Yes, You Can Survive The Holidays – Even if You Are Not Yet Pregnant!

If you are you dreading the upcoming holiday season, you are probably not alone.

Holidays can be a wonderful time to get together with friends and family, but often, you can easily become stressed because you do not have the child that you have been wishing for.

Christmas may be one of hardest holidays, because in our culture, it is focused so much on children. As you see images of little children and families enjoying their time together, this may be a painful reminder that you are not pregnant yet. You may also feel that another year has passed and in spite of how much time, energy and money you put in trying to conceive, you still haven’t achieved results.

You may be worried about family reunions and seeing your pregnant sister-in-law, or maybe you wonder how to dodge the questions from well-intended family members such as, “So, when are two of you going to have children?”

Your family and friends may not understand how difficult holidays may be for couples who want children and yet, don’t have any.

Although you may feel a tremendous amount of pain and angst as it gets closer to the Christmas season, there are some things you can do to make the holiday season easier. Below are some ways to help you manage any difficulties you might experience before and during the holidays:

    1. Find out what causes you to feel stressed, sad or worried.

Is it a particular person you are hesitant to see or is it the situation you want to avoid? Identifying what causes unpleasant feelings is the first step to managing stress.

    1. What is your coping style?

Remember how you used to handle difficult situations in the past and what was helpful to you. Identifying how you handled past situations can help you determine how to deal with upcoming difficult events.

    1. Have empathy for yourself.

If you have just had a failed cycle or you are in the midst of fertility treatment, it may be particularly hard to be around children. Allow yourself to be sad and grieve the fact that you have not yet conceived. Grieving allows you to work through and possibly let go of some of your pain and stress about your inability to conceive.

    1. Deepen your connection with your partner.

Don’t let stress and holiday anxieties undermine your relationship.
You are each other’s best support. Try to understand how holidays have made her/him feel? Communicate with your partner and see how both of you would like to handle family gatherings.

    1. Nurture yourself and don’t be afraid to set boundaries.

Remember to take good care of yourself during the holidays. If being around family is too difficult, allow yourself and your partner private time and plan a vacation.

    1. Take an active role in planning events and activities.

If are reluctant to attend family events, but feel you must, take charge in making the plans so that you remain an active participant and feel like you have some control over the situation. Think about which activities you would enjoy doing. Perhaps make a meal. If you have nieces and nephews, organize activities with them so that you can still have the experience of waiting for Santa with children.

    1. Help children in need.

Get involved with underprivileged children and families. Volunteering can help you become aware of others who are also struggling during the holidays. Seeing the child get the present he did not think was possible can make you happy.

    1. Find support for yourself.

Find family members and friends that can support you when you need it.
Tell them what kind of help you need.

Don’t hesitate to seek a mental health professional who can help you manage stress in a healthy way. Many couples become confident about their ability to handle the crisis of infertility when they get help from a psychologist or therapist. A psychologist with expertise in the area of infertility can help you find ways to reduce stress and feel more empowered about your choices.

Remember, even when you feel sad about not being pregnant you can still have fun with your partner and enjoy the spirit of the season.

If you want help in coping with holiday stress, contact Dr. Irena at 281-267-1742 or email me at

Counseling Offices located on 7900 Fannin, Houston, TX 77054 and 1600 Lake Front Cir. Suite 150, The Woodlands, TX 77380

Dr. Irena Milentijevic is a psychologist and therapist who specializes in helping women and couples cope with infertility and also in helping parents with young children. Her therapy offices are in Houston and in the Woodlands, Texas.

Dr. Irena offers online therapy for women and couples in Texas and New York City. She uses research-proven method, known as Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) to help couples develop and maintain the emotional connection and support each other through stressful times. She has helped highly distressed couples be available and responsive to each other, access their resiliency, and strengthen their relationships.

If you would like to schedule a session, email Dr. Irena for a free 10-minute video consultation: or call (281)-267-1742.

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