With Thanksgiving past, and the Christmas season in full force, it is normal to feel some holiday blues while struggling with an infertility diagnosis. Invitations to Christmas pageants, family-friendly parties, and having to have conversations with relatives (who are just a little out of touch with your feelings on the topic of children) are enough to drive anyone to tears of frustration.
Can you enjoy the holidays while trying to build your family? We think so, and we’ve assembled a few tips you help you survive the season.
Take time to focus on self-care: Don’t forget that the holidays are about loving on the people who are important to you. That includes yourself! Find ways to take care of yourself and splurge a little on something that will lift your spirits. If you aren’t a part of an infertility support group, consider looking for one in your area, or find a therapist that you can visit as needed. Little things matter, so make a plan for how you might take care of yourself in the next year.
Start a tradition that is just for the grown-ups: The holidays often come with fun family traditions, many that may revolve around children. While it can be tempting to think of all the things you could be doing this year (or next) if you had children, it may be more rewarding to start a tradition just for yourself and your spouse.
Consider skipping a few family-friendly events: While this could be seen as missing out on the ‘fun’, try to be realistic about your overall feelings for attending large parties that will involve children. It’s normal for family and friends to forget to be sensitive about your emotions with so much going on.
Will there be people attending that are in a similar place in life as you there? Will everything be focused on the kids? Do you have a planned (short) response for questions like “When are you going to welcome your own bundle of joy?” These things may be well intentioned by others, but are likely to put you in a funk. Don’t be afraid to pass on some parties for your own emotional health, and focus on events that won’t revolve around children.
If you are a part of an infertility support group, consider planning a game night to have someone to celebrate and vent with.
Don’t give up on hope: This admittedly can be seen as a four letter word for those who have an infertility diagnosis, or who have had a pregnancy loss. It also can be the key to getting through some challenging times. Surround yourself with supportive friends or family who will help remind you how worth it the end result will be some day. Even if things aren’t working out exactly as you planned, there is hope!