I became a surrogate when my children were 3 years and 5 years old. After that, in their minds, in order to get pregnant, you had to go to California where doctors put a baby or two in your tummy. That was good enough for them, and me, until last year.
My daughter is now 9 years old. Last year we had “the talk” after she began to ask questions. We read a book together that was very basic and straight to the point. I spared the details for a more mature age but we have maintained an open dialogue about the subject ever since.
Last week she kept cornering me secretly, so her brother didn’t hear and asking me how animals “do sex”. I told her, “animals have the same parts as humans and it is generally the same process but when animals do it, we call it mating”. Apparently, that answer didn’t satisfy her curiosity because she then shyly whispered, “can I see a picture of animals mating?” Talk about awkward parenting moments…. But because I don’t want my kids to see this subject as weird or taboo, I agreed. We waited for her brother to go outside and I found a boring picture of hippos doing the deed. Then came her next question, “can I see a video?” Ummmm….. I again searched YouTube for a mild video and found pigs. She wasn’t very impressed and after a few questions like, “when will it be over”, the moment passed.
Later that night I got to share this experience with Mary (my business partner and former IM) whose immediate response was a panicked, “My kids aren’t ever going to ask me that, right?” I am so thankful that 3 years later we can share in our hilarious and challenging parenting moments.
With Mother’s Day approaching I am so thankful for the relationship I have with my children. They are my whole world and I can only hope I can do them justice as their mom as they grow and prepare for their lives independent of me and their dad. I am thankful for all the moms in my world as I think so often, we lean on each other for advice, parenting tools and sometimes, just so we know we aren’t alone.
Cat Dobbs, Partner + Former Gestational Surrogate