Written by Katie O’Rourke, guest blogger
I have a lot of titles in my life and I look forward to the day when I can add “mom” to the following list. My name is Katie and I am a wife, dog mom, daughter, cousin, sister, auntie, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, friend, and speech pathologist from the Dairy state. My husband and I have been on this insane journey to add to our family for 27 months. I have been through a few holiday seasons with infertility hanging over my head so I wanted to share with you a few tips and tricks for not losing your sh** in front of your loved ones while focusing on your current family and looking forward to the future.
1. SEND THE HOLIDAY CARD
I used to look at holiday cards and think how perfect other people’s families were and that my family wouldn’t be perfect until we had children. But I have more recently learned to appreciate my current family of 3 (yes, including my dog) and know in my heart that someday I will look back and wish I was more grateful for my little tribe. We have made an effort to have our family pictures taken each year and put them into an adorable holiday card for our friends and families to hang proudly on their refrigerators. Send the card. Your family is worth sharing with those you love!
2. START TRADITIONS
Traditions you pass on to your future children start with you and your hubby anyway so why not get a jump start?! Pick out that tree together, hand make ornaments, or watch cheesy Christmas movies for a whole day in your footie PJs. Document the experiences and put them in a book to show your kiddos some day. DO SOMETHING SPECIAL that you and your hubby enjoy and know your future children will love as well!
3. PLAN A DAY OR LITTLE GETAWAY FOR YOU AND HUBBY
Whether it’s a day trip or an AirBnB kind of trip, book it. You and your hubs are going to need some down time after the insanity of the holidays. Take some time to unwind and do something with your little family. Bring the cat or the dog with you. TAKE PICS to document your fun! You will want to show your kids some day 🙂
4. LOOK HOT!
Sometimes I think I will only look complete and beautiful with a baby in my arms. This is another lie I made up in my head! Get your hair did, shellac those nails, buy the new dress, wear heels, meditate, workout, polish that beautiful, very expensive diamond you have from your love; MAKE YOURSELF FEEL BEAUTIFUL! Because you ARE…baby or not.
Spoil those kiddos in your life. Be the FUNTIE (fun-auntie). Buy them each a little something they will love. It will fill that void of toy shopping for kids around the holidays and you get to see their smiles light up because you thought of them.
6. SPOIL YOUR PET
Every year, I put up a stocking for my fur baby, Tucker. My husband and I go shopping for him and pick out a toy and a treat for him to have on Christmas. It is fun to watch him get so excited about his gifts. Again, document this time. You will want to look back on this and see how much your holidays change year to year.
7. YOU ARE IN CONTROL OF THE CONVERSATION!
This my most important tip for the holidays. If you have been open about your journey thus far, you will have family and friends that ask you about it. Presume good intentions, ALWAYS. They are asking because they care about you and want to be there for you. This mindset will help you keep your cool in times of stress. Answer their questions how you want to. Short answers to avoid follow up questions are okay, if you do it with a smile and a positive spirit. If you want to indulge in the details with someone, that is okay, too. YOU ARE IN CONTROL. If you have been more reserved about your journey, you might have people asking you “when are you going to have kids?” or something along those lines. Again, presume good intentions. They want to see you procreate. That’s a compliment 🙂 Answer how you want. YOU ARE IN CONTROL. “Oh, we are waiting until after our trip.” or “We are working on it!”. Paint a picture you want people to see. Again, you are in control of the conversation!
8. Finally, REFLECT.
You and your hubby (pets too) are a beautiful family unit that have a lot to be thankful for. The fact that you have each other to lean on during the hard times and to celebrate with in good times, is a blessing in itself. Take time to write a list of things you are thankful for or take pictures of those things and make a collage. Hang it up to remind yourself every day of how lucky you are. That is what this time of year is all about. Celebrate your life and look forward to the future!