Dear Bibi Lynch

Dear Bibi Lynch,
I have just read your* article in the Guardian**

I’m sorry that you will never have children just as I am desperately sorry for anyone who suffers from infertility or has lost a child. In fact just as I am sorry for anyone whose life throws unexpected shit at, cancer, illness, etc etc. You can’t control for all life’s eventualities and to say one group have less of a right to complain about what is going on for them, just because they are mothers, is simply ridiculous.

Motherhood is a joy to experience and I really wish it could be experienced by all who want it when they want it. Sadly life doesn’t work like that and I have to say I take issue with you complaining about mothers ranting about their lot in life because it hurts your feelings. I think that yes your friends should absolutely be sensitive around you given your situation, but all mothers? No.

Let me tell you a bit about my motherhood experience so far. My first baby was lost as a 10week old pregnancy, this was utterly devastating, my second pregnancy resulted in Oddler the Toddler but it was a horrifically traumatic birth that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, she was oxygen deprived and in intensive care for the first week of her life and for a long time I blamed myself for causing her situation. The oxygen deprivation did cause a “neurocortical event” in her brain- not brain damage as such (we were lucky) but for a long time we were incredibly worried about her development- thankfully she is an entirely normal bright sociable toddler. Her birth left me with PTSD and tokophobia. My third pregnancy ended in ectopic and I lost my left tube (but due to my tokophobia this felt like a relief- the pregnancy was unexpected and I was terrified of giving birth again- at that point I sought help for my PTSD) and my fourth pregnancy resulted in Omble but that was fraught with anxiety and stress due to the PTSD and I had to do a lot of incredibly hard work to be able to give birth to her without needing the elective section that had been agreed from early on in my pregnancy (at one point so terrified and hysterical at the thought of having to give birth again without getting an elective section I told the hospital I wanted a termination if they wouldn’t agree to the section- I’m not sure this is a course of action I would have ever carried out in reality really but shows the depth of my terror and PTSD)

Then just as I am hoping my life is hopefully getting back on track after Omble’s birth ended up being an incredibly positive experience, my dad dies when Omble was only three weeks old. He never got to meet her and I am utterly devastated. You understand the grief of losing a parent- something you never get over. Unfortunately currently I am unable to grieve properly as the needs of two tiny entirely dependent people come before mine. I would love to be able fall apart and grieve but I have to stay strong for them so I rant in my letters and on twitter as a way of keeping myself sane.

Since then we have had lots of minor (in the grand scheme of things) parenting worries, poor weight gain, extreme sleep deprivation, tantrums, illness and currently these often feel another kick when I’m down so I rant about it on twitter and in my letters as a way of staying sane. It helps. Just as I’m sure writing your article was a cathartic experience for you.

Motherhood has knocked me sideways and then some, changed me irrevocably, and changed my life for ever. I am thankful every day for my two wonderful children but that doesn’t mean at the minute I wouldn’t often like to run away and hide from it all, just for a bit, just to get the time and space to collect myself, to grieve, to be just me again.

The most valuable lesson Motherhood has taught me so far is don’t judge another until you have walked a mile in their shoes. You will never walk in my shoes just as I will never walk in yours, those are the cards we have both been dealt, we both need to deal with what our lives have thrown at us, so why don’t we try harder to empathise with each others situations rather than getting angry and not trying to understand each others situations? My rants have no less validity than yours just because one of us is a mum.

Yours Empathetically


*Liz Jones’?
**Daily Mail?


25 responses to “Dear Bibi Lynch

  1. I have just read your post and the article.
    I am blessed to have my beautiful daughter. However whilst I was pregnant I had to suffer from women like Bibi Lynch who were quite frankly spiteful and mean. The woman at work stopped talking to me and accused me of rubbing it in her face because I had a midwives appointment and one of our supposed friends stopped coming to see us and said that I didn’t understand how difficult it was for her. These spiteful women made me question my pregnancy and my right to have a baby. They made me feel like I was the most selfish person in the world and that somehow it was my fault that they could not have a baby.
    I am sorry but nobody has the right to make someone else feel like that.

    • Dear Amy,
      That sounds awful for you. 😦 I’m sorry.
      I think we (humans) can all benefit from taking responsibility for our own feelings and not try and blame others for them, especially in such a nasty way as you experienced. Think it was Eleanor Roosevelt who once said “no-one can make you feel inferior without your consent” and that’s something I try and live by. Hard to do in reality though!
      Love LadyCurd

  2. I thought this was a very generous response. I felt quite a lot colder towards her because women without children, whether that was out of choice or for reasons beyond their control, have to accept that they are going to encounter parents and children and possibly have to converse with them if they go out in public. If it’s hard for Bibi Lynch to listen to other people who have led a different type of life to her than she should seek a little help for that because the problem is her problem. In short other women are allowed to talk about their lives when they’re hard. She’s allowed to talk about the fact that it’s difficult to encounter mothers sometimes but the conclusion that they shouldn’t complain when they’re having a bad time isn’t healthy.

  3. Great post. I prioritorised having children over career and anorexic looks at the ‘right’ time before it was too late. No sympathy for likes of self obsessed types who leave it too late, have eating disorders, then complain about being ‘childless’. We can’t have it all! There are genuine cases and this is tragic, but there is also adoption. Never apologise or feel bad about bringing a child into the world xx

  4. Thank you for sending me the link to your post. It was beautifully written and I totally applaud your sentiments.x

  5. Pingback: Dear Internet Popularity | Letters From LadyCurd

  6. A great response, and thank you for sharing. Like you we have gone through so many trials since becoming parents and the Bibi Lynch article upset me as I felt it so completely generalised the experience of motherhood. You inspired me to write about it, too: x

    • Dear Alice, Just read your post – Elfie is such a beautiful name (and one I wanted for Oddler but LordCurd said no- her name isn’t far off though!) – She’s gorgeous- will keep my fingers crossed her condition stays stable- it sounds horribly traumatic and stressful for you all.
      Love LadyCurd

  7. It has been fascinating reading the fall out from this article which I reacted to really strongly too. Thanks for sharing your experience, like you say, other people’s shoes etc. Also defo shades of Liz Jones about the whole article, felt like Guardian Family was deliberately trying to stir up controversy with this article to get publicity. Obv B. Lynch has a right to her own feelings, and I DO feel sad for her being unable to have a baby, but I think these are ones that would have been better shared with her secret diary rather than the general public. Great blog btw, glad to have found it!

    Amy Xxx

    • Her twitter feed last night was really sad. I felt really sorry for her. Think she didn’t realise the backlash this would cause. & thanks for the compliment re. the blog- I am having a lot of fun with it. 😀

  8. emotionalcynic

    Great post. Well written and really interesting points made. My biggest issue with the Bibi Lynch piece was that it seemed to spark a ‘women with children’ vs ‘women without children’ war of words that made me both sad and quite angry. Mostly on twitter, but on some blog responses too…

    I have no kids – by choice – but am a doting auntie and also a teacher. I love kids but have no desire to be a mother. This is hard for some people to understand so I tend to keep quiet about it, but I would like to wade in here and say that not *all* women who don’t have kids feel as some self-identified childfree women do, nor like Bibi. How I wish there were some articles from women like me that say things like ‘I don’t have kids but I love my nieces and nephews and friends kids and I think most Mums do an amazing job so bravo to them’ – although I doubt it’s contraversial enough for anyone to pick up so the papers will make do with this mothers vs non-mothers war all the while some people on both sides of the fence make nasty comments to each other.

    I suppose what I am trying to say is that I don’t feel like Bibi does about Mums, and neither do a lot of other women without kids. So please don’t think we are all out there sneering and snarling at you and your children as I really don’t think most of us are 🙂

    • Don’t worry I don’t! I hate how it turns into a Mothers vs. Non-Mothers thing too as we are all women, & tbh I HATE being defined as a mother- yes I am one- yes I write rather alot about being one because it is currently a major thing in my life at the moment with two tinies but it isn’t all I am, and no woman should feel they have to be defined by what they have produced or not from their uteruses.

      • emotionalcynic

        Phew – whenever I say that I am always scared that what I have said will be taken the wrong way! Glad you knew what I meant and what I was trying to say 🙂

        Your blog is very interesting, even to a non-mum like me, so you keep talking about whatever it is that you want to talk about – kids or not I’ll read it as I do love an interesting blog!

      • I totally get that too. I have perpetual foot in mouth fear- actually it’s not just fear- its reality. Telling my mate her precious newborn looked like my nan who had had a stroke was not my finest hour. True though (they both gurned in same way!). And thankyou very much for the compliments I am having ALOT of fun with this blog at the moment.

  9. Infertility is heart breaking.

    Being honest about it is both hard and dangerous as you get branded bitter, mean, having left it too late, unworthy etc etc.

    I feel for the author of the article and to a certain extent I understand her pain.

  10. Pingback: Get Over It: Responding to Bibi Lynch | More Than Toast

  11. I think it must be SO painful to be in Bibi’s situation. As someone who wasn’t able to concieve in the conventional way I am so incredibly grateful that I was finally able to have my daughter. If I hadn’t been able to do so I would definitely have adopted. The thought of not having any children at all would have been utterly devastating to me. When you are in this situation and feel surrounded by parents all talking about the ups and downs of their parenting lives it does feel so dispiriting and upsetting.
    Of course being a parent isn’t simple and of course you are not happy
    100% of the time but I think some parents really do do nothing but moan (I’m not talking about people in your situation ladycurd) and you do, as someone who is desperate for a child feel like shaking them. I REALLY hope that Bibi explores adoption. Several of my friends have done so, all with wonderful outcomes.

    • Yes I think lots of people (regardless of whether parents or not) can be guilty about moaning about “their lot” in life when to everyone else “their lot” is pretty cushty. Think we all could benefit from counting our blessings and trying to look on brightside of life. With hindsight I think my letter to Bibi may have been a bit competitive griefmaking and that was not my intention at all just trying to show the other side of story.

  12. Maybe Bibi’s article was written in the wrong tone, but I can understand where she is coming from. As a woman who was told in my teens I would probably never conceive naturally the backlash after this article has been interesting and sometimes emotional reading.

    When my friends tell me they are pregnant I truly am over joyed and excited for them. But, I must admit, I do feel a twinge of jealousy, deep inside of me when I think about what I may never have. I hate myself for it, and usually I don’t dwell on it.

    I can see when this self despair is in the front in your mind, as with any insecurity, it can feel everyone is rubbing it in your face. I am sure this is how Bibi is feeling.

    As it is – lucky mums – please feel free to take advantage of our longing – we make great and eager baby sitters!

    • I don’t think you should feel guilty for your jealousy at all, entirely natural and human- you clearly recognise how to deal with it and your friends with kids, which is all credit to you. xxx

  13. What I took from that article was that she isn’t infertile, she just didn’t get pregnant in that very small window of opportunity and now she’s kicking herself.

    I’m not a mum, I’m just over thirty and I have prioritised getting a family. If my current romantic interest doesn’t work out, I’ll be looking into adoption/fostering.

    I expect the despair she is feeling is mostly hormonal and when the menopause is over, she will be more even-handed about listening to mums complain about motherhood? I dunno.

  14. Hormonal – oh please. Your ignorance is embarrassing – no wonder Bibi Lynch is angry.

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