Whether you’re very young or completely independent, whether you live with your family or thousands of miles away from them, you probably care about your parents’ opinions of you. That may continue to be true throughout the rest of your life. It isn’t necessarily something we humans “outgrow.” Maybe you’ve recently discovered that you’re unexpectedly pregnant, and you’re afraid your parents would judge you if they knew. Perhaps you’ve kept this a secret because you believe their expectations or opinions will be different than yours. If so, you’re coping with some truly complex and challenging circumstances. But you’re not alone.
Avenue Women’s Center provides a safe space for persons to process their circumstances and explore their options during the early days or weeks of an unexpected pregnancy. Our team members meet everyone with a caring, non-judgmental approach. We offer free first-step services like medical-grade pregnancy tests and limited medical ultrasounds. But we’re also committed to walking beside people throughout the pregnancy journey, providing ongoing emotional support.
Reach out to us! We’d love to hear from you and discover how we can best meet your needs.
Navigating This Situation by Your Side
Maybe you want to tell your parents about your pregnancy, but you’re too afraid. Or, you feel conflicted. Maybe you’re confident that your parents will never find out (at least, not from you). Our compassionate team at Avenue respects your wishes and your privacy! It’s our role to support, empower, and inform no matter your circumstances or leanings. We understand how emotionally painful it feels to receive judgment from anyone, let alone a close family member. We’re here to help you discover and embrace your own best outcome despite these difficult circumstances.
Coping with an Unpleasant Reaction
Odds are, your feelings about this unexpected pregnancy are complex, and your parents’ feelings probably would be too if they knew. Perhaps your family has a history of judging you or expressing disappointment in a way that feels hurtful. There’s usually a lot of love mixed in with a mom or dad’s criticism, and concern for a child’s well-being. Sometimes, parents struggle to express this in a healthy way… especially during moments of heightened emotion. You probably know better than anyone that your parents aren’t perfect. Their response to your pregnancy news may shine a spotlight on their faults. If you decide to tell them about your pregnancy, it’s best to communicate this with a calm, respectful posture. But it may be appropriate to set boundaries too if their response causes some emotional wounds. For example, if a parent’s reaction seems judgmental, it’s okay to say this plainly and politely, and let them know you feel hurt, during that conversation or later on. At the same time, accepting that you can’t control your parents’ words and actions may offer you some peace of mind. What you can do is demonstrate here and now that you’re a strong person who’s capable of owning her choices and taking steps toward a positive outcome.
Keeping an Open Mind
You probably know your parents very well, and would be wise to mentally prepare for a conversation about your pregnancy. But consider keeping an open mind. Your family hasn’t had an opportunity to respond to your pregnancy news yet. People are often unpredictable, and you may be surprised by the reaction you receive. Have you ever imagined a future confrontation with someone, and felt your frustration intensifying as you tried to predict how the other person might respond? It isn’t exactly fair to resent someone when we haven’t given them a chance to demonstrate the kindness and support we’re hoping for.
Having a conversation with parents about an unexpected pregnancy can be very challenging, even if you’re leaning toward a particular pregnancy decision and think your parents would be on the same page. But maybe you’re a young person living with your parents, or you believe your feelings about this pregnancy would conflict with theirs. If so, you may feel especially nervous about their reaction. Engaging your family’s support may be a gradual process. There may be multiple follow-up conversations. But no matter what, you can count on Avenue Women’s Center to respond with compassion and encouragement.
Schedule an appointment at one of our centers in Darien, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn \ Lombard, Naperville, West Chicago, or Wood Dale, Illinois!
The information provided here is general in nature. It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center. If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention. Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.