how to come to terms with not having a daughter?

(35 Posts)
smk84 Fri 22-Feb-13 22:05:35

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.

baskingseals Fri 22-Feb-13 22:45:28

i think how you feel is very natural. but be aware that fantasy and reality are very different. the daughter you imagine, would not be the daughter you would actually have. honestly.

she would not necessarily complete your life.

do you know why you feel like this?

grants1000 Fri 22-Feb-13 23:13:37

I think until your children become actual real little people you have proper conversations with, it's hard to see them as individuals, with their own characters and personality. For you now one is a baby, the other a toddler and of course they have this to some extent already but it's not fully developed.

I have 2 sons aged 6 & 10 and I did feel like you for a little bit but for a long time I haven't. They are both so different and similar and I get equally amazing things from both of them, so the richness of our individual relationships is immensely fulfilling and I would not even say it fills up a non-girls hole, as there was not one to fill, does that make sense?

We had a great day out today, bit of shopping, they bought Mother's Day cards in secretary, we bought shoes from H and M, sang to Gangman Style in the car on the way home, had cuddles at bedtime. No different that a day that any other parent and children may have, whatever the sex, do you see what I mean? You won't be missing anything I promise.

grants1000 Fri 22-Feb-13 23:14:59

Cards in secret not secretary! We were in paper chase!

grants1000 Fri 22-Feb-13 23:18:18

Also I had an older brother and we had a bond, but what is remarkable to witness is the brotherly bond they have between then, it's truly something unique which I am sure sisters have too, it is special to be part if and is almost magical, of course different sex siblings have a bond but the bond between just brothers or just sisters is unique

TeamEdward Fri 22-Feb-13 23:23:21

I feel similarly.
I have two amazing boys, wouldn't swap them for the world, they truly are a blessing. But I don't feel my family is complete. DH is not keen on having another child unless a girl was guaranteed and I do feel sad about that.
I wonder about the future, not having a close female relationship, someone to do girly things with (and superficially never being mother-of-the-bride!). I also think it's different when sons have children to when daughters have children - the maternal grandmother always seems to be closer.

Anyway, what I'm saying is of no help to you really, but wanted you to know your feelings aren't that unusual.

HarrietSchulenberg Fri 22-Feb-13 23:27:49

I have 3 boys and I honestly considered that I would ever have anything other than a girl before ds1 was born. I'm not going to be having any more and although it does make me sad that I won't have a girl I've come to realise that I probably wouldn't be a brilliant mother to girls as I'm not terribly girly myself and, as my whole personality is fairly "male", I'm probably more suited to bringing up boys. At least that's what I tell myself!

Zipitydooda Sat 23-Feb-13 00:02:24

I have 3 boys and have/do feel similarly to you at times. It drives me mad too. I feel so blessed with my 3, I can easily make myself cry thinking about how much I love them and how lucky I am to have them for so so many reasons.

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; but she is a fantasy girl, always dressed in lovely girls clothes that I choose, having chats, me doing her hair.

I get annoyed when I receive children's clothes catalogues (esp Boden and Vertbaudet) with pages of beautiful girls stuff and boys boring beige and stripes filling a few pages at the end. I get annoyed when the girls at nursery all have princess parties and don't invite the boys. Gender division and the promotion of princessness at this age worries me for its impact on children's (both genders) emotional development and values and it is usually instigated by the mothers of girls. Boys seem to have mixed gender parties.

In my experience society is very negative about boys. Young girls even seem to be bought up to be negative about boys. It's very rare for people, upon finding out I have 3 boys, to say something positive. Usually I get comments about how hard/noisy/messy it must be or how I must be sad that I don't have a girl. Or just the eye raise and "3 boys!" comment. I think I must have absorbed this into my unconcious and that is why I still carry the sadness; all those comments about being the mother in law rather than the mother of the bride, the expectation of not having such a close relationship with your future grandchildren; these are all fantasies too that we have all been bought up with so they are so ingrained.

I do hope my sometimes sadness about not having a daughter will disappear eventually. I am trying to be a cheerleader for boys/sons and try to always point out their positives, of which there are many. I am mindful of the men I would like them to develop into and I try to nurture their characters and abilities and their self-esteem in a well rounded way. They really are fabulous and seeing the boy gang together (on a good day) is magical and makes my heart soar with pride and love.

mummy2benji Sat 23-Feb-13 09:13:13

I think a lot of mums only start to get the positives from a mother-daughter relationship once she is close to exiting her teens - a lot of mums can spend their daughter's entire teen years having emotional arguments and battles and wondering how it could all be such hard work. If you bring your boys up to be good respectful men with honourable values then you may find yourself with two lovely daughters-in-law with whom you can still have that female bond. I am sad to say that I never really shared a close relationship with my mum as I felt criticised growing up and always sub-standard, but I have a very close relationship with my mother-in-law. We lived near my in-laws for a time and would meet for lunches and shopping and it was so nice. We don't live near to them currently, but hope to move back in that direction again. I think of her as a mum figure and I know she thinks of me as another daughter.

As a mum you can still have a wonderful close relationship with sons, without that competition element that can exist between two females. I think nothing is ever as cut and dried as it seems on paper - a daughter wouldn't guarantee you the lovely relationship you are currently mourning, just as a son won't mean you can't have that. x

Bonsoir Sat 23-Feb-13 09:17:03

I know masses of two-boy families where they have gone on to have a daughter, using diets/IVF/voodoo/whatever to ensure the much-desired DD came along.

WidowWadman Sat 23-Feb-13 11:07:19

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.

LovelyMarchHare Sat 23-Feb-13 11:15:43

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.

Good luck.

morescribbles Sat 23-Feb-13 18:41:08

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.

baskingseals Sat 23-Feb-13 20:01:20

op - are you okay?

Chottie Sat 23-Feb-13 20:06:28

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 smile

mumof5boys13 Sat 23-Feb-13 21:42:29

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!

itsakindarabbit Sat 23-Feb-13 21:49:53

"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 grin

Op, its ok to feel how you do, embrace it then let it be a distant memory when you are ready to.

itsakindarabbit Sat 23-Feb-13 21:52:59

And as a mother of girls i'd just like to say i adore little boys and hate that attitude spoken about upthread.

crazy88 Sat 23-Feb-13 22:54:50

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 grin

Dh and I have bets that ds1 will turn out gay so I may be spared one daughter in law at least grin

Tolly81 Sun 24-Feb-13 10:36:33

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.

perceptionreality Sun 24-Feb-13 10:41:44

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?

sherzy Sun 24-Feb-13 10:42:00

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

jetstar Sun 24-Feb-13 10:42:52

Perhaps you will be able to be a lovely aunt / godmother / friend to a girl instead? Just a thought smile

Astelia Sun 24-Feb-13 10:45:10

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.

breadyegg Sun 24-Feb-13 10:54:17

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.

Or

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!

Zipitydooda Sun 24-Feb-13 14:05:45

Sorry jetstar

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.

AmandaPayne Sun 24-Feb-13 14:21:25

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...grin

sheeplikessleep Sun 24-Feb-13 14:22:55

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 grin.
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.

MewlingQuim Sun 24-Feb-13 14:35:48

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. hmm

Who knows if you would enjoy having a daughter any more than she does? Please move on, don't have regrets.

minimuffin Sun 24-Feb-13 17:38:36

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!

Biscuitsneeded Sun 24-Feb-13 22:39:03

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.

redspottydress Mon 25-Feb-13 16:00:57

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.

itsakindarabbit Mon 25-Feb-13 16:17:02

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.

gingeme Mon 25-Feb-13 16:20:30

Hi smk85 smile 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 wink

smk84 Mon 25-Feb-13 22:30:45

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 grin). 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! ).

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