How to Celebrate Your Infertile Friend on Mother's Day
Mother's Day (also known as a nightmarish holiday for the "we-who-want-kids-but-have-none" group) is coming right up. As someone who has spent many, MANY Mother's Days wondering if I would ever have the honor to be celebrated on this day, I know firsthand how difficult this day can be.
I've dreamed of becoming a mother since I was young. And when I was in my 20s and NOT meeting the love of my life, every Mother's Day I would question if I was ever going to find a husband to begin a family with. When I found Brian, I thought, "This is it. I found the love of my life. We get married, we have kids, we live happily ever after."
But once we entered the world of infertility, reality hit me like a ton of bricks. This is not going to go how I had planned it out in my head.
One in eight couples struggle with infertility. One in eight couples planned their future and it is not playing out like they hoped. One in eight couples are on journeys similar to the one you read about on this blog.
If you have 400 friends on your social media account, roughly 50 of them may be struggling with infertility.
[Pro-tip: Stay away from social media on Mother's Day. Protect your heart.]
Let's dive a little deeper into this and take a look at what your friends who are going through infertility may be feeling on Mother's Day or the days leading up to Mother's Day (or, let's be honest, maybe every day they struggle with infertility).
Inadequate & Unworthy
Is this ever going to happen for me? Am I not good enough to become a mom? Why does everyone else I know get to have children?
Left Out, Hopeless & Lonely
Everyone I am close to is a mom. Another month, another negative cycle––is this ever going to happen for me? No one understands what I am going through.
Angry & Sad
Mother's Day is just another dang reminder of everything I want but don't have. Why is this the hand we were dealt while other couples seem to just look at each other and become pregnant?
Here are some ways you can celebrate and support your infertile friend on Mother's Day (or anytime, really):
National Infertility Awareness Week is three weeks prior to Mother's Day (April 18-24, 2021). Take the time during this week to celebrate and acknowledge your friend who is struggling. Let her know she is not alone in this very lonely time in her life. Send her love and appreciation and tell her how much she means to you.
Send a card or letter in the mail that she will receive around Mother's Day. Yes, snail mail. Remind her of all the amazing things she IS. Help take her mind off the one thing she desperately wants to be, but isn't.
Contact her on Mother's Day. Don't ignore her on this day. Send a text, make a call, go to her house. You know this is likely a hard day for her, so be proactive and do what you can to be there for her. One of the worst things to experience during infertility is silence from friends.
Does she have fur babies? Remind her how important she is to her pets and how much they love her. Grab a funny card and sign the pet's name/s.
If she's a coffee lover, send her a $5 Starbucks e-gift card. Or take her out for coffee. A cup of coffee from a friend is like a warm hug. ☕️🤗
Be tactful. If you haven't been through infertility firsthand, you don't understand it. Plain and simple. Sometimes your well-meaning comment or question comes across as hurtful and insensitive. (Read my post about how powerful your words are to us who struggle with infertility.) When a friend shares her hurt with you, she doesn't need you to understand. She just needs you to listen.
Pray for her. Better yet, ask her how you can be praying. Even better, pray WITH her!
Ask her how you can best support her. Not sure what to do or say? All you have to do is ask.
One last thing: Support and celebrate your spouse on Mother's [or Father's] Day.
If you are struggling to start a family, I encourage you to support your spouse or partner in unique and creative ways when Mother's and Father's Day come around each year.
Every year since we've been married, Brian has gotten me a Mother's Day card from him and the dogs––even though I'm not yet a mother. And that means the world to me.
Here is what he wrote in 2019 (before we embarked on our infertility journey):
I know you're not a mother to any humans (that I know of) but Millie, Chubs and I wanted to show you how much you mean to us. You are our rock, our core, our beating hearts. If it weren't for you, we'd all be running around with poop on our butts. Seriously though, I love you babe! I can't wait to be filling out Mother's Day cards with our badass little son or our adorable little princess daughter someday!
Mother's Day is May 9. Don't forget to celebrate your own wonderful mother this day!
And if you're struggling with infertility and not looking forward to Mother's Day, hear this: You are not alone. I see you. You are not alone.
I always appreciate when people reach out to me on social media or through this blog to share their own struggles with infertility. It helps ME to not feel so alone, just as much as this blog is hopefully making you feel less lonely in this journey. 💜
Got any tips or tricks on how to get through holidays like Mother's Day when you're in the middle of an infertility journey? Leave a comment below. 👇