You’re infertile and it’s the holidays. I feel for you! I like to call it The Holiday Heart Ache, because that’s how it feels. But it doesn’t have to be as bad as you fear. Believe it or not, there are things to make it tolerable at the very least. Lean on your spouse, shop online and don’t go to any parties you don’t want to.
Skip the stores filled with children, babies and blooming bellies altogether by doing the majority of your shopping online. Most every major retailer has a website and anything else you can buy on Amazon, and save yourself some shipping by doing the bulk of your shopping at one place. For the rest of your shopping list, get gift cards! You don’t even have to go into every store anymore, all you need to do is visit your nearest grocery store or drug store and they are bound to have lots to choose from.
Hide the Christmas Cards
You are bound to get Christmas cards from every person you have come into contact with in the last couple decades. And these aren’t cute text-only cards, no way. There will be a full-sized color photo of their children in cute little Christmas outfits that make your heart break right in two. Instead of hanging them on the fridge or mantle, place them in a bowl or basket on a table you don’t walk past very often. That way you feel good for not throwing them directly into the trash, and you don’t have to be reminded of the photo you don’t have every time you go for a glass of eggnog (or Vodka).
Do your own Christmas Card
Just because you don’t have kids, doesn’t mean you can’t do a holiday card! Get a good picture of your family, whether it is your husband and you, or the pets too! My pets feel like children, so I’m sure yours do too. Include this picture in the holiday cards you send out, with a little blurb about how you’re just loving Christmas.
Get your Pets involved
If it makes you sad to see just two lonely stockings, then add some for your pets too! Fill them with treats, dog bones and toys. Buy them a few new things like beds or cat scratchers, wrap them and put them under the tree. My dog loves opening presents, she tears the paper open just like a little kid.
Have a good Cry
There is nothing wrong with letting the sadness take you, in fact it’s better if you do. Pushing feelings aside and pretending everything is perfectly fine with infertility, will only make it worse in the long run. Infertility is sad, and it is heart breaking. Absorb those feelings and let yourself be sad over them. You deserve as many tears as you want to shed, so have a good cry whether it makes you feel better or not.
Decorate for the Holidays
One of the best distractions for me around this time of year, is to decorate! I absolutely love it. I like to go with themes as well, it adds even more fun to it. For instance this year I am doing Glitz and Glam where all of my Christmas decorations are black, white, silver and gold. Everything sparkles and it’s a lot of fun!
I also want to mention here that another good tip is to avoid the child-like Christmas decorations. Yes Santa, Reindeer, Elves and Snowmen are super cute, but when you don’t have kids around to truly enjoy them, it’s harder to decorate with them. Why not have a more sophisticated Christmas?
Have a Formal Dinner Party
No doubt you have been invited to at least a handful of holiday parties where kids are the center of attention. Why not throw your own adults-only holiday party? Host a formal dinner party with pretty custom-made invitations and your best china. Mention that children are not allowed, and have a lot of wine!
Just Say No
You don’t have to attend every Christmas party you’re invited to, contrary to your Mother’s belief. If it’s too hard for you to attend, then don’t! Whether you make an excuse (cough, cough) or just tell them straight out you can’t handle another function surrounded by children, don’t go if it makes it easier for you. Just knowing you can’t get pregnant, and don’t know if you ever will be able to is bad enough without adding guilt to it. Say No and move on.
Handling Christmas Dinner
If you couldn’t get out of Christmas dinner without offering a doctor’s note to explain your absence, then try your best to avoid all things baby. If your pregnant cousin starts to let everyone feel the baby kick, walk out of the room. If your Aunt loves to ask you when it’s your turn, nod and smile until she gets confused and talks to someone else. And when your Mother gives you the evil eye because you’re being anti-social, don’t be afraid to pull her aside and explain that it took everything you have to make it to this party, you’re doing your best.
During the last holiday function I attended, my cousin brought his baby along. Somehow the baby got passed to me, as if since I’m infertile I must be dying to hold a baby like it was the same thing. There wasn’t much I could do in that situation, and sometimes you just have to grin and bear it. Hopefully if you’re lucky, the situation won’t arise.
Quality Time with your Spouse/Partner
Just because you’re infertile now doesn’t mean you will never have children in the house. Take advantage of this alone time with your spouse and spend moments together as much as you can. Cook together, do the Christmas shopping together, laugh together and cry together. These are the times when you need the only other person you know who understands exactly how you feel. Embrace that.