While families across the nation celebrate Mother’s Day with flowers and gifts, it can be a difficult day for some waiting families.

When facing infertility, Mother’s and Father’s Day can be emotional days for many couples. These holidays can also be especially difficult for families who are waiting do adopt, as they may not feel like “celebrating” the day while they are still awaiting a child.

RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association offers these suggestions, which we’ve expanded on, to help couples handle the emotional aspects of Mother’s Day:

  • Take a Proactive Stance – Think ahead about the day and plan a strategy in advance. Don’t wait until the holiday is upon you to make plans.
  • Focus on Your Parents/Grandparents or Special Parental Figure – Make this a special time for them. If a family gathering is planned and it will be pleasant for you, go and enjoy. But, if lots of children or pregnant relatives will be present, and you know this will be upsetting, consider other possibilities. You might plan to see your mother/father at another time during the weekend. Consider reaching out to a nursing home to visit residents who might be separated from their children and grandchildren for this holiday.
  • Recognize Potential Painful Situations – Restaurants, for example, may be a source of discomfort. They may ask if you are a mother or a father in order to give you a complimentary item. Be prepared for this question so you are not taken off-guard.
  • Speak to your Minister or Rabbi – Before a religious service, talk with your clergyperson (or write a letter) and educate him/her about the experience with infertility. Perhaps he/she would be willing to say a prayer or offer words of support for those struggling with this crisis.
  • Plan an Enjoyable Day Together – It is important to work as a couple during these difficult days. Consider tuning out the holiday emphasis entirely and make it an opportunity for a fun day together. Plan a day outdoors to go hiking, bicycling or walking on a beach. See that movie you’ve wanted to see or create a special meal. Perhaps arrange to do some volunteering – helping others in need a great way to take your mind off your worries.

Refer back to our Beating the Holiday Blues post for more tips on handling groups settings and holidays as you wait to adopt. And just think, this time next year, you might be celebrating Mother’s Day with a whole new outlook and a special little someone!