27 April, 2020

No Kidding 2020 Project: Day 12 - Accept

I’ve been working up to the idea of acceptance over the last weeks, talking about surrendering, appreciating what you have (even if it is only the sun on your back), honouring your losses and the pain you’ve been through, and daring to look to the future, amongst others. I know the idea of acceptance can be really scary, and a denial of everything that we’ve lost, or been through, and so I haven’t pushed it. Coming through infertility does not mean that you can flick a switch and all of a sudden “accept.” It’s not a case of saying, “oh well, that’s over then.” Though I know some friends and family may think it is, and may encourage you to accept when you’re not ready. For this reason, I’ve seen a lot of people stamp their feet (metaphorically), and declare that they will NEVER accept being childless.

But … getting to acceptance is pretty critical to our ability to go on to embrace our No Kidding lives. So it is something to be considered. The good news is that there’s a process to go through to get there. It probably differs for us all, but I’ve outlined some of the ways that helped me get there so far in this 2020 healing project, and in the many posts I’ve written previous about acceptance. (You can find them all here). But when you’ve been through these steps, overcome so many hurdles, then acceptance almost sneaks up on you. That probably seems unbelievable to many people who are still struggling. That’s okay. You don’t have to feel it. But I do ask you to believe me that you will get there. When you’re ready.

Even those of us who have now accepted our No Kidding lives for many years might find this relevant in current times too, as we adjust to change, and how to cope with it. I wrote just a few days about the world shifting beneath us, when what we thought might be our lives turns out not to be – either permanently, or temporarily, as we hope is the case in the current situation. Acceptance might help us deal with this, and I always find it worthwhile to think about. So I make no apologies for writing yet again (!) about acceptance!

I think that it really helps to first define acceptance. What does it mean to you? Or, perhaps more helpfully, what does it NOT mean? To me, it has never meant that we think it was okay that this happened to us – that we never conceived, that we lost pregnancies, that our child was born still, or that the phone never rang with news of our child. It doesn’t mean either that we have to like it. And it most definitely does not mean that we deserved it. Acceptance is not a judgement about blame, or self-worth, or merit. It is not even an admission of defeat, because that brings negative connotations. I actually don’t think acceptance is a negative thing at all.

Acceptance is, to me, an acknowledgement of what has happened, and what is my reality. My No Kidding life, now and in the future. That brings us to the second step – taking acceptance, and making it part of us. Because when we can do that – without self-recriminations, without judgement, without cringing – we can put an end to the battle. That makes it so much easier to forgive, honour and to dare. Sure, we carry everything we’ve been through with us, but with acceptance, we carry the lessons, rather than interminable pain. And the burdens we’ve been carrying lift too, as I wrote here,

Acceptance means that the burden of guilt, the burden of sadness, the burden of wanting what you don’t have, all that is gone.”

For me, that brought a real sense of peace. It allowed me to open up to something new. And even if you don’t feel it yet, the mere idea of that can be exciting. 

(From The Process of Acceptance here)



  1. This post is so good. I know I'm going to come back and read it several more times at least. Acceptance is a powerful concept. My younger self really appreciates your examples of what acceptance does NOT mean.

    I accept the ups and downs that I feel as I live my life after infertility without children.

  2. Love this, Mali. Lots to chew on here, and it's so important. I love how you've defined acceptance. It does NOT mean that we like what's happened... only that we're shifting focus.