Being around family and friends who have children can be hard no matter what the time of year but for some reason around the holidays it is just harder. Why? Maybe it’s because you have to sit around the Thanksgiving table and hear your family members ask you the dreaded question…“When are you going to have a baby?” Or maybe it ‘s getting that Christmas card that has a photo of your friend holding her stomach with a ribbon on it that says “coming soon.” For some reason the holidays just seem to put a spotlight on your struggle with infertility. So what can you do to make the holidays easier and not just a reminder of what you don’t have? Here are some suggestions.
Don’t feel like you have to participate in the family gatherings if you know it will just be too hard. You are entitled to stay home and get through the holidays the way you want. You may get asked why you aren’t attending but if you want to avoid that question you can always say you just aren’t feeling well.
Try to focus on spending time with your partner and doing things you both enjoy. You can always take a vacation to a warm destination or go on a ski trip. Try to utilize the time to connect with your partner and have fun together.
Reach out to family and friends. For some people it may just be easier to talk to family and friends about what you are going through and how you are feeling. In most cases you will probably find that they will be sympathetic and understanding. Having a good support system can help you through difficult times.
Join a support group. Not everyone is comfortable or wants to talk to family and friends about their fertility struggles. For those individuals they may find that joining a support group is beneficial. Being around other people who can relate to what you are going through can be a huge help.
Don’t beat yourself up for feeling the way you feel. Some people feel guilty for not wanting to be around family or friends during the holidays. Don’t! Everyone is entitled to feel however they feel. Everyone deals with difficult times differently and there is no right or wrong way.
Recognize if you are suffering from something more severe like clinical depression. Some signs of clinical depression are irritability, insomnia, difficulty concentrating, feelings of hopelessness/pessimism and thoughts of suicide. If you are experiencing any of these you should make an appointment to see a medical health professional as soon as possible.
Utilize the holidays as a time to focus on the positive things in your life. Try to not focus on the negative. Hopefully, it will help make the holidays a little more bearable.