And so the saga of my culturally inflicted hurt and guilt continued…
My darling baby girl number 3 was born and I was. In. LOVE. And I felt even more horrible (if that was even possible) about my previous indiscretion. The weight of my unfortunate reaction when finding out the gender of my baby was constant and heavy. I couldn’t be the only person in the world that had felt this way, could I? Was there something wrong with me? Was this on the spectrum of postpartum depression? Was I an unfit mother? Did I need to speak to a professional about this? I had so many questions that I desperately wanted answers to and not just for me anymore but for my sweet little babe as well. I needed to be the best mother I could be. The mother I knew I was. So I started looking for my answers.
I’m a researcher. I need answers to things I don’t have answers to. So where does one go when they need answers these days? Well the internet, of course! So I spent hours scouring the internet for answers on why I had felt the way I felt. Why I loved my baby but I had such an awful reaction to the news that she was a girl. And I came across a blog post from another mom that went through what seemed like exactly what I went through. The post was about her struggle with “gender disappointment”. Reading her blog post I felt seen. I felt normal. I felt better. It helped me so much. I realized it wasn’t me; not me in my core. It was the things I had been fed all my life that bubbled up to the surface. It was all the cultural pressures that had been passed down to me. It was all irrational. It was all unnecessary. And it all, most importantly, needed to stop. I decided in that moment that I wasn’t going to stay quiet about my feelings on this topic anymore— it’s the LEAST I could do for my girls. And yours.
So now I’m going to be blunt and straight up like I should have been from the very beginning.
To that random old lady at my daughters school that made a point to walk over to me [while I had my 3 week old baby girl strapped to my chest in a carrier and held my other 2 daughters hands while we happily walked home] and asked what I had. Then when I replied with “a girl” proceeded to kiss her teeth and say “Ohhhh that’s too bad. I’d said a little prayer to God to bless your poor soul with a boy this time.” — To that woman I say “F#&$ You!” with a smile. And to so many others, who know exactly who they are– I’m sorry you felt the need to insult me and my newborn baby to make yourself feel better about your own mediocre life. I feel sad for you in that my happiness causes you jealousy. I know everyone has their own demons and everyone deserves grace for their wrong doings but not all acts are excusable. I kept quiet last time but I won’t ever let that happen again. Why should I consider the feelings of those that didn’t consider mine when they made their ridiculous comments? If there is a next time you will know you put your foot in your mouth with the wrong #girlmom. No question.
I hope my verbal slap didn’t hurt much– hopefully only as much as the punch in the stomach you gave me with your simpleminded & disrespectful comment about the 3 greatest loves of my life. Maybe this moment will remind you to think twice before making anymore unnecessary comments to anyone in the future. #notsorry.
And, for the record, that’s me being nice.
This ridiculous gender inequality, gender bias, gender discrimination— however you’d like to refer to it— our culture has dragged into the 21st century needs to go. ALL children are a blessing. Ask the person that is having difficulties conceiving. Ask the woman that has miscarried. Then the one that has miscarried multiple times. What about the one that has lost a child. Ask those women [and their significant others] what they would say if you gave them pity for their “misfortune” of having a daughter. I wonder what they would say if you asked them when they were having another child in order to “complete” their family with a boy. Ask them. I dare you.
I know, I know, I know. There will be those of you out there reading this that will say I’m too angry. I’m just being overly sensitive. I am aware that there are people saying things like “have one more. I’m sure it will be a boy. then you can stop.” from a sincere place. A place of wanting me to have a “mixed” family because that’s what’s considered “ideal” or a “million dollar family”. But why? WHY? What does my family composition have to do with you? What will a son give me that my daughters won’t? Nothing, right? Then the only thing you should be saying to me or anyone else with beautiful daughters is “Congratulations on your beautiful baby” and move the F@#$ along. Kapeesh.
So in closing: My uterus. My girls [are better than any boy]. My family. My life. My decision. Thank-you, next. [Mic drop*]