Surviving Infertility at ChristmasNov 30, 2020
Christmas used to be my favourite time of the year. You’d walk through shopping centres and Christmas carols are being piped over the loud speaker. Santa clause is posing with small children who are either idolizing him, or terrified of him. The decorations are dripping from the ceiling. There are twinkling lights, endless parties, holidays, catching up with family and friends, the gift giving. And don’t get me started with the food and wine!!!! I LOVED EVERYTHING ABOUT IT!!!
Until infertility. Infertility ruined Christmas for me. And the longer my husband and I struggled, the more I resented it. I hated what it represented. Family. Because I was so desperate for my own and was scared shitless that it would never happen.
It hurt to see other children getting their photos taken with Santa, because that’s the picture I had dreamed of for so long. I dreaded the parties and catching up with family, because someone would always ask a question about WHY we didn’t have children. The Christmas carols started sounding like fingernails being dragged down a chalk board. I hated buying presents because that was money that we could have been spending on fertility treatments.
Come to think of it, the only thing that I still liked about Christmas was the food and wine.
Christmas marks the end of yet another year. Another year of trying to have a baby and failing. A reminder that you started the year thinking that this would be the year you get a baby for Christmas, and you end it feeling devastated, with empty arms, and feeling like you can’t do this anymore. Thoughts of “giving up” are surfacing.
My husband and I endured 5 “Infertile at Christmas” years, so I feel more than qualified to give a little advice on how you can survive. Because on our 5th year, we nailed it. We had our BEST CHRISTMAS EVER. And I’m going to share with you what we did.
HERE IS YOUR CHRISTMAS AND INFERTILTY SURVIVAL GUIDE.
- SAY NO. ALL THE TIME. Setting some healthy boundaries is SO important. You don’t have to prove anything to anyone (especially yourself). If you don’t want to go to your work Christmas party, say NO. If you don’t want to spend Christmas with your friends or family this year, say NO.
- SAY YES. To the things that make you feel good. What do you love doing right now? Do that!! I know it sounds simple, but that 5th year, the best Christmas ever? My husband and I stayed at home by ourselves. We spent the day in our underwear with the air-conditioning cranking (because it’s bloody hot in Australia at Christmas-time), lounging on the couch, watching movies, eating bad food, drinking wine and napping on and off all day. We created a day that was all about the things we wanted to do, with zero possibility of being triggered.
- DROP THE GUILT. If you set boundaries and create your own Christmas, and people complain about it, that’s their problem. Not yours. Your relatives will get over it. And if they don’t, that’s their issue. There is nothing wrong with spending a day creating a new tradition for where you are right now. And next year, if your baby has arrived, then there will be a completely different tradition created. But for now, in this season of your life, it’s ok to choose you and what you need.
- If shopping centres set you off, avoid them!! Online shopping. Start now!!
- While I am definitely not saying you should stay away from it (because I would never tell you to do something that I’m not prepared to do myself), limit your intake. It’s so easy to use alcohol as something to numb your pain, especially at this time of year. This is not a judgement, because I’ve been there before. But alcohol is a depressant. So while it will numb you and take away your pain temporarily today, tomorrow it will hit you twice as hard and be completely counter-productive for your mindset.
- KEEP TALKING. Find someone who you can share your struggles with. It could be a friend, a therapist, a coach. It is so important to voice what’s happening in order to process it. Journaling is also a fantastic way of downloading and working through those feelings we try to push down at this time of year.
- AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, POUR INTO YOURSELF. Invest in yourself. This is a tough time of year, so you need to be mentally prepared. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating nourishing food, getting out into nature, meditating, exercising, reading books, watching movies. Whatever makes you feel refreshed and energized, amp it up!
I’ve also created something you can dive into over this season to prepare you for 2021. To create some healthy habits so you don’t keep repeating the same thing over and over again and feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall.
It’s called THE LIGHTHOUSE PROJECT.
4 weeks, self-paced and gentle guidance. Small tweaks that will have a huge impact on your mindset. All in the comfort of your own home.
It takes the lessons I learned on my 7-year journey to motherhood, and creates tangible action around it. So you can move into 2021 feeling prepared, lighter, and refreshed – no longer weighed down by guilt and self-punishment.
If you’d like to learn more, click here
Would you like to know more about how you can work with me, so you can get back control of your life and start moving forward? My 1:1 coaching program is packed with information, tools and support. Find out how you can get on the wait list now.
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