Gretchen Kubacky, Psy.D. is a health psychologist in private practice in Southern California. She is a Certified PCOS Educator, a frequent lecturer on women’s health, and the founder of the popular website, PCOSwellness.com. She is dedicated to education, advocacy, and empowerment for women and girls with PCOS.
Last month was National Infertility Awareness Month, and that elicited a lot of strong feelings in women with PCOS. Personally, it always leaves me feeling a little sucker-punched in the gut, even though I know it’s coming, every year. Similarly, Mother’s Day being around the corner can bring up feelings of sadness, depression, anxiety, jealousy, anger, and more. You see, if you weren’t already aware, PCOS is the primary cause of female infertility.
But there are many ways to deal with this: a pint of ice cream and a good cry, totally ignoring it, spending it focused on your own mother, or perhaps celebrating Non-Mother's Day. Non-Mother’s Day is a refreshing approach to seeking support for the challenges of the in-your-face assault of mushy Mother’s Day images and the collective cultural worship and adoration of mothers. Not that we shouldn’t adore mothers, but it HURTS to be left out.
Mother’s Day is BIG business – over $20 billion dollars worth, each and every year. That means that the hype starts early. If you’re out in public, you can’t miss it. The greeting cards, perfume ads, restaurant specials, and flower shops are all singularly focused on getting us to spend money celebrating this holiday.
In addition to inconsolable feelings of grief and longing for the child or pregnancy you never had (or perhaps worse, lost, or lost repeatedly), you may be feeling like there’s no place for you in this mother-focused world. The reality is that nearly one in five women never becomes a mother. You’re not entirely alone.
Since you probably can’t escape it, what else can you do to make it more bearable?
Come hang out on the PCOS Psychology Facebook page, which is a safe place to talk about all of the feelings, not just the ones that sound nice and socially acceptable. Feel free to be you! I’ll be checking in regularly on Mother’s Day.