04 May Facing Mother’s Day During Infertility Treatments
Women and couples facing fertility treatments can have a tough time over the holidays. Each one focuses on family, which is a beautiful thing, but that can be painful when you are surrounded by children and other family members’ pregnant bellies.
5 Ideas to Honor Yourself on Mother’s Day
Mother’s Day can be especially tricky because your deepest desire is to be the mother that another little human celebrates. If the traditional Mother’s Day gatherings feel like a bit too much this year, we encourage you to honor that feeling and find new ways to approach the day.
1. Women and mother’s only lunch or dinner
Let’s face it, mothers have had their fill of children this year as a result of the pandemic’s continued distance learning. As much as they love to be honored by their little cherubs, many mothers with young children may feel the best way to honor this Mother’s Day is to have some time to themselves or in a child-free setting.
Here’s a quip that many mothers would resonate with from an article on todaysparent.com – – – and it was written before distance learning was invented.
I’ve given it some extra thought this year, and if I’m being completely honest with myself, what I really want for Mother’s Day is time alone. And I’m not talking an hour or two. I’m thinking three, maybe four hours solo, sans kiddos or husband.
Take a poll and see if any of your mother/stepmothers/mother-in-law, sisters and/or friends are up for an adult-only Mother’s Day brunch, dinner, hike, or whatever. Make kids an off-limit topic so all the women can honor who they are outside the realm of motherhood, freeing you up from some of that heaviness.
2. Plan a girls’ getaway weekend
Have friends who have chosen not to have children or who don’t have them yet? Maybe this is the perfect weekend to schedule a girls getaway weekend – even if it’s somewhere nearby. You’d be amazed what a weekend in an Airbnb or VRBO with a hot tub and view can do to restore the soul.
Women who don’t have children or chose not to have them can be wary of the “kid-focused” conversation that takes over their friends’ lives. This weekend may be the ideal time to reconnect with them.
3. Plan a couples getaway weekend
If there’s one thing we’ve learned about fertility treatments is that they aren’t the best way to keep the romance alive in a relationship. This might be a good year to bow out of the traditional Mother’s Day brunch or events. Speak to your mom about your dilemma and come up with a special way to honor her. Then, switch gears and use the weekend to get away (or enjoy a free Staycation) with your partner. Rekindle the romance, connection, and intimacy you may feel is waning as the result of your journey.
4. Plan a solo getaway weekend
Again, your feelings are 100% perfectly normal. Others may not understand it, but it’s not your job to educate them. In fact, we just wrapped up National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) and one of our favorite resources they offer is this one: 25 Things to Say (and Not to Say) to Someone Living with Infertility, which you should feel free to share with family and friends who seem to be less sensitive to your situation.
It’s your job to be You, and it’s okay if that means that for this moment in time you need to forgo the traditional celebrations. Maybe what you need more than anything else is to go on a personal retreat/getaway where you can spend the time in any way you so choose (you may want to spend part of it on #5). Of course, you can let your mother know ahead of time and then create an altar, collage, or memory table in honor of her and/or your maternal lineage. Then, send her a picture to let her know she is in your heart.
5. Honor your Mother’s Day grief
There are so many layers of grief involved with fertility treatments. It begins when you receive an official diagnosis, where you must say farewell to the dream of getting pregnant “like everybody else does.” That grief compounds if you experience failed fertility treatments or repeat miscarriages. Those are just a few of the reasons we recommend that women and couples coping with infertility find a fertility counselor they can trust.
If you aren’t finding a way to process those emotions and regularly let them out, they are only making things worse. Just as brokenhearted people find it helpful to wallow in the angst of sappy love songs to help themselves “cry it out,” this might be the year you use the catalyst of Mother’s Day to really sink into the depth of your sadness and grief. Scream, cry, journal like crazy, and leave no holds barred as you let the feelings move through you.
The dedicated team of fertility specialists and staff at the Fertility Center of Dallas honor you and your passion for motherhood. We will do all we can to help you celebrate Mother’s Day the way you wish for it to be.