What I am about to say is probably going to ruffle some feathers, but it needs to be said. I need the world to hear me out. Let’s talk about gender when it comes to having children. In my first pregnancy, we found out we were having a boy at my twenty week ultrasound and when we shared the news everyone was happy. In my second pregnancy, we found out we were having another boy at the twenty week ultrasound and when we shared the news, everyone was happy, but as their excitement faded I knew there was a question lingering… so are you going to try for a girl?
My life has been blessed with two beautiful little boys and I couldn’t be any prouder that they are mine. I have the incredible opportunity to nourish and raise them. Our house is symphony of chaos: Cheerios scattered on the kitchen floor, toys strewn about, pillows and blankets in a pile on the floor, kids laughing or screaming depending on the moment. As a parent you’re always wondering and imagining what kind of people your kids will grow up to be. Will they be strong? Will they be happy? Will you have given them the tools they need to survive and better yet thrive in this world?
Boys get a bad rap for being rough and reckless. And sometimes they can be. Wrestling and rough housing is encouraged in our house. I rolled around on the floor with them; I smash monster trucks; I investigate bugs. But boys are also sweet and affectionate. Every day at least once my oldest son will come up to me and give me kisses just because. He asks if I will sit beside him to watch cartoons while holding his hand. We cuddle, snuggle, hug and kiss all throughout the day. There is never a second of the day when either of my boys are within arm’s reach that I’m not hugging or kissing them. It is my goal to encourage their softness; to make them believe that showing physical affection and telling someone how you feel every moment you can is just normal. I don’t want them to ever hide their feelings because ‘they are a boy’. My oldest and I talk about feelings all time; we talk about why we get mad, sad, frustrated in different situations and I always let him know that no matter how he feels or I feel in the moment I will always love him. I want him to feel safe to express himself. I want my boys to feel special and to treat others with respect and kindness. I want them to know their value and to treat men and women as equal as if gender doesn’t mean a thing.
But how am I supposed to build them up to be confident and self-assured men when the world keeps asking me if I’m going to keep trying for a girl? As if my two boys aren’t enough… as if my life is incomplete because I don’t have a daughter… as if having boys isn’t equally as wonderful as having girls. All the Moms I know who have sons have been asked time and time again if they are going to keep going until they have a daughter. And it’s frustrating and angering. So I ask of you- STOP ASKING! STOP COMPARING! Ask me if I’m thinking of having another baby… ask me if I feel my family is missing another child. Do not ask me about having a daughter.
I was blessed with the immense responsibility to raise two boys. I am going to teach them about gender equality, race equality, human equality. Step one to that is never ever letting them wondering if their Mother was disappointed because they didn’t turn out to be girls. That seed will not be planted in their head. I won’t let it. Because it is the furthest thing from the truth. I would chose my sons time and time again if I had to do it over. If I decide to have more children, I would take a hundred more boys. I treasure my sons and our special bond. Did you know boys implant their DNA on their mother’s brains during the pregnancy? They do. They are just as much a part of me as I am a part them.
So the next time you have the urge to ask if someone is going to keep going for a daughter… just stop. Keep it to yourself. And I’ll thank you for showing my kids that boys are equal to girls, girls are equal to boys. Then we can stop placing stupid expectations and restrictions on gender going forward. Maybe, just maybe, the world will then have a glimmer of hope for a better, more accepting future.
*exceptionally proud mother of two CHILDREN