Alright, folks, well the results are in!
We got our 20 week ultrasound.
Are you ready for the big gender reveal?
IT'S A GIRL!!!!
My husband and I are delighted!
Honestly, we had no hopes one way or another… we just wanted our baby to be healthy. Which she is! She’s got a strong heartbeat, lungs, and kidney, and all ten fingers and toes. We are very happy parents!
Everyone told us we were having a boy. Almost to the point where it was kind of annoying, just how sure they were. I didn’t have any morning sickness. I had a voracious appetite. This and a few other old wives’ tales had people convinced. So, in a very petty way, I am happy to tell them that they were all wrong. Because, you know how I feel about people making assumptions!
My midwife says she runs into it all the time. People that heard if you carry high, it must be a girl. If you carry low, it must be a boy. And all other manner of superstitions. But, she says every woman is different. A person would need to have a hundred babies before they could even begin to draw such conclusions with certainty. She’s seen women who say they were terribly sick with all three of their baby girls and for the fourth pregnancy they weren’t, so they were sure it’d be a boy. But, guess what: girl again! I think, personally, that it must be much more about the biology of the specific woman than the gender of the child she is carrying.
And though my mom isn’t around to ask, as she passed away a few years ago, my dad says that she was never really that sick with either my brother or me… so perhaps genetics is a factor, too.
While everyone told us we were having a boy, my husband and I, of course, had our own guess, too. And we actually guessed that it would be a boy as well. But, that’s only because I had completely forgotten about the dream that superseded this all! Otherwise, my opinion would definitely have been a different one.
When I knew I was running a little late on my period, I had a dream. My face was wrapped in cellophane wrap and I was lying on my back, suffocating. Then, a little girl that I knew in the dream to be my daughter came and tore the plastic from my face and saved my life. I awoke and I instantly thought to myself: I need to buy a pregnancy test!
I will say that it’s kind of nice that we have finally broken my husband’s family’s tradition of having all boys!
His grandmother is over the moon to finally have a great granddaughter.
It also means that, lucky for my husband, we no longer have to debate the name Oswald.
It was one of the first things I said to him.
“It was never a debate, Kelsey,” was his reply.
Ha! That’s what he thought…
Already a few people have talked to me about how fun it’ll be to dress our daughter up and to play dolls with her… and that would be fun, I totally agree! If she likes that sort of thing. But, there are a couple of things I’ve always thought strange about this line of thinking.
First and foremost, my daughter is not a doll. I am not having her so that I can relive my childhood fantasies of dress-up and costumes. (I don’t need her for that because I relive those every day, by myself, by changing my outfits three or four times a day!)
Please, don’t misunderstand me. I get the urge and I get that it can be fun.
There’s no shame if you DO enjoy doing those things with your little girl!
I am not here to judge!
I am only explaining how I, personally, feel; which is that you shouldn’t expect that your girl will love these things as much as you just because of her gender.
Which brings me to the other bone I have to pick with that mentality:
you have to raise the child you have, not the child you wish you had.
If my little girl likes Barbies and playing dress-up, then believe me I will love nothing more than joining in!
But what if she doesn’t?
Lots of girls don’t!
What if she loves playing in the mud and climbing trees and rough-housing?
Girls can love those things, too!
As a society, I think we have become too constrained by these so-called “gender roles” and a lot of people feel trapped by them.
There is no such thing as toys that are exclusively for boys or exclusively for girls. Some little boys like to play with dolls while other little girls love monster trucks.
There are no such things as girl colors or boy colors. Girls can like blue, boys can like pink.
And, while there are differences between men and women, I believe that there are less than society would have us think.
Look at traditionally masculine versus traditionally feminine character traits after all.
Boys are strong while girls are fragile.
Boys are stoic and girls are emotional.
Girls are nurturing and gentle; boys are tough and rowdy…
They’re all bogus!
Both boys and girls can cry equally, love equally, nurture equally. And girls can be just as stoic and tough and rowdy as any boy. Character traits of that sort having nothing to do with your sex, in my opinion and experience.
That’s why, especially in this day and age, I find these sorts of forced gender norms not only ridiculous, but potentially harmful.
Let me spell out why.
Imagine a girl is raised in a household with a mother who really wanted to dress her up and do her makeup and play house with her (and of course there is nothing wrong in wanting to do those things)…
but, this particular girl doesn’t like those activities.
And her mom is disappointed, to the point where the little girl knows this and can feel it.
The girl might grow up to feel like she is somehow less of a woman, which in reality couldn’t be any further from the truth.
Or, imagine a little boy who is very emotional, and he cries whenever he falls down or whenever he is angry, and he doesn’t like to play sports.
But his dad had always dreamed of raising a stoic little football star and the little boy knows this and can feel that he has let his father down.
He might grow up to think that there is something wrong with him, that he isn’t as masculine as the other boys.
These kids can feel not at-one with their own identity and all because of these ridiculous gender roles!
Being female or male doesn’t come with prescribed activities. And to force those gender roles onto children, in my opinion, can do more harm than good.
As a parent, it is perfectly natural to have hopes and aspirations for your child.
There is nothing wrong with envisioning yourself teaching them your favorite hobby or passion and hoping that they will love these things, too.
But, I think these dreams should come with a heavy dose of realism for the “what if they don’t like it” event…
You have to raise the child that you have; not the child that you wish you had.
Which is why I’ve been very careful when imagining raising my daughter, not to have these preordained notions of gendered activities.
I want to nurture my daughter into becoming the best person she can be, whatever that may look like.
I want to help her find the hobbies and the passions that SHE loves.
Sure, it’ll be great if they line up with mine. But that’s not a prerequisite.
I will love her no matter what.
I want to be very clear that I am not trying to lecture any of you on how to parent your child!
I am not preaching about what is right or wrong when it comes to imagining future pastimes with your kid.
These are just some of my opinions in regards to gender roles with children and the importance of having, what I consider to be, realistic goals.
I sincerely hope that this doesn’t offend and that it may have even provided a new perspective for you to consider.
So far, my blog has felt fairly one-sided as a catalogue of my pregnancy journey and my thoughts and feelings on certain subjects. But, as always, I really encourage you to write me! Either in the comments below or in a private message.
What are your opinions on gender roles with children?
I’d love to start a discussion!
I'm Kelsey! Proud Iowan native, world traveler, writer, wife to the most incredible husband, and now soon to be mother