For individuals experiencing infertility and undergoing fertility treatment, Mother’s Day can be one of the most difficult days of the year. For many women, it can serve as a confronting reminder that their dream of motherhood has not yet been fulfilled, causing feelings of sadness leading up to and during this day.
Taking time to prepare for Mother’s Day by proactively making decisions that consider your own needs versus the needs of others can alleviate some of the pressure you may feel. For instance, your usual Mother’s Day tradition may have included visiting your family or being surrounded by children. However, if you suspect this could trigger unwanted emotions this year, consider limiting your time at these events. Sticking to a planned arrival and departure time or shortening the window of time spent with your family are ways to implement this.
While it’s human nature to want to ‘show up’ for others, particularly family, prioritising the needs and happiness of others over your own can lead you to experience feelings of loss or grief. So, be kind to yourself on this day.
Plan ahead with strategies to help you manage the day. For some, it will be helpful to connect with family and focus on the mother figures in their lives. If this is the case, planning your usual Mother’s Day traditions is the way to go. However, for others, this may be too painful or triggering – it’s okay to say no to events that may cause you grief and sadness.
Additionally, choosing to view things from a different perspective or focus may also be beneficial and help you feel empowered throughout the day. Consider tuning out the emphasis on celebrating Mother’s Day entirely and, instead, viewing the day as an opportunity to have fun together as a couple or, if you’re single, with your friends or support network. Pick somewhere to go where you are less likely to be surrounded by children or think of activities you can do at home. For example, you could go for a hike or bike ride, view that movie you’ve wanted to see or make a nice meal at home.
Talk to people in your support network about how you are feeling. Having your emotions acknowledged and validated (particularly if they are mixed or painful) can feel very supportive. Discuss how you might navigate the day with your partner or a close friend, and if you are seeing family or friends, speak to them about what your needs might be. Most people prefer to be guided by you about the specific support you require, as they often feel stuck or unsure about what to say or do.
If you are supporting someone going through fertility treatment, you could approach them and check how they are managing in the lead-up to Mother’s Day and see what they would like to do on the day. By reaching out first, you can help take away any anxiety your loved one might be feeling about raising this topic themselves.
On Mother’s Day, our social media feeds are full of people sharing photos of family events, their mothers and their children. And at this time of year, advertisements on social media, television and in retail stores can be a constant reminder of your own infertility journey. Keep in mind that you may see this messaging when you go shopping, listen to the radio or watch TV.
While it’s difficult to avoid entirely, there are some ways you can lessen the amount of social media posts and advertising you are confronted with. Consider opting out or unsubscribing from emails sent by retail companies. It can also be helpful to have a media detox on the day and avoid social media or news outlets so that you can limit the messaging you see.
Remember that our counsellors are here to provide you with support, so please reach out to the team if you would like to talk. Whatever you are feeling in the lead-up to this day is valid and ok. We are thinking of you and send our best wishes.
The information on this page is general in nature. All medical and surgical procedures have potential benefits and risks. Consult your healthcare professional for medical advice specific to you.