Will I miss not having my boy?

Mother and son at the kid's play park in sunshine bright colours  by Lizdesign

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I read a post from Tiff of My Three Ring Circus some time back entitled “Things I Know about Boys“.

It reminded me of some thoughts I had when I was pregnant with my second child.

Before we found out how difficult it was to conceive, we imagined we would probably just have two children, a boy and a girl.

I was keen to have a boy first (since I always wanted a big brother – I’m the eldest. Why that affects what children I had I don’t know. Anyway…..). Hubby was keen for a girl first (he’s the eldest).

Then we had trouble conceiving and were hoping for just one child, boy or girl.

Our first little miracle was a girl. We were thrilled to bits. Then came the time to try for a second and I really hoped it was going to be a boy, though, as you do, I said at the end of the day, a healthier child was the most important, and I meant that.

We fell pregnant fairly easily second time round (go figure) and I felt I was having a boy until the 20 week ultrasound confirmed otherwise. I was a teency bit disappointed, only because, at my age, it was unlikely we’d try for a third. Yet I had to remind myself that even if we did, there was not guarantee a third would be a boy either. This child looked healthy and well “for my age” (as they always said) so I quickly adjusted my thoughts. And so the pregnancy continued.

Then one day, while still pregnant and watching my toddler at her swimming lesson, I found myself observing a mother with her little boy. Then I thought about the relationships my brothers have with my mother. And I couldn’t help wondering if I might be missing out on the special bond that a mother and son have. I felt a little sad thinking I’d never experience that. I have no real idea if it would be different than mother and daughter but I suspect there would be differences. As a mother, I would have loved the opportunity to know what both were like.

Miss T & Lil SLil S was born almost 9 months ago now and we love her to bits. She is adorable and fairly good natured and gorgeous. Miss T loves her baby sister and Lil S loves watching, smiling, and laughing at her big sister. I can see the possibility of them growing up as best friends, or at least I hope they will like Donna from Nappydaze and her sister have.

Besides, having a second girl means I’ve saved on heaps of new clothes! Hand-me-downs rock!

What are your thoughts and experiences of mothering boys vs girls or vice versa? Do the bonds you have as a mother feel different?

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41 thoughts on “Will I miss not having my boy?

  1. I think it depends on the person. Personally I wanted girls! Lol. I grew up as one of four girls, and watch my Mum with her daughters and just think she is so blessed. I also watched my Mum and Grandma, (Mum is the only girl in the midst of 4 boys) and Mum was the one Grandma relied on heavily…. her sons just didn’t care for her the way her daughter did. But at the same time, that is only my experience…. I do know that sons and Mothers can be very close. However I have noticed that as they grow up, and get married, people tend to go with the daughters family rather than the sons. In saying that though, I would like to have a boy- particularly for hubs so he gets to have that father-son thing. But I must admit, if I had to pick all of one gender- it would have been girls. I was so relieved that my first was a girl, because I was a bit scared of never having girls and missing out on getting a daughter.

    • Thanks for your take on this, Robyn. I wonder how much our personal experiences influence our thoughts and views too? There are both boys and girls on both of my parents side but my dad’s side was mostly boys. I am one of four; two boys and two girls. I can definitely see a deepening bond or sense of understanding, between my mother and I, especially since I became a mother myself. I don’t imagine that would be quite the same experience with my brothers when they became fathers. Talking of fathers, I know a couple who don’t want the imagined rough and tumble that comes with boys and would prefer or are glad they only have girls. I suppose it all just comes down to a personal preference as to how you feel, but to providence as to what you get!

  2. As I have only boys I have no idea what having a girl would be like! I actually commented to a friend once: “Thank goodness I have boys, I don’t know what I’d do to a delicate little petal.” After she stopped laughing she looked me in the eye and said, “Dear MM, do you really think YOU would ever have a delicate little petal in any sex???”

    Here from FYBF.

    • I know a few friends who have only boys or only girls. I can see you get used to what you have, which is only natural. Having said that one of my friends is also very happy with their lot and couldn’t imagine having the other sex. I think my husband is happy for all girls, on one level. He’s not a rough and tumble sort of guy (think geek and couch potato) and I think even little Miss T tires him out as it is! The I guess your friend knows you very well! Thanks for visiting from FYBF.

  3. Thos is a really interesting post & I will have to come back later to read some more comments. I am very fortunate in that the Farner & I had no trouble conceiving with little worm. We always have known that we want 2, so when Worm was a girl we already started talking about her brother coming in upcoming years. What will we do if number 2 is not a boy? I’m not sure if we will try for a 3rd or not,
    I will come back later to read people’s views on this one.

    • It’s funny what we want in relation to kids. We start off with wanting any, then we say how many, then we may even say which gender. Then life throws curve balls and we may struggle for even one, then time and circumstances may dictate how many and then providence determines the gender. We’ve all heard the stories of people who kept trying after a few of the same gender only to end up with 3, 4, 5 or more of the same. I know we should be just grateful for what we have and I am but I guess we are also human and can’t help but having wishes and hopes. Do come back and see what others think. I’m keen to see how this progresses too!

  4. I havebboys and have had exactly the same thoughts as you. I was also convinced I was having a girl ye second time around until the scans confirmed it was a boy. I am very happy with my boys and glad I won’t have to go through puberty with girls (good luck!), but I will never get to dress my girls in a pretty pink dress. I won’t get to tie little pony tails and add clips. I won’t get to go wedding dress shopping.
    I have thought about going back for a third one, but there’s no guarantee it would be a girl and I’m not sure I can handle 3 boys!!
    Personally, the way I look at it, there are good things and bad things about having all bosnor all girls. I’ll just be happy about the fact that I’m the only woman in the house!

    • Before posting yesterday, I started thinking again whether I could go through everything for a 3rd child. Apart from my age and potential complications, there’s no guarantee it would be a boy. More importantly, I’m not sure if we manage a 3rd and do right by them and the two girls we already have. I have thought ahead and shudder at the thought of puberty but it will all start before that with the usual curious questions kiddies have. I hope I have the answers. And because they have me as a mum, there’s not really been much pretty dressing up. I’m not a girly girl and they don’t care at their ages but that could change!

  5. I have a girl and a boy and happy to say I find my relationship with them to be pretty much the same with lots of hugs and giggles. They both have an amazing bond with eachother too.

    • Thanks for your input, Nathalie. The makeup of our families now only influence we, as parents relate, to our children but also how they relate to each other. I know a family of three boys and one girl who quite ostracise the girl (girl-germs, etc). However, I did grow up with a very close bond to my youngest brother. There are almost 7 years between us and I am big sis. At the end of the day, how we all relate and bond maternally/paternally and at sibling level probably depends a lot on who each we are as individuals. A sports-loving, super active father may prefer boys who might enjoy more rough and tumble, then you have my hubby, the computer guy, who is quite happy not having to get muddy and dirty….though, I have warned him, as our girls grow up, there is no guarantee they won’t be sporty types!

  6. Veronica, I have a half-written post about this very thing, but the opposite! I desperately wanted 2 girls – so I am a tad envious of mothers of 2 girls! I had trouble dealing with the fact I was going to have a boy. It terrified me. For all sorts of reasons that are unique to my history, I guess. I have such amazing relationships with my 2 sisters that I was sad that my girl wouldn’t have that. Isn’t it amazing how everyone is so different in this aspect? Anyway, you’ve reminded me that my half-written post (for a few months now!) should really get finished! x

    • PS Having a son is lovely, and I am curious as to how our relationship will develop over time. It’s something I never thought would be my reality. But let me assure you that being a mum to a girl is a dream! I love relating to my daughter so much! (And I love the prettier clothes!). Enjoy your beautiful girls and the sister relationship that they will share.

      • Hi Deb, lovely to hear from you. I think it’s a bit hard admitting a preference pre-baby but we are human and I think it’s important to be honest with how we feel so we can process these things and move on. That’s how I felt when I learnt Lil S was a girl from her 20 weeks scan. But I do honestly love her to bits now and I’m not sure I’d quite know how to handle a boy. I suspect the relationship changes for both genders over time. It probably changes all through our lives as we, the parents, grow and change as individuals too. I can see that between myself, my siblings and my own parents. Please do finish that post. I’d love to read it.

  7. This is a topic all too familiar with me as a mother of 5 boys. As a result I wrote this post just before the birth of my youngest son and it seemed to resonate with many. Overwhelmingly I guess the response was whilst it may be nice to experience both sexes, the health and wellbeing of our children will always be paramount.

    http://themodernparent.net/dont-be-sad-for-me-babies-and-their-gender/

    And yes there are definately benefits to handmedowns! :)

    • Thanks for dropping by, Martine. I do remember seeing your post and it did stick in my mind. You are right. At the end of the day, healthy and well is most important. I wonder if generations before us thought of of this at all. I know my mum had no idea what gender we’d all turn out to be since they didn’t so scans in those days and that was just a generation ago (or maybe almost two given my age!). I guess the obsession for gender has gone as far as designer babies purely based on preference. That’s sad, in my book.

      In any case, hand-me-downs are great……however, your family of boys has reminded me it doesn’t always work. My three nephews are so different in size at their various ages that they can’t do hand-me-downs at all. They all need their own individual wardrobes. It’s an expensive exercise for them!

  8. Interesting topic. I have been blessed with 2 girls and a boy and I think the relationships differences (between the kids and I) are more related to personality rather than gender. My Miss 3 (eldest) is fiercely independent, a natural leader, strong, ‘get on with it’ type personality etc. She doesn’t seem to ‘need’ me all that much – especially physically (for hugs etc). She has a routine for everything, so I still get my cuddle time at night and first thing in the morning, but she is not the type to just come to me for a cuddle. My younger 2 are much more cuddly (boy and girl) and also seem very similar in other aspects of their personalities – more emotional, laugh more, but also cry and complain more, affectionate, like to be close to me in a public settling…

    It will be interesting to see how/ if this changes over time, but at this stage personality seems to impact more than gender.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Julie. I can see personality would play a role too. It will be interesting to see how things change with time, even between my girls. The baby is a little young for me to have an idea about her yet. I can see changes even at my age in my relationship with my mum so I assume that would also be the same with my siblings.

  9. I only wanted girls; I’ve got heaps of nephews and boys scared me. In fact when I found out I was having bailey I cried!

    But now, I wouldn’t change it. It is different, and it’s hard to explain. I remember as an infant he looked at me differently than the girls ever did; like I was the only woman in the world. It was bizarre and quite intense, but very special.

    Having said that when we found out number 4 was a girl, I was over the moon. I really love girls. :)

    • Having a boy or girl never scared me actually. I know it has done for some other people though. I can only imagine the look Bailey had for you. It would’ve been quite special. Let’s see if he marries a woman like you when he’s older. I know it’s said girls marry their fathers (not sure how true this always is) but do boys marry their mothers?

  10. I read this last night and was too tired to comment…it really tugged at my heart-strings. When I was growing up, I really wanted an older brother (any brother actually – I’m an only child!) I never really desired to have a particular sex first, although the thought of having a boy first was appealing (purely for the older brother thing). The reason your post tugged at my heart, was that we actually did have a boy first (premmie at 24 weeks and didn’t survive). Then we had our girl. So the main thing that I thought about when I was pregnant was that each child was healthy and survived the pregnancy. What gender they were didn’t matter.

    The birth order of our kids is (b),g,g,b,g. So we are blessed to have a son at no.3. The bond I have with my girls is different to that which I have with my son. But then the bond I have with each of my girls is different for each of them as well. (Does that make sense?)

    • I’m sorry to hear you lost your firstborn son; my close friend has just gone through that too and it is heartbreaking, as a mother, to even imagine that pain. I feel quite at a loss how to support her and it’s made all the harder since she lives overseas. The more I think about it and read what others have written, the more I see that there are many factors affecting our maternal bonds and gender is just one piece. Personality plays a part too so I get what you say when the bond with each girl is different too. I might find that more obviously as my bub becomes more of a little person in her own right. She’s only just shy of 9 months so is just starting to show her colours. I suspect with time and age, the way we relate will change too. I hope the core bond will still remain strong despite all the challenges of the teenage years to come!

  11. You know, Veronica…I think the same thing..but wonder if I’ll ever have my girl. There is a very big chance that I won’t. And I’ve had to make peace with that.
    My boys love me to bits – I can see that. But I do feel outnumbered sometimes.
    Gender and the dynamics it plays in families is forever fascinating. At the end of the day, it just comes back to the fact that we are all truly blessed.

    • Well said, Grace. To some it’s probably quite strange to consider making peace with “that” but I get it. I had to “make peace” too when I realised LilS was a girl at the 20 week scan and I think it’s so important to be honest in all these things so we can move on. In the final summation, we are blessed. So very true.

  12. I wanted a girl first, but I had a boy. I loved it so much that the second time around I wanted a boy again – and I had a girl. It is just as amazing. When they were little, they were both very attached to me, but now my daughter is really turning into a daddy’s girl. I’m not sure if this is a girl thing, or is it because she doesn’t see him as much and when he does have a day off he really spoils them.

    • It’s funny that we may still want a boy or girl when in reality, we can’t choose. I guess it’s human nature. I wonder how things will go with time as my girls get bigger. I know Miss T has clung to daddy a little more since bub was born. She was much clingier to me before then but I guess it’s been necessity when she wants to be carried to go to daddy if I’m carrying bub. In time, will one be a “daddy’s girl” and the other a “mummy’s girl”? Will they both abandon me for daddy? We’ll have to wait and see!

  13. I figured I would always have a girl and a boy and that’s what I got. For me conception was almost too easy, pregnancy was however a totally different story. I have to admit I was a little relieved that CrashBoy was a boy. I already knew I didn’t want to go through it again. My relationship with each is a little different. I feel a bit guilty about CrashBoy’s difficult start due to me not being able to go full term. I think it makes me even more protective of him (but not in a hovering kind of way). CrashGirl is as stubborn as I am, so we tend to butt heads a bit. I am terrified about being a mother of a teenage girl!

    • I’d hoped for at least one of each but it’s funny we do that when we can’t control the outcome. I am slightly tempted to consider a 3rd but then all the reasons why it’d be a big risk kick in and I know we won’t be trying. I’m a bit nervous about the idea of parenting a teenage girl too but even more nervous about the fact that it all seems to start earlier nowadays in the tween years. I have no answers and know it’ll fall on me to try and guide them through these years. I’m not sure I am well qualified to teach them how to handle those years at all, not if I reflect back on my own! Eeeek! Not sure it’d necessarily be much easier to do that with a boy………though it might be if the job is given to hubby to oversee. :-)

  14. Hi Veronica

    I have one child – a son. I often wonder what it would be like to have a daughter. Maybe I’ll find out one day. Maybe not. My guess is that if I ever have the privilege of having more children, my relationship with each child will have its own uniqueness and differences. I wonder a lot about this sort of stuff. But, oh well, I guess for now, I stay present with my son and enjoy every moment.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • You’ve made me remember that even before I had a child, when we were struggling to conceive, I used to imagine what it would be like having a little person walk beside me calling “mummy”. I don’t think I imagined the gender. Now that it’s a reality, all I can see in my mind is my toddler and I smile. I believe you are right on two counts – each child will be unique and I will probably find differences even between my two girls; and it is most important to stay present. I don’t think about this too often, but there are little things that remind me from time to time and I just acknowledge it, but try to move on. I hope you do get your second child one day, boy or girl, if that’s what you and hubby both want.

  15. I kind of assumed I’d have a boy then a girl because that’s just how it rolls in my family. We ended up with two boys which, ironically, I now think is the perfect scenario. They are best mates, despite being chalk & cheese. So many people (my mother included) tell me I’m missing out not having a daughter but I’m sceptical. I agree with above comments about personality. My eldest son is so much like me that I sometimes think of him as my “girl” in relation to the bond we have (hard to explain & not as weird or psychologically damaging as it sounds!) and because he is much more sensitive & caring in nature while my youngest is very much like his father – rough & tumble! Having said all that – I often wonder if we will ever have another child & wonder if it is a girl, what the heck will I do with her?

    • It’s funny you wonder what you’d do with a girl. Even though I wrote this post and have these feelings, I do wonder what I’d do with a real, live boy if I had one too. I’m sure we adjust but it would be a whole new ball game.

      I do get your comment about the sensitive boy vs rough-n-tumble. I can’t say that from my own family, but I can see the differences between my brothers and even my nephews from the same family. Some are more sensitive. Some are not. Some are extroverted. Some are broody. Those traits could just as well be with girls too.

      My brother is expecting his second child now, so I am all curious what it’d be like if it’s a boy. They have a girl already and there are no baby boys in our family anymore. Maybe I could maybe live a bit vicariously through them, but they aren’t going to find out till birth. I’ve about 3 months to wait……patiently……or not!

  16. Yep, I feel EXACTLY like you. Hubby and I always said, three strikes and you’re out. So we had a little girl first and I was stoked because I really wanted a girl. Then, our second pregnancy we tried for a boy and ended up with Twin girls.I would never give my girls up (they are just wonderful) but I was a little disappointed.

    I still would love a boy but there is a very small percentage that we are going again and with my record, I think it would be a girl too!

    • Wow, Penny, twin girls! Sometimes one or other gender just runs in the family. I love my girls and don’t wonder about a boy often, but it does pop up here and there and may always from time to time.

  17. I always wanted two children of the same sex, although I didn’t care whether I had boys or girls, although I probably had a slight preference towards wanting boys. When I was pregnant with Seagull, I was convinced I was having a girl up until about 16 weeks when I started gravitating towards boys clothing when looking in the shops. Thunder Maker was convinced that we would have a girl because all of his friends either have all girls or they have had their daughters first. It absolutely floored Thunder Maker when we found out at the 20 week ultrasound that we were having a boy. 22 months after having Seagull, I gave birth to my second little boy, Wombat. They are the best of mates and it is lovely to see them playing together and interacting with each other.

    To be honest, I found that my mother and I were much closer before I had children. My ideas on raising children are different to hers and I’ve found that we’ve clashed quite a bit over that because she gets upset when I don’t want to do things her way. We’ve reached the point where we’ve agreed to disagree, but I still feel a distance that never used to be there. I’m a lot more open minded than my Mum, but I worry that I would end up being like her towards my own (hypothetical) daughter if I had had one. As it is, I have a difficult relationship with my mother-in-law (although that’s nothing special as her own children also have a somewhat difficult relationship with her) and I really hope that I don’t end up being the sort of MIL that makes things difficult for the whomever my sons decide to pair up with as adults.

    • What an interesting take on the topic. I must say I’ve not had anyone say to me they always wanted two of the same regardless of gender. It’s often been more specific around gender. Now you mention it, I do know some women who don’t get on with their mothers, let alone MILs. I guess I’ve been very blessed to have a wonderfully supportive and understanding mum. She’s not flawless but we really don’t clash much at all. I love her to bits. Hopefully, your experiences with your own mother and MIL will keep you well placed to be the best type of mother your sons will need as they grow up. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  18. Very interesting post Veronica. I am in a similar situation on being “too old”, really too tired to have another child. Our eldest is a girl (3 and a half) and youngest is a boy (almost 10 months). If I am really honest I have bonded really differently with our son. I am absolutely in love with him. I don’t know if it’s because my horrid first birth experience, or PND or whether it’s because he’s a boy. I hope it’s not, but it’s something that I think about often.

    Miss A wants us to have another baby and definitely a girl! And she wants to call her Charlotte!! I would love for her to have a sister but sadly we are done.

    • Thanks, Lee. Age….bah! I like to think we can do anything (almost) despite it, but I guess some things are just not worth the risk. I read a post yesterday along a similar theme from Kellie of The Good The Bad The Necessary which she posted the same day as mine (funny how that works). Many comments were also supporting how the bond with a boy is different. The fact is, we have what we have and I suspect my bond with each girl will change over time too as their little personalities show through more and more. They both have my heart and that’s that.

  19. We’ve had girl boy girl. They’re equally loving and all very different. I think girls are better at staying in touch when they’re older. I’d kind of like another and wouldn’t mind what it was. I’m sure I’d be wondering what it was like if we hadn’t had one sex or the other.

    • Thanks for dropping by, Kirsty. I think I might always wonder too, at times. It doesn’t pop up often though, which I think is a good thing. No point living in the past or an unrealistic future. It’s important to live in the present and enjoy the moment with my two girls.

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