Thoughts on Being a “Boy Mom…”

“Oh! Do you know what you’re having?”

I’m very obviously pregnant which means people ask about my family and pregnancy quite often. They always ask if I know what I’m having. I say I’m having my third boy.

More often than not, people react disappointed.

“Well I guess you’ll still have to try for a girl!”

“Maybe you’ll get daughters someday when your sons get married.”

“Oh, that’s too bad, I’ll bet you wanted a girl.”

I even had a strange encounter with a child who asked me what I’m having. I told her a boy. She responded DISGUSTED, “ANOTHER ONE? YUCK!” and then ran off. I thought to myself, she’s just a kid, she doesn’t know any better. Then I thought, that seems to be what everyone is thinking and not saying when I tell them I’m having another boy.

So let me set the record straight: I love my boys. I wouldn’t trade them for the world. When I found out I was having another boy, I was looking at the ultrasound screen and knew exactly what I was looking at. A boy. I didn’t have one shred of disappointment, I didn’t cry, I didn’t even take a minute to compose myself. I thought to myself, this is great, I KNOW how to raise boys. Been there, done that, got the t-shirt.

The whole ride home we were giddy with excitement for so many reasons! I have all the boy stuff! I don’t need to store 2 genders of clothes! All the toys and shoes and back packs will be handed down. I’ve got all the tractor books, construction books, and Blippi songs memorized. I imagine going mountain biking with the three of them. They can all agree on watching Ninja Turtles, Minecraft and Spongebob.

So if I’m not disappointed in having another boy, why is everyone else? Why does everyone expect me to be disappointed? Who are they to tell me I should be sad?

The comment that always gets me, “Maybe you’ll get daughters when your boys get married.” Yeah, or maybe they’ll marry a man. Or maybe they won’t get married. Should I be disappointed then too?

“You’ll have to try again for another girl!” Or maybe we will try again for another boy! Or maybe they’ll be a hermaphrodite! Or maybe my boys will change their gender! Or maybe I don’t want another child! Or maybe I want seven more with no regard to their genitalia!

The bottom line is this: Don’t force your disappointment with the gender of my children on me. Don’t assume I’m sad because I don’t have a daughter. Don’t assure me I’m going to “get a daughter” some day. Don’t tell me the things you assume I’m missing out on because of my child’s gender.

Here’s another thought, if a mother or father is struggling with gender disappointment, they probably don’t want to talk about it casually with acquaintances. It’s probably something they are struggling with and maybe they are carrying a lot of guilt about feeling that way. It’s not something to be hashed out in a casual conversation.

Here are some acceptable responses:

“Congratulations!” “That’s so exciting!” “You’ll have your hands full!” “That will be so fun!”

My personal favorite response, “There will be pee and nerf gun bullets everywhere!” (this is entirely accurate)

I was strolling through a local market and I saw this sweatshirt. I’ve never bought any “boy mom” stuff before, I’ve never really identified with being a “boy mom” but now that I’ve had to defend my stance so vehemently the past 5 months, I decided with three boys, I really am proud to be a “boy mom” and I bought this sweatshirt to let everyone know. Thanks to Alison at Hawkeye Screen Printing, I hope I can fit into it soon! HA!

All this to say, please be sensitive in your comments. There’s so much that weighs on parents as it is and I can’t carry your disappointment in my children’s gender too. There isn’t a day I wake up and wish that Carver and Gannon were a girl or anything other than who they are and I’m sure it will be the same with this next tiny human.

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18 Comments

  1. Karen Hamilton
    September 10, 2022 / 12:37 pm

    I too am a mom of 3 boys (all grown now). I have friends that are mothers of 3 boys. I will tell you, as I’m sure they would too, that it is the best! Thinking of you as you finish out your last trimester and hoping all goes well.

  2. Deb Praus
    September 10, 2022 / 12:52 pm

    My first thought when I saw your announcement was now she can say “My 3 Sons”. If you don’t know the reference, ask Mom. Let the rowdiness ensue! Congratulations and enjoy every one of the little, dirty, sweaty and sweet hugs that will come your way.

  3. Denise
    September 10, 2022 / 12:57 pm

    YES to this! Gender is a small part of raising a child. The important things in life are nurturing respect, acceptance and providing a safe environment to grow. Be happy in the space you are in and best wishes as you step into this new space 🙂

  4. Brenda
    September 10, 2022 / 12:59 pm

    As a 71 year old non-parent, I’ve encountered a lifetime of true sorrow from others who cannot fathom a life without kids, grandkids, or great-grands…and I’ve had an amazingly satisfying life! I love reading about your wonderful family…mom and siblings included…and I commend you for your expression of your feelings.

  5. Elle
    September 10, 2022 / 1:08 pm

    My goodness humans are the strangest living thing on this planet! Never once did it occur to me that a 3rd boy was an issue to be discussed. Girl Dad has become a thing soooooo……

    Happy Boy Mom year to you 🙂

  6. Annie
    September 10, 2022 / 1:09 pm

    People have a LOT of nerve. I had 3 boys and two girls. I love them all. But I think boys are easier to raise. No drama, for starters. Enjoy your sweet family.

  7. Kim from TN
    September 10, 2022 / 1:27 pm

    Kalissa, you are a great mom, and it doesn’t matter if it’s with boys or girls. I have a friend who is a parent to 3 boys, and she loves it and all the males in her family treat her with such kindness, it makes her the special one being the only female in the house. Congratulations on a healthy pregnancy and I see you loving this child no matter what its gender.

  8. Linda
    September 10, 2022 / 1:32 pm

    Well said. My daughter had three boys in two and a half years. I wouldn’t trade a one of them for a girl. They are 9,8,and 7. I just wish they didn’t live 800 miles away.

  9. Denise in PA
    September 10, 2022 / 1:34 pm

    Well said, as usual! Congratulations!!!

  10. Hedy
    September 10, 2022 / 2:04 pm

    Lovely post, glad you shared this.

  11. Jen
    September 10, 2022 / 3:11 pm

    Being a boy mom.is awesome! I have 2 of the greatest guys in my life and they absolutely adore their little sister. But, I am exactly like you, as long as I had healthy babies, I could figure out the rest. Now that my daughter is hitting her teen years and her brothers are out of state, and I’m doing it all on my own…wholly cow, I wish I would have had another boy! 😆 I don’t think you have the drama raising boys! Lol

  12. Carolyn
    September 10, 2022 / 4:10 pm

    Wow… am amazed that you had to write this post! I personally think that raising a family of all the same gender is so much easier!! Just as you said, you know the words to the songs, you have the movies, games and clothes (I did give my grandsons the opportunity to be gender neutral and watch their mom’s movies, read their books, play with their dolls…NOPE! not interested.). You have the clothes, you know how to change a diaper without getting peed on, you know how to toilet train, and am sure, you have the gumboots ranging in all sizes. Not that parenting is ever easy, but what a financial saving and hopefully, no surprises at something different that this little guy will do? Plus, the rules are set for a family of guys. Your new baby will have role models in place. One of my friends had a family of 6 boys… she ran that household with equal opportunity and each of those boys made awesome room mates and husbands as they knew how to do all household chores and take care of themselves, cook, grocery shop and do laundry as well as all being great members of teams.

  13. Sandie Mackintosh
    September 10, 2022 / 5:54 pm

    ♥️

  14. Susan the Farm Quilter
    September 10, 2022 / 6:47 pm

    Sounds like what happened to me, except I got 3 girls. Hubby always wanted a boy, but I always wanted girls. Never wanted to “try” for a boy. I just glowed and said I was so happy.

  15. Signe Vaughan
    September 10, 2022 / 8:05 pm

    Spot on!!!!

  16. Carolyn Sullivan
    September 10, 2022 / 11:36 pm

    I felt the same way after I had my 3rd girl! No I’m not going to ‘TRY for a boy” I have all the girl stuff clothes, toys etc. I was happy. Congratulations

  17. Heidi S
    September 11, 2022 / 2:45 am

    What I wanted most, was a house FULL of HAPPY children! I was always delighted with whatever God chose to send. Every child is a blessing.

  18. Karen
    September 12, 2022 / 2:12 am

    Thrilled to say I am also a Boy Mom and I couldn’t be happier! I love your shirt and would like to find one like it!

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