A group of friends with children.
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The TTC blues: friends with kids

The sense of anticipation around trying to conceive can easily turn into frustration and emotional pain when the process hits unexpected snags, or if takes longer than you were expecting – and that’s just from the inside. Dealing with that pain and frustration can be even harder in the context of the rest of your life, especially when ‘the rest of your life’ includes family and friends who have children or become pregnant as you’re trying.

Getting feelings of depression while trying to conceive?

It would be nice to be able to be the person who is always graciously happy for the good news of your friends and family, even when it’s good news you wish you were getting for yourself. Unfortunately, that’s not always the way emotions work out – but that’s okay. As with a lot of instinctive emotional responses, the important thing isn’t what they are, so much as how you handle them.

Remember who your friends are

If your best friend since college has a brand new baby who is all she wants to talk about when you two meet to catch up, it may feel like she’s twisting the knife, but you should know differently. She’s just excited for this new phase of her life, and she wants to share it with you.

Knowing that may not make it hurt less, but it’s important to the way you react. Your friend (or sister-in-law, coworker you grab lunch with, or particularly friendly bank-teller) doesn’t want to hurt you, and will probably modify the way she talks to you for a while, if you ask her to, or be willing to give you a little space until your feelings calm down.

It’s okay to take a time-out

As long as you take a moment to have the ‘it’s not you, it’s me,’ conversation, many of the people in your life will understand if you need to take a moment to dial back a relationship for your own peace of mind, especially if they’ve been through the same process.

My way or the highway

If you’re feeling this way, it’s easy to start to feel resentful of friends who aren’t struggling to conceive. This goes double for those who might complain about their young children. It’s not the most tactful thing to say to you at that moment, and if it really hurts you, you might want to have a conversation with them about it. But just because it’s a problem you would love to be dealing with, that doesn’t mean they aren’t having a hard time. It would be easy to say they just don’t how good what they have is, but parenting is a difficult job, and it’s easy for new parents to feel isolated and alone, just like you.

Don’t burn your bridges

Even if you’re having a hard time relating to them now, your friends and family are still your friends and family. When you conceive, you’re going to want to share your news with them, the same way they wanted to share their happiness with you.

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