When I was pregnant the first time, I cried when we found out we were having a girl.
I was terrified I wouldn’t have a clue about parenting, having the same sex meant we had at least one thing in common!
The second time around I was conflicted. A girl would mean my daughter would have a sister (which I have, and love having). A boy meant my husband could have his own mini-me. Having said that – I thought I wouldn’t know what to do with a boy.
In the end, I got my pigeon pair, and there are definitely some benefits to this scenario.
1. Boys are the best
I didn’t realise it at the time, but boys are brilliant. For some reason, I thought it would be more challenging to have a boy, as I don’t know a lot about them. The minute my son was born, I felt the same love I felt for my daughter as I held him in my arms.
Since that moment he has brought such joy to our lives, in ways both similar and different to my daughter. I still don’t have the same bits as him, but it really makes no difference.
2. There is a gender balance in the house
At the moment our boy and girl are heteronormative, which is to say they identify with being the sex they were born. This means that we don’t have a testosterone overload with more male energy in the house, nor an estrogen one. There are dolls, trucks, ninja fights and tea parties. We even each other out, which is good because we spend a lot of time together.
3. It’s made me check my own biases
Having a boy and a girl has meant I’ve had to re-evaluate my own inherent bias when it comes to gender. I notice the language I use. Why should my son be “buddy” and my daughter be “darling”? I watch how I behave and make sure I give them equal amounts of physical affection and opportunity to express their emotions.
I was more comfortable with my son wearing a dress than my daughter. But I’ve come to realise allowing my daughter to wear princess dresses doesn’t mean I’m letting down the sisterhood.
Kids will be kids, and I’ve learnt to allow their curiosity to take them where they want to go.
4. They can learn from each other
Providing they survive the sibling rivalry of the early years, they can teach each other a lot about the opposite sex. Hopefully, as they grow they will continue to confide in each other. As much as the world is changing we still have a long way to go when it comes to communication between the sexes. I’m hoping that they will give each other insight into how the opposite sex thinks, and that they will then have greater respect for the other gender.
5. No one asks us if we’re trying for another one
As far as I can see, if you have two children of the same sex, you are constantly being asked when you will try for the opposite. Having one of each means certain folk have nowhere to go. You know, the ones who ask questions like, “when are you getting married?” and “when are you having a baby?”
I got one of each, so apparently, that means we’re right to shut up shop (phew!)
At the end of the day, I’m happy with my pigeon pair for many reasons, but mostly because of who they are.
Many of us are simply happy to have two healthy children – regardless of what sex they are born.
Does the gender of your children matter to you?