The holiday season is kicking into full swing, and it can be stressful, even in the best of circumstances. The holidays are a time for family, which can mean it’s a time riddled with all kinds of unpleasant feelings, especially if you’re trying to start your own family. Thanksgiving dinner is where we all take a moment to reflect and count our blessings, even though many have yet to receive the only blessing they’re hoping for. And then there are Christmas and Hanukkah where stories of miracles are abundant. Finally, New Year’s Eve has everyone casting their wishes for the upcoming year. If you are going to be seeing your family member that can’t help but constantly ask when you are going to have a baby, your holiday can be even more challenging. The good news is that there are some things you can do to help enjoy the holidays and make them a bit less stressful. So, instead of hiding under your covers from Thanksgiving until New Years, we’ve got some tips to help navigate one of the most wonderful times of the year.
- Have your response ready. The chances of somebody asking you an inappropriate question about when you’re going to have kids is high over the holidays. Instead of being caught off-guard, have your answer ready so you don’t have to stress about what to say. If you find yourself in the middle of an uncomfortable conversation, don’t be afraid to switch the subject. Be direct if that doesn’t work. Say you really don’t want to talk about this right now. It helps if you say it all with a smile on your face. It will make you feel less stressed, and not come across as angry or defensive. But however you can do it is okay. Just be ready!
- Know that you can say no. Don’t feel like you have to attend every event. If a holiday party that includes babies and young children feels like more than you can handle, politely decline the invitation. Give yourself permission to say no to events if you don’t feel comfortable attending or are just not up for it. If you don’t want to go, more than likely you won’t end up having a good time.
- Do something for yourself. Find time to do something you truly enjoy. Book a massage, plan a night or two away with a lot of pampering, set aside time to read a book you enjoy, go on a few long walks, have lunch with a friend, or go to a movie. There are so many holiday commitments – office parties and family gatherings – that take up our free time during the holidays, and we can forget to do activities that we enjoy for ourselves. Take time out for yourself during this busy time of year.
- Do something for others. Volunteering and helping others in need can help you reflect on what you are thankful for in your own life. Volunteer to serve dinner at a shelter, or host a can food drive.
- Start a new family tradition with your partner. You and your partner are a family. Choose activities and create traditions that center on you two as a couple. Consider taking a trip and getting away together. Approaching the holiday in a new way on your own terms can make it a lot more enjoyable.
The holidays can be tough on a lot of people, but they can be especially challenging when you are trying to start a family. Remember that there is no perfect way to navigate the holidays, and only you will know what will work best for your own needs. Hopefully the tips above help you survive the holidays with a little less stress and a little more cheer. If you’re considering surrogacy as a means to grow your family, the team at Pathways To Parenthood is happy to speak with you and answer all your questions. You can learn more about surrogacy on our website.