When you’re expecting a baby, there are certain things you just don’t say to anyone for fear of landing on the Mom Blacklist. Like “I’m thinking of giving birth at home.” Or “Breastfeeding isn’t my thing.” Or “We’re naming the baby Duchess Arizona Veeblesnurg.”
Or, as Vanessa Lachey found out, “I always envisioned [having] a boy first.”
A few weeks ago, we reported that she mentioned her gender preference on Twitter. She was quick to add, “I’m excited either way!” and “Just a healthy baby.” But it was too late. The Twitter critics (Twitcrits?) pounced.
“[T]here was a lot of backlash, with people saying, ‘How dare you! How dare you!’ ” she recently told Wonderwall. “No, no, no! Don’t get this confused: I want a healthy child first and foremost, God willing. But of course every mother has a vision.”
She goes on to say that she “could easily fall in love with the mini-him,” meaning a junior version of Nick Lachey, and that she wants both boys and girls eventually.
But why does she need to explain herself at all?
Plenty of mothers have a private wish list about the gender of their children. If their wish comes true, it’s wonderful; if it doesn’t, it’s still wonderful.
Why is it okay to say to a mom of three girls, “Bet you hope the next one is a boy!” but it’s not okay for Vanessa to dream about playing catch with a Nick Jr.? When I had my second child, people used to tell me, “So you have a boy and a girl now – guess you don’t need any more, huh?” How do you answer that? Nope – having a third kid would just throw off the gender balance, so I’m going to have my tubes tied just to avoid that horrible fate?
There’s a world of difference between “I imagine myself with a little boy” and “I want a boy because girls are less valued in my culture.” Saying “It would be fun to have a daughter” is not the same as saying, “I could never love a boy as much as a girl.”
Hope the Twitcrits stop their attacks soon. Moms get enough guilt trips after the baby comes; let Vanessa enjoy a few months of peace first.
[Photo: via PacificCoastNews.com]
Read more of Shana’s writing at Momsperiments.
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