How to Deal with Gender Disappointment - Baby Chick
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How to Deal with Gender Disappointment

“It’s a (fill in the blank to the opposite gender than you were hoping for)!!!!" We're sharing 6 tips to process gender disappointment.

Published May 4, 2017

by Quinn Kelly

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

So you’re nearing the 20-week mark in your pregnancy, which means it’s time to find out your baby’s gender. And while you’ve told everyone, including your hubby, that you don’t care what the gender is as long as your baby is healthy, in your heart, you know you have a preference. You really want a boy. Or you’ve always wanted a girl.

And now the moment of truth is here. Is it going to be a son or a daughter? An XX or XY? A princess or a prince? As you lay there, you prepare yourself for whatever news you will hear. You tell yourself you don’t care. Then, as the sonographer lays down the transducer on your belly and then announces . . .

“It’s a (fill in the blank to the opposite gender than you were hoping for)!!!!”

You immediately smile and look at your spouse. Then, try and conjure up your excitement. But somewhere deep down inside, you feel a sense of sadness as you leave the appointment. And as you and your spouse prepare to tell your family and friends the news, you find yourself stuck with a feeling of disappointment more than you ever knew you would. Then you feel guilty, which makes you feel even worse. And since you’re hormonal, you find yourself tearing up, which isn’t how you expected this day to go.

6 Tips for Processing Gender Disappointment

If you can relate to what I mentioned above, I’m here to share my top tips for processing gender disappointment.

1. Acknowledge your feelings.

It’s okay to feel disappointed. So there’s no need to hide it. The worst thing you can try to do is pretend you don’t feel the way you do. Hoping for a certain gender does not mean you will love your baby any less. It just may take a bit to adjust to knowing about the gender. So take your time. You’ve got it.

2. Wait to announce the gender until you’re ready.

If you still feel less than excited about the baby’s gender, hold off on announcing until you feel excited. You want the gender announcement to be a fun memory. Announcing while you’re still processing may not be the memory you want to have, so wait until you’ve found a way to see the fun side of the gender you are having.

3. Talk to people who have the opposite gender.

One of the best ways to get excited about the opposite gender is to talk to someone about why they love having a girl or boy. Let’s say a dad desperately wants a son and finds out he’s having his third girl, then that’s a great time to talk to another father of three girls who loves it. Or let’s say you have always wanted a daughter and find out you’re having a son. Seek out someone you know who swoons over boys. That’s a great way to switch out of a negative state of mind.

4. Buy something super fun for a boy or a girl.

I think one of the easiest ways to make a certain gender seem fun is to get something super adorable about that particular gender. Buy the cutest little dress there ever was, or buy the smallest baseball glove known to (baby) man. Finding something you love that goes with your baby’s gender can help get you excited about your new little one!

5. Begin writing letters to your child.

I think it’s easy to get stuck on gender because you don’t yet know your baby. You don’t have a relationship with the little being growing inside of you, so it’s easy to feel focused on wanting a (fill in the blank) instead of focused on the fact that you are getting ready to have a child! So, one easy way to redirect your focus is to write letters to your baby. The more you write, the more real your babies begin to feel. Begin the letter with, “Dear Son . . .” Or “Dear Daughter . . .” It’s an instant way to form a bond with the child you are carrying.

6. Believe you are being given the child you are meant to have.

Lastly, whether you are a person of faith or not, I can’t help but remind you that the child you are carrying is the child you are meant to have. As a mother of faith, I believe every baby we have is a gift entrusted to us. And the reason I was given four boys is because God knew I was meant to have sons instead of daughters. I may never understand why, but I will trust that it was not an accident. And I hope you can have that perfect peace, whatever child you carry, whether a son or a daughter.

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Quinn Kelly Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
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Quinn is a mother of four, licensed marriage and family therapist, host of the “Renew You” Podcast, and author of “Raising Boys: A Christian Parenting Book.” Throughout the last decade,… Read more

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