one single item on the to do list makes us feel like failures and that’s how we judge ourselves. I’ve always considered myself to be a strong, confident woman, not a whole lot really gets me down on myself. Fertility though, well let’s just say it the first thing that has truly made me feel completely incompetent as a wife and a woman.
A friend pointed out to me the other day that in the recent past, a woman’s only purpose was to tend house and raise babies. While we have moved past this as a society, I don’t think it has been long enough for the feeling of failure to evolve from our DNA if this isn’t possible. Infertility shakes us to our core, it makes us feel the highest level of incompetence. Despite everything I do to make my marriage work, I tell myself I have failed in the most important aspect in that I have been unable to carry a child that is a genetic mix of my husband and I. Let me clarify that my husband in no way blames me for our infertility issues; he is supportive, caring, and open to ideas on how to grow our family. We face this challenge together. He hurts with me and shares my fears. Still, I feel that I have failed him and our marriage.
Maybe this is a call to arms, for myself and for all of you. Enough is enough. Biology cannot always be helped and while it is a heart-breaking reality, it doesn’t make any of us incompetent. So, whether you missed your workout today, burned dinner, didn’t finish the laundry (Currently my mother’s dog is crashed out in a pile of clean laundry I have yet to put away, eh oh well…guess I’ll wash it again or maybe the husband will smell like a dog for a couple days), or cannot conceive a child biologically, let’s stop calling ourselves incompetent. Every day we wake up and face the world, we stand up to our fears, and we conquer ever growing to do lists. We are strong, we are smart, we are successful, and we are 100% competent.
If you enjoy my thoughts and can relate, feel free to head over to my blog where I share more of my running rambles and thoughts on this mess called life. Join me at: Milestomotherhood.com or follow me on Instagram. Better yet, let’s show the world how competent we truly are with #milestomotherhood because there really are many miles ahead of us, whether you are trying to enter motherhood or already in the trenches dealing with the daily challenges. Stay strong all you competent ladies!