There are constant reminders in shops, on TV, on social media and the marketing emails you receive on a daily basis.
I remember all too well that sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach on Mother’s day, wishing I was ‘in the club’, think that last Mother’s day I’d hoped I’d have my baby by this Mother’s day and that everywhere I looked people were happily flaunting pictures of their precious little ones stating how lucky they were.
I understand how hard it is, so please know that you are not alone in how you are feeling, that it is completely normal to feel like that and that it’s essential to look after yourself emotionally.
It is so important on triggering days like this to focus on self-care and the things you do have, rather than the things you don’t. It is easier to cope with things when you are feeling stronger emotionally and taking care of yourself.
Below are some tips to help you get through Mother’s Day. I know how tough it can be, so take small steps and do what you need to do to get through it.
Be kind to yourself
Allow yourself to feel however you feel, don’t beat yourself up over feeling sad/jealous/upset, it’s ok and perfectly normal to feel these things. Just acknowledge it and do things that make you feel nice and that make you smile. It’s so important to remember that you are not alone in how you are feeling.
Avoid social media
Unfortunately Mother’s Day is one of the days of the year where social media is full of posts and pictures, so maybe have a day off scrolling Instagram and Facebook to protect yourself. By the time you log back on the posts should be old news.
Many retailers are also understanding how upsetting it can be to receive emails about Mother's Day, so you can opt out of any that may be upsetting to receive.
Celebrate your own mums
It’s the perfect day to focus on your own mums and making them feel special. Covid restrictions are making this year difficult to celebrate with them again, but you could maybe arrange a walk with your mum if you live nearby (you can even take a coffee now and sit on a bench!) or you could organise a family zoom with her (me and my sisters did that with my mum last year, her first every time on zoom!). You could always plan in celebrating with your mum/mother in law in a few weeks when we can do a bit more. I’m sure they would love spending time with you whatever you do, virtually or in person, especially after the year we have all had.
If you don’t have a close relationship with your mums, they don’t live locally or sadly they are not around anymore, you could spend some special time together as a couple, celebrating your relationship and having some time alone together. Again, restrictions make it difficult to do much, so maybe plan in a nice walk, a film marathon or something you’ve wanted to do for a while, so that it is a nice day for you.
You could do something to celebrate and remember your mum. Maybe think about what you used to love to do together, light a candle, spend some time thinking about them in a happy way and celebrate the time you had with them.
Virtual Family Get Togethers
Mother’s Day is often a time where families get together to celebrate, unfortunately the big family gatherings can't happen, although you may see this as a blessing in disguise if you were worried about it being triggering or comments being made.
If you have a family zoom planned and you're still worried about triggering comments, you could:
If it’s too hard to join in family online get togethers due to the way you are feeling or you’re at a particular point in your cycle where you are feeling vulnerable and wobbly, maybe make your excuses and say you don't feel up to joining. Explain how you feel, that you love them but it’s hard to be with a large group at the minute, even virtually. You can arrange to see them separately to celebrate so that you are protecting yourself.
Focus on you as a couple
Have a day together celebrating your relationship and what you love about each other. Maybe think about places to go that are not as child friendly so that you don’t have to worry about being surrounded by children all day.
Maybe agree to limit the time you talk about babies and trying to get pregnant today, focus on you as a couple and what you love about each other.
Recognise that you are doing all you can to become parents and that you can’t expect any more of yourselves.
Think of the things you do have, not what you don’t have. Write a thankful list for all the things in your life that are important/special that you are thankful for — close family, strong relationship, great friends, fulfilling job etc. It doesn’t have to be big things, it is just good to focus on the positive things.
Use your support system
If you are having a bad day, call a friend or family member that understands and just say you are feeling sad and just need a hug or someone to listen to you. There are support groups that are a great source of support and understanding. There is a link below to join my Facebook support group ‘TTC Support UK’.
You are not alone in how you are feeling, I know how tough the day can be and it's perfectly normal to feel wobbly.
Protect yourself emotionally, do what you need to do to get through the day and celebrate how amazing you already are. If you are really struggling please reach out – there are lots of people who understand, who won’t judge you and will send you a big virtual hug.
My online support group is full of amazingly supportive people, who understand and will be there to help you when you need it, and you are welcome to join it on the link below.
If you are struggling, please reach out to me and to people in the support group, we are all here for you and we will support you as much as you need. We understand and want you to be ok xxx
This article covers lots of feedback I have heard from patients, in the hope that it will help doctors and nurses understand how patients really feel, and also help everyone that is going through IVF know they are not alone.