Boys vs. Girls

I have always known that I wanted kids, but my secret fear was that I would end up having boy after boy after boy and not having any little girls. It wasn't a fear of not having a girl as much as it was of having only boys. Groups of boys always seemed so uncontrollable and I felt like, as their mom, it would drive me insane. So, when I first found out that I was pregnant I was really hoping for a girl so that I would know that I would at least have one girl in my family besides me (and because I really wanted to decorate a little girl's nursery). Then once I had my girl, I thought she was the best thing in the world and I couldn't imagine even having a boy. When I would find out that a friend was pregnant and she was having a boy, I secretly felt sorry for her because I felt like she would be missing out. Now that I have my own little boy, I realize how silly it was for me to feel that sorrow because I can't imagine life without my little boy too. Someday soon I'm sure he'll be that crazy, seemingly uncontrollable little man that I spoke of earlier, but I have a feeling that his strong-willed older sister will keep him in his place and will make him a little more sensitive than he would've been without a sister's influence. But what do I know? :) In the end, all children are a blessing no matter what gender!

Anyway, that is something that I have been thinking about for a couple of months now, but today I read this article on whether it's harder to raise a boy or a girl. I found the article through my favorite non-personal blog, OhDeeDoh. Whether you have a boy or girl or if you are a boy or a girl, it's definitely an interesting read. As a mom of both a boy and a girl, it makes me realize the importance of keeping in mind that boys and girls really are different and need different parenting. This article taught me some interesting things about how a boy is just wired differently and why that makes boys (and girls) the way that they are. Even at this young age, it's crazy how gender instinctively makes Annabelle love to play with her baby dolls or help with chores and Corgan continually hurts me with his purposeful slaps, head butts, and scratches. It's going to be interesting to watch these gender differences become even more apparent as they grow up, and it's going to be a challenge for me as their mom to keep those differences in mind when trying to understand why they do what they do yet try to discourage the pigeon-holing that sometimes comes with just accepting the differences and not helping each child to succeed where they might not otherwise because of gender stereotypes. Although it's still really early, I think I've already got the right mindset as I love to see Annabelle tomboy it up (except for when she decides to stop and play in the dirt when we're on our way out the door) and I don't think twice about handing a baby doll to Corgan. Also, since I have a very logical mind and have always excelled in areas (like math and computers) that are typically male-dominated, I feel like I will treat Annabelle as if she is equal in those areas too. Of course, if she isn't naturally good at it, this assumption of equality may make it harder for her so I will just have to remind myself about that if that ever becomes apparent.

Wow... motherhood sure is complicated whether you have a boy or girl or both!


Angelle said...

I just read that article yesterday in this month's Parenting magazine. Of course I can't speak from a mother's perspective but I was thinking about when I was teaching. I definitely saw differences in boys and girls for the most part. On the other hand, I saw MANY kids who did not seem to be wired boy or girl just because of their gender. Out of say 25 kids, you had your core group of typical overly mature catty girls and typical sports-crazed boys that made up about 18 of them. Maybe 3 more girls were artsy and hung out together, but separate from the other girls. Maybe another 2 girls who weren't sure where they fit in and tried to hang with various groups. The last 2 were loner boys who were not interested in sports and just did their own thing. That is a fairly stereotypical classroom.

memento said...

I sooo can relate to what you wrote... I also wanted at least one girl, and secretly was afraid of ending up like my grandmother (she gave up trying having a girl after 9!!! boys). I felt so happy when my first child turned out to be a girl. After that, I didn't really worry that much anymore, and I like my little boy just as much as my girls. I do agree with Angelle though, that not all boys and girls fit the stereotype described in the article... our second girl is a real tomboy in some respect, always doing before she's thinking, hard to discipline, never seems to listen. Funny how she's also into princess stuff though. Our boy is much more sensitive to raising your voice to say 'no' than our youngest girl.

Chelsi said...

It's funny how one's perspective changes on things depending on the situation, isn't it? A child IS such an amazing blessing no matter what the gender!