I’ve learned over time that a family is only complete when it has one boy and one girl.
I mean, how can a family be happy with three girls or four boys or just one child, right? The horror.
Even nearly two years after we’ve had our son (our daughter is now nearly six), I still get strangers, friends and those in the middle say, “You’re so lucky, your family is now complete, you have one of each!” The expression gets me every time. It’s an innocent comment, said with good intentions, yet it’s so off the mark to think that every family is made complete by this one of each thing. How do they know that’s what I wanted, or that maybe, I’m crying on the inside wishing I had two boys right now?
I loved recently that two pregnant girl friends due in early 2016 each confided that beyond their in utero babies being healthy, they both really wanted girls. Like really, really wanted a girl. They each already had one child each, both a girl, and wanted them to have a sister. Their honesty was refreshing, and also made me want to scream from the rooftops that we’re not all made complete by the same thing.
It was beautiful. And, yet, it took me by surprise. After our troubles related to pregnancy and babies, I’m hyper aware of making any baby/family-related comments, yet the stereotypical worldview of what makes a complete family even had me thrown off with their responses.
Not another boy to “complete” their family, another girl for sisters to have tea parties, dance recitals (or t-ball tournaments!) and shopping trips. A sister to confide in, to share secrets, heartbreaks and their biggest dreams with each other. This is the dream each of these women were secretly hoping for when they got the gender results, and lucky enough, it’s going to become a reality.
As a society we get so hung up on supposed norms and what others want for us that we often innocently push it on someone else. It’s typically subconscious. Yet, I always feel awkward when someone makes that comment which must happen at least a few times per month. <insert shrug here>
Imagine the face that the mom with three boys must always get (that must also come with, “oh, are you trying for a girl?!”), or the one with just one child has (which, by the way, we don’t know if that’s because they wanted one or because heartbreakingly, they couldn’t conceive). There are so many moms and dads in this “other” category, and as evidenced by my tiniest sample size study ever of two — though in one week! — not everyone wants to be.
All these questions and comments are said so innocently yet they are really deeply personal dialogue. A good reminder that beautiful, fulfilled families come in so many packages and there’s always an opportunity for each of us to be a little more open minded.