By Kathleen Guthrie Woods
Early last December, I was on the verge of an epic meltdown. I’d given up vacation days to help a client meet a tight deadline, I was too tired and busy to participate in traditional rituals like window shopping and checking out neighbors’ decorations, there would be no feast to bring scattered family together, there were no children to remind me of the magic of the season…waaaaaaaa!
My husband held me as I whined and cried, and as he dried my tears he said, “Why don’t you go read your book?”
“Because…sniff, sniff…I finished the last good book I had and the one I requested from the library isn’t in yet and….”
“No, no,” he said, in his kindest and most patient voice, “your book, the one you wrote, about how to get through the holidays.”
Oh. Right. Why didn’t I think of that?
He was referring to Life Without Baby Holiday Companion, a collection of classic blog posts Lisa Manterfield and I put together from this site that offer inspiration and encouragement for getting through the season. It was created in response to what we heard so often from readers: that holiday festivities can bring up all sorts of painful emotions when you’re childfree-not-by-choice.
In times of crisis, it’s so easy to forget what is right in front of us, so I would like to take this opportunity to remind myself—as well as you—what we have here on LWB:
- a wealth of advice in posts, recent and from years past
- more wisdom in the comments shared by readers
- inspiration in “Our Stories”
- support in the Forums
If you’re hurting—when you’re hurting—I hope you’ll look to LWB for comfort. Reach out to other LWBers and share what you’re feeling. Allow us to walk alongside you, to offer understanding in our unique yet similar experiences, and to remind you that you are not alone.
Last year, after being so wisely advised, I did just that. I brewed myself a pot of tea, placed a few sugar cookies on a pretty plate, and sat down with “my book” to heal myself. I won’t say I made it to “Merry!” that day, but I did start to feel better.
Tonight is Halloween in the U.S., and hundreds of sweet little darlings—none of them mine—will descend upon my neighborhood in search of tricks and treats. Even before the first knock at my door, I am starting to feel the ol’ familiar tugs on the heartstrings, the sick anticipation of the holiday blues. But this year, instead of giving into the lure of another meltdown, I’m going to be proactive by re-reading the book and spending some time on our site. I trust I will find ideas for getting through the coming weeks with some grace, compassion, and a healthy dose of perspective. I might even find my way back to seeing the magic and joy that can still be mine this season.
Wishing you happier holidays,
Kathleen Guthrie Woods is a Northern California–based freelance writer. She is mostly at peace with her childfree status.
Life Without Baby Holiday Companion is available in an ebook format on Amazon, now at the very affordable price of $2.99. If it feels like you’re heading for a blue Thanksgiving/Hanukkah/Christmas/Kwanzaa, I hope you’ll order a copy today and find some of the peace you long for.