Surviving Infertility at ChristmasNov 29, 2021
Christmas used to be my favorite time of the year. You walk through shopping malls 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 sparkling decorations are draped 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 to have my own, and I 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 – and there were SO many of them! Undoubtedly, someone would always ask a question about WHY we didn’t have children. And I was so exhausted from faking it. 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.
Yes – I was indeed the Grinch. And I didn’t like the person I had become. I was bitter, and sad, and jealous and resentful of those around me.
For a lot of us, 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 malls 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!
So if you’re feeling a little bit lonely, and a little bit sad this Christmas…..you’re not alone.
I’m not here to say “just be positive” or “good things come to those who wait”, because it’s not what you need to hear right now.
It’s ok to be sad at this time of year. It’s ok to be angry that it still hasn’t happened for you.
But you don’t have to suffer in silence. You don’t have to hide from the world (if you don’t want to).
AND, if you don’t already follow me over on Instagram, I’ll be sharing one thing you can do every single day in the lead up to Christmas, to prepare yourself for and survive the “silly season”.
All you have to do is follow me @msjenniferrobertson and click on my stories each day for a quick tip.
Because you CAN get through this holiday season. We all just need a little help. And that’s ok.
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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