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No son? You're a FAILURE!

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#1 diary~dad

Posted 20 July 2010 - 01:02 PM

The Single Sex Household
By Joseph Kelly

Recently we had a great holiday on the Gold Coast.  Returning home, we checked our luggage in at Coolangatta airport.  The lady assisting us gave a few gruff demands for our tickets and terse instructions on how to load our bags onto the conveyor belt.  She then obviously recalled a training video of customer interaction and decided to engage us in conversation.

"You've got three daughters?" she accused.

"Yes" I said.  "We'll probably call it quits there" I added, just in case she wanted to launch into a lecture on over-population.

"Don't you want a son?" she countered.  

To be honest I didn't quite know how to answer.  Susie and I have had a lot of discussions about this.  The fact is I would love to have a son, in the same way I would love to have a Porsche - it would be great but my life won't be any less fulfilling without it.  I would also love another daughter.  But I also know that after three caesareans and with mid-thirties giving way to late-thirties, another baby is just not an option.

As I floundered about trying to respond to Miss Tactful, Susie casually rested a hand on my shoulder and told me it was alright to admit I would like a son.  I looked at Susie's face and felt utterly embarrassed and annoyed that we had been put in this position in the middle of a cavernous, non-descript airport lobby.  Two minutes ago I was booking my luggage on a flight, now Susie and I are suddenly on Oprah's couch.

"I love my daughters" I finally answered.  "And I had four sisters, so I'm pretty down with the whole 'girl' thing".

And this is all true.  My daughters have been my biggest gift and I love everything about them.  I enjoy rolling up my sleeves and helping Frances prepare cakes in the sandpit that she can sell from the window in her cubby house.  I love the fact that Maisie is now teaching me every hand-clap and skipping rhyme that my sisters taught me years ago.  I get a massive kick out of picking baby Rita’s outfit each morning and parading her to Maisie and Frances for their fashion assessment. And seeing the natural and effortless way in which my three girls play together constantly reminds me of the wonderful childhood I shared with my sisters, and I love that.

Catching our flight, and clutching my girls during take-off, I was able to put some perspective on my exchange with Miss Tactful.  She wasn't to know the much discussed and debated issue of baby-number-four.  "Couldn't you just see a little boy on his shoulders?" is a favourite question my mother likes to ask Susie.  Susie, having used up all her restraint in not strangling my mum, would obviously rather not feel as though she has to defend what is a mutual decision to not have any more children. And I would rather not be made to feel that I was somehow missing out on my gendered birthright by not having a male son and heir.

So hopefully next time someone asks me if I want a son I’ll be composed enough to give them a direct and honest answer – that I can’t imagine any child giving me greater joy than the three I have.

Do you have a single gender household?  Are you constantly asked if you want a son/ daughter?  How do you respond?

Edited by diary~dad, 20 July 2010 - 01:58 PM.

#2 ekbubby

Posted 20 July 2010 - 01:20 PM

We have 2 girls. To be honest neither of us wanted a boy.

I thought my husband would but he didn't.  If he ever got asked the question' Don't you want a boy to add to the mix?" he always answered  no.

#3 BetteBoop

Posted 20 July 2010 - 01:33 PM

DH and I have one girl. We can't have more kids but my DH would love to have a second child, and yes he would love a boy.

He adores our DD but this doesn't change the fact that he feelssad occasionally that he won't get to parent a son.

I think it's common for men to feel like this. Society in general suggests every man should want a son. Funnily enough, the mother wanting daughter assumption doesn't seem to be as entrenched.

#4 anon60

Posted 20 July 2010 - 01:42 PM

It's called "making small talk".

We had 3 boys and were very happy with that, our family complete. We received a pleasant surprise 5 years after our last boy in the shape of an unplanned baby who happened to bre a girl. The number of people who assume that we kept going until we had a girl. is probably the same as those asking you if you're gpoing to try  for a boy

Edited by anon60, 20 July 2010 - 02:02 PM.

#5 Silverbaby

Posted 20 July 2010 - 01:49 PM

I am pregnant with my second son after 2 miscarriages.  We are so glad to be expecting a healthy baby but I am constantly amazed at people who ask me ( and hold on I haven't even HAD number 2 yet) if we're going to try a third time for a girl.

I don't understand this reasoning and find it hard to take from complete strangers.

I usually respond by saying, no we don't want a 3rd - boy or girl.  we'll be very happy with 2 healthy children.

Still it makes me so angry!!

#6 =R2=

Posted 20 July 2010 - 06:17 PM

I feel your pain. DH does too especially he's the only boy in the household. Like ekbubby above we never really wanted to have boys. I've always just imagined girls in my family. DH on the other hand, has already been traumatised by the abundance of physically rough and tumble boys on both sides of our family. He gets to put up with our 2 squealy and equally rambunctious tornados of pink instead.

The comments don't bother me anymore TBH.

#7 BVB09

Posted 20 July 2010 - 06:33 PM

I have a son and I am pregnant with my second. Don't know the gender, but deep down I know my MIL would love us to have a girl only because she has grandsons, but at the end of the day, as long as my baby is healthy, I am happy to have another boy. biggrin.gif

#8 Guest_*alpharuby*_*

Posted 21 July 2010 - 02:08 AM

Is gender really as big an issue as what EB would have me think?

#9 Soontobegran

Posted 21 July 2010 - 02:35 AM

We had 4 DD's in 4 years--WE were thrilled but apparently nobody else seemed to share the joy.
We felt it particularly after our 4th beautiful daughter when DH started calling friends and family from the delivery suite to tell them and was met with " well that was a waste of time" and "never mind" and "better luck next time" to the point he stopped calling anyone. No way was anyone going to  destroy our happiness with their crappy attitudes. One would be excused for thinking that she was sick or something sad.gif
I detest that attitude, I got so defensive for this poor little 4th daughter who didn't ask to be born yet was already a disappointment to people.
I gather that many felt out anger and of course once they met her she was accepted and loved  but when we got pregnant again it was presumed that we were 'going for a boy' huh.gif
We weren't, we weren't trying for a baby but it happened and we were ecstatic and of course presumed we would have a 5th DD.
Our 5th child was a boy and we felt not one bit different because we had a son instead of a DD, but of course we were inundated with flowers, gifts and cards from people who didn't send them for DD3 or DD4 just because he was a boy sad.gif  TBH I felt like packing them up and sending them back. If our girls didn't deserve a card in their eyes then why did our boy?

Apparently "you aren't a man if you don't have a son"-----thank goodness my DH was able to prove his 'manhood' on his 5th attempt  ddoh.gif

#10 farfaraway

Posted 21 July 2010 - 06:19 AM

We recently welcomed a second beautiful daughter and couldn't have cared less what her gender was, but my MIL was very vocal about how we had "missed out" when we told her it was another girl. She has since been telling all and sundry that we will have to "go again" to "get" a boy. Pfff. We haven't decided yet whether we would like another child (given our baby is only 8 weeks old!) but comments like this and attitudes that insist your family is incomplete without the "correct" gender mix make me seriously consider stopping at 2 gorgeous girls.

#11 JustBeige

Posted 21 July 2010 - 07:07 AM

It's called "making small talk".
not always.  Sometimes its just flat out rudeness and another example of people thinking they can have a say in every aspect of your lives - whether they know you or not.

I think the best answer is the one most to the point with people like "Miss Tactful" and just answer NO and dont elaborate further.

If its small talk and a genuine enquiry put in a nice way then yes of course the polite thing to do is engage and answer with "that I can’t imagine any child giving me greater joy than the three I have."

or you could always do what my friend does and say "Want?" "No, I want a puppy, but that aint happening" smile and walk away.

#12 Pearson

Posted 21 July 2010 - 07:08 AM

I really don't care that this baby is a girl (EDD 3 wks from now, so we will see!) and that now I have a "pigeon pair".  With 10 years between our children, and a lot of heartache that I thought I would never have another one, the gender of this child is secondary to the child arriving healthy and happy.
I am not an overly "girly" girl and would not have minded one iota if it was a boy.

#13 Chaton

Posted 21 July 2010 - 07:30 AM

We only have the one bub so far, a gorgeous smiley happy little boy and we love him to bits!

My mother however desperately wanted us to have a girl.  She already had 7 grandsons, and herself had 5 boys with me being the only girl.  Every time we see her (which has only been about 8 times since DS was born) she asks questions like "are you SURE you're not disappointed he's a boy?", "its a shame you didn't have a girl" and the kicker "you better start trying again soon in case it takes you 6 tries for a girl too!".

We're not sure whether we want a girl or not.  I think we'd like to announce we're having or or had one just to please other people which is sad.  DH keeps saying he'd like a girl to make his parents happy (themselves having 3 sons and 2 grandsons with no girls in the mix yet) but that he himself would have no idea how to parent a girl.  I wouldn't mind another boy - I'm sure the two would get along very well and we could get another use out of all DS's stuff!

#14 hm6

Posted 21 July 2010 - 07:43 AM

I don't get how people feel the need to comment on other people's business and think it's OK. But it doesn't just stop with same sex families. I had a girls, 2 boys then a girl and quite a few people commented that it's a pity I didn't have them in the right order because the girls won't be friends!! Apparently I was suppose to have two girls  then two boys - who knew. When people make stupid comments like this I usually give them the lifted eyebrow look and it normally stops them dead.

#15 purplecrayon

Posted 21 July 2010 - 10:48 AM

A lady at playgroup who had just had her second boy (5 days old) asked me whether we would be going back for a third as "my husband must want a boy".  for a split second I considered putting it back to her with her two boys, but then didn't want to lower myself to her level.  I just replied "My husband loves his girls. He wouldn't have it any other way".

#16 Hunch

Posted 21 July 2010 - 11:01 AM

We had a DD in 2007 and then a DS in March this year.  TBH while pregnant I think both DH and I wanted another DD because that's what we knew....
SInce having our DS we love him to bits but it is amazing how many people comment that we must be happy to have one of each.  Actually we are happy but would have been just as happy to have a little girl.  Sometimes I see people with 2 of the same gender and think how cute and gorgeous it is and I do worry that mine won't have common interests and will grow apart as they  get older.  I have 2 older brothers and they are certainly closer than  I am to either of them.  I see friends with sisters and many have such close relationships, especially now in our child rearing years, that I am envious for myself and also a little sad that my DD and DS may not enjoy that kind of close relationship.

At the end oif the day I can't imagine life any other way than how it has turned out and every night I am grateful for both my precious children (that time of night when they are both quiet and asleep!!!).

Edited by Hunch, 21 July 2010 - 11:02 AM.

#17 cyap007

Posted 21 July 2010 - 12:11 PM

I love the way you ended your blog. Whether you have all boys or all girls in your family, it's hard to imagine any love that can surpass the one you already have for your children. I know that my husband would love a son, but it's not possible to miss what you never had. We are choosing to relish our time with the child we do have and enjoy every moment with her. However, I understand why people ask - it's about being kind and taking an interest in your family. Some questions may be less than tactful but they don't mean to hurt.

Edited by cyap007, 21 July 2010 - 12:13 PM.

#18 My4Sunshines

Posted 21 July 2010 - 12:15 PM

I would say 98% of people have asked 'so is this one a boy??' and when I tell them we don't know they say 'oh I bet you'd want a boy'
Well yes a boy would be nice, I'd like to know what it's like to have a son yet we wouldn't have tried for another baby if we thought we only wanted one particular sex, iykwim.

One comment that BIL has said each time our DD's were born is 'oh you can't make boys' (even our first!!) WT....., of course we can (this is dh youngest brother who is very materialistic and has to be one up on everyone about anything, he had the 1st grandchild on his side of the family, a boy) this comment really bothers me, he actually said it the other weekend yet I didn't bite as we were at dinner at IL's but I can tell you if this precious bubs is a gorgeous pink and much wanted girl, I'll have him.
It bothers me as soontobegran said, it's like they were a disapointment or something was wrong with each of them.
Now BIL has one of each (to different mums) and as much as I wanted to throw it back at him had he had another boy, I know it would be reducing myself to his stupid childish mentality.

We have gone through 2 m/c as well so we live on the otherside now of knowing what can go wrong and know just to be pregnant is a blessing, not what baby has between it's legs.
Who says you have to have both sexes??

What ever this baby is, it is loved, wanted, special and unique because it is part of our family, all types taken and no regrets.
'Can't wait to finally meet you after 18mths of trying/waiting'

Bless you little being wub.gif

Edited by iluvbutterflies, 21 July 2010 - 12:17 PM.

#19 belsy

Posted 21 July 2010 - 12:23 PM

I have two boys and love it.  The first time round I really wanted a little boy (not sure why) - second time round I didn't care as long as they were healthy.  

Our family is complete.

I have two boys and love it.  The first time round I really wanted a little boy (not sure why) - second time round I didn't care as long as they were healthy.  

Our family is complete.

#20 lindseyjg

Posted 21 July 2010 - 01:30 PM

I've had 5 daughters (no sons).
My poor husband cops it too!  I hear your pain.

#21 Leoni

Posted 21 July 2010 - 01:42 PM

I have 4 girls and to top it off DH is Indian. In his country girl = failure  glare.gif so you can imagine the comments that come flying my way. Like a previous poster wrote, my 3rd and 4th didn't get acknowledged and it p*ssed me off big time. I have asked DH several times if he wants a son and the answer is always no, he's happy with his girls.

#22 whatthehey

Posted 21 July 2010 - 05:43 PM

We have 2 girls and hubby never worried about a boy and I love having 2 girls. When some 'friends' of ours asked us if we cared we said we weren't bothered if it was a boy or girl. They replied that they had felt the same way until they had a boy and now they realise they would have missed out on so much if they only had girls. Hmph! I wonder what their daughter thinks of that! We're just happy we have 2 lovely healthy children.

#23 Bubno7

Posted 21 July 2010 - 05:52 PM

My husband and I have seven (yes, that's right!) beautiful daughters who bring us so much joy. Our eldest is nearly 15 and our youngest is 6 months. I've never felt the least bit sorry that I don't have any boys - that's not why we kept having babies. I'm constantly being asked "Were you trying for a boy?" to which I always answer with a confident "No - not at all". My husband is always being offered expressions of pity as though it must be a huge disappointment to him to have all these girls. It's not. He loves them all regardless and has never expressed any disappointment or yearning for a son. If No. 7 had been a boy I think I would have been a bit thrown and it would have seemed really strange to me. We're just very thankful that they're all healthy - and I'm really looking forward to when they're all a bit older and we can go shopping and have girly days together. People seem to be very worried about how we're going to afford to pay for all the weddings but I think that's quite an outdated tradition anyway (the bride's parents paying for the whole wedding, that is - not weddings themselves) and I just can't worry about things like that now. Besides - I haven't got time!!

#24 2boys2cute

Posted 21 July 2010 - 08:09 PM

Yep, it gets old after a while doesn't it - having 2 boys ourselves (the youngest being 15 months now) we are constantly copping the "are you having any more? You have to go for the girl!" etc. Its really starting to annoy me.

I also agree its sad how subsequent babies of the same sex as their older siblings seem less worthy of flowers/gifts/cards etc...when DS1 was born, I received about 10 bunches of flowers, streams of gifts and countless cards.  When poor DS2 was born we received 3 bunches of flowers, hardly any gifts (because "you'd already have heaps of boy stuff anyway") and about a 10th of the number of cards that arrived after DS1 was born.  Even now I think to myself poor little guy, I wonder if he'll ever ask why he has less baby cards than his big brother has.

Your daughters are incredibly blessed to have you as their Dad, as are you blessed to have them.

Edited by 2boys2cute, 21 July 2010 - 08:10 PM.

#25 icekool

Posted 21 July 2010 - 09:37 PM

I admit, DH loves having 2 sons.
Me? I don't care. I wanted to be a mum and have healthy babies.

Having a girl or boy doesn't create my happiness. Being a mum does. Though it is hard work!!

I do get asked - are you having anymore? would you like a girl? My reply, I would like a healthy baby. Sometimes I add - I would love another boy, to which the person usually becomes silent.
Both my boys have such different personalities.

Mother dearest wanted granddaughters soooo badly. She has 5 grandsons (including our boys). Tough! She is lucky she is a grandmother.

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