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!