Dealing with Gender Letdown
How I overcame the sadness of not having a daughter.
When I was a child, I would play with my dolls and daydream about being a Mommy when I grew up. My collection of baby dolls would take turns being rocked, burped and loved on. I just knew that one day I would have a real baby to take care of.
Now, I have two awesome little boys that I adore with all of my heart. I am good at and enjoy beng a mom to boys, as I can use the word "poot" in any number of sentences. I can even name every Superhero, as well as their nemesis and super powers. I absolutely love being a mom to my little fellas.
Yet I'd be lying if I didn't admit that my heart has ached because I always envisioned that I would have a little girl. Many questions and thoughts have surfaced since the moment the ultrasound revealed that I was having a second son. Being that we only want two children, I felt that the door to meet my future daughter had abruptly closed.
I didn't quite know what to do with the unmet desire that burned in my chest and couldn't help but feel selfish that I had two healthy little boys but still longed for a girl. I never wanted to make my boys feel like they were not perfect for me but I couldn't deny that I needed to mourn the loss of the daughter that I'd never have. I grappled with shame, guilt and embarrassment for the way I felt.
Then one day it hit me, I didn't need to feel ashamed of my feelings. So, I decided to give into them. If I felt an ache in my heart at the thought of not having a daughter to take to ballet class or to have a pretend tea party with, I would just go ahead and feel sad from my head to my toes.
Sometimes I would pass the Barbie aisle at the store and cry into my shopping cart. I talked about it with close friends and I prayed about it before I went to bed. Sometimes, I would cry myself to sleep as I grieved the loss of my childhood dream.
Then, something amazing happened. I felt a tiny spark ignite within me. One day I read a quote from the poet Maya Angelou that said, “I gave birth to one child, a son, but I have thousands of daughters."
I decided at that moment that the world was full of daughters that I could experience the fun of girlhood with and I started to scout out those opportunities. When my older son's school had a fall festival and asked for parent volunteers to help out, I signed up to spend the afternoon painting fingernails at the "Sassy Nail Salon."
I pampered princesses and tomboys and my soul felt full as each girl sat down and extended their hand to me. I don't think that those gals knew what a gift they had given to me by letting me give a gift to them.
In the end, I decided that when my boys are a bit older and need me less, I will mentor a girl in need of a friend. Perhaps if I had given birth to a female, I wouldn't have the inclination to do this. Maybe it's a blessing that my heart has a hole that will one day be filled by my universal daughters.
Were you secretly sad when you found out the sex of your child? How did you deal with it? If you have both boys and a girls in your family, how do you think you would have felt to have children of the same sex instead? Please leave your thoughts and experiences in the comments.