To think that to declare that you only want girls/ boys is mostly quite ghastly really?

(104 Posts)
AskBasil Tue 15-Apr-14 09:09:54

I mean really, why?

It strikes me as already putting your child into a box before it's even born. And talk about a bad start for a kid - I really wanted you to have different genitalia because I've got some weird idea that that's what determines your character, behaviour and relationship with me and of course my parenting can't be expected to have as much influence as your genitalia.

FFS.

Sorry I know there may sometimes be legitimate-ish reasons for this (you've had 5 boys already and you want a girl, you're thinking of the future when you're a MIL etc.) but the woman I know hasn't got such reasons - she's just a fuckwit and I need to vent because I'm sick of her saying (in front of my DS as well), that she only wants girls. Bear with me. grin

sadsaddersaddest Tue 15-Apr-14 09:54:27

I only wanted boys because I have a toxic mother and I dreaded being a mother to a girl. I never bragged about it though.
I love my two daughters but I am so scared I will be a bad mother.

elliejjtiny Tue 15-Apr-14 09:57:57

I only say this to people who look at me sympathetically when I'm out with my 4 boys and tell me it's such a shame that I don't have any girls.

shakinstevenslovechild Tue 15-Apr-14 09:59:28

My Mum only wanted boys, sadly, for her, I am a girl and she took every opportunity to tell me what a disappointment I am.

She certainly put on a good show for other people, but she always treated me differently, I knew even before she told me, that I was unwanted.

We no longer speak, funnily enough a part of me going nc with her was because she very obviously favoured my daughters over my son.

RufusTheReindeer Tue 15-Apr-14 10:02:03

When I was in my early 20's I worked with two women who seemed to me ( as I was young) to be very Stepford wife like

They both worked full time but would shop for fresh ingredients for their husbands tea which had to be on the table when he got home, that sort of thing

They were pregnant at the same time and both wanted boys only and if you mentioned girls you would get an earful of how dreadful girls are!!

But they were both girls!!!! How does that even work

AskBasil Tue 15-Apr-14 10:04:57

sadsaddersaddest I'm sure that if you have awareness of awful parenting, you won't be one IYSWIM.

Those of us who had such toxic parents and are not in denial about it, do not have to continue the cycle.

I really hope I'm not doing so. All we can do is try and hope our children are forgiving of our mistakes. smile

LtColGrinch Tue 15-Apr-14 10:12:22

lol, we were indifferent before we had either of ours. But now that we've had 2 boys we are so glad we didn't have girls!!

ACatCalledColin Tue 15-Apr-14 10:12:51

I only say this to people who look at me sympathetically when I'm out with my 4 boys and tell me it's such a shame that I don't have any girls.

Do people actually say this? shock

dilys4trevor Tue 15-Apr-14 10:13:20

I agree. I have two boys and am pregnant with my third DC. I found out that the baby is a girl. Great news, but would have been just as happy to find out I am having a third boy. You family 'shape' is your family shape and to say you want it this way or that when it comes to gender is weird.

A woman at work is upset because she found out at 20 weeks she is having a boy and wanted a girl. Like, really upset. It's her first child as well! Boils my piss when there are couples out there so desperate. Being able to conceive naturally and healthily is a brilliant thing. To say 'I would have preferred such-and-such' is just petulant and undeserving.

Sharaluck Tue 15-Apr-14 10:13:38

Yanbu

I think it is sad and rude.

AskBasil Tue 15-Apr-14 10:19:38

I'm just glad I didn't give birth to camels.

Or goats

HolidayCriminal Tue 15-Apr-14 10:19:47

I believe that boys & girls are quite different. So much so that their gonads rewire their brain & do affect relationships, behaviour & character.

I can think of more ghastly things to want than specific gender.

Norfolknway Tue 15-Apr-14 10:22:56

I found it odd.

I have a boy and a girl.

I couldn't have cared less.

Famzilla Tue 15-Apr-14 10:23:33

I think it's just ignorance really.

My mum was incredibly abusive growing up and sexually exploited me in my teens, when I fell PG I couldn't even bear the thought of having a daughter. In my mind women were evil and mother & daughter relationships were hostile at best. I was scared of history repeating.

Funnily enough I have a daughter and she is the light of my life. I cannot imagine having any other child now! Still, every day I probably kiss, cuddle and play with her too much as I'm so conscious of ensuring I'm nothing like my own mother.

IceBeing Tue 15-Apr-14 10:23:40

It isn't the petulant entitlement that gets me...its the idea that boys and girls are so intrinsically different that it is worth caring which one you have.

Disgusting frankly, that here in 2014 people are treating their children so differently based on what 5% of their genetic inheritance?

Pumpkinette Tue 15-Apr-14 10:24:10

Ok I do admit I really hoped DD was going to be a girl when I was pregnant. If she was a boy it wouldn't have been the end of the world but I did have a preference for having a girl.

We have no plans to have anymore children but if we did I would want another girl as in my opinion (and experience) sisters are closer than brothers and sisters. However had DD been a boy then I would have wanted another boy for the same reason.

So I suppose I would fall into your catagory OP but its been my experience that has made me this way - my brother and I are not close by any stretch of the imagination and he was very, very cruel to me as a child - particuarly in school. My female cousin spent a lot of time with us when we were children and we are very close and feel like sisters. I know there are no guarantees that any two children will get along regardless of thier sex but in general 2 girls or 2 boys get along better - particuarly if thee is an age gap between them.

IceBeing Tue 15-Apr-14 10:25:11

holiday I don't think the tiny genetic difference is at all relevant with respect to the massive social conditioning that starts well before the poor feckers are even born.

sashh Tue 15-Apr-14 10:27:34

shakinstevenslovechild

My mum wanted a daughter (already had a boy) I am not the daughter she wanted, I understand your pain. I think people like this don't just want a boy or a girl they have an entire life set up for their child before they are born.

Sometimes there are good reasons for wanting a boy or girl such as medical issues or as a friend's sister in law said. "I'm glad I had a boy, I've seen how girls are treated in this family".

People used to say they were not bothered as long as the baby was healthy.

HairHelp Tue 15-Apr-14 10:27:48

YABU, so what if I want girls? So what if I wanted girls, told you about it and then ended up with a boy?

So what if I wanted girls for no other reason than to share nail varnishes with?

Can't anyone talk anymore without offending somebody for fuck all reason??

SuzzieScotland Tue 15-Apr-14 10:27:58

Yanbu

My friend keeps going on that she wants a boiy as "it will be like a little version of dh", I love her but hope she doesn't have one now. I said what if it was like a little version of your dad, she replied that would be horrific..

Writerwannabe83 Tue 15-Apr-14 10:36:48

When I was pregnant my DH said he'd be happy with whatever sex we had but he'd much prefer it to be a boy. He said if we had a boy he'd be happy to stick at only one child but if we had a girl he'd want to try again for a boy.

We had a gender scan at 16 weeks and I was pretty nervous about it. It actually transpired we were having a boy and DH was over the moon. My MIL had come with us and although she didn't say it, it she was clearly disappointed as she wanted a Grandaughter.

KoalaFace Tue 15-Apr-14 10:40:02

It smacks of absolute stupidity to have such powerful feelings on the gender of your children when you have no power over it. If you feel like you won't love them as much or won't be a good parent if they are the wrong gender then you shouldn't be taking a 50/50 risk with a child's life.

However I understand how abusive, toxic and traumatic events and relationships can make people terrified of repeating history. I truly believe though that in those cases (like you Famzilla) that although they are scared of what being a parent to the boy/girl will mean, they know, deep down that they will not make the same mistakes/will love their baby no matter what.

I think it's a totally different issue to people who just want to fulfil a "dream lifestyle" of girly shopping with DD or being a mum with a group of boys who "know mummy is a princess!" Yes I met someone who said that...

BrianTheMole Tue 15-Apr-14 10:52:06

There are plenty of things that are ghastly in the world, having a preference of gender isn't one of them. Doing something about it like having a termination if the baby wasn't the preferred gender, yes that would be ghastly. Or treating a child badly because of their gender, that would be ghastly too. But having a preference for girls over boys, or vice versa, does not someone a ghastly person.

Hoppinggreen Tue 15-Apr-14 10:52:50

I wanted a girl first time around. That was my preference, didn't see how it affected anyone else.
I didn't go on about it or say I wouldn't love a boy or anything like that, it was just what I preferred at the time.
Not seeing how that's ghastly

AskBasil Tue 15-Apr-14 12:07:31

I think that's what's rattling me about it: her implication that she would not be as kind or as loving to a boy. That is what I find so ghastly about it.

Thinking about it, she has a terrible relationship with her father; talks about him like a 15 year old would talk about their strict authoritarian father. She's never quite made the transition of having an adult relationship with her father, she's still in little girl mode where he's concerned. Those of you who have posted about fear of toxic relationships because of your own childhood experiences, thank you, I've realised that might be a factor in why she's quite so vociferous about not wanting boys. I still think it's a bit gruesome if she ever finds she has one and hope she sorts her issues out if she does, so that she doesn't inflict them onto him, but it has made me feel less antagonistic about her comments.

NewtRipley Tue 15-Apr-14 12:24:35

sadsaddersaddest

I have two boys and they are very different from each other. If one of them had been a girl, maybe I might have been tempted to put their character differences and interests down to their gender, rather than equally important factors such as temperament, personality and birth order.

What I am trying to say is that, whilst I really understand your fears, the gender of the child is not what determines your relationship with them.

As others have said, your awareness of your difficult relationship with your mum, hopefully makes you able to address those things and try and ensure the pattern doesn't continue.

NewtRipley Tue 15-Apr-14 12:26:29

More generally,

It stands to reason that in a gender-stereotyping society, people will have stereotyped ideas of what their children will be like, based on their gender. I think it's a shame though

NewtRipley Tue 15-Apr-14 12:28:48

... sorry, I meant to say, that it is a shame to try to map out what a child will be like before they are born. They are their own person.

SaucyJack Tue 15-Apr-14 12:36:28

I've only ever wanted girls as I just can't picture myself with a son. I have three girls. I'm very happy with this.

If you wanna take umbrage at my SMOGness, then knock yourself out.

minipie Tue 15-Apr-14 12:38:04

I agree.

It's bad if the child isn't the gender you wanted - because you'll be disappointed. How sad to be disappointed about having a healthy child.

And it's bad even if the child IS the gender you wanted - because you'll have preconceived notions about what "a boy" or "a girl" will be like, and you'll probably try to force the child down that path (by buying them very "girly" or very "boyish" clothes and toys), and/or you'll be disappointed if the child doesn't turn out like you expected.

Ice I agree that gender makes up maybe 5% of what a child is like. Other elements are way way more influential. It would make much more sense for these parents to say "I would like a sporty child" or "I would like an arty child" or "I would like a calm child" or "I would like an academic child". And yet they don't - they say "I would like a girl/boy" even though actually that says far less about what the child will be like.

AskBasil Tue 15-Apr-14 12:46:39

"My mum wanted a daughter (already had a boy) I am not the daughter she wanted"

That is so sad. And that's what I don't like about this "I want xyz characteristic in my child"

We're lucky our children aren't as demanding in what characteristics their parents have. Otherwise we'd all fail for not being able to fly, do magic and make cake in the space of 2 minutes.

SweetEspresso Tue 15-Apr-14 12:48:24

It's not so bad hoping for one gender over another really, is it? I kind of wanted a boy after having a girl but didn't care when I had a second girl. So I can imagine why people might want one more than the other before birth. Most of these parents are probably over the moon with their babies once they arrive. The only problem would be if they carried on feeling that way afterwards and may need help from somewhere, if only from family/friends, to get them to see how their baby is just as lovely as it would be as the other gender.

AskBasil, your friend could very easily not be bothered either way once her baby is born.

Raxacoricofallapatorius Tue 15-Apr-14 13:01:26

Yes all women with a preference are sad and selfish. All exactly the same. Ungrateful to have a healthy child. Have chosen to feel that way and could choose not to. Absolutely no chance that experience or fear or anxiety or depression could be causing the preference. No chance they would switch off the feeling if they could. They should all be scorned as the homogeneous, squirming mass they are.

Treating a child as a disappointment is wrong. Preference for either sex isn't always an idle whim and you might not get it, but you could have the intelligence to understand that other people have other feelings and are entitled to them. I too was terrified of a mother/daughter relationship. Experience taught me to fear I'd ruin my daughter's life due to my own inadequacies. My involvement in a mother/daughter relationship up to the point i had dd hadn't made anybody happy. Allow me my fears. They were happily unfounded but they were neither selfish nor welcomed.

Tinkerball Tue 15-Apr-14 13:11:44

Saucy jack as I understand it SMOG stands for smug mother of girls - why should anyone be "smug" over producing girls as opposed to boys, don't get it! It's nothing to be smug over in the slightest.

pommedeterre Tue 15-Apr-14 13:17:31

I am astounded more by the way people are obsessed with other pekoe having one of each.

Someone told me 'oh never mind' when dd2 was a girl and now I am pg with dc3 everyone is all about how awful three girls would be.

I think it's a bit weird.

I am from a one of each family and to be honest would rather have had a sister!

pommedeterre Tue 15-Apr-14 13:18:01

Pekoe = people

stooshe Tue 15-Apr-14 13:24:03

Let's be fair...there isn't a person alive who had children for altruistic reasons or even sensible reasons. I can't get worked up about people declaring that they only want girls/boys. At least these people are somewhat open about the shitty/selfish reasons that they want a child. I doubt that many of these people go mental on receiving the child that they, perhaps didn't want (gender wise).People want what they want...no amount of political correctness will ever take away desire.

HRMumness Tue 15-Apr-14 13:30:22

When I was pregnant with my first, I wanted he/she to be healthy first but had a preference for a girl as I wanted to name her after my Grandmother (who was 93 and getting on at that point) and DH and I couldn't agree on a single boys name. My DD is almost 2 now and I was so pleased DD was able to meet her Great-Grandmother before she passed away last year. I'm pregnant with #2 now and although I would like a healthy baby first, I'd like another girl as I would have loved a sister growing up instead of two brothers (who I'm not that close to now as an adult). Plus, I've got all the clothes grin. If it turns out I'm having a boy, then so be it. You get what you are given right?

I think it is very wrong to abort a child because it is the 'wrong gender', ditto to treat them poorly but to have a preference? Not the end of the world IMHO.

CarmineRose1978 Tue 15-Apr-14 13:33:29

I'm pregnant with my first, and I really do want a girl. Ideally I'd like one of each, but I'm not that young and who's to know if I'll have another, so if I only get one, I want it to be a girl. I had a very close relationship with my mum, who died unexpectedly 4 years ago. She was my best friend, and I guess I want to have that closeness again.

My DP wants a boy though, so one of us will be happy!

NurseyWursey Tue 15-Apr-14 13:34:28

Whenver I hear something like this is reminds me of this

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=02Xk4tBEXxo

CarmineRose1978 Tue 15-Apr-14 13:34:55

Also girls' clothes are cuter.

evertonmint Tue 15-Apr-14 14:11:18

I personally don't think it's any worse than saying you want one of each. You're expressing a preference when really you should be going into it just grateful for the gift of a child.

I don't think a sort of 'perfect scenario' preference is wrong - ideally I wanted one of each, as I was one of each and liked the idea of not having one dominant gender in my home, and having that preference is no less ridiculous than somebody wanting only one gender - but being ridiculously focused on one outcome to the exclusion of others is laughable, and very sad, and has potentially devastating consequences for any 'wrong' gendered children.

As it turns out, I did have one of each, but have thrown all that preference for balance up in the air by now expecting DC3 - so clearly it wasn't as important to me as actually just having children IYSWIM.

TKKW Tue 15-Apr-14 14:20:56

To really only one sex is a funny one for me to understand. I would have liked to see what raising a son was like but I know that they could've been not "boyish" at all. I am delighted with my lot and im so sorry to hear that some poster's parents have openly expressed their disappointment to them. Nasty and damaging.

SaucyJack Tue 15-Apr-14 14:45:27

Saucy jack as I understand it SMOG stands for smug mother of girls - why should anyone be "smug" over producing girls as opposed to boys, don't get it! It's nothing to be smug over in the slightest.

It's not a phrase I'd use meself IRL- it's only on Mumsnet that it seems to be a crime to like having daughters. Like it make you some anti-feminist airhead bimbo or what-have-you. There is an inverse snobbery about it that mothers of boys are not subject to.

And Heaven Forfend should you ever mention enjoying dressing them in anything other than second-hand boys' clothes grin

susyot Tue 15-Apr-14 14:48:25

When I was pregnant with my first child I really felt strongly that I wanted a girl, to the extent that I was worried what my reaction would be if I gave birth to a boy. I have no idea why I felt this way and it was not something I shared with anyone else. I spent a lot of my pregnancy worrying about this - not just the prospect of having a son but about the strength of my feeling about it. It was irrational and I thought I was a terrible person to think that way.

Fortunately I came across an article which explained that it is not an uncommon reaction to have, basically "a subconcious fear of the other" can cause a parent to have a preference for their own gender. I have no idea if there is any truth to this but it made me feel better and persuaded me that if i did have a boy I would not be disappointed, so I should stop worrying about it.

So sorry, I think YABU to state that it is ghastly. The woman might not even know why she feels this way.

dilys4trevor Tue 15-Apr-14 15:47:49

I had never heard of the SMOG thing.

That said, the DH of a friend said - after the birth of their first child, a girl - 'ah well, you get over it.' Which I thought was awful. They then went on to have two more girls. My friend is perfectly happy with her three lovely girls. Her DH is now saying 'real men have girls' confused and has always seemed hellbent on having everyone believe that his eldest girl (especially) is cleverer, stronger, braver etc than other kids, especially boys. I always thought it was a bit of a burden for her (and her sisters) to grow up with. I do know of a couple of men for whom it has been a big deal to not have boys. Fine to have a preference if you really can't help it, but to so openly project that onto the children is wrong.

NewtRipley Tue 15-Apr-14 16:29:40

everton

I don't understand why one of each is seen as "the perfect scenario" either. Perfect for who? Plenty of people are not close to their opposite sex sibling (plenty are).

I have a brother

I think one of each can lead to gender stereotyping from the parents too

dustarr73 Tue 15-Apr-14 16:33:48

Well i must be a SMOB then.I have 5 boys and i think its one thing for you to have your preference,its not ok for somebody else to be saying things.

AreWeThereYeti Tue 15-Apr-14 16:45:24

Meh, I had two boys and I really wanted a girl next. I don't see what the problem is with that. Of course healthy is most important but what's wrong with wanting a particular sex. It would be another thing altogether if you were disappointed with your 'actual' child. That would be cruel and weird.
My third (and forth) were girls and I am, and was, glad. I would not have loved them any less if they were boys.

OneStepForwardTwoBack Tue 15-Apr-14 17:30:17

Don't get me started on this! My mum is the same. Totally favours girls. Goes on about baby girls over baby boys. Thinks she is superior for having 3 girls (has boys too). Tells me that the reason she is such a great dresser etc is because she has girls. Thinks her old age is made because she has girls. Women with boys are somehow lesser and she doesn't envy women with boys because they will have horrible dils. Three guesses what I have. Yep two boys. But still she mithers on.

NurseyWursey Tue 15-Apr-14 17:33:17

I never bothered about what gender my baby would be. But since I've been thinking about all the shit I've been through as a girl and a woman, I am terrified of bringing a girl into the world.

Aventurine Tue 15-Apr-14 17:40:18

YANBU and I think it's vile when someone has all boys for example and they say "I'm so glad I never had girls." So sneery

evertonmint Tue 15-Apr-14 18:09:55

Newt - I agree. My SIL labels her two (now three) based on gender and talks about doing girlie things with her DD, only encourages her DSes to do footie and Lego etc. I see my two as not at all like their supposed gender traits and allow all sorts of toys, interests etc.

I hear some mums of just boys saying "with boys, you have to treat them like puppies and exhaust them" (not true for my boy, more true for my girl) and some mums of girls saying "at least my daughters sit quietly and don't get muddy" (not true of my girl at all!)

Idiots will read the gender not the child whichever gender they actually have. A preference isn't the problem, an assumption that a particular gender determines the child and your relationship with them, and therefore you have to have a particular gender is very much a problem.

NewtRipley Tue 15-Apr-14 19:00:00

True everton

SirChenjin Tue 15-Apr-14 19:06:56

I agree.

My DSis (who openly admits to being a SMOG - smug mum of girls) was "in tears" at the thought of having a boy - which, as a mum of 2 boys I found to be a bit off. She and her other SMOG friends were quiet open about how irritating they found boys, and I remember her being quite venomous about 2 boys who had been running around at one of her daughter's birthday craft parties instead of sitting quietly, sticking and glueing.

I hate, hate this type of gender stereotyping.

JodieGarberJacob Tue 15-Apr-14 19:22:15

Soon we will live in a society when no one dares speak! It's not against the law to tell others your preferences, and who cares anyway? Just nod and say I hope you get what you want.

The only baby preference that slightly irks me is when people say the perfect family is boy first then girl (because the big brother can look after his little sister apparently). confused

Delphiniumsblue Tue 15-Apr-14 19:26:57

Since it is a 50/50 chance it seems silly to have a preference. I was quite happy with what came.

SirChenjin Tue 15-Apr-14 19:29:32

Preferences = fine. Making it clear that you will be devastated in some way by one particular gender = not fine, esp. if the person you're sharing your 'preference' with is the mother of a child of that particular gender.

Being pregnant does not absolve you of the responsibility to apply filters to your thought/speech process.

thebodydoestricks Tue 15-Apr-14 19:33:36

SirChenjin well said.

I had 2 boys and yes I admit I wanted dc3 to be a girl as I wanted to experience having a girl. I ended up with 2 of each but love them all to bits and am just grateful they are here and healthy.

Ledkr Tue 15-Apr-14 19:45:17

I had 3 boys, they are great and we had/have great fun.
One was a bit tricky growing up but ok now the other two a dream.
When I had my 4th, damn right I wanted a girl, I had 3 sons already why wouldn't I want a nice change.
I'd have loved any baby of mine but I really don't see what's wrong with wanting a different sex.
(She's very difficult though) hmm

TheCunkOfPhilomena Tue 15-Apr-14 21:38:53

Hi ledkr <waves> grin Difficult you say? That'll be the Feb 2011-ness I expect...

When I was pg my then partner really wanted a girl. His parents wanted me to have a girl. He had, what I believe is called, gender disappointment at the 22 week scan when we were told we were having DS.

I think I sort of wanted a boy in the back of my mind but only because I had imagined having a son and I was the daughter from hell but I really didn't have a strong feeling either way. I am upset that DS' fraternal GPs were disappointed though hmm

A baby is a baby, there really isn't any difference other than the chances of being pissed on are a lot greater with a boy.

IceBeing Wed 16-Apr-14 15:32:50

I had a vague preference for having a boy because I suffered horrendous periods all my life and that might have been a characteristic not worth passing on....

It is also the case that neither me or DH are 'lookers' and that would have mattered less to a male child than a female, one tragically unfair though that fact of life may be.

It worries me that people fancy one of the opposite gender to the ones they have had because they want 'a change'. In what way do they expect it to be different? Is it that much more of a challenge wiping one type of arse equipment to the other? Is a change as good as a holiday when it comes to nappies?

If it is anything more than that you are talking about the average girl versus the average boy...and you would be nuts to believe your children will be either.

Nocomet Wed 16-Apr-14 15:38:22

DH and I only wanted girls. We both absolutely hate football, rugby and cricket.

Of course I have a sporty DD who has played all three for her primary school [btugin], but at least she doesn't talk about them endlessly as well.

Nocomet Wed 16-Apr-14 15:38:47

Sod [btugrin]

Nocomet Wed 16-Apr-14 15:39:23

tbugrin

pommedeterre Wed 16-Apr-14 15:49:52

I think the change is a bit more superficial ice. We're expecting a boy now post two dds and the idea of some blue and grey coloured things in my life is quite exciting. Dh is excited about the idea of the fact he's more likely to get dinosaur/trains/spaceman things in his life now.

I think having a mild preference for yourself personally is one thing. The problem is expressing your preference badly to other parents (who may have that combo!) or people commenting on your combination as an unwanted one (i.e. not one of each).

IceBeing Wed 16-Apr-14 16:09:01

pomme why aren't your DD's into dinosaurs, trains and spacewomen? Is it because you only ever exposed them to disney princesses?

I only mention it because my DD has infinitely more dinosaur clothes than princess clothes (1 and 0)....which is totally the result of parental preference...and the fact I find dinosaurs to be a better role model than princesses for anyone of any gender...

It also turns out that girls can wear blue/grey things...again as the result of parental preference my DD wears mostly non-pink clothes...due to the idea that if she wears pink she will self associate with the pink toys which aren't the same as the blue toys and get herself some ridiculous limiting ideas about what she can do with her life....

In spite of all this effort on my part my nearly 3 yo DD told me only last week that 'the engineer can't be called Dottie...its a girls names and girls can't be engineers'.

Gender stereotyping is hideous and it starts with parents imagining they will bring up girls and boys differently before they have even met them.

FreckledLeopard Wed 16-Apr-14 16:12:10

When I was pregnant I honestly had no preference for either gender. It made no difference to me. I now have DD and having raised her a single mother (she's 13 now) and having such a close relationship with her, I would be very nervous about having a boy (I do want more children).

I've never come across a relationship between a son and mother that's as close as relationships between mothers and daughters (with the possible exception of gay males). Perhaps I just haven't met any such people and such close relationships can and do exist, but I do worry that I wouldn't have such a close bond if I had a boy.

SirChenjin Wed 16-Apr-14 16:17:06

There's an awful expression "a son's your son til he gets a wife, but your daughter's your daughter for the rest of your life" - I absolutely hate it, but unfortunately I think that generally speaking daughters do tend to remain closer to their mums - although there are obviously many exceptions to that.

You just have to look at some of the venomous MIL threads on here which seem like nothing more than a MIL saying something off the cuff (as we all do) and the DIL jumping on it as an example of how evil the woman is - when her own DM might say something similar and not elicit nearly the same response.

m0therofdragons Wed 16-Apr-14 16:23:08

I have 3dds and cannot imagine having boys but never had a preference when pg. I do get sympathy for having 3 dds so I have said in response that I only ever wanted girls just to shut people up. Reality, just wanted healthy dc. I used to get really upset as dd2 had to be resuscitated at birth and we nearly lost her - I feel so lucky as it could have been very different.

KoalaFace Wed 16-Apr-14 16:33:00

My DH and his mum are really close. It's lovely! She may be a bit overbearing and have an opinion on everything but I'm a grown woman and can take it on the chin.

So MIL may not be the type of lady I'd look to, to be a friend but she's family and I love her. I give her credit for raising DH to be a good man. And I think their relationship is great.

So I see no reason why I can't still have a close relationship with my DS (as well as DD) even when he's no longer 3 years old and more interested in his partner than in playing superheroes with me. tbusmile

KellyElly Wed 16-Apr-14 16:55:12

You may not like it and tell her if you don't want her to say it in front of your child but really the long and short is she's just saying how she feels. Sometimes people have a strong preference as to what sex they want their child to be. She sounds like she might have some deep-rooted reasons for this.

MorrisZapp Wed 16-Apr-14 16:56:03

YABU. I'm pretty sick of people on here saying its wrong to want one or the other. I was raised 'gender free' by a very hardcore feminist, I wasn't bought skirts or dolls or anything like that. Guess what, I grew up to be a skirt wearing, chatty, empathetic woman and my brother grew up to be a loving but much less communicative music geek who knew how to drive before he turned 17.

Men and women are by and large, different. If we were the same then MN would be equally full of men supporting each other, swapping childbirth jokes and posting what clothes they fancy buying this weekend.

I wanted a girl, to the point that I never really believed it possible I'd have a boy. When DS arrived I had no idea who he was or where he'd come from. I had PND, not because of his gender but definitely exacerbated by my unspeakable private disappointment.

I didn't want a girl to go shopping with, or to do nail polish etc. I wanted one to talk to, because my best chats in life have been with women. I know, I know, I could have had a monosyllabic daughter who would hate all my interests. But I have nephews and nieces and by and large, it's the nieces that really talk to me.

DS has been a constant source of amazement, there's nothing about him I'd change now, and I find it hard to believe I ever thought I wanted a girl. He brings so much joy and I love watching him grow. When I see girls giggling on the bus now I just think yikes, who could be arsed with that.

But I'll never accept that it's shit, or ghastly, or stupid to have a gender preference. It would just be rude to express it negatively to others, and of course I'd never dream of doing that.

SirChenjin Wed 16-Apr-14 17:01:41

Morris - I do get where you're coming from. I had an incredibly close relationship with my mum, and have a sister. We had DS1 after months of fertility treatment, and I was just so delighted to have a baby that I really didn't care. However, when I became pregnant with DD (DC2) I was desperate for a girl - I suppose I really wanted to have the same relationship as I'd had with my mum. I didn't voice that preference though, or make it known that I was devastated at the thought of having a boy.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Wed 16-Apr-14 17:08:06

I think the best thing to say about gender to a parent or parent-to-be is absolutely nothing. Ever.

I'm still astounded by the things that have been said to me about my kids. In the end, I shut people up by exclaiming brightly before they could bump their gums, 'Yes! Aren't I lucky to have 3 such gorgous boys! I'd love to have another one!'

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Wed 16-Apr-14 17:08:32

gorgeous

CPtart Wed 16-Apr-14 17:12:42

I have two DS and I know my mum wanted a grand daughter. She even said she was "gutted" when SIL produced the third grandson, and said "oh for a little girl" when DS2 wasn't over keen on her kissing him.
She won't remember any of that but it cut deep with me. Dreadful.

LoadsaBlusher Wed 16-Apr-14 18:14:50

I have two boys
In between both boys I lost a baby girl at 21 weeks , had to deliver her
I really wanted a girl after that, I felt it like a strong yearning or longing but realise that this could have been due to the loss. When I found out we were having another boy , healthy and bouncing at scans this time the relief and happiness was huge but that yearning for a girl is still there .
I don't know if I would feel so strongly if I hadn't had that loss... it's kind of like my missing link in the family
I don't think it's unreasonable to have felt that way , certainly doesn't mean I love my two boys any less

pommedeterre Wed 16-Apr-14 19:33:32

Aggressive much ice? Complex much? Should have known someone on mumsnet would reply in that way.

I have exposed both dds (4 and 2) to lots of outside play, parks and animal things. Dd2 likes eating and rolling in mud and dd1 is a total princess. Went to another girls house at age 2 and this girl had pink, fluffy, sparkly toys galore and that was it. Dd1 loves and wants that stuff and I think denying that seems like making a bigger deal of things than it really is. Dd2 wants the same things because her big sister has them.

In sure you are doing a much better job raising your girls. Big congrats and all that.

BrianTheMole Wed 16-Apr-14 22:58:48

Thats true pomme. I bought my dd cars, dinosaurs, trains, cars etc when she was little. I refused to entertain the idea of barbie. And I didn't buy pink. But since a friend bought her a barbie for her second birthday (I was horrified), she rapidly moved down the girl toys path and loves her pink, disney princesses and all things cute and fluffy. I figure its her choice really. Whilst she sort of still likes the cars, trains, dinosaurs etc, she didn't really play with them. When her younger brother was old enough to walk he collected all those things from her room and hid them in his. It didn't seem to bother dd. But I can see that ds enjoys those toys a million times more than dd did. His joy when playing with them is huge, and totally consuming. On the plus side though, dd is a good rugby player and will get down in the dirt, so not all is lost.

Fefifo Thu 17-Apr-14 01:32:36

We're all shaped by our own experiences.

Before having children I wanted two girls. I'm one of two girls and despite many squabbles when we were younger, as adults we are incredibly close. My sister is my absolute best friend and constant support and I am hers. I've always wanted my children to have what I've had in a sibling even before having them. We are also both extremely close to our mum. It's what I know and what I like and luckily enough for me what I got.

If I'd have had a boy first I would have wanted another boy, equally because in my experience I've known a few sisters that have remained very close as adults and a few brothers but never a brother and sister. That's not to say there probably aren't tonnes out there but that's not my own personal experience.

My preferences were based on nothing to do with any gender stereotyped notions and I can't imagine that they would have affected the love I feel for my DC regardless of what gender they turned out to be.

Sillylass79 Thu 17-Apr-14 02:15:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LettertoHermioneGranger Thu 17-Apr-14 03:40:20

It's ghastly if your child's gender will change how you treat them or love them.

I think having a preference is fine. The "I want X but as long as they're healthy" attitude.

I want both. But if I could control it, I would want boys first, and if I had to choose only one, I would want boys. I think boys are easier. I've also personally had trouble getting along with girls and women through my life; I have a few great friends, but I've dealt with a lot of drama with girls that I've never had with boys. To be perfectly honest, I'm wary of teenage girls, I have some resentment still from being bullied through my own teenage years.

Of course, I would think my own children should be different, but I still have a deep fear that I won't be able to handle girls or will have some sort of resentment for my daughters if they turn out like the pretty, popular girls who I had trouble with.

merlehaggard Thu 17-Apr-14 03:50:51

Having fertility issues (but now with 3 children) I would never find out the sex of my children and couldn't have cared less what sex they were. I just felt lucky to have them. That is what I don't like about people wanting a particular sex, is that they don't seem to realise what a gift having a child is. It seems so taken for granted that they will fall pregnant with a perfectly healthy child and then still have something to say about their ideal sex.

LetsFaceTheMusicAndDance Thu 17-Apr-14 08:04:21

I'm so glad you got through your fertility issues merle but you're wrong to assume that having a preference for gender means that people don't realise what a gift having a child is. It is very easy to feel both - and it can make the gender longing hard to deal with tbh. The guilt around longing for a gender that you don't have can be enormous because it feels like a betrayal of your own kids even if you wouldn't change a single hair on their heads and feel utterly lucky to have them.

The longing for the other gender is an additional set of feelings - it doesn't cancel other feelings out.

SirChenjin Thu 17-Apr-14 08:05:24

Merle - I went through fertility treatment too, and whilst we really didn't care what DC1 was as we were just so grateful to have a baby, that didn't stop me secretly hoping that the second child was a girl. I recognised how lucky we were to be in that position, but it didn't stop the hoping...

AMillionNameChangesLater Thu 17-Apr-14 08:13:08

I only wanted boys, even with going through multiple miscarriages. If we had a girl, we would have loved her just as much, but i was sexually abused as a child and I knew i would be more, erm, protective? That's not the right word. Even with my oldest boy I wouldn't let his grandpa (fil) bathe him. Not because I think he's in anyway dodgy, but because he might be. It was an opinion i had of all men, aside from my husband and my dad. Even my brothers. It took a lot of work to stop thinking like that about my family. I can only imagine i would have been worse if we had a girl.

the only people who knew i didn't want a girl were my husband and mom. I never told anyone else

Marylou62 Thu 17-Apr-14 08:32:10

I have always been honest about wanting 4 girls! As a child my mum said I told everyone who would listen that that 'when I grow up I'm going to have 4 girls' and I even had their names picked!! (I come from a very large family and was the only girl). Fast forward 45 years and I have DS, DD, DS. Doesn't matter a jot now and I love them all equally! I think there is nothing wrong with having a preference.. its when you act on it that its wrong. My boys know I wanted girls and one day when they were younger, they put their DSis clothes on and we had a name change..(Kizzy and Scarlette!)...Very funny... but they know how much I love them. My Parents said a cheer went round our family when I had DD as EVERYONE knew how much I LONGED for a DD. I really feel for people who know they were not wanted either because of their gender or other reasons. My DCs KNOW how much each of them mean to me (us). I am still a little sad that DD didn't have a sister.. I wanted one so badly that I cried my eyes out when DB 4 was born. My DB and I are incredibly close.

dwinnol Thu 17-Apr-14 08:47:52

I'm not bothered in the slightest if a woman wants a girl but if she actively doesn't want a girl I always feel like they are betraying their own sex. I've heard people say implying that girls are crafty or sly and born that way. hmm

Meow75 Thu 17-Apr-14 09:01:21

There are definitely more opportunities to knit for a girl!!

I'm being facetious, although it is true.

(When one of my friends announces they are pregnant with a knowing glint in their eye towards my ever present knitting, it is always items for girls that spring into my head first just because there are so many more. My mum's method of showing love was knitting.)

MyBaby1day Wed 30-Apr-14 07:46:41

I don't have a problem with them having a preference as I do have one (although in my case I plan to adopt) but if they treat them less favourably/badly once they are here that's when I think it's wrong.

I don't know why but I have a dream boy in my head and have done for years but there are times when I think a DD to go with him would be nice too but I think I can only handle one so will go for DS. I do like the 'One of Each' idea!!!. But really as cliched as it sounds, the health is the most important thing but I agree with a pp who said hoping for health and gender sometimes happens as one doesn't cancel out the other.

Louise1956 Wed 30-Apr-14 19:46:13

I have three sons and am very fond of them, but I would have quite liked it if one of them had been a girl. But I think you should be grateful for what you have got.

My sister's ex husband (now deceased), was totally obsessed with having a daughter, but ended up with six sons, four by his first wife and two by my sister. But he did eventually have some granddaughters.

I also had a friend whose mother yearned for a son, but had five daughters. But she eventually had some grandsons.

rinabean Wed 30-Apr-14 19:58:32

YABU, there's nothing wrong with wanting one or the other. I want only daughters and no not because I want pretty princesses, in fact I don't want that at all. People want to see themselves in their children, don't they? I want unfeminine women like me for children. I don't understand women who want only boys though, especially when they say it's because they're "easier" or even "better".

ZingWatermelon Thu 01-May-14 00:21:53

you want feminine women? why? what's wrong with feminine women?

if you want unfeminine children you might as well have boys (who would presumably be all alpha males)confused

ZingWatermelon Thu 01-May-14 00:22:48

ffs, dick phone

I meant do you want unfeminine women? why?

etc.

It doesn't bother me at all when people say they want one or the other. They usually change their minds anyway.

weatherall Thu 01-May-14 01:12:58

I always wanted one of each so when pg for the second time I did have a sex preference.

It would have been the same if the sexes were reversed though.

However I don't think that just because you want a boy/girl automatically means that you want them to be stereotypes.

Eg I don't buy dolls/ Disney princess for DD and I don't buy guns/ DIY type toys for DS etc etc

PrincessBabyCat Thu 01-May-14 10:53:33

My husband wanted a little girl to treat like a little princess with pink and everything. We go lucky and had a girl. I'm sure he'd be just fine with a boy, but I think he'd be a little harder on a boy than a girl. Now I have the opposite problem, I'll have to make sure she doesn't turn out to be a spoiled "daddy's little princess" type. He was talking all big about how he was going to do corporal punishment, as soon as she was born that all went out the window and he was just like "I'll send her to you for discipline". LOL, no. But that's a talk for a different day when she's older.

Anyway, I was happy to have a girl just because they have so many cute little outfits... and yes, I'm secretly hoping to do fun girly things like manicures and such. I suspect she'll be a rough and tumble girl like me though, getting her cute dresses muddy and coming in the house with snakes and bugs she caught. smile

We're trying to make sure we get her a mix of toys as she grows up, so it's not all girl things. My brother has already predetermined she will like legos, and my husband has already predetermined she'll like FPS games (again, another talk for a different day, lol).

GatoradeMeBitch Thu 01-May-14 12:52:51

I follow a few YouTube families - though I'm feeling increasingly uncomfortable about the child exploitation involved - and I was shocked at the reaction when Judy Travis was pregnant last year. They already have a little girl, and they found out they would be having twin girls. The comments section was awful - people were trying to commiserate with them, and tell them they'd get it 'right' next time. It was if the double whammy of two girls added insult to injury! (It didn't help that her husband started bleating about wanting 'his boy' when the new babies were only days old.) But you'll see a hell of a lot of sexism online when it comes to this kind of thing - and a disturbing amount of it has young female avatars attached sad

throwaway1256 Fri 02-May-14 08:03:29

I always wonder how these parents would react if their child grew up to be transgender and they didn't have their precious daughter/son anymore.

leedsgirl231 Fri 02-May-14 11:41:06

I want a boy AND a girl? why?! because I just do.
I don't really care if I have two boys
or two girls
or three girls and a boy
or two boys and two girls
they will be MY children, it's just what I want. Mother father sister brother. thats just what I would like, not what I need/want.

Igggi Fri 02-May-14 12:23:34

I had a preference, got the opposite (twice) and couldn't be happier.

Loverdose Fri 02-May-14 12:44:51

I had a girl but I honestly had no preference whatsoever. I've just split with husband and have no idea if I'll ever have another child in the future, so I know I'm lucky to have the one I have regardless of gender. smile

Thurlow Fri 02-May-14 13:00:55

Before I had a DC, I always imagined having boys. I some silly notion of strapping rugby playing teenagers vs girls who wanted to play with dolls and have their hair plaited

hmm

Now I have a DD I know it makes absolutely fuck all difference because they are who they are regardless of personality.

So I say YAB possibly slightly U for people who haven't had children yet (especially those that still live in the dream world where they'll have the baby sleeping through from 6 weeks and will do elimination communication from day one because, really, why bother with nappies?).

But YADNBU when it comes to people who already have DC.

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