I know it may not seem like the holidays were ever hard for me but, I promise you it wasn’t always this way. Not only are you in a season of Infertility but also in a season that promotes jolly, happy, present giving family holiday card receiving. Not a good mixture when you are on a roller coaster of hormones, hope and sometimes disappointment.
So to all of you that are finding that you can’t be as happy as you may have been last year, here are 4 mindset shifts that I found helped me during this time of year.
1) It’s ok to be sad –
Give yourself some grace and realize that this holiday may be triggering for you. You may be getting together with friends and family who are pregnant or already have children and that is so tough. You may find yourself feeling sorry for yourself and honestly as much as I want to tell you not to feel that way it’s so normal. I mean come on, you are bombarded with holiday cards of cute babies and kids, commercials for all the new toys and faced with family members who want to give you their advice and two cents on what your doing wrong. Feel it, recognize it, talk to your partner about it and if at all possible try not to stay there for too long.
2) It’s ok to put yourself and your needs first –
You know yourself best and if you are feeling uncomfortable about going to a certain friend or relatives house then don’t. You do NOT owe anybody anything. Now is not the the time to do “the right” thing. I promise the holidays will come at the same time next year so if all you feel like doing is having a PJ day and watching bad Christmas movies I say do it. You do you and don’t you worry about what anyone else is going to say or think.
3) It’s ok to be vulnerable –
I was talking with a woman the other night and she was worried that she wouldn’t be a be able to talk about her Infertility without breaking down and crying. In essence, she was worried about being seen as weak when in reality she is one strong amazing woman. I will tell you what I told her, sometimes letting others see how painful this journey really is can be exactly what you need. Letting others see a crack in your armor can open you up for some of the strongest support ever. I would also argue that it shows just how strong and resilient you are by unapologetically pursuing your dream of a family.
4) Try to take stock in what you DO have –
Finding anything to be grateful for is difficult while you are struggling but it’s so important that you do. I promise you that you have so many amazing gifts in your life already. When we ground ourself in gratitude we are opening ourselves up for more amazing things to happen. Not only will this help you feel better you will realize that it is possible to be winning in other aspects of your life. Be grateful for the loving supportive partner you have, the thoughtful card your best friend sent you and the warm hug that your mom wrapped you in yesterday.
Remember we are only talking about a handful of nights at most. Going into the holidays with slight mindset shifts you will be prepared for whatever gets thrown your way.
Stay positive my friend in what the new year has in store for you. Wishing you a Happy Chanukah, Merry Christmas and Happy Kwanza.