Friday, March 11, 2011

On Not Mothering Girls

This is a post that has been brewing in the back of my mind for about 2 years now, honestly. From time to time, I'd think on it more, drag it out, look at it, and then push it back into my mind. Over the last month or so I got to thinking that I was probably close to being ready to write it. And then, Tuesday, something happened that clinched it in my mind. I'm ready!

I am a mother, but I am a mother to all male children. You probably already knew that. It's definitely not the way I planned things, but it's what happened. I remember growing up next door to a family that had three sons and I remember that I used to feel such pity for the mom, that she didn't have a daughter! I have to laugh about that now.

Two years ago I wrote a post on what it's like to have only boys. This post is not the same, although it may initially sound similar. Of course, having only boys means that I don't get to mother any girls. There is a difference in the two lines of thought.

It's kind of a different thing, because I am female and so I have a general idea of what it would be like to have a daughter. And there have been times that I really, really wanted one. I remember being pregnant with David and wandering around the sewing section at Walmart, seeing all the gorgeous, frilly little dresses, and thinking that if this baby I was carrying wasn' t a girl, I'd just die! I wanted to badly to have a little girl to dress up! Fortunately, my heart came around between then and when we had the ultrasound, so that when my dr. happily trilled, "Oh, this one has outdoor plumbing!" I could actually laugh and be happy about it.

And 99.9% of the time, I have been thrilled with my all-boy household. Rarely do I ever catch myself thinking, "Oh, well, if I had girls instead, this is what it would be like..." Well, sometimes I think that when the decibal levels get too high or when they've tracked mud onto my carpet via their big, clunky snowboots for the hundredth time that week. Or, more recently, I find myself dreaming about a household of girls when I am spending more at the grocery store than I do on my mortgage! But, really, I am one content mama. I did go through a rough period when Sam was about a year old and it was really hitting me that our baby days were done forever because we had planned to try and have another one about that time. And then, of course, we had to be done having babies before we wanted to be. And the knowledge then that I would never, ever have a baby girl to fuss over hurt for a little bit there. But I'm over it now.

Now, something happened Tuesday that was really offensive to me. And it's happened before and I've been just as bothered. When I was pregnant with Sam, a miraculous and wonderful event, so many people said to me, 'Oh, I bet you're finally getting your girl!" I never gave it too much thought because I knew from the moment I discovered I was pregnant that this was another boy. I remember my mom thought the same thing. So, we had the ultrasound, and had that confirmed. I remember feeling really dismayed by the number of people that expressed disappointment to me.

I mean, some really carried on. My MIL called me from Florida that night where she was vacationing and when I told her Sam was a boy, you would have thought I'd just announced that someone had died! She wasn't the only one. I lamented this to my friend, Danean, and she commented, "Why would you be upset over God's perfect plan for your family?" That's exactly it. God planned my family of males. How can I protest? As I mentioned earlier, I needed David to be a girl. So my dr. gave me advice about conception timing and a douche recipe that was supposed to eliminate the boy spermies. Obviously, God had a plan there that superceded my human efforts!

What happened Tues. was this: I had just awoken from the anesthesia and was pretty miserable. The nurse was taking me to the bathroom and getting me settled afterwards and to make conversation, asked me about my family. When I told her I had four sons she gasped, and cried out, "Oh you poor thing!" If it were an isolated event, I'd probably just chalk it up to an overreaction on my part due to coming out of anesthesia. But this has happened to me repeatedly through the years. And to be honest, it baffles me. Are boys supposed to be that bad or hard to raise? I admit, it's a little unusual to have as many as I do, so maybe that's what people are actually responding to. Would they have same reaction if I told them I had four girls? I don't know, but somehow, I really don't think so.

But maybe people say that in recognition of the things I won't experience, not having girls. And there will be plenty. There's no pink. There's no elasticized bows wrapped around bald baby heads. There's no Barbies. No child of mine has ever said to me, "I want to be just like you when I grow up!" There's no Hello Kitty, no Baby Alives, and no sparkly Mary Jane shoes. There's no pierced ear events (and there had better never be!), prom dress shopping, or playing house. I won't ever plan and decorate for a wedding (something that truly does make me sad, because I'd be good at it!). I don't have a child who reminds me of my myself at the same ago. There is no sparkly pink nail polish or shopping for clothes for "just because."

Now, my friends who do have girls are always quick to point out to me all the other things I won't be experiencing. They remind me that girls are messy (messier than boys? hard to imagine), gossipy, catty, tearful, moody, and argumentative, by turns. I seem to recall having all those emotions as I grew, so I think my friends sknow what they are talking about. Boys tend to be more solid, emotionally, even as preschoolers. I think they tell me all this to make me feel better!

So, what is it like not having girls? It's not a bad thing. I get to be Queen and I am finding, that as the boys grow, it actually gives me a quite a bit of alone time because they aren't exactly clamoring to spend time with their mother. I like alone time! Yes, there are fun things that I will never experience, though. But I don't mourn for that. Sometimes, I feel a bit wistful, like when I run across the most adorable tiny baby girl shoes. But I'm happy. I never would have planned a family of four boys for myself. I probably would have shot for 1:3, maybe 2:2. But then I wouldn't have gotten to experience the family God had planned for me. And I would have really missed out.

If I could tell anyone anything, it's this: don't feel sorry for me, as though I have missed out on something amazing. Don't view me as Super Mom because I am parenting all boys. I'm just another mom, fulfilling the role God planned for me, just as a mother of a house full of all girls or a house evenly divided between the sexes is. I'm not missing out and I'm not anything extra special.

Besides, I'm counting on having at least one granddaughter someday and then I'll be able to buy all the cute baby shoes I want to!

1 comment:

  1. I don't feel sorry for you. I have another friend who has 9 boys and 1 girl. I do think boys might be easier than girls, but I really think it is dependent on their personality and yours.