As I’ve been busy planning my DefiningMum event (announcement coming soon!) I’ve been thinking a lot about the different fears and challenges that we inevitably face as parents who don’t share genetics with our children.
One of the worries that I often didn’t share out-loud (for fear of sounding ‘shallow’ or being misunderstood) was my anxiety around whether my child would bear any resemblance to me. I was lucky to bond with my pregnancies instantly, but it didn’t stop the worries, things that I don’t think I would have given a second-thought if we hadn’t used a donor. What will they look like? Will it be glaringly obvious to everyone that we don’t share DNA? I see and hear this fear so many times when I’m contacted, especially when it comes to the point of actually selecting a donor.
It’s a rational and very real worry because family resemblances is something that for most is simply ‘small-talk’ and typical conversation, without realising that for us it is hugely significant. The stark difference in significance is what sometimes can make it difficult for us to express to others. We hear these comments often, especially when it comes to children and families, as an easy, innocent topic of conversation. This can be triggering for us, and potentially for our children in the future, in situations where a donor has been used.
It’s something I have become used to over time, it’s no longer a concern and I now take these opportunities to point out the girls individual differences rather than just talking about their similarities. I can honestly say that there has been such a shift from those pre-conception / pre- birth moments where everything is unknown and incredibly daunting, to the feeling when you start getting to know and love your children as real people. You realise that these things aren’t as important as you thought, whilst learning to adapt to the ‘small-talk’, realising that is all that it is.
I share again to give hope and open up these conversations that I wish I’d heard when we were making the decision to use a donor. It’s an insight into what I want my upcoming event to be about, a safe space to open up and talk about these very real emotions and fears because, ultimately, if we look after ourselves and become more secure now, then we will no doubt become more emotionally confident when talking to our children about their conception. That’s my hope anyway! Look out for announcements soon, I’m just pulling together some final plans!
Love, Becky x