The Joys of Raising Boys


I’ll admit that when I was pregnant for the first time I imagined having a precious little baby girl, swaddled in pink, cooing softly, and winning the heart of her daddy the minute she was born. Instead, I was blessed with a boy.

Kristen Safier, of Cincinnati, was so convinced that her baby was going to be a girl, she kept a journal and started entries, “To my daughter.” When she had her 20-week ultrasound and discovered she was having a boy she said she was surprised for about a half of a second. “What surprised me more was how true it is that you really don’t care at all what sex your baby is. Only that he or she is healthy, happy and safe,” says Safier. “After she had spent so much time picturing a daughter, Safier says she didn’t find it difficult to begin daydreaming about her son, Gabriel, now six years old. “I still feel blessed to have such a wonderful and healthy child, and I laugh at myself for being so convinced that he was a girl!”

Why Some Women Want Baby Girls

The urge to have a daughter may stem from your relationship with your mother. Perhaps you have a spectacular connection and you want to experience a similar bond with a daughter of your own. Or, possibly, your relationship wasn’t that perfect and you want a chance to do things differently with a daughter.

Dr. Nancy B. Irwin, psychotherapist, says it is perfectly natural to want a baby of your own gender, but to realize that any image you have of your baby is all projection. “Even if the baby is the gender you prefer, you may be surprised,” says Irwin. “Go with that surprise and cherish the uniqueness of that precious individual.”

Irwin says that healthy parenting involves wanting to raise a child, period. “Just because you have never been a boy, doesn’t mean you can’t raise a great one,” she states. “Raise your child to be the most loving person possible, and he will fill in all the other blanks according to his innate personality, environment, and social learning.” Placing fewer expectations on him will increase the chances of raising a healthy child psychologically, no matter what the sex, says Irwin.

The Beauty of Mom-Son Relationships

Debbie Mandel, M.A., author of Turn On Your Inner Light: Fitness for Body, Mind and Soul, says that women may be surprised by their own reactions to having a son. “Don’t sell short the myth of Oedipus and the special relationship between mother and son,” she advises. “It’s an opportunity to shape a sensitive, kind, and communicative future man.” She acknowledges that many of us want what we don’t have, but that we need to “love what we do have–a healthy baby.”