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To get upset by people's gender preferences for girls

(227 Posts)
roweeena Thu 02-Jan-14 04:34:53

So everyone seems to want girls. A couple I know we're very happy to find out they were having a girl 'as that's what they really wanted'. SIL has been congratulated in having girl and when she found out everyone was so excited.

Whereas I have two DS, DS2 is 12 weeks and I'm possibly a bit hormonal and over sensitive but people have actually asked me if I'm disappointed, when I'm going to try again for a girl and have told me that girls stay closer to their mums whereas boys you have to deal with DIL.

Why are boys seen as second rate and why do people seem to be disappointed I have two DS. I love them so much and can't wait to see what type of men they grow into.

I'm just getting annoyed with other people responses

IndiansInTheLobby Thu 02-Jan-14 07:32:41

Op, I had a load of comments about it as well. I also get lots of 'girls sleep better', 'girls sit and listen', 'your son will leave one day whereas girls stay' blah blah. I have a gorgeous son and just ignore. I think sometimes the happiness at a girl is as shallow as having a mini me to dress up. Nothing wrong with that btw if that's what floats your boat.

blackandwhiteandredallover Thu 02-Jan-14 07:37:35

This is something I only ever hear about on MN. Honestly. As the mother of 2 girls I can tell you the comments go both ways- it is not some campaign against boys! And usually it's just something to say, there is no deeper meaning.

Chattymummyhere Thu 02-Jan-14 07:51:41

I wanted a girl as I was scared of having a boy and looking after a boy, my dh wanted a boy and to do it the proper way boy then girl.

We had our scan and boy.. I was a little hm ok but that was because I had convinced myself it was a girl and hey I know what to do with girls, I love my son and his great fun and lovely character.

My next was a girl and I so admit when I saw no boy bits on her scan I was very excited but she is hard work.

I wouldn't change them I will was silly and scared, and love watching them play.

I have been guilty of asking a friend if she was going to have anymore or of she would of liked to have a girl I ment no harm in it, it was a general question and at the time I only had a boy.

I think at 12weeks post giving birth your just still very emotional about what appears to you as people being unhappy with your new son.

Sianilaa Thu 02-Jan-14 07:58:46

I'm sure the comments go the other way too, if you only have girls. But as a mother of two DSs, YANBU. The comments are awful. Even recently we went on holiday with good friends who have two DDs. The hurtful comments came thick and fast, "I'm SO glad I don't have any boys!" being the gem I remember best. It made me feel very angry, there's nothing wrong or bad about boys or having sons. Nor is there anything wrong with my boys in particular! It's just that mine liked being active and doing things, whereas hers sat still and coloured in for two weeks and she wouldn't let them do anything that would make their pretty dresses dirty. The girls thing is probably all about dressing them up and painting their nails like dollies.

I think, you're happy to get what you're given but it doesn't stop people opening their mouths before they have thought about what's going to come out of it!

PoppySeed2014 Thu 02-Jan-14 08:08:33

Op, yanbu at all. I'm pregnant with my second boy and have had a LOT of comments about it being a shame not to have a girl (this will be my last pregnancy).
With such a tiny baby, you are also probably being over sensitive because the protective instincts are SO overwhelming aren't they!
But I hear you. I've experienced the same.

The only time I wished I was having a girl was when my sexist pil said they definitely wanted me to have another boy. Grrr.... (They're from a culture where boys are prized)

I bet your boys are lovely and delicious and will grow up to be kind, good men. Congratulations! fsmile

curlew Thu 02-Jan-14 08:11:37

Nice to see the balanced redressed a bit.

MsJupiterJones Thu 02-Jan-14 08:13:00

Intrigued by boy then girl being the 'Proper way' chatty! But I think you have raised an important point: MN and a lot of parenting chat is dominated by women, who are more likely (rightly or wrongly) to have envisioned a daughter in their lives. Biologically we want to replicate ourselves and emotionally we want to replicate the positive relationships we have experienced. (This is obviously not universal but often the case)

I agree with other posters that we are also meant to buy into the spa days 'n' shopping stuff and that girls have been given this reputation of being easier but I think if these conversations were dominated by men, we would see a lot more admissions that they had dreamed of having a boy 'to play football with' - despite this being illogical and them knowing this.

CeliaLytton Thu 02-Jan-14 08:19:04

Congratulations on your new baby!

Many people, particularly the older generation IME, think it is the aim to have one of each. Friends with more than one boy or girl are constantly asked if they will try for another of the opposite sex!

My personal experience is that girls are more desired than boys, but it is not possible that many women want what they know, in the same way men want a boy because they feel that they would be able to relate better? Doesn't mean they won't be just as delighted with any baby, but that they have a natural preconception of a sex they might be better able to guide and understand as they grow up.

Frusso Thu 02-Jan-14 08:21:16

Comments go the other way too. Especially when you have 2 of one sex and are pregnant.

RobinSparkles Thu 02-Jan-14 08:21:49

See, the Spa and shopping days thing annoys me.

I know someone who had a girl after two boys. She updated her Facebook status:

Having some girly time doing some girly shopping with DD! smile

Sod off! She's three months old, you fool!

My DD1 would rather stick pins in her eyes than go shopping and I would rather stick pins in my eyes than have a spa day. Strangers touching me? No thanks!

curlew Thu 02-Jan-14 08:22:51

My late grandmother in law used to talk about my sil's boy then girl vry approvingly as a "pigeon pair". No idea where the term came from. But I can see how in times past parents might be pleased to have a boy first so that if the parents died any subsequent girls wouldn't be left "unprotected". That sort of cultural idea goes deep and takes a long time to die.

Lifeisaboxofchocs Thu 02-Jan-14 08:22:53

I played it cool when I was pregnant with dc2. Said I was totally easy about gender. I already had a DS. In reality though, I was desperate for a girl and was over the moon when dd1 was born. I did experience a small feeling of 'loss' though for a boy though.

It wasn't so much the girl per se, it was the fact that we wanted one of each. So far, so different, and and so wonderful.

Grizzley, I do exactly the same. Whisper in their ears that they are my best friend.

Longtalljosie Thu 02-Jan-14 08:28:29

If you have a second girl though you do get asked if you're disappointed / will you have a third and try for a boy etc. DH has always wanted 3 and this conversation happens a lot:

- Is two your lot then?
- For me yes but DH would like a third - we'll see
- Ah - he wants a boy then

SoupDragon Thu 02-Jan-14 08:30:28

I think if you had two girls you would get tge same comments, it's not one sex that is seen as tge ultimate goal, it's one of each.


If you'd had 2 girls you would have the same type of comments.

NigellasGuest Thu 02-Jan-14 08:40:48

I have 3 girls and people seemed positively sorry for me when DD3 was born!

sashh Thu 02-Jan-14 08:51:41


What these people see as their future with being close is pure fantasy, no one knows how close they will be to their children in the future.

I live about 100 miles from my mother, my brother is another 400 miles further away but he is the one my parents see more often.

My brother has always been closer to my mother, they share a sense of humour and have a similar outlook on life and my mum loves her DIL.

We are spoiled rotten in this county in the 21st century. We know what sex our baby will be and we know in advance of a lot of health problems before birth.

When my mother was carrying me she was exposed to rubella, she then had to go another 7 months not knowing whether I would die at birth, be born deaf and/or blind or with other medical problems.

The old adage of 'I don't care what I get as long as it's healthy' was very much alive and well in the late 1960s, when do you hear that now?

Catsize Thu 02-Jan-14 08:53:15

I am pregnant with second child and lots of people assume we want a daughter as we already have a son. I find this very strange - we would just like another child!

frankie4 Thu 02-Jan-14 09:00:43

YANBU. I have 2 ds's and agree about the preference for girls. I have been a bit upset sometimes that I will never have a dd but I have never regretted my ds's. I had a bad time with friends as a teenager and think that if I had a dd I might be tainted by my experiences.

I have had a lot of comments over the years. Eg My DM saying that my SIL is always lucky (she had ds then a dd), my other SIL saying that dd's are better than ds's etc. The general view at the school gate is that girls are better than boys in all ways, behaviour, academically, as a friend to their DM etc. There is a definite preference for girls.

But when I see a mum walking along with her older ds's, often taller than her, I can't wait and I am just excited about the future with my ds's.

dustarr73 Thu 02-Jan-14 09:01:31

5 boys here and the crap ive heard.Seriously the way people talk-you would swear you could choose the sex.Its potluck really.On my 5th i was in having my scan and the nurse asked what i had and then when she told me it was another boy.She tilted her head and looked sad.
I said great another boy ive loads of clothes to hand down.Save me a fortune.

I think people say stupid stuff to fill airtime,i dont think they realise how stupid and patronising they sound.

Foxeym Thu 02-Jan-14 09:02:02

I have 2 girls age 12 and 15 and never wanted a boy although people insisted that I did?? Then I had surprise DS1 10 weeks ago and can't imagine not having him. The girls are fantastic with him and I'm looking forward to doing more 'boy' things after years of hair and girly stuff so for me it was a case of you never know what you want until you get it smile

BR44 Thu 02-Jan-14 09:03:47

I don't think YABU OP. But at 12 wks you're justifiably defensive and emotional. I was too after my DS2 was born. He's now 8 mnths and DS1 is 3.4.

I think most of the problem stems from the fact that a lot of people think they can decide what their children will be like before they're even born. Our ideas about 'sons' and 'daughters' as opposed to children are becoming way too polarised I think. I'm sure that toys, books, clothing etc are far more gender-targeted than they used to be when I was young (and I'm only in my thirties) and the steady drip effect of this is quite corrosive. Most people out there are far from stupid, I'm not saying they are, but when we are bombarded with crap from the pink and blue corners it's easy to unconsciously buy into the idea that girls will grow up neat and tidy and do well at school and be polite and make us proud and boys will loudly demand nerf guns and pull hair at playgroup and struggle with academic subjects. Okay, this is overstating it but this is broadly true I think. I saw gender-targeted cookery books the other day and almost screamed in the middle of Tesco. Why exactly should my kids (with willies) eat chicken burgers and my friend's kids (sans willies) eat strawberry cheesecake???? Lunacy. And potentially quite damaging. Ok, so me and my friend walked past grizzling and laughing about it and it's not the end of the world but it also left me a bit depressed. My DS1 and her DD1 are temprementally very similar, like almost all the same games and toys and I hope will stay good friends as they get older. And for what it's worth, she is considerably louder and bolshier!!

I freely admit I would have liked DC2 to be a girl. For no reason other than I had a boy and I would have liked a girl. But when I found out he wasn't I gave myself a good talking to re all the above and now I really can't believe I was ever bothered with gender. Once you get to know your own children it highlights how irrelevant it is. And you know what? I did once say to my cousin, who had just had her second boy, 'oh, are you tempted to try for a girl?'. If I could go back and un-say it or tell my younger, childless self what a moronic, offensive and downright rude thing it was to say then I would. But actually sometimes people just say silly things to fill the airspace and they shouldn't be taken too seriously.

Enjoy your boys OP. My eldest is currently explaining to his younger brother why turntable ladders on fire engines are better than plain ladders. Soon he will accuse him of stealing said fire engine (true) when he's too little to play properly (getting less true by the day) and it's likely to end in a clonk on the head and tears. Boys, eh? But that's another thread...

thegreylady Thu 02-Jan-14 09:07:27

My dd has two boys who are the most sweet and loving children you could hope to meet. There was a hope for a girl second time just to have one of each but if dc1 had been a girl they would have wanted a boy.
My feeling fwiw any child is a precious privilege and each brings his/her own love to the world. Gender preferences are pointless and a bit daft.

pinkandlilacspring Thu 02-Jan-14 09:08:50

My daughter turned one last month, I have to admit I was so relieved when she was a girl. I had a preference for a girl from the start but fixated so much on actually getting pregnant that gender fell by the wayside. I will get absolutely flamed for this, but I had nightmares about having a boy, I really, really felt strongly about having a girl.

Am pregnant again now and due in march and this time I'm not bothered, as I've got a daughter so a son would be nice but I'd also love two little girls. It is nice to be able to enjoy my pregnancy this time, I would have been upset if I'd only had sons. There's a woman I see doing the school run in the morning with five boys and I always feel a bit sorry for her.

Ohfuckeryitsmarzipan Thu 02-Jan-14 09:11:04

I already had pfb son when I had dts. Fil reaction "more boys!" Don't know if it was meant to be lighthearted (he had 3 boys, only one niece and 2 dgs) but I was fuming. I love my ds and when I was having surprise number 4 I didn't actually believe obs when he delivered dd. I hadn't chosen a girls name. But love them all (sometimes)

dozeydoris Thu 02-Jan-14 09:11:50

I think mothers who have had 2 DCs of the same sex are more likely to go on to have a third than mothers who have had one of each.

I wonder if there are any stats.

I don't think I've known anyone who wanted all of one sex (not uk culture anyway!)

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