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Challenge: Raising Siblings

Stop asking us when we're having a boy

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I have two daughters, Hayley and Ellie. When we found out our second baby would be a girl, my husband jumped for joy, believing we’d save money by using hand-me-down clothes of the same season (which never happens).

“Do you realize we have to pay for two weddings?” I told him.

Then he freaked out a little bit. But he’s really embraced this whole girl dad thing, letting Hayley, 6, and Ellie, 3, give him makeovers on a weekly basis, keeping up with the latest Disney princesses and trying to master the art of Elsa braids.

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And in my opinion, being a girl mom truly is the best. Until my daughters make me stop, I will dress them alike on holidays and events, right down to the matching bows. I cherish the American Girl dates, dance competitions and gymnastics meets. I love that they’ll forever be my shopping partners and mani-pedi buddies. There’s truly a special bond between mothers and daughters.

But one thing I don’t love?

People who constantly ask me when I’m having a boy. It happens everywhere. At school. The grocery store. Restaurants. Basically anywhere we go as a family, we end up having the same conversation with people we just met,

“So when are you going to try for a boy?” Being White Sox fans, don’t you want a son to take to a game? “Don’t you want to coach Little League”?

Mostly, these comments are directed at my husband, as people assume he’s in some sort of fatherly denial, secretly longing for a boy.

Well, complete strangers, I’m going to speak candidly on behalf of every parent in my shoes.

Our daughters are enough.

We love our children and believe they are (more than) enough. These comments can be misconstrued to undervalue our daughters. In a world that places so much emphasis on gender equality, aren’t these types of comments taking us two steps back?

Our girls can do anything boys can do.

Hayley and Ellie love sports – both watching and playing. They run around with an insane amount of energy and build huge towers with Legos. They play catch. Ellie likes mud. They like superheroes and science experiments and their current favorite activity is the monthly building activity at Home Depot.

Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.

It wasn’t particularly easy for me to get pregnant, and comments like this remind me of that struggle I faced, often bringing up tough emotions for me.

You can’t waive a magical boy wand.

Why do people assume that poof, we’d get to just choose the gender of an additional child? We could end up with a third girl, which, in a stranger’s eyes, could lead to even more of these ignorant comments.

MYOB.

In the nicest possible way, focus on yourself and your own family. If you want to make conversation with a parent, ask about the weather, traffic … anything else. Don’t assume that when you see a parent with siblings of the same gender, they are unsatisfied.

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