10 Things Never to Say to a Mom Expecting Another Boy

It's_a_Boy  Photo Credit: Commons.wikimedi/Naoll

If there’s anything that makes me want to drop out of society completely, it’s becoming pregnant with my third child… and finding out I’m expecting another boy.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled to be having another little guy. Although in all honesty, I was shocked that nature’s supposed 50/50 coin toss had yet again dealt us the same hand, I quickly fell in love with the idea of being a mom to three boys. In fact, I feel it’s a great privilege to be the one responsible for shaping good men. (Lord knows, the world needs more of them.) The problem comes when I share my news with other people. For whatever reason, the mention of a third boy is enough to evoke people’s deepest sympathies, followed by an onslaught of verbal diarrhea which always seems to imply that having children of the same gender just plain old sucks.

Yeah, yeah, I know, I can only change myself. If I put myself in charge of retorting to every single annoying comment, I’d sink myself so deep into the bowels of bitterness and resentment that I’m afraid I’d never manage to climb out. I’d be that 80-year-old woman with whiskers they’d call “Old Man Kiera” who’d still be trying to convince people of how friggin’ great it is to have the same last name as ALL of her grandchildren. (And by the way, GET THE HELL OFF MY LAWN!)

So instead of that, I’ll just have one good vent and be done with it. Here’s hoping it’ll make other same-gendered moms feel less-tortured, and maybe even (whoops!) find it’s way onto the computer screens of a few of those darn Debby Downers.

1. “I hope it’s a girl!” It’s truly shocking how many times I still get this one, even after telling someone it’s another boy. They’ll respond by asking, through sad, squinty eyes, if I’m really sure.  I’ll tell them ‘yes’, and they’ll either move on to any of the following comments, or gently remind me that ultrasounds aren’t 100% accurate.

2. “Were you trying for a girl?” It happened most recently in a restaurant of all places, where my husband and I were out with a group of acquaintances. One of the ladies turned to me and brightly posed the question, as if she were simply asking if I was enjoying my chicken penne.

I stammered briefly, before muttering something of the fact that we weren’t actually trying per se. Then, a pause… so long and awkward that my cheeks burned red hot with the feeling of utter violation, as I imagined everyone around us having a sudden mental picture of my hubby and I, you know, “trying.”

The conversation quickly moved on, but I couldn’t help but wonder when it became appropriate to ask someone about their sex life? As if I was really going to launch in about the act of “trying”? (“Actually yes! They say that shallow penetration with no orgasm works well for getting a girl. *Turn to husband* That wasn’t hard, was it honey?” *wink*)

3. “Were you disappointed when you found out it wasn’t a girl?” Um, are you trying to make me burst into tears? Because quite honestly, I’m not sure what else you could be angling for here. It’s pretty clear that you think I should be disappointed though. I mean after two perfectly healthy little miracles, who could even fathom wanting yet another one, right??

4. “At least you won’t have to (insert pretty much anything here.)” “At least you won’t have to (buy new clothes/deal with the teenage mood swings/move to the country and purchase a shotgun)” – it doesn’t really matter what they say here. The problem with this one is at the beginning of the sentence, since I’m pretty sure any good news shouldn’t be met with an “at least.”

5. “Your husband must be SO excited.” I suppose it’s only natural to assume that dads want boys and moms want girls, but perhaps this stereotype should be kept on the down low? Call me crazy, but I tend not to like being painted as the unfortunate woman whose sole existence is based on producing a little replica of herself. I understand that some women quite desperately want girls – and yes, one day I’d love to have one too. But it doesn’t mean that I’m not equally thrilled each time we have another perfect little prince.

6. “Will you be trying again for a girl?” Enough with the verbal molestation!

7. “When I found out I was having a boy, I cried.” Really? Well then you of ALL people should damn well know better! I actually got this from a woman when heading into a public restroom. There I was just minding my own business, when I was ambushed by a stranger whose hands magnetically gripped my belly.

“What are you having?” she asked me, wide eyed.

“A boy. It’s my third boy.”

She winced. “Oh. I have two boys…”

I perked up. A teammate! An ally in this million-dollar-family world! Surely this person wasn’t about to burst my bubble. But then…

“When they handed me my second boy, I cried.”

I should say, that while I have no judgment for those who feel similar disappointment when they find out their babies’ genders, I do have a problem with the context and timing of this comment. If I had expressed some disappointment of my own, then fine, commiserate away. But I hadn’t! All I wanted was to take a pee.

8. “They say after three kids of the same gender, your body resets and you’ll have the opposite gender.” (Or any other hoodoo, superstitious nonsense.) It had been approximately ten seconds since I found out our baby’s gender when the ultrasound tech spewed out this completely unscientific rubbish. Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m the absolute worst when it comes to buying into the old wives’ tails. (Yes, I peed into the cup of baking soda and guess what it said…BOY!) But here’s the thing: Who said I was hoping for a girl? Did you somehow mistake my ear-to-ear grin for disappointment?

9. “You’re losing your femininity.” Ah yes, I’m clearly the pregnant man. (Did you catch me on Oprah a few years back?) I mean, what else could I be if all I seem to produce are tiny testosterone machines?  And come on, we all know that moms of boys drive minivans littered with stinky sports equipment, grow beards and beat up referees in their spare time.

10. “Better luck next time!” There are just no words.

To be fair, most of the people who’ve said these things weren’t trying to bring me down. In fact, a lot of them either didn’t have kids yet or were too old to remember the rawness of what it feels like to be treated like a walking baby vending machine meant to pop out whatever gender pleases everyone. So most of the time now, I do try to take it all with a grain of salt, remembering that they mean no harm.

…And other times, I lose my shit.

 Related post: 5 Pregnancy Milestones (You Won’t Find In Books)


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  1. 1

    Tinne from T&T says

    I got a lot of the same when I announced I was pregnant with a second girl. Except of course somebody told my husband he would lose his masculine side…
    Oh and if people ask if you where ‘trying for a girl’ please consider this respons: ‘well yes, but my we clearly squeezed the wrong ballsack.’ An old wives tale says you need to squeeze the left ball sack if you want a girl.

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  2. 12

    Christy Bryson says

    Just wait until you go grocery shopping with all three of them.
    The looks of pity.
    “Don’t you have your hands full?”
    “Are they all yours?”
    “Are you done trying for a girl?”

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    • 13

      SithRose says

      It doesn’t stop when you have four boys, either. I STILL get people asking me if we’re going to “try for a basketball team” or “try for a girl”. And the inevitable “Oh you poor dear.” and even “Who brought their daycare to the doctor’s office?”

      These days I just tell them that we decided that a string quartet was sufficient and watch the bafflement on their faces. Or that I wouldn’t know what to do with a girl if I had one, since I was too busy catching frogs and bugs to do girly things when I was a kid.

      (No, we aren’t going to have any more. I’m already -4 on my SAN checks as it is!)

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      • 14

        Earthmama Shelly says

        Being pregnant with my 4th boy, I can totally relate. Grocery shopping with three boys ALWAYS ends up in some random stranger asking if we’re gonna try for a girl.. And those sad looks they give you.. It’s insane!

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    • 15

      Chris says

      Oh and don’t forget, “you must have a lot of patients”.
      Really if you don’t know what to say, you don’t have to comment that I’m running through the store with my 3 little ones.

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      • 16

        Oline Wright. says

        LOL at church when living in California we decided that a baby is what God gives you when praying for patience. He doesn’t just hand patience out he gives you something to teach it to you.
        After the third boy I started praying for strength.

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  3. 17

    Kelly says

    I have only 1 child at this time and he is a beautiful, amazing fun little boy. I would be thrilled if the rest of my childeren were boys! Enjoy every minute of your houseful of bouncing boys!

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  4. 18

    Buffster says

    There are a few reasons why two is enough for me, but the thought of potentially having three girls? No thanks. I’ll have enough drama for a lifetime with the two I have.

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  5. 19

    Glumbumble says

    It’s not the women who make the boys, it’s the men. We just make the babies and provide the ‘X’ chromosome. The sperm is either a boy or girl. I think people should just keep their comments to themselves. And their hands. Just because you have a pregnant belly does not mean it’s a free for all for strangers. I hate when people ask anything to do with ‘trying’ or if you’re getting a circumcision for the boy. it’s honestly none of their business. I felt awkward enough when my husband announced we were trying to have kids to his family. Because somehow the normally very private act becomes everyone’s common knowledge.

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    • 20

      Jonathon Conte says

      Unfortunately, many people are still unaware that infant circumcision is completely unnecessary (not a single medical organization in the world recommends it) and harmful (it removes a normal, protective, and errogenous body part). While I can understand why it might seem uncomfortable or rude if a stranger brings circumcision up, one might feel compelled to do so both out of concern for the welfare of the child as well as to ensure that parents don’t make an uninformed decision that they later come to regret.

      For those who are open to learning more, check out this excellent video on the subject:

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  6. 21

    Kate Wille Murray says

    I have three girls. I get what you are saying… except everyone feels so sorry for my husband and grin at me like this is all part of my master plan. What!?

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  7. 22

    Mommy of the team says

    I have 5 sons YES 5 Sons!! I did want a girl at one point or another but now, what was I thinking! I love having all sons, and yes people are crazy with the comments. I have even got I am so sorry. What!?!

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    • 23

      Jennifer says

      Oh yes…I was looking for the “I’m so sorry” response in the list. I can’t even tell you how many times I heard that while pregnant with boy #3 and sometimes still hear it even now that he’s here and quite possibly the cutest little man I’ve ever seen!!

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  8. 26

    mama to 3 boys! says

    I always thought I wanted a girl but after having 3 boys under the age of 4 I am thrilled with having 3 boys!! They are SO much fun!!! Yes it is busy, and yes it is hard work (and everyone in the grocery store thinks they need to comment on how “full” my hands are, and “wow, are they all yours?”) but I just smile and nod. I am happy I will not be dealing with teenage girl drama, and no we will not be “trying” for a girl because the Lord gave us 3 perfectly healthy energetic bouncy boys to enjoy!!

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    • 27

      Nina Cote says

      i have 4 boys 5 and under and when i’m in the grocery store i always get “what isle did you get them in” and i usually ignore them but if i’m irritated i will tell them you think it was that easy and walk off… i hate it when people say that.. and i hate it when they say stuff like i don’t know how you do it of course you don’t your mind is closed tighter than a nuns legs so obviously you couldn’t even imagine the joy of having 4 boys… i bet no one messes with me when my boys grow up lol

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    • 28

      Andrea says

      I have 4 kids under 4 1/2. Our last one was a girl. NO, we did not try for the girl, I always wanted one of each but I also always said either no children or 4 children. I didn’t care what they were, they were all healthy and happy! I heard all these responses and its annoying, Why do people think that you’re unhappy with the gender you get just because you already have that gender? And then because the last was a girl they all think that we stopped because we got our girl, no, we stopped because we have 4 freaking kids!!!! It’s crazy, it’s busy, it’s loud, it’s fun, and I was tired! LOL! Plus they are now 10, 9, 7, 5.5 and we go through 8 4L of milk a week! Why can’t people just be happy that there’s a baby coming.

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  9. 29


    I have two boys, and I found it hard to navigate that “don’t you want a girl?” rhetoric spewed at me during my second pregnancy. To be honest, I actually wanted a second boy and it makes my heart break that someone would consider him less of a blessing because he isn’t a girl. Even if no one would say that, that is how those comments made me feel.

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  10. 30

    Amanda says

    I have 3 boys all under age 5 and I get that “don’t you have your hands
    full” etc etc all the time! Yes I have my hands full but who doesn’t
    when you have kids? And the ” are you trying for a girl ” comment drives me nuts I don’t care what the gender of the kid is as long as they are healthy

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  11. 31

    amanda doss says

    LOL I loved reading this. My husband and I have 3 boys, and I am pregnant with our 4th child, we don’t know what were having yet, I do want a girl, but as long as the baby is healthy I will be happy. When I found out our third was a boy I did look at the ultrasound tech and said “you got to be f*****g kidding me, another boy” but I was happy a few min. later LOL

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  12. 32

    Robin says

    I have three girls, and I experienced the SAME thing you’re going through. My 2nd and 3rd were twins, so I also got a lot of “I’m sorry” or “I’m glad I wasn’t cursed with twins.”

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  13. 34

    Crys says

    I agree! For a different reason. I had the opposite. Three girls. I got all those annoying comments.

    Then I had a fourth, & he is a boy. We just so happened to stop having kids after him, so everyone assumes we just kept going to get that boy. Nope.

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    • 35

      Moose says

      I know right? We always planned to have 3, regardless of what they were. Well we got 2 girls and then a boy, and everyone assumes we had 3 to get the boy.

      It’s annoying to have to keep defending my 3rd kid, like having more than 2 kids is only excusable if you were trying to get something else. And really annoying when they ask if we’re going to try for a 4th and another boy.

      That’s when I reply with “nah, I got all the plumbing out. We’re just all about the wild monkey sex now” Nothing works like a little embarrassment in return.

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  14. 36

    SusanSusan says

    I tell people that “God gives you only what you can handle and clearly, I can only handle boys.” That shuts up everyone in a hot second. Meanwhile, I am over the moon for my two boys.

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  15. 38

    Crys says

    I wanted a girl sooooooooo bad. I only had girl names picked and was just sure it was my destiny. Destiny had other plans. I have 2 amazingly, well mannered, compassionate, hilarious, boys and honestly I don’t know what I would do with a girl if I had her. I heard all of this and more when I was pregnant. I wasn’t able to have anymore children so who knows what my 3rd would have been but I am thankful and elated that I was blessed with my boys.

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  16. 39

    K.W. says

    As a mother of five (yes,5) boys ages 12-1 I’ve spent many years hearing the “oh, all boys” comments. At first I would just smile and nod, now I get downright annoyed by them. My personal favorite comment is “oh, well you wouldn’t know what to do with a girl anyway”- last time I checked I am a girl!;) Our last son, was said to be a girl, but when we got the new news, you would not believe the rude and downright mean comments from strangers. I love this article, from one all boy mom to another, thank you!

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