Every year it seems like the holidays sneak up on us more quickly than the year before. For most people, the holidays are the happiest time of year but for those trying to start a family, it can feel like a painful reminder of the struggles they’re facing. Don’t let the onslaught of fertility questions this holiday season get you down. Embrace the holiday spirit and lean into your support system this year.
Defense Against the Nosy Relatives
Around the holidays you’re bound to come into contact with relatives you haven’t seen since last Christmas - relatives who aren’t intimately familiar with your situation. They’re sure to poke and prod with questions like, “When are you popping out some little ones?” or “Why haven’t you had kids yet?” These questions are irritating for your average couple but for couples with infertility troubles, it can be salt on an open wound.
To defend against their questions, prepare a list of responses that you won’t have to think much about.
When someone asks, “When will you start a family?” Respond with, “Well, we already consider ourselves to be a family. But when we’re ready to have kids, you’ll be the first to know.”
“When will you quit focusing on your career and start thinking about the important things in life, like starting a family?” You can answer a question like that with, “I don’t believe work and family to be mutually exclusive. I love my job and I’m happy with what I do. When we’re ready and the time is right, we’ll consider starting a family.”
For those relatives who think they’re medical experts with comments like, “Have you heard about this new fertility treatment? Why don’t you try that?” You can respond with, “Even though they may seem like a simple answer, fertility treatments are time-consuming and expensive. Plus, not all new experimental treatments are successful.”
Tap Into Your Support System
Before Christmas arrives, determine who you can count on to be there for you. Whether it be a close relative or friend or even a therapist you’ve been seeing. Visit them before the holidays get into full swing and let them know that you might be leaning on them a little heavier in the coming weeks.
Consider a Retreat
Instead of a holiday with the whole family, consider taking some time to be with just those closest to you for the season. Book a weekend trip to a nearby city for a full getaway or just a day at the spa for a mini-escape. The time away from the hustle and bustle of the holidays will help clear your mind and give you some clarity before having to deal with your family and their incessant questions.
Politely Decline Invites
Don’t feel that you need to accept every invite and if there is one setting that you know will make you feel uncomfortable, skip it. Self-care means taking care of your mental health, and sometimes that means saying “no” to invitations.
Don’t let the holidays get the best of you. Focus on today and enjoy the holiday cheer around you.
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