We know the right words to say when asked what we hope we’re having, “I don’t care what I have, as long as it’s healthy.”
For some of us, those words are the truth.
But for others, we’re merely reciting the words that are scripted for us…words that society expects to hear.
Because how dare we prefer a specific gender?
How dare we wish for one over the other?
Because we’re human.
I know the sadness that goes with gender disappointment and I know what it feels like to feel ashamed of that sadness.
If you find yourself struggling with gender disappointment, here are some important things to keep in mind:
Realize that it’s okay to be disappointed. You have a right to your feelings. It doesn’t mean that you’ll love your baby less. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be an amazing mother to your child.
Go easy on yourself. Allow yourself to be sad and give yourself some time to work through this. Feeling gender disappointment doesn’t mean you aren’t grateful for your baby. It just means that you are grieving the loss of the idea of the other gender.
Be honest with those closest to you. If you keep your feelings from others, you can’t find the support system that can help you as you work through your feelings.
Seek support from others who feel as you do. You may be surprised by how many people have experienced similar disappointment. There are several online communities that can offer support and understanding.
And if, after you’ve had a bit of time to process things, you find that you’re still having difficulty working through your emotions, please seek the help of a professional who can help you through this time.
And remember, you will truly love your baby. You truly will.
Raising Boys: A dad’s parenting advice for moms