How to Get Through Mother's Day When You're Infertile
Mother's Day can be a difficult holiday for women (and men) experiencing infertility. When you're having trouble building your family, a holiday celebrating parenthood can be salt in the wound. Even if you can focus your attention on your own mother (and not every infertile woman can), it is hard to go through a day of constant reminders of a state that you can't reach.
If you are infertile, you're in good company. 7.3 million, or 12.5% of the child-bearing age population, is infertile. And a lot of infertile women are online, writing about Mother's Day. I rounded up some of the great posts that have been popping up this week to help you get through the day.
Lavender Luz has a wonderful post giving concrete tips to get through Mother's Day. Staying present in your physical body instead of letting your imagination take you through awful what ifs, acknowledging your emotions rather than denying them, and working out those feelings by connecting with others are just three suggestions.
When we grieve our wounds, we are in the past in our emotional body. When we worry or are fearful, we are in the future in our mental body. So find something to do that keeps you in your body and present, like physical or creative activities or just plain stillness.
Searching for Our Silver Lining talks about how she still harbours feelings about the day even though this is the first year that she is parenting after infertility. Like Lavender Luz, she gives concrete tips to take you from moment to moment throughout the day.
It started the same way it does every year. First with the emails advertising the special sales, then the billboards and radio commercials. The stores followed suit, hanging signs and stressing that I needed to hurry. And than came the talk of brunches, of flowers and even of gifts. All reminders that Mother's Day is once again around the corner. With each of these reminders my stomach has soured. As excited so many assume I would be with the upcoming holiday, I'm far from it.
Where the *Bleep* is Our Stork? wrote last week about National Infertility Survival Day, which falls each year on the Sunday prior to Mother's Day in the United States. It's a day to take care of yourself so you can mentally prep for Mother's Day. Blog it out, get a massage, or connect with a friend: anything to steel yourself as you look a week ahead.
Pamper your sweetheart. Is it your wife or partner who is struggling with infertility? If so, make it a special day for her - for both of you. Infertility can be a real strain on a relationship so it's important to keep the focus on how much you loved each other in the first place. Forget about treatments, tests and trying to make that baby happen. Treat her to a spa day, or maybe go for a couple's massage together. Prepare a special dinner at home so she can relax and be catered to. Heck, just do the laundry and vacuum the rugs for a change; it's like porn for women!
Baby Ridley Bump also wrote about National Infertility Survival Day, noting what she'll be doing to mark the occasion.
On this day, I will count my blessings. I will be thankful for the wonderful things that we do have in our lives because there is so many of them. We have a bright future and so much to look forward to. I can only hope that a baby is part of that. This is an infertile's version of Mother's Day. It's a day to celebrate ourselves. It's about self-care. There are so many days that we spend heartbroken and sad, being poked and prodded, putting on a brave face when deep down we are hurting. We go through the motions every day, but we are all struggling. So today I will give myself the day to be truly happy.
Be kind to yourself this Mother's Day. It's a single day of the year, but it's a hard day for many. Let us know in the comment section any tips you have for getting through difficult holidays.