Making the decision to become a surrogate mother is a big one! Surrogacy programs are a wonderful way for a couple to receive the most precious gift – a baby. While it is beautiful and noble, you are making a huge commitment. Not only will you need to prepare your body for a big adjustment, but you will also need to prepare your loved ones. When you already have a family of your own, it is essential that you get them ready for what is to come. Here are five tips to help you on this journey.
Have A Pre-Decision Discussion With Your Partner
Before you bite the bullet, be sure to have a long and detailed discussion with your partner. Make sure that you are both on the same page. It may be difficult to see your wife pregnant with someone else’s baby. It is crucial that you two are both mentally and physically prepared to handle the laborious and emotionally-taxing task ahead. Above all, you must remember to support and love each other. It will not be an easy time, but together you will be able to get through it and give something incredible to another family in need.
Be Honest With Your Kids
If you have your own kids at home, it is important that you speak with them about the changes about to hit home. It might be tougher for smaller children to wrap their heads around their mommy having a baby for another family. In this case, it would be a good idea to repeat the facts to them. Let them know that the baby is not their brother or sister, and instead it is “Mary and John’s baby.” No matter the age, kids will feed off of your emotions, so practice expressing your calm and comfort with the situation. If you show concern, your children will take that on, as well.
Introduce Concepts Over Time
The explanation of how a family is formed may be a challenging conversation to have with small children. If they have never before been exposed to families who have gone through surrogacy programs or adoptions, it will be a foreign concept to them. The best way to articulate the different scenarios is… slowly. It will be too much for them to process in one sitting and should be introduced over time. With your help in normalizing the situations, your children will ease into it and eventually feel a sense of comfort.
As much as you will need to have support during this time, so will your partner and kids. Keep your eyes and ears open for any signs that they might feel insecure or worried about their roles in the pregnancy. Encourage an open dialogue and really listen to what they have to say. Specifically for children, it can be tough to understand the reasons for this change if the baby is not a part of your family. Acknowledge their feelings, but reassure them that this is for the benefit of those who are unable to have a baby (and also for the benefit of your own family!).