Gender Disappointment – Can you be happy with two of the same sex?

This is some thing that is close to my heart. As much as i try and take an objective view when i hear about people talk about being disappointed when they find out the sex of their baby at a scan, i can’t help but feel the anger start to bubble a little bit.

I can’t imagine going to scan and being told you are carrying a healthy boy or girl and feeling disappointment. Its heartbreaking to think that when some parents see their perfect baby, for one of the first times, the overriding emotion is sadness.

It seems to be that for some reason a lot of women are desperate to have a girl. In the majority of cases i read or hear about it’s often that the women in question is pregnant with a boy. I have two boys myself and here are some of the questions/comments i have had…

‘Oh i bet your hoping for a little girl this time round’ – nope

‘Would you have another so you could try for a girl next time?’ – nope i would only ever have a child because i wanted ‘a child’.

‘two boys – oh’ ?!?!?!?

It’s as if people expect me to be disappointed with my boys. That somehow my family is substandard as i don’t have the perfect set up of one of each.

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how could i be disappointed?!

I’m not sure if my opinion is clouded by the fact that we have received bad news at a scan before and sadly went on to lose a baby. All my subsequent scans were terrifying and for me the only important thing was that the baby was alive and healthy. The gender just seemed so insignificant on the scale of things.

However; people can’t help how they feel can they? If you do crave a specific gender maybe it is better to talk about it and deal with it. If people are too scared to admit to gender disappointment because of the stigma that goes with it perhaps it could lead to bigger problems down the line.

What do you think? Did/do you have a preference for either gender? Do you think gender disappointment is quite normal or should people just be grateful that they are having a baby full stop?

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33 thoughts on “Gender Disappointment – Can you be happy with two of the same sex?

  1. victoria

    We’re trying for baby number 2 and I’m so sick of people saying ‘ooh you’ll be wanting a girl then?’ ..or OH’s family saying ‘wouldn’t it be nice if you got a girl?’ ..because they never did. I don’t mind..I love the idea of one of each, but I love the idea of my two boys playing together just as much! I hate when people only want the 20week scan as a sexing scan..when really its about checking health!! Great post!!! Xx

    Reply
  2. Julia

    I have one of each but with each pregnancy I didn’t care what I was having. I just had my fingers crossed that all would be well. I have had miscarriages tho so like you this could have coloured my opinion. But I genuinely felt this way with my first pregnancy. Why would it matter?

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin

      I had surprises too as it just didn’t matter what they were. Once they are conceived you can’t change the sex anyway so it would almost be like saying I don’t want the baby I’m pregnant with which is really really sad.

      Reply
  3. notafrumpymum

    I would probably have been one of those people who in an ideal world would have loved one of each. We conceived our son easily and loved the thought of him having a little sister to be a protective big brother for. One year on since starting to try for number 2, I honestly couldn’t care less if our child is a boy or a girl, I’d just like them to come along and join our family.
    Your thoughts and opinions change depending on personal experience and I think it’s easy to be disappointed if you’ve not had to struggle for something. If you have you learn to be very grateful for what you do and not feel disappointed for what you don’t.

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin

      Yep I think you are right – to be fair i don’t think it’s bad to have a preference it’s just when people are actually upset at it that really gets to me. I really hope you have some luck soon x

      Reply
  4. Katie @mummydaddyme

    I totally empathise with this post. When LL was only a few days old we had our first person say, ‘So you will be trying for a boy now?’ I couldn’t believe it! I couldn’t be happier with my girls, I don’t see why the ‘ideal’ is one of each. In fact, if we were to try for another baby, which we won’t be I don’t think, my husband and I have both said that actually another girl would be perfect for us. I am perfectly happy being a Mummy to girls and I don’t feel like I have missed out on being a boy Mummy. And if I did have two boys, or one of each, I would be saying the exactly same thing. Children are a blessing, whatever sex or combination! x

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin

      Exactly – how could you wish for anything other than what you have anyway! Babies are little people in their own rights and not play things there to fill your own needs.

      Reply
  5. cariemay

    I’ve got two girls and I don’t think I’m missing anything by not having a boy. If we have another child it will be precisely because we want a child not a boy or a girl. We’ve never found out the gender, nor even expressed a preference, whenever we were asked what we wanted the bump to be I’d always say “a baby. That I get to bring home from the hospital in a car seat.” But then I too have had scans where there is only stillness and tears and it will always colour my thinking. I can see that people have preferences and their feelings are valid but their ‘fear’ of the baby not being the sort they’d prefer when they’re waiting on a scan is nothing to my fear that there won’t be a heartbeat.

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin

      Really sorry that you have had bad news at scan too. I think it really does change your whole perspective and make you realise how precious life is.

      I imagine its the same for people who have problems getting pregnant in the first place – some people take for granted what comes difficulty for others.

      Reply
  6. nedwol

    I too think its sad that people refer to the 20 week scan as being only for sexing. After being deemed high risk for Downs Syndrome after our 12 week scan and refusing amniocentesis, our 20 week scan was, for us, another opportunity to see our baby, and know s/he looked as though doing well! But…my grandmother had also just died and I so wanted to name our baby after her so when we found out we were having a girl i was relieved. (But still bought neutral clothes and nursery equip…just in case). Its true i was relieved she was female but if she turned out to be a boy, I wouldn’t have cared really as like you, I wanted a child to have a child. Until you have your baby you don’t know how you’re going to feel about them and how it will work, no matter how many of the same or opposite sex you have. Each child is different and each will bring their own uniqueness to your current dynamic. I hope that children are bought into the world for loving, without disappointment before theyre even born, and, like someone I know, dressed up in a dress because secretly they always wanted a girl. Poor baby.

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin

      Thanks so much for your comment. I imagine you must have had quite a stressful pregnancy so I am very glad it all worked out well. How lovely to name your little girl after her grandma too :) xx

      Reply
  7. sarah

    I personally think people often think mums automatically want girls. I have a little boy and I absolutely love our bond people have said to me will you be hoping for a girl next well erm not really….. like cariemay said I will be hoping for a nice healthy baby

    Reply
  8. Gude @HodgePodgeCraft

    As a mum of 2 boys, I am always being asked if we will try for another “to get a girl next time”? Um, nope, I LOVE having boys (though I totally agree that I’d have been happy whatever they’d been)!
    I do think it’s presumptuous and insulting for people to assume you want one of each, or that as a woman you necessarily prefer girls over boys.

    Though having said all that, MisterPodge DOES want to have a girl! ;)
    x

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin

      yep funnily my husband would be keen to have a girl too! he’s not that bothered though and would never be actually upset if we were to have another boy. Thanks for your comment :)

      Reply
  9. whatthemom

    After 2 girls we hoped for a boy for our 3rd, and are now blessed with 2 girls and 2 boys. I do enjoy having equal amounts of each, but of course just happy to have healthy babies!

    Reply
  10. happyeverafterbride

    I don’t really have a preference but I don’t have kids yet, so I can’t tell for sure, but I know my MIL has always wanted a girl but she had her two boys a lot older in life and couldn’t have any more children, Now she pines after female grandchildren, possibly so that she can pass on the family recipes I think, although that is stereotyping that boys don’t cook. :)

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin

      Funnily i think my MIL is the same! She has 3 sons and i think would really like a grand-daughter. I think she doubts it will happen though as the family is so boy heavy!

      Reply
  11. Lucy Heath (@capturebylucy)

    Ah it’s like reading my experience when I had Ollie. I was lucky to have 2 perfect pregnancies and have two healthy boys asleep tonight. We even had a couple of replies to our announcement text saying “oh you’ll have to have another now!” Quite frankly it took all my strength not to text back oh piss off!!!! Great post xx

    Reply
  12. ourlifebusymakingmemories

    I’ve tried to comment on this post three times from my phone and each time its crashed out on me!
    Yes you can be happy with two of the same sex… and yes you can want two of the same sex. and yes that does mean you can want two boys!
    When i thought about my family, imagining the idea, long before I had Sebastian would have said, one of each would be perfect. Then i became a mamma to my boy and all i wanted to do after that moment is give him a best friend a playmate. someone to be thick as theives up to mischeif one minute and then killing each other the next. I was so elated when they confirmed he was a boy.
    After my 20 week scan it took all of 30 minutes for someone to suggest we try again for a girl and ask if we were disappointed. Hand on heart i said no! If they’d have told me i was having a girl, i wouldnt have been disappointed either i dont think, but i cant comment as that didnt happen. To be disapointed by the gender of a child is such a sad thing, but i think the dissapointment is only ever with others and not parents themselves.

    Reply
  13. jenny paulin

    i know about this very well – well you saw my post last week. as i admitted i did want a girl initially for silly reasons but really, i just wanted a baby a healthy one at that and i have been blessed with two. it never ceases to amaze me that people are sesperate to discover the sex too at their 20 week scan – i never wanted to know because why would i? i was just relieved was alive and well x x

    Reply
  14. Emma Duncan

    When I went for my 20 week scan for my first child and found out we were having a boy, I called to tell my mum and she actually said, “oh, we’ll, never mind.” and she genuinely sounded a bit pissed off. I was flabbergasted. After trying to get pregnant for 9 months I was just excited to have a real alive baby. Anyway, 7 years on he adores him. But still, MUM!?! REALLY!?!

    Reply
    1. hurrahforgin

      I’m sure some people just need to engage their brains before speaking. Most of the times I guess it’s well meaning if not a little confused! Thanks so much for reading and glad you got their in the end x

      Reply
  15. Charlotte

    I have two boys and wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t really ‘get’ girls and love living in a house of boys! Nevertheless I’ve had constant comments about trying to have a girl!

    I actually totally understand gender disappointment and see it quite often in my job, and have even seen women go through therapy/meds. Some people say ‘they knew it would be 50/50′ but often it doesn’t hit until that scan or the baby is born.

    Working in the maternity ward I hear women being told literally seconds after giving birth things like ‘oh another girl/boy, you’ll be trying for another then?’ or ‘oh great! Now you can stop trying!’ if they have a baby different sex to the last one. Something I’ve vowed never to say after the comments I get (still!)

    Reply
  16. KG

    Just had our 20 week scan and the relief that all looks well is overwhelming- I am totally elated and at each successful stage I feel more and more excited and closer to our developing little human. After some pretty heavy nagging by my husband we did find out the gender which is really helping me feel more connected to the little person, however people get far too hung up on labels.

    One of the reasons I was against finding out and will continue to rail against the blue-is-for-boys thing is that nobody knows what you’re actually having. yes it may have the bits which means its a girl or a boy, but what about its character? Will it be a happy individual, butch or shy, creative or academic. Its all these myriad things which go together to create the personality of this brand new human being, only some of which you can influence with nurture. I know the traits- girl or boy- I want my children to have: honesty, courgae, kindness etc. They may be straight or gay- or somewhere in between. And for me the most exciting and daunting part of this whole process will be finding out who we have once they arrive, not what.

    For now, we just know enough to learn how you clean those specific tiny parts and cross off one half of our potential names list! And know we are very lucky.

    Reply
  17. Hutch

    I could not agree with this more. We have 2 girls and frequently get all those stupid remarks. We are totally happy and content!

    Reply
  18. anonymous

    My mother in law upon finding out we were having a girl: ‘well, you’ll have to try harder next time for a boy’. So many things wrong with that statement…

    Reply
  19. Rich Clive

    + 1 for health trumping everything else. When my partner was pregnant the last time if asked what we wanted we said three things. We would like this one to survive (unlike No 1), not to need open heart surgery at three months (like No 2), and sleep through the night from one month old*. Having ticked the first two boxes we feel we have won the lottery. Pretty envious of people who have gender on their list of wishes.
    * Not a chance. Nothing wrong with his lungs, either.

    Reply
  20. Anne

    I totally agree.

    And: I also think people tend to over-emphasize sex and gender. A newborn is just a new little person who has no idea what is between his or her legs. And as they grow up, it’s also just one aspect of who they are. Having two children who have the same gender doesn’t say very much about how alike these children are, or aren’t.

    I sometimes wish that people could be more excited to get to know a new (unborn) baby as a person rather than being so focussed on gender!

    Reply
  21. Button

    I’m a dad to 3 girls. A lovely looking elderly lady stopped me in M&S during the sumemr and said “Ohh, 3 girls…” I was expecting her to go on to say how beautiful they are but no, she continued: “…nevermind. My father only had me and I know how disapointed he was.”

    Reply
  22. Silvia Hepburn

    I’m swimming against the tide here but I’m going to admit to being very disappointed at the scans of my second and then third boy. The knowledge that it was outrageous to be disappointed at the news of a healthy baby did not make that feeling go away. I adore my children and now I couldn’t be happier to be a mum of three boys. But at the first revelation, I felt real grief for that baby girl I wasn’t having. I am very close to my mum and felt really sad not to have a daughter myself. In my imaginings of future family life, I was never outnumbered the way it has transpired. It doesn’t mean I would ever swap my beautiful boys, but I wasn’t helped by the terrible responses I had from people when I told them I was expecting a third boy. Just as I was trying to readjust my head about it all, I got pity and “oooh, you’ll have your work cut out for you” and even “oh, I feel terribly sorry for mums of boys, I think they have an awful time”!! Honestly – that last was from my local vicar, dad of 3 boys. If I had read these comments soon after I’d had my 20 week scans, I would have found them pretty unsympathetic. I have been incredibly lucky with no miscarriages and my heart goes out to all those who have lost a baby. But I think there’s room for sympathy for those whose dreams have not come true, even if they are silly dreams. My boys have, of course, completely confounded my expectations, and I don’t think girls would have made me happier. Sometimes what we think we want isn’t the only wonderful way it can be.

    Reply

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