It’s that time of year again

images-1When you’re trying to get pregnant, you can start to feel like Scrooge as Christmas approaches; there are the endless adverts with glowingly happy families every time you switch on the TV, the jam packed shopping streets, the decorated trees and father Christmas figures everywhere. It can all seem like a particularly sharp reminder of what you don’t have – and of course, underneath the layers of commercialism, Christmas is meant to be the celebration of a very special birth.

You will find lots of advice on how to cope at Christmas, but I think perhaps the most important thing to do is to accept that it’s not a time of year when coping is easy – and to ensure that you do all that you can to look after yourself. If you want to escape the whole thing, that doesn’t mean you’re turning into some unpleasant Dickens character, it means you’re being realistic about what you can and can’t cope with.

There is no obligation to go along to traditional family Christmas events just because it’s what you always do if you think they are going to upset you. It’s fine to decide that actually you’d like to celebrate in your own way and do something completely different whether that’s a Christmas holiday in the Bahamas (yes, I wish too…), a trip out to the countryside, pizza for two at home for Christmas lunch or an all-day long scrabble contest.  It really is up to you what you want to do, and you don’t need anyone’s blessing to decide that you’re going to branch out on your own and do something completely different, something that will make you happy and that you will enjoy – be brave – and have fun!

8 thoughts on “It’s that time of year again

  1. Good stuff Kate. So important for people not to feel pressured into doing stuff that makes them uncomfortable or upset. The problem, however, is often other people – both family and friends – who just don’t understand.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to comment Olivia. It’s absolutely true that sometimes friends and family don’t understand, but too often couples with fertility problems feel that they can’t acknowledge their own needs and that they need to apologise for the way they feel or do things that they know they will find really upsetting.

    It’s all part of the way our society tends to see infertility, not recognising the huge impact it has on lives, and I think it’s time we were far more proactive about changing that. There are 3.5 million people out there in the UK alone dealing with fertility problems this Christmas and if they were able to say how they felt, it would start to make a huge difference!

  3. Thank you Kate – I couldn’t agree more. I used to start dreading Christmas in about mid-October, not only because of all the “family” stuff and spending time with everyone else’s kids but also because each year it felt like another milestone signifying failure. I am very fortunate to have got there in the end, but I still remember very well how hard this time of year is for so many people.

  4. Personally the thought of having Christmas at home with just the two of us would have been awful and a reminder that we were without children! Being with my family or the inlaws was a good distraction. I was selective about which events to attend in the run-up to the big day and avoided as many as possible which involved lots of children being there. People should be able to do what they feel is best without judgement. Childlessness is a desperate state to be in and I feel very lucky and honoured to have become a mum eventually.

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