The Worst Part About Having Three Boys
Staying pregnant has been a heartbreaking challenge while trying to complete my family. My husband and I have had to overcome the grief, guilt, and feelings of defeat after losing each of our unborn babies and each loss was harder than the last.
We want a big family. Not 10-kids big (although, if I didn’t have to drive a bus I would seriously consider it) but certainly bigger than the average 2.5 kids per American family. Each pregnancy has been welcomed with love, joy, and the eagerness to meet the new life growing inside of me. My husband and I have never had a preference about the sex of our children but have imagined all of the possible ways our family could end up looking.
Many people assume that I want a daughter. I get it. I’m extremely feminine and enjoy all things basic and girly. I also have three sons so it’s easy to assume that we’re hoping for a daughter each time I become pregnant.
The truth is, I would love to have a daughter but no more than I would love to have another son.
There comes a point when you truly just want a baby. Screaming, pooping, healthy. Just a baby that you can love and grow into a kind, world-changing adult. Penis or no penis.
So, what part of having three boys is the worst? The comments about having three boys.
The comments that “this one better be a girl.” The comments that “you’re sorry” I had another boy. And, my all time favorite, “you don’t deserve a daughter.”
I didn’t want my third baby to be a boy. Not because I wanted a girl but because I didn’t want to defend my all consuming love for him to the people who wished, hoped, and thought I needed or wanted a girl.
I’ve been bombarded with comments like “Awh! Are you sad it’s not a girl?” and “You have too many boys!” and “Wow! Three boys?! Good luck.”
Yes. Three boys. All mine to snuggle and cherish and raise into men that your daughters may choose to marry one day.
Every single time someone decides to remind me there is a daughter missing from my family, I have to wade through the flood of emotions that ensue immediately thereafter.
I had a daughter. I delivered her tiny body in my bathroom and every. single. time. someone asks if I’m going to “try for a girl next time” I have to relive the trauma of losing the only daughter I’ve ever wanted.
Comments offered to parents may seem harmless in the moment. Sure. You may be letting your curiosity get the best of you because a family with three children of the same sex is fairly rare and you feel the need to comment. It’s like seeing a car crash on the highway. I get it. I understand your curiosity.
But your curiosity is not more important than my privacy and well-being. And, I can assure you I am not the only mom of three boys who has lost a daughter before the world could celebrate. Being mindful of what you say and how you say it will benefit more people than just little, ole me.
Just, I don’t know, pause for a sec before telling a mom that having three boys sounds like a nightmare.
Is that too much to ask?
You may feel sad for me but I promise you’re wasting your time. I am the only mother these boys will ever have and I’m not going to waste a single moment being sad that I have three sons. So why are you? You don’t get to raise them. You don’t get to soak in their sweetness or kiss them goodnight. The sex of my children has very little effect on your life so don’t be sad, upset, or sorry that they’re mine. Rejoice knowing there are three more boys in this world who have two parents absolutely head over heels in love with them.
I know gender disappointment is a real phenomenon that mothers experience and it’s hard not to assume other mothers feel the same way as you. Don’t project your feelings onto other moms, especially not onto me. When you meet a mom who is expecting another baby of the same sex (or a baby of the opposite sex she desired) pause and think before you speak words of disappointment to her. She’s bringing life into this world and, at the very least, that is worth a simple congratulatory statement if you can’t offer her anything else. After all, that baby didn’t ask to be here and certainly didn’t get to choose his/her sex before entering this world.
So, like I said, I would love to have a daughter again but which one of my sons should I be disappointed in because he’s not a girl? The son who tells me he loves me once an hour? The son currently smothering me in kisses? Or the son bouncing on my bladder reminding me how absolutely fortunate I am that I get to experience pregnancy at all?
Or, should I bring more babies into this world than I want just so I can possibly, maybe, hopefully have a daughter?
I realize pregnancy and postpartum hormones can make moms feel uneasy and extra sensitive about unwanted and questionably inappropriate comments about the sex(es) of their children. I also realize that not all negative comments and awkward glances are done out of pity and spite. But, I can tell you that they’re exhausting and unwelcome.
You are responsible for the words that come out of your mouth and all those words are a reflection of your character. Choose wisely.
When you see a mom with two or more children of the same sex don’t say anything that isn’t kind and up-lifting. Tell her that her kids are beautiful. Congratulate her on the newest person in her family. Every mama deserves to hear that.
Or don’t say anything at all.
Most parents don’t get to choose the sex of their children. We decide how many we want and how far apart we want them and the rest is out of our control. And for many, even that can’t be controlled. We just love them and welcome them into our families with wide open, tired arms and do our best to raise them into kind, successful adults.
Yes, I am a mother of three boys and I wouldn’t trade them for all the girls in the world.