Mother’s Day can be very difficult while #TTC. This video features all of my tips on preparing for and managing your emotions on this challenging day while on the fertility journey.
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Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that I am not a medical doctor. I have been a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine for over 17 years and I will be speaking from my clinical experience helping thousands of women conceive. The office of Aimee E. Raupp, M.S., L.Ac and Aimee Raupp Wellness & Fertility Centers and all personnel associated with the practice do not use social media to convey medical advice. This video will be posted to Aimee’s channels to educate and inspire others on the fertility journey.
SEE TRANSCRIPT BELOW OR CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE FOR THE FULL VIDEO.
Hi, how is everyone? It's one of those Thursdays that I get to come to you live, and I am excited to be doing so. For those of you that are new to me, hi. I am Amy of amy-rob.com, and I am in the field of women's health and more specifically fertility. I've had the honor of helping women get and stay pregnant or manage through their fertility struggles for two decades. I've written a handful of books. And yeah, I love this community here. Instagram is one of my favorite places to hang out, so I'm so happy to be with you all. And happy anniversary. Thank you. Yesterday was my anniversary with my husband. We had a nice celebration. I do feel a little hangover today though from… I had some wine, but also I had some food that maybe isn't always in agreement with me. And so today I feel a little like… And in fact, I have a filter on now on the Instagram because I'm like, “Today's a filter kind of day. I love myself, but today we use a little perk.”
Anyway, I wanted to come to you guys today and talk about how to manage Mother's Day because it's really shitty for all of those who want to be a mother, or even if you are a mother and you're trying for a second and Mother's Day is just this reminder of the struggle. It's the reminder of, for a lot of you, a club that you don't yet belong to, that you're trying fucking mad to belong to, and it's not working for you and it's really hard. It's like one of those holidays. It's just kind of everywhere, right? Flowers and cards in every store you walk into, and pink and it's all happy and, “Celebrate the mothers. Celebrate the mothers,” and it's like, “Ugh, it's such a hard time.”
I mean, even for me having gone through a miscarriage, it's a reminder of that child that I don't have, right? And I know many women, it's like there's grief in your own fertility struggle, and then others have also lost mother figures or their moms or their grandmothers. And so it's a heavy, heavy day and time and we're inundated. I mean, I was just actually looking at my inbox right before we came on here. And literally, let's see, “April Showers. Bring May Flowers. Happy Mother's Day. Thrive Nantucket.” I mean, I have probably right now 5, 6, 7 emails about Mother's Day, Mother's Day Sales, which look at this, for every kind of mom, Peloton ads. And no offense to anybody, right? Nobody's trying to hurt feelings. Nobody's trying to make you feel bad, but it's a very triggering holiday, especially when all you want to do is become a mom and you've dedicated so much of your time, your energy, your resources, emotional, physical, financial to becoming a mom.
So first off, what I want to say to all of you is that I honor you. I honor how you show up for yourself. I honor that you are here. I honor that you are still here. I honor your dedication and your commitment. This is not easy. Dealing with fertility struggles absolutely sucks. And I deliberately came to you this Thursday and not next Thursday, knowing that Mother's Day is the Sunday, the 14th, or whatever it is, I think, the 14th. Because I think the number one way to survive is to have a plan to think about. And I think we could all use time right now emotionally checking in. Like wherever you are, if you can sit still for a second, if you're driving or walking, maybe not, but just tune in. “What is the feeling I get when I think of Mother's Day? Does it make me mad? Does it make me sad? Does it make me happy? Does it make me excited?” And only you are going to know how you feel.
And then at any point you get to change your mind too. But I think we're about a week and a half out. “What does it feel like when I see the cards in the store or the flowers or the Mother's Day sales and all this stuff? How am I feeling? How is it making me feel? And then what can we do to manage that?” So I think the first things first, is like, I'm here to honor you, to honor your commitment, your dedication, your resilience, and also your exhaustion and your grief and your anger. It's all real and it's all right.
So I think if you can write something down right now, I want you to write down it's okay to not be okay. It's okay to feel all the feelings I'm feeling. And then I want you to think about it. Many of you have mothers in your life, whether they're your actual birth mother or a mother figure or grandmothers or aunts or friends or whomever that you do want to honor and celebrate. But I want you to really check in. “How does that make me feel? Am I forcing myself to go to this brunch or this luncheon or to send these cards and I feel really, really sad?” And so what I was thinking is giving yourself a ritual to do to honor how you're feeling.
I made a bunch of notes of a ritual. To honor the grief is what I wrote. Because I think at the core of it is grief, right? It's the missing out. It's the not having. It's the lack of, right? And so at the core of any trigger around Mother's Day is grief. And so is there a ritual you can do at some point this month, this timeframe, to honor that grief? And so things I was thinking about or what I mean is writing a letter maybe to… It could be to a doctor that you're mad at. It could be to your body, to your uterus, to your ovaries, to the universe, to God, to your spirit baby. So it could be a letter that you need to lash out and get things out. You're mad, you're pissed, you're angry. It could be a letter of hope to the child that you are dreaming of coming through. It could be a letter that's talking about your longing and what you can't wait to share with this child when they come through. Just some sort of ritual.
It could also be just a walk in nature where you're listening to music or putting on a song in a room that feels private and safe and dancing and singing and crying. Just some space that you are going to give yourself to honor how you are feeling. I'm throwing a bunch of things out there because everybody's going to resonate with different things. I've had plenty of women do the letter thing. We make a list. Who are the people that you're pissed at? It could even be yourself or, “I'm mad at my ovaries. I'm mad at my uterus. I'm mad at my doctor,” or “I'm still grieving those miscarriages or that miscarriage.” And so is it a letter to the baby? Is it a letter about the miscarriage?
Whatever feels right. Or is it a walk in nature. If you're in any communities that feel safe, like communities with other women that are dealing with fertility challenges, is there something that you plan with one of them, where, “Why don't we all get together for lunch on Saturday or Sunday?” Or people that you feel safe with that you can be you. So really thinking about, “How does Mother's Day make me feel?” And I want you to write down those emotions, any ones that come up. And then almost create a statement that you're going to say like, “It's okay to feel X. It's okay to feel X.” For every single emotion, really honor yourself. It's okay to feel all the feelings. It's okay to actually be really sad and mad about Mother's Day and also love your mother and want to honor her, right? It's okay to just want to stay in bed all day on Mother's Day and say no to every single plan. It's okay to fake it if you need to, right? It's okay to do all the things.
It's also okay to escape. Another thing I was thinking about is creating a spam filter in your email. Anything that says the words Mother's Day, have it go to spam so you don't see it, so it doesn't trigger you. On the actual day, have a plan. What is your plan going to be? I want you to think about that now. It's 10 days away. “What is my plan going to be for Mother's Day? Am I going to commit to this one thing and then I'm going home and I'm watching movies all day, crying, feeling sorry?” Whatever it is. “What is my plan?” Or if you're in a partnership and your partner's also feeling it, maybe you plan a day to go away or a day that you get massages. I mean, of course that requires resources. Or a day that you're just going to go for a long drive and go check out a town that you've never been to before. I mean, you're still probably going to get triggered, you're probably still going to see signs for Weather's Day, but this is our gift to each other.
So thinking about, “What's my plan going to be?” So checking in on your emotional scale. “How am I feeling?” Creating some sort of ritual to honor the grief in any of the emotions. Reminding yourself it's okay to not be okay. And a big part of it is be easy on yourself. Don't judge yourself. If you need to say no to a Mother's Day luncheon because you just don't have the heart to do it right now, you do that, okay? You say no. And if you feel inspired to say yes and then you change your mind the morning of, that's okay too, right? I don't want you to judge yourself. I want you to really honor yourself here. You are the priority. And I think the world and the media doesn't necessarily make us think that that's okay, but it is okay. And those who love you should understand. And if they don't, one day they might. Maybe you don't have the energy right now to explain it, but maybe one day you will. And maybe that's a letter you write too maybe to yourself of, “I'm so sorry.”
I think almost like coming from your higher self to yourself. You're struggling, you're in pain. This is hard. One day you will get to the other side of this, and we're not sure how that's going to look, right? No promises in that statement, but one day… One thing that's certain is changed, right? So one day it might not be as painful. Hopefully one day you are celebrating Mother's Day as a mom. And for those of you that can go there, that might be your ritual or your exercise, to imagine what Mother's Day will feel like. I think that's going to bring up a host of pain and tears as well. But some people can go there and others, right?
I have plenty of women that have had their children after struggles, and Mother's Day is still really hard for them because they remember the struggle of getting there. They remember their losses, they remember the financial investments, they remember the years and years of struggle. And it's just like expecting the baby to bring you joy quite often doesn't happen like that. There's trauma here. There's a lot that you have been through. No matter how long your journey is or how complicated, it doesn't matter. Your journey is yours. And so it really comes back to, I think just checking in of, “Am I feeling triggered right now? Who are my safe people?” Maybe that's another thing to think about. “Who are my safe people that I can be with on that day that know I'm going to be sad and it's going to be heavy for me.” Who are those people? And envision that day. “How do I want to spend it? What is my plan? What are the things that I'm going to do for me?”
You guys have any ideas of what your plans are going to be for Mother's Day or how you are planning to manage it? Or do you have any questions for me around Mother's Day and how to handle certain things? You guys can ask them just right here in the comments if you want. That might be easy too. And I want to look through here too.
Oh, this was another one I read. I read it, I think, on the Resolve page, which I thought was a really nice thing to think about of, is there an organization you can volunteer your time to on that day? Is there like a homeless organization or anything like that, the soup kitchens or anything where you can go and kind of immerse yourself in helping others? I think Deepak Chopra is the one who says it, like, “The number one way to shift out of our own pain is to help another person who's suffering.” So that's another thing, again, to think about and plan. It's like getting into the community, giving back and getting out of your body.
It could also just be like, “You know what? That's the day I just want to watch movies and stay in bed all day.” So let's start picking out the movies. What's going to be on the list? Or is it a day you want to go to the library and just read and check out? Okay, so really come up. “If I don't have children, how can I celebrate? Especially my mom passed away.” Exactly. So it's sad. And thank you for sharing, Surah. I don't know what your full name is, but I'll call you Surah for now.
So that's it. It's like, “I feel left out. I don't have anything to celebrate. My mother has passed. I don't have children. This day makes me feel left out. And that feels sad.” So it's a day of grieving. Is there something you could do to honor your mother that day?
“My daughter usually takes me out for lunch downtown on Mother's Day,” which that's nice. It's like if you feel like you can share… I think that's it too, of who you're going to be with that day. Do they feel safe to know that this isn't like a sunshine and roses kind of day for everybody? This is a hard day. And Father's Day as well. For all the men out there that are in couples with women struggling. I mean, it's hard. It's hard. This is just a hard time of year. I think there's this expectation that we're just supposed to be happy and jolly. And even for I think women or men that aren't necessarily in the struggle, it's not a happy jolly time. Not everybody had a great mother or a great upbringing or a great father or people that they want to celebrate. And then to not also to feel like…
Yeah, sexy red, thank you that you feel the same. It's like, “I feel left out. Everywhere I look right now for literally the next two weeks is like Mother's Day down your fucking throat.” It just jams it in. I mean, especially obviously here in the US.
So just to really think about like, maybe there's a saying when you see that Mother's Day sign or you get that Mother's Day email, I would love for you to label how you feel. “That makes me feel angry, sad, left out, mad. I want to cry. I want to delete this email.” And then remind yourself it's okay to feel that way. It's okay to not be okay. And then if we can take it one step further and say, “And I honor myself and my commitment to the desire that I have to bring a child through. I honor myself and my commitment to the desire that I have to bring this child through. I honor myself and my commitment to myself, to my health, to bringing this child through.” To bring it back, to acknowledge how you show up, how you have been showing up. And then also to never, ever, ever underestimate the struggle.
And so I think it's just coming up with the plan, “Okay, what am I going to do for the emails? What am I going to do when am I'm out and about? What am I going to do if I get invited to this?” And if you do have a mother that you love and adore and you want to celebrate her, but it's just a really hard day for her, you just say to her, “Can we pick a day in July and I'm going to take you to lunch?” Or, “Are you okay if I'm just going to send you flowers and a card this time?” Because I'm going to get out of town for a day or two, or I'm going to take a long drive, or I just feel like staying at home and being in bed. This year, I just feel really sad.”
So who you feel safe with, you share with, right? And those people love you. That's my take. And they want to honor the way you feel. And if they can't understand that or they take it the wrong way, just bow out. It's okay to say no. I don't want you to judge yourself.
And I want you to just think about like, “Okay, what is my plan for that day?” Because I think we're already thinking about it. It's just like I think Halloween's a really hard one for… Easter's hard. All these kid holidays, Christmas, if that's what you celebrate. These are all really hard. And so what is our plan? And remembering too of like, you're still here because somewhere deep down you do have hope. And so the real plan is that we are going to get to the other side of this.
But I'll tell you too, I mean, I have so many women that have helped or that I've been part of their journey. Mother's Day is still hard even being a mom because it's still a reminder and there's an imprint that's been left of this struggle, and it's a part of your cloth and a part of your thread. And I think it always will be I. And I don't think that's not a bad thing.
“I don't know how I want to feel on Mother's Day. It's hard.” It is hard. It is hard. And especially you, Michelle. I mean, I've gathered from your comment. It's hard to have children and then to also long for others or to have had losses. It's like you're straddling two different worlds, right? But that's what I think you just say, it's a hard day. And you know what? Maybe you give yourself permission to decide what you want to do that day on that day. And we don't have to have plans. You could fake being sick. Tell people you woke up with a stomach bug, right? You could, like I said, choose to sneak away.
I think it's hard to avoid Mother's Day anywhere in the US right now, but I'm just planting the seed. I want us to all think about it because preparation is really important. How are we going to prepare ourselves with this kind of unexpected… Not unexpected, with this expected day coming up.
I'm drinking my soda. Anyone else have any ideas? So I love the idea of a ritual. It could be writing a letter like I said. Dance. It could be staging your house, getting some crystals out, making a manifestation list. I mean, it kind of just really depends on where you're at in your mindset. Some people are going to need to get anger and grief out. Some people are feeling hopeful and optimistic and want to use the day as a way to kind of plan. So only you are going to know that. But I think step one is the emotional check-in. And maybe you do a few over the next few days. “How do I feel about Mother's Day? How do I feel when I see that sign as I'm driving down the road? How do I feel when I get that email? How do I feel when so-and-so says like, ‘What are we going to do for Mother's Day?' How does that make me feel?”
And it's okay that every day could be a different feeling. It's okay to not know. Like Michelle said, it's okay. And that's it. Accepting that how you feel or don't feel is okay. It's okay to not be psyched about Mother's Day. It's okay to want to not subscribe to that day, right? But giving yourself, I think, a plan and doing a ritual on that day and a ritual to honor yourself, and I also think the way you mother yourself is beautiful. And it's okay to say no. Don't judge yourself. Be easy on yourself.
Yeah, that's all I got for you guys. But just thinking about you. It's a heavy time because spring is really the time of excitement and Chinese medicine's time of rebirth and birth. It's tough. And I think Mother's Day is one of those days that just hits hard even if you are a mother and you're struggling for number two or number three, or even if you have all your children, but you're still remembering your losses or that you've lost your mother or a grandmother or another mother figure that's super important to you, or that you are childless and motherless. There's just so many parts of it that are heavy. And so let's honor that. You don't have to. I also think the media just sensationalizes everything. It's like most people have a hard day.
Oh, thank you for saying that. Yeah, I love you guys. I'm cheering for you guys. And the struggle is real, though. I always say, “Hey, if I had a magic wand and I could make this all go away, I just would,” right? I hate seeing the struggle. I hate it. It sucks. But you guys are really good humans who are worthy of everything that you desire. And you are beautiful and magnificent, and you are showing up for yourself in beautiful and magnificent ways. I trust that life will unfold for you in beautiful ways, so be easy on yourself, yeah.
Okay. I'm going to go. I love you guys. And put that spam filter on about Mother's Day. Get those emails out of your fucking inbox. You don't need to see them. You don't need to be triggered. But when you do get triggered, just remind yourself, “I honor myself and my commitment and how I'm showing up. And right now I don't feel great, and that's okay. Or I feel X, and that's okay.” All right. I'll see you guys later.
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