We are waiting to hear the hb in a week before we tell our kids that spawn will be joining the familt. Telling them means more to us than telling our parents. Any ideas? Dd is 8 and ds is 4.
My kids were the first people I told (well, DH was there, too, but we'd been talking about how it was pretty likely for a couple of days so he wasn't surprised when I made it a statement instead of a question.) I'm a CBE and a doula, and they've all been born at home - the oldest was there for the second's birth, and the older two were there pretty much immediately after the third's birth. So they are pretty familiar with the whole idea! DS1 was really happy and excited (which was really nice to see), DS2 immediately started talking about how he wanted to be involved in the birth (cut the cord, something else, which I forget, but should ask him about again closer to the time), and DD said, "do you really have a baby in your belly?"
I think it's just a good idea to be prepared and plan to be unoffended by any reaction the kids might have, all the way from exuberant joy to strongly negative to "oh, okay, can I get back to what I was doing now?" And if your kids don't know a lot about conception/pregnancy/birth, have a plan for yourself about how you want to respond if they do ask questions - generally it's good to answer questions in this area as simply as possible, because often kids don't know enough to be curious about the whole shebang at once. If they ask more, you can tell more, but especially because sexuality is a topic that's challenging for many adults, it's easy to go overboard and get too technical too fast in our explanations!
My son already suspects that something is up, he asked me if I had a baby in my belly. My daughter will probably be surprised, since we have been pretty sure we would only have 2 kids. But, throwing up in the morning is a big clue for her, so I bet she already knows.
They are both huge fans of the book A Child is Born. Lots of graphic images of birth. I love that they find it interesting, like it taps into some innate. And, my dd knows how babies are made. We are very open in our house about sex and sexuality. Living in a bigger city like Seattle, dd has a friend with a transgender parent and several friends with two moms and two dads. So, phew, at least that part is covered.
I don't worry that they won't jump up and down, heck, I have moments of ambivalence about this pregnancy. I just want to think of some cute way to to do it.
I was concerned to tell DD1, because she was an only child for so long, and the birth of DD2 just before she turned 13 was a huge adjustment for her, which she has dealt with beautifully. DH said to her, "we have something to tell you..." and she said, "oh no, did someone die?" And we said "no, it's a good thing," and she said, "someone didn't die? someone lives? someone will be born? you're pregnant!" Smarty. We obviously can't tell DD2 because she's 14 months. She does love babies though, phew!
I have found that telling each of my kids separately was wonderful, It gave us time to bond over the conversation, and for me to answer the developmentally appropriate questions/concerns of kids ages 2-13 without babying the olders or bombarding the youngers. Everyone here is excited. Even the 2yo runs around saying "baby...brother....sister!" He has been adamant that he wants a sister though :)
Telling your children is such a special experience - even when they do say, "K, can I finish my game now?"