Holidays can always be tough when we are dealing with infertility. Many holidays revolve around families and children. So for those of us without kids those holidays can just plain suck. As I was surfing through the net reading about different ways we can cope through the holidays my focus was primarily on Mother’s Day which is (no pun intended) the mother of all holidays for the infertile – so you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that we now have our very own holiday which is :
National Infertility Survival Day.
National Infertility Survival Day is holiday was founded by Beverly Barna who is an author, marketing executive and columnist. Beverley celebrates annually on the first Sunday in May to raise infertility and related issues as well as celebrate all the effort, work, blood, sweat and tears infertile individuals and couples put forth trying to have a baby. Beverly’s focus is on celebrating what we do have now at present, taking care of ourselves, and loving our friends. It’s also a day for our friends and family to rally around us, lift our spirits, and just be there for us.
Some might wonder why the heck we even need a “survival day”, well as wonderful and fulfilling mother’s day is for you Mom’s we infertile gals have a tough time. It’s incredibly painful, sad, and it can make a lot of us angry. I always felt left out – kind of like the kid who’s picked last for “red rover” over and over again. I also felt like Mother’s day was a time when all of my failures, (negative cycles and miscarriages) all came home to roost. It was awful.
Now granted I discovered this holiday AFTER the fact – it’s still nice to know that I have it on my calendar for NEXT YEAR and believe me I have lots of plans for this day – it’s going to be a time when instead of focusing on loss I am going to focus on strengths and give thanks for what I do have.
So let’s talk about Mother’s Day – For many of you who have children this day is a reminder of what the day is honoring which is you! We too honor you because we know how hard you have struggled. However, for those of you who aren’t there yet and haven’t had our children please understand if we don’t want to come to the Mother’s Day BBQ, picnic, lunch, dinner or ice cream social. We also might skip church that day because the message nine times out of ten is going to be all about moms.
And just because Mother’s Day is an American holiday it’s wide spread enough that our sisters all over the world can see, will see, and feel the effects of this Hallmark holiday.
RESOLVE has a great article about coping with Mother’s Day . It’s from their community and it’s real advice from real women who are facing infertility, it’s a great read.
It’s important that on this day of all days not to forget about your physical self-care. Yes, it’s okay to stay in bed longer than normal but do try to get out and walk a bit today. Even if it’s only 15 minutes, just get some fresh air. If you are a Yoga person do a bit of yoga, it helps with stress, and emotions and it’s just great for you.
Don’t forget about the eating part – if you want to indulge today, go for it, but remember to eat fresh fruits, fresh vegetables and things that are good for you. You know, good wine, great dark chocolate etc… And because it’s Mother’s Day you might want to forgo the zoo, the movies, restaurants (at least at lunch) and head for the beach, go on a hike, a bike ride? Some place that will remove you from all hubbub surrounding Mother’s Day.
I always made it clear with my family that I probably wasn’t going to be around long on that day and I kept true to my word. I wanted to honor my own mom but I just couldn’t deal with tons of kids on that day. So I made my appearance and then went to be with friends who were childless like me. My friends were and are always warm and caring and it was good to hang out and be with others like me. Back in those days I tried to defocus myself from Mother’s Day.
Spiritually was the hardest part for me. I couldn’t never understand why some people were “blessed with kids” and I wasn’t. I worked hard finding a way to address what I was going through without placing blame on me or G*d. I would usually light a candle for myself, say a special prayer. This recognized my own mom as well. To be honest I can’t say honestly I found a purpose in what I was experiencing but I accepted it and acceptance helped me greatly.
The message is do what you need to do to protect and care for yourself. Don’t let this day break your heart. But know that your family, friends and especially the inner you know how amazing and wonderful you are.
The best news is that Mother’s Day is only for one day – and tomorrow is another day.