The holiday season can often feel more lonely than magical when trying to conceive. Holiday cards filled with smiling children, gatherings with long distance family members, and visions of what holidays “could be” can almost feel suffocating.
I have been in those seasons too, and I know the heartache it can bring. No one can fully prepare you for all the emotions you may feel, but I encourage you to allow them to come and be gentle with yourself along the way. As you navigate through the season, I hope that these tips can inspire peace and hope within you.
Here are my top 3 tips for coping with infertility during the holidays:
Rehearse your script: Although I wish this weren’t the case, if you plan to attend gatherings with family members that you haven’t seen in awhile, be prepared for them to ask when you plan to start a family. Rehearse a script that you can use that will keep you from having to say much. Things like:
“We’ve been struggling but I pray that our time is coming. “It’s taking longer than expected so I’m not really sure.” “We’re trying! Hopefully, it will happen soon!”⠀
“We’re taking some time for ourselves right now.”
2. Protect your peace: Speaking of gatherings, know that it’s also okay to say “no” to attending them if you feel it will do more harm than good. Protecting your peace is your priority, so identify some of the most triggering things about the holidays (like opening presents with your extended family on Christmas morning), and feel confident in saying no or offering an alternative plan (like joining later for a family walk!).
3. Create new traditions: While your holiday season may not look like you’ve envisioned, please don’t wait to enjoy your life until you’ve grown your family. Your worth is not measured by your ability to conceive, and you have one precious life to live. Dream up some new holiday traditions to help you embrace the season. A new tradition could be anything from trying a new recipe to collecting gifts for a charity you love to hosting good friends for a holiday pajama party. Whatever it is, make sure it sparks joy for you!
Remember that you are never alone on this journey. Lean heavily on your support system and don’t be afraid to seek help from professionals if you’re having trouble processing your emotions. Feel free to schedule a call with me if you need a listening and supportive ear. I’m always here for you!