I am pregnant with my second child and I found out recently that we are expecting another boy! My husband, older son and myself are thrilled. The baby is healthy and has a name, we have all boy themed stuff already so the prep work is minimal and I just love the thought of having two boys close in age growing up together. My husband and I decided a long time ago that two children was going to be our magic number so we are happy to have our unit complete.
Then the commentary began.
From family- “Oh well, I’m happy but it would be so nice to have a girl around”- to complete strangers, being pregnant with another boy is somehow causing sadness instead of the happiness it should. I was at the grocery store checking out in line and the woman at the register pointed at my belly and asked, “When are you due?” I told her early summer, which is about the amount of information I’m comfortable giving out to a stranger at the grocery store. She then crossed her fingers and looked up at the sky, “Please let it be a girl.” When I told her it was a boy, she looked as though I told her one of my parents died and told me she was sorry. I told her I wasn’t sorry, I was happy to be having another healthy kid. I had to assure her that I was fine and I wasn’t in a depression over it.
When did being the mother of boys become the scarlet letter of pity?
(Cars and tools fill my house but there’s nothing sad about that)
Some people have an idea in their head that all women need a daughter to completely fulfill their motherly potential. That if you are the only estrogen carrier in the house somehow you are being dealt a crummy hand in life and you need sympathy. Why? Is it because of gender roles? Do people look at a little boy and see nothing but bugs, mud pies and dump trucks? While true, those tend to be more boy centered acts, all children are different and just because it says “Female” on the birth certificate does not mean you won’t see your little girl out in the backyard getting as dirty as the boys. Gender and personality do not go hand in hand. I was a huge tomboy growing up and while I have grown up into more feminine interests, I still teeter the line between makeup and high heels and baseball and beer.
I think the biggest lesson to take away from this is to not make assumptions about another family. When you see a family with little girls, it doesn’t automatically mean that it’s all ballet and Barbies at their house. Parents in general know that kids are messy, stepping on Legos with bare feet should be considered a form of torture for the military and people love their children regardless of their sex. How many of us sat as children and planned how many kids we were going to have and in what order? How many of us got exactly what we planned? I’m going to guess not a lot of us as life doesn’t care about plans and will move on whether you are ready for it or not.
So from all of us moms of boys, girls or a gaggle of each: We don’t need your pity because our family life isn’t how you imagined it. We will be just fine whichever paths our kids go down.