It’s that time of year again! That time of year where people send you these cheerful cards with pictures of their cute families and tiny new additions, wishing you “peace, love, and joy.” And each time you receive one, you tear it into tiny pieces and scream as loudly as you can, into a pillow, “I f*cking hate you and your cute family!” It’s also the time of year where you find yourself at a party with Aunt Betsy, yet again. You see the question coming, you start to sweat, your mind starts racing, and you try to think of an excuse as quickly as you can. Then she asks, “So, when are you going to have kids?” You think about running, or maybe punching her in the face, but you quickly go “well, I have a dog. Doesn’t that count?”
Looking back, I remember the first holiday season while we were TTC very fondly, and every subsequent one afterward, until recently, not so fondly. The first year I thoroughly enjoyed receiving greeting cards from our close friends and family. You know the kind – there’s a large family picture on the front with someone holding an infant that says, “Happy Holidays! Wishing You & Your Family a Wonderful…” Like many families with the tradition of displaying holiday cards on their fireplace mantle or another prominent location in their house, I happily displayed them on our fridge so everyone could see them. Fast forward a year later...
I became upset when the picture cards started to arrive. They reminded me of what I still didn’t have a year and a half into trying to conceive. By this time, we were about to have our first appointment with a reproductive endocrinologist. We had no idea what our diagnosis might be. All I knew was that the cards pissed me off, they brought tears to my eyes. So what did I do? I could tell when they were photo cards and who they came from, so I eventually stopped opening them. Instead, I threw them away. The reminder too unbearable to face. Each subsequent year was equally hard, and yet the pain started to fade away with time.
You might think things that you don’t really mean (though sometimes you do), but you’re upset and angry, and you have every right to be. If there’s a possibility of physically or verbally hurting someone, take a few minutes to develop a strategy to help you not just survive, but thrive this holiday season. Give yourself the advantage by signing up for our newsletter here and receive a free copy of our Love, Peace, & Infertility: A Holiday Survival Guide. This guide gives you 12+ tips and tricks on how to treat yourself as well as how to survive those awkward social situations.