Gender Preference

This is one of those posts that I’m going to write, and then promptly think that I shouldn’t have done. But I’m only being honest. A wise woman once told me to never apologise for my feelings, for I cannot help what I feel. Equally I should never apologise for sharing them if I am being truthful.

So here is the honest truth:

I’m sort of hoping that we are expecting a girl.

There we are. I know that there are plenty of people who’d strike me down as a terrible, irresponsible parent(to be) immediately after reading that statement. There are people who would call me selfish, because there are so many people who just want a baby but struggle fruitlessly for years, so I should be grateful simply for having that.

Woah… hold on a minute. I actually never said that I would NOT want a boy. Or even that I’d be disappointed to have a boy. I certainly wouldn’t. I want a healthy baby – boy or girl – and that really is the only thing that matters. I feel completely and utterly blessed to be expecting a baby at all, and to have had minimal problems thus far in our journey towards parenthood. I’m grateful for being where we are every single day. But the baby does have to be one or the other. And if I could pick, I’d pick girl.

I know the reason why. It comes down to the fact that I’m a girl, really. I feel that I “get” girls. I know exactly what would be in store, including the terrible tantrums and teenage angst. But also when I project forward to the relationship I’ll have with my children as adults, I can only base my hopes on the relationships that I know. Without exception, my female friends have closer relationships with their parents than my male friends. I am exceptionally close to both my parents, and I’d love that sort of relationship with a child of my own. Of course there is nothing to say I won’t have a close relationship as an adult with a son, but I can’t imagine we’ll be going shopping together, or booking a joint spa day. I only have to think about my wedding day, and the involvement of my parents in that. I’d love to watch a son marry, but I’d really love to shop for a wedding dress with a daughter. And even now, preparing for a grandchild, I feel like my own parents are closer to the whole thing, much as we want to involve both sets of grandparents equally. My mum will likely be at the birth and will be the next person after Ian and I to hold our baby.

I probably haven’t explained that very well, and it may not make sense to anyone who has sons, or who truly does not feel a slight preference for one gender over another. But I do know I’m not alone. I‘ve spoken to few people recently, most who already have kids, who’ve confessed to feeling the same. Several though have commented that since they went on to have a second child who is a girl, they are glad that their older child is a boy.

I don’t think it’s wrong that I have a preference. After all, I don’t actually know what it’s like to parent either sex, or what sort of parent-child relationship I may end up having, so it’s all based on theory. I suppose it’s the relationship that I’m desiring really, rather than the gender. It would be wrong if I were to allow my feelings to affect my relationship with a boy, or the way that I treat them. Just because I desire a certain kind of connection with a girl, doesn’t mean I wouldn’t cherish every moment of parenthood with a boy too.

A pointless post, perhaps. I don’t have any control over the sex of our child and I’m sure I’ll respond instinctively once they are born. I’m also utterly convinced that I’m carrying a boy. And I already love him with all of my being.


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