No, I’m Not Trying for a Girl

No, I'm Not Trying for a Girl | Baby Chick

No, I’m Not Trying for a Girl

If you want to know one phrase that every boy mom could do without, I can tell you what it is. It’s a simple question that is offered up in a harmless manner when random strangers see mothers of boys:

“So, are you going to try for a girl?”

And I would know because, especially after having my fourth son, it’s accurate to say I’ve been asked this question nearly 500 times. It’s actually hard to go anywhere with all of my sons and NOT get asked this question at least once. And while I know no one means any harm by asking it, it just never sits well with me. (P.S. I even cringed when I had to type it.)

Maybe you don’t know this — and I assure you I didn’t know it either — but I have learned there is a hidden assumption pre-programmed into the bulk of our society that innately thinks every woman secretly craves having a daughter. And that a family is not complete until you have both a boy and a girl. Or at least that is what I gather from my eight years of being asked the ‘trying for a girl’ question.

And if that is true for most of society, I guess I do not fall into that norm. Because I do not feel slighted by my sons in the least. I love it, which is why today, on behalf of all boy moms, I would love to explain why the phrase “Are you trying for a girl?” needs to go find a nice little cabin by a lake and retire.

It creates unnecessary pity.

What I don’t like about having to say “No, I’m not trying for a girl” is the feeling I get that the stranger on the other side of the grocery aisle assumes I’m lying to them about my happiness with having boys. I feel pity from someone about something that I love, which just feels wrong to me. (And believe you me, it’s not that I don’t enjoy pity; I mean feel free to give me some crazy heavy pity for what I have to endure during my toddler’s bedtime routine.) And it’s not that I don’t love little girls, or that I don’t love being a girl. Because I do! I am just happy with my boys and don’t want someone feeling bad for me about something that brings me joy.

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It projects someone else’s feelings on me.

By saying, “Are you going to try for a girl?” you are projecting your feelings that I have been trying for a girl from the start onto me.

While I recognize I am rare in the fact that I wanted three little boys from the time I was a little girl, I think it’s polite to let a woman choose to tell you if she is trying for a girl. And there is nothing wrong with being the girl that has a preference toward girls because girls ARE awesome. Just like there is nothing wrong with having a preference toward boys, because boys are awesome, TOO. But it seems most appropriate to let someone tell you if they are wanting a different gender rather than just assuming that they do. (But by all means, if someone shares with you that they are disappointed because they have all boys, then take that as your cue to join in pity with them!)

It implies kids were not the goal.

This question also implies that my husband and I did not make the conscious choice to have children. Instead, it implies that seven years ago when we began trying to conceive, our conversation about having kids went something like this, “Well, we’ve been married a long time now, and I’m thinking I’m ready to become a parent. So, dear. Are you ready to start our family of daughters?” Which is not the conversation we had. In fact, our first son was a total surprise. We didn’t even know we were trying for a kid. 😉 But in the conversations that have followed, our words went more like this, “Do you feel ready to have another child? Either a boy or a girl.”

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It negates science.  

While it would be fun if we were all able to pick the gender of our children, this question also negates the fact that without major medical intervention, gender is not something in our control. So it seems like a bad idea to me for anyone to make the decision to have a child solely on gender. I think all people trying for another child should be trying for just that—a child. Not a son. Or a daughter. Or sadly, I think you might wind up disappointed. (Until you see your baby—then you’ll forget you ever cared.)

It insults the children who hear it.

And while I know no one would ever intentionally mean to be rude by asking this, this question also insults my sons when you say it in front of them. After hearing this question hundreds of times (because they hear it almost every time we take them out somewhere), you are planting a small seed in their heads and hearts that they are not good enough for me. You subtly hint to them that as a female, I will not be satisfied until I have a female child. And I hate that for them. But I do love their new response to this question. In unison they now answer, “No, she always wanted sons.” 

It implies I have no limit.

Lastly, it assumes that I am more concerned with the gender of my children than the quantity. If my goal was a daughter, would you assume I would go to 18 kids just to wind up with a daughter? It just seems silly to me. And just plain scary. I mean, four kids is a pretty hearty number if you ask me. Right? But I feel like people act like the four children we already have would not have any impact on when we decide to call the baby-making quits. So let me just get this out there, we are done. 

And if that makes you think, “Poor little thing, she just kept trying and trying for a girl and now she’s had so many, she just has to give up.” Please don’t. Because I’m not bitter. Instead, I’m better because of my sons. And I’m overwhelmed with gratitude every time I look at them all together. I truly look forward to the day when I have four grown men sitting at the dinner table, eating enough food that I have to run out and buy more during the meal. It makes me tear up just thinking about it.

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Boy mom, all boys, Baby Chick, not trying for a girl

So no, I’m not trying for a girl. And I never was. But I was trying for a child. And four beautiful children I certainly got.

About the Author /

Quinn is a wife, boy mom (x’s 4), blogger at Sanctification and Spitup, host of the Renew You Podcast and licensed marriage and family therapist. She loves to encourage others in relationships through her speaking, writing or podcast episodes.

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Instagram post 17852562805720320 Loneliness is a real thing in new motherhood and I want to be sure we talk about this. It's okay to say, "I feel lonely." We normalize one another's experiences when we share the reality of our journey. It can be so isolating when we bring our small human home and our lives revolve around his/her care. We feel detached from the outside world. The monotony of new motherhood can be heavy.⁠
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Here are some tips to combat isolation:⁠
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1️⃣ Get outside when possible.⁠
2️⃣ Video chat with friends/family.⁠
3️⃣ Join a virtual group.⁠
4️⃣ Invite someone to come over.⁠
5️⃣ Find a local mom's group.⁠
6️⃣ Listen to the radio or a podcast (it's interesting how this can make us feel connected with others)⁠
7️⃣ Run an errand--even grabbing a coffee via drive-thru can feel good.⁠
8️⃣ Get to know your neighbors.⁠
What would you add to the list?⁠
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📷: @hallmark⁠
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Instagram post 17855722339639264 ✈️ Tips to Survive a Plane Ride with Kids ✈️⁠
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Flying on a plane with your little one for the first time can be terrifying. Are they going to cry the whole time? How will they handle the airport, the turbulence and the landing? Well we have some tips that will help prepare you for your flight with your kids. Here's what to do to have a more enjoyable experience 😊 {Link in bio!}⁠
📷: unknown⁠
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But I still end up doing all the things for my baby. 🥰
(quote: @torturedbytoddlers)
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📷: @aleeandria⁠
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📷: unknown⁠
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Instagram post 17852873872664390 Harvesting colostrum . . . look at all of that liquid gold!⁠ 😍 If your baby comes early or you are already lactating before baby arrives, it’s great to hand express into a teaspoon and gather what you’ve collected into a syringe. #breastfeedingtip
📷: @boo.b.ltd
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