09 May 2011

Family Fun

We went to NY this past weekend for my SIL's bridal shower.  My sentiments on showers/registries in general aside, it was a great party and we had a blast.  I got to see some people, both friends and family, that I have not seen in a few years and many of them had their kids there too.  It was a wonderful day spent in great company, but there was one odd thing.  I know other bloggers have blogged this to death, but I was amazed at how many people, like at least 60% asked me if we were going to "try for the boy."

Now, I will apply the disclaimer that I can kind of get the question: "are you having any more kids?"  For whatever reason when your youngest hits two the question starts rolling around.  It is very rude and invasive since you are basically asking relative strangers "so, when are you all going to be having unprotected sex again?" but whatever.  However, the idea that one in my shoes would only be trying again so as to have a boy boggles the mind.  Do people really still do that?  Just have as many kids it takes to get the "preferred" gender?  Do men really feel they must have a male heir like this is The Tudors?   Are women really willing to be a pregnant that often just to appease some social construct that no man is complete without a son, or that no woman is complete without a daughter?    I know it has been discussed to death, but I really just don't understand. 

Now, here is where I make a terrible confession:  I have zero interest in raising little boys.  I enjoy the company of boys, I love the sons of my friends as if they were my own.  Had one of my children been a boy, we would have been thrilled because all children are a blessing.  But given the choice, I am pretty happy raising a house of girls.

I find that being a mom to girls allows me much more flexibility.  An unfortunate side-effect of the societal idea that boys are somehow preferred seems to be that boys absolutely, unequivocally, must be true boys, wear only boy stuff and do only boy things.   When my girls play rugby in the backyard I am "progressive," but when a boy goes to dance class eyebrows are raised.  I shop for my girls in the boys section all the time, but a pink polo shirt or (le gasp) a doll stroller for a little boy is just not as acceptable.  Frankly, I just could not put up with the gender-role BS that seems to go along with parenting boys.  Plus, now I can avoid the whole circumcision drama llama and for that, I thank all that is sacred. 

There I said it.  I am not made of the right stuff to parent boys and the universe gave me the kids that were right for me.

PS We had a vasectomy so yeah, if we have a third baby someone will have some explaining to do.  (Mr. Urologist, I am looking at you because goddess knows I barely have enough hours in the day for current family...a lover is kind of out of the question. Ha, it is funny because it is so true...)


Ginger said...

I hate that double standard. I do. I hate that there is a question there for boys that isn't there for girls. It drives me nuts that my mom's husband will look at us funny because we bough J a purple TOY. It kills me that my little boy LOVES to dance and there are people who have looked askance at us for that. Little dude isn't even 2, can't we hold off on the stereotyping?

Not that I think raising girls would be all rainbows and kittens, but in that aspect, yeah, having a boy is filled w/BS that I just can't stand.

Alexis said...

@Ginger Nothing about parenting anyone is all kittens and rainbows, but I can really see how that societal pressure on parents of boys must be so annoying. I give full credit to those who deal with that because let me tell you, I am pretty sure I am not made of tough enough stuff. Now, am I tough enough for the long uphill climb to the marathon of tween girl-hood? Probably not, but hey, you win some, you lose some :)

Alicen said...

This is a very interesting topic. Having one of each is pretty eye opening on just how bad it really is. The DD is playing with dump trucks in the dirt and everyone thinks it's cute but the DS wears a pink and brown tye-dye shirt and he gets double looks! If they only saw him at home walking around in sisters dress up shoes with her hair bows on, couldn't imagine what they would say then.

It is just so crazy how people couple exploration with signs of homosexuality. It's not like dressing up in mommies clothes when your 3 is going to turn you "gay". Conversely it's not like preventing them from having anything girl/boy related is going to stop them from being homosexual. Whether you are or aren't, it has absolutely nothing to do with whether you play with things deemed "ok" for your particular gender. Now as you made the point, this is much more one-sided, oriented mainly toward the boys.

Now the other side of this are those people who want to raise their child in a gender neutral environment but then set their little boy on a playdate with all girls doing dress up with nothing but dresses. I think you also saw the episode of Extreme Parenting to which I'm referring. It made me furious! I have no problem if a boy wants to put on a dress but they were practically forcing him to do so and then saying they were completely "gender neutral". Now I know that was a tv show but I have seen less extreme examples of that in the real world too.

I applaud all those who just let their kids be kids and lets them do what makes them happy. If a little boy wants to take ballet then why should we tell him no, what kind of message would it send to that child. If the little girl wants to play the drums why should she be denied.

As we always said one should decided on a number not a gender! It seldom works for you anyway!!