How to Deal When Everyone Else Is Pregnant (and You’re TTC)
Throw yourself a pity party…but don’t overdo it
Yes, you can feel sorry for yourself. “I do believe in throwing pity parties,” says Shoshana Bennett, PhD, a clinical psychologist. You don’t even have to stop at one pity party. If you need to do it each month until you’re pregnant, go ahead. But here’s the trick: You want to end on a positive note each time, or else it could lead to more depression. So pick a time and place and let it all out—cry, yell, write in a journal, however it is that you can get your feelings out. But give yourself a time limit: Party’s over in 15 minutes, that kind of thing.
Don’t compare apples and oranges
Hell, don’t even compare apples to apples. The truth is, this isn’t a competition, and it doesn’t matter how easy or hard trying to get pregnant is for anyone else but you. Besides, 99 percent of the time, you really don’t know someone else’s story. “It may not be as easy for her as you think,” says Bennett. If you stop driving yourself crazy comparing yourself to other women, you’ll be able to be more positive.
Ignore hurtful comments
Everyone just has to put in their two cents, right? When people hear you’re TTC, here come all the “helpful” stories. But it can be really annoying to listen for the fifth time about how a friend of a friend got pregnant when she wasn’t even trying. “Ignore that stuff and keep yourself positive,” says Bennett. “Change the subject, walk away or tell your friend that her comments aren’t helping. It’s very important to let people know how you’re feeling, especially those whom you consider your best support system.” They won’t stop doing it if they don’t know it’s annoying or hurtful.
Skip the shower and don’t feel guilty about it
You know, you can decline a baby shower invite. “Don’t shame yourself on not wanting to attend,” says Bennett. “If you feel it would be more painful than good to go to the shower, then give yourself permission to not go. Your friend will understand.” Explain to your friend how you’re feeling and why you can’t go to the shower, and send her a gift. It’s better than feeling terrible about yourself in public. That said, if you feel like going, go ahead!
Don’t give in to baby talk
Your coworker is driving you nuts with all the nonstop talk about her pregnancy — oh, and the constant rubbing of her belly? Yeah. Change the subject. Same goes if hanging out with your girlfriends suddenly seems like mommy and me time. Ask your friends if you can talk about other topics when you’re getting together, or just think of three or four things to bring up to get the conversation moving in another direction.
Join a community
Even if it feels as though you’re the only woman in the world not pregnant or already a mom, there are plenty of other people who are going through the same thing as you. This isn’t TTC, party of one. “It’s important to keep in mind that you’re in very good company,” says Bennett. “Connecting with a group of women in the same situation can be very useful, as long as it’s a group that’s positive. Make sure everyone is supporting each other and not just complaining and bringing each other down.” Not only can the other women help boost your confidence, they can be sounding boards when you’re stressed. They can also help you with fertility info that you may not have known. You can really identify with the other ladies and find a great support system. If you’re hunting around for places to hang out with other women who are TTC, check out The Bump’s online community, where you can join groups based on your geographic location, stage of your pregnancy journey or specific interests and concerns.
Make the most out of your baby-free life
When you do have a baby, you’ll no longer have time to do certain things. So before your life becomes all about diaper changes and feedings, do all the things you’ve been thinking of doing that you won’t be able to do when you’re a mom. “Plan a vacation or short day trip that you couldn’t possibly do if you were pregnant or had a baby,” says Bennett. “Go on a wine tour with your girlfriends. Go zip-lining. Make the most of where you are in your life right now.” When you do become a mom, at least you won’t have any regrets.