You should have a girl

I am the mom of boys. Two boys. No daughters—only sons. As the mom of boys, I am frequently told that I need a daughter to round out my family.

“You should have a girl.”  I hear it all the time.

But why? Why should I have a girl? Is it because the two boys I already have aren’t good enough? Is it because I’ve somehow failed by conceiving two children of the same gender? The male gender? Is it because all mothers need a daughter in order to feel complete?

Those are the questions that go through my mind whenever somebody says, “You should have a girl.”

And it’s not just moms of boys; dads of girls get it, too. both of my brothers-in-law have only girls. Yet, I’ve heard people say things like, “Oh, man… no boys, huh?” or “Only girls… tough break.” I mean, what’s a father to do without a son to play catch with in the back yard? What kind of life is that?

no daughters

Why are people so hung up on gender, anyway? Aren’t we just lucky to have kids at all when so many are unable?

Twelve years ago, I thought I was one of the unlucky. At the ripe old age of 28, my husband and I were in the throes of infertility. We saw doctors, identified a problem and attempted to fix it—but were told not to get our hopes up.

I cried and bawled and sobbed my eyes out at the idea of not being able to conceive. All I wanted was a baby. Boy. Girl. It didn’t matter. I just wanted a baby.

A year later, I got my wish. On February 9, 2003, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy—a boy who changed my life forever when, just seconds old, he looked up at me with my husband’s almond-shaped, brown eyes. Nineteen months later, my second masterpiece of perfection entered the world, completing our family: baby boy #2.

Two babies! Two boys! Two amazing baby boys! My prayers were answered. What more could I want in life?

Oh yeah that’s right, a girl.

To those of who believe I need a girl, I know you mean well and I truly appreciate your concern. But please understand, this advice is not helpful to me. God chose me to be the mom of boys. He chose to bless me with two amazing, thoughtful, hilarious, witty boys who enliven every corner of my life. Were it not for these boys, I would not be the mom I am today. I would not be the person I am today.

I do not have a girl to dress up or take shopping. I do not have a partner in crime to accompany me to the nail salon or share in the woes of monthly menstrual cramps.  I have two boys who are my loves. My sweethearts. My protectors. My princes.

no daughters

I thank God every day for giving me these people. I am the mom of boys—and I love every second of it.

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  1. I had two boys first and when I got pregant with a third, I was often heard, “Going for a girl, huh?” Nope, just going for a third to act as referee between the first two.

  2. Thinkigotit says:

    I too am the mother of two boys. One now off to college and the other sixteen. As time has passed, it has become glaringly clear to me that God carefully knew what he was doing. I was meant to be a mom of boys the while time!

  3. I’m so glad you shared this. The comments from people about what we should do when it comes to reproduction is INSANE.

  4. Oh man, I get this all the time. Especially because my kids are only 2 and 4. People think I need a girl to have a perfect family. What’s wrong with the two perfect, healthy children I already have? Since when does gender need to define a “perfect” family? My perfect family is the one I have been blessed with.

    • Linda, get used to hearing it for years to come. Maybe when I’m old and gray, they’ll stop giving me this advice.

  5. It is annoying, but then I think, they don’t know what they are missing! My Mom used to ask when I was going to adopt a girl. Really Mom? Like it’s so easy to just adopt. We went the adoption route once, and it’s no easier than childbirth. Sometimes I pine for a girl, but then one of my boys comes to my rescue. I’ve got great girlfriends and an awesome sister. I don’t need another baby to fill the gender gap in my house. That’s why we got the dog.

    • Agreed, Sue. And I, too, have a girl dog for that reason. She’s my daughter. She the only one who doesn’t talk back in this house!

  6. Hi Steph,
    I loved your post. As a man, I don’t hear that much…and wonder if it is because I am a man. Like somehow I must be living a good and Godly life because we lined up the incredible odds to have 3 boys. 3 impish little mini-mes who provide rife fodder for my wife (Sara of and I to blog about. They are loud, rambunctious, prone to bugger-eating and either not wiping their bottoms or plugging the toilet, but we love each of them dearly and uniquely. We hope to grow them into the best men they can be. I will read, like, and follow you. Keep on keeping on…and telling your story. Ozzie

  7. Jennifer Angel says:

    I am currently pregnant with my third girl. I get that all the time. I bet you wanted a boy? Are you going to try for a boy the 4th time? My response is HELL to the NO I am not having 4! We are done with 3 (this is my 4th pregnancy). We always wanted 3 not matter what gender they were. People are annoying especially relatives that think they know it all. My favorite thing that people say is, Oh – your having another girl, are you disappointed? Um, NO! It’s a 3rd baby – what I’ve always wanted and she will be wearing hand me downs until she’s in college! HA!

  8. Thank you for this post! It is so true and why??? We also spent 3 horrible years in fertility and were so blessed to have a baby boy. Then 17 months later our second baby boy/ biggest surprise ever was born. My boys are 2 and 9 months old and I hear at least once a week that I need a girl. It is constant and drives me insane! As if a third child is even gaurenteed to be a girl. I love my boys and honestly if we did have a third I think I want another boy!!

    • Congrats on overcoming infertility. And BTW, when I found out I was having my second boy, I was so happy. I knew I loved the one I had so very much… so a second just seemed to make sense!

  9. I am also the mom of two boys 10 and 13 so thank you for this post. I agree with you whole heartedly.
    Of course the other day my 10 year old went to one of our cousins (our age) and asked them when they were going to have another baby (they have 4, 2 of each). They looked at each other in horror and exclaimed “Never”. He grumped at them “well neither are mom and dad so how am I ever going to have a little one around to feed and take care of so I am not the youngest anymore”. Gotta luv ’em. 🙂

  10. First, people are stupid. Second, I think so many forget how little control the human mind has on reproduction. Ugh! Third, I love your perspective. You out deep thoughts into simple words.

  11. Right?! Right. My goodness, it’s like we have a choice when it comes to these things. As a mom of five boys, I got this all. The. Time. There was a point that we were considering adopting a girl, but then I thought about the message that would send my boys. I adore them. Am I sad about not having a girl? Yes, but not always. I’m fine with being a boy mama. Someday there will be girls in my life – daughters that I never had. That’s fine by me.

    • Kathy, that’s such a good point about what message that would send the boys. My oldest son sometimes asks if I wish they were girls. It hurts me that he even asks that question!

  12. How beautiful. I love your post. We get that quite a bit because Baby Girl is a Singleton. We can’t afford another child, and now I am already 40. And that is okay. I think God gives each of us different gifts and different lives and we shouldn’t compare – just be grateful for what you’ve got. Thank you for a beautiful post!

  13. Love it. As a mom of 4 boys, I have always gotten those same crazy comments. I actually wrote a blog about them as well. Now I have a step son and step daughter and the comments are shifted to “Aren’t you FINALLY glad to have a girl in the house?” And, yes, I adore my stepdaughter. She’s awesome. BUT my house was perfectly livable, happy, and fun with all boys, too. People are stupid. 🙂

    Great post!

  14. When I was young, in the pre-sonargram era:) and pregnant for the first time, I longed for a little girl…had her name picked out (Linda Marie) and modeled her in my mind, after adorable little Buffy, on Family Affair. She turned out to be a ‘he’ – a beautiful boy – and I was sure, the second time around, that I only wanted another boy. Well, I got my little girl – and I did not name her Linda Marie! She was/is Stephanie Mary, unique in every way. Not only is she clever, witty, pretty – a loyal friend and wonderful daughter, she is (hands down) the best Mom – mother of boys – that I know! Steph, this is a wonderfully wise and expressive piece.

  15. I love this so much. We have two boys, and #3 is due in 3 months. Everyone thinks it’s a girl; everyone thinks we were “trying for a girl”; everyone assumes we want a girl. But after infertility and miscarriage – and two amazing boys we wouldn’t trade for the world – it doesn’t matter to me one whit whether we’re blessed with another boy or whether we “get our girl” to complete whatever matching set society thinks parenting should entail. I love being a mom to boys, and your words echo in my heart today. Thank you.

    • Well, one way to shut them all up is to have that baby be a girl. Oh wait, that’s right… we can’t choose these things.

      That said, congrats on baby #3!

  16. You are content with the bounty of blessings you have been given, and why that isn’t understood by others is totally nutty.

  17. Right on, Stephanie. Right. On.

  18. jennifer merritt says:

    I am also the mother of all boys, 3 of them
    🙂 I will admit, as we saw the ultrasound of the third, a single tear fell at the news, another boy. I also heard, for years, you should try for a girl!!! My heart is full with the blessings my boys bring to this mother’s heart. They are 14, 13 & 8.
    18 months ago, we lost their father in a car accident. God had a master plan. He sent us sons for a reason. They have been amazing. Through their heartache and loss they have taken it upon themselves to comfort me, their mother. Their father taught them many wonderful things in the short time they had him. They can change a doorknob, cut the grass, run a weedeater, , start a fire in the fireplace and holds their Mother’s hand and wipe her tears when she cries. They are loving and thoughtful.
    God gives us what we need and I count my blessings everyday…

    • Wow, Jennifer. I am so very sorry for your loss. How amazing that your boys have been there for you. They really are amazing, aren’t they? Sounds like yours have a great foundation. They will grow to be fine men.

  19. Well said Stephanie! I always knew that if I had two of the same gender I wanted boys. God knew what he was doing. I also thought when I was younger that I’d have three. Two is all I can handle. I love having boys. I love having two boys who play together, fight with eachother, but when one threatens to run away, the other says with panic in their voice…”Go get him! He’s on the front step saying he’ll give us one more chance!”

    The ONLY time I wish for a girl to add to the mix is because I had such a close relationship with my Dad. With my Dad gone over a decade I think a lot about how special our bond was. I wish my husband could experience that. Funny that my husband has never expressed any wish for anything different and there is no reason he can’t have that closeness with his boys, and he does. Perhaps some people feel that the relationship they have had with whichever parent they were closest to can’t be had by a child of the other gender. Just like with me…I’m projecting my own crap. Or people are just idiots which is probably the case. Our family is perfect just the way it is.

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