I have three young sons and at least once a week people, usually strangers, will say to me “Wow three boys! No girls? You must have your hands full!” or something to that extent.
This is not my first rodeo so I am now able to smile, answer honestly, no, and move the conversation along.
However, when I was pregnant with my third son, Leo, I was not so nonchalant.
When people found out I was pregnant their face lit up and they would congratulate me. Until they found out he was a boy their face would fall and they would say things like “oh no! How awful. What a shame!” One woman even laughed cruelly in my face and said, “oh god, that’s just terrible!”
Each time I would hear a mean comment about Leo’s gender it felt like I was being in stabbed in the heart. I was hurt and dismayed they were saying such unkind things about my beautiful baby - just because he had siblings of the same gender didn’t mean he was a travesty and a burden.
I distinctly remember thinking “could you at least wait until he is born healthy and well before you start telling me how horrible having three boys is going to be?!”
Not every pregnancy results in a healthy baby it felt like their negative comments were curses and would physically recoil from them.
I held it together until one day a person smiled and said to me “It’s a boy? Congratulations!!” and I started crying. It was just such a relief to have someone say something kind about my baby for once. Even if they thought otherwise, they had the emotional intelligence and the grace to see what Leo was to me, a blessing, and treated him as such.
Now Leo has been born, healthy and well, and people find out that I have three boys they ask me “so are you trying for a girl next?” and I reply, no, one of two things will happen.
The person will either pity me or launch into a song and dance about why girls suck and boys rule.
To be honest when people bag out girls it still hurts a little, for lots of reasons but the most glaringly obvious being that I am a woman that has given birth ergo I was born with a uterus and therefore is it safe to assume I used to be a girl.
I have made peace that I will have to go through this rigmarole every week probably for the rest of my life so I just let them finish, smile and then go about my business.
When someone that I feel like that I am going to be talking to on a regular basis asks me if my husband and I are trying for a girl next sometimes I take the time to go into further detail and get the matter out of the way so they don’t ask me repeatedly.
I believe that people can hold two or more mutually contradictory ideas at the same time without their heads exploding so here is what I say when people continue to ask me if I am going to try for a girl next.
No my husband and I are not trying for a girl.
Not because I don’t like girls - girls are awesome!!! I would love to have a girl! I am a naturally curious person and would love to experience having a child of the opposite gender.
Having a child of one gender and wanting another does not make you an ungrateful or a bad parent. It is perfectly natural to be curious and wonder what it would like to have a child with a different gender or want to have a child of a different gender.
I just can’t see myself having another baby. After having my youngest son Leo, my doctor asked me “do you feel like you have any more babies in you? Are you going to roll the dice one more time?” and the answer is no.
My life is really full right now and I am not so sure I want to roll the dice again. It’s not that I absolutely do not want to have any more children I just feel like at the moment the stakes are too high. If I felt like I had it in me to care for another child I would prefer to look at fostering or adopting.
That usually does the trick.
Do you have children only of the same gender? How often do you get asked this question? How do you handle it?
Jacinta is a West Australian blogger and writer and a mother of three boys. You can find more from Jacinta at www.jacintakeeble.com