Tips for surviving Mothers Day when living with Infertility and lossMay 02, 2022
It is THE most dreaded day in the whole year for someone who is trying to conceive (ttc), and it’s approaching quickly.
For so many of us, this day is filled with dread, sadness, and guilt. It is a reminder of what so many have achieved and what we long for most in the world. In fact, it’s like a million pregnancy announcements all on the same day.
And it’s not just one day - it’s the lead up. It’s completely impossible to miss, and hard to escape!!
Gift ideas are plastered in our news feeds, in catalogues and on billboards for weeks beforehand.
Then on the actual day there are champagne brunches, retreats, picnics in the park, and I dare you to try and go out for breakfast or lunch without a reservation!!⠀
FOR 5 YEARS, MOTHER’S DAY WAS EASILY THE MOST PAINFUL DAY OF THE YEAR FOR ME.
The worst ones were when we were in the middle of an IVF cycle. You’d be injecting yourself in the morning thinking, how do I get out of this hell?!!
My poor husband wasn’t sure whether to get me flowers, chocolates or a bottle of wine (wine EVERY TIME!!) or check me into a mental facility.
Every single year that passed, the grief compounded. It was like someone had died - and I guess in a way, something had died. I always dreamed of what it would be like to finally celebrate this day as a Mother. And each year that I was unable to claim that title, a little piece of my soul, and a little piece of my hope died.
I would try to put my head in the sand and be happy for all the other mothers out there, but it only served to show me what I was missing out on. I was not pregnant. Again.
I felt guilty that I couldn’t be happy for those who had achieved this milestone. I tried to be strong and pretend I was ok to those around me, but it hurt even more. I was consumed by jealousy and anger…….but mostly sadness.
So how do you survive Mother’s Day when you’re struggling to get pregnant?
How do you cope with infertility and IVF or IUI and miscarriages while everyone around you is celebrating their own motherhood?
Here are some Mother’s Day Survival tips for you -
- It’s ok to say that this day sucks. When we acknowledge how tough it is, and our real feelings, it helps a little. I used to try to ignore it and push down my pain, pretending I was ok. But it didn’t go away, in fact that feeling of emptiness stayed around longer and it compounded. Don’t be afraid to say that yes, this day is shit, and I feel like shit. If it helps, take out your journal and download it all. Watch a sad movie and have a good cry.
Or call a girlfriend or even your mum (you probably should anyway) and let them know that you’re sad.
- Don’t be a hero. There is no need to punish yourself or try to prove that you’re a champion and that you’re FINE. Turn off social media for a few days. Don’t go out in public if you don’t want to. There is no need to attend a Mother’s Day high tea watching those around you exchange gifts. YOUR mum will understand if you ask to take her out another day. Most importantly, you don’t have to feel guilty for not being happy and celebrating with others. It doesn’t mean you’re a bad person.
- In the week leading up to the day, make sure you’re feeling strong physically and mentally. Self-care is essential to survival. Go for a run, read a book, have a bath, go for a walk in nature, meditate, sit in the sun with a cup of tea. Work out what gives you energy, and turn the volume up.
- On the day - spoil yourself and indulge in a little self-care. If that looks like a tub of Baskin Robbins Peanut Butter and Chocolate Ice-cream (my personal fave) and staying on the couch watching re-runs of Sex and the City (another personal fave), then do it. Run yourself a bath, ask your partner for a foot massage and have an afternoon nap. Do all the things that give you comfort and make you feel loved and whole.
- And when the day is over, Congratulate yourself. You survived one of the toughest days of the year. And that deserves mentioning. You could even reward yourself with a little retail therapy or book yourself a massage.
There is no perfect way to survive this day. Give yourself a little grace, and show yourself some compassion for where you are on your journey. If it gets a little messy, that’s ok. Please don’t punish yourself for whatever comes up.
I want you to know you are not alone. You’re not the only one who is dreading this day. It is ok to hate it. We all do at some stage.
But you are a warrior. You will survive this day and this journey.
And in my eyes, you become a mother the day you decide to try.
Sending you a whole bunch of love and comfort xx
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