Gender Preference

If you bear with me just a second I'll drag out my soapbox so I can preach a moment. I'm really fed up of reading about and hearing about stories of gender preference. Which lets face it is not gender preference but gender inequality - whilst still in the womb.

Having a preference for one gender over the other is to say essentially that one gender is better than the other, one more treasured, one more desirable. Ouch.

Oh yes, I can say this because I have one child of each gender - well clever me. There is no prize for producing a balanced family - you know, one where you have a sweet and sensitive boy who loves pink and a girl as wild as the heather. As far as I know I'm not especially qualified as a mother or a human being for having produced a set of girl parts and boy parts attached to two absolutely perfect tiny human beings. In fact I think the only likely occurrence having had a boy and a girl will be the insurmountably stupid as yet unheard gender related comments I'm sure people will feel the need to make should we ever announce a third pregnancy.

None of us have any conscious influence over the gender of our babies unless you buy the science, we all start as girls then thanks to the genetic influence of our fathers we take the boy path or the girl path. We have the family we are given by God, Mother Nature or fate depending on your belief system. You have the family you were meant to have. If you have a family, a child or children who are an exquisite mix of DNA for you to cherish you are living the dream, and it really doesn't matter whether you get to buy your child flowery headbands or a football, which of course you can buy for either gender.

Being a parent is to nurture your child, to accept and encourage, to lead and to follow, to love. To love them no matter what parts they have.

You might tell me it was always your dream to take your little girl for afternoon tea at the Caley. Well first, good luck with that, because likely you'll have thirty seconds to wash down a crusts off cucumber sandwich with some flowery perfumed tea before moving on to the next fun activity. And second, little boys love cake too. I have much evidence to prove this. They also love to dress up (sometimes), have fancy hair (sometimes) and be treated like the little princes they are.

As an adult you just have to accept that some dreams are just that, dreams for a different life. Like such as that dream where I am a ballerina, or fashion designer or the inventor of Google. But I have to accept that these are not my destiny.  Let's be honest the reality of having children is  so far removed from the truth this is just another facet of the parenting fantasy. So if you find yourself with a case of gender disappointment (yes I really had to spit those words out), grieve for the dreams you think you've lost (which you've not) if you must and then enjoy your one shot on this planet. I'm not belittling what I imagine are likely strong and true and painful feelings I'm wondering why the gender of a child, a completely arbitrary happening carries such emotional heft in the first place. No one deserves or needs to have a boy or a girl, just like no child needs to know their parents wished they were something, anything else.

I don't often (ever) quote the Rolling Stones, but this seems apt

You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you might find
You get what you need