It’s the most wonderful time of the year… unless you are struggling with infertility.

It seems that whatever you are going through during the holidays gets magnified. If you just got a promotion, bought your dream house, had your first child… the joy of the holidays can be magnified.

If you suffered the loss of a loved one, are dealing with a health challenge, or feel strapped financially… the holidays can magnify that pain. Families who have struggled with infertility know the holidays can be difficult to navigate. For many, another holiday season has arrived reminding them the longing to have a child has still not been fulfilled.

The best way to enjoy the holidays is to be proactive and make some plans.

  • Manage your expectations. If you know going into the holidays there may be some situations where you feel sad or uncomfortable you will not be caught off guard and can manage those situations with grace.
  • Choose events wisely. Select the events you will feel most comfortable attending. Maybe those where the presence of children and babies will be minimal.
  • Rally your support system. Have some family and friends who know what you are struggling with and who can often encouragement or a listening ear.
  • Think of others. No matter what you are going through, there is always someone who is in great need that you can help. When you help another person it blesses them and lifts your serotonin levels so you actually feel better.
  • Take a break from social media. Social media is notorious for inviting comparison. Everyone else’s life always looks more amazing when you are going through a difficult season. Part of that is because most people only post the highlight reels of their life and not the difficult or sad parts.
  • Good intentions. Most people that ask if when you will start trying to have kids, how the IVF cycle went, how the adoption process is going, etc., have good intentions. They are not trying to hurt your feelings. They are often rooting for your success. Have prepared answers for those painful questions.
  • Create your own traditions. You don’t have to wait until you have a child to create your own fun traditions. Whether it is cutting down a Christmas tree, baking together or going ice skating you can look forward to making fun memories together every year.
  • Get plenty of rest and practice self-care. Most people overdo it during the holidays. Try to get a good night’s sleep and take care of your physical health.
  • Stay hopeful. This holiday season may be a reminder that you are still struggling with infertility, however, next year you may have that beautiful little baby in your arms. Be encouraged.

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