Monday, February 10, 2014

He she. Boy girl. Daughter son. Who cares?!

I wanted to talk about something really serious that is on my heart today. Although I have to work this evening, I laid in bed next to my daughter and son during nap time and stared up at the ceiling. I kept thinking about this post that I wanted to write, and no matter how hard I tried to push it out of my thoughts and catch some rest, I just couldn't. So. Here I sit. Sitting in front of the computer screen, hands on the keyboard, and a brain that is working at full speed.

Would slamming my keyboard be enough to explain my frustration?

Let us start at the beginning.

My son is now 13 months old. Eight. It is amazing me to think that this month he will be 14 months, and before you know it we will be celebrating his second year of life.  I try to think about what these past 13 months have meant to us. How our lives have changed. The joy, the adjustments, the worry, and the unknowns. Sure, you think "oh, I've been through this before," but doing it a second time, with a second baby, makes it completely different. So the experience has been unique to say the least.

My children.

I love my children equally. Both boy and girl. Both are special in their unique way. Both bring a special kind of happiness to our lives. And both love us individually in their own unique special way. Special, is just the best way I can describe them both. Blessed, certainly to say the least. And unique, individual, and their own person are just some other ways to describe it. Sure, I could sit here and list thing that I love about each one of them. I could tell you how the way my three year old wraps her arms around my neck in the morning and whispers "I love you so much mama" is by far the most beautiful thing I ever heard. I could tell you how my one year old clings on to me so tight during the day and has this way of placing his little head on my shoulders that I sometimes lose my breath thinking about how grateful I am for this child. I could tell you that my three year old is wild and crazy and loves to make noise. I could tell you that my one year old is a climber, adventurous, and doesn't mind taking risks. I could tell you that my three your old was a much better napper than my one year old, and that my oldest is much more affectionate than my youngest. My youngest is greedy when it comes to giving out kisses.

I could tell you so many things about my children, and never would I need to use the words "Girl, or boy, son or daughter." They are descriptive words, so yes, at times I would use them. But to differentiate the two? I just don't see it necessary. Differentiating based on differing personalities, yes. Differentiating based on gender? Why.

My love.

When it comes to which gender I love or I feel is greater or "different" I cannot tell you. Because it, this difference in gender, truly, from the bottom of my heart, does not exist.

I get heartbroken when I read things about gender at times. I think in this world that we live in, we are stuck on this idea of how boys and girls should be. Boys are rough and tough and play with trucks and cars and boys are "mama's boys" and boy do they loooove their mama. Girls? Girls are prissy and cute, all about hair and dress up, dolls, and playing house. Oh, and of course girls are "daddy's girls." And therefore, it seems almost second nature to start throwing this stuff out at women who are expecting a certain gender.

Whenever someone announces a gender reveal of a boy, the same comments seems to appear:

"Boys love their mamas in a different way." 
"Until you have a boy and a girl, you won't understand... but loving a boy is so much more special."
"I love my girls, but my boy is my everything."
"Welcome to the boy mom club! It's the best!"

I remember writing a post before my daughter was born about everyone getting excited about me having a boy next.  I talked about how unsettling it was that people thought I should be thrilled that I was getting one of each. That now I get to experience the joys of being a boy mom. What does that mean? I experienced the joy of being a mom the first time with my daughter. Now I get to experience those wonderful joys of being a mom again with my son. Is the joy different because I was now having a boy? Why should it be. Sure the experience may be different, but that has nothing to with having a boy as it does with just having another child with a different personality and likes and dislikes, and going through the motion all over again. With another child.

I remember my mom stating to me that I needed to have a boy next when my daughter was just a couple weeks old. I remember her saying that my daughter was her daddy's girl because that is what girls are and that I would need my own little boy because every mama needs a boy. A baby with no preference right now and she is pinged already a daddy's girl. I remember getting angry with her and she realized early on that I was not up for that conversation.  Although it was in good fun, and she was just expressing this to me because that's what society wants you to believe--it still bothered me. It bothered me that there is this expectation out of gender. That a bond is determined based on gender. That there is a connection with one gender versus the other. A greater connection---based on gender.

Perhaps the reason for my frustration is because my daughter and I have such a great bond, always have and forever will and so I have refused to believe that that would be broken when my son entered the world. And it hasn't, it's only gotten stronger. Perhaps, for me personally, my experience has not been any different, and I do not feel any more special because I am now somehow part of that famous "boy club." Perhaps I do not understand because I've only been a mom for three and a half years. Perhaps I should not care whether someone has a greater connection with their son versus their daughter and isn't afraid to say it because it's their relationship to have, not mine. Perhaps. And all very true depending on how you look at it.

But most of all, the reason for all this is because it's something I have thought about so much since my son was born and just haven't been sure how to express it.  I just don't want other moms that are expecting to feel like these things are true about gender. Yes, maybe they will connect greater with their son, but it has nothing to do with the fact that it's a boy. Maybe they connect more with their daughter, but it has nothing to do with the fact that it's a girl. I would hope that all love and all connections are equal, but regardless on whether they are or they aren't, it certainly has nothing to do with gender.

As a society, we already place too many {ridiculous} expectations on children based on gender. Why is a bond between a child and parent have to be one of them? And certainly, why do we go around celebrating that.

You see, when I write about these sort of things, it's not because I want to point fingers or put blame.  It's because I hope to understand more. I write because it's on my heart and these things make me want to become a better mother. Because I look at these two children lying right next to me, and I just hope for a better future for them. My son likes to put bracelets on, and my daughter will battle him in cars and trucks any days of the week. They're unique because they are who they are not based on gender. Yes, I feel blessed to have a son and a daughter, but I would have been just as blessed to have two daughters, and certainly blessed to have two sons, and I would never have know any different.

I hope to understand this world more so that I can instill the right values in my own children. To show them that they are allowed to be who they want to be, and love in their own special way.To break a vicious cycle and to tear down myths that have been passed down for years.

I never want them to look at themselves based on the gender that they were born with.

I want them to look at themselves based on the person that they are and the life that they lead.


  1. Well...I appreciate this post. For one...I have three daughters. When preg with my third, ppl would tell me how they hoped I got my boy. I have a friend that us expecting her third. She has two girls...she's been told that she needs a boy because they are SO much easier. This coming from a mom with only one child--a son. Two, I get the pity states all the time. "I don't know how you do it," rides my last nerve. What's wrong with three healthy and happy girls. I'm blessed. Btw, I disagree with folks that say a family of four with one of each is the "perfect family". Disgusts me every time. Am I too sensitive? My two cents...but I have more. I'll stop for now.

    1. Replying from my phone and a crappy texter. Sorry for all the typos.

  2. I'm curious, does your mom have both a son and a daughter? Was she speaking from her personal experience? If so, then I suppose she was just expressing her truth. If not, then I've got nothin' Haha!! Interesting post... leaves me with lots of thoughts of my own. Thanks for stirring my brain :)

  3. I am a girl (obviously) and am NOT a daddy's girl.

    My mom is my best friend.

  4. I loved this post. Society places so many expectations on children based on gender and we really just need to back off and let children grow. I personally was not a daddy's girl. I have always been closer to my mom. :)

  5. I had two boys first. Let me tell you the pressure to produce a girl was huge and overwhelming. After my second son, I couldn't believe some of the rude comments I got! From "not another boy," to "I was praying this would be a girl," to "I hope you'll try again next time and hopefully get lucky and have a girl." It caused me so much sadness to hear people disappointed with the gender of my child. I'm glad you posted this because I agree that's there's way too pressure in the US to have one of each gender and anyone that has any different is inferior or missing something. Not true. To me my two boys and one girl is perfect.

  6. AMEN to this POST! I only have one daughter so far and she REALLY does not fit into ANY stereotype out there. She is 100% a Mama's girl. She LOVES baby dolls, along with puzzles, cars and space shuttles. She HATES wearing dresses and LOVES the color pink. She would LIVE outdoors if we let her and for now wants to ride a rocket ship when she grows up. She also LOVES to clean and help me cook. None of those things are gender specific. It is who she is. Every child is an individual despite of their gender! I can't stand the "boy club or the girl club" concept. It is just insane to me! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Great post! I have a special place in my heart for little boys (probably because I have 5 brothers and 4 nephews and now a son of my own) so naturally I wanted a son but my husband also have a 17 year old daughter and let me tell you....proms, dances, shopping the whole shebang, I love it all! I'm hoping my next is a girl. I love the chaos that boys bring ( possibly because it reminds me so much of my childhood?) but I'm ready for a little girl :)

  8. I LOVED reading this post. I have 3 children (2 daughters aged 4 and 2, and a son who is 10 months), when I was pregnant with #3 EVERYONE made comments about how "it better be a boy" or "You're in for it if it's another girl" I found these sorts of comments just so unsettling….I ADORE my daughters, why wouldn't I want another one?! I wished for another girl just to spite the people who made such comments!
    I also ADORE my son and feel so blessed to have him, but I would have been equally thrilled to have another little girl. And I totally agree with you so far - my children are 3 very different people so I do experience differences in mothering them, but it's not because of their gender. Thanks for putting it out there!


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