Mother’s Day is one of the hardest days of the year when coping with infertility. My husband and I struggled for two years with infertility. This year I am pregnant with our first child and I still have a flood of mixed emotions concerning Mother’s Day.
The first Mother’s Day, while dealing with infertility, I was surprised how hurt I was. We had been trying to get pregnant for about 7 months at that point, so we weren’t fully concerned that infertility was a reality yet. But when Mother’s Day rolled around, I started having doubts. I had a few friends and sister-in laws that were pregnant at the time, and seeing how excited they were to become mothers was painful. I was jealous. Ready to have those same celebrations.
The second Mother’s Day was way harder. By that time it had been a year and a half, and others were aware of our situation. I felt like some people were awkward about bringing up Mother’s Day around me, which made me feel even worse. I wanted to be a part of the Mother’s Day celebrations, because I love my mom and mother-in-law, but at the same time didn’t want to be included. It was a long, emotional day.
This year, of course I am thrilled to finally be a soon-to-be-mother! But at the same time my heart aches for those who aren’t. I know what it feels like and I know how hard it is. So I wanted to share some insight on how those who are experiencing infertility this Mother’s Day can cope.
That first Mother’s Day I was completely blind sided by my emotions. The second year my husband and I talked about the upcoming holiday before hand and made a plan. We wanted to spend time together and planned a fun date for after Mother’s Day. This gave me something to look forward to.
We also talked about some of the comments we may get. Like, “Next year will be your year, just wait and see!” or “You’re going to be the best parents when your time comes”. Now we know these comments came with the best intentions. No one was trying to make us feel bad. Infertility is just an emotional roller coaster. So talking about how we would react during those conversations was helpful, and acknowledging before hand that they would sting a bit.
Remember that it is OK for you to take care of yourself and do what is best for you. If that means being at all of the Mother’s Day celebrations, do it. But if that means skipping dinner and just being there for dessert, do that. Even if you need to take the day off to cope with your emotions, that’s OK too. Communicate with your mom your feelings that you would love to spend time with her another day, but you need to be alone with your spouse.
Acknowledge your emotions
I would try to push aside all the Mother’s Day emotions until the end of the day when my husband and I got home. At that point it was hard to overcome them and I would go to bed emotionally exhausted.
I’ve since learned that it is OK to be sad. No one is expecting you to be perfectly happy on Mother’s Day. Loved ones know that it is a hard day for you. Talk about your emotions before hand. Whether that is with your spouse, mom, or friend. Take the time to recognize how you are feeling and what you can do to make the day a little smoother. Take care of yourself.
Remember that you are not alone. There are others struggling with infertility, along with those who have lost their mothers or don’t have a good relationship with them. If you know of someone else struggling with the holiday, reach out and be supportive of each other!
Surround yourself with support
Mother’s Day is a day to be with family and loved ones. Make sure to surround yourself with those who are supportive of your situation.
Last Mother’s Day my sister-in-law wrote me a short card. In the note she simply acknowledged how hard the day must be for me and that she knew I was going to be a great mother one day. It was the smallest thing, but I still remember that it meant the world to me that day.
If you know someone who is coping with infertility this Mother’s Day let them know that you love them. That you are there for them if they need anything.
celebrate what you do have
Do you have an amazing mother, or mother-in-law that you look up to? Or another mother figure in your life that you appreciate? Focus on celebrating them. Remember to acknowledge your own emotions, but also take some time to focus on the good in your life. I know it can be hard sometimes, but it helps you feel better.
You can celebrate having a great relationship with your spouse. Or having your fur babies in your life. Find that silver lining to get you through the hard day.
In summary, take care of yourself, or those you know dealing with infertility this Mother’s Day. Have a plan, don’t be afraid to acknowledge your emotions, surround yourself with supportive loved ones & celebrate what you do have in your life. You got this!