Gender Disappointment – I wanted a girl

I am absolutely fed up of people telling each other how they should feel, what they should say and how they should act. Obviously the biggest, my obvious, issue that is much talked about is the bottle/breast debate. Making themselves feel better about their own choices they rant away not considering the feelings of others – whichever side of the fence they fall. But there’s a quieter issue out there, not one that is much talked about, because let’s be honest there isn’t really a good argument why someone should want a child of a particular gender.

gender disappointment

I await the backlash now but YES I was one of those people – I wanted a girl!

I hear so much about women being vocal about how they were not bothered either way that they just wanted their baby to be healthy, and that is great. People who would prefer a certain gender of course want their child to be healthy and that’s all that really matters. I think more people would prefer a certain gender than they let on because as soon as you find out you are expecting people ask which you would prefer. One of the first things that is mentioned when the baby is born is the sex! There is no explanation for preferring a certain gender, really there’s not. You can think and think and think. You can look at tragic circumstances of others (those who are unable to have children, have lost children, very ill children) and KNOW that you are blessed. You LOVE the children you do have no less. But there’s still something, something in your heart, a FEELING, and you cannot explain it. You feel bad enough as it is, not least because you DO APPRECIATE that this feeling is just STUPID. You wish you were not the one to have it, but you do. What good actually comes from people putting you down and making you feel bad?

gender disappointment

When we made the decisions to have each of our children it was because we wanted more children. I love my boys with all of my heart and I do not care what people say I KNOW that I am a good mother to them, and don’t not wish that they were girls. But I DID wish that I had had a girl. I was not obsessed, I did not use any fancy methods to try and sway the gender of my child. We certainly did not “keep trying for a girl” we were just having more children. But YES it broke my heart when we decided that our family was complete. Yes I cried because I would never know what it was like to have a girl, but you know I was crying because I would never have another child. I was really a child when I had my first son (pregnant at seventeen), and it is what I had wrapped my worth in. It signified the end of everything being wrapped up in motherhood, scared that I would have to do something else instead and would fail. I know I will always be a mother but the balance would change, my knowledge would not be as powerful.

It is five years now since I knew I would never have a daughter. I have dealt with the loss of something I wanted so badly but could never have. I felt people’s anger towards my feelings and questioned them myself. It is only since I worked through those feelings that I was able to accept that I did not want a daughter, I wanted the little girl back. The little girl who had suffered all those years ago. The girl who was scared to be pretty to avoid attracting the wrong attention. The girl who missed out. I am glad biology took matters into its own hands because I do not think a daughter would have been good for me, as I would have been trying to live my life not let her live hers. Well that is how I dealt with those feelings. I hope I haven’t made people angry but I want to be true to myself and my feelings – because they really cannot be helped and hiding them away does no good for anyone. I am certain there are plenty of other women (and men) who would have preferred a certain gender too – it does not make us bad people.

gender disappointment

I want to just say again that I love my boys and they are my World. This is a feeling of wanting a particular gender and not being disappointed with the gender that I have. I have labelled everything up as gender disappointment as I just feel that it is a better search term (gender preference brings up a very different topic matter). My boys have at no point ever been anything other than loved and wanted. I guess I just wanted to do the cute stuff, – buying dresses, making daisy chains, styling hair – but now I am lucky enough to have a niece for that. Even better as she’s not mine so I don’t have to worry about the difficult teenage years.

37 thoughts on “Gender Disappointment – I wanted a girl”

  1. I get you. I really do. I have two beautiful boys who I adore. I’m 15 weeks pregnant and will be finding out the sex of our third, and final baby soon. Both me and hubby are desperate for a girl. I think we’ve even convinced ourselves it is a girly. Will I be disappointed if it is a boy? A little yes. Will I love baby any less because it is a boy? Absolutely not. It will be loved and adored just as it would be a little girl. Xxx

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  2. You’re not alone…I always wanted boys and only boys. Doesn’t mean I don’t love my daughter less because she’s a girl. I love her to bits and wouldn’t trade her for anything!!!

    It’s only natural to be disappointed when you want something so much and you can’t have it.xxx

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  3. Can completely understand where you are coming from!! I have four girls and as much as I love them all and wouldn’t change them for the world, I would have loved to have had the boy and my husband even more so. Nothing wrong with feeling that way at all!!! xx

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  4. I think you’re right-being open about your feelings is a much better way of dealing with them and then being able to move on. But, it’s so tricky sometimes, as people do judge unfortunately. And many times, they don’t want to understand or aren’t willing to even try to understand. True friends and supporters will be able to see beyond, and support and listen regardless of what they think themselves. Because in the end, we all tread our own paths and no one can truly understand unless they have walked in another’s shoes so to speak. I can understand why you felt as you did and do now. I don’t blame you at all and I certainly don’t think any less of you for having the courage to be honest.

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  5. I love my girls dearly but the first question I asked when no.3 was born was ‘Were they right?’. I don’t mind saying for the slightest of moments I was a little deflated. She was fat and perfect so it didn’t last long but I’ve been very clear that I would have loved a little boy! You cannot be called a bad parent, mother or person for wanting one thing more than the other. It’s natural to have preferences!

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  6. I think its natural to picture how you wanted life to be, which very much includes children. I always wanted 3 children and I’m not sure we’ll even have two – I think some people think we’re ungrateful. I love little z to bits but its fairly gutting to think we may never be able to expand our little family. But we’re very happy as is too …which is a bit contradictory.

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  7. I can imagine how you feel, I was lucky to have a girl, then two boys, but I know with my second, I didn’t voice it aloud, but I did have a slight preference for a boy, just to see what it was like! I wouldn’t have been distraught if he had been another girl, it was more a sense of intrigue to see how different it was – the answer is not very!

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  8. I always wanted girls and got my wish so think I can understand what you mean as I would have been disappointed not to have had two girls alongside my son. I also dislike the ‘only if its healthy’ argument as this suggests unhealthy or disabled are not as perfect and are therefore lesser than healthy babies. But i guess that is a whole other debate!

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  9. I have been very fortunate to have a boy and a girl. My friend has 3 boys, and whilst pregnant with her 3rd, was almost desperate for it to be a girl. Of course she loves them all, but I do understand what you mean.

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  10. I don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting a particular gender, I think it’s natural, especially as women as we just associate cute stuff with girls. I guess having all boys can make it a bit more obvious that you longed for a girl too. I think a lot of people are too scared to say out loud to people that they want a specific gender through fear of being judged, which is wrong.

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  11. I had two girls , love them loads but always wanted a boy and gave up after the two girls till 4 years later decided aw bugger it al go for it one more time lol, luckily i waslucky , never hcance it again though , no more for me x

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  12. I think for me, it was the potential to be involved as a grandmother. It’s certainly true that it is more likely that a woman will have more involvement with her daughter’s children than her son’s, at least during the early days. I am close to my Mum and had hoped this might be the case if I had a daughter. However, once I had two boys those feelings pretty much vanished as boys are gorgeous too! When I fell pregnant the third time I was actually hoping for a third boy – which I had, but there was a bonus baby girl in there too 🙂 I love all my children equally, they all present different challenges and delights, I’m glad a have a girl – I think there would always have been a bit of “What if?” if not. She has never liked pink though, never lets me do her hair, had opinions on everything from the start and is probably the least cuddly of them all 😉

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  13. I have never really considered that my boys were ever going to be anything other than boys – odd I know, but we just knew! Now I sometimes long for a girl, but only for when they leave home. Boys leave, but girls always have their mothers!

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  14. I don’t know why you would even worry about people judging you as I think many people have a preference. I always wanted girls and I didn’t even have the compelling reason you did. I didn’t find out what my eldest was as I knew I would be disappointed if I found out he was a boy! Once I’d got my boy though I would have happily had all boys.

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  15. I understand this. I really do. And I know you are worried how people might react to this. But honestly, I think such feelings are much more common than you think. When I found out Boo was not going to be the second daughter I irrationally assumed I would have (being one of two girls myself), I was surprised how many people said, wow, one of each and explained how disappointed they were to have had 2 or more boys or girls. I don’t think you’re alone. And don’t judge you at all. This sounds very natural to me and doesn’t alter the fact that you are a clearly a terrific parent to your boys!

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  16. I think most people have a preference whether they admit it or not. I do love my girls to bits but I would also like a boy as well so have one of each I guess!

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  17. I was convinced I was having a girl – that’s what I wanted; my other half (at the time) was convinced I was having a boy – that’s what he wanted. We had a boy, and he’s now 15. I love him with all my heart, but wonder if I will have a baby with my husband (the boy’s stepdad) and if that baby wasn’t a girl, would I be disappointed? I do have my niece whom I adore, I get to do the girly things with her, but she goes home to mummy and daddy and I don’t have to deal with the temper tantrums (but I’ll be the best auntie I can be when as she grows)

    My mum and dad had 3 girls, everyone kept saying, are you going to go for a fourth, and have a boy…as it happens, my mum did fall pregnant and 40, and my brother was born. Everyone asked if they kept trying on purpose – no, it just happened that way.

    Never apologise hun for your feelings xxxx thanks for writing and sharing this post xxxx

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  18. What a brave and honest post, I don’t see how anyone could judge these feelings, they are completely natural. I admire you for working through them. I guess I can’t talk much as I have one of each and my kids birth order, pattern and age gap exactly replicates that of me and my brother. Although, sometimes one of each is utterly mind blowing and I wish to only have to be an expert in girls or boys, I guess that’s natural too.

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  19. Lovely post and I bet so many people can relate to it – even if they’re not honest enough to tell you.

    I am so lucky as I have one of each which is what I always wanted and I shed a little tear (or two) when I found out that my second was a boy as it felt like one of each was the ‘perfect’ family. Completely not the case I know but it’s what I’s always wanted so to me, it was perfect.

    If ever you want to borrow a daughter, you’re welcome to mine for a week. Hormones and all 😉

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  20. Well done for being so honest. I have a daughter, but before we found out her sex I knew I really wanted a girl. I guess I just thought of all the things mothers and daughter did together and wanted that. No-one would ever think that your children are any less loved x

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  21. Ooh I’m thinking now that if you saw my keynote that I upset you. Hope I didn’t . My hate is people asking what gender you want as soon as you are pregnant. I think it’s a silly and personal question. If people want certain gender that is up to them and should also be allowed to be private if they so wish. I wish people wouldn’t judge. We had more chance of a healthy baby if a girl but personally had no preference as what would be would be. Also when I said my wish was for my second child to be healthy I did mean that I would not love them any the less with disability. I just hoped to not be told to say goodbye to another baby again. Another pet hate of mine is strangers asking are you having any more with no notion of miscarriages and fertility issues etc. We all have different personal views and they should all be respected. Great post. X

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  22. I know lots of people with boys who would love a girl, for lots of different reasons, you don’t need to feel bad, but I’m sorry it makes you sad.

    It was lovely chatting on Friday by the way. xxx

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  23. Thanks for being so honest. I had ‘gender’ concerns. I wanted boys instead of girls. I’m lucky to have both and I love them all equally. My issues were personal to me but no one should feel bad or judged about how they feel

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  24. Isn’t it weird, I really really wanted a boy, DH wanted a girl. I knew early on (before the scans) that my baby would be a girl, I just knew. I wanted a boy though. The cans proved I was right, and 9 months (and a bit!) later DD was born. Now 14 years on I can’t imagine having a boy! I don’t mourn not having a boy, I do think my child is the perfect child for me.

    I hope you still have time to be the person you really feel you missed, a younger you, you can still do the things girls did/do being grown up and a mummy doesn’t change that. In fact it can open the door to being cute and silly all over again – you only need to look at me, dressed in a ball gown at a festival – get yourself some fairy wings!

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  25. A very honest post, and I think a lot of people feel the same, even if they don’t admit it. I was thrilled that my eldest 2 were both boys but with my 3rd pregnancy I secretly wanted a girl. I told everyone I wanted another boy so that they wouldn’t think I was disappointed if I had a 3rd son. I was thrilled to have a girl. With my 4th pregnancy, after suffering 3 miscarriages I just wanted a baby, gender didn’t come into it.

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  26. I totally understand. I wanted a girl so much when I had my first child that I was convinced he was a she until our 20 week scan told us otherwise. After the initial,’ oh, that’s not what we thought would happen,’ we were still happy and bought lots of blue things. Having hopes and dreams of the gender you want is perfectly normal, in my opinion. Your mind has to prepare for all eventualities when you are pregnant or thinking of having children. Nothing to feel bad about.x

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  27. Great post – although I had a girl first I always wanted to give my husband a daughter and honestly didn’t think it would happen……he just didn’t make little girls so I was gobsmacked when the monographer said we were having a daughter with Eliza. I always wanted 3 of each so was convinced Sebby was a girl, of course he wasn’t and I wouldn’t have it any other way now!

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  28. I respect everyone’s decision to have an opinion on this, but personally, I could not have cared less what sex my twin babies were. It was a difficult pregnancy with an increased risk of miscarriage and all the way through I just kept on telling myself that as long as they were healthy babies, I was happy.

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  29. We always thought we were having a girl when I was pregnant with J. It all came as a bit of a shock when we were told he was a boy! There is nothing wrong with wanting a girl or a boy. As long as you do not resort to foeticide if you don’t have it your way. Yes, there are people who would take that extreme step.

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  30. Very well said! We did struggle, very much to have a baby, but I don’t think it is fair of anyone to judge those who have a preference. It’s a completely different issue. When I was pregnant, I did lean towards a girl – I think most people lean one way or the other, but maybe don’t admit it, as you say. We had a boy and I soon couldn’t imagine anything other, and actually, if anything, secretly hope if we are blessed by another baby it will be blue! It’s just weird that people can’t talk about these preferences, yet everyone asks which you want! It’s a funny old subject! #PlugYourPost

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  31. I totally understand. With my second, I was hoping for a boy. I knew two children was my lot and one of each sounded perfect. When I found out I was carrying a second girl, I felt disappointed. Not because I didn’t want a second daughter but because I would never have a son. I love both my girls to bits and I feel guilty and aahamed of my original feelings. Thank you for sharing that it’s okay to have a preference.

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  32. I really wanted a girl. So far I have a boy and only one more chance. From the moment my son was born I wanted another child straight away firstly to complete my family and secondly to put me out of my misery so I can find out if Im ever going to be a girl mom too or spend the rest of my life heartbroken like you describe.

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