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Not all that long ago, babies were not much more than a cute afterthought. You were quietly enjoying life with your other half, focusing on the things that people in their 20s and 30s focus on.

Then, you both decided that you were ready to start trying to conceive. You may just be at the start of that journey, or you may have been neck-deep in ovulation calendars, folic acid, and stroller shopping for a few months already.

You have no reason to suspect that you're infertile, but you are worried nonetheless. And every time a friend or relative tells you she is expecting, you feel a pang a devious pang of jealousy. Pregnant women in stylish maternity outfits appear to be everywhere, and you see new mother after new mother with cute little newborns. Let's face it you have mommy envy. You're not proud, but that jealously is undeniably there. You've got to get over yourself fast. But how?

Why are you jealous of pregnant women?

You probably don't know the answer, and it really bugs you. You may even feel a little bit crazy. I did. I'm a proud mom now, but I still recall that feeling. Jealously is an ugly emotion, and I think I know what causes pregnancy envy. You are probably trying to conceive at the moment, but pregnancy envy also rears its head for women whose partners don't quite feel ready to become fathers yet. At the heart of pregnancy envy is the feeling, or perhaps more accurately the fear, that you will never be among the pregnant. Pregnancy envy can be especially heartbreaking if you already know you have a fertility problem, or if your partner doesn't want kids at all. You want what other women have you want to follow that nature-given biological drive to reproduce. You want the morning sickness, the kicking baby inside, and you want to hold a squishy newborn in your loving arms.

How can you get rid of it?

Distraction is the best cure. If you are trying to conceive and have no reason to believe that you won't succeed, banish the fear that you can't have babies from your head right now. Read up on statistics, be be assured that the vast majority of couples who are actively trying for a baby get pregnant within a year. Spend time on TTC forums chatting to other women in the same position if it helps. Chart your fertility so you know exactly when you are fertile if you want. When you see a pregnant women, or worse yet find out that your friend or relative is expecting, remember to be very happy for them. Indulge a little, and buy your pregnant loved ones cute baby gifts. Remember, at all times, that someone else's pregnancy does not mean that you will not have a baby soon, in any way.

There is nothing wrong with going a bit further down the road and reading up about parenting philosophies, early childhood education, or how you would like to give birth, either. But resist the temptation to become obsessed with the whole pregnancy thing, and enjoy life. Do you find yourself thinking about pregnancy and babies all the time? Here are some simple but helpful ideas to stop it:

  • Take your other half out to dinner, in the nicest restaurant in town. Don't talk about pregnancy and babies the entire time. Spend time bonding and discussing the stuff that you like to discuss. Be grateful that you can wear your nicest outfit and indulge in a glass of wine or two both of which would be impossible if you were already expecting.
  • Redecorate your home, together with your partner. A new lick of paint is one of the easiest ways to create a whole new look, and that's not something you could do so easily if you were already expecting not all paints are safe for fetuses, and standing on ladders is dodgy too. Decluttering is a satisfying activity you can really get stuck into as well.
  • Make sure you get regular exercise at least four times a week. Working out makes you feel better and increases your fertility too. You can even work out together with your partner. Don't forget the nice massage afterwards.
  • Take on a new project at work. You know, the kind of project that would be difficult to do if you had a baby.

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