To my third daughter | Happiness is here

To my third daughter…

Mothers of children of the same gender will understand me. The comments start when you’re pregnant…

‘Oh, are you trying for a boy this time?’

‘I hope it’s a little boy for you!’

‘Does Dad want a boy?’

And then when the baby is born, complete strangers continue to comment (with sympathetic voices!) on your apparent unhappiness with having another child of the same gender…

‘Aww, you didn’t get your boy?’

‘Are you going to try again for a boy then?’

‘Oh well, maybe next time’

All said in front of my three precious girls who never considered this to be an issue. All they have heard from me is how lucky I am to have them!

Now, to be clear, I understand that some people do experience gender disappointment and I don’t want to offend those people at all. Your feelings and experiences are completely valid. I am not talking about that, but rather people (usually complete strangers) assuming that I can’t possibly be content without having a child of each gender. That the reason I might have another child in the future is because I want one of the opposite gender. That having my second and third daughters was somehow less amazing than the first.

For me, this is not true at all, and I really would hate my children to ever get that impression from something someone else said.

To my third daughter | Happiness is here
Photo by Nurtured by Jen Photography.

To my third precious girl,

From the moment you were born and I lifted you up onto my chest, I loved you. When I discovered that I had another little girl, I was overwhelmed with happiness. When I looked into your navy blue newborn eyes, not a flicker of disappointment entered my mind. Meeting you was just as magical as it was meeting your sisters before you. I was mesmerized by you from the very beginning, and your gender had nothing to do with it. You are each your own unique person and that is what I love about you. Every new thing you learn, the first time you smiled, laughed, sat up, clapped your hands, learned to crawl, was just as amazing for us to see the third time around as it was the first. We are all totally captivated by you. Third time around some things are different. We are less stressed, we know what we’re doing, we’re more relaxed and confident. But some things will never change, whether it’s my first baby or my third or fourth.Β The wonder in watching you grow and learn about the world is just as great. The excitement of getting to know a new little person is just as strong, every single time. Every time.

Never doubt how special you are, baby girl. How unique and wonderful you are, and how much happiness you bring to us. Oh, we are so so grateful to have you.

To my third daughter | Happiness is here


September 18, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Beautifully put.
I can really relate to this although – or rather because – I have only one child. It’s a little different now he’s nearly 9, but complete strangers and slight acquaintances would ask “when I was going to give him a brother or sister” and similar questions. Not for a minute did anyone seem to stop and consider that a) He was listening and taking in every word; b) We might have chosen to have a single child and that was a valid choice we were entitled to make, or c) There might be heartache and difficulties unknown behind his “onliness”.
Thank you for sharing. Lovely to see that tiny baby head and little fingers!

September 18, 2014 at 9:54 pm

Such a beautiful letter to your youngest xx
As mum of three girls myself I’ve heard many of the same comments I’m sure. I remember when I was pregnant with my third and, we never found out the sex beforehand, someone at work asked if I was having a boy. When I replied that I didn’t know, she straight away answered ‘I suppose you’ll hsve to try again if it’s another girl’. This baby wasn’t even born yet!
Personally I’m overjoyed to have three healthy, strong and happy girls in my life πŸ™‚

Rachael Neville
September 19, 2014 at 1:12 am

I love this! I have 3 daughters as well and can remember people commenting the exact things to us. Although my husband did want a boy and was hoping for a boy when we found out that we were expecting our 3rd child, we weren’t a bit disappointed when we saw the thriving heartbeat and beautiful, tiny fingers of our 3rd daughter on the ultra sound. I relate to your words very much, this is beautiful!
P.S. We now have 4 children, 3 lovely daughters and 1 handsome son πŸ™‚

September 19, 2014 at 6:29 am

I have 3 boys and get this all the time. I love each boy so much. Plus its so amazing to see how different they all are.

September 19, 2014 at 8:03 am

Mom of three girls here plus identical twin daughters in heaven – so yes, I GET IT!!!!! I am pregnant with another baby (just one, not twins) – and everyone EVERYONE keeps saying how they hope it’s a boy. Really? Do people really say that to any mother, let alone a mother who has buried her babies? I love being a mom to CHILDREN – boy, girl, whatever – they are all unique souls…

September 21, 2014 at 9:43 pm

After we had a son and a daughter a lot of people commented to us that ‘we must be done now’ and ‘how great you can stop’! When we were pregnant for the 3rd time some of these same people seemed rather surprised and confused that we would want another since we had one of each! weird I reckon!

    December 3, 2014 at 2:39 pm

    We did stop at two (one girl and one boy). We got all the same comments you did, and that really irked me, especially since I wasn’t sure we were done, but my husband was totally sure. My mother in law actually said, “I feel like my life is complete.” Super annoying! I’m happy with our two and in love with both of my kids, *and* I know that if we did have another, we would love him or her just as much πŸ™‚

    March 11, 2015 at 3:03 pm

    We had exactly the same. “Must be done now” comments when pregnant with our second child… um no. Have three now and people commented that it was nice having a girl for number three to be playmates with her 4 years older sister as if gender has anything to do with who they play with. My kids all play together and if we want more then that’s what we will do. Gender has zero to do with it.

September 22, 2014 at 10:09 pm

This was a lovely read. With just the one daughter at the moment I can’t relate just yet but I know when we do add to our family I will be overjoyed whether it be with a boy or a girl. Thanks for your thoughts.

September 25, 2014 at 2:40 am

I got so annoyed when I was pregnant with my 3rd and people found out we were “finally” having a girl. I didn’t get pregnant to try to have a girl, it made it seem like my 2 wonderful sons were not enough! I got pregnant because we wanted another child, whatever the genderight be! It still bugs me when people see my kids 2 older boys and 1 toddler girl and they say “oh look you got your girl!” What I have is children I’m so greatful for whatever the gender, they are our blessings!!

September 30, 2014 at 7:25 pm

I found myself nodding along to this. It is remarkable how rude and insensitive people can be (hopefully unintentionally). I have two amazing sons and I have had these sort of comments numerous times. The worst one though is my mother-in-law who has replied “yes, but you got two boys” after I said how lucky I was to have my beautiful children. And also “I was just lucky I had one of each” when reminiscing about her own children. Thanks for writing this article and putting into words how I feel about my wonderful family full of boys!

September 30, 2014 at 8:10 pm

Lovely words. I can relate but on the flip side we had 3 girls then a boy & everyone always asks how many kids would I have had to get my boy. We had always planned for 4 babies regardless of gender & we love them all regardless of gender. I really dislike the comment “it’s good you can stop now that you got a boy”.

October 12, 2014 at 3:06 pm

Hi Sara,
I’ve just found your blog and am loving making my way back through all of your posts. You are inspiring me so much as homeschooling is something I’ve been contemplating for a while now.
I had to comment on this post! I have four boys and get the same comments as you. I wrote this post because I was getting very frustrated!
All the best to you and your family,

March 11, 2015 at 2:03 pm

I’m a mother of 3 girls and pregnant at the moment. Don’t know the sex of the baby, and won’t find out till it is born. So sick of people’s comments, especially from people who should know better. My mother in law, who had 4 boys, so she must of had annoying comments from people herself, often says “I hope you have a boy”. Grrr…Doesn’t she remember how annoying those comments were when she was pregnant?! I just say to her, “Well actually, I would like another girl as I absolutely love having girls” and that always shuts her up. Whatever God gives me I will be happy with and will feel totally blessed to have another beautiful baby. And if I do have a boy, and people say, “you must be happy that you had a boy”, I’ll just reply with “I would have been just as happy with another girl.”

November 25, 2015 at 1:18 pm

Hi guys – or gals!
It’s lovely to read all of your opinions and such an interesting article.
I must admit that I have three children (step-daughter, son and then a daughter) and, as my son was bang in the middle, I never had those kinds of comments. I wanted a son very much because there are so many girls in my family – in fact, my son has 2 sisters and 5 female cousins on my side – there are no other boys in his generation! But that certainly doesn’t mean that I love either of my girls any less. In fact, I didn’t mind with my daughter whether she was a boy or a girl and I marvel over their similarities and differences, regardless of their gender.
I did get comments like “you must be hoping for a girl” from those who didn’t know that I had a stepdaughter, but similarly, when I married my husband I also got comments like “wow, instant family!”. For anyone who is a member of a blended family, you are totally aware that there is no such thing as an ‘instant family’ and exactly how much work goes into making a family!
I wouldn’t bother getting angry at these people. They are not trying to be rude, some of them simply don’t understand and others automatically jump to the stereotypical view which is Dad, Mum, Son, Daughter. If your family doesn’t fit the stereotypical family – or, in fact, the stereotypical family does not fit your family – feel happy that you can provide a different view for people. You can work to change the dominant view simply by being an example of the opposite; state your alternative opinion, but don’t get any about it – it’s not worth it.
Also, I love the letter to your daughter – I would love to do the same for each of my children, because my journey with each of them has been completely different!

November 25, 2015 at 1:19 pm

oops – I meant, don’t get angry about it! πŸ™‚

March 19, 2016 at 6:53 am

I got this a lot with our last 2. I was actually really really hoping for 2 more girls. I enjoyed the young years of my first 2 girls so much. I actually felt guilty while I was pregnant for how much I wanted them to be girls. They both were. I think being the mother of girls was my destiny and as much as I would have loved any child I had had I am so grateful for the way it turned out.

June 14, 2016 at 3:26 pm

Heavily pregnant with my third, with two beautiful daughters in tow, I got talking with a complete stranger.

I was in an art gallery and we shared an elevator. She was in her late 50s. She got talking and asked me if I was hoping for a boy or girl. I said that I didn’t mind at all. She said the most wonderful thing. “Three girls, how lovely would that be”. Maybe it was the way she said it, or how she departed with her own adult daughter. It was the first time I had felt a true acknowledgement that either gender could be wonderful. 2 girls and a boy would be awesome, but 3 girls would also be awesome. The dynamics are different (because of the society we live in), but both sounded so amazing that I could never set my heart on either one. Happy to let fate decide.

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