How to Help your Infertile Friend on Mother’s Day

How to Help your Infertile Friend on Mother's Day www.sharonmartincounseling.com #infertility Mother’s Day is hard – really hard – when you’re wanting to have a baby, but can’t. If you care enough about your friend, sibling, or coworker, to look up answers on the internet, you’re half way there. The fact that you are trying to help and recognize that infertility is hard is amazing! And because I’ve been through infertility myself, I feel like I can say that folks going through it are sensitive. They are easily hurt by well-meaning, but sometimes ignorant comments.

When I was going through infertility, Mother’s Day was one of the worst days of the year. It felt like the world was saying “you’re a complete failure as a woman, wife, and mother”. I realize now that this wasn’t rational, but it was how I felt. I dreaded going to church where they’d have the children hand out roses to all the mothers and grandmothers. That would bring any infertile woman to tears. Sometimes there was acknowledgment and prayers for infertile women and women whose children had died, but it always felt like an afterthought. Let’s be real, Mother’s Day is a celebration for mothers of living children and when you don’t have a child here on Earth, it’s torture.

So, let’s get back to your question of how to help your infertile friend on Mother’s Day.

What helps is empathy.

 

Check out this 2 minute video about empathy:

 

Here are a few suggestions:

  • Let your friend know you are thinking of her
  • Make time to listen
  • Let her be alone on Mother’s Day if she chooses
  • Validate her feelings
  • Don’t give advice
  • Don’t try to fix it

In short, be present and listen. That’s it. Please share this article with all those who care about someone dealing with infertility.

Sharon Martin, a licensed counselor and psychotherapist in the San Jose area, specializes in helping adult children of alcoholics and others who struggle with anxiety, perfectionism, and self-criticism. She has a private psychotherapy practice in CA where she is available for online counseling. Sharon is also the author of The CBT Workbook for Perfectionism and write the blog Conquering Codependency for Psychology Today.