I know what you’re thinking.
Last year wasn’t the best year for family building.
Perhaps it was because the timing was off or you tried some initial fertility treatments, but things didn’t work.
So, now you're thinking, “No doubt about it, this is definitely the year for starting a new family!”
I can understand the sentiment. Really, I get it. You just want to have a baby!
However, it’s important to set yourself up for success, no matter if there is a pregnancy in your future or not. So, keep these ideas in mind for being able to cope, whether “it” happens or not in the new year.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Don’t just dive into the new year by keeping those family building plans to yourself. Make sure that your lines of communication stay open with everyone who is involved.
Of course, if you are starting a new family with a partner, this definitely includes them. However, even if you are planning for a pregnancy on your own, there are still important people in your life with whom you should be in communication.
For example, your personal physician and fertility specialist (if you’re working with one), are definitely people you should be keeping “in the loop.” Also, if you are seeing a counselor for pregnancy issues, make sure you are being open with them a well.
Make Plans to Do Something Else Than Having a Baby
Of course, starting a family is a priority for you. But remember that there is more to your life than family building.
Starting a family does take a lot of time and energy, but it shouldn’t be the only thing that makes this year special. It’s important to have balance at all stages of your life, including right now when your thoughts revolve so much around having a baby.
However, you have a full year to accomplish a lot, including other plans that have nothing to do with pregnancy. For example, planning an exciting vacation is one thought, or learning a new skill is another.
Stay Active and Get Moving
Staying active is also important, no matter where you are in life. Note that “active” doesn’t necessarily mean “busy.” You probably don’t have a problem with that at all!
Being physically active means having fun and participating in activities that get you moving. These should include a variety of pursuits that allow you to stay engaged and not let you become lethargic.
Some example might be:
Exercising at the gym
Going on a hike
Taking the dogs for walks
Participating in your favorite sports
Also, you can use the new year as an opportunity to learn a new sport or go on that adventure you’ve always dreamed of.
Be Realistic with Your Plans for Starting a New Family
When it comes to your family building plans it’s important to be realistic and have sensible expectations.
Consider also how you will approach the scenario if your pregnancy hopes don’t work out the way you envisioned. How will you cope? What will you do?
Of course, this is difficult to imagine and hard to consider. Yet, foreseeing both positive and negative scenarios can be helpful if your plans don’t work out optimally. It can sometimes be easier to contend with a negative outcome if you have taken the time to work through how you would address it before you’ve arrived in the middle of that outcome.
Starting a new family is a great hope to have for the future. However, sometimes family building dreams (or the complexity of realizing those dreams) can feel like they take over your whole life. See if you can find some balance between your pregnancy dreams and other aspects of your life.
If you're interested in how I could help you cope with possible setbacks, please check out my approach to fertility counseling.