From the minute two blue vertical stripes appeared on the home pregnancy test, I knew we were going to have a girl. I just knew. Like the way you instinctively know how to drive even though your thoughts are miles away and you don’t recall the past five stoplights- that kind of knowing. This would be our third girl. I had always dreamed of three daughters and was really excited at the prospect of raising three different and unique girls. Admittedly, I was also selfishly invested in a future of pedicures, late night girly movies and sisterly camaraderie. However, I was a smidge nervous about how our friends and family would take the news (people pleaser that I am). It is supposed to be acceptable to have all girls in this modern society, and it is a much better time to raise girls than in the past twenty centuries. Women can now occupy any career they would like, our wage gap is closing in with those of men, and girls are being taught that they are strong, independent of valuable. Why was I worried that people would be disappointed?
After the arrival of my second daughter, my grandmother (bless her beautiful soul from a different era) said exactly what others echoed later on, “Are you going to try for a boy next?” And since that moment forward I felt like everyone would feel somewhat disappointed if we didn’t have a millionaire’s family or at least one token boy somewhere in amongst all of the girls.
As my pregnancy progressed most people would *helpfully* toss in, “Maybe it will be a boy!” Like that was what we were wishing for as if we could not be a complete family without some puppy-dogs’ tails to our sugar and spice. Or, my least favourite, “I’m sure your husband is really hoping for a boy!” Actually- he was not. He was hoping for a baby.
Delivery of our little one went faster than the previous babes, as is often the case with thirds, and soon it was confirmed: a girl! A healthy, beautiful and very big girl! And thus began the insensitive and sometimes insulting phrases that have sadly become a part of our life. The most common is “Poor husband, how is he coping?” (uh- excuse me, he isn’t the one waking three times a night and dealing with chaffed and cracking nipples. He is coping just fine) and “Three girls! Wow, the husband will definitely need some man-time.” Those aren’t even the worst. One of my husband’s colleagues went so far as to suggest that he was only half a man because his spawn were all female! I am not sure if people don’t realize that three same gendered kids are amazing! They save time and money on buying new clothes, toys, bedroom decor, and accessories. They present no new challenges in diapering. And yes, we may have to weather a few storms in the teenage years, but think about how close they could be in adulthood?
Of course, I would like to have had a boy as well (four kids is off the table), but I am 100% satisfied with my lot of divas. Plus, one thing I have learned is that babies are babies, genderless for the first two years of their lives. They are beautiful and cuddly and make you feel privileged just to be in their innocent little presence. In today’s world, it shouldn’t matter what genders or mixes or situations your family is made up of. So the next time someone feels sorry for my husband and his house full of females, I’d like to remind them that he is the recipient of so much adoration and love. The five of us, we are doing just fine!
Natalie is an educator in St. Albert, Alberta. She is the mother of three incredible little girls under 6, and one evil cat. She is passionate about adventure travel, culture and running.