I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. People outside the infertility community read my posts and resonate with what I write. Not because they wanted to be a mom and their bodies couldn’t do it, but because they understand what it is like to face a hard thing. They know what it means to find purpose in the life in front of them, rather than longing for the life they wanted. They get what it looks like to be faced with an unimaginable life circumstance and still find a way to look at life with possibility rather than what it’s lacking.
Life is hard. There’s no way around it. For every single person on earth there will be a moment when they come to realize this truth.
Let me show you what I mean.
Different circumstances but they’re each hard.
For the woman who longed to be a mother her entire life and then didn’t get pregnant after 6 months, 1 year, 5 years… life is hard. She endures blood draws and uncomfortable examinations. One woman may choose to seek treatment which involves shots and hormones. Another may choose not to do anything and wonder if that was the right choice. Either way, it’s hard.
For the couple who felt called to adopt a child and then discovered what trauma looks like day in and day out… life is hard. They seek out help from therapists, doctors, pastors, friends and family. Parents wonder if they made the right decision to bring this child home. They trust their choices are for the good, but some days are so incredibly painful. This choice, as beautiful as it is, is hard.
For the couple that has one child or ten and all the opinions and questions that others feel it’s appropriate to ask… life is hard. With one child they are asked, “when will you have another?” With ten children they hear, “you know how this works, right?” Their choices are questioned and their family becomes conversation for others to comment on despite no one asking their opinion. It’s their life and it’s hard.
For the parents raising children, biological or adopted, life is hard. Middle of the night feedings, parent teacher conferences, breaking curfew, discovering drugs, the first traffic ticket, a failed class, moving away from home… being a parent is a never ending role that brings joy, of course, but it is also very hard.
For the cancer patient whose body is constantly pumped with poison. Or for the drug addict who can’t break the cycle. There’s the parent whose child has a mental illness. Or the employee whose job brings no fulfillment. For the husband whose wife leaves him. Life is hard.
We aren’t alone.
Now, I don’t write this to depress you. And, if I have, I promise I’ll point toward redemption!
I write this to acknowledge that no matter what we face in life, aspects of it will be hard. Maybe not our entire lifetime. It might just be a season or two. It may take place during a particular decade or with a certain person. I don’t think that every moment of life is hard. No, there is quite a bit of joy and beauty in life — sometimes it even outweighs those hard moments.
What I need to be reminded of is this — if I became a mother, life would still be hard. My life is challenging as an infertile woman. My life would also be challenging as a biological or adoptive mom.
No matter what we face, we’re all facing something, which means we’re all in this together. No one needs to walk this life alone because we all know what it means to face a hard thing.
None of us can escape this. And, anyone who acts as if life isn’t hard is worthy of suspicion!
If we know life will be difficult no matter what path we take, I think it lessens the pressure to make the right choice — whatever that may be. Choosing to accept my infertility and move forward living a good, full life in the midst of it is hard. Choosing to pursue IVF would have been hard. Choosing to pursue adoption would have been hard too.
In life there is no easy road.
However, I do think there’s something to be said on how we travel the road we’re on. I don’t think this means being a “Positive Polly” all the time. Part of my choice to follow the road I’m on meant spending time acknowledging and befriending my grief. She’s on this journey with me now. There are times she’s more present than others, but even if you don’t see her, she’s there.
Through that time of healing, I have been able to step forward with a new outlook. We’re all trying to figure out how to manage our version of hard. I’m so grateful that I’ve discovered an infertility community on Instagram that understands the journey I’ve chosen and honors the life I live.
Wherever you find yourself today, know that you aren’t alone. Our stories may be different, but we can walk side-by-side in our healing.
Yes, it’s true — life is hard. But it’s beautiful too. How will you find beauty in your hard moments today?