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7 Tips to Help Your Guy Survive Father’s Day When You’re Infertile

By Tracey Minella

June 14th, 2014 at 7:18 am

 

Credit: david castillo dominici/freedigitalphotos.net

 

Just as Mother’s Day is the hardest day of the year for infertile women, Father’s Day is roughest on the infertile men.  And society’s expectations of men make it even harder.

Men are “supposed” to be so many things. Tough guys. Knights in shining armor. Passionate lovers. Good providers.

And daddies.

But the harsh reality of infertility flies in the face of all that. Real men cry. Timed sex is no fun. (Ditto for specimen cups.) Ten thousand dollar bills don’t grow on trees. You can’t “just look at her” and get her pregnant. And this Sunday is yet another day…and another year… without a crayon-colored card and painted rock paperweight present.

Our guys are there to pick us up each month as we face another disappointment and to hold us after yet another a failed cycle. Some hold back their tears so we can let ours flow freely while others join in.  (Either way, they hurt, too.) They lose sleep worrying about how to finance the next fertility treatment. And if the cause is male factor, they often shoulder unbearable guilt as well, no matter how much we reassure them.

Face it. Society isn’t even sympathetic to us on Mother’s Day even though the depth of the maternal instinct is universally accepted. So the support, empathy, and understanding our men need needs to come from somewhere else.

It needs to come from us. So what can we do to help our partners this Sunday?

Here are 7 tips to help get him through Father’s Day:

Cater to him: Get inside his head and go for the best diversion for him. Do whatever it is he likes…preferably where there won’t be children (if being around them is hard). In fact, set up a whole day of his favorite things, starting with breakfast in bed.

 

Surprise him: Has he been begging you to share a new experience with him, like fishing or hiking…or any other positively mortifying thing? Has he hinted about a concert or sporting event that you would rather die than attend? Well…surprise him with those tickets or grab the tackle box and go for it with a smile on your face. That simple gesture will speak volumes. (Tomorrow you can tell him it was a one-day only thing!)

 

Solo time with Dad: Instead of having to endure a barbeque with the whole family…including the wise-cracking fertile siblings and the 22 grandchildren they’ve already provided…plan to spend solo time with Dad. Consider breakfast on Sunday morning or dinner on Saturday night instead.

 

 

Daddy-in-Waiting card: He’s already a father in his heart. He’s just waiting. Don’t make him wait to get a card (or a gift for that matter). Write him a heartfelt note telling him how much he means to you and how he’s helped you on this journey. Tell him what wonderful traits he has that you hope your children will one day have and why he’d make a great dad. (Then get the tissues ready.)

 

Adopt a kid: If you can handle it emotionally and you’re close to someone with a child who no longer has a father in the picture, consider doing something with that child on Sunday. Toss a ball in a park, see a movie, get an ice-cream. It may be an awkward or difficult day for the child and his mom, but you could make a difference… and do your heart some good, too.

 

Get physical: Relieve some of the stress of infertility with physical activity. Take a walk or run on the beach. Take a trip to the gym. Have a roll in the hay. Or not.

 

Sow your seed: There’s something cathartic about getting your hands dirty with nature. About sowing seed or planting a tree that will live for generations. About fertility and making something grow. So while you are waiting for that baby, consider planting a Father’s Day tree or garden…something to watch grow over the coming years. A tree next to which you might take annual photos with your future child every Father’s Day as they both grow.

 

Remind him that this journey will end someday and that IVF success rates and technology continue to improve daily so there’s no better time to be trying to conceive.

Hopefully, the reality of that painted rock paperweight is only a stone’s throw away.

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What are you planning to do on Father’s Day this year?

 

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