How to cope with infertility and the holidays
For many people, the holiday season can be one of the best times of the year. Holidays usually mean time off from work, a chance to spend time with loved ones and good feelings that only come around during holidays. But for those couples who struggle with infertility, the holiday season can be something to dread. If you’ve been wanting a child for years, it can be upsetting to be around children. Beyond that, if your fertility issues are not known, it can be overwhelming to have family members ask when you’re going to be having children. CSP understands how difficult it can be. Here’s how you can cope with infertility and the holidays.
Maintaining your comfort with infertility and the holidays
The first part to surviving infertility and the holidays is to determine what you’re fine with and what will cause a problem. If you don’t feel comfortable around children because of your infertility, that’s fine. You may decline if a sibling or cousin tries to hand you a baby to hold or leaves a young child with you. You don’t have to explain unless you feel ready to share your feelings.
Alternatively, many of the parents who come to CSP for surrogacy are beyond excited for the chance to live through their siblings’ children. If that’s a good description of you, then feel free to use this time to be the best aunt or uncle that you can be. Wherever you are on the spectrum of possibilities, make sure that you’re comfortable and don’t let yourself be forced into a situation you don’t want to be in during the holidays.
Changing the subject gracefully
If you’re in a family where you’re the only one who’s married and doesn’t have children, there’s a good chance that the dreaded question is going to come up. “So, when are you going to have kids?” There’s also a good chance that you’re not ready to answer that question. But when someone is genuinely trying to be positive, you don’t want to appear rude or hurt their feelings. The best way to approach the subject is to say that you and your spouse hope it happens soon and then kindly change the subject. Unless you’re ready to discuss it with them, the less time you spend on the subject, the better.
Keeping it on your terms when facing infertility and the holidays
There’s no reason that your infertility issues have to dominate the conversation during the holidays. Many individuals won’t want to discuss the topic in detail anyway. If you don’t feel comfortable talking about it, then don’t bring it up at dinner. What’s likely to happen is that you’re going to become the center of attention for the rest of the night. What you can do instead is tell family, before the holidays begin, if you’re comfortable talking about the subject. Telling them, ahead of time, about your struggles can be helpful and allows you to set the ground rules for conversation about infertility and the holidays.
It’s OK to take a break
In some situations, there’s no getting around the elephant in the room. If you’re in a situation that is just too difficult to bear, then feel free to excuse yourself for a short break to get outside and clear your head. Sometimes, five or 10 minutes to yourself or with your spouse can make all of the difference. Once you’ve had a chance to collect your thoughts, you can rejoin the conversation.
At CSP, we understand your pain and we want to help you experience the joys of parenthood. But for the time being, we understand that you’re facing a difficult situation. We want to help you get through infertility and the holidays. By making sure to focus on you and your partner’s feelings, you can survive the holidays.