Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dealing with Others

“I could never do that.”

This statement makes my stomach churn every time I hear it and I’m sure there are probably some other birthmothers out there reading this, sitting at their computer desks, nodding their heads yes in unison.

First, let me clarify the context that I’m referring to in this post. I’m referring to the “I could never do that” statement in the context of being a birthmother, typically when I’ve just shared with someone who doesn’t know my story very well or even know that I am a birthmother.

“I could never do that.”

It seems like such a harmless phrase, doesn’t it? A simple comment probably made when the commenter can not think of anything else to say or has no clue what to say. The commenter probably did not intend for it to be hurtful. But it can be hurtful.

Why does that seemingly innocent comment hurt me and make me green? Those five little words usually uttered carelessly make me feel so judged. Instantly I feel as if the person is sizing me up thinking, “how COULD she do that.” I feel like in that moment they think they are superior and better than me.

The truth of the matter is, I probably said that once upon a time before I wore the scarlet B and I probably made someone feel as low as I feel when that is said to me.

So what do you say when someone makes that comment? I usually respond in one of two ways, depending upon my mood at the moment. I will typically either say “I never thought I would have to either,” which is the honest to God truth. I never in a million years thought I would become a birthmom. Or response number two is “And I hope you never have to,” because I don’t want others to feel the pain of being a birthmother.

What do you say when someone makes a similar comment to you?


  1. If I had a dollar for how many times that I have heard that statement in the last 5 months I would seriously have about 600 bucks in my bank account. Sometimes I get annoyed when I hear it because I feel like it's such a bland statement and that it's overused. When I hear it I'm always just like "Yea it takes a very strong person to do what I did" and then I get that response again or the "I am not strong enough for that". Sometimes I just don't understand it but I guess it's easier for people to state that comment then find a better one.

  2. I just think yeah well then you are a selfish person who isn't willing to think outside your comfort zone. Because before I did that I thought that I couldn't either. Also you could tell them. "Well then you lack faith, for with God all things are possible."