Ok, hate is a strong word. But that’s how we feel in the moment.
When all you want to do is see a positive pregnancy test and have your own pregnant belly, seeing other women get pregnant so easily infuriates you.
- Your co-worker keeps talking about her new pregnancy – you hate her
- Your sister-in-law “accidentally” gets pregnant – you hate her
- That young woman walks down the street with a big pregnant belly – you hate her
I get it. My anger is different but similar in a lot of ways.
After my husband died suddenly of a heart attack in September 2015 I couldn’t stand to be around dads.
- The smiling dad in a family photo on Facebook – I hated him
- The dad pushing his daughter on the swing at the park – I hated him
- The dad picking his kids up from daycare – I hated him
But did I really hate him? Was his happiness or his existence really about me and my pain? No. I can’t begrudge other dads for simply being dads and being there. It’s just a reminder of what I don’t have, what my girls don’t have and what Steve’s missing.
Is it ok to miss him? Yes. Is it ok for you to be sad for not having your own baby yet? Yes. It’s ok, your feelings are completely normal. But projecting hate onto others can keep us stuck and unhappy.
So here’s what we can do:
There are 2 ways you can do this Stop Step.
Firstly you can use the thought-stopping technique – literally say stop in your head. To stop the thought from occurring, then skip to the “Reframe” step below.
Second, try stopping the activity. I had to go off of Facebook for awhile because it was upsetting me to see different photos. I hear this a lot from my fertility patients – that all they see on Facebook is that someone else is pregnant or just had their new baby. You can go off of social media completely for awhile or limit your exposure by not going to your News Feed but instead go to Notifications and only look at what you want to look at.
Who is it you’re really angry at? What do you really want to happen? Do you want that particular baby? Do I want that guy to be the dad to my kids? No, I don’t. Likely you want your own baby and are angry it’s not happening for you yet.
So just reframing what you’re really mad about and then using a coping strategy to move out of that moment.
Make some sort of action step, change something up.
I was really nervous about having my daughter’s birthday party after Steve died and having the other dads there. One of my friends asked, why didn’t I just have the kids and moms – a no dads birthday party. The thought hadn’t occurred to me.
If there is an event, a situation, that isn’t working for you, can you think of a creative way of changing it?
For example, could you have an honest conversation with your co-worker about how happy you are for her but that it’s too hard for you to talk about her pregnancy all the time?
If this step is hard, try talking to your partner, counsellor, or naturopath about other ways to take action to dial down the hate.
So, do I really hate all those dads?
No, but I acknowledge my feelings then try to move forward. Life is tough but my hatred doesn’t make it any easier. I love the dads in my life and my girls need other men around them.
I hope you can find some sort of peace with what’s happening in your life. If that sounds like a tall order, I get it. But just move step by step, moment to moment. You’ve got this.