By Emily Harrington
It’s official. I may not use the hashtag on social media, but I am for all intents and purposes a boy mom.
I recently gave birth to our second (and final) child—a baby boy. If you’re a faithful reader, you may remember I literally dreamed of having a baby girl during my first pregnancy. Well, I caught hell for it from readers—maybe rightfully so. Because after I had my first son, my perspective completely changed. It turns out it wasn’t really that I necessarily wanted a baby girl—rather I wanted to paint baby toenails and buy pink tutus.
There is no way I would love a little girl more than I do these two boys. I’ve discovered in the end gender just doesn’t matter. The love doesn’t increase of decrease depending on their genitalia. It just doesn’t. Two pregnancies and four years more mature, I find myself the one frustrated. It’s frustrating for me when society, passersby—even family members make comments about trying for a girl next time. (And there won’t be a next time people.) Or, when I was pregnant and found out we were having a second boy, their shoulders would kind of slump like they were a tad disappointed for me. It seemed to me they were intimating the ultimate goal was to have a variety pack so that the “perfect” family picture would then be complete.
These reactions make me feel like our second boy isn’t valued as much as our first born—or if he had been a girl. The sad part is, I even find myself reacting this way when I find out someone is having their third girl or fourth boy, etc. It’s just an unrealistic, unfair reaction. You can’t control or buy this one true surprise. Gender is a crapshoot that really means nothing.
And as for having two boys.
When I was pregnant, in addition to the slight disappointment for me and question of trying for a girl, I often would hear I was going to have my hands full because I was having two boys. As if having a girl would be much easier. If you’ve met my first son, you know my hands are already full—but so is my heart so calm down. These boys may never sit down with a coloring book and draw neatly inside the lines, or they may never patiently put together a Sophia the First puzzle—but that’s OK. I’ll just have to learn about superheroes instead of princesses, and I’ll play Ghostbusters instead of Barbie Dolls. Overall, I just feel like boys get a bad rap. I have learned this—they are very different from girls. Yes, they are physical and loud and energetic and often times unfocused, but they sure are fun and enthusiastic and adventurous and curious. Plus, they make pink shirts for boys, too.
This may sound like a rant. And maybe it is. I’m a bit sleep deprived, and I’m possibly overly sensitive. It’s just that I feel a closer connection to messy little boys now, and I want to sing their praises. As for the lack of sequins, glitter, lace and overall girly stuff in my life, I can always just cover their painted toenails with Captain America socks.
Emily Harrington is a Chambana townie. She left her 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. job in communications so that she could be a 24/7 mom to two busy boys. Still interested in writing, Emily uses some of naptime to practice her passion and keep her mind right. Emily is a happy wife with a happy life because she fell for a fellow townie. Emily usually finds herself engulfed in balls, blue and belly laughs.