Mother’s Day has already passed in the UK but will imminently be upon you in the USA. We know just how gruelling Mother’s Day feels when you’re desperate to be a mother. Another reminder that you aren’t. With this in mind, we have turned to leading fertility counsellor / coach, Lisa Schuman from The Center for Family Building, to find out how you can reframe the pain that comes with this day when you’re struggling with (in)fertility.
Words by Lisa Schuman
www.familybuilding.net | @thecenterforfamilybuilding
Mother’s Day is like a birthday, but for only a certain part of the population. Those people get flowers, jewelry, cards, and finger paintings to treasure. People who are not yet mother’s, or have suffered baby loss, watch the mothers enjoy their day.
When you have experienced or are suffering through fertility treatment, watching these festivities can be extremely painful. Having a dream crushed and then having it thrown in your face can feel unbearable. As one of my patients once said: “Fertility treatment takes the stuffing out of you”.
Yet, the huge efforts you make every day to get through it and live your life at the same time are never celebrated. Why not send a message to your body that you appreciate all of the hard work you have been doing?
Drowning your sorrows in cookies and ice cream can only help for a few minutes. Instead, use Mother’s Day to celebrate taking care of yourself. Start your mothering life by caring for the person who needs it most…YOU. Perhaps you drink a lot of water, have cut out sweets or you’ve tolerated stressors without taking it out on your partner. Those are achievements. Why not reward yourself like you would reward a child who came home with her first ribbon or school project?
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Don’t stop there, think about all of the great self-mothering you have been doing. Maybe you got a good night’s rest (instead of spending endless hours on social media) after a stressful day; perhaps you managed a meeting at work well (even when you didn’t feel like it); or maybe you’ve been doing a great job at staying on top of your rigorous fertility treatment schedule. Can you celebrate these wins? And how can you reward yourself?
Perhaps you and a partner prepare a special meal together? Take a long weekend away at an adult-only resort or even buy yourself flowers.
Hopefully your future children will be here soon. But until then, you can practice your mothering skills and celebrate the accomplishments you have achieved mothering yourself.
It may seem silly, but the best thing about this idea is that you will be caring for your body, mind and spirit. The second-best thing, is that positively reinforcing good behaviors will help solidify them and may even encourage more positive behaviors, which will also make life better for those around you, including your future children.
This does not mean you don’t take time to cry or feel sad. It can be a very hard day. But if you can give yourself some time to celebrate yourself, this Mother’s Day may be a little easier to bear.
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