Today I saw a beautiful picture on Instagram of a mother who had just given birth, her face was full of overwhelming love and accomplishment as she looked at her baby and was cradled by her partner, beneath it was the tag line “When a mother of sons finds out she has a girl”, those words had ruined for me what was a beautiful image. Why do we as a society believe that women are only satisfied when they have daughters and that men surely want sons, you can see this belief everywhere, from social media to television and magazines and as a mother to three boys I’ve had enough.
I have been asked more times than I can remember if I will “try for a girl”, the very question offends me as it implies that I am not content with the three beautiful sons I have brought into this world, that their lives and the joy they bring is not enough because as a woman I am expected to pine for a daughter, a mini version of myself. In the same vein my husband is expected to be bursting with contentment because he, the man, has three sons (thumps chest cave man style!), it’s all totally bonkers.
As all mothers know the moment you fall pregnant you couldn’t care less if you have a girl, boy or an alien as long as it is safe and yours to love and cherish forever. The majority of people who ask me if I will “try for a girl” are mothers themselves so I find it incomprehensible that they did not feel the same unquestioning love for their own children, so why do they believe that my sons aren’t enough! Of course if you posed this question to them they would most likely be mortified that you had interpreted them that way but what other way is there to interpret the question “will you try for a girl”. You never hear a mother of three daughters being asked if she will “try for a boy”, why is that because she must surely be satisfied with three girls. I am sure a father of three girls would be questioned about trying for a son though and why because it’s impossible that he would be happy with only daughters.
It saddens me that society can’t look at a mother with three or thirty three sons and simply think wow she is so blessed, she must be so happy (and stressed) and congratulations to her on the safe arrival of her babies. Why have we let gender stereotyping warp our view of what makes a mother and father feel fulfilled as parents, surely all children are miracles, all babies are a blessing and whether they have a penis or a vagina makes no difference.
As a mother to three amazing human beings who happen to have willies I can say I am utterly content and overwhelmingly in love with the three perfect miracles I have been lucky enough to grow, deliver and raise. I do not feel for a second that there is a part of me missing or that I ‘need’ a daughter to feel accomplished or reflected into the next generation, so no I will not be ‘trying for a girl’ because my children are a gift, they enrich my life and each of them is a unique blessing that I would not change for the world. I am a mother to three sons and I could not be prouder or happier, my only wish is that society could remove its preconceptions that women need daughters and men need sons and instead view children as equal and families as complete when the parents themselves decide they are. My sons are more than enough so please stop asking.