Pregnancy is a joyous time—a time of celebration in anticipation of a precious new life preparing to enter the world. Right? Right?! Please assure me that this is the case, because the people around me seem to have lost that lovin’ feeling.
You see, I’m having a boy. And not just any boy but my third boy.
I can see the sad, sympathetic eyes now. Apparently having another son is cause for disappointment and consolation, for uncomfortable smiles as I’m awkwardly patted and reassured that it will be OK. Only, I’m not disappointed. It’s quite the opposite in fact. We are absolutely thrilled to be having our third son.
So why is everyone else not happy about the sex of my unborn child?
Whatever people’s reasons, I’d prefer to be left out of their pity party. And I hope that others can keep their personal opinions to themselves—or at least out of earshot—when they ask about my baby’s gender. Consider these comments made by my family, friends, and acquaintances as a guide to what not to say to a mother expecting another boy:
1. Aww, that’s OK, sweetie.
Thanks for reiterating the obvious while insulting me at the same time. I know it’s OK. It’s actually a million times better than OK. It sounds like you’re forgiving me for a mistake I didn’t make. And don’t call me “sweetie.”
2. Don’t worry, the next will be a girl!
I’m not worried, and there will be no next. This isn’t a lottery ticket. We don’t hope to “win” a girl next time. But thank you for implying that my son is a losing hand before he is even born.
3. Were you trying for a girl?
Nope. Good thing, too, or else this question might lead to a rather awkward conversation. Not that it’s any of your business. How does one try for a girl anyway? Does it involve eating lots of sugar and spice and everything nice?
4. Sons love their mothers.
That’s great. I was seriously a bit worried about that, but you’ve now set my mind at ease. Imagine a lifetime spent raising a child who doesn’t love you! I hope that daughters love their mothers too.
5. You’ll be the queen of the house!
I must admit that this does have a nice ring to it. But rest assured that I would reign queen whether I was having a boy or a girl, and that my reasons for procreating extend beyond simply birthing little minions to wait on me hand and foot (mostly).
6. You have to go for a girl!
I don’t have to do anything—and certainly not the nine months of hell that are my pregnancies followed by a lifetime of responsibility—to bet on a girl. We’re not talking about whether or not we should order dessert here. This isn’t grounds for caution to the wind, YOLO, and all the rest of it. This is a life, and sorry, I’m not going to “go for it” simply to get another gender.
7. Moms of boys are special.
Special how? Is there an exclusive area of heaven reserved only for us? Thanks for your thinly veiled attempt at consolation, but I felt perfectly special already.
8. At least they’ll get to share clothes.
Well, that’s a relief! Potentially not having the ability to share clothing was the primary reason we waffled on having a third in the first place. What if we had a girl? Never mind skyrocketing costs for child care and college. Would we have to buy new clothes? For the record, any girl of mine would be wearing the same jeans and T-shirts as her brothers.
9. Wow—three boys will keep you busy!
No shit. Thanks for the pearls of wisdom. My guess would be that three children of any gender would keep a mother on her toes. But I guess “two boys and a girl” or “two girls and a boy” doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily.
10. You can look forward to granddaughters.
I sure can. I can sit in my recliner, journaling, and pining away for said future granddaughters, while my three sons are wreaking havoc around me. I can look at them wistfully, wishing that at least one of them was a girl instead, and miss the joys of their entire childhoods in the process.
Let me be clear. I’m over the moon to be having another boy. He is as wanted and celebrated as the first two. Maybe even a teensy bit more, as I already have a taste of what to expect. I’m not disappointed in the slightest, not crying myself to sleep over an unfulfilled dream of having a girl, and certainly not strategizing my next move to “finally get the girl.”
So please just be happy for us. Rejoice with us. And keep a lid on any condolences you may be tempted to share.
This article was originally published on