It has been 11 years since I gave birth to my oldest son. From the time I found out I was pregnant, I just knew it was a boy. What I didn’t know is that he would be followed by 3 more baby brothers and that I would forever be a “boy-mom” raising boys in a world that wouldn’t always be kind to them.
As the years went on, I noticed one major shift in the conversations I was having with people about my family. Baby boy #1: “That’s so great!” “Boys are the best.” or “I bet you and your husband are so excited!” Baby boy #4: “I’m sorry!” (Really? Why are you sorry?), “Well, keep trying and you’ll get your girl.” (As if “trying” harder can determine the gender of a baby), “You can’t stop now” (Um, yeah, pretty sure I can) or the worst, “Your family can’t be complete without a girl.” (I have four beautiful and healthy children so yes, I’m pretty sure it can be complete.) I’ve heard all of these and then some.
Now instead of congratulations, I often feel like I am receiving condolences whenever I am out with my family.
These types of comments never really bothered me until I noticed my boys reacting to them. The looks on their faces says it all. It is almost as if they are wondering if there is something wrong with them. And that’s not okay with me.
I would never for one second want my boys to feel like they weren’t wanted or that I would have preferred that they were a girl. My boys are my heart and soul, and yes, raising boys can be challenging but the love they have for my husband and me and the bond they have with each other, makes even our most challenging moments all worth it. You’ve heard the term, “Brotherly Love”, yes it exists and it is a beautiful thing to get to experience from the outside looking in.
The birth of a healthy baby boy is never a time for condolences, even if said jokingly. I chose to have four children and I recognize that the opportunity to be a mother to those children is my greatest blessing. My choice to become a mother and to love the souls that we welcomed into our lives didn’t come with conditions based on their gender. My love for my children would always have been unconditional regardless of whether we brought home a pink or blue bundle of joy.
So, the next time you come across a mom of all boys, give her encouragement, cheer her on but please don’t say mean things about her children when they are standing right in front of you! The words you say can and do make a difference to them.
So, Yes, I am Raising boys and No, I am absolutely not sorry. Having boys was the best thing that has ever happened to me!
Nikki @ MBAsahm says
People can be so inconsiderate sometimes!! My son is only 1 right now, but I am so in love with him that all I want are 3 more boys!! I’m actually worried that I will be disappointed if I have a girl, lol. I grew up in a family of all daughters and people said the same thing to my dad all the time 🙁 When I found out I was having a boy, they were actually congratulating him!! “Finally! a grandson!” I had always felt so guilty that I hadn’t been a boy…until I saw his reaction…he was so mad when people would say things like that. He kept saying “I don’t want a boy. I loved having all girls and all I want are girls.” 30 years later I finally stopped feeling guilty 🙂 Loved your post and I can honestly tell you that I pray every night to have a family like yours! (Plus, they are adorable!!) Congrats to you 🙂 You’re luckier than most 🙂
Kevin Zelenka says
I grew up the oldest of 4 boys and had 2 older step brothers who would visit besides, so I have no idea what it’s like to have a girl in the house other than Mom. I know the complications and struggles my wife and I experienced trying to have our twin sons. After fertility issues, 3 miscarriages, and an early delivery due to Help Syndrome, it was a difficult decision for us to decide that after finally bringing our sons home, we were done having anymore children. This meant no more than 2, and no girls in our future. Do we mind? Absolutely not. We are blessed with two strong, smart, healthy boys who are the loves of our lives. It’s hard to remember a time before they entered our world.
Great blog post and I understand completely!
My boys and me says
Wonderfully put Kara. I too have 4 boys and its the best thing that ever happened to me. I have had to put up with some real negativity over the years but it has just made me stronger. Check out my post and you will realise that you are not alone. Many, many congratulations on your lovely family. xxx
Susan Evans says
I can’t believe people are giving you condolances on having boys. Boys are awesome! I love the pictures of your sons; you can tell they love each other!
After my second son was born. A friend visited me in the hospital and immediately asked if we would keep trying for a boy. I know she didn’t mean to be offensive, but I was just grateful for a healthy baby boy!!! People are so insensitive.
Abbie from Lovin' Our Chaos says
I can relate in some ways. We had 4 boys before we had our daughter and my OWN dr’s office (who knew about all of our tragic losses) called to ask me what we ‘really’ wanted. Really? A HEALTHY BABY. That’s it. Embrace each child as a precious gift, regardless of gender!
Well they’re just so adorable! Who would be sorry about that? I was so happy just to have anything! I would also think that being in house full of boys you’d be a lot more spoiled than if it was full of girls.
Deborah @ mommycrusader says
While I have both boys and girls in my family, people say similarly mean things about how many children I’ve chosen to have. This is a great post, and a good reminder that every family is unique and very special. Thanks so much for this heartfelt post!
Well said! I love my two boys! People ask if we’re going to have another, and the answer is no. Then they ask if I don’t want to try for a girl. No. When my hubby and I started dreaming about having a family, we both thought that being blessed with two boys would be perfect. And that’s exactly what we got. We feel very blessed. 😀
Also, I grew up with three brothers… I’m not sure I’d know how to handle a girl! 😀
I also am a mother of 4 boys (10,6,5 and 6 mths) I have never wanted, wished or prayed for a specific gender but a healthy baby. I receive comments ALL the time about having all boys from wow how do you do it to I’m sorry. Having multiple children no matter what the gender can be a challenge and all I know is I wouldn’t change a thing! I love the constant loud noise, the wrestling and the bond my boys have….but most of all I love being the only princess in their eyes.
Amy | The Happy Scraps says
I can relate to this post, although I’ve never paid attention to my boys reactions when something like “Wow, four boys, are you going to try for a girl” is said. I’ll have to pay closer attention. I love my boys, and I can’t imagine what life would be like if I didn’t have all of them. Having all boys makes me think of the Stripling Warriors. Raising boys is not for the weak, that is for sure! 🙂
Thanks for sharing how you feel! Some people just don’t think twice. I hope those that need to hear this read this post!
Laurie @ Gallamore West says
Yes x 4!! I’m a fellow Mom of 4 Boys and I absolutely LOVE them with every ounce of my being. I was just telling someone the other day… I have four beautiful children and I would never wish that they were anyone other than exactly who they are. Children are a precious blessing, and I am so grateful for mine. Good job, Mama! xoxo
KC Coake says
I think you get it either way. I have 2 girls and have a couple of friends who have 3 girls and 5 girls, respectively. They hear the exact same things (as do I). I guess people just think you need to have a child of both sexes to be a complete family. It is pretty dumb because like you, being a Mom to 2, 3 or 5 girls is the best thing that has happened to my friends and I.
Linda Manns Linneman says
What a beautiful family. I raised three wonderful boys myself. I am so happy and proud of them. God Bless you all
We just had our fifth boy this week! We have heard all these comments and more. I love being a mom to my sweet boys. Thanks for the reminder to let them know they are wanted and loved.
I have 3 grown sons, (and 4 daughters) and they are some of my best friends. They call to check on me and to tell me their life’s ups and downs. I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world. Having children is very rewarding. No matter the gender. You will always be treated like a queen in your family-I love that thought.
Jennifer Corter says
I love having a little boy, they are just so much fun! 🙂
Imagine how the world would improve if everyone kept their unsolicited comments on other people’s family composition to themselves!
kami adair says
I get the same thing. We chose to have 2 kids, both are amazing young women! I get why did you stop trying for that boy? We said to kids and gender did not matter we love them! I have never understood the concept that one is better than the other. Thanks for the wonderful article.
You have a beautiful family. I have gotten that for years having had 3 girls. Same thing…keep trying. You will get your boys. Girls are so expensive! Eat etc etc. Having my first with medical problems, made me appreciate having healthy children. Not a boy or girl. I have been blessed with 3 beautiful intelligent daughters. That is my blessing.
Your blessing is 4 handsome, loving and intelligent boys. I pray they do you as proud as my girls have me! God bless
Yes, I am so happy to have 4 healthy boys and I am always a bit surprised that people have to make comments at all regarding family size, structure, etc. Thank you so much for your kind words!
Jennifer Tammy says
Such a great post – I’m sure most people are joking, but we really need to be careful how we’re typecasting children. I’m so sorry that you’ve experienced that but kudos to you for taking a stand!
Thank you for your wonderful insights on raising boys! We have 8 children……our first 6 were all girls with one lonely boy in the middle of that. Then we had two more boys. Boys are great! But I have to confess I don’t always know how to keep them busy, especially since we homeschool and are together all day long. I guess I am natually better at raising girls than boys. I’m always learning though! I really look forward to reading your posts…………and it’s sad but true that people will say mean things to you about your children, (and even right in front of your children) no matter the size of your family or what gender they are.
Kathy at kissing the frog says
Wonderful post!! I have had five boys and I have heard all of these. Would I have liked to have had a girl? Of course. Does that mean I love my boys any less? Absolutely not! At one time, my husband said we could adopt a girl, and I said, “Why? And show the boys they weren’t good enough?” Children are children and you love them no matter what! 🙂
Thank you for posting this. I am pregnant with my 3rd boy and have felt some of that disappointment from friends and family upon hearing it is another boy. It does hurt and makes me angry and protective of the little one that hasn’t even arrived yet.
I grew up in a family of six girls, no boys. After four girls my parents gave up on trying for a boy but clearly weren’t bothered by the lack of boys since they went on to adopt two more girls. After adopting, some people would congratulate them but then ask innocently, “So… why didn’t you adopt a boy?” They didn’t factor in gender to their decision to adopt at all. That’s just how it worked out. My parents are not at all disappointed now that they never had a son.
Sometimes people will ask me, “How was it growing up with all those girls?!” Um…normal. It’s not like we knew anything else. Now that I have what some have called the “perfect” family with one boy and one girl, I can’t say it’s any better or worse than what I grew up with. Every family dynamic is going to be different. Yes, this is affected by gender distribution, but it doesn’t make it any better or worse. It’s just different.
I have 3 boys, and have had my share of comments. I’ll never forget when my youngest was about a year old, I was grocery shopping with all 3 boys. I was already a little aggravated over something, and a woman walked up to me. I could tell she was going to talk to me, and I braced myself for the usual “you poor thing” comment. Instead she complimented me on having such well behaved boys, and said I was a lucky mom to have them. I could have hugged her! If only more people stuck with positive comments, instead of negative ones.
Thank you for writing this. I’m also pregnant with my 3rd boy, and due any day. I don’t know how many times people have told me to “just keep trying for that girl.” While yes, I may have been slightly sad that we never had one. I wouldn’t trade my sweet boys for anything. They are all wonderful, healthy, and smart. I really cannot ask for more then that. And I’m not going to keep trying just to have that girl. My family is perfect with all these boys <3 I'm not sorry for having the PERFECT family for us 🙂
Love this! Thank you for sharing. I just had boy #3 6 months ago. We went through several years of fertility treatments and when I was finally pregnant with our first son everyone was over the moon excited. With our second boy it became “oh well, you’ll just have to try for another to get the girl”. With boy #3 I had family members who were actually disappointed and received condolences from perfect strangers! I am asked almost daily if we are going to keep trying for our girl. I agree it makes me angry when people say it in front of my boys. I feel that my family is perfectly complete and wouldn’t know what to do with a girl!
It does get frustrating and it always surprises me the things that perfect strangers have to say about my family. I wouldn’t change any of my boys!
Thank you SO much for sharing!
You are so welcome!
I loved reading your article!I understand completely. The only difference is I’ve had 4 girls (3 beautiful healthy girls and one in heaven.) We get rude comments all the time, especially my husband. People are always telling him “sorry.” Our family is complete and they can’t imagine that he is actually perfectly satisfied to be the Daddy of a bunch of little girls and so proud of them. Every pregnancy was the same, people telling me they were hoping we “finally get a son this time” and then apologies when we’d announce it’s a girl! When we’re out in public all my husband hears is “all girls? I feel for you man!” What people don’t realize is that we went through years of fertility issues, we’ve wept and prayed for each of these children and they have been nothing but blessings to us. We would never in a million years think of trading one of them for a boy. It’s so wrong for anyone to ever apologize over the birth of a healthy baby! It’s true there’s a lot of drama, whining, and attitudes (all those things that come with girls) in our home, but they are also so much fun and they are are all best friends. People don’t get it, but if I could have another child I would want another girl. Same sex siblings have such close relationships and can share everything, hand me downs are great! We wouldn’t know what to do with a boy!
Yes! People don’t know the journey that people had to go through to have a family and I’m yet to meet anyone who would trade one of their children for the opposite gender. Thank you for sharing your story!
Your post and some of the comments ring so true to me – I am mother of 2 gorgeous boys and find myself feeling so guilty when my elderley mother says in a well meaning way that she’ll never have the joy of grand daughters (she has 4 grandsons). It’s only recently I’ve had the balls to say actually that’s not what I want or need to hear and my boys are still wonderful individuals regardless of their gender so back off…she certainly comments less often now and if she does I don’t rise to the bait anymore.
I also had a new colleague at work say the other day that I surely must want op try for a girl – actually no.
Why are people so obsessed with gender when some people struggle to have even one healthy baby? – thank God we were lucky enough 🙂
Hi, new follower here. Four months ago we welcomed our third boy and I couldn’t be happier. It’s mostly my mom who always says that every woman “needs” a girl. But I’ve had very positive reactions from strangers (I live in Bulgaria). More than one complete stranger has came to me saying:”Three boys!? Way to go! Awesome!” Maybe here in Bulgaria they still have that old mindset where male sons were more important. Either way it’s really nice to hear these words 🙂 I love being a mommy of boys and I’m glad I found your blog 🙂
I’m so glad you found us. I love being a mom to my 4 boys, even if the comments I get from people are often ridiculous.
I love this! I just turned 25 and I have 3 little boys my oldest is 6 then my second is almost 4 and my youngest is 2. What you wrote is so true raising all boys is definitely hectic at times but I wouldn’t have it any other way I always tell people God thought ibwas enough girl for one family lol. And the way boys love their moms melts my heart. This was an excellent article right on point.