“Once we announced that our twins were going to be our third and fourth girls, I really started to see how our society gets hung up on the gender of babies. For the most part, we see the ‘perfect family’ as one that has an equal ratio of boys to girls.
But we don’t get to decide that, right? I mean, we can try all we want to sway the odds of which gender we will conceive by doing all the ‘methods’ out there. But we are never guaranteed 100% that any particular gender will be our baby. So, as I tell all of my children, ‘you get what you get!’ I think somehow we forget this. Why would a couple keep having kids when they’re only getting the same gender over and over? ‘They must be trying to finally have one of the opposite gender!’
I was at Costco this week with my little crew when a woman approached me with a question about my growing bump. I’ve been approached by all sorts of people, some with really sweet comments and others with really rude remarks. I always stay true to who I am and ‘kill them with kindness,’ regardless of which side of the spectrum they present themselves. This particular woman first asked about all of the kids and their ages. She noticed our four girls and our son, who is actually my half-brother, whom we adopted 3 years prior. She made a joke that he was the only boy and then shifted her attention to what gender this baby inside of me would be. I explained we are waiting to be surprised and that we will officially know in a few weeks when it decides to make its entrance.
Her eyes widened and her voice changed to more of a panic when she asked me, ‘What if you have a fifth daughter?’
I knew what she meant. I’ve heard it all over the last few years of having four girls: how are we going to afford prom dresses, wedding dresses, and weddings? How are we going to survive the teenage years with so many girls and how would we afford all of the clothes and shoes? How would we handle having so many hormones in our home? In my experience in conversations with strangers, having girls seems to carry a higher price. And I don’t just mean in physical things like a wedding dress. It seems as if having a girl is allowed when you only have one or two. But having more than that means your life is just going to be dramatic, stressful, and emotionally consuming. That’s the vibe I’ve gotten from others in the short amount of time I’ve mothered four young girls.
Without missing a beat I just responded with, ‘Love her like the rest!,’ and the woman awkwardly giggled and then went on her way.
But ‘what if we do have a fifth daughter?’ … Awesome! Do you know how fun girls are? Everything is magical in their worlds. Their imaginations are bigger than life! There’s a sweet dose of drama here and there, but girls know how to have fun! They can make up a game of ‘house’ with sticks, by having the biggest stick be the dad, the medium one be the mom, and the little one be the baby. It’s actually really amazing to watch their little minds transform something adults would see as so boring into something so enchanting for them. I know I haven’t experienced the teenage years, but I really look forward to their adult years and eventually being grandma to their babies.
I hate that people assume if this baby is a girl, it won’t be as loved or welcome. It’s almost as if we won’t be excited to have another girl, or that we will be disappointed. We would never even feel an ounce of sadness because of what her DNA is. To even infer that another girl would not be as important as the rest of our children really frustrates and upsets me. It’s not like we can just send her back and ask for a refund! Nor would we ever want to. Five girls, six girls, 25 girls. We know all kids are a blessing and all kids bring a special piece to the table that is irreplaceable. We don’t know what we’ve been missing until it’s given to us.
If this baby is a girl, then she is who I’m meant to mother. She is the daughter we’ve been waiting for. I hope if she is a girl, her personality is just as unique as all of her big sisters. I hope her voice is as loud as she wants it to be, and I know she will fit right in just like the rest of them have.
I think the bigger question here is, ‘What if it’s a boy?’
We know girls, after all! We have only parented infant girls. We adopted our son when he was 2 years old after our shared dad and his mom passed away within 12 days of each other, so we’ve never had an infant boy. I’m not even sure I’m remotely prepared for this baby to be a boy. How do you handle the pee during diaper changes? I have a thousand questions about infant boys! It seems so foreign to me.
I don’t really get hung up on stranger’s comments but this one left a bitter taste in my mouth. I wish everyone understood that all of us just want a healthy baby in the end. Sure, we can go into each pregnancy thinking we’re definitely having one gender over the other. But at the end of the day, whatever we are blessed with is what we will cherish and swear to protect with our own lives.
My husband and I have as many children as we do because we love kids. We keep having babies because each of their personalities are so exciting to discover and parenting each of them has taught us new lessons. We want a big family because we want our kids to have the experience of having so many people in their corner. We don’t keep having babies to try for a boy. A boy would be a fun addition to our family, don’t get me wrong! But that’s not why we had one more.”
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