It’s one of the most difficult times of the year for anyone trying to conceive, and it’s here again. A day focused on celebrating motherhood is bound to be challenging for anyone who is longing for a family, and it’s virtually impossible to escape when every local shop seems to have jumped on the commercial bandwagon. Mother’s Day can act as a horrible reinforcement of the sense of isolation and loneliness that you may feel as more and more of those around you seem to be pregnant or new parents. It can make you feel like an outsider whose life has become cut off form those around you.
If you know anyone else who is experiencing difficulties getting pregnant or who doesn’t have children, this can be the ideal time for meeting up with them. Getting together for a day out, a trip to the cinema or sharing a meal can be a good way of reminding yourself that you are not alone. There are around 3.5 million people in the UK alone who are going through difficulties at any given time, and every one of them will be experiencing very similar feelings about Mother’s Day.
It’s important to be kind to yourself today. Why not buy yourself some flowers? Or even better, if there’s something slightly indulgent you’ve been thinking you’d rather like for some time then today is the day to treat yourself for a change.
Don’t forget it’s a challenging day for other reasons too. For anyone who no longer has their own mother around, or those who may be estranged for some reason, Mother’s Day is also a reminder of what you don’t have. If you are fortunate enough to have your own mother around, try to enjoy being a daughter this Mother’s Day too.
The patient support charity Fertility Network UK has been gathering some useful and supportive advice from others, and here are a couple of the brilliant and really helpful posts they gathered – here from Deborah Sloan and here from Katy Lindemann. And there’s a great post here from Gateway Women’s Jody Day.
Whatever you do today, remember you are not alone – and take care x
If you have read my earlier post on this, you may also be interested in listening to this short interview with me and Lesley Pyne on coping with Mother’s Day which was done by a student at Bournemouth. I have a feeling I was actually talking about Christmas at the end of the interview rather than Mother’s Day but it doesn’t really matter as the sentiments are the same! You can find it here
I got an email the other day from the supermarket I use for online shopping which was all about special offers for Mother’s Day. I was about to delete it when I noticed that the suggested purchases included chocolates, daffodils and two different brands of gin – I must admit, I’d never imagined a bottle of mother’s ruin as a traditional Mother’s Day present…
Gin aside, the email summed up the way that Mother’s Day has become such an enormous marketing opportunity and why it is so difficult to escape. You go to the corner shop on a Sunday morning to pick up the papers and find yourself faced with endless lines of Mother’s Day cards, all the bath oils and body lotions in the chemists have suddenly been re-labelled as suggested Mother’s Day gifts – and it starts to feel as if the entire world is conspiring to remind you of the one thing you want to be but aren’t.
It is hard to get away from, and it is one of the hardest times of the year for anyone experiencing fertility problems. It can make you feel horribly isolated, especially if most of your friends have children. I always think Mother’s Day is a good day to meet up with those you know who don’t have families and do something together, but this year I’d also say, don’t forget your own mother if you are fortunate enough to still have her around. My lovely mother died a few months ago, and this will be my first Mother’s Day without her – it made me realise that Mother’s Day isn’t just sad when you aren’t a mother yourself, but also when you no longer have anyone to buy a card for. So, I’d say if you are able to then maybe try to enjoy being a daughter this Mother’s Day and make the most of your own mum.