Because I’ve personally dealt with this through my experience with secondary infertility, I know what it’s like to sit through those awkward conversations during the holidays. Infertility of any kind is emotionally, mentally, and physically tough, and then add in intrusive questioning from [some] well-meaning family members, can make holiday gatherings something to dread.

Related: 10 Books to Help You Grieve Through Pregnancy and Infant Loss

If you’re currently dealing with infertility, the thought of spending time with loved ones during the holiday season may leave you feeling anxious, frustrated, and/or concerned. Nothing is quite as upsetting as hearing the same lines from people, such as, “When do you plan on starting a family?” Or in my case, “When are you going to have another one?”  And while no one should ever have to find themselves in such an uncomfortable position, it happens more often than not. Especially during the holidays when we get together with people who we don’t regularly see throughout the year.

Despite your concerns, some simple yet effective tips can help you cope during the holiday season while going through something as heartbreaking as infertility.

5 Tips for Coping with Infertility During the Holidays

Holiday gatherings for those experiencing infertility can be anxiety-inducing. Here are 5 Tips for Coping with Infertility During the Holidays

#1. Set Boundaries and Stick to Them

First things first, set boundaries. No one has the right to know anything about what you’re going through, not even your parents or siblings. You don’t have to share your experience if you don’t want to. Set boundaries now instead of dealing with awkward conversations later. If you don’t want to talk about your infertility struggles, let it be known in advance so that people you love don’t bring it up, at least not when you’re in their presence. If someone does happen to bring something up after you’ve clearly set boundaries, put them in their place. You can say, “My infertility struggles are not your business. I’ve asked you kindly not to discuss my situation. Thank you!”

#2. Do Little Things That Make You Happy

It’s easy to find yourself falling into a deep depression when you’re already struggling with infertility and are surrounded by family members with young children and babies. However, instead of allowing yourself to fall into a dark place that feels nearly impossible to escape, start focusing on doing the little things that make you happy. Even if it means going for a long walk alone or visiting the spa for a day of pampering, just do it. You deserve it! You will feel much better when you start prioritizing yourself more than you have in the past. In addition, doing these little things for yourself might even help relieve a lot of stress you’ve been experiencing.

#3. Only Vent If You Feel Comfortable Enough to Do So

If you feel comfortable venting to someone in your family, do so, but only do it if you feel comfortable. You don’t want to tell everyone your business, especially those who like to share it with others. Confide in someone you can trust that will make you feel better about your situation and what you’re going through. It can feel like such a relief to have someone willing to lend an ear as you discuss your emotions and the thoughts and feelings running through your mind.

#4. Have a Support System

Rely on your support system when you’re feeling down. It doesn’t matter the size of your support system, whether it’s just your partner or your partner and a few others, such as your sister, brother, or mother. The key to feeling less stressed and depressed over your infertility struggles is to depend more on your support system to lift you up when you’re feeling down. They’re there for you and care for you, so don’t be ashamed to reach out to them when you’re not feeling your best.

#5. Take a Stand, Even If It Means Missing Out

Don’t be afraid to take a stand. If someone in your family steps out of line and gets in your business, defend yourself and let them know that it isn’t their business. After all, you don’t have to talk about your infertility issues with anyone if you don’t want to, and you shouldn’t be made to feel bad for making such a decision. Does this mean distancing yourself from people who don’t quite get it and don’t respect the boundaries you’ve set? Yes. But it also means having more peace of mind in the long run.  Of course, this might mean missing out on family gatherings from time to time if that person you’re distancing yourself from plans to be there. However, you won’t miss out on much when distancing yourself for the right reasons. Trust me, the peace of mind is worth it!

Related: Trying to Conceive After Experiencing a Miscarriage

Coping with infertility during the holiday season is a challenge for many women and couples. If you’re feeling down in the dumps, try some of these tips to help you cope and get through the season to the best of your ability. And remember – you need to put yourself first, even if that means avoiding certain people or missing out on some gatherings for the sake of your mental health and well-being.

Tips for Coping with Infertility During the Holidays

Kim S. on FacebookKim S. on InstagramKim S. on LinkedinKim S. on PinterestKim S. on Twitter
Kim S.
Kim is a 30-something-year-old wife and do-it-all mom of two beautiful daughters; her rainbow babies. Kim uses Beauty and the Bump NYC, to share her perspective about the things that she loves most and finds beautiful: family, travel, cars, food, and more. As a contributor to A Girl’s Guide to Cars, Kim shares her love for cars through providing helpful tips and car reviews from the perspective of a modern working mom.