Monday, December 9, 2019

Honest Mom or Bad Mom? Dealing with Gender Disappointment.

 This is one of the hardest blogs I've ever written. I am riddled with guilt and unhappiness at the thought of writing this. I never wanted to feel this way, I never thought I'd ever be one of those parents that was unhappy with their child, but I can't stop myself feeling the way I do.

We never intended on finding out the gender, wanted to keep it a surprise like we did with Rupert. But things don't always go the way you expect when you're pregnant and last week we found out that baby number two would be a boy. 

I want to make this clear before I write any more. I love my babies. Having a boy doesn't change how I feel about him, it doesn't change the kind of person they will be, the interests they will have and how much I will love them.

And to be honest I've shocked myself with how I feel because I have and always will be an advocate for 'gender shouldn't stop you from dressing, dating, acting or doing what you love'. So when I found out I was having a boy, I was overwhelmed with these feelings that are so illogical and confusing I was disappointed in myself.

When Rupert was born and I found out he was born, there was no thoughts of upset or unhappiness. He was beautiful, he was perfect and he was mine regardless. I have never wished he was a girl. He is my best friend, we spend nearly every second of every day together and I wouldn't change any of it for the world. I know this baby will be the same, a mommy's boy just like his brother.

It's so hard to explain, because I don't wish this baby to be any different to the person he is or will be. But it's the idea that I may never have a baby girl.

I have grown up with the best relationship with my mom, my mom has the same relationship with her mom. My brother was always a support for me growing up and I guess as much as I pined over having the same relationship I have with my mom, with my daughter: I wished the same sibling bond for Ru.

I felt so disappointed, I felt upset and I wanted to cry. I didn't want to have those emotions, but I did.

I guess this is hard for me to write because I don't understand why I'm feeling the way I am. I love my kids so why does a gender matter so much? It doesn't but for some reason it does.

We had a girls name sorted, I was looking at clothes online and picturing ballet lessons and post bath French plates. I wanted dresses, disney and makeup. My brain was going to places of such stereotypes. But I am such a female stereotype. I love musicals, hair, makeup and pink. So I guess I pictured having a little girl with the same interests, pretty much a miniature version of myself.

Do i hold onto this? Picture being pregnant again and having two boys and a girl. Or am i setting myself up for another round of upset. My heart is set on it but can i expect the crushing guilt again?

When i first shared the gender i was flooded with congratulations and words of happiness. This made my guilt run deeper. Because even though I've had a tough time being a first time mom, I always fought my own corner as a good mom. But this was the thing that pushed all the odds, defined everything I thought of myself. For the first time i have felt like a bad mom.

After a week of feeling like this, the feelings are fading. I know that everything I wanted in a girl I can still have in a boy. Having two boys doesn't mean I can say bye to ballet and hello to football. Boys wont be boys, they'll be whoever they want to be. Dancing or no dancing, football or no football. I love this baby so much already. I know my love for my kids wont be split into two when he's here, it'll double. 

I guess what I've learnt from the past week is that gender disappointment is a real thing. Another thing as a parent we shouldn't feel guilty about, yet we do.

I wanted a girl and was upset with the idea of being outnumbered having two boys. The idea that I'll never be able to connect with them them they're older. I'll be the embarrassing mom who doesn't understand sports, can't help with relationships and they'll just want cool dad all the time.

It's something I never expected to happen and as always I wanted to be honest. Get my feelings out by writing them. I love my children. Being upset about something as vapid as gender is silly but I guess that's what I am. I wanted pick onesies and dresses and we have the opposite. Which is stupid because we never went outright to dress ru in blue because we didn't like it, the football strip waiting for the baby will be used if they were a boy or a girl. I don't understand this as much as you do.

So here's to another confusing blog about me feeling like a bad parent. I'll be over this soon, I'll be able to get excited.

I'm glad we found out during the pregnancy rather than during labour. Knowing that I could be having these horrible feelings when he is here makes me feel sick, but I know that having him in my arms would have eradicated those emotions.

I want others to know it's okay to feel these things even if it doesn't feel it.

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