Let me paint you a picture.
A happy couple expanding their family. They have a welcoming home. Maybe a furry friend of two. They want to have children. They see themselves with their furry family member sitting with their little girl and a little boy. Wrong. They have 2 boys or two girls. Okay maybe they haven’t exactly thought of this but they do know that they have a very specific picture of the amount of children and which genders they picture them being. This is where gender disappointment comes from. When you set unrealistic expectations up for how you have children.
Now before I begin, it is very normal to be somewhat disappointed if you envision your family in a particular way. There is however a line that is very clearly drawn when that turns into regret or resentment. It is totally normal to have always pictured Daddy’s little girl and that never happening, or maybe seeing yourself with a little Mama’s boy that also never happens. Being bummed about a vision you saw your life going and the children you may have seen is not a bad thing. It is okay to “mourn” that idea that you won’t see yourself in. Like I mentioned above, there is a very, very, very, strong line on when this boarders being bummed out, and then when it becomes something more.
Gender disappointment is when someone is expecting, or hoping that when they decide to have a child, or another one, that it will be the opposite or whatever they desire. Maybe they have a girl or boy already, and want a second so they can have the opposite. Or maybe they have one gender and then they want the same gender for their children. This is, and never will be a good idea on why you should have kids. I even talk about 3 reasons why you shouldn’t have another child here, with gender disappointment rounding out the list. The fact is, unless you are doing IVF there is no way that you can predict what gender your baby will be. It literally is a 50/50 chance of having either gender. As fun as it can be to try to envision our families a specific way, it can do way more harm than good. After all it wasn’t till recent years till we even seen different family dynamics on TV. Before as our parents and grandparents and maybe even ourselves grew up it was typically a Mom, Dad, Son, Daughter and a family pet. We had been low key brainwashed into how a family should be looking. Then you have families like the Cleavers on Leave it to Beaver where they had a Mom, Dad, and two sons. It wasn’t until recently we seen such blended families with step parents, multiple dads or moms, and even a mingle of children from different marriages too.
Now I know what your thinking, how can a family or person resent another child even if it isn’t of the gender they desired. I’ve seen it before. Sometimes it happens when someone doesn’t find out the gender until birth and their put a little jab in an announcement. Ie: “I was convinced you were such gender but you were in fact not, but still it was amazing blah blah blah”. It even goes so far as people especially mothers not feeling connected to their babies. Now this is a whole other bucket of worms and could be related to post-partum depression which should be spoken to with a doctor, but still. Having children with the intent to have a gender is one of the sure fire want to set someone up for this. This also goes along the lines of people who also don’t want to find out the gender until the birth of their child, but they plan the entire time for one gender only to find out that it wasn’t that gender at all. Like always maybe buying girly clothes, or maybe boy toys, only to find out that they aren’t going to be used or worn at all.
I will say, I honestly, as I have always been with you folks, I don’t think I had any gender disappointment with finding out we are having our 3rd boy. I think a big reason for this was due to the fact we never had a 3rd child to chase the specific gender. We always said we wanted to have 3 children. The genders never really were mentioned. Healthy was our mindset. That being said, I personally always envisioned us having 3 boys for some strange reason. If this final baby was a girl I also too would be pleasantly surprised. But it was never about having a specific gender order either. I think when having kids keeping this open mindset is a huge thing for avoiding gender disappointment. Logically speaking, you can’t be disappointed if you haven’t thought about a gender that you wanted right? Which totally seems to be true, at least in our case.
While there is nothing a lot of people can do when they do suffer from this, I think if you go into having kids with the healthy mindset and no hope for an outcome and specific gender that can be the way to go. And if you are someone reading this, and you don’t have kids or know someone who is pregnant and expecting, don’t ask any questions like “Are you going to try for the other gender”, “When is the next one coming”. Throwing those ideas out there and putting that pressure onto a family or parents is also not okay to do either. Maybe some people only wanted 2 and were pushed for a 3rd to try for the other gender due to outside factors.
Whether you read some books, take some crazy supplements, or you do whatever else under the son to try and have a specific gender for a child, there literally is no way of deciding this. It has to be fate.