“Don’t try so hard.”


I have some thoughts on that outstandingly stellar piece of knobhead advice.

(Nobody has said this to me recently but it does get bandied about every now and then.)

I appreciate that this platitude is well-meaning, and doesn’t come from a bad place by the person who is saying it, but it’s reaaaaally not helpful okay?

If ever you fancy saying it, then fine. But say it with your lips closed please.

Someone who has struggled to conceive would never say “don’t try so hard” to someone who IS trying to conceive. Because the person who has gone through it will understand that putting in the effort required DOES NOT inhibit your chances of conceiving.

Because you do have to try hard.

You have to try hard at making the effort to have sex when you’re dog-tired and all you want to do is have an early night.

You have to try hard at timing everything perfectly, when the timing of ovulation is anything but perfect.

You have to try hard with remembering to take your pills and injections.

You have to try hard at taking good care of your body – both the man and the woman – in order to make that healthy baby.

You have to try hard to WANT to have sex with your husband when he’s been a dick to you all day but you have to put that aside in order to get his sperm. You can go back to being pissed off with him post-coitus.

You have to try hard to plaster on that smile every month that it doesn’t work out, but you still have to work with a pregnant colleague / attend a baby shower / face another social media announcement etc. I am the queen of fucking grinning and bearing it.

If being a parent is hard, then it makes sense that creating the baby is hard work too.

But the suggestion that not trying so hard will be the answer to our infertility problem (‘our’ as in the TTC community, not me and Dave), is that 100% effort doesn’t get you anywhere.

Okay, let’s apply that to other areas of life then.

If I didn’t “try so hard” with losing weight, would I still have lost 2 and a half stone since the beginning of January?

If somebody applying for their dream job didn’t “try so hard” by preparing for the interview, would they still get the job?

If an ill person didn’t “try so hard” on focusing on getting better, would they ever regain their health?

And for football fans out there, would Lincoln City be getting promoted to the Football League this weekend (fingers crossed!) if they didn’t “try so hard” during all the other 50-odd games they’ve played this season?

My point is, if you wouldn’t say “don’t try so hard” to someone who is trying to lose weight, or trying to secure a job, or is seriously ill, then don’t say it to someone who is desperate for a baby either.

We would all love to be fat, not temp every morning, not piss on every stick that has ever gone on sale, go on a holiday that is perfectly timed over ovulation, get drunk, “not try so hard”, and get pregnant. Just like that.


8 thoughts on ““Don’t try so hard.”

  1. Oh yes… “Such and such struggled to get pregnant too but as soon as she relaxed it happened!”. Well good for her, but less than a year of being off the pill, not even getting to the stage of needing to see a doctor and having no clue what an OPK even is does NOT count as struggling, so PISS OFF!

    To be fair though, I never expected to have to try this hard. Even though I had suspected for years that I was already too old/had left it too late, I figured that if we just had lots of sex around ovulation time it was bound to happen. Not straight away, but definitely before the year was up. I was more worried about my age causing miscarriages than not being able to get pregnant at all. HAHAHA. Past me was so naive.


    1. It blows my mind how many struggling TTC-ers say “just relax” – “I just relaxed” … like, no, you didn’t. You were as bat-shit crazy as all of us. Don’t pretend you weren’t!

      My friend thinks that when you get your BFP you naturally relax – and so maybe they can’t comprehend that they were as stressed as everyone 5 minutes before the two pink lines…

      They suck regardless!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. In my case it wasn’t a TTC-er who said it but my own sister!! Apparently a family friend struggled but got pregnant “as soon as she relaxed”. My sister doesn’t even want kids so she definitely has no clue!

        I hope if I ever get my BFP I will never tell anyone to “relax”.

        Liked by 1 person

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