The holidays should be spent celebrating family traditions and enjoying time together. But spending time with family and their children can be a painful reminder of the family you haven’t yet become. If you’re struggling with fertility issues or going through fertility treatment, the holidays can be stressful, emotional, and overall difficult.
Here are our tips for this season that may help bring you more holiday cheer and make the festivities a little more enjoyable.
Go into the holiday season as prepared as possible for the challenging moments. Put yourself in control of your celebrations and the dialogue you’ll have with your family and friends.
Some ways to maintain control are to:
Think of your responses ahead of time. Be ready for questions that may be difficult by practicing your answers. Or, prepare what you’ll say to let a loved one know that you don’t want to speak about the subject at the moment.
Choose your gatherings wisely. It can be hard to turn down invitations from close family and friends. However, by doing so, you can avoid the celebrations you know will cause more stress than others.
Additionally, check-in with yourself (and your partner) every day during the holidays. Daily meditation, prayer, or simply taking inventory of how you’re feeling will identify what you need to make it through the day.
Remember You’re Not Alone
This can be difficult to do when you’re potentially surrounded by friends with children. Keep in mind that while you may seem isolated, one in eight couples experience the same pains of infertility during the holidays.
Connecting with the infertility community will give you a place to feel seen and heard. Get together in person or online with other infertility warriors and share stories and give advice. Having a friend to text or call throughout the week to check-in is an excellent reminder that you’re not in this alone.
Allow yourself to enjoy the holidays as much as you can. This may mean skipping out on annual events to spend a night at home with your partner — pop some popcorn, put on that movie you’ve been meaning to watch, and enjoy each other’s company!
If you’re able to, splurge and buy yourself something special, and spend time taking care of yourself. Self-care never stops being important. Here are some holiday self-care activities you can do:
- Take a long bath
- Read a book
- Plan a staycation (or weekend getaway) to reconnect with your partner
- Donate time or money to your favorite charity
- Bake and decorate cookies
- Practice self-love
While this holiday season may be difficult, you’ll find pockets of joy and reminders that this is only temporary. And should you wish to meet with a trained counselor for extra support, please contact your patient care coordinator for a referral to an ACRM trusted source.
Ten Tips for Coping with Infertility During the Holidays
Handling Infertility at Family Gatherings