In preparation for this post I did a quick search on the net to see what other parents have said about having children of the same gender. Some of these parents had 5 girls or 2 boys or 4 boys or 3 girls. Many of their posts said similar things.
Having children of the same gender made it easier for them to save and re-use clothing. They also stated that having kids of the same gender made it easier for them to allow their kids to run around in the nude because no one had ‘different’ parts. They didn’t have to buy different types of toys or plan different types of activities to please everyone. There was no need to bribe brother to go see a unicorn movie or calm a crying sister who didn’t want to play ninjas.
After reading all of this I felt simultaneously disheartened and grateful.
Why? I truly hate the thought that we have to provide different experiences for boys and girls. I feel that they should be raised the same, to be kind, curious, and happy humans. They should all be given the opportunity to explore their interests. Girls don’t need to be dressed in pink and bows at all times. They should be allowed to get down and dirty. Boys should be allowed to play with dolls and wear a dress if they’re curious about it. Boys don’t need to be told to hide their feelings and girls should always be allowed to stand up for themselves.
I’m personally so happy that we’re having two girls simply because there will never be a favoritism of gender in our home.
What do I mean by this? My little brother and I are 10 years apart. So for 10 years my father believed that he was only going to have two daughters. Then my little brother surprised us all by appearing. I loved him more than anything in this world and I of course still love him to this day.
But growing up I saw the difference in treatment between how he was raised and how my sister and I were raised.
Not just because he was the baby, but because he was a boy and we were girls. Don’t misunderstand me, my father didn’t love me any less and I’m vain enough to admit that I might have been his favorite (sorry siblings!), but I knew I was treated differently.
My brother got video games, because he was a boy, he didn’t have to do as many chores, because he was a boy. He got new toys because he needed boy toys and boy things. As he grew up his rules about being out of the house were lax compared to what my sister and I went through. Granted, I still got away with murder and I recognize that, but seeing how gender affected how I was treated was still incredibly frustrating. It was also interesting to see how people made comments about how our family was finally complete because we had a boy. Weren’t my sister and I enough?
I never want my children to feel that at home. I want them to know that they are free to be whoever they are and that their dad and I will love them equally. We’re going to provide them with the tutus, dresses, and dolls, but we’re also going to give them dump trucks, shorts with pockets (seriously why don’t they make all shorts with pockets!?!) sand pits, and Nerf guns.