‘Tis the season to be jolly. True. But my feelings can’t help but be a bit up-and-down like a see-saw. So I decided to split my post into two. Depending on how you are feeling this season, you may only want to read one or the other. Maybe you feel a little bit like me, so read both!
Pt 1: ‘Tis the season to be jolly
Pt 2: ‘Tis the season to be not so jolly
‘Tis the season to be not so jolly
I already blogged about the difficulties of the holiday season for those of us struggling with infertility (my post is here), so I won’t cover old ground. But this isn’t always the season to be jolly. And as much as I have equally had lot’s of jolly things going on, I have recognised that life isn’t always quite so jolly at this time of year.
1. Gift Shopping. I hate shopping at the best of times, and shopping with the Christmas crowds – my worst nightmare – I’ve written about this before. Shopping for baby gifts – EUGHHHH. I am an emotional roller coaster with this one! I love buying cute baby stuff, but when I see cute baby Christmas stuff – especially adorable onesies with “My 1st Christmas” I’m a wreck. I don’t think I need to say anymore about this one.
2. Distance. I am a few thousand miles from some of my greatest friends and of course my family. So when my mum told me she had received my Christmas Parcel and cried, I cried. Damn it. It’s not easy being far from loved ones at this time of year. We have had lovely offers from friends inviting us over to theirs for Christmas Day, but in fact this is something we just can’t do this year. We are going to start our own family traditions – I wrote about that already – we are excited to do this, but it’s not easy to do. Some people may say that we are lucky we don’t have to deal with ‘forced family reunions’ with nosey inquisitive family members; but even if we were back in the UK we are lucky that we have the most supportive family that this wouldn’t happen for us.
3. Trying to Conceive. Officially we are allowed to try to conceive again, but I have mixed emotions about it. I wrote a separate post about it so I won’t repeat it, but this has been playing my mind this week.
4. Facebook. A friend posted on facebook what seemed to be a pregnancy announcement, until you get to the bottom of the long carefully written post and realise they are just talking about santa clause. It was poor taste for someone like me struggling to get pregnant…but even more so because I felt sad that this couple may just find them selves to be one of the “1 in 8 facing infertility” one day. I wanted to tell them it was in poor taste, but then realised that I would just come across as a scrooge bag as so many people had already commented how funny it was.
5. Money worries. As my credit card bares the scars of many swipes this holiday season and our bill from the infertility clinic shows up with a surprise payment from September, I have the constant feeling of every penny counts. Actually, we are very fortunate to be in a comfortable financial position, but I want to keep our options open for the future and don’t want to close a door because I didn’t keep control of our outgoings. But Christmas is a time for giving, so in general I don’t feel guilty for the gifts I purchase or the charities we give to – it’s just the gifts that Chris and I give each other and the seemingly endless nights of eating out that make me feel guilty!!!
6. Coping with loss. This applies to anyone who has lost a loved one, not just those who have had to deal with losing a child, as well as anyone who has experienced loss of something of their physical self. Ultimately the Christmas holidays plays heavy on the heart of someone who has lost their hopes and dreams. As I sip my cup of tea in my new mug “When it rains look for rainbows” this reminds me to remember the positive things and love that I have been lucky to have experienced and made me a richer person, and “When it’s dark look for stars”, this reminds me to look up and remember our dreams are still out there and we are being watched over. It’s still difficult, and gets harder getting closer to the big day itself.
We have far more jollynesss to keep us going for the festive season but it’s these kinds of things that remind me it isn’t easy for everyone, and even more so for many more people who don’t have the jolly things I described in my earlier post.
On the subject of coping with the festive season. Resolve has an excellent fact sheet about coping with the holidays (here) – it provides a collection of great articles I recommend for reading over a cup of tea. You may need some tissues to go with that too.