Mother’s Day celebrates the unique relationship between a mother and her children.
For those struggling with infertility, Mother’s Day can be painful, isolating and exhausting. At IVI London, we care for patients every day who are going through this experience. Although we cannot begin to understand how you are feeling, we wanted to offer some things that might help.
Try your best to prepare for the day in advance.
Think about how you want to spend the weekend: focus on doing the things you enjoy and make you feel good. If you’ve made plans with others, it can be best to keep these plans tentative, so you have the option of sitting out the weekend if you are feeling emotionally drained. The most important thing to remember is that you are allowed to cope in whichever way that feels healthiest and most natural to you.
If you need to excuse yourself from a family event, that’s okay.
If you don’t feel like participating at a family event, there’s no need to feel guilty. If it helps you to skip the annual Mother’s Day brunch, trust in how you feel and communicate this calmly to your family. It can be very tough to do this, especially to loved ones who haven’t experienced infertility, but it will help them be more sensitive to your emotions, show understanding and give you support.
Alternatively, surround yourself with friends and family – if it helps you.
On the other hand, some women find having their loved ones around them is all they need to get through the day. If you can, you might find it helps to focus your attention on your mother and plan celebrations that show your appreciation for her. This can relieve some of the negative emotions that you have associated with Mother’s Day and foster a more positive mindset which is disconnected from your fertility journey.
Have a change of scenery.
Spending time way from your normal surroundings, like taking a city break or a weekend spa retreat, can help you keep your mind distracted on unfamiliar sights and sounds. It is also important to remember that different countries celebrate Mother’s Day on different days throughout the year. Coincidently, the UK is the only country in Europe to celebrate Mother’s Day in March. If you want to take a breather from the visible reminders in shops and supermarkets, it is worth keeping in mind that a trip abroad can offer this.
Be kind to yourself.
When struggling with infertility, there’s a tendency to minimise your emotions. The most important thing is to show yourself some compassion. When you experience fertility problems, it can come as a devastating and life-changing event. Your emotions are valid every day, including Mother’s Day. However you choose to spend your day, be empathetic to yourself and your needs.
Reach out to those who are in a similar position.
Many people struggling with infertility, both women and couples, attest to the profound benefits of community. With the help of modern day social media, there are thousands of active support networks available for those who are struggling where they can share experiences and hear from like-minded individuals who can offer guidance and support. Likewise, do you know someone who might be experiencing a similar issue? Let them know you’re thinking of them. Helping others not only makes you feel better, but it can also help distract you.
If it isn’t you but a loved one who is struggling, try to be as understanding as possible.
It might be that it is your partner, relative or close friend is suffering. There are things you can do to help. It may be difficult to broach the subject, but it is worth offering them an outlet and a listening ear if they need it. Just being there to listen can be a great help.
If they haven’t discussed it with you before, it might be best to avoid asking questions and instead, show that you care through kind words or thoughtful actions. It’s not always necessary to give advice, even when your intentions are in the right place.
You can also invite them to participate in unrelated activities. Make some adult-only plans, like going to the cinema, attending a gym class together, or taking them out for a nice meal.
The most important thing you can do is to be sensitive to their situation. You don’t always know what they are going through, so be mindful when asking questions.
The message from IVI on Mother’s Day is that if you are suffering from infertility, don’t be so hard on yourself. Infertility isn’t your fault, and there is plenty of support available.
IVI London has a team of dedicated in-house counsellors to help our patients through their fertility journeys. Today, we honour our patients’ drive and commitment and dedication to achieve their dream of having, or adding to, a family. We’re on on this journey with you. If you want to visit one of our counsellors, please reach out to us.