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Fourteen: Eggs and ….! My daughters experience having two mums

Updated: Sep 7, 2023

Cheers filled the kitchen at just the thought of having dippy eggs for lunch. Eggs, of any sort, have never been my food of choice. There is something about the rubbery texture that I find offensive, but apparently they are a joyous treat for a two and five year old. Seated at the table, my eldest daughter carefully cracked the egg tops as I followed behind picking out the shell.

‘Eggs and sperm, eggs and sperm’ she sang to herself as she dipped her buttered soldiers into the freshly exposed yoke. Speechless I looked to my wife, to check I was hearing correctly. Looking equally aghast, she confirmed my fears.

‘I’m making babies Mummy’. She gleefully announced holding a dripping piece of toast in the air, ‘Look, an egg and sperm makes babies’. Suddenly, the thought of dippy eggs was even less appealing.

The previous day we had once again read 'How my family was made’. A children’s book, simplistically illustrated, explaining how donor conceived, IVF babies are created. Although seemingly distracted at the time, it appeared she had been paying attention during the biology specifics.

Whilst dropping my daughter at school the next day, the young reception teacher smiled as I awkwardly explained why a five year old may talk about reproduction, donors and sperm during Show and Tell!

Six years later, our eldest understands that not all babies are created from dippy eggs and soldiers, or in a sterile laboratory petri dish. Although disgusted about how babies are ‘normally’ created, she still revels in sharing that knowledge with her younger sister.

And that’s how it’s always been for them both. Knowing they are donor conceived, that their parents are gay, that I am the biological parent, that’s it ok to be queer, what every letter in the LGBTQ+ stands for and that I sometimes still have to look up the + definitions.

Conversations with our eldest Gayby

When we decided on becoming parents there were numerous philosophical questions we asked of ourselves. Would having two mums adversely impact our children? Would society be accepting of our non-traditional family?Would it alienate them and were we being selfish? So when I asked my now eleven year old daughter what it's like having two mums, it was reassuring and a little sad to hear her response:

‘When new friends ask what’s your dad's name and I say I don’t have a dad. They look really sad for me and I say, ‘he’s not dead, I just don’t have one!’

'I then get lots of questions on having two mums and how I was made, so I explain. I tell them about the donor, about IVF, the fact I have two mums and that the short haired one carried me.’

'Some of my friends find it hard to accept the donor isn’t my father but I just leave them to it'.

'I also get asked really random questions, like, will I be forced to be gay because my mums are? I say no and that’s not how it works. Just because they are doesn’t mean I will be, and it also doesn’t matter if I am.’

‘Most of the time I like being different. I do sometimes wonder what it would be like to have a normal family but that only lasts two seconds.’

‘Having two mums, we get to go to Pride every year and I see other children with gay parents. I do think it would be a gift from heaven to have someone in my school, my age with two mums or two dads. It would be nice to have a friend in the same situation to talk to so I’m not always the minority.’

‘But I like everything about having two mums. Oh, except that you’re getting divorced’.

Asking the same question of my youngest. She contemplated for a moment, then replied, ‘I can’t comment on that, it’s all I’ve ever known.’

Keeping the conversation going

During our time with Pink Parents (see; the-importance-of-community) we were advised to be transparent about the intricacies of being donor conceived. Normalising their conception to prevent any future surprises and equipping our daughters to have those conversations as and when they arise.

These honest conversations have enabled us to talk openly about different families, gender identity, sexuality and understanding of basic human rights.

We try and teach our children to be tolerant, not judge others and educate that some cultures, countries, religions, individuals may not be accepting of our values and way of life. Hopefully they will be equipped to deal with any challenges the world offers when it comes to their family. That they can confidently educate when necessary and know when it is better to walk away. But for now they are secure in who they are, proud of who their parents are and are embracing being different. Long may that last!

Let’s keep the conversation going. If today you talk to your children, friends and family about different families please share your experience below. The more we connect and listen the more we will fill that gap for our children.

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Sep 06, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

<3 I love this. Whilst my 8 year old was conceived in the traditional fashion, I have always tried to discuss topics like this. Recently we had a discussion on how a single mother would conceive.

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