Roll the Dice or Grieve the Dream?
Gender disappointment is a controversial topic that is very real, even though it’s not often discussed. It’s something that many women (and men) experience. I want to preface this post by saying that I am VERY grateful that I was able to have kids and especially for the two amazing little boys I have.
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Awhile back, I wrote a post titled “The Real Reason Why I Won’t Be Having Another Child.” My main purpose for writing that post was to openly discuss something that tends to make people a little uncomfortable, money.
More specifically, the focus of the post was about the cost of childcare and raising children in general.
I opened my heart at the beginning of that post and revealed something incredibly personal to me; that I’m dealing with gender disappointment.
I’ve always dreamt of having a daughter, but before having kids, my husband and I agreed to only having two children. I currently have two little boys, a 3-year-old and 1-year-old, who I absolutely love and adore.
But my heart still dreams of a daughter.
Now perhaps one “off-the-record” reason I wrote that post was in efforts to find some closure and acceptance – by telling the world that I wasn’t going to have any more children. That I would always be a “boy-mom”, but I’m going to let you in on a little secret…
I still haven’t completely closed my mind to the idea of another child and…perhaps I never will.
I’m not saying that I’m definitely going to have another child, but I most definitely still think about it.
In the past few months, we’ve sold all our baby stuff; the swing, the high-chair, the bathtub. And we’ve given away all but a few pieces of our tiny baby clothes.
When I tell people this, they always light-heartedly ask, “But aren’t you going to try for a girl?”
And I casually laugh and tell them that we are definitely done having kids and that our hands are full.
But those people don’t know how hard that question is for me, because it’s a question I think about all the time.
As I scroll through my Facebook feed, I can’t help but feel a pang of jealousy when I see pictures of moms who were blessed with one of each gender.
“Should we try for another child?”
“How would I feel if I had a third boy?”
“Perhaps we should adopt? But adoptions can be tough and expensive, right?“
I would guess that most people will never say they regretted having more children, but I can’t stop thinking about whether trying to have the daughter I’ve always dreamed of outweighs the actual cost of having another child.
When I say cost though, I’m not just thinking solely about the financial cost. Sure, I would have to buy another swing, car seat, high chair, clothes, etc, but I also don’t know if mentally and emotionally I can handle another child.
Currently my two little boys take every ounce of my energy, my patience, and my time. Every day, I feel like I’m struggling to stay afloat in mountains of laundry, housework, doctor’s appointments, and playdates.
To be completely honest, if I selfishly add another child to our already overflowing plates, I would have to start taking things away from not only myself, but the two sweet little boys I already have. There’d be less money to go around, which means there’d be less elective things, like swimming lessons and vacations. There’d also be less money in their college funds.
Instead of 2 sets of school pictures, we would have to buy 3. Instead of 4 plane tickets, we would have to buy 5. I could go on and on, but it’s not as simple as saying it’ll cost a little bit more.
On top of that, there’s also only so much my husband and I can physically do, because we can’t be in 3 places at once. As our children grow and want us to be at their games and concerts, it’s harder if there’s three kids and three events to juggle instead of just two.
But I also wonder about how awesome it would be to add one more person to our family. To have one more sibling for our two little boys to play with, another person at our movie parties, another person to laugh with, and another person to LOVE.
I know there’s a lot of parents out there would say that you simply find a way to make it work and I’m sure we would, but I can’t help but wonder if it’s the right decision for us.
Is having another child in hopes of having a daughter the BEST decision for us? Clearly there is no way to guarantee that the third child would be a girl. Would I find it in my heart to give three children all the love and attention they deserve, or am I too selfish, wanting to make sure that the two little boys I do have get everything they deserve and that I am able to find some time for me every day?
At the end of the day, there are so many things that are truly limited, like time and money. But there are a few things, like love, that are essentially infinite.
So, will I be trying for a daughter? At this point, I can’t say for certain, but I will say the decision is not as easy as simply wanting a girl. It’s much more complicated than that.
Are you or have you experienced gender disappointment? Share your experiences below. Let’s open the doors on a subject that isn’t commonly discussed, to bring light to something that many people do privately think about.