You’re feeling on top of the world. Ecstatic in the knowledge that your anomaly scan showed a healthy baby. Ok so you’re slightly concerned that the foetus was showing signs of your notorious family ‘chin’ but what the hell the baby is healthy! You immediately ring family and friends to inform them of the great news, assuming that they will share the same giddy excitement that you do.
Then you are faced with it.
‘Another girl? Oh never mind! Do you think you will try again?’
Erm, excuse me? Nevermind? Your response to my news that we are expecting a healthy baby is NEVERMIND?!
Equally as annoying are the comments with the undertone of making the best of it. For example:
‘Oh well at least you won’t have to buy any new clothes…’ (these comments are particularly misguided; like I’m going to miss out on the opportunity to buy some newborn baby clothes…?!)
Third baby, same gender
It’s funny; when you’re pregnant with your first and people ask you if you know the gender, the delivery of the news is usually met with a delighted; ‘awwww’ or maybe; ‘I bet you’re excited’ or even; ‘I’d have always loved a little boy/girl’ (delete as appropriate).
Second time around however, delivering the news that you are expecting a child of the same gender as your first…. well, the comments are slightly different. Your news isn’t quite so exciting now, after all, you’ve already got one of those haven’t you?
Well just try informing people that baby number three was yes, another girl. Another girl to add to the two girls I already had. I could count the positive reactions on one hand. I mean of course, there were very few people who were openly rude (bar a pretty awkward experience with a family friend who literally screwed her face up in disgust and has now suffered the ultimate punishment of a facebook ‘defriending’ – yeah that will show her). No its more the way that people react to the news. Or indeed the way that they don’t.
The perfect family?
You see, it turns out that there is a large section of society who deem the perfect family to contain an even gender balance or, to quote the term broadly used; ‘one of each’. So what then about those who have two siblings of the same sex? And woe be tide you if you are unfortunate enough to have THREE of the same like me right? I mean, talk about surplus to requirements. (And don’t even get me started on those families who have 4, 5 or more children of the same sex; clearly these children are only in existence due to vain attempts to produce the opposite gender… right?)
It does nark me off a tad though I’ll be honest. I mean, does this mean that my family unit is somehow inferior? Imperfect? Purely because I don’t have a pink one and a blue one (ok, ok I hear you gender neutral police, but you get the point I’m making here). Why is it that announcing you are expecting a same sex sibling is not met with the same joyous reaction as announcing that you are expecting a child of the opposite sex to the one you already have?
Defined by gender?
Believe it or not (and Im guessing not for all those people who regularly inform me that all my girls look exactly the same and have I just pressed a reset button?) all my children are completely different. Whilst the eldest owns every single Disney princess item that was ever made (obviously this is an exaggeration, I’ve stopped short of buying her the Lego Disney castle available on Amazon for a £350- I know) and wouldn’t be seen dead in anything but a dress, number 2 is completely different. My second daughter hates dressing up (much to the eldest’s dismay) and would much rather bake a cake. Or draw a cake. Or watch YouTube videos of people making cakes (you’re probably sensing a theme here).
And as for the baby; well she’s still a baby so who knows. All I do know is that out of the three of them she’s been the hardest work. By far. From morning to night she’s on the go. Things I hadn’t even thought to worry about with the other two have now become things. The cat food has to be moved, tv’s have to be guarded and don’t even get me started on electrical wires.
All totally different
Anyway you get the point I’m making. They are different, not because they are different genders but because they are different people. Different humans with different personalities. Likes and dislikes unique to them as people, irrespective of whether they are boys or girls.
So when people ask me (as they regularly do) whether I am disappointed that I didn’t have a boy, I can tell them honestly that no I am not. How could I be? Yes it would be nice to have a boy one (I’ve seen some pretty cute baby boy clothes in Boden after all) but to me, my girls are pretty awesome. And if the fact that I don’t have a son means that we are not the vision of a ‘perfect family’ then so be it, but I can say for sure my family is all I’ve ever dreamed of and to me, that feels pretty perfect.**
Has anyone else been subject to these kind of comments about having more than one child of the same sex?
*this obviously does not include leaving the house – this is the point my family feels more feral than perfect and I’m ready to swap my children for a family of cats (outdoor ones though obvs, I ain’t cleaning no litter trays…)
** this post may need to be revisited again in the teenage years, where my opinion on having three girls may well have changed…!