Last month was National Infertility Awareness Month, and that elicited a lot of strong feelings in women with PCOS. Personally, it always leaves me feeling a little sucker-punched in the gut, even though I know it’s coming, every year. Similarly, Mother’s Day being around the corner can bring up feelings of sadness, depression, anxiety, jealousy, anger, and more. You see, if you weren’t already aware, PCOS is the primary cause of female infertility.
But there are many ways to deal with infertility: a pint of ice cream and a good cry, totally ignoring it, spending it focused on your own mother, or perhaps celebrating Non-Mother’s Day. Non-Mother’s Day is a refreshing approach to seeking support for the challenges of the in-your-face assault of mushy Mother’s Day images and the collective cultural worship and adoration of mothers. Not that we shouldn’t adore mothers, but it HURTS to be left out.
Mother’s Day is BIG business – over $20 billion dollars worth, each and every year. That means that the hype starts early. If you’re out in public, you can’t miss it. The greeting cards, perfume ads, restaurant specials, and flower shops are all singularly focused on getting us to spend money celebrating this holiday.
In addition to inconsolable feelings of grief and longing for the child or pregnancy you never had (or perhaps worse, lost, or lost repeatedly), you may be feeling like there’s no place for you in this mother-focused world. The reality is that nearly one in five women never becomes a mother due to infertility. You’re not entirely alone.
Since you probably can’t escape it, what else can you do to make it more bearable?
With a little bit of planning, a painful holiday can be less painful, and maybe even full of pleasure and a different kind of celebration and connection. And if you’re still struggling with the fallout from infertility, make sure to check out RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association.