Trying For A Baby? Here’s How To Tell Your Family
When It’s Your Turn To Have The Sex Talk With Your Parents
I’ve done my best to avoid getting pregnant for most of my life. When I was younger, I didn’t understand why anyone would endure the physical pain and changes that come with childbirth. Yet—as is true for many things in my life—my opinions changed as I got older. I fell in love and knew I wanted to have a baby with my husband someday.
Suddenly, someday turned into today, and my husband and I are ready to plan for a baby. It’s only felt natural and best for us to tell our families and include them in our journey. We also shared with a few close friends who we knew would support our journey from the beginning.
For my partner, telling his parents was easy. But sharing the news with my family was a bit harder for me. Whenever a moment arose, I felt timid and unsure about the words to use. “We’re going to start trying for a baby!” translates to “We’ll be having a lot more sex—and without contraception!” It’s not your typical dinner conversation, especially not with family.
My mom and I are very close. I’ve always shared everything with her. I didn’t think I’d struggle to open up about this decision with her. However, every time I tried, past lectures about birth control as a teenager flooded my mind. I was no longer a teenager talking to her mom about safe sex, and that felt scary.
With time and using the practices noted below, I gained the courage to tell my family. I focused on what felt right for me—which words to use, and when and where to have the conversation—and that made all the difference. It was also helpful to acknowledge the beauty and excitement of this new adventure—because it is exciting!
If you’re also planning for a baby and want to broach the topic with family or friends, I hope these steps make the conversation feel a bit less intimidating for you too.
1. Start With Questions
Leading up to the conversation, I wanted to hear more about my parents’ experience with family planning. I asked my mom about her pregnancies, labors, and postpartum. “How old were you when you decided to start a family?” and “How did you know it was the right time?” were other questions I asked. These questions allowed them to reminiscence about their experience raising children together, and it offered a runway for me to open up about my future as well.
Of course, every family is different. Having these conversations may not be accessible for everyone. But if possible, consider asking your parents about their experience with trying for a baby, and allow the conversation to unfold naturally.
2. Don’t Wait For The Perfect Time
Even when I felt ready to share, I noticed I was hesitant and timid. This partly was because I was waiting for the perfect moment—whenever we share exciting news, it’s normal to want the conditions to be perfect. Ideally, we want the recipients to be in a present mindset and eager to listen.
But we can’t always plan for a perfect moment, which is why I decided to surrender this expectation and share when it felt most organic. It wasn’t the most ideal time or setting, but to my surprise, my parents weren’t shocked to hear the news. I’d already been asking them questions, so they were subconsciously prepared, and they responded with support and love.
3. Only Share What You Feel Comfortable Sharing
When you finally announce the news, you’ll want to decide how much you’re willing to share. You may want to keep personal details private between you and your partner. For me, I didn’t use a formal script and instead aimed to be honest. Stating a simple “We’re going to start trying” felt most comfortable. I didn’t feel I needed to elaborate further and instead opened the conversation for questions—which leads to my next point.
4. Set Expectations And Establish Boundaries
Starting a family is a deeply personal decision, and it’s wonderful to have support during this life transition. After I told my parents, my mom had questions. She asked about prenatal vitamins, doctor’s appointments, and how else I was preparing. It was helpful to hear her thoughts, and her suggestions confirmed I was taking the right steps. As I’ve never done this before, I kept myself open to hearing advice.
But, sometimes, well-meaning advice may not be the most helpful—it depends on you and your journey. If you find family members are asking too much or too often about the details, it’s okay to ask for space. Let your loved ones know that you want their advice and help, but only when you ask for it. With a bit of communication, we can explain to others how to best approach helping—because, at the end of the day, that’s all they want to do.
5. Reflect On The Conversation
I felt relieved after opening up to my family, and I’ve since reflected on the conversation. I find myself moving forward with a great sense of empowerment. It’s heartening to know my husband and I are moving forward with so much support. I’d encourage you to also reflect on this conversation if you decide to have it, as well as any support you receive.
And if sharing doesn’t feel right for you, that’s okay too! Remember: This is your journey and, whether or not you tell your family and friends is entirely up to you.
Have you had conversations with family and friends about trying for a baby? I’d love to hear your stories or tips in the comments below!
Courtney Jay is a writer at The Good Trade. She is also a yoga instructor, health enthusiast, and sustainable fashion advocate. She believes the most powerful way to nurture the planet is to nurture ourselves. You can find more of her writing and take one of her online yoga classes on her website Coincide.