Gobble, gobble. Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Who doesn’t love dry turkey, shrieking children, and incessant questions about when you’re going to have a baby? All kidding aside, Thanksgiving can be a stressful holiday for those trying to conceive. While it’s wonderful to see family, chances are you won’t feel very thankful about being surrounded by little cuties and well-meaning Aunt Jean’s endless “just relax, it’ll happen” suggestions.

Friendsgiving to the rescue! Take a year off from the traditional Thanksgiving experience, and spend time with friends who won’t make suggestions or ask questions about anything except what they can bring. The Fertility Experts of UNC Fertility in Raleigh, North Carolina suggest that one of the best ways to survive the flood of emotions that Thanksgiving often brings to those dealing with infertility is to avoid things that trigger those emotions. You’ll be thankful you gave yourself this well-deserved break.

Family Matters
If you’re worried that skipping out on the traditional family celebration may disappoint your parents, siblings, or other family members – don’t. No one wants you to feel terrible on a day meant for gratitude and celebration. Unless they’ve been in your shoes, they probably don’t understand how stressed, emotionally depleted, and sad you may be feeling; and how being around children (and the parents of those children) might compound those feelings. Explain that you’re thankful they’re in your life, then remind them that it’s only one day, and you deserve to do whatever it is that helps you get through that day. They’ll miss having you there, but I bet your dad will be grateful for the extra slice of pumpkin pie.

Quality Time with the Rachel to Your Monica
Fans of the iconic TV show F.R.I.E.N.D.S know what I’m talking about. Friends since high school, Rachel and Monica experienced life’s ups and downs together knowing they always had someone to lean on. Who’s your Rachel? Or Rachels? You may be fortunate enough to have more than one ride or die buddy in your life. You’ve mostly likely never spent Thanksgiving with any of them. There’s beauty in celebrating a day of gratitude with the people you’ve chosen to include in your life.

No Kids Table
The best part about hosting Friendsgiving? You’re in charge of the guest list. UNC Fertility patients have found that the key is to make it all about the couples and single friends in your life. Friends who don’t have kids or whose kids will be spending Thanksgiving elsewhere. Put yourself in a position where you don’t have to worry about people talking about their pregnancy, kids, or, maddeningly, the difficulties of being a parent. They have no idea that you long for the difficulties they complain about.

Another benefit to keeping it adults-only? There’s no need to have kid-friendly anything on your menu. Whip up that funky sweet potato dish you’ve been eyeing, or try a new menu entirely. Maybe you’re not feeling the Turkey and stuffing vibe this year. Serve Indian or Chinese. It’s your Friendsgiving, you make the rules.

Give yourself a break and do Thanksgiving your way as we move into the joyous, kid-centric holiday season. Enjoy quality time with your friends and partner because before you know it, one of those shrieking children will be yours. If you’re struggling with infertility and could use more coping tips call UNC Fertility at 919-908-0000 to schedule an appointment.