Mother’s Day can be a very emotional day for women struggling with fertility issues. Pamela Mahoney Tsigdinos’book, Silent Sorority, described how women who are trying to conceive feel around Mother’s Day as isolated, invisible and marginalized. The irony is that Anna Jarvis, who founded Mother’s Day as a spiritual day of celebration to honor the love and care that women provide every day, actually condemned the commercialization of the holiday. So when you are surrounded by Mother’s Day paraphernalia in the shopping mall or advertisements reminding you to send your mother flowers, cards or take her to a champagne brunch, remember the celebration is about the success of conception, it is about love.
In order to overcome your feelings of failure, disappointment or inadequacy, try these suggestions to prepare for Mother’s Day:
1. Skip the Obligation. Mother’s Day celebrations are usually filled with mothers and babies, so it’s okay to pass this year. Why not plan adults only weekend with your partner to rekindle the romance or choose to spend the day alone, surrounded by scenic beauty?
2. Be Proactive Not Reactive: If you plan to attend the Mother’s Day Celebration, prepare yourself in advance for questions and/or for any potential pregnancy announcements. Take the time to educate your closest friends and family members about your emotional fragility on this holiday. Remember they care about you and are looking for ways to support you.
3. Own the Day. Make Mother’s Day a day to spoil you, by getting a massage or taking the entire day to relax and do nothing. Remember your partner is probably going through the same frustrations, so why not schedule a couple’s massage?
4. Celebrate the Love. Make this day a celebration of your mother and the women who have had a positive impact on your life. Try to take the focus off your personal journey and realize that motherhood is universal. If you can, spend the day focusing on the children in your life and let yourself feel their joy.
5. Love yourself. Give yourself the right to feel. It is normal to feel sad, frustrated or emotionally exhausted from the all the ups and downs of the fertility journey. Remember you are not alone so if you are really feeling down, schedule a meeting with an infertility support group or seek individual counseling. Remember to be patient and kind to yourself.