The gifts had all been laid out, “Santa” had eaten his fair share of cookies, and all was prepared for what was sure to be a chaotic morning. My husband and I settled in on the couch and slowly opened an envelope with a tiny Post-it note inside that my doctor had graciously set up for us. And as we opened the tiny piece of paper, our hearts skipped a beat.
We were having a boy.
Not our first.
Not our second.
But our third boy. We were to be the parents of three beautiful boys in four years.
When we started our family, did I desire a trio of boys? Nope, I never thought much of it. But here I am today, getting ready for a third son to make his entrance into our crazy world.
And I’m absolutely thrilled. From the moment the possibility of #3 crossed my mind to when we opened that envelope, and every day since, my heart feels about to burst with joy and excitement.
My emotions are extremely clear when it comes to this upcoming baby’s sex, yet I’ve learned that’s not always the case.
We didn’t find out the sex of our firstborn, and I have no regrets. It was a fun surprise at the end of a wonderful first pregnancy. I loved not knowing. I didn’t care; I hoped and prayed for a healthy baby and when that baby was born, I was ecstatic to hear, “It’s a boy!” Becoming a boy mom was new, exciting territory.
When we started our family, did I desire a trio of boys? Nope, I never thought much of it. But here I am today, getting ready for a third son to make his entrance into our crazy world. And I’m absolutely thrilled.
Then pregnancy #2 came around. I had always planned on never finding out the sex for any of my children, but pregnancy #2 wasn’t like the first. It was only 10 months after our first was born and in the first few months of the second pregnancy, I lost my job, and we moved to another state due to my husband’s job. I was feeling worn down and in desperate need of a boost. So we decided to find out the sex, in hopes that it’d be a fun little spark, and to help me connect more to this new baby in my belly.
And it did just that.
It was another boy. I was thrilled and surprised (I had thought it was a girl all along!). When our little Otis made his way into my arms a few months later, I jumped all into the boy-mom world even more.
Cue the comments from anyone and everyone! I was asked and prodded nonstop, wondering if we’d (or should I say, telling me I should) have another baby “to try to get a girl.” These comments irked me then and those feelings haven’t faded.
My husband and I decided to try for a third baby, aiming not for a girl, but for a happy, healthy addition to our family. And once again, after seeing that positive pregnancy test, planned on waiting to find out the sex. But with COVID raging, forcing us to cancel all holiday travel plans, we tossed around the idea of finding out as a fun Christmas treat to ourselves and our families. My curiosity grew stronger by the day and we decided to enjoy this surprise earlier than planned.
As we’ve shared the news with more family and friends, the comments have also continued. Some sharing, what I dare say is, pity, others just shaking their head in disbelief and loving laughter. And yes others, still asking if we’ll be trying for a girl after this.
I can take a joke, I can laugh with the best of them. But I’m not a fan of most of these comments. I truly believe most people don’t have ill intentions, but in speaking them out loud, they are taking away from the specialness of what I have. They are insinuating that having a family of all one sex leaves something to be desired. And I wholeheartedly disagree. These boys of mine, all three of them, are deeply desired, wanted, and so incredibly loved.
I truly believe most people don’t have ill intentions with their comments but in speaking them out loud, they are taking away from the specialness of what I have.
Our family, with three boys (plus a male dog and a male cat), is perfect for us; there would be no combination that would not be. I wouldn’t wish for anything to be different. I believe every combination in every family, whether one child or many more, is just as special.
Oftentimes I find that people wish for certain sexes in order to fulfill some sort of preconceived belief of what that means for their future. For example:
“You’ll get to walk your daughter down the aisle, how lucky are you?!”
“Wait until your daughter becomes a mother; there is nothing like it!”
While sweet to consider, these are often old-fashioned, cliché, singular moments in a much bigger life landscape. Of course, I hope that dancing with any of my sons at their future weddings will be a beautiful moment. But I’m not excited to have boys because I want to dance with my sons at their weddings. If that’s what I’m looking forward to as I look at them now, then I need to rearrange realities and priorities pronto. If we put any weight on these potential moments, we miss out on so much more. And we also risk putting pressure on us (and our children) to fulfill these visions. What happens if they don’t come true?
While I believe that your born sex doesn’t decide your life, I also think it’s naive to think it has no influence at all on your childhood and beyond. One or more of my boys may love stereotypical feminine activities in the future, and I happily support that, but it’s probably likely that they’ll also play with trucks and dinosaurs. I embrace all the colors of the rainbow and they’ll have some preppy pink in their wardrobe, but a majority of the baby clothes I’ve been given and used in those early years are still shades of blues and grays.
I love to laugh over the many ways that having three boys will most likely distinguish my life for years to come: from tales of nonstop bumps and bruises, to stinky socks, and the endless gallons of milk. If the past few years of toddlerhood with two boys is any indication, I don’t plan on having anything too nice in my home for many years to come, and that’s OK (Mama just demands her own bathroom).
So to those who insist on sharing comments about my growing brood, instead share with me the joys and tribulations of motherhood and more. Share with me what makes you love your children, the silly, sweet, heart-wrenching stories. I may have a soft spot for multiple little men but I want to hear about them all. I may not have manicure afternoons with my little lady but I want to see those sparkles and I want to tell you about the snuggle fest that followed our epic Lego adventure.
As I wrap my head around the role I’ll play over the coming years, I would be blind to ignore the heaviness often associated with each sex and their respective histories. If I had little girls, I’d be adamant and vocal about raising them to be strong, independent women, women who speak their mind, who confidently stand up for themselves and others.
Just because I’m raising little men doesn’t mean I don’t feel pressure or responsibility; I feel the need to mother just as strongly. I want to add three people to our world who will champion these amazing strong women, who will be kind and gentle, who will listen, who will show their emotions. I consider it one of the greatest honors of my life to be able to raise my sons in this image.
And so as I finish up these last few months of pregnancy with a third baby kicking wildly in my womb, I proudly share with anyone who asks that this little one is another boy, a boy who rounds out our family beautifully. There is no room for other wishes or “what if’s” in my heart or in our home.
I’m excited for the months and years ahead. I’m excited to welcome it all with open arms, an open mind, and a whole lotta patience. But wouldn’t I be saying the same thing if I was having a girl after having two boys? I would, because in the end, it doesn’t matter. We’re about to welcome another little life into our home, I’m eager, thrilled, and already madly in love.
Read More: How to Raise Feminist Boys