It is the most wonderful time of the year.
Well, not for everyone, really.
For those struggling with infertility, the holiday season can be an absolute nightmare. With family gatherings, pregnancy announcements, and those dreaded holiday greeting cards with pictures of young couples holding their toddlers and newborns, it might just seem like the entire world has been able to procreate except for you.
We understand that all the merriment and holiday cheer around can get too much to bear especially when you are going through such a difficult phase in your life however, we assure you that with some proactive planning and strategizing, you can easily devise an escape plan in the face of all the holiday brouhaha.
Plan ahead for events Make a list of all the events you and your partner have been invited to and evaluate each one of them to establish whether you'd be able survive the event without an emotional meltdown or not. For instance, many holiday events center around a pregnancy announcement so perhaps it's good idea to ask the host beforehand if anything of the sort would be happening. You can then possibly come late or leave early, or ideally both. That way you won't feel bad turning down the invitation yet have some sort of escape strategy planned out to tackle your own emotions.
Host your own party If you feel you cannot really control the sequence of events at somebody else's event without skipping it altogether, maybe throwing your own holiday party works better for you? Being the host you would be in charge of the content of the event, the timings, theme, guest list and most importantly by being at the helm of affairs, you can always excuse yourself out of an uncomfortable conversation by faking a catering fiasco or a dessert debacle!
It's okay to ditch last minute If you have out of peer pressure or just poor decision making RSVP'd yes to a family gathering that you actually do not want to attend, don't feel bad about ditching it at the last minute. It's okay to have conflicting opinions and it's more than okay to prioritize your mental health. If going to the event seems like a nightmare all of a sudden, forgive yourself for changing your mind. The people who matter the most won't pester you over it.
Pause your social media activity
They say not everyone's life is as perfect as Instagram claims and it can't be more true in the holiday season where everyone's in a rat race to post the most perfect-looking, insanely touched-up family picture on their profile to send you a virtual blow through your newsfeed, which is probably the last thing you want to scroll through during this time. Try to limit the amount of time you're spending on Facebook & Instagram and instead replace it with something more calming like reading a good book or cooking your favorite holiday recipe.
5. Travel One wild idea for those battling infertility is to travel during the holiday season. Since in general people like to spend the holidays at home with families, there are some insanely good deals right now that you can make use of. Travel safe though, follow all SOPs and maintain at least 6 ft of social distance from others.
6. Create your own, new holiday traditions Who said holidays have to be all about family drama? Be in control of your happiness and create your own rituals and traditions for this time of the year. You along with your partner are as much of a family as those around you with a brood of toddlers. There's nothing stopping you from hosting a fun filled Christmas themed evening or sending out that holiday post-card. It's tough but that way you don't feel compelled to follow age old traditions that end up magnifying your misery.
So this season, take the reigns of your happiness in your hands and start celebrating this joyful season with less of emotional drama and more of positivity and renewed hope.