As a mom of all girls, I'm used to seeing this expression when I announce I'm pregnant with yet another girl:
It's the underwhelmed, slightly sympathetic look of someone who assumes I was heart-set on having a boy. And obviously, if I'm not pregnant with a boy, I must be brutally disappointed.
My husband and I never felt that way. We always wanted a large family, and were excited to find out we were expecting again, no matter the baby's gender. In fact, after a while, it became easier to have more girls. We already had all the stuff, and knew what to expect.
Society never agreed with us. I became accustomed to the questions of strangers about our family, such as, "You don't have any boys?" Or "All girls?" I often thought, "Master of the obvious much?"
My husband got "Are you going to try for a boy?" He would also be at the receiving end of seemingly-concerned randoms who consoled him for having to live with his daughters...and no boys! The horror, I know.
Well, people who were traumatized by us not having a boy, can rest easy now. Because I am currently pregnant with a boy. And when I tell folks, this is the expression I see:
Everyone is overjoyed we are having a boy. And relieved. I'm seeing fist-bumps and happy dances. It's a bit, well, ridiculous. Why is it so much better to be pregnant with a boy? I don't get it. Are people behaving this way simply since we have a house full of girls? Or is there more behind their reactions?
Am I witnessing remnants of some antiquated belief that boys are somehow superior to girls? Like, phew, now we have someone to carry on the family name! Is having a boy still a status symbol? A son! A strapping young man brings honor to our house! He can play football. And become President. I don't think I'm crazy for detecting an undertone of sexism in how people behave upon finding out we are having a boy.
Their reactions don't change how my husband and I feel, though. We are just thrilled to be getting ready to welcome a healthy baby. No matter how over-the-top relieved/excited everyone else seems to be about the fact that we are finally having a boy.
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