Confessing My Fear (to make it seem silly)

It is not easy for me to write this because as a mother, a human being, a feminist, I truly believe in the equality (read: not sameness) of individuals and equality (read: not sameness) of genders. But I’ll say it because…I’m not sure why but it might be one of those therapy things where saying it out loud gives it less power? Or gives a chance for people on the internet to make you feel like an asshole? One of those.

I’m terrified of having a boy.

There I said it.

I’m not sure, for the record, whether I am having a boy. Just like last time, we decided not to find out the gender of our baby for various reasons, mostly to torture friends and family. But everyone in our lives is certain it’s a boy based on blurry ultrasound facial profiles and weight gain patterns and star alignment and tea leaves and such. Not one person has told me they think it’s a girl. And since I’m conditioned to be democratic, I am going with the majority rule.

*SIDENOTE OF GREAT IMPORTANCE: I am 100% sure I will love this baby no matter what the genital situation. If you put an animal with a beating heart in front of me I will basically knit it a sweater and let it sleep in my bed forever, so I have no particular concerns that a penis-having baby would be any less special to me than our non-penis having child. Because of this it’s not necessary to reassure me by telling me how special your mother/father-son relationship is (of course it is!) and how much sweeter he is than your daughter (rude!) and how the teenage years will be easier (it’s all relative!) and blah blah something. I get that it will be fine, I know everyoneloves their song, I am just working on battling my own irrational stereotypes.

When I sit down to meditate on this to the sound of wind chimes and monks chan

ting, I realize that for the very most part I am not worried at all about having a son. I’m worried about NOT having a daughter, which sounds like semantics but isn’t. I feel excited about the new life coming no matter who he/she is and what he/she likes, but I feel concerned about V living a life without a sister. Because like…how do you even do that? I know it’s done on the daily but…are those people ok!? I’m worried.

A smaller part of this fear is simply the unknown. I have a sister. And a daughter. And I navigate the world of women. Last night Dave and I lay in bed talking about this.

him: What exactly is your concern?

me: It’s so irrational. It’s so stereotypical. I’m embarrassed to even discuss it.

him: Tell me anyway.

me: I’m afraid he won’t love me as much. Won’t stay close with us. Won’t be close with V.

him: Think of how close I am with my mom! And both my sisters! Why wouldn’t our son be like that?

me: Well that’s true…but you don’t call your mom enough! I can tell you that much! He better call me more than that!

him: Ok how about this? We never ever ever let him leave. :::sarcasm:::

me: ….Ok good idea… :::dead serious:::


A few days ago I was talking to my inspiring and loving and caring  friend Mary, mother to Lucy and Peter. She is the kind of mother-friend to whom I can tell all my dark mother feelings and after I spill it all in a breathless confession of shame and guilt she goes “Oh yes TOTALLY. And I can one up that with a slightly DARKER confession.” It’s amazing. If you don’t have a friend like this find one immediately or I can pass on Mary’s number. I was explaining this fear to her, knowing she would literally get it since her first was a daughter and her second was a son and also she likes to ponder her thoughts to the sound of wind chimes as I do. Nothing could have made me feel better than Mary’s words.

“I was the same when I was pregnant the second time because I knew what to do with a girl and then along came Peter and he had poop on his balls and I was like what the H is this?!”  TOTALLY. I mean aside from all this really intangible stuff, at the end of the day there are testicles to be dealt with in the bright light of day and I’m not sure I am ready for that.

And finally, the most reassuring sentence that a motha in her position could say to a motha in mine. “Whatever you have, they will love each other and compliment each other and then punch each other.” Should we write this on a mug and sell it?

21 thoughts on “Confessing My Fear (to make it seem silly)

  1. I was totally freaked out when I was pregnant with Lila, we didn’t know what we were having either, and I only knew what having a boy was like. I had the opposite experience as your friend, I couldn’t believe how many more places poop could spread to on a girl! And I still have those fears, that Finn will leave us in a different way than Lila will some day, and I just have to remind myself that we are building the groundwork to hopefully keep that from happening.

    And if my two are any example, well, this bit is totally true – “Whatever you have, they will love each other and compliment each other and then punch each other.”

    1. I’m glad I’ve forced myself into the situation where I find out at the moment of it’s birth, meaning I’ll be so exhilarated I won’t be able to feel anything but joy! And then get to wiping poop off of/out off something for months to come! 🙂

  2. I can sooo relate. Having a girl terrified me since all I knew was brothers. And I didn’t think I could go through teen years without my heart breaking at every sling & arrow. I also knew I would have a brood. But in the end what you have ends up being perfect. (And forever perfectly terrifying)

  3. Lane, I cried (uh, NOT tears of joy) when I first found out I was having a boy. But I agree with Andrea – I got so used to changing boy diapers that when I changed my friend’s daughter’s I was like WHAT??? POOP CAN HIDE EVERYWHERE! lol

  4. I loved my brother (younger) but we would get into rage-filled fights. We’re probably not as close chat-wise as you & your sister, but he was the first to tell me when he fell in love the first time and I write to him first about every accomplishment I make. So, while you may despair at times, it can work. Hoping for a healthy & happy baby for you in the near future (p.s. you look amazing).

  5. OMG you’re gorgeous. I love that photo.

    It’s okay. You’re okay. You get to have irrational fears, and then it’ll all work out. Pregnancy: that seems to be how it rolls.

    (P.s.: I only make boys! I really wanted a girl the first time around, but fortunately not the second–otherwise the whole ‘last baby’ thing would have been a bummer …)

  6. I understand your fear that a boy would not be as close to you or V, or not the way you’ve experienced the closeness between you and your family. Having a sister and a tight-knit family myself, I felt much of the same when I was pregnant with N (we didn’t know the sex either).
    And apparently not all of it is gone yet. I write letters to U in a little book occasionally, to give it to her at some point in her adulthood. I don’t do it for N. I am ashamed of the reason, given that I am the first to preach how we raise them equally and all that jazz. But the simple truth is that I fear that an 18 year old boy would laugh such a gift out (and crush my heart by doing so). So I let my preconceptions of what an imaginary 18 year old boy must be like cloud the joy of being a keeper of my sweet boy’s childhood memories.

    1. My 17 yr old big strapping boy would make light of notes from me but would love it. He still will fold up his lanky body to spend some cuddle time with his mom!

  7. I have a brother and Mark has a sister so all I know is that interaction. I think it has been wonderful to walk through life with a brother – we always had someone to ask relationship questions and we came to our family situations in very different ways. And in my family, it was always my mom and brother playing music in one corner and my dad and I watching football in another!

    I was actually terrified of having a girl. We did find out so I had months of extra time of being scared. I’m just not sure I trust myself to teach her to be the kind of woman I want to be – it frightens me to think about her turning out like me (that’s my super-secret irrational fear I guess)

  8. This sums up EXACTLY my greatest fear of having a baby of the boy kind. Poop. Balls. OMG, wut?? And it’s all kind of silly because when I was pregnant with Stella I really wanted a boy (mostly based upon an unfounded belief that boys don’t go through that “I hate my mom” stage to the same degree of girls). But when Stella got here, I couldn’t imagine having a different baby. She was perfect.
    This time I’m pretty sure I’m having a boy. And I still have about 20 weeks to wrap my brain around the whole “poop on places” issue. Oh, another major fear: pee-pee in my face. Just in case you hadn’t thought of that one yet.

    1. Hi Erica! Just wondering…are we the same person?

      But for real, just so you know this is the same everything I went through. I was for SURE I was having a boy last time (also didn’t find out), was super excited about it, V was born and I was like WOW NOTHING COULD EVER BE EXCEPT EXACTLY LIKE THIS!

      Now, fast forward 3 years and I feel sure this is a boy and I’m so scared. Of balls and finding porn mags under his bed and teaching him to be a feminist and OMG OMG OMG OMGOMG. Why did I wait to find out again?

      Oh and as for pee in the, I’ve thought about it to a degree that’s not normal. For sure.

  9. I felt like this but the other way around. I really wanted a boy first, and along came Otto, we were so thrilled. Because we wanted three children I always thought having a girl next would be the best way to go (because, I obviously totally control that outcome!), our doctor in Indonesia told us what we were having, against our wishes, and we were expecting a girl, to be honest I was a bit dissapointed! I always thought Otto would be a good big brother to a boy, plus I knew what I was doing, poop in girls nappies completely freaks me out! I decided to make sure the next time I was home and the doctor was wrong, we were having another boy. Third time around I just don’t know, girl or boy, one thing is for sure, whatever sex, it will have to come out punching with two big brothers!

  10. ” at the end of the day there are testicles to be dealt with in the bright light of day and I’m not sure I am ready for that.” I laughed so loud! 🙂

    And I can totally relate. Little girls terrify me.

  11. When I saw your photo without having read the post, my thought was “it’s a boy”. You look great!!! How fun to have a pro athlete with a boy to share hockey sticks, no? (Not that she couldn’t play hockey). It’s all whats mean to be.

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