There are certain times of year which can be particularly challenging for anyone who is having difficulty getting pregnant, and Mother’s Day is right up at the top of the list. A day which is focused entirely on celebrating motherhood is bound to be tough if you are longing for a baby, but this is often exacerbated by the fact that the growing commercialisation surrounding Mother’s Day has made it far harder to avoid.
The build up to the day
It’s often not just the day itself but the weeks leading up to Mother’s Day which are difficult. It can seem impossible to get away from as reminders crop up all over the place. You may find yourself facing racks of Mother’s Day cards when you go to buy a newspaper at your local newsagents, and you may be confronted by endless Mother’s Day gift suggestions at the supermarket when you are picking up your groceries.
Many women who are experiencing fertility problems find that Mother’s Day reinforces the sense of isolation and loneliness they feel when more and more of their friends are becoming parents. It may make you feel as if you have become an outsider, unable to join in with the rest of society.
Doing something for someone else
For anyone who has their own mother nearby, or perhaps a mother-in-law, one way of dealing with Mother’s Day can be focusing on doing something nice for her. If you can plan something that you know she will enjoy and think about having fun together, this can be a positive way of coping with the day.
Of course, this may depend on siblings or other family members who might have their own ideas about what to do for Mother’s Day. If you usually have a large family get-together which you know is going to be hard going for you because there will be babies or young children present, you may prefer to avoid any such family celebrations. Remember, there is nothing wrong with admitting to that and explaining your feelings to the family member you find easiest to talk to.
That doesn’t mean you can’t do something good for someone else though. It may be the ideal opportunity to visit an elderly neighbour or friend who has recently lost her own mother – doing something kind for someone else can give really give you a boost and help you to feel better.
Meeting up with fertility friends
If you know anyone else who is experiencing difficulties getting pregnant or who doesn’t have children, this can be the ideal time for meeting up with them. Getting together for a day out, a trip to the cinema or theatre or sharing a meal can be a good way of reminding yourself that you are not alone.
If you don’t know anyone else who is having fertility problems, maybe this is the time to consider going along to a fertility support group if you have one locally, as it can provide a good opportunity to make friends who genuinely understand how you feel.
Alternatively, you could decide to spend the day with your partner doing something that you both enjoy and don’t often find the time for, or something that you’ve always wanted to do and have never quite got round to!
However you decide to spend the day, try to remember that you are not alone. Around one in seven of the population experiences problems when they decide to try to start a family, so there are many many thousands of people across the country who are feeling exactly the same way as you do about Mother’s Day.
Writer and journalist
Kate Brian is a journalist, writer and author of four books on motherhood and fertility, including The Complete Guide to IVF. Kate started writing about the patient perspective on infertility after having IVF herself.
Currently, she contributes to various types of media as an expert on fertility and writes her own blog, where she gives all the latest news and views on fertility issues, as well as useful advice and links for anyone trying to have a baby.
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