On Thursday we find out if I’m carrying a girl or a boy.
When we went to our ultrasound when I was pregnant with Cub, I was hoping for a girl. When I found out it was a boy, suddenly, I couldn’t imagine it being any different. I was having a little boy. Having a little boy is awesome.
This second pregnancy is supposed to be my last. We’ve always planned on two kids, and I really don’t think my husband nor I are wired to run a household where children outnumber adults. (Cats can outnumber humans: that’s cool.) All in all, I’m not just saying that I’d be happy with a girl or a boy: I would be. But I also can’t deny that depending on what turns up on that ultrasound on Thursday, things will be different.
As much as I, like so many parents of this generation, strive to avoid gender stereotypes, there’s no denying that whether Cub gets a sister or a brother, whether my husband and I get a son or a daughter… it does make a difference! I don’t know that I have a preference for either option: I see awesome aspects to both options, just… like I said… differences.
If I have another boy…
Definitely, there’s going to be a sense of, “Well, I’ll never know what it’s like to have a daughter.” On the other hand, I’ll also feel like, “Yes! I have this on lock-down, I know what to do with little boys!” My husband, I know, is tickled pink (blue?) by the idea of being three males versus Mom, especially if boy #2 were to come out with his Papa’s personality, like Cub did. Basically, this means I’m going to have to give up before I even get started. Three strong-willed, “my way or the highway” boys in my house? Bring it on. But maybe my second son will be more like me: compromising, gentle, not so… aggressive?
My son is a total Mama’s boy: he is cuddly and he loves me and he asks for me in the middle of the night. But there are certain things that are reserved for boys and their Papas, things we will never share.
My Nana, mother of two boys now well into her nineties, often laments, “You have a son until he gets married, but you have a daughter your whole life.”
I don’t think that’s necessarily true in all cases, but I definitely get what she means. What if I don’t get along with my daughter-in-laws? (Or son-in-laws, I’m not ruling that possibility out.) The daughter-in-law is the gatekeeper to the grandkids…
The thing is, I’ve never had a sibling of the same gender, and neither has my husband. There’s something special about two brothers, no?
If I have a girl…
My husband is adamant that he would raise a girl “like a boy.*” Any daughter of his will be just as assertive, street smart, confident and athletic as he hopes Cub to be. I’m totally on board. I don’t think that our parenting will fundamentally change if our second child is a girl. What will change, at least for me, is that I will have someone “like me.” Someone to share those moments with that I simply can’t share with a son: some stuff is just “girl stuff.” And this seems like an ENORMOUS responsibility compared to raising two little boys.
*Just to clarify, in regards to my unhappy commenter, Jay, this is my husband’s point of view and not my own. In my view there is nothing “masculine” about being assertive, street smart, confident or athletic (but I think we can all agree that they are traits prized and recognized more in little boys than in girls in our society). I think what my husband means is that he’s not going to be any different of a Dad even if we have a daughter, and I will grant that my husband DOES have a more gendered view of the world than I do. My point in mentioning it is that we don’t plan on being different parents, girl or boy.
It’s the “girl stuff” that intimidates me about having a daughter. A lot of the “girl stuff” kind of sucks, even in 2015. Adolescence was not kind to me, and I was NOT kind to my mother from probably aged 12 to 20. Having taught teenagers now for a few years, I find teenage girls as overwhelming as they surely feel overwhelmed most of the time.
But the dresses! Okay yes, I confess a certain excitement at the prospect of somewhat girlier wardrobe options. Regardless, every so-called “girly” cloth diaper that I’ve liked I’ve put on Cub. But I’m afraid of her being TOO girly! The whole Princess/Bratz thing really freaks me out and I feel like my efforts to avoid it could simply backfire. What is it with those GIANT eyes?! [Update: I love this post from xoJane, which helped me understand WHY I’m afraid of her being too girly, and why I shouldn’t be]
I grew up in a household with my brother, me and my parents, so there’s something I totally love about the even distribution of gender in a household.
But to me, a little girl means someone’s going to need me by her side when she has her first baby. When Cub was born, my Mom told me what her mother had told her: “Now you know how happy I was when I had you.” Not that I won’t be able to say that to my son(s), but it’s just not quite the same.
I know there are women who have always dreamed of a daughter, and who will keep making babies in the hopes of having one. I’m definitely not like that. Girl or boy, I’m 99% sure that’s the end of baby-making for us.
I’m looking forward to Thursday with trepidation: how many moments mark such a definitive change in our lives? After Thursday, either I will get to say “daughter,” or I never will…
… I can’t wait to find out!
Mylène Bélanger says
Ma première grossesse, je voulais un garçon, mais ce fut une fille. J’avoue avoir été déçu une minutes, puis l’excitation a pris le dessus. Ma deuxième grossesse, tout le mode disait que ce serait une autre fille, donc j’ai été très surprise et presque perturbée que ça soit un garçon: on avait déjà un prénom de fille, tout le linge… mais encore une fois, l’excitation a pris le dessus et mon désir d’un garçon a refait surface. Je suis bien heureuse d’avoir mon garçon et que mon mari ait sa princesse à qui il ne peut rien refuser même lorsqu’elle ne demande rien. LOL On est toujours heureux avec des enfants, peut importe le sexe, mais on ne saura jamais ce qui serait arrivé dans le cas contraire…
Lindsay Gallimore says
Yes exactly! That’s what I always think about: what if it were different? You can never know!
Either way, it sounds like both you and your husband have sexist/misogynistic baggage to go through. Raising her like a boy? What does that even mean? What would “raising a girl like a girl” mean as well? Why is your husband associating girls with not being athletic, street smart, submissive as well as lacking in confidence? Sounds like he doesn’t have a very good view of girls and is creating some kind of false dichotomy to uphold sexist & oppressive tropes. Why is your husband (and you?) ranking so-called boy things/”traits” over girl things? Sounds like the recipe to create and foster a ton of internalized misogyny in a daughter, should you have one. Never mind the sexism it would breed in boys to know that their stuff and “traditional” characteristics are “superior” and more desirable. “Delusions of Gender” by Cordelia Fine is a great book that you both should read. XOJane recently published an article called “Tomboys & Tiaras: Why I Don’T Want My Daughter to Hate Pink.” I actually did not expect this kind of post/attitude from you for some reason and am kinda shocked.
Either way, it sounds like both you and your husband have sexist/misogynistic baggage to go through. Raising her like a boy? What does that even mean? What would “raising a girl like a girl” mean as well? Why is your husband associating girls with not being athletic, street smart, nor assertive as well as lacking in confidence? Sounds like he doesn’t have a very good view of girls and is creating some kind of false dichotomy to uphold sexist & oppressive tropes. Why is your husband (and you?) ranking so-called boy things/”traits” over girl things? It’s a good recipe to create and foster a ton of internalized misogyny in a daughter, should you have one. Never mind the sexism it would breed in boys to know that their stuff and “traditional” characteristics are “superior” and more desirable. “Delusions of Gender” by Cordelia Fine is a great book that you both should read. xoJane recently published an article called “Tomboys & Tiaras: Why I Don’t Want My Daughter to Hate Pink.” I actually did not expect this kind of post/attitude from you for some reason and am kinda shocked.
Lindsay Gallimore says
Well mostly what I’m considering gendered things that I can’t share with my son are pregnancy, menstruation and such. My husband does have a very gendered view of the world compared to me, but I didn’t explore that in the post. That’s his thing! I think that most parents, regardless of intention, notice a difference in raising little boys or little girls. I’ve made an effort to expose my son to everything in terms of not suggesting toys are gendered, and I get annoyed when people say that I can’t put him in a certain diaper because it’s too “girly.” I agree about ranking traits as boyish or girlish, I don’t specify that my own traits (gentle, compromising) are feminine, I don’t consider them so, those are just my traits. My husband and son both just happen to have very similar “my way or the high way” type personalities, which I didn’t refer to as being masculine or not (I know plenty of women like that). It’s very true that if we have a daughter, she could have those traits too and still not by more compromising like me! I’m not going to defend my husband we don’t always agree, since he does have a more gendered view of the world (and toys and clothes etc etc.) than I do, but I will stand behind the point of my post: no matter how ungendered we try to raise our kids, there ARE differences. I doubt that I will experience my son’s partner’s pregnancy (should he be heterosexual and choose to children) in the same way I would experience it if it were with my own daughter. I cannot fully relate to a lot of the experiences that he is going to go through as a male, while I will be able to relate to those of a daughter, including the sucky ones that still need improvement BECAUSE of misogyny. Any who, thanks for stopping by.
Lindsay Gallimore says
The Tomboys & Tiaras post is AWESOME. I hadn’t yet taken time explore WHY I’m so worried about “too girly,” but she really helped me understand!!
Very exciting! I remember being in a similar position when pregnant with my daughter. I had a 2 yr old son and we were debating the merits of having two boys or one of each. I thought about the challenge of raising children in my feminist worldview (both boys and girls), and how relationships change in adulthood. My brother and my mom are quite close, but I think that may be an anomaly. I value my relationship with my mom (and dad of course, but it is different) and hope to have that with my daughter one day. It’s tough to talk about these issues without exposing one’s internal gender biases and assumptions.
I must admit, that I feel like I won the lottery with my daughter, but I often ponder if it has to do with her gender or her wonderful personality!
Lindsay Gallimore says
“It’s tough to talk about these issues without exposing one’s internal gender biases and assumptions.”
You are SO SO RIGHT! I learned things about myself when I laid these thoughts out!
Oh now I’m excited for Thursday too lol. Gender is a big deal because it will definitely affect the dynamic of your family! When I went to find out what my second baby was, I was so hoping for a boy because I already had a son and I wanted them to experience brotherhood. A girl would’ve been amazing too, but girls actually kind of scare me just because of how I was with my mother for about a decade. Although now me and my mom are pretty close and my brother rarely calls. So that’s what sucks about boys for sure. Anyway, can’t wait to find out what you’re having!!
Monica Geglio says
I am very excited to hear what you are having too!!!! I was lucky to have a boy for my second child (first was a girl) so I could experience raising both genders, but I also wouldn’t have minded a second girl. I also felt like I knew exactly what to do with a girl rather than a boy. Turns out, you are still much prepared for the opposite gender with it being your second baby. You are more experienced. Period. I often feel sorry for my daughter because I was a crazy-didn’t-know-how-to-function first time mom. lol
Jennifer | The Deliberate Mom says
How very exciting… no I can’t wait for Thursday!!
We waited to be surprised with both kids. We also decided to stop at two children. My husband insisted that the children could never outnumber the adults. That way we could vote on things and if there’s a tie the adults win LOL. Although I don’t know if he considered that the adults might not be in agreement.
Thanks for sharing. Hopefully this week doesn’t drag on for you.
Megan Ruge says
Exciting! Sounds like the perfect little family, girl or boy.
I am so excited for you! I have two boys and couldn’t image it any other way, that’s probably the way everyone feels with whatever gender they are blessed with.
Well we are now a two girl household ❤️ How do you feel about raising a girl now?
joanne frank says
Excellent so exciting
Esther Pelletier says
I love this article although I’m for team surprise all the way every time 🙂
Bailey Dexter says
Congrats on the new little one!!!!