If you have been trying to conceive for a while, the Christmas festivities can be a difficult time to get through. It’s an occasion when you are reminded that, as yet, you don’t have a child to share this special time with.

Whilst as lovely as it is, to spend Christmas with family and friends, it’s also a daunting prospect to have to dodge the inevitable questions about when you too will be having children. Not to mention refusing a glass of champagne mumbling something about antibiotics and alcohol not mixing, whilst swiftly changing the subject and then holding your cousin’s baby when all you want to do is cry in the bathroom!

Here’s YFJ’s Christmas TTC coping strategy to get you through Christmas in one piece.

Christmas TTC coping strategy #1: The inevitable ‘When are you going to have a baby?’ question.

This is an almost guaranteed question that will be asked by well-meaning (and sometimes just plain nosey) relatives. The key here is to be well prepared and remember that you don’t owe anyone an explanation. This is a very private matter and you don’t have to engage in a conversation if you don’t want to. If you decide that you want to avoid answering, come up with a quick retort and deflect the questioning. It might sound something like this ‘Not Sure. So, Aunt Hilda how’s your bad leg?’ or ‘Actually cousin Sophie, that’s rather a private question don’t you think? So, how’s your job hunting going?’ Be prepared with a quick-fire return in your Christmas TTC coping strategy and they will get the message loud and clear!

Christmas TTC coping strategy#2: Considering whether to tell your family.

You may decide that you want to tell your family that you are trying to get pregnant. Consider whether this is the right occasion to do so. You may not want your fertility to be the main topic of conversation on Christmas day. If you do decide to tell your family you may want to set some boundaries in place, saying something like ‘I want to tell you something but I’m not ready to discuss it in detail today’. Whatever you decide, don’t forget the importance of feeling that you can confide in the right people. Makes this a part of your Christmas TTC coping strategy and build up an invaluable support network that you may need in the future.

Christmas TTC Coping Strategy#3: The horror of pregnancy announcements.

Christmas is a time for celebration and many people decide to announce good news at this time when family are all gathered. If your family are unaware that you are trying to conceive, they may not be expecting any other reaction from you than utter joy for the ‘soon to be parents’. How you deal with this is very individual and dependant on many factors including your relationship with your family. However, it’s ok and totally normal to feel sad, angry or even envious. It’s ok to go and find a quiet place to have a cry if you need to and it’s ok to avoid pregnancy and baby conversations if you want to. Don’t feel guilty for how this news has made you feel, just be prepared in how you are going to cope with the news.

Christmas TTC Coping Strategy#4: When you just need some time out.

Christmas is a busy time filled with parties and family get-togethers. Don’t feel pressured to go to every party if you don’t want to, and if you would rather spend Christmas with just the two of you, do it. Why not find some ‘you’ time during the busy lead up or organise some lovely days out for just the two of you.

Christmas TTC Coping Strategy#5: Get off social media.

Stop scrolling, in fact stop social media altogether for December and possibly in to the New Year. You need to avoid the horror of Christmas and New Year pregnancy announcements that will undoubtedly be abundant on Instagram and Facebook. If you belong to a few fav Facebook TTC groups that you can’t live without, restrict your time and definitely don’t scroll.

Christmas TTC Coping Strategy#6: Christmas is not just for Children.

Who says Christmas is all about Children? We can all be a kid at heart and why should you not enjoy it together? What Christmas is all about is traditions. Start your own traditions – breakfast in bed, choosing and cutting your own Christmas tree, a Christmas walk and then a drink in the pub before lunch….whatever they are, you have the opportunity to start your traditions now, that will last a lifetime.

Christmas TTC Coping Strategy#7: Ditch the guilt.

This time can be hard enough as it is without you feeling guilty for enjoying a glass of wine. Life when trying to conceive is all about balance. Enjoy a glass or two of bubbles in the knowledge that you’re going to be right back on your healthy lifestyle as soon as Christmas is over.

Christmas TTC Coping Strategy#8:A mince pie won’t stop you getting pregnant!

Like a glass of your favourite tipple, a mince pie won’t stop you getting pregnant, or will that piece of figgy pudding! Enjoy the day and release the guilt.

Christmas TTC Coping Strategy#9: It’s self care time – treat yourself.

There is no better time to treat yourself than at Christmas. The lead up to the big day is stressful and busy and you can feel like an emotional reck. This now time for self care. Thin about that you like doing to treat yourself and plan this in for over the festive season. A bath with lots of bubbles does wonders for the soul.

Christmas TTC Coping Strategy#10: Let your hair down.

You’ve probably spent the last few months feeling pretty miserable and fed up. You’ve most likely deprived yourself of all the lovely things in life that you used to enjoy and life has been on hold. Now is the time to let go a little and feel joy and happiness. Do things that make your heart sing and embrace how you feel.

Celebrate all that you have together and put aside your worries just for a day or two. Use this time to recharge your batteries and look to the New Year with a positive mindset. So, may your eyeliner be even and your holidays be bright!

Who knows what next year will bring…………

Don’t forget if you’re struggling to manage your emotions on a day to day basis, you might want to consider fertility coaching, especially if you’re about to embark on IVF. Fertility coaching helps you to bring back the postivity and joy in your life and puts you firmly back in the driving seat to navigate your fertility journey in one piece.