5 ways to deal with jealousy on your fertility journey

Feb 06, 2023

I know we’re not supposed to say this out loud, but while I was on my fertility journey, I was SO jealous of women who were able to get pregnant so easily.  And I’ll go even further and say that I actually resented the fact that they didn’t have to go through the shit I had to.

Even today, that green eyed monster still raises its ugly head.  I think of the money we spent, the pain we went through…….and cringe at the injustice of it all.  And when I see others breeze through their pregnancy without a care in the world, I still feel all the feels.

There you go……it’s out in the open. I felt jealous and resentful and I still feel it some days.

And it’s more common than you think – we just don’t talk about it, because there’s such a taboo around it.  

After all, envy is one of the seven deadly sins – and who could forget watching Brad Pitt in the movie Seven, when Gwyneth Paltrow’s head in the box represented ENVY (spoiler alert).

But on your fertility journey, it pops its head up multiple times a day.  In fact, some days the envy is so deep, it’s hard to see straight.  We lose ourselves in it.

You feel jealous of the heavily pregnant woman in the grocery store who is pushing a trolley with 2 toddlers in it.

You feel jealous of your younger sister who has just gotten pregnant so easily.

You feel jealous when your friends are planning holidays, and you have to decline because you’re planning your next IVF cycle.

You feel jealous of the woman who announces on social media that she’s having a baby, even though she’s only 6 weeks pregnant.

So, does this make me (or you) a bad person for feeling like this?  Absolutely not. Despite the movies, the negative press this emotion receives, and what you’re taught growing up.

Do you know what it makes you?  Human. 

Yes, jealousy and resentment are human emotional responses. Welcome to the club. You are officially human.

And my view is that they were created to be felt.  All our emotions were created for a purpose.

And jealousy can be a good thing.  Out of all the emotions that kept pushing me forward, that drove me to keep getting back up on my fertility journey.  To endure 7 years of heartache, 9 IVF cycles and 2 miscarriages.  One of them was jealousy. Yes - I was driven by JEALOUSY (gasp!!).

This is probably one of the emotional responses we don’t talk about, because it feels uncomfortable and shameful to admit it. We’re always told to stay in our own lane and not worry about what other people are doing. But it’s hard, isn’t it? We compare everything – from the way we look, to how much we earn, to where we live……and the big one……whether we have children. I used to look at our friends who already had children – and even my sister who had 3 children, and I was envious of them. I wanted what they had. I was even bitter that they were able to have children when I wasn’t.

But at times, the jealousy drove me to keep going – because I wanted what they had.  And if they could get it, why shouldn’t I keep fighting for it?

It’s ok to wish that you had what other people have. 

But it can be consuming.  And that doesn’t feel good. So how do you take it down a notch?  How can you acknowledge its existence, without it eating you alive?

Here are a few things you can do to lighten the load of jealousy.

  1. Give yourself a little grace. Understand that you are not a bad person for feeling jealous.  You merely wish you had what someone else had, and everyone does this.  The struggle comes when we try to deny it, resist it, and when we punish ourselves for feeling this way.  But you don’t have to punish yourself for being human.
  2. Understand that you are not your thoughts or emotions.  When you voice them (with the right audience of course) or write them down, it’s a lot easier to see that you are separate from them.  You are not jealous – you feel jealous.  So grab your journal out and be honest about what it happening inside you right now (without self-judgement).
  3. Change your language. Instead of saying that you’re jealous, you can reframe it and say you wish that was you too.  I wish I was pregnant.  I wish I could go on that holiday instead of doing IVF. I wish I felt hopeful. It may feel easier to acknowledge it in a different way. And bring it back to what you want, or wish for.
  4. Victim mentality. When we keep asking ourselves why this keeps happening to us, it brings us into a feedback loop that won’t stop. Because there is no reason why one person gets the family and another person struggles.  And the more we ask that question, the more we feel sorry for ourselves. And the more we feel sorry for ourselves, the more we feel resentful of those who aren’t struggling. The best way to pull yourself out of the victim mentality is to ask ourselves better questions i.e. What if this does work out? What do I have to do next? How can I support myself?
  5. Deal with the anger before it turns to resentment and blame. One of the big mistakes we make with our anger is to try to put a band aid over it.  We try to meditate, or practice gratitude, which doesn’t work – or if it does, it’s just a temporary solution.  That anger is still bubbling underneath the surface like molten lava, just waiting to explode.  The best way to deal with our anger is to meet it where it is.  I go into the ways you can deal with your anger in a previous blog, that you can read HERE.

But at the end of the day, remember that jealousy isn’t an evil emotion.  It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person. And you can even use it to your advantage to motivate you to keep moving forward.

Because what you’re going through right now really sucks.  And it’s ok to wish you had what other people had.

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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