If I Have a Boy, Then What?
Early in my first pregnancy, when asked about my hopes for the gender of my baby, I made no apologies in telling curious family, friends, and strangers that I wanted a girl. “It has to be a girl!” I told them and myself before giving all the reasons why I needed to mother a girl to be the kind of mother I had imagined I’d be. I needed to put my tangible mark on womanhood in America. I needed to paint her nursery green and teach her that there is more to life than just beauty and boys.
We found out our first baby’s sex at 20 weeks. It was a girl, of course. So, I had a girl and dressed her, at least in the beginning or until she showed me that she wanted otherwise, in yellows and browns, shunned dolls, and vowed that I would instruct her in the ways of a kind of womanhood that I learned about through my own education as a modern woman.
With my second pregnancy, I kind of thought I was having a boy, but then at 20 weeks, I learned otherwise. I was having another girl, so for the past three years, I’ve been a “girl mom.”
Our three-year old and one-year old have colored my heart and our home with pinks and purples and dresses, unused trucks, magic wands, and other things that come with mothering girls. In the mornings, I awaken to their high pitch squeals and talk of baby dolls and “mama.” I’ve become another woman in mothering them and in seeing pieces of myself and my past lives. I have enjoyed being a “girl mom,” but my identity could change in a few months.
You see, I’m now pregnant with my third child. And while finding out our baby’s gender was something we felt we had to do with our first two pregnancies, with this one, we’ve mellowed out and have, thus, decided to wait until birth.
We could have a boy or a girl, and at this point in my motherhood journey, I am okay with either of these possibilities. I mean, even though I know nothing about the details of what it means to mother a son beyond babyhood, I have nothing to worry about, right? Right? Really, this is a question. There’s not that much to mothering boys that’s different than mothering girls, right? Oh, alright, who am I kidding? After three years of girls, I’m kind of nervous about entering the world of boys and that at our one ultrasound appointment the tech said “he” at one point in referring to our black and white baby on the screen.
What’s so different about being a mom to a boy? And why is it that the world of boys is always talked about with so many warnings about the noise, the mess, the disciplinary struggles, the pee, the…Oh, this is getting scary. I know I would rise to the occasion of mothering a son and that if I did have a boy, all would be well. It’s just the unfamiliarity of the world of boys that makes me nervous.
How has mothering your daughters and sons been different or the same for you? For moms, what have you learned in being a mother to a son?