Monday, August 17, 2009

Confessions of Perfection

When I was pregnant, every now and then, I'd have a moment of thought where I'd worry that I'd be disappointed if I had a boy. I've never told anyone this, and so, I hope you won't judge me for confessing those thoughts. Disappointed because so often, when people have a boy and then a girl, or a girl and then a boy, you hear people say, "Oh, now you have the PERFECT family, one of each." I felt those comments to heart every time I'd hear them, because while I was never sure what I was having when I was pregnant, I felt more boy thoughts than girl, even telling Shane at one point that I thought we'd have a girl later, just not yet.

I feel silly confessing that, because when Tommy was born, and I looked between his legs, I felt... joy, elation, thrilled, everything but disappointment. The second he was out, my family became even more perfect than it already was, because I am now lucky to have not one, but TWO boys. I still remember how my voice shook with happiness and emotion as I called up to Shane, "It's a boy!" Would I like a girl someday? Sure, of course, I'd love to dress someone in pink, but if all I ever have in my life is blue? I'll still count my lucky stars every single night.

I'm finding, though, that not everyone sees it like that. When I'm out with Luke and Tommy and people ask if Tommy is a boy or a girl, sometimes they aren't kind. Sometimes they say things like, "Oh, too bad you didn't get a girl," or "No girl yet, huh?" When I'm out with just Tommy and they ask if he's my first, and I say I have an older son, sometimes I hear, "Oh, I bet you wanted a girl this time!"

No, actually, what I wanted was a healthy baby, AND I GOT HIM.
There is nothing more perfect than that.

Photo by Beth, of course

35 comments:

Minivan Mom said...

True story:

When my 2nd son was born, 5 weeks early and with complications mind you, I weakly called my mother in law (who was currently the grandmother to 3 grandsons, no granddaughters) on the phone to tell her that *surprise* her next grandchild was here not in late October but early September, and I said "it's a boy" and before I was able to tell her the name or that he was in the NICU with tubes all over him and we didn't know when we'd be able to take him home, she said consolingly:

It's okay. You want more children, right? Maybe the next one will be a girl.

That moment is forever etched in my memory. The GRANDMOTHER of this beautiful yet struggling child said this, to the exhausted and scared mother who was totally overwhelmed having given birth the first week of school (NOT prepared) with a 2.5 year old at home....was already focused on maybe the next one could be a girl.

Likewise, when my 3rd child was a girl, everyone assumed that I had a 3rd child to try for the girl, and congratulated me. If you told me before I even got pregnant that the 3rd would be a boy, I would have still wanted a 3rd child.

Sometimes people suck.

Ryley said...

I am sooo with you on this one. Ever since having one boy I can't imagine ever having anything different. Sure I will LOVE a girl to death if I ever have one. But honestly..I can't imagine anything more perfect than being surrounded by a house of boys! :)

Megan said...

You know, I've experienced this so much and I can't stand the idea that you need to have a child of one sex to complete your family. I realize that some people truly want a certain sex, but for me? I just wanted my healthy, perfect babes. What was between their legs didn't matter at all to me. I wasn't the least bit disappointed that it was a boy the second time around and I was actually thrilled to have BROTHERS! What better thing to have than a built in best friend?
When I told my MIL that it was another boy, YAY (and it was just like that, complete with the YAY and EXCITEMENT!), she just said, "oh well, maybe next time."
Yeah, I totally wanted to chuck her in the head.
Now, I always get the "so, when are you going to try for a girl?!" question and I just smile and say, "oh, never, actually. we probably won't be having more children, our family is perfect just as it is!"
And it's the truth. If we do ever decide to have another child, boy or girl, it will because we want to add on to our already amazing family, not because I'm filling some desire for the "perfect" family according to society, because my family is just as perfect as can be.
And yes, I totally just hijacked your post. Heh.

Ashley said...

I have to confess I thought the same thing. I thought that when pregnant with my second that he was a girl. But I was PLEASANTLY surprised when he was a HE! Now my oldest goes around saying, "Two boys, two boys." And I have to confess i LOVE being surrounded by boys. You are blessed. Children are a blessing, not just girls. :-)

Adventures In Babywearing said...

I know exactly how this goes. And I am so thankful I was always so content with my boys. And I would be even if Ivy had been a boy. And the comments don't stop when the girl DOES come. Because then it's even MORE obnoxious with YOU GOT YOUR GIRL and she gets all the attention and it's like the boys don't exist and then ARE YOU GOING TO TRY TO GIVE HER A SISTER?

UGH!

Mind your own bizness, people!

Steph

tinycandi said...

People were like that when I had another girl. I would have been happy either way...but I was so happy when I got another girl. When I was still married...people kept asking if we'd "try for that boy" and frankly...I wondered why they cared so much?

I think your little family looks perfect with your two healthy little boys. :)

Sharon - Mom Generations said...

Where do I begin? I have 2 girls and 2 step-sons, but I have NEVER referred to them as that. Keith and Adam are my sons as much as Audrey and Jane are my daughters. We have never used the word half-brothers, either. So you can imagine when the kids were all young and someone would say to me, "But you want your OWN boy, right?" WHAT? People actually said that to me... and even once in front of Keith and Adam. I always answered, "They ARE my boys." Period.

And let's jump to Audrey, who has 4 boys. I can't even begin to tell you the comments, some from family, some from friends, and lots from strangers... like clerks in stores when she appears with her 4 boys. I just don't get where people think it's OK to make comments, pass judgment of make suggestions. Most notable are the ones that begin with, "So you were TRYING for a girl when you got {point to} him?" Then you see Alex, Benjamin or Henry... with their giant eyes and million-dollar smiles and boyishness in all its glory and think, "GIRL?" Things would not be right if these boys were girls. It is PERFECT just the way it is.

Keith and Nicole have a girl and a boy and are perfectly happy... and are done with their family... but each of them always talks about same-sex siblings and how awesome that is, too. Adam and Aimee have a girl and 2 boys, and they are getting the "doesn't Maddie need a sister" comments already.

I love your post today. I wish everyone who has an opinion on siblings could read it and ditch the comments. Forever.

I think you are the luckiest Mommy in the entire world. 2 boys is awesomely perfect and perfectly awesome. Been there - LOVE it!!

indighost said...

I don't understand at all why random people - STRANGERS - have opinions about other peoples' families, and the makeup of them. Really, really, don't get it.

I guess some people just really want and are sorely disappointed when they don't get their idea of a "perfect" family. Whatever.

If I have another child, it will be my last kid, for sure. And I will have mixed feelings whether it's a girl or a boy. I'll be both happy and disappointed either way, for different reasons. And that will last for the 10 seconds before the baby is in my arms, and then I will fall in love with THAT BABY because it won't matter whether that baby is a boy or a girl, because that baby will be MY baby, whom I'm in love with.

Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting said...

Children are blessings - boy or girl; black, white, red, yellow; "normal" or "challenged"..

I am uncertain what exactly happened to people to forget their manners. There are many, many times I wish we could flashback to the 1950's, back when everyone said "please" and "thank you" and "yes ma'am" and "no sir" and held polite conversations in which they didn't need to know what you ate for breakfast, whether you shit normally, what your anxiety-drug-of-choice is, and whether you are disappointed with not having "the right gender" (so they think).

I just want to bitch slap society as a whole right now.

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings said...

I honestly do not know what is wrong with people.

After we had Jonathan people said "Well, it's time for that girl."

What? What if we do have a boy someday. Should we ship him back?

People are seriously rude.

Not only that...when we got married people kept saying: "So, when are you going to have kids." Four years later we had Jonathan and people said, when he was only 2 months old., "So...when are you going to have another one?"

Argh!

He's beautiful! Why would someone be so silly?

My sister-in-law has five girls. Do you think she wanted a boy? Mmmm...a little, yes, but does she love to death those girls. She sure does!

Cameron said...

HOW RUDE. I can't believe that anyone would say something like that to a mom of two boys (or two girls)! This makes me mad on your behalf, like I want to travel around with you telling people to stop being rude to you. I'm a little overprotective. :) And then I read all the comments here and I see that it is universal. SAD. :( Your family is perfect just the way it is!! :)

kristi said...

I would have been happy with another girl. I got a boy, and my boy is autistic. Not exactly what I'd hoped for, but it is my life. And I am living it the best way I can, with a cup 1/2 full.
Sometimes people just suck!

Heather D said...

Everyone asks me if I want a girl the second time around.
And I tell them:
A) Either is fine; BUT
B) Boys are awesome and I'd be pretty thrilled to have to Momma's boys.

Plus, they can't get pregnant. HA ha ha.

Heather D said...

Oh lord, my grammar is awful today...

TWO momma's boys.

There, I feel better.

Vanessa said...

I feel exactly the same way. I just had my second child (my second son) on July 31st and we did find out before that we were having a boy. And that is exactly what we hoped for - I hate the looks of pity I get or the "I'm sorry you didn't get a girl this time" tone I hear in their voice...it's absolutely perfect the way it is.

Sara Joy said...

AMEN!
Thanks for being honest - I think we all have those gender specific thoughts at some point or another, and then we remember what really matters...
A healthy baby!
Well said.

Christy M. said...

I hear the "oh, guess you can stop now since you have one of each!" all.the.time. So annoying. We only planned to have 2 and if Mia had been a boy, then I would have had 2perfect boys. I really wish people should THINK before they opened their mouths and spouted off such stupidity.

Both of your boys are amazing, girl. And so are you!

Courtney said...

I can so understand this. I have 2 boys and another BOY on the way and people are always commenting on how "i must have wanted a girl", or "maybe next time", and the truth is i did kinda want a girl. But the moment the US tech said boy my heart went beating a 1000 times a minute and i new nothing could be better. There will never be anything to compare to a sons love for his mother.

Krista said...

I would love to have a second baby and ultimately, I want a healthy child and either gender would be fine. I know would love either.

Part of me really wants to have another girl though. I grew up without my sister in my life and I always wanted to know what life would have been like had things been different. My mom and grandmother are both best friends with their sisters. I kind of felt like I missed out on something really special.

I'm sure two boys will be wonderful!

Bobbi Janay said...

I think no matter what if everybody's healthy then every families perfect.

Bacardi Mama said...

I have four daughters and I've never regretted not having a boy. In the end, the only thing that really matters is that they are healthy and happy. How could you ask for more than that? You have a perfect, beautiful family!

InTheFastLane said...

Boys and girls are different and it is fun and not fun to parent both in different ways. But, you get what you get and you love them with your whole heart. and some people need to think before they speak.

Mel @ A Box of Chocolates said...

Honestly, some people just shouldn't open their mouths! When I was pregnant with Dyl I remember sitting on the ultrasound table and shaking because I was afraid if they told me it was a girl I would cry because I wanted a boy so bad. I ended up getting the boy and was blessed with Zoe the second time after I decided that I would be okay since I had managed to keep one child alive! I think the PERFECT family is the family we are given. We are what makes the PERFECT family not the sex of our children. I'm so happy to hear that you all are doing so well.

Laura Seymour said...

i found out both times when i was pregnant, and each time i had people say things like "oh, i'm SORRY.", or "oh, i bet you really wanted a girl."

just because *i* am a girl, does not mean that i have to have an army of girl children. healthy, happy, wanted, loved children are what i wanted, and what i got, both times.

Abra said...

You know, as I have thought about our second one (some day), I have said that having another girl would be awesome because they would be the best of friends (hopefully). In fact if I could plan it all (which I can't obviously) I would do two girls and then a boy. My point is having two boys is totally awesome. And I can't believe people comment on it negatively- the things people say- geesh! Hey, I know someone who has 10 boys and 1 girl- imagine what they get. :)

Elaine A. said...

I try to give people the benefit of the doubt and think that sometimes they just don't know what else to say or perhaps? they are just idiots! HA!

I was VERY happy to have two boys. I was SO glad that my Ben was getting a little brother and so Happy for my G to have an older brother. I have 3 older brothers myself and I think it's a very special relationship. You'll see... ; )

Your family is of course, perfect as God intended...

april said...

I'd like to punch those people that have said that to you.

Of course your family is perfect! In every way. The End.

~love said...

there certainly is not anything more perfect than that.

you can imagine the comments that i get w/ 4 girls under 6 years old. it is so important to me that ellie and bianca know that we didn't have child #3 and #4 to try to "get to" a boy. ugh, that seriously just made me cry typing it. i HATE that people assume that. i hate that if God has boys planned for our family with the adoption that we will hear SO many comments about "finally" getting our boys....or worse yet, that we "had to" adopt them in order to get a boy.

i do honestly think that most of the time, people just want to talk & that's the standard thing to say. they don't realize what IDIOTS they are being. let's just keep teaching them what idiots they are, k? =)

Emily said...

I have 2 boys and all I can say is that boys are the best!!! I also hear a lot of "when are you going to try for a girl" or "you'll get your girl next time." It's so very annoying, isn't it?? I think it was my mother who did, however, make the very good point that boys with sisters ultimately make better husbands because they learn to put the toilet seat down:)

Mom of Three said...

You hug that precious miracle child and forget those comments. I have 2 boys 2 yrs apart, and a girl 6yr later. For years people asked me when I was "going for the girl". Sometimes people speak just for getting the words out and they don't think about the power that words have, and they genuinely don't mean harm.

Forget 'em. Hugs to that sweet blessed baby!

Diane said...

It's our Culture of Death as Pope John Paul put it, that causes people to think that way. People see the gift of life as measurable, quantifiable and controllable and not as the magnificent miracle it is.
I have the perfect family: A full house. (2 boys, 3 girls)

I've heard all kinds of comments. Those comments usually reflect on that person's values and not on you.

Anonymous said...

When my second son was born and we rang my husbands father to announce the arrival of our gorgeous healthy baby, his reactions was "what a shame, another boy"
Can you believe that from a Grandfather?
Enjoy your sons (mine are now 13 & 10) and they are my best friends!
Di (Sydney)

casual friday every day said...

Very normal. I have 3 boys, so you can imagine how I felt ;) This last time I really, really wanted a girl. BAD. But when I found out he was a boy I honestly felt such joy and love for him that it didn't matter.

I still long for a daughter, and maybe I'll get one next time, but if I don't then I know that God made me for boys.

Nell

Such The Spot said...

I think it's just one of those things where people don't think before they speak. We deal with the same thing with people saying, "oh, you kept trying for the boy, huh?" And the bad thing is that my girls are plenty old enough to process that and be all like, "oh, what does that make me?"

Kaycee said...

My husbands Uncle actually WALKED OUT of the delivery room when his first baby was a girl because he wanted to have the first BOY grandbaby in the family. My husband ended up being the first boy grandchild and was SO sick when he was born. He had a trach tube from 3 months old to more than a year old, he had two major asthma attacks before he was 6 years old, and he even lived in a bubble for awhile trying to clear his lungs up when he was about five. Just makes me want to smack his uncle now. Who cares what the sex of the baby is? All I want is healthy kiddos!