Gender Disappointment: How Do We Tell Our Friends?

Every parent can agree that nothing beats the rush of learning that you’re expecting. Coincidentally, it’s natural for parents to wish for either a boy or girl, and really feel that their gut feeling will later be validated. However, discovering that your hunch was wrong can be disheartening, especially if you have already have children that are the same gender. In this case, take these cues to not only deal with gender disappointment, but also relay the news to your loved ones.

Go Online First

Today every parent can easily connect with people who are going through the same experiences. Through participating in different forums and community pages for expecting parents, you can solicit advice and determine a strategy on how to work on your gender disappointment. This way you are able to get a perspective on resolving your feelings and letting your family and friends know about how you feel. We’ve discussed in a previous post here on NowBaby that not having pregnant friends to lean on can breed emotions of isolation and depression. Likewise, if you speak to other people who are also feeling gender disappointment this can provide a support system.

Acknowledge the Feelings You Have

You should never decry what you feel when it comes to gender disappointment. According to Belly Belly mothers may encounter complex feelings that include, sadness, depression, anger towards themselves, and many more. Before you approach your family and friends, it’s wise to identify and recognise these emotions so that you can process them thoroughly. Your loved ones will be able to better grasp your circumstances if you can explain how and why you feel a certain way over your child’s gender.

To help get you through this difficult issue, subscribe to the wise words from Baby Hints and Tips who invited mums to send them their thoughts and insights on gender disappointment. A mother named Belinda shared: “I think sometimes we all think that having one of each sex is the norm but it doesn’t always happen. I have four boys and although I would have loved a daughter it wasn’t meant to be. I wouldn’t change it for the world. You will hold that baby in your arms and it won’t matter that you have another girl.”

Remember: Don’t Put Pressure On the Baby and Just Embrace the Journey

Expecting parents have to understand that pining all your hopes and dreams on your child’s gender may be unhealthy. In fact, certified midwife Ruth Wilf, CNM, Ph.D. identifies it as the main source of disappointment: “I think one of the problems is that it puts too much stress on gender. You get told this one isolated fact and it gets blown out of proportion. Once the child is born, you will fall in love with the individual baby and then the sex doesn’t matter as much because little boys and little girls all have varying attributes. After a while, you can’t imagine that you could have any other baby than this baby.”

Gender is one of the most discussed topics you will come across as an expecting parent. However, now more than ever, there is a push towards gender neutrality. From toys to clothing, we are seeing more and more of these barriers being broken. Designer Kate Pietrasik is one of the many innovators who have helped parents advocate such principles.

In an interview with Huffington Post, Pietrasik highlighted that a visit to a department store opened her eyes to certain gender stereotypes: “Many of the products for girls encouraged an interest in looks, vanity and domesticity, and for boys there was a real focus on being active but aggressive, naughty and tough.” The result of this shopping experience was Tootsa, a label that offers a gender-neutral clothing alternative. The brand even encourages practicability through hand-me-downs and believes that parents should focus on the child as an individual and not solely on gender. For parents who do have gender disappointment, knowing that less emphasis is placed on defined gender roles could be a comfort.

We hope that this article has helped with any issue of gender disappointment you may have. Please leave your comments below on your own experiences – we’d love to hear from you.

Author: MomDiaries_AC


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