Throughout the year we are faced with stark reminders of fertility struggles, whether it be a family holiday period such as Xmas or Easter or a significant day to celebrate being a father or a mother.
Mother’s Day can be a joyous and beautiful occasion for some, but it can also be an extremely hard time for some patients. It can be a heartbreaking reminder to those who are struggling with fertility or have experienced a pregnancy loss.
While there is no way to stop the clock or skip the day altogether, we can offer some suggestions for how you choose to spend this time and provide some helpful strategies that may help you cope.
1. Take a digital break
Taking a break from social media can be greatly beneficial to your headspace during this time. In the lead up, you will more than likely come across Mother’s Day cards, gift guides and advertisements.
At the rate the world is traveling, the lead up could be as early as March in some stores. While there is nothing you can physically do to avoid seeing this, other than to steer clear of the shops altogether, there’s no reason why you can’t escape it online.
It’s important to remain proactive during this time and as such, taking that step to turn off social media for a few days and removing yourself from situations you may find challenging is essential for your mental health during this time.
2. Remember you are not alone
Infertility can often make you feel isolated and alone, especially when you are surrounded by friends and family who seem to fall pregnant so easily.
Times of the year such as Mother’s Day can make you feel even more isolated, however it’s important to understand and know that you are not alone in this difficult journey. One in six couples will experience infertility problems in their lifetime and there will be many others who will be feeling the same as you today.
Speaking to one of your highly qualified counsellors, joining a supportive online fertility community or even taking the time to speak to a compassionate friend of family member may help you to feel more connected and understood.
3. It’s ok to not be ok
During this time, you may struggle and feel sad, and that’s completely okay. You may feel resentful, angry, frustrated and these feelings are completely normal. It’s important to acknowledge that no one expects you to pretend you’re not hurting or that you’re not struggling.
You might feel that reaching out to someone for support may help, you may also feel that curling up under the doona and binge watching something to take your mind off the day also helps. It’s okay to reach out, it’s okay to cry and it’s okay if you want to switch off for the day and spend it by yourself. Regardless of how you spend the day, please remember that your mental health is important.
For more tips and advice, consider making an appointment to speak to one of Fertility First’s counsellors. Alternatively, for more information and advice about infertility, and the availability of support services, check out Access Australia.
4. Empowerment and Mindfulness
One significant part of the fertility journey that many struggle with is the loss of control.
While many of us feel in control of our daily lives, whether that be work, your daily activities and friendship groups, facing the prospect of having this power taken away from you as you embark on your fertility journey can be unsettling.
How can you overcome this? Reclaiming your sense of empowerment can be as simple as doing what you want that day rather than fulfilling the expectations of others. It is important to own your day and give yourself permission to be kind to yourself.