Breaking the news about your unexpected pregnancy to your parents is a tough conversation. It might be a discussion you never thought you’d have. So you may be feeling anxious and worried about their reaction.
Unfortunately, there is no magic formula for how to tell a parent you’re pregnant. But here are four tips that many young women in your situation used and found helpful when they shared the big news with their mom and dad about their unexpected pregnancy.
1. Think About Your Options
Once you’ve had a positive pregnancy test, you need to figure out how to tell your parents about it. First, think about your options. When you are in an unexpected pregnancy, you have three options: abortion, raising your child, or placing your child for adoption. If you don’t feel abortion is the best option for you, you must decide whether to parent your child or place the child for adoption.
Ask yourself these questions to help you make your decision:
- Are you ready for the responsibility of raising a child?
- Can you afford to raise a child right now?
- Will the baby’s father be involved and ready to help?
- Will you be able to finish school?
- Is your job flexible enough to raise a child?
- Is there a situation you’re in right now that parenting a child would prevent?
Once you’ve answered these questions and are aware of your feelings, it’ll be easier to decide what next steps you want to take. Plus, it’ll be easier to talk to your parents about your feelings and your choices. Ultimately, you must choose what’s best for you and your child. Allowing someone else to make these decisions for you can lead to deep regret later in life.
2. Find the Right Time and Place to Talk
Announcing to your parents that you’re pregnant in a noisy restaurant may not be a good idea. It’s best to choose a time and place when you can have a calm and loving chat with your parents.
Suggest a time and a place that gives you privacy and enough time to talk. Be sure you don’t have anywhere you need to go because the conversation could take a long time. Choose a place to chat that is quiet and where you know you won’t be interrupted, such as:
- A quiet park
- Your back deck or patio
- A lake that’s not busy
- A library-Most libraries have special rooms set aside for meetings that you can rent
3. Stay Calm and Patient
If your parents are shocked by the news of your pregnancy, they may react strongly. Wait for them to absorb this information. Remind yourself they want what is best for you, but they’re human, and this news is surprising to them.
An unexpected pregnancy is an emotional subject. Be honest with your parents about how you felt when you got the positive test. Try not to defend yourself. Instead, thank them for their concern and, in a kind but firm way, tell them you will decide what’s best for you and your baby.
Your response to them can help them come to terms with the situation. Of course, your parents might have strong opinions about what you should and shouldn’t do. Even though they want what’s best for you, you alone are the only one who can decide what you should do.
4. Schedule Another Chat
Family relationships are complicated. There is no manual on how to tell a parent you’re pregnant.
The first conversation you have with your parents about your surprise pregnancy might not go as planned. You might find the emotions running too high, or you may have been interrupted.
So, make sure to plan for another time to talk. Your pregnancy news will have time to sink in, and you’ll have a chance to consider your options more fully.
Giving your parents some space and time to process what you’ve told them can be helpful. They might not be ready to be a grandma and grandpa. Or it may surprise you at how supportive and eager they are to help you.
It could take several conversations before they’re willing to listen to you. Assure your parents you appreciate their suggestions, but what your most significant need is their understanding and emotional support.
Be ready for other family members to come on strong, wanting to know what’s your due date or who the father is. They may offer you medical advice or try to talk you out of your plans.
How you navigate these situations will show those around you that you’re mature enough to make your own decisions. At the end of the day, you’re the best one to decide what is best for you and your baby.
Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P., is a nationally-recognized adoption expert and the Founder of Lifetime Adoption Agency. She has been working in adoption since 1986 and is also an award-winning author and speaker.
Mardie knows the sorrow of coping with infertility, and is an adoptive parent who experienced many of the challenges adoptive families might face. In various media appearances worldwide, publications, and her podcast, Mardie important steps that must be taken to complete a safe and secure adoption. Having adopted her son, Mardie knows firsthand the joys of raising an adopted child.
Mardie’s life mission is to help adoptive parents and birth parents find each other. With Lifetime Adoption Agency, she seeks to build happy families and provide precious infants and children with a loving and secure future.