Mother’s Day is meant to be a time for appreciating and treasuring the relationships between mothers and their children.
However, Mother’s Day can also highlight the emptiness some may feel if they are in the midst of infertility.
With glaring reminders on social media and ads for the “perfect gift for mom,” it is hard to not to feel hurt and maybe even a little jealous. Infertility has far-reaching effects, even going as far to alter one’s relationship with others. Women may avoid baby showers, children’s birthday parties, or even just spending time with a pregnant family member or friend, because they desperately want a child and it hurts.
Sometimes, as a result, friendships may be lost.
Nobody wishes upon that upon themselves, or their friends. Here are some tips that you can use to reach out to friends this Mother’s Day who are facing infertility.
1. Let them know you are there. Even if you have done so a thousand times before, remind them you are there if they wish to talk through their thoughts and feelings. Even if they do not take you up on the offer, it is comforting to them to know someone is there.
2. Listen. If your friend opens up to you about their desire for a baby or their apprehension about Mother’s Day, do not offer up advice or start talking about yourself. Listen, sympathize, and allow them to open up.
3. Acknowledge their experience. You might not know how your friend feels, but acknowledge that Mother’s Day is painful for them. This can be helpful, as they are probably hurt and may not truly understand what they are feeling.
4. Be sensitive and sympathetic. You are allowed to be excited about your pregnancy, but share that excitement intentionally. Give your friend the news in a way where they are not bombarded or surprised, and where they can safely express their emotions.
5. Plan an adults-only activity. Plan a fancy dinner, a spa day, stream a new movie while drinking wine, or just simply meet up at the gym. A childfree activity is good for everyone occasionally!
6. Offer to spend the day with them. If you are able, invite them to your Mother’s Day celebration. If they prefer to be alone, let them. They know what is best for them.
If you are facing infertility this Mother’s Day, you can read our blog Another Childless Mother’s Day. Many who have faced infertility were able to build their families through embryo adoption! To learn more about embryo donation and adoption, visit EmbryoAdoption.org