We Told Our Kids! (And They’ve Told Lots of Others…)
June 15, 2012
© Melanie at Parenting.com
11w, 2d. My husband and I totally weren’t planning to break the news of this pregnancy to our kids just yet, but with two boys, ages 3 and 5, there’s lots of roughhousing going on in our house—and I felt like my belly was under siege from some pint-size ninjas.
So, about two weeks ago, we broke the news to our kids that we’re expecting a baby in January. They were… nonplussed, to say the least. I had the foresight to capture the moment on video—and the lack of foresight to have my hand covering the microphone, so really all you can get from the minute or so of footage is my 5-year-old staring blankly at his dad, and my 3-year-old staring at his brother in turn. Perhaps it was for the best that you can’t hear the audio when my son turns to look at me and asks, “So, Mommy will get fat?”
Later that day, he looked up at me rather angelically and said, “Well, I thought you might be pregnant because you’re already looking a little fat.” Nice, kid. My husband kindly stepped in later that day and had a word with him about how PREGNANT ≠ FAT.
Anyway, we had a number of hesitations in telling the kids, the first of which was that we’re still in the first trimester and aware of the possibility of miscarriage (see, um, most prior posts of mine). But, largely because my mom passed away three years ago, my older son has a solid, age-appropriate understanding of death. I don’t write this to be morbid, and I certainly wouldn’t want to put my children through unnecessary emotional pain, but death is not a wholly unfamiliar concept in our household (in fact, just last night, my son suggested that we say a prayer for my mom in Heaven, because he wished she could have seen him “graduate” from pre-K and learn how to ride a bike, both of which he did yesterday). Secondly, my husband reminded me that our children have no concept of a secret and would be sure to share the news with everyone. For some reason, I was less concerned about that this time around, maybe because I’m showing much earlier and it feels more obvious to the whole world.
Lo and behold, I promptly got a hug from my son’s pre-K teacher during drop-off on a recent morning, and a classmate of my son’s came up to me at the end of the year school picnic and told me that Ben said I was going to have a baby at Christmastime. Apparently my 3-year-old has also been sharing the news at school. And even my husband, who has been reticent in the past to say much of anything about a pregnancy until, say, the baby was inching its way out of the birth canal, has been volunteering the info to relative strangers. And of course, here I am, telling the whole Internet.
I’m not sure what all of this means, if anything, other than that we’re all excited. I sincerely hope that the pregnancy continues to go smoothly and that our openness doesn’t end up hurting us, but I’m doing everything I can to make this a healthy pregnancy, and the rest is out of my hands.
I know lots of people (maybe most?) wouldn’t share the news with their kids this early. When did you break the news to your child(ren) that you were pregnant again? Did you get any priceless reactions?