Monday, May 3, 2010

How to Support an Infertile Friend on Mother's Day

By FaithAllen

Mother's Day can be a particularly challenging day for women who are struggling with infertility. Your infertile friend needs support from those who love her, but she might not be able to articulate what she needs. As a friend, you might want to help but not know what you should say or do. Here is how to support an infertile friend on Mother's Day.

  • Step into your infertile friend's shoes. Imagine that you desperately want to become a parent but are unable to do so. You put your body through painful procedures but still fail to conceive a child. Meanwhile, people all around you seem to become pregnant with no effort, and just about everyone you know has at least one child. Most of your friends share the bond of motherhood while you feel isolated in your misery.
  • Identify the emotions your friend might be feeling. After you step into your infertile friend's shoes, label the emotions and feelings that you felt. Those emotions likely include depression, grief, anger, envy and isolation.
  • Think about what would make you feel better. Remember a time in which you felt similar emotions, perhaps after a relationship fell apart or when you were unable to do something that mattered when all of your friends got to participate. What did another person do to make you feel better? What could another person have done that would have eased your pain?
  • Call your friend the week before Mother's Day. After you are in a place to empathize with how your friend is feeling, call your friend. Invite her over for a visit or offer to take her out to lunch. Tell her that you would really like to spend some time with her that week.
  • Ask your friend to share her feelings. Talking about the pain can be very comforting to your infertile friend. You do not have to say any magic phrases to make her feel better. What your infertile friend needs the most is for you to "hear" her, empathize with her pain and still want to be around her.
  • Invite your friend to call you through Mother's Day. Offering your infertile friend a shoulder to lean on will go a long way toward comforting her through Mother's Day.
  • Call your friend on Mother's Day to ask how she is doing. Let her know that you are there for her if she needs you.

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