A Survival Plan for the Holidays

When you think of the holiday season, what comes to mind? Family gatherings. Great food. Seeing friends and family. Reminiscing about holidays and times past.

But when you’re struggling to get pregnant, holidays mean being surrounded by kids and conversations about kids, and being asked, again and again, when you are going to have them.

These conflicting feelings can make holidays tough for those struggling to conceive. You have 2 related goals during the upcoming holiday season: to experience the positive, joyful parts of the celebrations and festivities and to avoid as many of the painful moments as possible.

Achieving these goals requires that you create a plan in advance. So, as you bake your pumpkin pie and wrap your gifts, spend some time coming up with your holiday survival plan.

A holiday survival checklist for when you’re trying to have a baby

  1. Take especially good care of yourself during this time of year. Get enough sleep and enjoy the holiday foods and drinks.
  2. Look back at last year and determine what part of the holiday was the hardest. What may have upset you? Make a plan for how you are going to handle those situations this year. Avoid them entirely? Limit your time?
  3. Talk to your parents, a close friend, or in-laws about how the holidays feel for you. Say up front that it isn’t their fault and they didn’t make you feel this way. For example, you could say something like, “I find it hard when the conversation is always about the grandkids.”
  4. Consider changing the way you celebrate the holidays this year. Go camping or to Portland or Paris for the weekend. Go out to dinner with friends rather than doing the big family celebration. Join your family for dinner after the holiday.
  5. Volunteer on the day of the holiday itself (serving meals at a homeless shelter or playing bingo at a nursing home). If your work needs people over the holiday, sign up to cover the time. It’s a kind gesture, and hopefully your coworkers and boss will take notice. If you are lucky, they will remember it the next time you ask for a favor.
  6. Plan something that you are particularly looking forward to. A mani-pedi followed by a massage or dinner at an exclusive restaurant you’ve wanted to try.
  7. Make a date to see your siblings away from their children that will allow time for a more meaningful visit.
  8. If you know you might react badly when under stress, decide in advance how you want to behave. Tell someone (husband, parents, sister, etc) who can help hold you accountable for controlling your emotions.
  9. Make sure you incorporate the events that are meaningful or joyful to you into your plans. Do not let your fertility challenges stop you.