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how to come to terms with not having a daughter?(35 Posts)
I am posting this here as I've tried talking about it in rl, and I am still stuck with it, and it's really bothering me. I have 2 beautiful sons, aged 3.10 and 8 months. I love them both dearly and am delighted to have 2 healthy boys. For various reasons, we are not planning any more children, but my heart is breaking at the thought of never having a daughter. It's ironic, as although I never thought I had a prefererence with DC1, when it turned out he was a boy I was delighted, as I thought I would get on great with a boy (I never thought I'm glad you're not a girl though). I truly consider having 2 beautiful boys as such a blessing, and don't understand why i keep having nagging thoughts about not having a girl. It almost feels like a part of me has died knowing it won't happen, and this feels really out of proportion logically. It really bugs me that I think about it so much. I would much rather be thinking about all the positives in my life, rather than yearning after something I can't have... I don't want to waste your time on a whinge fest, but I am just wondering if anyone has any tips on how to move on from this useless way of thinking that I have developed. thank you.
Hi everyone, thank you so much for the replies. I feel it is much more in perspective for me having read your comments and tried to edit my thoughts a bit more. It's great to be able to share my feelings with people I don't know ! I do want to repeat something from my op.... that i am so grateful for my boys and wouldnt change them for the world ( well only perhaps my ds1 whinging and procrastinating ). I don't have time to reply properly now, but I will when I can keep my eyes open (we have all been ill and very sleep deprived! ).
Hi smk85 I am a Mum of 5 boys and never Was that fussed about having a girl. After the first two my third pregnancy everyone asked if I wanted a girl next. Then after my 5th DS everyone said 'Was you trying for a girl ?' No not really. I have as many shopping trips and pamper evenings ( my 17 year old loves my clay masks) and chats about weight and clothes. I am very close to my 18 year olds gf and I dont feel cheated out of not having a girl. I hope you soon come to Terms with your feelings. Rememeber its a 50/50 chance
Redspottydress is right,
and can I just say if you have girls then likewise avoid the people who tell you that little girls are little madams/divas etc etc.
No one really talks about this in real life, but I do think a lot of it is to do with how you imagine your future. When I was pregnant with twin boys our neighbour told me how pleased she was that she never had sons, explaining that she only ever dressed her dolls as girls and how it was meant to be. I do think it is ingrained from so very early on, right from those first days playing 'house' and onto imagining family life when you buy your first house etc etc and when the reality is different it is a subconscious shock. When I went for my twenty week scan all I cared about was that they were healthy. When I was told I was having two boys I realised that I had not even considered the possibility of having two boys! I just assumed I'd have at least one girl!
The reactions and comments of others don't help either. People saying 'oh no! Not boys!' and 'rather you than me' and making comments like 'even their clothes are ugly' upon finding out was not helpful. If you have negative people around you, or people who constantly go on about how girls are calmer, kinder, more considerate than boys then don't see them for a while. You know your boys are amazing and being positive and happy with your beautiful children will help you move on.
I know how this feels. I had Ds1, was momentarily disappointed he wasn't a girl, then fell utterly in love with him and thought maybe next time. Got pregnant with DS2, had v. high risk of Downs, happened to see a pair of balls on the scan in the middle of the amnio, and was just so keen for nothing to go wrong and the baby to be healthy that I didn't allow myself to acknowledge my sadness that I would never have a daughter (I knew DP would never, ever agree to a third child). I didn't want anyone to think I didn't want Ds2. And of course I wanted him, and I welcomed him when he arrived. But now that my lovely, kind, cuddly, needy, noisy, dynamo, never-still boys are 6 and 8, and although I couldn't be without them, I still feel a loss. I only ever had a brother, and I'll only ever have sons. I'm not close to my mother, but I have fabulous female friends. I know I can only speculate on how my relationship with a daughter might have been (it might have been dreadful!!) but I do regret that I will never know. Sometimes I wish I had braved disapproval and expressed that sadness at the time instead of pretending it was all fine, because I think I wouldn't still be feeling it as keenly now. Perhaps it's that I'm now 40, and the chance of an 'accidental' pregnancy with effective contraception in place is tiny, and it's forcing me to confront the issue. It's hard. You have my sympathy.
Hi OP - I don't really have any advice but as you have seen, you are not alone in how you feel, and you sound as if you have it in perspective. I have 3 boys (youngest 21 months). I have my ups and downs with it and probably think about it more than I would admit to anyone in RL, even DH, it's just a wistful feeling. I sometimes find myself thinking "I'm going to teach my daughter XYZ..." then remembering that I'm not ever going to have one, a daughter has just been so ingrained in my idea of my family for all my life basically. I've just accepted that this is my "thing" that I'll probably always feel a bit sad about, but I absolutely don't want it to become bigger than it is (clearly there are many, many more things I could be far sadder about, I know that). I'm kind of doing both the things breadyegg says - trying not to dwell and to move on, but also acknowledging how I feel.
People can be very dismissive about this, but the feeling is real enough and for me, trying to ignore it isn't helpful and I find threads like this useful. I also get reminded of it constantly by other people's pity/negativity about having an all-boy family (which ramps up significantly in my experience when you have a 3rd). Just in the last week I've had "so, 3 boys, are you happy with that?" from a mum of 2 girls I've recently got to know - I so wish I'd thrown the question back at her, "maybe 4th time lucky eh?!", and yesterday from a woman in a shop "I've got 2 boys - I wasn't brave enough to have a 3rd in case it was another" which I thought as well as being a bit rude given she knew I had 3, was also quite sad - what does that say about them? I can't imagine ever saying that about my sons. I was so totally smitten with my first 2 that the idea of a 3rd just like them was lovely. I wanted 3 children above all (though I am now struggling slightly with the reality of 3 but that's another story!). The sad part for me isn't that I've got 3 boys, other than I'm a bit bored of boys clothes and Thomas the Tank Engine, it's that DH and I won't get to experience what it is to bring up a daughter - for better or worse. I'd feel the same if I hadn't had a son but I'd probably get less pity from strangers. As someone said upthread it's about reconciling the family you imagined with the one you have, then moving on. I think that means you maybe don't feel quite as "complete" as people who have both. I have a number of friends who have 2 boys and then a girl, or 2 girls and then a boy and say that they felt a sense of completeness with their 3rd as well as liking the novelty of having a son or a daughter for the first time. But I also know people who've said that they feel complete after 2 sons or 2 daughters. We're all different.
Ermmm.... not sure that was helpful at all, but you're not alone!
My mum desperately wanted a little girl that would wear pretty dresses and play with dolls. But she got me, a tomboy who lived in jeans and climbed trees. Her disappointment in me was made very clear and we are not close now.
My mum probably grieves for the daughter she never had too.
Who knows if you would enjoy having a daughter any more than she does? Please move on, don't have regrets.
I feel the same OP.
I have two fantastic, gorgeous, fun loving boys and wouldn't change them for the world. Likewise, I do feel sadness I will never experience the mother daughter relationship as well.
I'm pregnant with DC3 and looking forward to having a troop of 3, whether I'm carrying a boy (as I'm expecting) or a girl (I don't know yet, and undecided whether to find out or not). We are not having any more, so this is it.
There are loads of benefits to having same sex families - we told our 5 year old son yesterday that he will be getting another baby brother or sister in the summer and he said he wants a brother. I grew up with two sisters and there really is something so lovely about same sex siblings.
There's also so many combinations - lots of kids or one kids, all boys, all girls or mix etc. Each brings it's own unique experience and we can't have all of them .
I'm sorry - I've waffled on, but I'm sure it will get easier in time, as you say goodbye to the baby / toddler years too. It's not about being sad about what you don't have, but appreciating what you have. Sometimes your head has to tell your heart that.
I think the whole 'maternal grandmother is closer' thing says more about the relationship a MIL builds with her DIL than anything. Until we live in a more equal society, it is often the woman who does the wifework of organising the social life (even if both partners work full time), and it is often the woman who works part time. As such, as the paternal grandmother, you need to work a bit harder to be involved, all other things being equal. If you are nightmare MIL then you are unlikely to be a priority for the person doing the social organising, more of a 'duty engagement'.
Also, much as I love my mother and we get on, our relationship is not 'close' any more than my husband's with his mother. I think it is the personality of the families, not the gender of the child that matters.
I can kind of understand how you feel though. I have two daughters. We always imagined we would have three, but for various reasons we may well stop at two. I sometimes feel a sort of mourning for the son/daughter I might have had. It's hard to let go of pre-conceptions of what our family will look like. I think that the key is accepting it for what it is - recognising it that it is reconciling the difference between real life and our imaginings.
Zipity - You can come and do DD1's hair any time. There is screaming, wriggling, moaning. I'll happily pass her over...
But comments like:
'Perhaps you will be able to be a lovely aunt / godmother / friend to a girl instead? Just a thought'
Really, really irritate me. Being a lovely aunt, godmother or friend to a girl completely misses the point. You can be all of those things and still miss the daughter (or son) you never had, it's a totally different thing.
It's how you choose to look at it...
You can choose to wistfully wish that you had a girl. Forever look at women with their daughters, look at pretty dresses, imagine discussing boyfriends and cooking tips, etc. etc. etc.
You can choose to get on with your life, enjoy your boys, be thankful they are healthy and turning into well rounded individuals, etc. etc. etc.
I am early forties and I don't have any children. It seems that we can't. How do you imagine that feels? It's very upsetting but I have decided not to dwell on it. I am grateful that I have a very nice life and a wonderful DH. I choose to focus on the good things and the fact that we will never have to deal with teenage tantrums or uni fees!
I know my DM adores my strong handsome capable brother. My sister and I are not worshipped in the same way at all.
All you mothers of boys will be very proud of them when they tower over you in years to come.
Perhaps you will be able to be a lovely aunt / godmother / friend to a girl instead? Just a thought
Just thought I'd share that I'm feeling similar. Dh booked in for vasectomy soon and getting my head round the fact I'll never have a son, we have two
I have three girls. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to raise a son but it doesn't eat away at me. People have said things to me like 'wouldn't you like a son?' as if I can choose! I also remember a woman looking at my 2 year old dd1 and newborn dd2 and saying 'Oh dear, two girls - what a shame'
Has the way you feel come from
stupid things said by other people?
I think it's nothing more than a missed experience and that is all. Once you accept this, you can move on. I think many parents of girls also wonder about having a boy. I used to babysit for two families that both had two boys close in age then a "last try" for a girl (with a subsequent age gap of 4ish years) the boys were delightful, the girls were spoilt little madams in both cases. This was of course related to the parenting and perhaps the level of expectation that the parents had put on these girls but even so you need to get rid of the "fantasy daughter" who is perfect and exhibits ridiculous gender stereotypes - loves ballet, is quiet and enjoys crafts, will get married with a lovely white wedding and have lots of babies that she'll ask for your advice on. This girl is not real, and as others have said this "princessy" trend is constructed by parents and is damaging. My dh is one of 4 boys - my MIL would certainly have liked to have a daughter but she moved on, accepted it, and is a great mother of 4 very individual boys with really nice personalities. Acknowledge it, accept it, ditch the fantasy girl myth and move on. Don't make it into a big deal, it isn't.
What zipity said. I have 3 boys and yes I do occasionally feel like the op, and not because I don't like boys or particularly prefer girls but, insanely, because of the grandchildren thing! I think this is because I grew up in a very female oriented family, being one of 3 girls myself and my mum is definitely No 1 Granny to all her grandchildren. I think that you lose your sons when they marry or settle down with someone and I am not sure you lose a daughter in the same way, but again, I am probably basing this on my own experience. Cheer up, at least one of your ds's might marry into some hideously dysfunctional family and you can pull rank
Dh and I have bets that ds1 will turn out gay so I may be spared one daughter in law at least
And as a mother of girls i'd just like to say i adore little boys and hate that attitude spoken about upthread.
"I have days when they are being especially noisy, argumentative, demanding and I've not had a moment to myself when I feel momentarily resentful that I don't have a quiet, lovely girl"
I feel like this too, and i have two daughters
Op, its ok to feel how you do, embrace it then let it be a distant memory when you are ready to.
I have 5 sons and can't say i am all that bothered about not having any daughters. i always wanted a couple of lads, never thought i'd have 5 though!This is not to say i wouldn't have liked a girl but it really doesn't bother me that i don't have one.Believe it or not it is my husband who wishes we had a girl!
I dislike people who look at boys as a negative thing or that having sons is a negative thing. I dislike mothers of girls who think that their girls are such little angels and so much better than boys! My boys are by no means perfect but have given me so much joy, i'd never change them for the world!
Boys are so loving, I have a DS and two darling nephews and now a GS on the way. I feel blessed to be surrounded by so many healthy and gorgeous boys
We had two daughters first and my husband was desperate for a son. We bought a book called 'choosing the sex of your baby the natural way' or something like that. The ttc was hilarious. I have no idea if it helps or not though because we ended up with twins of either sex. I do remember the fear that we wouldn't have a son and feel for you.
Hi OP. I really hope that you find a way to reconcile this in your mind. Someone in my extended family is really struggling with this to the extent that she is now on anti-depressants and feels estranged from her boys. They are picking up on it and feel like they aren't good enough. It is all very sad. There may be something more at the heart of her problem but if asked this is the thing she comes back to again and again.
I don't understand this and think it's not good to burden children with expectations which are based on their sex, rather than just seeing and accepting them as the individuals they are.
My daughters are incredibly close and at the same time totally different personalities. The relationship we have with them has nothing to do with their sex/gender and it wouldn't be them any different if they were boys.
My brother has a close bond with my parents, as well as me and my sister, my husband has a close bond to his family - I think it's more how a child is raised than its sex that determines how close it will be to his or her family.
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