Surviving Mother’s Day
For any of my patients that are having difficulty conceiving, Mother’s Day can be an extremely difficult occasion. It is literally a day dedicated to the one thing my patients aren’t: Mothers. It often serves to highlight the frustrations and let-downs that couples have been experiencing. So how do you get through it and come out the other side with a modicum of sanity? I have a couple of suggestions.
For starters, if you are fortunate enough to still have a mother and/or mother-in-law in your life, then go and see them, or call them, or send them a message to let them know how happy you are that they are a part of your life, and how much you appreciate them. This will help you take your mind off of your own situation, and it helps by starting the day with a sense of appreciation and gratitude. I often encourage my patients to embrace gratitude, because it encourages us to start the day in a positive manner, and helps to get us out of our own head space and issues, and focus on the good things going on in our lives. So by taking some time to show some gratitude for having mothers in our lives, I believe it will help you to focus less on your current situation.
Then I would say to completely ignore the fact that it is Mother’s Day. Easier said than done, I know, but you are going to make it Couple’s Day. Often through the fertility process, it can be easy to forget how much your partner means to you. It can be easy to feel disconnected, when you are living your daily lives with your daily stressors, and also incorporating sex on command, or injections and fertility clinic appointments. It can be easy to take your partner for granted, and to get used to a sex life that is only focused on procreation. So I say, let this day be a chance to come together and reconnect. Leave the daily hassles and struggles to the side, and come together as a couple and enjoy each other’s company. Maybe that means taking a long walk together with the dog, or cooking a meal together and enjoying it, or taking a drive somewhere away from the Mother’s Day brunches and having a picnic, whatever it is, find some space to come together and be with each other. Maybe you will choose to be intimate for the sake of intimacy, and maybe you won’t, but go into it without any expectation of the outcome. Maybe you will make-out again like teenagers and it doesn’t end in bed. The important thing is to find your way to each other again, and remember all the reasons you love each other in the first place, regardless of your current fertility status. And voilà, the day can be so much more than a huge emotional roller-coaster.
Enjoying Mother’s Day…and Beyond
If there is one thing that never ceases to amaze me, it’s how important it is for us to take the time to take care of ourselves. Only when we are in a good place, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically, can we truly reach our fullest potential, and be all the things we want to be for those around us. I tend to find though, that of all the patients I see, my moms are the worst at doing this. They have chosen to completely self-sacrifice in the name of putting their kids/families/work first. Most of my moms are working full-time, and are mothers full-time, and are taking care of the house full time. I know you are saying to yourself there is not enough time in the day to have 3 full time jobs, yet most of my moms are doing it, and are finding it very hard to ask for help in any way, shape or form as well. And most of my moms are feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and underappreciated. And then they feel that they are not good mothers, wives, employees and daughters.
Mother’s Day is the one day where my moms feel they are entitled to have some down-time, and allow their families do nice things for them. By the time Mother’s Day finally rolls around, they are usually more than happy to take advantage of the rest and relaxation, and the appreciation they are receiving that day. I say, ENJOY! You deserve it! Take full advantage of all that Mother’s Day has to offer, and get the rest, relaxation, love and appreciation that those around you are doling out. But Mother’s Day is not enough. After Mother’s Day, most of my moms go back to their regular life of running around and feeling exhausted. My recommendation is to take care of yourself, nurture yourself all the time, so that you can be fully present and involved in every moment of everyday, and this will allow you to be the best mother/wife/employee/friend/daughter that you can be. Maybe taking care of yourself means getting any lingering health concerns taken care of. Maybe it means taking time to go for coffee with your friends. Maybe it means taking an hour a day to read or just watch some TV. Or maybe it’s playing an instrument, doing some meditation, exercising, or going to church. Maybe it’s asking for help, or ignoring the dishes one night. Or maybe it’s a combination of all of the above. Either way, when you nourish yourself, you will nourish those around you, because you will be in a better place, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. So enjoy this Mother’s Day, but treat every day like Mother’s Day, you deserve it!