Perhaps you have been away at college or somewhere and this holiday season is the first time you are going to see your family, namely your parents, the news of your unplanned pregnancy.
I know avoiding them probably seems easier, but keep in mind; our families love us and want to support us, even through the bad times. Our parents are the ones who picked us up when we fell down, dried our tears when we got a broken heart, and encouraged us when we needed it most. So during an emotional and stressful time, such as an unplanned pregnancy, it is only natural for us to turn to our family. But, telling your family, especially your parents that you are pregnant may be very hard.
Personally speaking, even though I was 24 years old when I was pregnant with my son, I was terrified to tell my parents. I was afraid, ashamed, and just knew that I had let them down. Of course, once I finally did tell them, they were upset, shocked, and probably a little angry, but most importantly, they still loved me and wanted me to do what I felt was right. No matter how many times I “mess up” they still love me unconditionally.
While you may be afraid to tell your parents, it is something I encourage you to do. They are going to find out at some point anyway – it’s pretty hard to hide a protruding belly and it would be much better for them to hear this from you than to find out on their own or hear it from someone else.
A few tips on how to tell your parents you are pregnant:
- Make sure it is a good time when they are not busy. You don’t want to tell them when Mom’s in the middle of cooking dinner with a ringing phone and barking dog, so pick a calm time in their schedules. This may be hard to do over the holidays, but perhaps pre warn them that you have some news and will need some alone time with them.
- Be honest with them about your pregnancy. Let them know how far along you are (if you know or have a guess) and let them know that you are thinking over your options and tell them any steps you may have taken this far such as going to the doctor, a crisis pregnancy center, or calling an adoption agency. Let them know if you are doing research on single parenting or adoption by reading blogs, visiting websites, talking with others, etc. Let them see that you are taking a proactive stance on this.
- Avoid arguing if at all possible. They may be a little angry at first as this comes as a surprise to them but getting into an argument with your parents will not make the situation any easier.
- Remain calm. I know this is easier said than done, but remaining calm will make telling them a little smoother.
- Some of my birthmom friends have found it easier to tell their Mom first and then tell their Dad together with their Mom. Depending on your family dynamics, you may find this method best for you.
- Remember that they are hurting too. You are their daughter and they probably envisioned your pregnancy happening in a different matter, especially if this is your first pregnancy. This baby is their grandchild and they will feel a sense of responsibility and if you are making an adoption plan they will probably feel a sense of loss too.
- Try empowering your family with information. Educate them about your options and what steps you might have taken thus far in your pregnancy such as calling an agency, calling a crisis pregnancy center, what you and the baby’s father have discussed, making a doctor’s appointment, etc…
Good luck in telling your parents about your pregnancy!