my son

…No boys allowed? Really?

I remembered something I read on Facebook a few months back, today and it really grated on me. A woman I barely knew (friend of a friend), commented after her 20 week scan that she was, “relieved she was having another girl”. It startled me a little.

Surely, we should all hope (if we are lucky enough to be able to conceive or even want children in the first place) to have a healthy baby, whatever the sex. That’s the purpose of the 20 week scan after all. To assess the unborn babies’ health and offer diagnosis of any problems. Offering gender where requested and possible is an additional bonus thanks to the advancement of technology.

Maybe the aforementioned woman was relieved because it meant costs would be kept down with a second same sex child (sharing of clothes and the like) although having met her and seen her environment, she appeared to be a very wealthy woman.

Maybe knowing girls having had one daughter,  she was scared of ‘the other’. It just seemed from that word ‘relieved’ that a boy to her and her husband would be anathema. Why? I’ve heard several women state they would like girls and suprised themselves when they had boys in how happy they were/in love with their child they found themselves and couldn’t imagine anything else.

I get it, we’re women, we worry we won’t know how to connect with boys or understand them but you know what, we do.  You love your child, whatever the sex and frankly boys are fabulous. It’s about time someone stuck up for the male sex.

P.S. I’m sure girls are fabulous too.  I’d have been happy with either but was made up to have a boy.

P.P.S. I also realise culturally there can be pressure to produce one sex over the other. I think this is wrong and welcome the changes to the Monarchy and hope it becomes law that the eldest daughter can reign. Let’s see.

Rant over.

Photograph ©Peter Broadbent.

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55 Responses

  1. honestmum

    @CircusQueen it’s strange as friends recently on discussing this post, said the opposite-they’d experienced others getting pats on the backs for bearing a son and heir! Either way, we are so lucky and although a girl is what you know, you would be great with a son if you ahd one-we love our kids unconditionally don’t we-and boys and girls are not that different. My Mother says Oliver is exactly like me as a child: active, funny, bright. His personality is more like me than my husband’s-and I just about know myself! Any day now!

    Reply
  2. Circus Queen

    I remember when I told people that I was having a girl that I got a lot of “You’re so lucky!”and expressions of envy. I found it weird. I genuinely would not have minded either and, actually, somehow I assumed I’d have a boy. I love having a girl and it would keep costs down to have another (there’s also a part of me that now only thinks I can have girls because it’s all I know) but I’d be as delighted to have a boy. In fact, we’ve decided that if we have the fortune of getting pregnant again, we won’t find out the gender next time.

    Reply
  3. Rachael Dennis

    I think some people are the same about girls, and only want boys. I’ve come across this a few times. Both are fab, we can’t choose and what what will be will be.

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @RachaelDennis thanks for commenting, you are so right. Shocking when you see that, isn’t it! We are blessed whatever child we get!

      Reply
  4. mother.wife.me

    Here here! I have a daughter and having her is a wonderful thing. But a son, that would be all kinds of wonderful too – though I do worry on a clothing front – deep, intellectual person that I am – because all my mummy friends with boys say how much harder it is to find cool clothes for boys!!! Other than that… bring it on!

    Reply
  5. Grenglish

    I was thrilled to bits when I found out I was having a boy! Not that I would have been any less thrilled to have a girl, I was just happy to have reached the 20-week scan and to be having a healthy baby.
    I love being a mum to a boy. We have a gorgeous relationship. He is super cute and bright as a button and my heart bursts when I think about him. He also loves his mummy more than anyone else in the world and that is the best feeling ever.
    I guess if we have another, I might think more about it in the sense of whether Z will have a brother or sister, but I do not have a personal preference at all. We are lucky to have our children, girls and boys xx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @Grenglish thanks for this. I too was made up. Health is the priority then happiness. My boy gives me so much joy and I know if I had/ever have a girl I would feel the same. Mother’s unconditional love. I hope these preconceptions stop but I suppose until every woman bores a son, they won’t. x

      Reply
  6. Sharcasm

    Great post and very relevant, as people in the West, especially seem so obsessed with the gender of a child from a more superficial perspective. Where mums feel like they can bond more with girls and perhaps dress them up and feel more connected, in some non-Western countries, people are obsessed with having boys, it’s seen as a symbol of fortune and prolonging the blood line. In countries like China, with the one-child policy, people are obsessed with having boys, often leading to abortion of girls and as a result, there aren’t enough women for men to marry.

    In India too, especially in more rural areas, unborn girls are still being aborted because they are considered less valuable.

    I totally agree with you that if you are wanting/having kids, the only thing that should matter is that the baby is healthy. Love for a person, regardless of their sex will be there.

    Okay, now my rant is over lol.

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @Sharcasm such valid and eloquently put points but I expected nothing less from you. It really is sad and only today in the British press, it was being reported that women are aborting babies illegally due to gender. The social and cultural implications are frightening. Boys, girls-they are a blessing and a joy. Oliver is very lucky to have Aunty Shar in his life x

      Reply
  7. icklebabe

    Great post Mrs. I have two girls and a boy. Jack is harder to understand for sure, but he is also a fascinating puzzle that ive so loved figuring out.
    I love him just as much as the girls and as he’s nearly now 12 its such a pleasure watching him grow in the man he’s going to be.
    Kids rock in my book, period ;D x

    Reply
  8. honestmum

    @Mum2BabyInsomniac it might be a phase and like all kids they are all different. My son is similar to me: outgoing and active. I don’t think you would find it a shock if you had a boy-he might suprise you and irrespective you’ll adore him no doubt!

    Reply
  9. Mum2BabyInsomniac

    Of course I haven’t taken offence and I am glad you haven’t, I didn’t mean to cause any! I totally get that not all boys are boisterous and that it’s a complete misconception, in fact in all the little boys I know you can clearly see how different they all are but the one I spend the most time with is Iylas cousin who is three months older and I have to say I come away exhausted just from watching him. He has unlimited energy and doesn’t ever sit down! He chucks toys everywhere and try’s to climb on EVERYTHING, I know that all kids are different and I would gladly take on the challenge and feel privileged to have the chance to do so but I think I would find it a bit of a shock although who knows, maybe I will have another girl who behaves like that! x

    Reply
  10. Mum2BabyInsomniac

    I totally agree that the use of the word ‘relieved’ is wrong, I have to admit that for all the reasons you mentioned – i.e using the same clothes and being worried about how boisterous a boy will be I kind of think it would be easier to have another girl but I would be over the moon either way and would love to experience having a boy. I think when there are people out there who would do anything to have a child, to feel so strongly about the sex of the one you have been lucky enough to conceive is a but wrong. I do know women who are pregnant with their second boy and are already planning on having a third so that they can have a girl. I do like having a girl but I would have been equally overjoyed with a boy x

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @Mum2BabyInsomniac not all boys are boisterous and that’s part of the problem to be honest-the preconceptions women seem to have about boys. My younger brother was quieter, more well behaved than I was (I was active, into everything, loud etc) and all children, irrespective of their gender have different personalities: some boisterous, some not, as I’m sure you realise. There are lots of boisterous girls too. Boys tend to be physical but many women note, who have both, how loveable boys are. Thanks for your comment. Ive not taken offense and hope none is taken but really preconceptions need to change about boys.

      Reply
  11. geekmummy

    At my 20 week scan during my second pregnancy we chose to discover the gender of our unborn child. I admit I was initially disappointed to learn that it was a boy this time. I had the same reasons that you mention – I already knew how girls worked, and I already had all the girl clothes.

    However, my little boy is absolutely delightful, and I wouldn’t be without him. I am always being told that little boys are easier than little girls when they reach puberty, and that little boys always love their mums 🙂

    What bugs me more is actually why there is the perception that having one of each gender is some kind of ideal. People often tell me I’m lucky to have one of each. I’m lucky to have two healthy, happy children. Their gender has nothing to do with it!

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @geekmummy thanks for sharing. If girls are what you know then it’s understandable to be a little worried at first about the unknown but as you’ve proved, gender makes no difference and like you say your lucky to have two healthy children, whatever the sex.

      Reply
  12. Chris at Thinly Spread

    I have three boys (15, 14, 6) and one girl (12) and they all rock. They are people, each with their own individual character, each with their foibles, strengths, weaknesses, ups, downs, ins and outs. I adore them all, each brings something different to our family regardless of their gender. I love ’em all and if I wasn’t such an old lady I’d have another and I wouldn’t care which bits it came with as long as it was healthy and mine!

    Reply
  13. Cheril

    I have 5 boys and a girl and in my opinion the boys are so much more easy going and less hard work than my little girl, she’s a little diva, lol but I wouldnt do with out her.

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @Cheril this is a really interesting point and relates back to my response to @Mum2BabyInsomniac-all depends on the personality not the gender. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
  14. honestmum

    @Louise couldn’t have put it better and you know what, I know a lot of quiet little boys too. I was exactly like my son as a child according to my mother-never sat still, loud, creative, bossy and thoughtful. Thanks for taking time to comment, really appreciate it x

    Reply
  15. Louise

    Great article and some great comments! I have two wonderful little boys and boys totally rock! They are fun, mischievous, boisterous, noisy, messy, adorable but then so are many little girls that I know (well, a few!). At the end of the day a healthy child is the one thing that is important and we all hope to be lucky enough to get that. xx

    Reply
  16. EmmaK

    I think it is more what you are used to. I wanted to have another girl after the first but it was because somehow that was what I was used to. Also I have to say boys clothes are just not as fun as girls. And does that make me superficial -yes! That said I am sure I would have gotten used to a boy if one would have come along – although really i did want a gay one so bad to accompany me on shopping trips etc and I don’t think they can guarantee that ?

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @EmmaK re your first sentence: perhaps but that doesn’t relate to first time mothers as they don’t know what to expect more often than not. I think whoever or whatever your child is, you love them unconditionally and cannot imagine life without them. It’s as simple as that. Not that I’d mind if my son was gay or turns out to be but he seems to love the girls already, kissing them and stating he has girlfriends (at 2!) but he also loves shopping. I know. Amazing! We need to rethink our preconceptions (me included) and realise love is unconditional and you never know, if you have another and it turns out to be a boy-he might just be your favourite!!! x

      Reply
  17. honestmum

    @Mum of all trades thanks so much for sharing this. Must be frustrating that people assume that’s what encouraged you to expand your family. It’s amazing you have a large and varied family and it’s so true-whatever the gender, every child will be an individual.

    Reply
  18. Mum of all trades

    If I’d a pound for every person who said to me, ‘oh you kept going until you got a girl did you?’, well I’d be worth quite a bit!we have 4 boys and then the youngest, a girl. We’d always wanted a big family anyway and to get a girl was not the reason why we had 5. To me they are all do individual. The 4 boys have distinctly different interest and personalities, but they are all very caring and affectionate. Each one of my children are so special and cherished but not ever because of their gender

    Reply
  19. KyNa Boutique

    I have two boys and totally adore them, they are my world! But im not going to lie I would LOVE a little girl next time. Just so i can experience both sides of the coin and we can do girly things together.
    I will however be happy with whatever sex we make just aslong as the baby is healthy and happy, and i defo wouldnt go to extremes to make sure i have a girl.

    Reply
  20. Mary-Sweet Bookshelf

    Even before I was pregnant I knew I was going to have a boy. I just knew. When ever anyone asked me what I thought I was having, I always said a boy. When I did find out every single member of my family said,”You’re having a girl aren’t you?!” Nope, A BOY!! By the time I got to the end of my list of family members to call I told my sister, “Am I disappointing you all?!” I was getting hurt. I had people at my church telling me it would be so nice for me to have a girl. What’s wrong with my son?!?! I’m actually shocked at the opinions that some people share about the sex of babies. What is wrong with having a boy?! I’d have all boys! It’s fine with me! My son rocks!

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @Mary-Sweet Bookshelf There’s nothing wrong with having a boy-wow must have been pretty annoying to have that kind of pressure. My Dad and brother were desperate for me to have a boy but I know they would have been happy with a girl. My boy is healthy, beautiful, intelligent and kind. I’m sure your’s is too!

      Reply
  21. Mandi

    My son is now 15, which the general consensus would claim is when boys are at their grossest. However, I wouldn’t change him for the world. Despite the usual eeeuuuw-inducing habits that the surge in testosterone inevitably brings, he’s a terrific kid (as are most of his mates). Girl seem far more complicated as teens, while boys are pretty much “what you see is what you get”.

    I love girls and boys alike, but part of me thanks my lucky stars that I had a boy and managed to avoid the sea of pink society dictates as obligatory for girls!

    Although I was convinced I was having a boy when pregnant, at least until the scan proved me wrong, I can’t imagine not having been a mum to a boy.

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @Mandi wow if I remember my teens years, help me if I have a girl! Maybe she’d turn out quiet and well behaved like my husband! I think if I had a girl I’d want to dress her in lemon. Not a fan of sickly pink and hate the way from birth, girls’ wear is so gender specific. Thanks for your lovely comment! Boys rock, testosterone fuelled or otherwise!

      Reply
  22. ebabee likes

    I didn’t want to find out what I was having but a lot of people predicted a boy from my shape. Out came a tiny but healthy little girl. I would’ve been happy with either, healthy was most important. But in my culture (not my family) there is pressure on women to produce boys and I think that is so wrong. Children are children and we should be happy we are able to have them. Having said that I love having a little girl. But had I had a boy I’m sure I’d be saying the same.

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @ebabee likes I totally empathise with you. Traditional Greeks tend to favour boys first and it puts silly pressure on pregnant women. How wonderful you had a girl and I know you would have loved your child whatever their sex.

      Reply
  23. mammasaver

    I find the woman’s comments very sad, really.

    I gave birth to my son, and had a minor ‘I don’t know what to do with boys’ flap, which lasted all of five seconds.

    The woman’s comments make me wonder what her preconceptions (excuse the pun) of having a boy are.

    Even in the midst of boy toddler chaos, I cannot imagine what there would be to be ‘relieved’ about.

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @mammasaver I know, I wonder too. I think you’ve hit it on the nail, its preconceptions of what it entails to have a boy or vice versa and it’s based on the fear of the unknown often. I agree re toddler chaos and believe me that’s definately not gender specific! My friends with girls are reeling as much as we are!!!

      Reply
  24. Mum2Four

    Boys Rule!!! I have 3 boys and 1 girl & I love them all equally.
    Due to tests in my 2nd pregnancy I knew the baby was a girl & that, believe it or not, really frightened me – I didn’t think I’d cope with a girl but I have & I do.
    All I ever wanted was healthy children of any variety!

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @Mum2Four How wonderful to have a large family and that your daughter will have three big brothers to look after her. Funny that having a girl would frighten you but I totally empathise-it’s the unknown but look you’ve coped brilliantly and that’s what happens doesn’t it. Thanks for your lovely comment

      Reply
  25. Susan Mann

    I have two boys, whom I love more than anything. I have to admit I wanted a girl, purely because I didn’t know what it was like to have a boy or a mother son relationship at all being an only child. But boys are great. I do still want a little girl but I love my boys so much and wouldn’t swap them. I think boys are fab, Their toys are the best and they are so loving. xx

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @Susan Mann totally understand and your boys sound wonderful. I don’t think it’s wrong to want a boy or a girl, just to take it to the extreme that that becomes the be all and end all. Thanks for sharing xx

      Reply
  26. SAHMlovingit

    The whole gender preference thing REALLY winds me up. ALL children are gorgeous and such a blessing despite their gender. As someone who will never be an aunty because my Sister and her husband can’t have children and I know so many other couples in the same boat I can’t believe how picky and insensitive some people can be. It saddens me.

    I’m not in the habit of linking back to my blog on comments but over a year ago I wrote about my annoyance and you may find it an interesting read:

    http://sahmlovingit.blogspot.com/2011/01/pink-or-blue-which-one-are-you.html

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @Sahmlovingit Thanks for sharing your post, really vital points made. Funny how families can pressure you! My Dad and brother were desperate for a boy! It saddens me that folk are so picky. Be happy whatever you get!

      Reply
  27. Tricky Customer

    I have been thinking about writing something about boys. When I was pregnant a woman at work (who had 4 daughters) asked me if I’d found out the sex. I said that I hadn’t. She said that she was so relieved each time to have a girl and didn’t think she’d have so many children if she’d have had a boy because a boy would have probably put her off more. Why? I didn’t actually ask, was just too confused!

    I’m not sure if you know our story but we have a son, Sam, who is 15 months. He has a rare genetic condition that has turned our world upside down. But if he had been a girl, he’d be like me, a carrier and not display any symptoms. I didn’t know I was carrying this genetic defect and only because of Samuel’s condition did we discover it. He’d have been fine if he had been a girl. Which is hugely unfair. That is why I’m hugely protective over boys. I have two nieces who I truly adore and who knows we may adopt a girl in the future, we really don’t mind, but for me, boys are more precious and vulnerable.

    Reply
    • honestmum

      @Tricky Customer I’m so sorry to hear about your son’s rare genetic condition. It seems so unfair he got it due to his gender. I hope he gets the best treatment and they find a cure if they don’t have one already and asap. Thanks so much for sharing x

      Reply
  28. honestmum

    @Citygirlnomore that is so sweet! Boys are totally loving aren’t they. My little toddler is constantly kissing and cuddling me! Let’s hope it continues!

    Reply
  29. citygirlnomore

    Would not swap my two gorgeous boys for the whole world – no screeching and screaming in my house (lot of rough and tumble to make up for it).

    I’d never known boys being one of three sisters, both sisters had girls, so I was shocked at having boys and a little scared, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. They are so loving.

    Reply
  30. honestmum

    @Emma thanks for your lovely comment. Couldn’t agree more and wouldn’t it be lovely if more people were like us. I think it would be wonderful to have one of each but have no preference and at the end of the day (most of us-bar those undertaking gender selection where legal) don’t get to choose!

    Reply
  31. Emma @ Mummy Musings

    We didn’t find out the sex of our baby at the 20 week scan and, although I had decided it was a boy (no idea why!), it turned out to be a healthy baby girl.

    I had no preference which sex we had and wouldn’t care if/when we have a 2nd child.

    I can sort of see that having another girl might be ‘easier’ with regards to already having girl clothing (we’ve saved everything!) but I honestly couldn’t care less what sex baby 2 may be, as long as it’s healthy.

    I do think it’s quite sad when people get hung up on the sex of their baby. As you said, surely the fact that you’ve conceived a, hopefully, healthy child should be all that matters?!

    Reply
  32. honestmum

    Thanks for your comment. Totally get it can be scary especially if you’re first was the other sex but boys are brilliant. We’re lucky to have kids aren’t we. Thanks for sharing sweetie x

    Reply
  33. julesey10

    Boys rock. I have to admit to being scared when I foind out I was having a boy with C but mostly bec I had a terror nephew and he was my only experience of boys. I wouldn’t have it any other way now! Xx

    Reply

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