Here we go. The holidays are on our doorstep. Another year of turkey and parties and twinkle lights but you’re still not sharing it with tiny fingers and toes like you hoped you would be. I see you. I’m with you. And I have one thing to say to you. For us. Lovely woman, take care of yourself.
Each holiday season can look different from year to year for us, depending on where we are emotionally. There are the dark years when it takes every effort to get dressed up for that party and even more effort to not cry as the group chatters away about their holiday family things. There are the bright years when joy is found in softly falling snow and contentment around the tree with your husband and your cat. But in all the years, it’s easy to let yourself be swept up in other people’s agendas and expectations. Sometimes it can feel like pressure to be happy because it’s the happiest season. It can feel like pressure to attend all the things because there are no kids bedtimes or baby schedules. It can feel like pressure to be okay because it seems like nobody really wants to help you through the ugly stuff. All that pressure on top of feeling sad and lonely and angry and envious and forgotten and empty and frustrated with yourself because it’s the happiest darn time of the year and why can’t I JUST BE HAPPY!!!
Wherever you are this year, it’s okay to be there. It’s okay to say no to things that sap you of your energy. It’s okay to skip that party. It’s okay to have more evenings in your pjs, watching White Christmas for the fifth time. It’s also okay to don the red dress and go to the party! Living with infertility is a hard thing. Those that haven’t won’t understand and we can’t expect them to. Whatever choices you make this year, make sure they’re choices that are giving you life. YOU. You beautiful wonderful woman who probably feels broken and incomplete. Make choices for you this season. Find the cracks of light in the dark places. Create moments that will be ones you want to remember.
This is my seventh childless holiday season. If you are a regular reader, you might remember the very hard fertility related news we were dealt this past year. And I’m not going to lie, I’ve dealt with some mild depression on and off since then. So I’m on a journey to a better holiday season. Questioning all the things we do and if we do them out of obligation. Some of them are life giving and joy filling things. Others are not. And I’m learning how to gracefully discern what those are.
But one thing is for darn sure and certain. If you, not yet mama, find yourself needing a friend, somebody to talk to or cry on or even just sit with in front of a tree, I’m always here. My door is open and the coffee will be hot and pepperminty. I will talk to you about cookies I want to try making and how my cat is doing and that one Christmas project I’ve always wanted to try and we don’t even have to talk about babies if you don’t want to. Come over. I’m here.
P.S. If you’re reading this thinking “I have a friend…” please don’t sit idle! Here are some things you can do for her!