I think ladies dealing with infertility get all the love, I mean they do have to put in a good majority of the work! That doesn't mean we can forget about all the men out there. On this Father's Day I want to give a little shout-out to the men who helped make me who I am today...
My brother. Sweet ol' Justin. He has been a little shit to me our whole lives (and still is.) He challenges me daily, keeps me on my toes, and always calls me on my stuff. My brother is the reason I graduated from Oklahoma State in 3 years. Just to give you a glimpse into our relationship, he said, "There is no way that you can finish college in under 4 years." I said, "Bet me, son." Next thing I know $100.00 is on the line. 2006 came and I was a proud (3 year) graduate of Oklahoma State University. I mean who does stuff like that for $100.00?!?!? Only to prove a point (a ridiculous, crazy, hardheaded, nonsensical point!)
Like most guys, my brother doesn't always show his emotions, but he has had quite the journey to become a dad. If you are unaware he started his own Instagram account to chronicle his journey through the adoption process, @Dad_in_waiting. Proud of him for putting himself out there and showing that its alright for guys to express their feelings too. Although, sometimes it still shocks me because if you knew him he keeps a lot of those feelings inside!
My brother has been my best friend for the last 31 years. He stands up for me, protects me in his own weird way, and has taught me how to be my own person. He is currently in town (yay for me) and we were having a pretty serious conversation in the car. My brother was describing me and he said that I was "different." I wasn't really sure how to take that because sometimes his "compliments" can be rather insulting. He later said, "You are a special combination of a person, there is really no one like you." ((Again who knows if thats a compliment, but I'll take it.)) I'm sure he has no idea how much I appreciate him seeing things in me that I may have trouble seeing in myself. I will be overjoyed for the day when he gets to raise a child and instill all his wonderful qualities in another human being!
Secondly, can't forget about my Daddy-o. Probably the hardest working person I know. Not kidding, the man has about 30 jobs. He's as tough as nails, he's hilarious, and sometimes I think he thinks he's Jimmy Buffet. My dad is all man, I can't recall hearing him discuss his feelings.. EVER. He gets super uncomfortable with my openness, and most of the time I think he's scared shitless of what may come out of my mouth (I'm a known sufferer of word vomit.) My dad doesn't really express how proud he is of me to me, but I know he is. I know this because he tells EVERYONE and their dog . I thank my Dad for my work ethic, my drive, and my persistence to never give up on what I want.
My Dad has taught me to always go after my dreams no matter how out of reach or scary they may seem. When I started writing (if you have read my blog) I was terrified. I was especially afraid to make tee-shirts. I thought this could completely flop, and that would be pretty embarrassing. I ran the idea by my dad, and for the next week he was messaging me (horrible) ideas for tee-shirts and other random thoughts he had about infertility. He definitely needs to stick with his 30 day jobs cause fertility inspired merchandise is not his strong suit. The point is that he supports me no matter what.
I'm sure for guys its hard to try to be the support system for their spouses/families, and have to deal with the emotional turmoil of infertility as well. Even though the men in your life may not verbally express their feelings, know that they have them. Men get stressed, can get down; society just holds them to a different standard of giving the outward appearance of always being strong. Try to be more understanding (working on this myself), take time to listen, and support the men in your life in any way you can.