Have you ever known anyone that had three boys and began trying for a fourth baby? Did you ask them, “Going for your girl?”
When they found out that baby was also a boy, did you heartily congratulate them or did you say something like “Dude, that’s a lot of boys!” Or did you actually say something along the lines of “Too bad. Are you going to keep trying for a girl?”
For some reason everyone assumes that every parent wants a child of each gender. Not so.
Take Amy Wilson. She’s a mother of two boys who constantly heard the question “Going for your girl?”, while pregnant with her third child. “Nooo, just going for a baby”, Amy would testily reply. “Another boy would be fine with us.” In an article on Parenting.com Amy expresses her annoyance with people’s reactions to her pregnancy:
I know these people are just making conversation. But this constant assumption leaves me a little offended. What’s wrong with boys? Why wouldn’t I want another one? It bothers me that people assume I feel incomplete without a daughter, let alone that it’s my motivation for being pregnant with a third child in the first place.
As Rebecca Odes pointed out when Celine Dion gave birth to her third son, people already began questioning whether the singer was happy. Rebecca says there are plenty of things worth missing when both your children are the same sex, including, even, your own pre-conditioned attitudes about gender:
Fewer expenses, via hand me downs and an easier setup for sharing rooms. Stronger sibling connections, or a higher likelihood of them. The thing I’m most jealous of in parents of two kids of the same sex is a sense of one’s kids as real individuals, free from gender stereotypes. I find myself lumping my kids’ personality traits into gender buckets all the time: “Boys need to run around.” “Girls are better at playing alone.” But really, I have no idea whether those things have anything to do with my kids’ sexes, or just who they are as people.
I noticed the same thing from the opposite end of the spectrum when I learned I was having a boy. I already have a daughter so people would constantly say, “Oh, you’re so lucky! You’ve got one of each! Now you can be done!” It’s not that I wasn’t happy that I was having a boy, I totally was. But I also really, really want a sister for Violet so a girl would’ve been great too.
So the next time you feel inclined to project your feelings about gender onto someone else by giving a positive or negative reaction to the sex of their unborn child, lay off! For as many people out there who won’t feel complete without boys and girls, there are others who just don’t care or really do want all boys or all girls. So, even if it’s their fifth boy, smile and laugh and tell them how exciting that is! Because you never know, they just might really be going for an entire Little League team.