Talking to your kids about papa's vasectomy

November 23 2010 | offbeatbride
papi in blue
Photo by Flickr user Frank Farm, used with Creative Commons license.

Christine is the thirty-something mama of five kids (ages range from six to sixteen) and author of The Bean Blog. She wrote a post about telling her kids about her husband's vasectomy. Vasectomies are a topic of interest in our household, especially since my husband had one and we know we'll inevitably have a similar discussion with Jasper one day:

And then somebody asked, "Are you going to have any more babies?"

I said, "No. We're done having babies. We're happy with our family just the way we are. You guys are all we need."

Spencer begged, "But can't we have just one more baby?"

"We can't because Dad had a vasectomy," I blurted out before I realized just how tricky that statement would be.

"What's a vestomy?" asked Caleb.

I paused for a second and let out a nervous giggle. "A vasectomy? That's when they cut a little tube in daddy's private parts so daddy can't make babies anymore."

You can read the rest of the post here. I'm totally interested in hearing how any others are planning on discussing this topic with their kid(s), or how you already have.

  1. i actually think that my parents did a great job of discussing this with us. My mom is the one who "went under the knife" for both personal reasons and medical reasons. When I asked about it she sat all the kids down and explained to us that she loved all four of us and needed to do this so she could take care of us and be the best mom possible.
    they let us ask questions for days lol

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  2. What a great, open conversation. My four year old was asking me about tampons recently, that was an interesting conversation! It is hard for him to separate blood from pain and injury. (Can anyone think of other situations in which someone might bleed but not be hurt?)

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    • Perhaps donating blood- both are handing over/ getting rid of something you don't need.
      Also maybe a mention of how much of menstrual blood is actually blood (not much) would put him at ease.

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    • The more he sees it, the easier it will be to understand. I'm not modest at home, so my kids see me strap on a pad or have a lil blood in the toilet. They accept it as a painless (mostly–cramps) part of a woman's cycle. It was also helpful to share that some animals go through the same thing.

    • Nosebleeds? Kids can get nosebleeds for reasons different than injury, and when they are non-injury related (the nosebleeds, not the child, LOL!) they don┬┤t hurt! ­čÖé

      Plus, it┬┤s the idea that not only band-aids can go on blood… just saying!

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  3. I had never thought about how we'll talk about it with our eventual kids! We've got the one now but want one more, and then my husband plans to schedule his vasectomy recovery period around either the World Series or NCAA basketball (depending on when the second one is born). The topic will probably come up in this fashion: "No jumping on daddy's lap for awhile…"

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    • Sorry to let your husband down, but you really only need a long weekend to recover from a vasectomy. I did a few in med school; they are really simple procedures.

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  4. The daddy in our house is getting a vasectomy for Christmas, or at least that's what we keep joking. As with everything else, I expect us to make any conversation about it with the kid as straightforward, simple and honest as possible.

  5. I cant really relate to the vasectomy portion of it, but I am a completely infertile woman, and I am constantly having to explain to people that I wont be having kids. Neither myself nor my siblings have figured out a way to explain to my nieces WHY I wont be having babies, merely that I wont.

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    • Lily, that sounds really hard. I think we always assume the status quo, and it makes us insensitive to those who are infertile. I know I've said something to my friends (who are a couple) before, and didn't find out until a few years later that they are infertile.

      If you want to talk about it with them, I would suggest just saying to them that you don't know why, but your body just won't make a baby. If they are older you can use the word infertility/infertile, and explain what it means.

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  6. I would not get a vasectomy near christmas, it completely ruined mine. I got it done Dec 4, and I was still walking like a cowboy on thin ice come christmas. Come to think of it, I still walk that way sometimes and it has been nearly a year. Worst thing I ever did to my body.

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  7. Ugh the vasectomy conversation. I've been having this with my current boyfriend. He has 3 girls and I have one (all between 3 and 8). He thinks I'm crazy because he brought up getting one and I think I might want another baby. We have no children together, and in my head I just always thought when I'm with the right person I'll have one more that I can actually share the responsibility with etc. The kid/no kid debate rages on.

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