“The only thing you sometimes have control over is perspective. You don’t have control over your situation or what someone thinks, but you do have a choice about how you view and react to it.” ― Chris Pine
If you have parents like mine, you might be hesitant or uneasy to talk to them about the idea of freezing your eggs. While we know the benefits can out way the risk, it doesn’t make the daunting task of informing your parents that you plan to undergo a costly procedure for the possibility to protect your fertility any easier. Not unlike just announcing out of the blue how you take birth control or something … the egg freezing talk is similar to having the modern day “sex talk” but in reverse.
Flashbacks from your youth might start filling your mind when your parent uncomfortably sat you down to explain the birds and bees talk. Similar feelings may creep in as you begin to explain oocyte retrieval and cryopreservation to your folks. First, know that all of these feelings are okay. These are hard topics. Ones filled with lots of emotions and talks of the future. There is definitely an outdated stigma from our parents’ generation attached to electively choosing to egg freeze or better known as social egg freezing. It is also possible your parents have never heard or thought about the idea since the experimental label was only recently lifted from egg freezing about 4 years ago in 2012.
Either way, here is what I suggest and how I can help you spin-sell the idea besides boozing them up or treating them out to dinner. Regardless what you say, be ready for push back or any immediate reactions. Just listen and try not to react. Tell yourself not to take these comments or opinions personal, because that is what they are a reflection of their own ideas. Any comments made are probably statements said, because of their own insecurity. Remember your parents have to have time to let go of their dreams for you too. Times are different now. We have new technology available that gives us more options. I recommend using the statement how you want to “invest” in their future grandchildren. *wink…that one will pull on some heart strings
You never know how your parents will respond until you tell them. Give them time to digest all the information and ask questions. They really only want the best for you. You know your parents better than anyone, so if you think it would be best to do in public vs private or one-on-one instead of both together, then do that. There is no wrong way to tell your parents that you are making one of the top 10 most important decisions of your life.
Feel confident. Imagine the meeting going well instead of bad. Explain what you want and how you plan to get there. Give your parents some solid examples of how you are making efforts to think about your future. Ask for help. I know this can be one of the hardest parts especially if you are very independent like myself, but asking for help makes them feel apart of the situation. Now any feelings of fear, anxiety, or worry can be comforted by the fact that they are apart of the situation.
If you don’t live near or close to your parents I suggest arranging a FaceTime or Skype call. Telling someone who brought you into this world your plans for some day bringing another human into this world can be a life changing talk. You don’t want to miss not seeing their facial expression or reaction feelings that might not be heard in a regular phone call.
Listen you are so lucky! You live in a world and day in age where you can ELECT to have a procedure like this. You never know, your parents might opt to help you without you even asking. Why not contribute to their future grandbaby? You know they will spoil the child mad before their first birthday anyways. Consider this a head start.
All jokes aside, my parent egg-freezing reveal conversation was one that I had been hinting at for years. Working in women’s health and fertility, I had some of these big conversations with both of my parents independently and jointly at a number of holiday or family gatherings. So when the time came and the pieces fell into place at work to give me enough time, money, and research to complete this goal they had already had a number of warnings.
My parents both responded the same, “we support you,” they said. It is an amazing feeling to hear that. I have gotten to the age where opinions, especially from strangers, don’t seem to matter as much these days, but when it comes to your parents there is always a soft spot in you heart that cares what they think. I am blessed to have 2 incredible human beings in my life as parents. I hope to some day to have that same feeling with my child.
While I had the support from both of my parents, my mom did ask some very interesting and intelligent questions to help relieve some of her worry or doubts. My mother is a very complex person even if she comes off being simple. Her childhood and informative years were not perfect. I think that is why she is the world’s best caregiver and mom. She raised me and my 3 younger siblings as her full-time job. She gave up the opportunity to pursue a real corporate life career and sacrificed her sanity, time, and energy to just love us unconditionally. She didn’t have to, no one forced her, but she did it with love because she wanted to. I try not to take that for granted. I need to say thanks to both of my parents more often than just Mother’s or Father’s Day. My childhood was so uneventful that I have very few outstanding vivid memories of it. I hope some day I can be even half of the mother, my mother was to me.
My relationship with my father wasn’t always what it is today. Today he is my rock, my lighthouse, and my point of reference whenever I think I have lost my way. He is my go-to person, the voice of reason, my call to action, and bouncing board for my million crazy ideas. I’m beyond blessed to have such an amazing man to call my dad. You wouldn’t know it today, but in my teenage years, we would fight worse than cats and dogs with screaming matches that would make anyone lose their voice. I was the oldest of my siblings and probably the most vocal, strong-willed, inexperienced child you could raise. All those years of battles and fights lead us to peace and understanding years down the road. I dream of the day that I can walk down the aisle with him by my side to meet my future husband, a man who I have found that challenges and possess the same amazing traits and wisdom of my father. I hope to create that memory with my dad someday in the not so distance future. *que for Mr. Right to walk into my life
Regardless your situation, what I’m trying to express is whatever crazy, scary idea you have in your head will happen when you tell your parents or a loved one about your choice to freeze your eggs, likely you will hear after all of the noise is, “we support you.” At least telling your parents doesn’t necessarily mean you have to explain this to your grandparents too … that might be a longer or more technical conversation!
What do you think? Was this helpful? Do you want more advice on how to word or explain these ideas to your parents or loved ones? Are you afraid to tell someone close to you about your thoughts or plans to egg freeze? What is holding you back? What is the worst thing that could happen to start a conversation like this one? I want to hear from you! Tell me about your modern day “baby talk” with your parents. Join the conversation and help encourage others with your stories. We would love to hear from you.