My first son had barely evacuated my womb before the deluge of questions regarding my desire for a girl began. As any parent of a newborn can attest to, having another child is the last thing on your mind. And, after a few weeks of barely sleeping and minimal showers, you have a hard enough time coming up with a rational excuse for having your first child, let alone worrying about the next one.
With time (and sleep), my husband and I decided to plunge into parenthood for the second time. As we did with our firstborn, decided to keep the gender a surprise until the baby was born. We thought having a girl would be awesome and having another boy would be just as awesome. We just wanted a healthy child.
Not everyone shared the same thought. “I hope it’s a girl,” they would say, as if having another boy would be the worst thing that could happen.
I guessed our second child would be a girl, and I was wrong. My husband, who delivered the baby in an emergency home birth, assured me that there were in fact male genitalia between our son’s legs. We now had two boys.
Try as the might to hide it, I can see the disappointed looks on people’s faces as they say they were hoping for a girl. Then there are those who say, “maybe next time,” suggesting that perhaps my husband and I didn’t try hard enough to produce female offspring.
We don’t know if we will have another child, and if we do, there’s obviously a good chance it will be another boy. We could have five, 10 or 15 children, and they could all be boys. And that would be okay. Our family would be just as good as a family with both boys and girls, all girls, or just one child. We will love our kids no matter their gender, and won’t be distraught if we don’t have a daughter.
I’m not sure when it was decided that you had to have at least one boy and one girl. As if having children were akin to flipping through a furniture catalog and choosing matching end tables. Is your parental life incomplete until you have both genders?
You don’t need to fulfill some arbitrary societal expectation of what a family should be. These are children, not prizes to be collected from a cereal box. You are not a failure if you don’t have the “right” genders, the “right” number, the “right” age range, or any other “right” thing. Whether you choose to have one child or 15, have them biologically or adopt, or decide to not have children at all, your family is complete when you say it is complete.