Last week ended up being busier than I expected and I didn’t manage to fit in the extra blog entry I had hoped to write.
So, here it is now!
Our family has many more boys than girls. When my Mum was pregnant with me she never entertained the idea that I might be a girl as the chances were I wouldn’t be. My Grandmother on my Mum’s side had eight children with only two being girls, and my Grandmother on my Dad’s side had four boys and no girls. Mum and Dad were thrilled and stunned when the doctor told them they had a daughter.
My cousin and I share my Grandmother on my Mum’s side, and until the girls were born last week there were five boys amongst my cousin and his siblings.
So, again, there wasn’t a great deal of expectation that the twins would be girls. But, they are!
My cousin announced the birth of the girls on Facebook and the comments that followed were congratulatory and full of love for the entire family. But, there were a couple of comments that I found hard to read.
They were “Yay you broke the all boy curse!!!” and “yay not more boys”. I realize these comments were made in partial jest, but I still don’t see the need to write them for two reasons.
The comments were directed at me – however, it is difficult to hear people inferring that having more children of one particular gender is part of a curse. No baby, regardless of gender, is part of a curse. Every baby is an incredible miracle – regardless of whether that baby is the sixth boy in a family with no girls, or a baby brother for a first born girl.
I would have been incredibly happy to have children of any gender. They could have been girls and boys, all boys, or all girls. It wouldn’t have mattered to us. I wouldn’t have seen any of our children as part of a curse. They would have each been special regardless of gender and we would have treated them as individuals with their own personalities and interests. After all, children can be the same gender, but that doesn’t make them the same as each other.
This leads me to the second concern. I wonder how the second, third, fourth, etc. child who is the same gender as their older siblings feel s when they hear or read comments that infer that the birth of a younger sibling of the opposite gender is the end of a curse. Do they feel they were not good enough because they were just another boy or just another girl? Do they think they are not special and unique? Do they feel that they weren’t really wanted? How many boys or girls in one family does it take to form a curse?
This bothers me. No child should feel they are less valued because of their gender.
It doesn’t take much for a child to feel insecure – and these kinds of comments put a child’s security, self-esteem, and happiness at risk.
Perhaps I am being too sensitive in thinking other people should be more sensitive in what they write and say, but these are my thoughts and concerns and I believe they have value.
To end on a humorous note – one of my friends was pregnant a few years ago. She and her husband already had a daughter and some people they know asked my friend if she was hoping for a boy. She replied that she was actually hoping for an elephant…I love it!