Ask Scary Mommy is Scary Mommy’s advice column, where our team of “experts” answers all the questions you have about life, love, body image, friends, parenting, and anything else that’s confusing you.
This week… What do you do when it feels like people can’t stop, won’t stop asking you if you’re “trying for a boy” because you have two girls? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Scary Mommy,
My partner and I have two daughters, ages three and one. My husband comes from a huge family — he’s one of four siblings, and each of his siblings has between three and five kids. We always knew we wanted two kids, only two kids, so help us God. We’re perfectly happy with our daughters, they’re amazing. We’re not really big on focusing on the sex of babies in general (we skipped out on the whole “gender reveal” crap because it’s dumb AF), but we’re both really happy to have two happy, healthy girls. Our family, some friends, and even some acquaintances can’t stop, won’t stop asking us if we’re ever going to “try for a boy” next time. Which is honestly so insulting to our existing children, and absolutely no one’s business! But a lot of people ask us this repeatedly, and it makes us so uncomfortable.
“Trying for a boy” is not something anyone needs to worry about unless you’re a curmudgeonly member of the British nobility who’s worried about passing a title to a male heir. Full stop. You get this, your husband gets this, and it’s a damn shame that several other people refuse to get it.
It’s nothing short of incredulous that so many people lack boundaries when it comes to pregnancy, fertility, and the number of children in any given family. There’s nothing wrong with having two daughters. There is nothing wrong with having a son. No one can control what type of genitalia children will be born with, so the fascination with said genitalia and all of the preconceived notions surrounding it are just…ugh. Why. WHY.
The quickest way to put this to bed is to be direct. And since the people asking you about “trying for a boy” are direct, I give you full permission to feel exactly zero guilt in answering them honestly.
THEM: “Awww, two girls! Are you guys going to try for a boy?”
YOU: “Nope! We’re perfectly happy and content with the two great kids we’ve already got.”
THEM: “But wouldn’t you love to have a son and enjoy [insert dumb gender stereotype here]?”
YOU: “Nope! We’re perfectly happy and content with the two great kids we’ve already got. But since you’re apparently not, I’m going to ask you why that is?”
One good trick for uncomfortable situations where you knows someone is overstepping, or clearly in the wrong, is to turn the questioning back on them. Most of the time, they can’t respond. Or, if they can, they know it’s wrong so they’ll change the subject or ignore it.
Best of luck. Stay safe this holiday season.