For most people Mother’s Day is a lovely time of celebration, but if you have been trying unsuccessfully for a baby and are not yet lucky enough to be a mum, it can trigger a range of painful feelings and can be a heart-breaking reminder of your lack of a family.
Understand and accept yourself
To get through this day, you need to accept that it’s OK and completely understandable for you to be feeling the way you do and that, given your situation, you are responding perfectly normally.
Accept that others may not realise just how painful this day is for you.
Some of the people around (particularly family and friends with children) may find it hard to understand just how difficult Mother’s Day can be for those struggling to have a baby.
Rather than fight against this and build up resentment towards those who lack the empathy you need, it can sometimes help simply to accept ‘what is’. Accept that those closest to you don’t mean to be insensitive or un-empathic, it’s just that they genuinely don’t get how hard it is for you. I often say if you wait for people to understand you and take care of your needs, you will wait a very long time indeed!
Think through how you can best manage the day
So, you need to take care of yourself on this challenging day and work out what is going to be the best way for you to cope. Think about it in advance and talk your fears and concerns through with your partner or a close friend. Plan how you might best manage this day and be realistic about what you can and can’t do. Try to make the day as safe for you as you possibly can. Here are some tips:
1. Make your mum’s Mother’s Day really special
Divert your attention away from your own loss and sadness at not being a mother by giving yourself over to making it a lovely day for your own mum – but in a way that makes it more manageable for you
- Make a unique home-made Mother’s Day card yourself
Rather than go into your local card shop and be faced with all those Mother’s Day cards perhaps you could make a personal home-made card for your mum. You don’t have to be a great artist – your mum will love it whatever you do. Just get creative!
- Invite your mum for afternoon tea at your house – and make it very special
If you can’t handle going to a pub or restaurant and being faced with all the other mums, families and children then invite your mum to your home – for a special breakfast or afternoon tea – and treat her like a queen.
2. If you do go out for the day think about how you can best manage it
It may be hard for some to avoid the big family gathering so you might need to think about it in advance and work on how you will cope with this highly challenging situation:
- Have a getaway plan
if your family know you have been struggling to have a baby, you could explain to them that you might be understandably sensitive and that you may not stay as long as you normally would. Enlist the help of someone you trust to explore an exit strategy that enables you to get away if it all becomes too much.
- Find ways of avoiding certain topics of conversation and divert people from particularly difficult lines of enquiry
On a day like Mother’s Day there may be a few insensitive questions about your plans to become a mother. These are like little jellyfish stings and it makes you feel uncomfortable. Remember, you don’t have to answer. You could think about having a stock phrase like “Oh I’m not thinking about me right now – it’s mum’s special day” and then divert the attention from yourself by saying something lovely about your mum.
3. If you can – simply escape from it all
If you are able to avoid Mothering Sunday and get away completely, then try and plan something as pleasurable and self-supporting as possible. Go for a long walk in the middle of the country where the chances of seeing families is reduced – and take a picnic if it’s a nice day. Or book in a spa day and luxuriate for hours in peace and tranquility. Perhaps you could go on a long car ride to somewhere interesting. Or maybe a bit of retail therapy might help – treat yourself!
One way or another you need to look after yourself, be kind to yourself and give yourself permission to have feelings you have. Although it is not like you, remember, like many others who are going through what you are, you are reacting normally. You will get through it!
Written by – Wendy Martin, BICA registered Fertility Counsellor and BCRM Treatment Support Therapist