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The Holiday Season and Your Fertility Journey

Carol Lynn Curchoe, PhD, HCLD | Dec 19, 2022 | Dec 19, 2022

You know that this year isn’t going to be any different.

Family dynamics are strong despite our age, experiences, marriages, promotions, etc. Around the holiday season, with the focus often on children, our families can challenge the boundaries we usually have in place around our fertility journey and TTC.

When intrusive and inappropriate questions about relationships, fertility, and finances come up, I personally never know what to say in the moment!

I know that keeping boundaries makes me feel uncomfortable, so preparing ahead of time is helpful for me.

Here are some of my tips for setting some boundaries during the Holidays.


Stand up with your head high if someone is belittling you or hurting you with their words. Make eye contact and hold it. Let the silence sit for a while before answering. Be in control and don’t rush to respond. Take a deep breath (or maybe a few) from the pit of your stomach so your voice is strong and not high and pitchy.


Are you and your partner on the same page in terms of privacy and the need for outside support? Who do you want to tell? Are there things you are keeping private? Are there people you are not sharing with?

Use the word “we” in your answers to intrusive questions, such as “we need you to stop asking this,” or “we will tell you when and if there’s something to share,” and even, “we need you to respect our boundaries on this.”

Keep answers short and factual, so not to invite additional questions. Here are a few ideas:

  • Thank you for your concern. We’re not ready to answer those questions.
  • I’m not comfortable talking about that. Let’s switch to a different topic.
  • Those are good questions, and I wish we had the answers. We will let you know when we figure it out.
  • I understand why you are curious, however it’s not something I want to discuss.
  • I’ve explained that I’m not comfortable discussing this. Please don’t bring it up again.

Avoidance as #SelfCare

Why not align with your values this holiday season! Is it time to take a trip you’ve always wanted to go on? Staycation somewhere snowy? Need to take a break from #IVF treatment? Avoidance can also be #selfcare!

Set New #Traditions

Sometimes traditions themselves can be triggers. Stuffing yourself with a big meal or having cocktails might not align with your TTC goals.

Consider starting new traditions! Talk to your siblings, parents, or in-laws ahead of time to plan ahead. Perhaps eating at a restaurant instead of making the traditional family dishes? Maybe it’s time to start a hike, 5k, or yoga tradition to support your healthy TTC goals?

Lastly, remember you already have a family of your own – your friends and loved ones. Having children is not what makes a family. Even if your friends and family are sometimes annoying, their questions come from a place of concern and love.

Hope these tips are helpful for you on your fertility journey!