The holidays can be a particularly sensitive time when you’re trying to grow your family and cope with infertility because it’s a time for family and connection. Below are 5 suggestions on how to stay positive and the enjoy the holidays as you learn better how to cope with infertility during the holidays.
All bedroom details linked HERE | Blanket: Nordstrom | Harris’ pants (my favorites!): Target or Target here | Similar Christmas tree: here, here or here | My sweater: Similar here and here | My earrings: Nordstrom | My slippers: UGG, similar here
How to Cope with Infertility During the Holidays:
One of the common emails and messages I get is, “How did you stay positive during your infertility struggle?” It’s such a good question, and my answer applies to every struggle in life I think, not just to those that struggle with infertility. We ALL have trials. You can read this list of things I make sure to do every day, things I know will make me feel my best; I think it will benefit you no matter who are you.
I like to view my struggles in life AS my life, not a disturbance to my life. I think it’s easy to look at a trial as something that is getting in the way of your life, but it’s not. It IS your life. We are here to struggle and to learn from those challenges. I have grown and become so.much.better because of my struggles in this life. I like to look at them as ways to grow. It’s like building a muscle…your soul doesn’t get bigger until it’s pushed and pulled and stretched. I can honestly say that when I look back on my years of infertility, I don’t have one regret. I truly lived in those years and milked those day for all they were worth. I didn’t waste them away wishing for good days ahead. In those moments, I thought to myself, “I don’t want to look back on my life and realize that I wasted those years by living in the future.” I am so glad that I had that perspective because even though I was going through something really, really hard, I knew that I wouldn’t have regrets. And I don’t.
The holidays are a time for family, so when you are struggling to start a family with your spouse, or add another baby as you experience secondary infertility, it can be feel like a really sensitive time. Here is how to cope with infertility during the holidays, and make it a good experience:
- Look outside yourself. When I am feeling low, it’s because I am very focused on my own problems. No matter what I’m dealing with, it always helps to give service to others because it takes the focus off of my problems and turns that focus into gratitude. Gratitude heals. Bake cookies for your neighbor (or buy them from a store…ain’t nobody judging you!). Call a local senior citizen’s home to see what their residents need; it can be a lonely time for them at this time of year. Make dinner for a member of your church who could use a smile. Doing service brings a peace that is hard to find anywhere else.
- When I worked in software, we had a sales trainer that would give a gratitude lesson each year during Thanksgiving. He taught us about the law of occupied space. When you are thinking a positive, grateful thought, you cannot simultaneously be thinking of negative, draining thought in that exact moment. It’s not possible. You can switch back and forth from positive to negative, but you can’t think of them both at the same time. Fill your life with positive thoughts! One way in doing this is to sit down (right now), and make a list of 5 things are you are grateful for. What are you excited about? Who loves you? What does it feel like to be in a nice, warm home?
- Do activities that will be harder to do when you have a baby. Tyler and I both bought dirt bikes during the summer after our 3 failed IUI’s and 2 failed round of IVF. I had never dirt biked in my whole life, but I bought a freaking dirt bike! We would go out almost every weekend and dirt bike with each other. He is really good at it, and I would be much slower, but we had fun. Guess how many times I have gone dirt biking since the babies were born? Not once. Well, once. For 10 minutes in the back of the house we were staying in on vacation. We saw a movie almost every single weekend. We LOVED our life then. And we love it now with our miracle twins.
- Stop taking yourself too seriously. Laugh!! Have fun. Play. Go out with your friends. Play some jokes on your spouse. Build a snowman. This advice applies to me SO much in my day to day struggles because when I’m too serious and take myself and my life too seriously, it feels heavy and hard. When I lighten up and remember that I am meant to feel JOY (YES, even in your trials!!), I feel happier. What’s taking yourself too seriously going to benefit? Nothing. Literally nothing. You’re just going to feel like crap.
- Look for the magic. Once of my favorite quotes of all time is from Roald Dahl. He said, “Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” Believe in the magic! Remember when you were a kid, and you felt that spark of magic when you thought about Santa Claus? Believe in miracles, because they are all around you. Take yourself back to being a kid. Go look at the Christmas lights. Hold hands with your spouse. Look up at the stars. Drink hot chocolate. Let your eyes sparkle a little. Believe.
I hope these ideas on how to cope with infertility during the holidays help. We all have struggles. If you weren’t going through infertility, it would be something else. No one escapes hard times in life. That’s part of being a human. I think the key is to embrace what you are going through and realize that this IS YOUR LIFE. What’s the good?
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