Dear Savvy Auntie,

My SIL (happens to also be a very good friend of mine) - and I love her to death -  however I feel she has no idea how much it hurts whenever she says things along the lines of : "When you have kids one day you'll understand" or "Your kids will do that someone day."

I have PCOS, and won't be able to have children unless I use fertility drugs. I'm 26, happily married, and am okay with not having children at this very moment. But it hurts my feelings because in the long run, what if there are no "children someday?" What can I do, to help her understand she is being insensitive to my situation (which she knows all about). I love my nieces and would like to just enjoy them, without my SIL comments. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Hurt by SIL

Dear Hurt by SIL,

I think someone (your SIL) who is a “very good friend” doesn’t really understand your PCOS. Polycystic ovarian syndrome is a condition with various aspects and severity. I advise you to first tell her and, perhaps, then show her the descriptions on line. Referring to it as "PCOS" minimizes the significance and repercussions of the syndrome.
I wonder what keeps you from saying outright: "You are hurting my feelings by not respecting the fact that I probably will not be able to bear children without the aid of fertility drugs when you say ‘when you have kids one day you’ll understand.'"

You could also think about what is it she feels you are not understanding about her current parenting situation. Are you being critical? Judgmental? Bossy? Mothers are usually very sensitive to other people’s views of their parenting. When I led parent–baby groups, I used to joke that instead of being called mothers they should be called “guilties." It was a joke that rang true with all the moms.
Good Luck,
Natalie Robinson Garfield

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