It’s that time of year again. The bitter-sweet holidays that can make those in the TTC Community cringe. The holidays that focus on kids. The holidays that seem to bring pregnant family and friends in masses to events. The holidays that evoke get-to-know-you and how-are-you-doing type questions that often include something like “Are you pregnant yet” or “When are you going to have children.”
Well this time, the holiday is not kid focused, it’s mom focused. It’s about to be Mother’s Day. A holiday intended to love on and recognize all the mom’s out there. We all have one or at least had one if they have passed away. We may even have two or three moms when you factor in step parents, in-laws, adoptive/biological parents and even god-parents.
But what about you? You may be a mom in the making, a future mama, a mom waiting for more, or a mom of angel babies. How does that fit into the normal “Mother’s Day” celebrations?
Well, here are some practical tips for those dealing with infertility and loss on Mother’s Day:
Prepare how you will handle the questions asking if you are a mom, if you want children, when you are going to have children or even the “Happy Mother’s Day” statement from the greeter at church or clerk at the store. As you may know, this preparation can be used every single day of the year. Formulate a few “go-to” responses to questions and comments of this type. It can be as simple as a “I hope so,” “When the time is right,” or “Yes, would you believe with us in prayer for children.”
Predetermine how you will celebrate Mother’s Day. Depending on your journey and season, here are a few ideas of how you can celebrate:
A quiet day at home with your spouse
Go all out and celebrate a mom in your life
A staycation near home. Find a hotel and do something fun nearby that you have never done or something you enjoy doing
Have a volunteer day serving the homeless, pet shelter or food bank
If you have an angel baby, do something in honor or memory of them
Tackle a home or landscaping project with your spouse that you have been wanting to get done
I don’t think I need to expand too much on this, but this is a time that you should do something special for you! You may be saving for IVF or finances may be tight, but you need to do something that will refresh you. A spa day, mani and pedi, new haircut, a bath, a restaurant of your choice, a special pair of shoes or handbag.
This can be a hard one. Plant seeds in others. What does this mean? I’m sure you have heard the principle of sowing and reaping. Sow seeds of love and service in others. Focus some part of the day on others. That may be through celebrating your mom or volunteering. Or that may be by simply texting your friends who have children that are a part of your TTC Support Tribe and letting them know how thankful you are for them and how wonderful they are as a mom. If you don’t have friends or family that know about your fertility journey, this would be a perfect time to invite select people into the journey with you. That can be as simple as a text that says, “My dream is to be a mom and celebrate Mother’s Day. We have been trying, but are having a hard time. We are about to….. Would you pray for us and be a part of our support team during this difficult season?”
If you need to cry or grieve, do it— but don’t stay there all day. Use Mother’s Day as a time to refocus with your spouse where you are at on the journey, where you want to go, and what you are willing to do or not do to get there. Get yourself in the position to move forward, whether that is taking a break, trying something new, going a different route, or continuing on the path you have been going with a faith-filled and positive outlook.
With so much of the fertility journey being out of your control, these are some simple things that you can do to help you deal with what can be the extra-tough days like Mother’s Day. In all of it, try to give grace and mercy to others. If you can, expect people to not “get it.” This can help to lessen the blow of the stupid or insensitive comments. Most people aren’t intentionally being rude or insensitive, they just truly don’t know or don’t know what to say or not say. Of course, there are the occasional rude people and those that intentionally rub salt in the wound. These are not the people to be with on Mother’s Day or invite into your fertility journey.
Surround yourself with love, support, joy and peace. That will look different for everyone, but it will start with you. Be kind to yourself on Mother’s Day and every day.