I recently got asked by a friend who has two boys and is pregnant with their third child, how to handle the news if it’s a boy again and the emotions that go along with it, and how to deal with the disappointment, and then the guilt followed by being disappointed in the first place.
Those who are moms or moms-to-be understand what an emotional roller coaster pregnancy can be on it’s own even without any complications, but we also know that we all dream about what the baby may look like, will she or he have your eyes or the dad’s hair? will she be a girly girl or a tom boy? will he play rugby one day or prefer to have his head buried in books? The sex of your baby is a big deal too, whether we admit it or not, although we like to smile and say we don’t care as long as he or she is healthy and has ten fingers and ten toes. Now let’s be honest with ourselves for a moment, even before we’re parents or even pregnant we dream about our future family, we all have our little hearts set on either the little boy or girl of our mommy dreams – a girl to brush and style her hair, to have a yourself a little mini-me, to take shopping for matric ball and wedding dresses, or a boy who looks just like his dad, to squish and squeeze and get kisses and hugs reserved only for mom, to watch him play his first soccer, cricket or rugby game.
I have three boys (as the title of my blog says) my eldest son Caleb is eight years old, Craig our little mister in the middle is three years old and our baby Joel celebrated his first birthday a couple of months ago (1 September 2016).
Well in answer to the question my friend asked, I explained that I completely understood what she meant, when I was pregnant with Joel, we had our heart sets on having a little girl and we really believed that God would be blessing us with some pink, we even bought one or two little girl newborn dresses, I really in my heart of hearts believed it was a girl. When we found out it was a boy we were disappointed (as embarrassed I am to even say that) although it’s a little more complicated than just that, going to the 21 week scan we were so nervous, the sonographer asked if we wanted to know the sex and both my husband and I said a resounding “yes!” she moved the ultrasound probe a bit and very confidently announced “Congratulations you’re having a boy!” my heart sank for a second and the very next moment as Jonathan and I turned to look at one another we didn’t need the words to communicate our shared split-second disappointment followed by pure joy as we watched our son on the screen.
From what I just said about how desperately we wanted a girl it may be a little hard to understand how we were now so suddenly thrilled about having a boy, well it’s that simple and it’s also not at the same time, it’s that simple because as a mom and as a dad, my husband and I realized that actually the fact that we’re having a baby is the important part. In that single moment of our hearts betraying our minds we were once again were reminded that God knows us even better than we know ourselves and that was why were totally thrilled (and even surprised at ourselves) that we we’re having another little boy! It didn’t end there however, we still had to share the news with Caleb, who desperately wanted a sister… and when we told him he burst into tears because he was confident that he was getting a little sister this time since he already had a baby brother Craig. Although soon after Caleb started getting excited we took him to go pick out some boy outfits for his new brother and it was him who chose the name Joel from a short list that Jonathan and I had made. So we all had a little bit of disappointment at first but it very quickly turned into excitement and joy, we could now start to picture the little baby in our minds more clearly, he had a name and we excitedly awaited his arrival.
While I feel confident about the fact that I was just meant to be a mom of boys and looking back Jonathan and I can’t really believe how convinced we really were that we wanted a girl, because we can’t imagine life any different or without our three boys, it also affirms that God knows what he’s doing even when we don’t understand it.
In my experience we’re always getting asked, upon hearing that we have three boys, if we’re going to try for a girl, although jokingly – as if my boys are not good enough (if I may dare to say), I usually playfully reply “what if it’s another boy?” although from their joking and playful conversation and also the question from my friend, it definitely got me thinking.
Only God knows what my and my family’s future hold but having said that, my husband and I are probably not going to have any more kids – but even if we did whether they were boys or girls wouldn’t be of any substance. My children may all be boys, but boy oh boy are they different!
Caleb is quiet natured and shy at first but very talkative once he get’s to know you, while he was a very well behaved toddler he had to learn to greet people and other pleasantries that society expects from us, he’s not generally affectionate but loves a good cuddle with his mommy, he frowns and pulls his face when I baby him in public but will jump at the chance to be carried, he doesn’t like walking so is not a fan of a shopping mall unless he gets to ride in the trolley. He also plays on his own very contentedly but loves playing with others too and is an awesome big brother but letting them in his room and around his toys especially his LEGO took some getting used to. He was the type of baby and toddler that would play quietly and peacefully at a table in a restaurant and wasn’t a mischievous toddler at all. He’s strong willed and really challenges me as a mom and makes me realize that I need to rely on God and draw my supermom powers from Him.
Craig is boisterous, always bouncing around, my wild child, he’s chatty and friendly with everyone he meets, he’ll hand out hugs and kisses, greets absolutely everyone and points out when others don’t return the same to him, he loves being around lots of people and will gladly share anything he has. He’s a very mischievous little guy and so we have to keep everything locked or closed or way up high – yet that doesn’t always stop him as he’ll climb onto anything to get what he wants. I have him to thank for my fitness as I’m always running after him, he hates being in a pram or trolley and will much rather walk or run free.
Joel is developing his own little quirks and we’re discovering what he likes and how he reacts to those things, we’re already finding out that he is very clear on what he does and does not like in terms of food. Although he can’t speak yet, he knows how to communicate well. As a third child and learning from his older brothers he started throwing tantrums at about 9months old, he can be a little cranky when he wakes and won’t always go to just anyone but definitely has a special bond with his grandparents especially my mom since he’s home with her when I’m at work. He’s just started walking so loves to be on the move especially chasing after his brothers, he loves to dance and pulling Craig’s hair and occasionally tries to bite him. He loves wrestling and climbing over Craig and Caleb when they’re playing on the floor and definitely knows how to play cars with them.
So why do people always ask that if we’re going to try for a girl the minute they hear we have three boys? As if implying that by not having a daughter we’re somehow incomplete or having only sons is not good enough? Why is it that some say they just want the pigeon pair and then they’re done, and then add that if it’s another of the same sex as the first they’ll try again – I guess what I’m getting at is that we live in a society that so centered on choice and more so on control, that automatically the first response to “I have three boys” is “are you going to try for a girl?” I know most don’t mean anything by it though, I’m just saying. I am a mom of boys and I love it! But I’m sure I’d have loved it just as much if we had all girls or a mixture of boys and girls. The important thing is to try my best to be the best mom I can be and I am by no means perfect and I make mistakes and will continue to do so, but thankfully I serve a graceful God, who I can rely on in testing times and when my kids push me to the limit and who’s mercies are new every morning.
So to those who have all girls or all boys or only one child and keep hearing “are you going to go for the girl/boy?” Or “time for a friend for him/her hey” you are not alone, just remember that every child is a blessing from God, every child is unique and special and even if you have all boys or all girls they will all be so so different, enjoy all your boys, or all your girls or your only child!
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like the shifting shadows.” James 1:17
From a mom of boys