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Monday, May 10, 2010

I'm Happy With My Three Boys. No, Really.

I'm a mother of three boys. But don't feel sorry for me. I certainly don't.

I often jokingly say, after announcing that I have three sons, "You can start the sympathy now." But that's just it. I'm, like, joking. Honest!

I love having 3 boys. Although, I have to say that even though I always imagined having three kids from very early on, if you'd told me waaaay back then that I'd be a mother of three boys someday, I probably wouldn't have believed it. I'm not sure why that is. I never had a desire for a certain mix of kids. 3 boys or 3 girls, 2 boys, 1 girl or 2 girls, 1 boy. I just assumed I'd have a mix.

I did wonder, when expecting my second child, if I would feel disappointed at all if I had another boy. I didn't think so, but as I hadn't been in that position before, I thought it remotely possible. However, when the 6yr old was born, I didn't even think about it (I was too focused on his orange hair)! It wasn't until a couple of hours later, lying there watching with awe as my new baby slept soundly, that a couple of things came to me: a) that now having two sons, I could go to town doing up the 8yr old's bedroom (then 2) as a real boy's room - as they would eventually share it someday; and b) that it hadn't even vaguely registered with me to feel any sort of disappointment at having a second son.

When pregnant with my third child, I wondered again if I'd wish for a girl if another boy came along? Once again, I had no issues whatsoever about having another boy, but admittedly, Hubby and I had become quite convinced during that pregnancy that we'd have a girl. Probably because so many people thought we would, and after dreaming whilst pregnant with both boys that I would have sons, and then dreaming about having a girl with my third pregnancy, I figured perhaps this time we'd welcome a daughter.

So, when the doctor held the 3 yr old up to me straight after his birth, his bits and bobs right in front of my eyes, I was truly pleasantly surprised. As was Hubby. In fact, I think it made the surprise of his arrival all the more sweeter, not expecting him. And once again....nup. No concern over not having a girl. At all.

But that doesn't stop others assuming that I must yearn for a girl, or that I'm not happy having all sons, or that if I was to have another baby I would surely wish for a girl? (And I've been asked more than once if I'll "go again" to "see if you get a girl?")

Whilst I understand that some do yearn for a certain sex child - and there's nothing wrong with that - that's just not me. And in fact, I find it sad when I witness disappointment from parents when they get a boy, rather than the wished-for girl, or vice versa. 

In hospital with my first son, I attended a settling class during my hospital stay. As we went around the room, telling everyone how many children we have, etc, a mother who sat cradling her newborn son took her turn. She said, "I have two boys already. This is my third son. You know, I thought I was going to have a girl. I was convinced of it, but then he came along." There was no joy on her face. Nothing. I felt both for her, and her baby. I'm sure that those feelings of disappointment didn't stay with her for long, and eventually, she could see how fortunate she was to have a healthy baby in her arms. At least, I hope so! 

I also knew a woman whose husband was disappointed after the birth of their second daughter. So much so, he wanted his wife to consider an IVF treatment where only a certain sex fertilised egg is implanted, so he could fulfill his long waited desire to have a son. She was, not surprisingly, not keen on this idea. It seems they didn't follow through - a third daughter was eventually born. It was thought, during that pregnancy, that their daughter may not survive. However, she was born safely and has since blossomed. I wonder if knowing that his child was so close to death put things in to perspective for him?
There are so many people who would give anything just to have a baby - and a healthy one at that - let alone worry about whether it's a boy or a girl.

I'm not saying it's wrong to wish for a boy or a girl - or even to try the old wives' tales to try and get a certain sex child (as I know some who have done so). Why not? Go for it. That can't harm anyone. Just, don't assume that we all want the "perfect" family of one of each, or that a mother yearns for a daughter or that a father yearns for a son. It's not always the case. 

I read an interview once, many years ago, with an AFL star's wife. I can't remember who it was unfortunately. Anyway, she had three boys too, and talking in the interview about the fact that people asked her all the time if she'd wish she'd had a girl, she said something along the lines of, "Whilst a girl would be nice, I'm very, very happy with my boys, and I feel blessed to have three happy and healthy sons. Besides, which one would I swap for a girl? I couldn't choose, and nor would I want to." 

My thoughts exactly. 



Jane said...

I've always wondered what it would be like to have 3 kids of the same sex. And I always wonder whether or not I'd be disappointed. I don't think I would be. Like you did, I also assume that my kids will be a mix of boys and girls. But who knows?! Either way, I'm sure I'll be so grateful for any kids that I have in years to come. Another great post, Jodie! xx

Taryn said...

3 healthy, wonderful kids. What more could you ask for? xxxx

miss carly said...

My mum is one of five girls {a set of twins in there too}. My mum is also the youngest of the five.

My grandad always said that he'd love a boy, but I honestly don't think that he loved his girls any less. Nan never talks about it but I'm sure she never cared either.

My mum has us two girls. And you know how you can do that ring thing over the wrist and it is meant to tell you what sex your bubs will be. Apparently I'm set for two girls too. Only time will tell. But to be really honest, the sex doesnt really affect me. I love all babies as it is. And I would only want to make sure that mine are health and happy :)

miss carly said...

Oh I should add, most of my cousins are female and most of their children are females. We have a huge majority of girls in our family. The boyfriend, its the opposite hehe.

MegsyJ said...

I absolutely agree! I thought I'd be concerned about what gender my baby was going to be, but when I was pregnant I really couldn't have cared less (in the nicest possible way). It sounded so cliche, but I really just wanted a healthy baby (and preferably one that slept well!!).

Funnily enough, ever since my husband and I first began mentioning the possibility of having children together, we always said 'she' (although they often say the gender is determined by the male, so maybe we thought that because my husband has three sisters?!). So we weren't at all surprised when our little girl was born.

I've thought about whether we'd really like a boy or girl next time and, again, I really, honestly don't mind. A second healthy child is all we can ask for. Oh, and another good sleeper would be great too...

Nomie said...

My thoughts exactly Jodie. I have 1 of each, and people often assume that that is why we stopped at two. Ah no.
Our son was born first, and when I was pregnant with our daughter people often asked if I was hoping for a girl. To be honest, I was so in love with my baby boy, that I guess in one sense I was hoping for another boy, as baby boys was what I knew. But really, I was just happy to be pregnant, and when our daughter was born, happy to have another healthy baby.
I am one of three girls, and my father was often asked if he wanted a son. He found it quite annoying to say the least. He is a very keen fisherman, and people often asked if he'd like a son to take fishing. He simply commented he had three daughters to take fishing, and that was fine by him.

Thea said...

I feel like I have the perfect family, one of each.
But it would have been perfect with 2 boys or 2 girls, too.
Babies are such blessings. I couldn't be more thankful for mine.
Great post.

Tenille said...

My husband has two girls from a previous marriage; so all eyes were on the colour of jumpsuit I was buying when I fell pregnant. Unfortunately I bought into the whole 'give the man a son' thing, and actually would have preferred to have a boy. To be entirely honest, it took a while for me to adjust to the fact that I was having a girl. By the time she arrived though, I was totally and entirely in love and wouldn't change a single thing about her for the world. Staring down the barrel of a second pregnancy (hopefully), I honestly don't care if we have a boy or a girl. My child, if I'm lucky enough for he or she to join us, will be loved equally as much either way.

NikkiP said...

When you have friends who struggle to have any children at all, not being grateful for what you have is just so damn selfish. Good on you Jodie and good on those boys!

SeraphimSP said...

I guess because of my work in bereavement I have a heightened appreciation of being grateful for my little clan. I spent my life being given pitying glances when I said I had 4 younger brothers, I have 5 actually but it gets too complicated to explain it in every day conversation. I adore my brothers, I wouldn't trade them for any girl.I loved reading this post. I kept nodding "yes" all the way through!

Lauren said...

Okay here goes....I am also the mother of three boys. I love these little boys as much as it is possible to love one's children. I am especially obsessed with the toddler - #3! :) I am so grateful to have 3 children, when so many people struggle. 3 HEALTHY children, when so many people are not equally blessed.
So it is difficult for me to admit that there is not a day that goes by that I don't dream of having a daughter. I am LONGING and YEARNING for a daughter. I always just assumed I would have a daughter, and have looked forward to doing so.

Now I would not swap ANY of my children for a daughter. Obviously. I would just truly love our next child to be a healthy, happy little girl. We always thought we would have 4, so another one is on the cards (though not at the moment!). And we would certainly not have another baby if we ONLY wanted a girl. We want a 4th child.
I always thought I would have daughters. I grew up in a house of girls. When my son popped out I was very surprised but not disappointed in the slightest - totally overjoyed at the birth of my first child. When I was pregnant with #2 I decided to find out the sex (my husband chose not to know) because I didn't want to feel even a second of disappointment at the birth. When I found out he was a boy I was happy - I thought it was sweet that my son would have a brother. But when I found out with #3, whilst I was pleased and grateful to be having a healthy child, I was severely disappointed that I was not having a girl. And more so, I was sad that if we had #4 one day and she was a girl, that girl would not have a sister (if you follow my logic!). The irony is that I could not be more besotted with #3. I feel silly feeling down for all those months because he is the biggest delight I could imagine. At the birth I didn't feel anything vaguely resembling disappointment (actually I was fighting to stay alive but that's another story) and haven't since. Because he is my son and I love everything about him. BUT I still long for a daughter...No matter how much I love my sons, no matter how wonderful they are, no matter how grateful I am for happy, healthy children, no matter that I would not swap them for all the daughters in the world...or even one.... it won't take away the wanting of a daugher.

Lauren said...

sorry jodie i wasn't logged in when I just posted before - i want to be notified of replies - so am reposting :)

Jodie at Mummy Mayhem said...

Oh, Lauren. That was so beautifully put.

As I said, I understand that people can have a yearning for a certain sex child, as you've written so articulately here. It's when people assume everyone else must want a certain sex child for any reason it bothers me.

I hope you have your dream fulfilled someday. However, I also know that if you happen to be blessed with a 4th boy, he will be loved and cherished also. That's evident from this post.


emlykd said...

One of 4 children, older brother and 2 younger sisters.. Ask my brother would he like to have had a brother? The answer is YES! Without a doubt! Would he give one of his 3 sisters up? Nope! Nothing wrong with wanting someone like a daughter, a sister, etc. I always wanted an older sister... Would I give up my brother? Well, ok.. maybe sometimes... :-p

katiegirl said...

Lovely post. I agree completely.

I have two boys, and am besotted with them. I've never wished for anything other than what I was blessed with.

And if I have another child, I'll be besotted with that child too, whatever the sex.

Linda T said...

I had 2 girls and my husband and I were very happy with our little princesses when I surprisingly fell pregnant with out third child. Throughout the pregnancy I was asked "Trying for a boy are you" or "I bet you're hoping for a boy" I would reply "no just having a baby" but people just didn't seem to get it.

We actually did have a boy and we were besotted with our little man though I still got the comments "Oh lovely you got your boy after 2 girls, I bet that made you happy" They really didn't get it, sure we adored our little bundle but would we have adored him less if he was a girl? Not at all.

Anonymous said...

I am a mother of three boys also and am totally excited for number 4 to be a boy also, if that is the way things turn out!!

Cranky Sarah said...

I can't imagine having 3 boys, but that's simply because I don't know where I'd find the energy to keep up with them. I have 1 boy and 2 girls and I tell you, my son has - and needs to get in return - the energy of both girls put together!

Jackie said...

I often say in jest that now that I have one of each, the baby factory is closed. Truth be told, I wouldn't care if I had two of either sex, or two intersexed! It's hilarious to see how many people tell me how "lucky" I am to have gotten the "perfect" mix. I just can't see making gender something to be disappointed about, when I have such disappointments to look forward to, like smoking pot in highschool and sleeping through high-level highschool classes. ;)