This year is my sixth Christmas season without a baby. Each year, I’ve let myself fantasize just a little bit about how next year I might be snuggled on the couch with a little one, watching their fascination with our big glowing tree. And here we are yet again. Christmas for two. It always stings a little bit. Some days more than a little bit.
This season is one of the hardest to be struggling with infertility. Christmas is made for families. It’s taken me a long time to get use to Christmas for two. Some days, I feel forgotten and lonely because everyone is so busy doing Christmas with their families. And I’m not in the kids club. It’s easy to do when the calendar is full and the kids are wanting to do all the Christmas things. But while you’re grumbling inside while you clean up the icing and sprinkles mess or downing another cup of coffee to get through the third recital or despairing over the bare tree while nursing an infant, try to remember that there is most likely someone you know who would give anything to be in your shoes. Here are a few ways that you can help your friend’s holiday season be a little sweeter while she’s struggling with infertility.
- Take her on a coffee date or out for drinks. Tell her how important and loved she is as a person since she probably feels like a broken, forgotten human being.
- Scroll past something funny on Instagram? Send it to her and give her a laugh among the Christmas family photos she’s seeing.
- Buy her a Christmas present that is self care related. A subscription to Magnolia Journal. A gift certificate to a spa. A crazy big gift card to Starbucks.
- If your friend has a fertility related appointment this month, call her and pray for her over the phone before she goes in and text for a follow up after.
- Don’t mail her your Christmas letter. Mail her a handwritten card instead, just so she knows you’re thinking about her.
- Ask her about that Christmas craft she dreams of doing with her kids and offer to do it with her yourself this year.
- Don’t be mad if she declines coming to your holiday party. She’s probably trying to do what’s best for her.
- If your friend is good with loving on babies, have her over for a Christmas movie night so she can snuggle your snowman pajama clad bundle of joy.
- Maybe you have a pregnancy announcement you’re planning on putting out there. Text your friend first. Don’t call and don’t tell her in person. Texting allows her to process the information however she needs to. Call her the next day.
- Maybe you know how she feels because you’re in the same boat. Pick an activity together that you couldn’t do with kids. Go to a late night movie. Have a wine tasting night. Write the snarkiest Christmas letter that you’ll never actually send.
There is no easy way of dealing with infertility in December. As you go about your own Christmas activities, do your best to give a thought to your friend and how you might make her struggle a little easier this month. She will be forever grateful.