Sometimes I think that being a mum is brilliant. Sometimes being a lesbian is brilliant. Combine the two however and life can get a little complex. I've found that questions from people when I was pregnant were pretty personal. You know, the whole "so just HOW did you get pregnant?" or "is your baby gay too then?" sort of questions. Mostly I answered them. Even the idiotic ones, because everyone deserves an answer right?
I say everyone, but sometimes I can't answer questions thrown at me by my own kids. When they ask "where do babies come out from mum?", that's a question I can answer easily and honestly. Then the next question (naturally) is "how do you make babies?". Do I say "well son, there was a man, a cup and a syringe..."?. It sounds like the start of a good joke! I gave them the bog standard 'seed meets egg' scenario, which they were more than happy with. They're only six and four though, so the next questions will be about how it all gets in there.
Being a lesbian (or LGBT) parent sort of lumps you with an automatic responsibility to tell kids more than other children may be told. Ours have seen their mums get married, men get married and men and women be married. Some of their friends don't believe them when they tell them and we have to confirm a lot when they have play dates. Our kids are just exposed to more and personally I think its great for them.
Still though, exposed to a lot or not, I don't relish telling them the many ways a baby can be made. There was no "mummy and daddy had a special hug" scenario. I never liked that analogy, although I do agree it all needs be age appropriate. They know there was a donor who helped us out because we only make eggs. But of course this results in them pointing at random men asking "was that man our donor?". Kids don't come with an inner voice apparently.
When they do ask, I will tell them the truth. Kids are kids, but they are far from stupid and accept pretty much anything that comes their way. They're not born with hatred of anyone, they don't need to learn tolerance because they haven't been taught that anything is 'wrong' yet. So as complex as being a lesbian mum can be sometimes, I am actually really grateful that my lifestyle shows my children that the world is a rainbow. They see so many kinds of people, from our friends, to meeting people at pride and just knowing that no matter what they ask, they get an answer.
I know parents who shy away from questions. Not all questions, but ones about babies, body parts and so on. We do the complete opposite and tell them anatomical names as well as the better known names for all their parts. I do understand that it can be embarrassing for some people, but knowledge from us is surely better than them learning it second hand in the playground. Knowing the truth, or correct names for things doesn't detract from childhood either. Some people do think its odd to hear our kids saying 'grown up' words, and that somehow it makes them older.
It doesn't make them older. It makes them informed and thats the difference. They are still exceptionally imaginative, silly, clever and funny children. They just happen to have a bigger vocabulary at their disposal. Obviously we can't be the only parents out there who give our kids this kind of information, and if I were straight I may have given them the same level of knowledge. I will never know how it 'could' have been, I am just glad of the way it is.