Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Great Gender Question

What are little boys made of?
What are little boys made of?
Slugs and snails
And puppy-dogs' tails,
That's what little boys are made of.
What are little girls made of?
What are little girls made of?
Sugar and spice
And everything nice,
That's what little girls are made of.

I think this English nursery rhyme from 1820 pretty much sums it up. People have very different view of the genders. So when it comes to an expectant mom, everyone wants to know, "What are you having?"

Mention it's a boy and you get tails of messy and crazy antics. Mention it's a girl and everyone coo's over frilly dresses and hair ribbons. But either way, a baby bump means folks are going to ask. Because everyone wants to know.

I am expecting baby #3 in June and I still remember the long and painful wait to find out the gender of our first child. My husband didn't want to know. Unfortunately, I love to plan ahead and not only wanted a name for my baby before birth but I wanted to buy specific items in either blue or purple. I was so excited... until I received the shocking news. I was going to have a boy!

Don't get me wrong, I was thrilled that my baby was healthy and strong, but I was terrified. What did I know about little boys? Okay, other than the nursery rhyme. My mind went straight to a worst case scenario. I thought about a filthy bathroom, stinky socks, crude little boy jokes and exhibitionism. 

When my son was born I was overwhelmed with learning how to be a mom and taking care of my little one. I loved him dearly, but looking back I was too tired and unsure of myself to just enjoy those moments with my new son. 

When my daughter was born I was much calmer and secure in my skills as a mom. I'm nowhere near perfect, but I don't second guess myself anymore. I savored those little moments with her. The early morning feedings when the house was quiet and I could sing to her and savor those tiny little toes and fingers.

Now that she is older, I know for a fact she is not all sugar and spice. She can throw a tantrum like no other and her screams of 3-year old frustration are ear piercing. But, neither is my son all "slugs and snails". It is funny how gender stereotypes are. Going into my second ultrasound yesterday I heard one thing over and over, "Are you hoping for another girl?"

My husband and I had had this discussion many times since we found out we were expecting. I feel blessed to have one of each and it didn't matter anymore. Neither of my children fit a gender mold. They both are amazing and have their own sweet moments with the sour. True, my daughter favors dress-up and dolls while my son is happiest with his construction equipment and LEGOs, but I know I have nothing to fear from raising either gender.

So, what am having?

Yes, we are going to be blessed with another baby boy in June! I am so excited for a chance to do it all over again without the fear or uncertainties of being a new Mom. I am going to savor every moment with this little guy and share all the amazing moments with his older siblings.

Did you have any gender-based worries when you were pregnant? Do you think the 19th century nursery rhyme is accurate? I would love to hear your thoughts.

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