When struggling with recurrent pregnancy loss, staying happy can be hard. The reminders of one’s failure are never too far – you walk out of your house and there you have it – pregnant ladies and families with children are literally everywhere. You don’t need to even walk out: turn on a TV, read a magazine or browse your Facebook account. There is just no escaping one’s failure to reproduce – babies are EVERYWHERE.
Coming to terms with this huge injustice is an everyday struggle. Below I summarized things that helped me keep my sanity and happiness when going through my infertility struggles.
#1 Realize that being a parent does not guarantee happiness.
It’s something that my best friend told me and it stuck with me, “Don’t think that everyone who has kids is happy.” When she said it to me, I realized how true that was. I have friends who had children with men who gave them all kinds of trouble when they split up. As single parents, they certainly didn’t have it easy. They were also bound to the same location and couldn’t move where they wanted to due to the fact they had kids with someone they no longer lived with. I also have friends who are staying in not very happy relationships only because there are kids involved. How happy of the life is that? Years spent with someone you are not happy with doesn’t sound much like happiness to me.
#2 Realize that happiness is a choice.
As humans, we always tend to want things we don’t have. We think that having those things would make us happy. Then when we do get them, we are happy for a little while but then go on to wanting something else that would make us happy. This unfortunate lack of appreciation of what is causes people to never be quite happy. The circumstances will never be perfect for you to be happy – childless or not, you will always have struggles. It’s thus essential to appreciate the blessings of the present and consciously choose to be happy.
#3 Realize that happiness can be found in all kinds of circumstances.
People who desperately want a baby often fail to realize that there are parents who are very unhappy. There are also childless couples who are extremely happy. Don’t condition your happiness on circumstances: don’t wait for the perfect situation to be happy. Every single day that you are healthy and breathing is a good enough occasion to be happy.
#4 Realize the struggles of being a parent
If only you had a baby, you’d be happy… But the truth is that if you did have a baby, you’d have new and different struggles. Many parents struggle financially or in their personal relationships. They are unhappy about lack of the time they have for themselves and each other. When your kids get sick or get in trouble, you are worried and unhappy.
#5 Realize that statistically speaking, childless couples are actually happier
A recent extensive research on this topic concluded that child-free couples are actually happier than parents. The American Sociological Association found that parents are more likely to be depressed than their childfree counterparts.
It helps me to know that no matter if I end up having my own kids or not, I can be happy as long as I am healthy. I hope you too can find this happiness within.