Anyone ever heard ‘gender disappointment’? Anyone ever suffered from it?!
It’s when you find out the gender of your baby normally at the 20 week scan and are actually saddened by what you’re told ~ you’d dreamed of a girl, but you’re expecting a boy – that sort of thing.
Now, some of you might be thinking, ‘What sort of a mother could be so ungrateful to be granted a precious baby and so cold to want to change anything about it?!?!’ …. Me, that’s who … ..
. I’ve always wanted 3 kids. I already had a girl and a boy ( and didn’t find out the gender of either of them in advance ) … but I *thought* that finding out the gender third time round made sense purely for practical ‘planning’ reasons … the house is coming DOWN with girl and boy clothes, so I figured it would be good to know what stuff could be cleared out for good!
Or so I thought.
But when I was told ‘ It’s a boy’ I was instantly and intensely gutted.
It quickly dawned on me that I didn’t just want ‘a third child’ – I wanted ‘a second daughter’. I really, really wanted Lucy to have a sister. Lucy is 4, and has my head turned with her wish-lists these days. “Mammy, can I have a pony, pleeeeeease?” …. now that ain’t ever happening… we’re townies with a small garden and a smaller budget… But when she asked me for a baby sister, I thought maybe, just maybe, this was a wonderful gift that I could actually give her
I was completely gutted this was not the case. And the feeling of despair was intense.
It was crazy! But, feelings are feelings and they are what they are! I told my sister , who is an excellent friend and confidante to me ( the irony of which is not lost on me in this situation! ) She was so good about it, and simply let me ‘feel my feelings’. Some people would be quick to say ‘Oh you can’t think that’ or ‘You shouldn’t say that’ … but that’s really not helpful, because mostly, when people are feeling sad about something like this – they KNOW they shouldn’t feel so bad.
But knowing and feeling are different things. And feelings take time ( and talking ) to come back in line with what you know x x It took a full week of bizarre hormonal moping around and denial before I even started to snap out of it. And even after some sort of reluctant acceptance, contentment was very gradual. It took me a full ( miserable ) year to conceive my first born. And I’ve had 3 miscarriages – including a baby boy at 18 weeks . HOW could I possibly feel sad that I was being blessed with another one?
And of course I already have a daughter. Wasn’t she enough?! And wasn’t my other little boy a shining example of how awesome little boys truly are?!
The mind boggles. But you know what? While it can be confusing not to feel ok, it’s always ok not to feel ok xx And supposedly, gender disappointment is really common . Just no one talks about it for fear of being judged xx There’s less than two years between Evan and his wee bro, Conor. – I have no doubt that they’ll make excellent partners in crime …Some might say, ‘Sure you could go again’ ….. ammm, no, I won’t This, by the way, is no commentary on anyone else’s family set up. Some of you might be perfectly delighted with one child or two sons or three daughters or whatever combination you have and more power to you!
But some of you may have experienced some degree of gender disappointment for whatever reason and found it hard to talk about for fear of being labelled ‘ a bad mother ‘
I’m sharing this as I feel that mothers come under severe pressure to ‘conform’ and immediately bond with & love their children – this isn’t always the case, for a whole variety of reasons.
And when they are brave enough to open up about their feelings, shooting them down and telling them off is NEVER going to be helpful – even if the feelings they’re expressing are making your toes curl in your shoes!! Hear them out. Don’t try to imagine how you would feel in their situation – just respect the way THEY feel in their situation. Conor is now five months old and the absolute apple of my eye ( and his big sister’s!!) I’m rightly besotted and realise how completely bonkers and unwarranted my feelings of gender disappointment were.
When I looked at him, the world makes sense and I thank the stars he is mine. Xxx