Oh, the holidays. A time for counting our blessings and gathering with extended family. A time for filling stockings and cheerfully singing Christmas carols. A time for sending out brightly-colored greeting cards with photos of our families and receiving the same. At least that's what we're told we should do. And many people DO love this time of year and do just these things and enjoy every moment of the season.
But if you're childless not by choice, or experiencing difficulty adding more children to your family, it can actually be the hardest time of the year. I remember vividly the Christmas of 2004. I was on break from teaching and the baby that our adoption agency had confidently assured us would be in our arms by Christmas was nowhere on the horizon. After four years of the "fertility treatment & adoption roller coaster" and still being childless, I had had enough of The Most Wonderful Time of the Year. I spent those two weeks of my holiday break that year napping as much as I possibly could, because that was the only escape I could find from my sadness. It's easy for someone looking in to say, "Gosh, there are so many bigger problems in the world that that." Sure. But when it's happening to you, it's difficult to keep pasting a smile on your face and to feel happy for everyone else around you.
If you are experiencing heartache this season, please know that I understand. I have been there and I will never forget. And if you need someone to pour out your feelings to, I am here for you just a click away.
I also hope you will take a look at this guide, entitled "Surviving the Holidays Without a Child," put out by the wonderful organization Creating a Family: The National Infertility & Adoption Education Organization . This is a FABULOUS resource and truly a must-read for anyone experiencing difficulty with this time of year due to childlessness. From start to finish, it is spot-on, not only giving words of encouragement and reassurance that those feeling less than festive are not alone, but also offering real and practical strategies an individual can employ to feel much more in control of the season. It helpfully suggests possible triggers to avoid. There is even a list of "snarky answers" to nosy questions, as well as a game of Infertility Bingo, just to inject some much-needed humor into things. And their focus on how to alleviate stress, both emotional and physical, as well as financial, rounds out this guide pretty perfectly and makes it very easy for me to heartily recommend it to my Body & Spirit Fitness family. Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think!
Hi! I'm Lyn and this is where I blog about family, health, workouts, nutrition, meditation, relaxation & life in general. But it's not all about me--it's about inspiring healthy changes in other people's lives.
"...the only gift I wanted was to take back my health and reclaim my body."