14 Tips for surviving Mother’s Day when TTC

Holly Pigache  |   15 Mar 2022

When you’re trying to conceive and not having much luck, Mother’s Day is tough

Mother’s Day, when everyone is celebrating motherhood, can feel like a kick in the teeth – a reminder you’re still not a mum.

So how do you survive Mother’s Day when you’re TTC?

We’ve asked our TRB community for top tips on coping with Mother’s Day when trying to get pregnant.  Read on to find out more…

For many people trying to conceive, Mother’s Day is as difficult as (or worse than) Christmas or Thanksgiving.  Unlike the holidays when your well-meaning family asks if you’re pregnant yet, Mother’s Day is an explosion of motherly love.

Hang on, it’s not just Mother’s Day, though, is it?  It’s the lead-up to Mother’s Day as well… TV adverts, fashion and gift newsletters, the supermarket… all serve to remind you of what you’re desperate to have.

A fertility journey to parenthood is challenging and there’s comfort in knowing others are going through similar experiences.  So we’ve collated the things other hopeful mums-to-be find difficult about Mother’s Day and share top tips for surviving Mother’s Day.

Hopeful mom: you’re not alone, and we’re here for you.

“For me, the hardest part of Mother’s Day is…”

So many women in our fertility community (follow us on Instagram here) expressed sadness of the pain Mother’s Day brings:

  • “Wishing it was me,” says Nat.
  • Lindsay says Mother’s Day is characterised by “the longing to be holding my own baby!”
  • Laura finds the uncertainty difficult: “Never knowing if I’m going to be a mom.”
  • “That last Mother’s Day you would hope this year you’d be a Mom,” says Amy.
  • “Knowing I’m not a mummy yet,” Clair writes, echoed by Lauren: “[Mother’s Day] reminds me it’s another year without being pregnant.”
  • Stella* feels frustrated each Mother’s Day: “Still not being a mum despite trying to be for years.”
  • As does Emma: “Every year not being a mum yet trying so hard to be one.”
  • Tzipora struggles with “seeing the mothers being motherly with their kids and yearning for that”.

And for some women, other people’s assumptions that they’re a mum are particularly painful:

  • “Being told ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ by people who just assume I’m a mom,” says Paige.

For some women, Mother’s Day is a sad reminder of child loss:

  • “I lost my baby at 20 weeks, I birthed her, I saw her, I felt like a mother but no one else seems to see me as one,” Fiona writes.
  • Kelly* finds the hardest part of Mother’s Day is “Knowing I’m a mom to an angel but hardly anyone knows so it looks like I’m not a mom.”
  • Gen says, on Mother’s Day she finds herself “Thinking of my angel baby and still hoping.”
  • “Not having my step children in my life anymore and still no baby of my own,” says Leigh.

For these women, their own moms are particularly in their hearts on Mother’s Day:

  • Melissa says Mother’s Day is characterised by her “feeling sad when I should be making Mother’s Day special for my mum!”
  • Victoria finds she’s “not able to celebrate my Mom as the whole thing just upsets me”.
  • Sian* says the distance between her and her Mom is a struggle: “Knowing my Mom is in a marriage with domestic abuse and she cut me and my sister off two years ago.”

Many women find themselves conflicted, wanting to celebrate Mother’s Day with friends who are mothers whilst coping with the sadness inside.

  • Amanda says she’s “excited for other moms, while I’m trying so hard to keep it together and struggling”
  • Similarly, Sue finds she’s “jealous of people I love who have kids I also love”.

Unsurprisingly, social media seems to be the worst reminder of Mother’s Day and is to be avoided at all costs on this tricky day:

  • Lara struggles with “all the posts on social media and any pregnancy announcement”.
  • Sheena dislikes “seeing all the Mother’s Day posts”.
  • “Seeing all the social media posts of my friends with their kids,” Kerri finds particularly difficult.
  • Hayley’s issue is “posts saying ‘Happy Mother’s Day to my amazing wife.  Thank you for our child.'”
  • Meila* says she feels like she’s “dying inside whenever I read ‘Happy Mother’s Day'”.

Mother’s Day Survival Tips from our Fertility Community

So you’re avoiding social media – great!  What else can you do to make Mother’s Day more bearable?

Consider whether you’re someone who enjoys keeping busy and distracted or whether you’d rather wallow and feel the pain of the day.  There’s no right way to cope; “you do you” as they say.

If you’re in the pack of keeping busy and distracted, like 62% of our fertility community, here are some ways to cope with Mother’s Day:

  • Lauren recommends you “Plan something you enjoy and get out and have fun!”
  • Emma suggests “Step off Instagram, get outside for a walk and spend time with your partner.”
  • Rach* says: “Acknowledge it but don’t dwell in it.  If you need to, go and cry for a bit and then pick your head up.”
  • For Sheena, a great way to get through Mother’s Day is to: “Spoil yourself and don’t look at social media for the day.”
  • You could see what non-mum-focused events are happening in your local – or not so local – area.
  • Maybe you’d like to spend a weekend away, somewhere rural to avoid the supermarkets, shop windows and nausea-inducing card shops.

If wallowing in bed to survive Mother’s Day is more your vibe, you could:

  • “Stay indoors and watch a show on TV to distract yourself,” suggests Ellie*.
  • Kat recommends “Just check out for the day.  Stay home in your PJs and let yourself feel your emotions.”
  • “Immerse yourself in a really good book,” says Holly.
  • Rosie* says “Journaling your feelings helps.”

Whether you’re a busy body or a wallower, you could reach out to your own mum, mother-figure, primary caregiver or other mothers you admire:

  • “Celebrate your mom.  She brought you into this life,” Gen reminds us.
  • Do you know a mother who’s alone this Mother’s Day?  Send her flowers, a card, give her a call.  Maybe go for a coffee or watch a new action movie?

Or you could focus on your relationship:

  • “Spend time with your partner and work on your relationship,” Maria* suggests.
  • Ola says she gets through Mother’s Day by her and her partner “taking each other out for the day, spoiling ourselves and enjoying our love”.

However you decide to spend Mother’s Day this year, lean on those around you for support and let them know you find this day difficult.  Whether you stay indoors or get out and about, it’s absolutely fine to do what you need to do to get through Mother’s Day this year.

*Names have been changed.

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