Pregnancy Envy Does Not Mean You Are Crazy….

For those women out there who are trying to have a baby, and it’s just not happening, it is likely you have experienced feelings of jealousy and/or envy when hearing someone’s pregnancy news, or when seeing another pregnant woman. You are not crazy, nor are you unique in having this emotion. As crazy as you might feel, please be reassured you are not. Every woman I have ever known, personally or professionally that has had difficulty conceiving has experienced these feelings of jealousy or envy. Yes I mean every woman, and that includes myself.

What makes these difficult emotions even worse is that they are typically followed by self-anger and loathing, as well as guilt, that you could feel such a way. Many times these feelings are directed at our family and friends and we should feel nothing but joy and happiness for them right? That should word always gets us into trouble…. And to make matters even worse, someone has told us that we should “just be happy for fill in the blank. Really? Who said that those of us who have had the gut wrenching experience of not getting pregnant month after month, or year after year, should feel nothing but joy and happiness for those around us who can so easily have what we can not?

Last night at my Support Group for Women Coping With Infertility, this very topic came up. One of the attendees shared her personal experience with these difficult feelings, and we all nodded our heads in agreement and understanding of what she was describing. She brought up another factor that oftentimes adds to our self-anger, loathing and guilt over pregnancy envy, and that is our spouses don’t understand what we feel, and/or may be irritated or even angry that we do.

Since you cannot miraculously rid yourself of these emotions, what can you do? The answer is not a one-size fits all answer, but there are a few things that can help lessen the self-anger and loathing and guilt. The only solution that will rid you of most of these emotions is having a baby. Until that happens, these tips may help you.

The first very important tip is to be kind and accepting to yourself that you feel envious, jealous, or angry at pregnant others. If you cannot accept that it is natural to feel these emotions to some degree, how is it that you can expect or help others accept that you feel what you do?

Next, share this blog post with your spouse, mother, best friend, or whomever you wish to understand better that you are not crazy or selfish because you have these emotions. Most likely, these important people in your life simply have a hard time seeing you hurt so much, and are frustrated that they cannot help you. Let them know that their acceptance of your feelings will help you a lot.

Finally, talk to somebody about what you are feeling if the feelings become overwhelming, or are causing significant distress in an important relationship. Counseling can be VERY helpful in these areas. Call me if you would like to set an appointment at 913-515-7338.