Three—the number of times I’ve been pregnant.
Three—the number of times I’ve had a boy.
By pregnancy number two, people started asking me, “Oh, are you trying for a girl this time?” The first time, I shrugged it off. Then I realized this was a question everyone asks.
By my third (and probably last) pregnancy, prior to finding out the gender, I got, “Could you even imagine if you had three boys?! Poor mama!”
Like, seriously!? Poor mama!?
I know people were just trying to make what they thought was polite conversation.
What I didn’t expect was the feelings of hurt that started to sink in.
My life is already full of trucks, dirt, and wrestling matches. With two boys, a husband, and a male dog, I felt like I needed someone on my team.
Of course, I would love a little girl in my life. You know, a little balance of estrogen in my household would be nice.
People innocently asking if I was trying for a girl made me feel incapable of producing something people seemed to view as extra special. A daddy’s little girl. A mommy’s best friend. Sugar and spice and blah blah blah.
When we finally received the news we were having a third and healthy boy, my feelings of worthlessness vanished and excitement began to creep in.
I was officially a boy mom for life.
Until becoming a parent, people don’t really understand the joy that comes with creating another life—regardless of gender. Having a baby means there is someone on this planet who depends on you for safety and nurturing. It is your job to create a responsible, caring human being.
Sure, I can easily tell you the difference between a backhoe and a bucket loader. I am also a master at building forts and cleaning tinkle off toilet seats. However, my life is far from being all about sandboxes and mud pies.
Boy mom, girl mom, or moms with both—we are all afforded with some amazing opportunities that are important no matter who we are raising.
We get to teach them unconditional love.
Young kids are always learning. They do amazing things and make big mistakes. We get to be there to love them through it all.
By providing a safe place for them to explore the world, they are able to become themselves and know their mom is going to be there every step of the way.
Moms get to be supporters, advocates, and protectors. Moms get to be superheroes.
We get to teach them it’s OK to show emotion.
Children will hear such crazy things from society about how they should act and react.
Girls are overly emotional (stop overreacting) and boys should never cry (suck it up). These societal expectations are just plain ridiculous.
Moms get to be the ones to break down these barriers down and help our children build empathy and emotional intelligence. By helping our children work through their feelings, we get to promote strong interpersonal relationships, starting with the one they have with us.
We get to be Mom.
No one can replace the feeling of creating life. Our kids will want to share all of their triumphs with us. They’ll also need our help and encouragement when they fail.
No matter if we have a boy or a girl, our kids look to us in all things.
When we become Mom, we also become a safe place for our children to land.
As Mom, we also get to be home for our children and that is the best privilege.
So, am I trying for a girl? No.
Even if I could control the genes that went into my child, I would just want to be sure they were healthy. Period.
To all the well-meaning people who have politely (or not so politely) asked if I was trying for a girl during my second and third pregnancies—I will tell you what I was trying for:
I’m trying for the best darn kids on the planet, and I am so looking forward to raising them.