Chloe's behavior

Do you remember Chloe?

Chloe moved to Sweden to start a new job that she had high expectations for. However, the job has turned out to be a disaster due to a sexist and overbearing boss. Since both Chloe and her husband quit their jobs in Canada, she really wants to make Sweden work. Sweden has great support and benefits for new parents, so Chloe and her husband decided to try to conceive.

After a year of trying unsuccessfully, Chloe is often stressed and upset. Having a family was the way she was going to cope with her work situation. Now she has two things to worry about – getting pregnant and dealing with her boss. One of Chloe's behaviors that she has identified is the following:

During the day, I sometimes close the door to my office and spend hours reading fertility forums.

Now let's take a look at her answers to the questions from the previous page:

What are the the short term and long term consequences of this behavior?

For a short period I was able to distract myself from the unpleasantness around the workplace. My mind was occupied by reading the stories of other women who are in a similar situation. Sometimes I would read a story about someone who tried for years and then got pregnant out of nowhere. Stories like these would make me optimistic. However, sometimes I would read stories about women who, after a string of miscarriages, have decided that they will stop trying. Stories like these make me upset because I don't like thinking about a future without a child. Either way, reading forums do make the day go by more quickly so that I don't have to deal with work dramas.

In the long term, I don't think spending time on forums while at work is very helpful. It makes my mood go up and down, and gives me unhelpful ideas about conception. Furthermore, as soon as I leave my office I still have to deal with the reality of an unhappy workplace.

How could I be using my time differently?

I am not doing anything to make my current situation better. I should be looking for new jobs, or finding a way to make my boss treat me with more respect.

Overall, is this behavior helpful?

No, I don't think so. I am using the internet as a way to distract me from my problems, but it doesn't seem to be making me feel any better.

Chloe's other behaviors

Avoid TV shows and movies that are about pregnancy or having babies

What are the short term and long term consequences of this behavior?

In the short term it prevents me from being constantly reminded of my fertility problem. However, the long term consequence is that when TV shows or movies touch on that subject it catches me by surprise and I get quite upset. I might miss out on some good material, but at this stage I don’t care. I just don’t want to be reminded of my fertility problem.

How could you be using your time differently?

This actually gives me more free time, since I spend less watching the TV. I should try to make sure that I use this time well.

Overall, is this behavior helpful?

I think it is helpful. I don't feel like I'm missing out on much, since too much time watching TV isn't good in the first place.

Stop drinking alcohol to influence fertility

What are the short term and long term consequences of this behavior?

Since I'm not a heavy drinker, I don't think there are health implications in either direction, However, sometime I feel that I avoid social situations so that I won't be tempted to have a drink. I'm a little worried that in the long run I will grow apart from my friends since they often meet up at a pub after work.

How could you be using your time differently?

I don't think drinking in itself is a productive use of my time. However, if I continue to avoid social situations that might include alcohol, I'm going to have to make a special effort to see my friends at other times.

Overall, is this behavior helpful?

I don't think this behavior is helpful. Since I'm not drinking to excess, I don't think actually improving my chances of conception, The real risk is that I become isolated from my friends.

Avoid social events where I know there will be children

What are the short term and long term consequences of this behavior?

In the past I have attended events with children and I've become very upset. It reminds me what I am missing out on, and is very painful. In the short term I can avoid these breakdowns by avoiding these events. In the long run, this probably isn't a a good idea, as I will grow apart from my friends and family who have children.

How could you be using your time differently?

There are all sorts of things I'd like to do, but I feel I can never "find the time". Maybe next time I skip an event due to children, I'll use the time to tick off some of these things!

Overall, is this behavior helpful?

In the short term I think it is for the best. However, I know that this isn't a very good long term strategy, so at some point I will have to address this. That may be several years down the line though.