Is Halloween a Nightmare?
Okay, it’s Halloween. Probably one of the most kid-centric holidays that’s supposed to be fun, but is an actual nightmare if you are longing to be a parent. The number of social media posts of cute kids increases exponentially as proud and excited parents share photos of their kids’ costumes. Gosh they are cute, but if only you could shut off this all too familiar feeling of once again being stuck in this childless place that you are so done with, while everyone else moves on.
If you’re lucky, the timing might be right and you may be in a ‘hopeful’ time of the rollercoaster ride, but chances are, you’ve maybe already fallen off the fertility diet wagon and binged on too many of those dratted tiny chocolate bars. Sigh…
Okay, here’s what you do. First, stay off Facebook for a couple of days. Then, check in with yourself. Where are you at?
1. Pull it together mode.
Sometimes you can pull it together enough to get into it. Fill a bowl with candy and open the door for all the kiddies, smile and laugh and momentarily share in the joy. Maybe you might get the kid hangover later that night or the next day, a thin veil of sadness that everything seems to filter through. You can’t quite shake it, you’re a little down but still able to get through the day. You can pull it together.
If this is where you are at, maybe stay home and give out candy, watch a funny movie at the same time. Plan something fun to do the next day to keep your mind occupied and to help water those seeds of joy in your consciousness.
2. Easily Side-railed mode
Other times, you’re easily side-railed. It’s too much. You are done. It’s not a thin veil, it’s a heavy cloak, and it weighs you down and you can’t throw it off. You want to cry, the whole thing seems so unfair and you feel frustrated, angry, sad, trapped and stuck and if you see one more cute kid, you’re gonna lose it.
If this is where you are at, do not stay home for trick or treaters. Go out. Go out for a fancy dinner where children cannot go. Or go to a movie or a grown up Halloween party. If you do stay home, turn out the lights and curl up in bed for a snuggle-in and a good movie. A beautiful tear-jerker. Not a stressful thriller, and not even a comedy – go for something that is moving and beautiful that will make you cry and give you a good emotional release. You could leave a bowl outside the door with a sign for trick or treaters if you like, but do not open the door for them. You are aloud.
This is my advice. Take care of yourself.
Also know that you are not alone. And breathe. Your breath is always there, and it anchors you. It will help to carry you through this time, which I promise is passing. It feels like you will be here forever, but one day you will absolutely be able to look back on this time and be glad that it’s in the past.
Now go and try to have just ONE of those tiny chocolates! And enjoy it!
Dr. Alda Ngo
If you are struggling with the tough feelings that come with fertility issues, please join counsellor Elana Sures and I for a free talk on Nov.26th, to learn ways that you can support yourself.