This post is for the soon-to-be-mom who is somewhat disappointed upon learning the sex of her unborn baby. It’s for the parent who has two or more kiddos that are the same sex. And, it’s for the people in your life who keep telling you that you need to “try” for a boy/girl next. Because as it turns out, the sex of your child is one of the least important things about them.
Boy, oh boy!
When my husband and I announced our second pregnancy with a cute little picture of our oldest son holding an ultrasound picture, I was stunned by how many people asked us if we were hoping for a girl. Or, even weirder, if we had been “trying” for a girl? They somehow implied that having a second boy would be a bit of a bummer — like it would just be a repeat of what we already had. Others seemed to suggest that since I was a woman, I may have a deep need to raise a girl. Honestly, neither of those thoughts ever occurred to me.
Throughout my years of motherhood, I have come to understand that for some people, the sex of their baby is very important. I have heard stories and read blogs about women (and men) who were extremely saddened to the point of tears when the sex of their baby was not what they had hoped for. While I can’t personally relate to these emotions, nor would I presume to judge someone’s reasons for wanting their baby to be a specific sex, I do have some good news to share. The sex of your child does not determine who they will become or what your relationship with them will be like.
Let Go Of Gender Stereotypes
I recently read that the woman who “invented” gender reveal parties regretted how trendy these events had become because, in her opinion, “Assigning focus on gender at birth leaves out so much of their potential and talents that have nothing to do with what’s between their legs.” Don’t get me wrong, I am all for a party of any nature. If you want to celebrate the sex of your baby, go right ahead. However, more often than not, that one bit of information you are celebrating about your child (or perhaps are disappointed about), is leading you to have some preconceived notions about what kind of kid they will be or what your relationship with him or she will be like.
I assumed when my ultrasound tech announced that I was pregnant with a son during my first pregnancy, that I had a future full of baseball practices and football games to look forward to. My mind immediately went to all of the “boy” stuff I was conditioned to think was true. I never imagined the nightly dance parties we would have to Disney music or the bin of dress-up clothes that would be in the corner of his room. I never thought of him as the animal-loving, bookworm, artist that he has become. Basically, I sold him short based on his sex.
If it wasn’t for the birth of my second son, I might not have ever spent my weekends on the sideline of a soccer field. My littlest man tends to fulfill most of the stereotypical “boy” gender roles. He is a constant dirty, sweaty mess, and is never without a ball in his hands. But in addition to all of his rough and tough “boyness,” he is also the tender-hearted cuddler of the family who sleeps with no less than 20 stuffed animals, always wants to help cook dinner and is the world’s biggest mama’s boy.
Gender stereotype assumptions are also often wrong for families with all girls. Their lives aren’t necessarily filled with just frilly bows and Barbies. My girl-mom friends spend their weekends at Karate classes, surf lessons, and binge-watching Star Wars movies. All children, regardless of their sex, are unique and have a wide variety of interests and talents. If your heart was set on having a boy, do not for a second assume that the pink inside your gender reveal cake has crushed your dreams of coaching your child’s team to a championship game or that you are destined to a life of endless dance recitals.
Two of the Same is Not Two of the Same
Even though we were blessed with two boys, we definitely do not have two of the same type of child. They have diverse interests and personalities and our relationships with them are unique and special. And the truth is, no two children are the same, regardless of their sex. No two family dynamics will be the same. Let go of what you think your child or family will be like based on the pink or blue that flies out of your gender reveal balloon. Just rest assured that it’s going to be a wild and unpredictable ride no matter if you are writing #boymom or #girlmom.