Holiday shopping can be difficult when you're coping with infertility. You can feel like you're surrounded by advertisements of happy families with children. When you're out shopping, it can feel like everyone is either pregnant or has children. The malls are filled with little kids waiting for a picture with Santa Clause.
It reminds me of that scene in Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985), when he loses his bike, and everywhere he goes, people are riding bicycles. Except this isn't funny.
Shopping during the holidays with infertility is not easy. Here are some coping tips that may make holiday shopping less stressful:
We live in a world where you can buy almost everything you need online, and sometimes for less than it costs to buy in-person. Shopping for gifts online is one way to avoid the big shopping centers filled with children.
Also, it allows you to buy only the items you need for your friends and family. If you don't need to buy baby clothes or toys for anyone, you won't have to "walk" past those store fronts online.
Avoid big malls.
While malls may be busy with kids seeing Santa, downtown shopping strips are usually less kid-filled. Try shopping in smaller boutiques, instead of department stores.
Shop during school hours.
If you want to go to the mall, but you don't want to run in to lots of families, try going during school hours. You'll probably still bump in to pregnant women and Moms with little babies, but it won't be as overwhelming an experience.
Shop with a friend.
Seeing all the kids and families hurts partially because it makes us feel alone in the world. Instead, make a date with a good friend to go holiday shopping together.
Hopefully you'll be too busy chatting and having a good time to notice all the babies and kids. If not, at least you'll have someone to talk with instead of silently stewing.
Get someone else to do baby and child shopping.
If you need to buy baby gifts for friends and family, and you find it too emotionally overwhelming to do it yourself, consider giving the job over to an understanding friend. You can hand her the money and give her all the important details, such as sizes and ages.
If you really want to shop yourself, but it's difficult, consider shopping online, as said earlier. Buying gifts for kids online is much easier than walking in to a baby clothing store, filled with pregnant Moms and babies.