As I begin to write, I realize that I have about three seconds to reassure my audience that I acknowledge, and understand, that as humans and parents, we can’t always control or explain our emotional responses — even when it comes to feelings of gender disappointment.
That said, I am having a hard time controlling my own emotional response when I read so many articles regarding gender preference, especially when it seems like the mother is usually disappointed about having a little boy.
Really? What is so bad about having a little boy?
Let me tell you, with unwavering certitude, that there is no experience in this world greater than being the mother of a boy. None.
Unless you have a girl. Girls are equally spectacular.
Yes, having a preference about your baby’s gender is normal.
I’m sure we all have some idea about what we would like to have with each pregnancy, but I still just can’t wrap my head around how so many women seem to feel absolutely crushed at the thought of having a boy, to the point of having feelings that they may no longer want to keep the baby, or even that they may reject the baby when he is born.
An acquaintance of mine found out that she was having a little boy at her 20-week ultrasound, recently, and instead of rejoicing in the news, she said that she was just going to keep praying for a little girl.
While I know that I shouldn’t be bothered by the feelings of gender disappointment that another woman is navigating, I am. Even though I am conscious of the fact that this is a valid, and sometimes painful experience for many mothers, it still bugs me.
Before you say it, I do realize that makes it my problem.
Not every little girl loves pink. Not every little girl will want to grow her hair long, or be interested in shopping. Likewise, having a boy does not necessarily mean your future is filled with trucks, and mud, and male aggression — though it may be.
The experience of mothering a child has so little to do with gender, gender roles, and stereotypes. When that baby pops out, you will become his or her whole world, and hopefully, she or he will become yours.
Did you have feelings of gender disappointment when you were pregnant? Does it bother you when you hear other women expressing their own gender disappointment?
Photo © Crissy Page