I was eight months pregnant. My husband was at work. Patience was thin as I shuffled my two active boys into the new minivan (I still can’t believe I had to get a minivan) following swim lessons. I made eye contact with a mom exiting with her ONE daughter who peacefully walked beside her holding her hand. As I’m buckling the boys, aka wrangling and bargaining, she comes by me with a smile and asks “what are you having this time?” I replied, out of breath, “It’s a girl.” An excited squeal came out of her mouth along with a “finally a girl, you must be so happy.” I cringed.
This wasn’t the first time this comment would come my way, and since having my baby girl, there have been many more. Actually, two similar comments just today! “Finally, you have your GIRL.” “Aren’t you happy it’s not ANOTHER boy?” “Thank goodness it’s a girl.” The minute you have a boy, people start asking if you will try for a girl. If you are okay with having a boy. What is this? You see, I didn’t set out to have a girl. Have I always wanted a daughter? Yes – more in another post about that one. But, with pregnancy #3, I knew I made boys and was more than happy with that. I’m lucky to have two healthy and very active boys. A third would have been another miracle. What’s a little more noise and dirt?!
Here’s the thing: I’m guilty of making similar comments prior to having kids. I understand. I’m not going to lie, when I found out I was having a second boy, I cried. It took me a while to get to the place where my third would probably have the same outcome. But part of me thinks society trains us this way. People still build a mental picture of one boy and one girl; the traditional, balanced family. I get it. Moms are supposed to want girls, dads are supposed to want boys.
Now that I’m a mom of two boys, here’s my problem. My two boys, who I love dearly, were there when that woman stopped me outside of swimming lessons. They are always there when someone makes a remark shining light on how my life is somehow saved and better because I “finally have a girl.” I’m asked in front of them if it’s a relief. They are constantly reminded that they aren’t girls. By association, I can only imagine they infer that they are more trouble and more of a handful and burden, and maybe even not as important. How am I supposed to respond to these comments without hurting their feelings or making them feel less wanted? Trying my best, I smile and say, I’m happy to have my healthy daughter and two healthy boys who I adore. Life is always exciting.
I ask that, the next time you see a pregnant woman, you wish her a healthy pregnancy and baby. If you see a mom with her children, no matter what the make up, tell her she has a beautiful family or that she is blessed. Tell her she is doing a great job. If you see me chasing two dirty, hyper boys, while carrying an infant, remember this read. When you stop us, please tell them how lucky my daughter is to have them as her big brothers. Despite the challenges that my two boys may bring, they are the best big brothers to their little sister and I guarantee that this little girl will bring her own challenges in the future.
While to the outside, I “finally” have a girl, to me I finally have a complete family. My heart is full and I’m grateful that God chose me to be the mommy of three beautiful miracles.