Two mums and four donor children: Helga and Maria's story – Part 2
Helga and Maria’s dream about having four children came true with the help of a sperm donor. This is the second part of the lesbian couple Helga and Maria’s story where they, among other things, tell us about how they talk with their children about having two mums.
You can find the first part of Helga and Maria’s story here if you haven’t read it yet.
Adoption or co-parenting was not an option
“We never thought about adoption or co-parenting in our process towards being parents. We were determined that we wanted to be able to experience the feeling of being pregnant with our own children and giving birth. Since we had the possibility to be inseminated, we never considered the option of having children with another homosexual couple. We have always talked about that we didn’t want to share our parenthood with another couple. We wanted to be able to influence and raise our own children. At the same time, we also believe that it is much easier to make it work when you are only two to agree on the upbringing and everything else that follows parenthood.”
Honesty and openness towards the children
“Ever since the kids were small, we have talked to them about the importance of being able to have an open and honest dialogue about how it is for them to grow up with two mums. We wrote a book to our firstborn child, Ida, with thoughts and reflections about our choice in relation to making a family along with emotional stories from the pregnancy. We thought that when she grew older, she would be interested in reading about our thoughts from the beginning of the process till we had her in our arms.”
Why does Ida have two mums?
“When the children were smaller, we helped them tell their story when the other children in the kindergarten asked questions. Children are so direct and express what they see. We have gotten the question “why does Ida have two moms?” many times and we have explained our situation, often multiple times, since children sometimes need to hear things more than once to fully understand.”
Family is all about love
“In our jobs as pedagogues, we make a big deal out of embracing that families are different and that there is no right or wrong as long as there is love. We would like to contribute to giving children a more nuanced view on family forms. Children are, unlike adults, not as prejudiced so they are easier to educate and influence with new insights and knowledge. It is so important that we, as adults, do not define what is right or wrong on behalf of our children.”
A moving visit at the fertility clinic
“When the children were younger, we participated in an event for donor children at the fertility clinic every year. Here, our children could meet other children who also had two mums. Last summer, we all visited the fertility clinic again. It was a moving visit for us, and we felt that it meant something for our three oldest children too. Our children had many questions and they felt like they were a part of something bigger. Us mums were touched by seeing those who were sitting in the waiting room full of excitement and expectations as they were on their way to start a family, just like we were 17 years ago. Now, we were sitting there with our lovely children and our wonderful rainbow life. The woman who showed us around at the clinic also had to shed a tear since it was a meaningful meeting for her too.”
It is okay to talk about frustrations
“After our children have grown older, we have stressed that it is more than okay to talk openly about any frustrations they might experience or feel in relation to growing up in a rainbow family. It has always been important to us that our children know that we are open about everything and that it is 100% okay to say exactly how they feel about the decisions we have made. Our experience is that our children have found it very natural. They haven’t felt any different or wrong, and there hasn’t been any moment of their lives where they have wished for something else. Because as they say: “We have never tried anything else”.
We have especially paid attention to our son, the only boy in the group. It is a bit special for him to grow up among 5 girls. Though, he doesn’t think that he has missed out on anything. Sometimes we sent him on a boys-trip with his uncle because some things are just easier to talk about with an uncle.
Our oldest daughter came the other day and told us that she had signed herself up to be a part of the organisation Sex & Society. It is a big interest of hers to go out and tell others how it has been for her to grow up in a rainbow family. It is safe to say that we are proud that this means something to her.”
/Helga & Maria
A big thank you to Helga, Maria and their children for sharing their lovely story with us.
If you liked this story you might also be interested to read about how the lesbian couple Lisa and Lynsey became mothers?