Mama Love Junkie and Mothertougher: How Do I Deal With People Asking Me If I’m Having A Girl?

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Dear Single Gender Mama,

There is no doubt that the people who ask you this question do not know how deeply it offends you. There are people – may of them from other generations and cultures, who do find a girl better or a boy better, depending. This might not be right, but it is true.

But I have to wonder, why does this comment strike you so intensely? You have to know it doesn’t matter at all, so why does it matter so much?

OK, I’m going to take a stab here. Do you feel that – even though, as you say, you have two perfect boys – you actually might be missing something by not having a daughter?

I ask because I felt that way too.

When I was pregnant with my second, I had an eighteen month old son. I loved him with every once of my being, of course, and I loved that he was a boy. No real reason, except I didn’t know much about boys before him, and there was something about the discovery that was fascinating and fulfilling.

But in the ultrasound room, when the nurse asked us if we wanted to know the gender, and my husband and I nodded, and she pointed, and I thought I saw a little penis, I was disappointed. Just for a second, but I was. And then she said, see that? That cheeseburger looking thing? It’s a girl!

I was so excited for a girl. For a calmer version of my son, for a different relationship than the one I had already.  But as soon as she came screaming into the world, it became clear to me something that is surely already clear to you – she wasn’t different because she was a girl, she was different because she was a different child. A different son would have stunned me the same.

I learned, very quickly, that my desire for a different gender was seeped in my own societal understanding of what having a girl, or a boy, meant – and very little of that meant anything real. It still doesn’t.

So I guess my advice then would be this: You already know how complete your family feels, and you already feel satisfied with what you have. So when people say this to you, either smile and nod (and internally roll your eyes,) or explain to them that you are both of these things, and that you need nothing more. And believe that yourself.

Yours in love,
Mama Love Junkie

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