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"I Hope It's a Girl!" -- Taboo, or No?

There’s a question or statement that I find a lot of women hear often.  If, say, they’ve had one boy already (or multiple boys), people will automatically say, “I hope this baby’s a girl!”  Or, if you’ve had girl(s), “I hope this baby’s a boy!”

This even extends to, “So are you going to try again to get your girl/boy?” if you’ve had only children of one sex; or “Oh, now you’re done!” because you’ve had one of each (I heard that a lot before I got pregnant).  Being pregnant with my third and having one of each, people often say, “Are you finding out the sex?  No?  Oh, well, it doesn’t matter, because you already have one of each.”  Ignore the fact that it truly never mattered, because I have healthy children….

Are these kinds of things okay to say?  Or taboo?

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In my opinion, a lot of these statements are kind of far-reaching, especially if you’re saying them to strangers.  There are parents who love having only girls…or only boys.  There are parents who want more than two children…even if they’ve already got a “perfect” boy-and-girl family (myself included).  It’s just impossible to know what any family is hoping for.

Suppose a family does have two or three boys already…and the mom is desperately hoping for a girl, but finds out it’s another boy.  Saying to her, “I hope it’s a girl!” just reminds her that she didn’t get the sex that she wanted.

Really?  There is no “perfect family,” except in each family’s individual vision.  Some want one child…some want ten.  Some want all boys, or all girls…some want a mix of both.  Some are even really specific — I know people who’ve said “I want two boys and then a girl!”  (And maybe they don’t get that…but maybe they do…who knows!)  It’s a total myth that what each family needs is one boy and one girl.

And the real bottom line is most people end up thrilled with whatever they get…eventually.  I had a friend who cried for hours after she found out her second (and last) was another boy.  But ultimately she loves being a mom to boys and thinks she’s better for not having a girl.  My husband hoped our first would be a boy, to be a “family leader” of sorts (I was secretly thrilled to learn we were having a girl!), but now we can’t imagine it any other way.

So really, it doesn’t matter if it’s a boy or a girl.  And it certainly doesn’t matter what any stranger thinks the “perfect” family looks like.  Every family will be perfect…in its own way.

What do you think?  Is okay to say “I hope it’s a…” or not?

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