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

(117 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.


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

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


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 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

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


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.

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