On Sunday it’s Father’s Day in the UK and it’s also, in a strange quirk of media timing, Men’s Health Week.
If you’re part of our community, you maybe well understand that it’s incredibly difficult for men to talk about childlessness and infertility. Social standards don’t appear to have changed to the degree that society can accept that men will be childless by circumstance and many endure a private turmoil. And it’s not just the painful comments around ‘jaffa’ and getting the right woman (all things we’ve heard).
I know that my own husband has exercised caution when he’s seen a child fall or felt he should intervene somehow. Like so many men, he is aware that childless men can be viewed with suspicion, a topic that came up in World Childless Week’s powerful Men Matter Too webinar with Dr Robin Hadley and Michael Hughes, my co-host on The Full Stop podcast.
No wonder then, that male infertility isn’t talked about. The number of men coming to terms with infertility is unknown. WHO periodically check the global data but there’s scant facts.
We really do need to allow space for men to talk about childlessness not by choice. Through this website men can share their experiences, and over on The Full Stop we’re dedicating our August podcast to men when Michael will lead Episode 3. As friends and family of those coming to terms with involuntary childlessness, you can listen and I’d encourage you to pay attention to all involved and not neglect the men. Sometimes, as my good friend Michael has said, the grief comes later and I have found this to be true of my husband. With this in mind, here’s some resources to help you through the weekend.
World Childless Week have a list of resources on their website including several really good Facebook groups. I recommend Childless Path To Acceptance.
Men Matter Too webinar for World Childless Week 2018
Dr Robin Hadley is a very powerful voice in this area and this is his website
Jody Day talks about grief on this More To Life webinar
Michael Hughes blogs at Married and Childless
You can follow The Full Stop podcast presented by Michael, Sarah Lawrence and I by going to our website here
You can read more about the work of Jody Day and Robin Hadley in this Guardian interview here
The Guardian also published this article by Delcan Fitzsimmons here
Rod Silvers spoke about his story with More To Life on 12th June so do look out out for this on their website on catch up on their website later.
Sarah Lawrence, my fellow Full Stop podcast presenter has published this article here.
I also recommend this article which, whilst written for Mother’s Day, has many useful tips on how to handle social media and the day.
Whatever you do, I wish you love and strength.