Thursday, September 10, 2015
This story was originally written for Harding Happenings but also shared on North Phoenix Moms Blog since I write for both.
It's a curious thing the American Dream. In the past it meant a man and women should have 2 kids, a home mortgage, a minivan, a dog, yadda yadda yadda. Oh we know it varies for all of us but you get what I mean.
We had always talked about 3 kids...ALWAYS. Because a single child might be too spoiled, selfish and bratty - The Only Child Myth and 2 would be good but 3 would be wonderful! The house would be full with just us...nevermind once you start adding spouses and children. 3 always felt right to us. I knew, jokingly, that I probably shouldn't have 3 boys. This was a standing joke among my husband's family who at the time was my boyfriend. He and his 2 brothers had NO FILTERS and I was constantly subjected to bro topics and humor that ALWAYS crossed the lines. So in my teenage years I said I should have a girl. And I did. Next came a boy.
Now let me tell you right here and now that if I had 3 boys or 3 girls I would have been over the moon happy. God blessed me with 1 girl and 2 younger boys. The gender of my babies wasn't important to me because once I saw the flutter of a beating heart I was IN LOVE.
When we had our second an alarming thing happened. We had reached our limit.
I can't even tell you how many times we heard the same comment, "You Have Your Girl, You Have Your Boy, Now You're Done." Just like that EVERYONE had our family planned for us! It made me wonder...why a mother of a girl and a boy has reached her limit? Why is the focus on not only having 2 babies but one of each sex?! That's perfection according to many.
I felt like it wasn't as socially acceptable for us to try for a third. Why would we?! A girl for me and a boy for husband. Win, Win & Done, Done.
Of course if we had two girls or two boys having a third would make sense. "Oh they are trying for that girl/boy" people would say. They would think we were crazy for having more than 2 kids but they would understand the NEED to have one of each gender.
When did the focus become so pointed on the number + gender of our children?! The gender reveal parties with the filled cupcakes/boxes or the photoshoots with the dreamy balloons and shiny tassels in the appropriate color. Nothing against them, I probably would have had a gender reveal party if they were trending at the time I had my babies but my experience with child bearing has made the topic of gender bittersweet. Based on the gender of my first two children many implied there was no need for a third child. It was less a celebration and more that I found myself continually defending my decision to have a third child.
But my story included 1 girl and 2 boys. It’s a joy to see their relationships develop. Playing, laughing, growing together. The love and similarities they share have nothing to do with gender. And I’m so thankful that our plan had nothing to do with gender either. We were able to have 3 sweet and healthy babies that we had always hoped for. And now we are done. :)
Posted by Rachel Harding