Christmas can be a difficult time of year when you are holding a space in your heart for a little person, but not being able to hold them in your arms.
Lots of the festivities seem to centre around children. Leaving a mince pie out for Father Christmas, nursery nativities, elf on the shelf photos flooding your social media feed. It can feel like an isolating time of year, and highlight the silence where there should be the pitter patter of tiny feet.
Big events like Christmas can often feel like a reminder of time passing. Another year without a baby in your arms.
Know that I have been there, and also feel these feelings too.
Here are a few things I have learnt over the years of how to make Christmas a little more gentle:
- Go easy on the fizz
It can be tempting to drown your sorrows, or to make the most of not being pregnant by knocking back a few drinks. I definitely you encourage to enjoy yourself, and that may include a glass of sherry, but waking up with dry mouth, and a hangover is not going to help heal your fragile heart. Drinking within reason will stop your emotions running riot, whilst also allowing you to enjoy yourself and have fun.
2. Say “No”
This year, perhaps more than ever, there are some great reasons to say “No” to invitations thanks to Coronavirus. I always encourage you to protect your own heart. If spending Christmas with your sister in laws new baby is going to push you over the edge, and break your heart, just say no. You could always compromise and agree to popping over for Christmas cake in the evening, rather than spending 3 days feeling trapped in an uncomfortable situation.
3. Stay off Social Media
If seeing an old school colleague from 15 years ago dress their baby up as a mini Santa is going to see you weeping before your morning coffee, stay off social media. I avoid certain social media sites like the plague, as the onslaught of Babies First Christmas photos can feel overwhelming. Don’t feel guilty for logging off for a few days, social media will be waiting there for your return when you feel ready.
4. Have set phrases
If you are anticipating awkward questions from well meaning relatives, such as ‘When are you two having kids?’, have a few set answers that you can roll out. I always found that changing the subject quickly was a great idea. Replying with something simple like ‘I don’t know. How is the job hunt going?’, or ‘That’s quite a personal question that I don’t feel comfortable discussing right now. What are your new year plans?’ can be a way of moving the conversation on. You don’t owe anyone an explanation of your situation, unless you feel you want to share.
5. Start a new tradition
Traditions can start any time, it doesn’t just have to be when children are around. Whether that is buying a new bauble each year, or watching your favourite film on Christmas Eve in your new pjs. These can be things you start now, and do for years to come.
Remember, a family of two is still a family.
Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas.