It's that time of year again. It seems just after the Halloween decorations are boxed away for another year its the holiday season.
While you may have thought that this year will finally be your year to hold your baby during the holidays, yet again you are still waiting.
I know when I was going through infertility I didn't have a plan to help navigate the holiday parties or what I should say to people who asked me that annoying question "so when are you having kids?".
Here are some tips to help you cope.
Know that you are not alone. 1 in 8 Americans and 1 in 6 Canadians struggle with infertility. Reach out to a support group to help you navigate this sometimes difficult time of year. If you are in the US check out Resolve for a support group or if you in Canada you can visit Fertility Matters for a support group close to you. You can also join my Fab Fertile Support Group. We offer weekly mini-challenges, motivation and inspiration. Also if you want to vent in safe place, we all just get it and are here for you!
Prepare an answer to the "when are you having kids". During the holidays you will probably be asked this question. The key is to be ready with a response. You can gauge if it's merely a passing remark, and then you can say "we're busy trying" or if its someone you trust you can give them a few details. Don't feel pressured to share if you don't want to though. Also, know that this question may get your back up and press your buttons. Take a deep breath before you react and refer back to your prepared response.
Spend time with your partner. Maybe sitting around the holiday table one more with a bunch of kids is not how you want to spend your time. Know that's okay. Plan a special dinner with your sweetie, or even plan a weekend away. Know that you may need to deal with remarks such as "you're being selfish for going away" or " we'll miss you..can't you stay", but when you prioritize your needs above others, you learn how to really set boundaries. It can be tough in the beginning, but asking for what you want is like a muscle, the more you use it the stronger it becomes.
Volunteer your time. Doing something for others has been proven to increase happiness levels. Studies from positive psychology have found that helping others improves life satisfaction and leads to greater fulfillment. Bottom line is people want to feel they matter and helping others is linked to greater sense of well being. Time to volunteer your time at a shelter, do some shopping for someone who isn't able to get out or help a neighbor with snow shoveling or cooking a warm meal.
Know that this time of year can be tough, but when you honour your story and don't pretend everything is just fine, you can find a new way to find joy in the small things.
What is a coping strategy that you have used?
Sarah Clark empowers couples to discover how lifestyle and diet can dramatically impact their chances of conceiving. She was diagnosed with premature ovarian failure at 28 and had both her kids with donor eggs. Not until years later did she discover that the root cause of her infertility was a food intolerance. Ready to gaze into your baby's eyes....but struggling. Download 10 step Checklist here