Are you a dad “stuck” with daughters? Or is your husband “stuck” with daughters? It’s time we stop letting society try and tell us this is a negative thing!
By Will Odom, Contributing Writer (and Erin’s husband!)
The couple at the table next to us smiled as my daughters and I sat down at a restaurant that we frequent. I was taking them to lunch so that Mommy could have some alone time.
I loved these outings. They were always a lot of fun, and I enjoyed the daddy/daughter time…except when they all had to go potty (but that’s another story).
Between mouthfuls, the man at the table looked at me and said, “Man, I hope you have a male dog.”
With 3 girls, I was used to comments like this by now, and it didn’t bother me. It just rolled off my back. I laughed and responded, “Nope. Just a betta fish.”
But his next comment did catch me a little off guard, “Well, I feel sorry for you. Stuck with all those girls in one house,” he laughed.
I smiled politely and answered, trying to put a positive spin on his comment, “Nah, we have a lot of fun. Yes, there’s a lot of drama, but we have a good time, and they are such blessings.”
I turned my back to look over the menu, even though I already knew what I wanted because I always got the same thing.
Honestly, I had no desire for the conversation to continue because I noticed out of the corner of my eye that my 6-year-old was listening intently to the dialog, as she typically does, soaking in everything that she hears or observes.
I thought to myself, “Really? Feel sorry for me?”
I actually felt sorry for him. His comment betrayed a deeper issue concerning his view of girls, and quite possibly, the broader context of women in general.
I wasn’t trying to psychoanalyze him, but I couldn’t help but think….
My thoughts were interrupted by my daughter’s question, “Dada, I’m sorry you only have girls in the house. Do we need to get a dog so you are not by yourself?”
I reached out to her, and as I answered her, I glanced over the menu at the man who had, albeit perhaps unintentionally, devalued my girls and caused my oldest to apologize for who God had created her to be.
Granted, she soon forgot the man and his statement, but she has since asked me again about getting a dog so I have another “guy” in the house. (But secretly, I think she just wants a dog.)
His comment itself did not bother me. I know he meant no harm and was trying to be funny or supportive in some strange, manly way.
However, the underlying attitude that positioned my daughters as somehow second rate really rubbed me the wrong way. And they, or at least my eldest, had heard him.
Would he have made the statement if I had sat down with 3 boys or 2 boys and a girl?
If I had sat down with 2 girls and a boy, would he have said, “At least you got your boy?”
I have heard that statement said about a friend’s children as well as listened to other comments concerning kids and parenting.
I had learned long ago not to let statements people make bother me. Still, I have heard plenty. Things like:
- “You have your hands full.” (I’m sure anyone with kids — no matter the number–has a lot to do, but my hands are full of three little blessings.)
- “Wait ’til they are all teenagers and on their periods.” (I am well aware of female biology, but why is that appropriate to discuss with a stranger?)
- “Hope you are saving for all those weddings.” (I will be happy if they get married and add sons to our family…but still blessed if they don’t.)
- “You are surrounded by women.” (Why, yes…yes, I am. Thank you, Captain Obvious, for clarifying.)
- “Are you going to try for a boy?” (Well, we may have another child, but I am not concerned about the gender.)
Most of the comments are harmless and go in one ear and out the other. People are just trying to make conversation, and I try to assume the best. While I don’t particularly enjoy the comments, they are not offensive to me.
However, some statements do cause me pause; not because I’m offended or sensitive, but on some level, I feel troubled or saddened.
Some statements about girls reveal a disturbing narrow-minded perspective camouflaged behind humor.
On another occasion, at a different restaurant, a guy with 3 boys told me, “Looks like I won.”
I know he meant nothing mean or rude by this statement and was just engaging in friendly male banter, but I didn’t quite know how to respond.
My internal question was “What exactly did he win?”
Just because he has all boys and I have all girls, does that entitle him to some trophy or priority status in our society? Do their anatomical parts make them superior?
I’m pretty sure my girls can be just as rough as boys at times. They really don’t follow the stereotypes. They climb trees and watch Super Hero Squad as well as have butterfly tea parties and sing Frozen. Nonstop! They play with worms and have their nails done. And I’m totally fine with that…well, except the nonstop Frozen.
The dialogs above demonstrate to me a very low value placed on girls. And though I cannot speak to raising boys since I have all girls, I know there are challenges there as well.
No, it’s not always easy being in a house full of estrogen, and I get frustrated at times, but I love my wife and my girls. They are all an absolute blessing to me and bring me more joy than anything else in this life.
Yes, I struggle with the drama and the whining sometimes, but I would not trade them for anything.
The squeals when I come home from the work as they run to the door to greet me with hugs and kisses. The tea parties and dances. I would not change any of it.
I’ll be glad to be stuck with them for as long as I live.
They are sweet and kind, yet they are strong and passionate, and I love that.
Now, I am not supporting some hyper feminist philosophy, but girls (and really any child) should be valued for who they are and who God created them to be.
I strongly believe that God created men and women differently for a reason, but we are all equally valued in His eyes.
I’m sure parents with all boys or those with large families or those with one child or those with no children can all share stories about things people have said to them about children and parenting.
I tell my stories to…
- Make us aware of our words and how they affect others, even some we may not think are listening.
- Bring attention to our underlying preconceptions about children or parenting that we need to challenge and change if necessary.
- Encourage us to value all of our children — no matter their differences — as blessings knitted together by the Creator. (Psalm 139)
We all say or do things without thinking at times. Or at least, I know that I do.
But we really do need to stop and consider what little ears may be listening and how they may process those comments. What is seen as some harmless banter may reveal a deeper issue that needs to be addressed.
Love this post 🙂
I have 3 girls and maybe one more in the way, as I’m expecting and didn’t want find out gender this time, it does bug me when people say comments since my oldest is 12 she understands more and questions People
Comments… My husband does want to have a boy but by any means think we are less happy or complete by not having one, we are so blessed to have them, the do run to the door to welcome him…
I been thinking that people in general
Assume I keep having kids to have a boy that’s the latest comment I get :
Are you going to keep
Trying for a boy ? Most of the times I give a short answer ;
What makes your think I want to have a boy at all?
Hahaha that always work
Can my husband and I be “stuck” with any number of children!? For all of those feeling sorry for anyone being stuck with one gender or other, pray for those that have none… for their hearts, their empty arms, for every time mothers and father’s days come and go, for all of the miscarriages and broken dreams.
Sorry, I couldn’t read the article yet, so not ready to read what comments were made without feeling some kind of way… do if you covered this, again, sorry, I just put my 2 cents…
I really think you should read the article. It is not talking about people being stuck with their children. It discusses how people make comments when parents have all of one gender…either boy or girl. I just happen to have 3 girls, so that’s what I know and write about. I am truly sorry for your struggles, and I pray the Lord’s grace and peace on you and your husband.
I love your name! And I totally understand your feelings! I wouldn’t mind being ‘stuck with’ a whole passel of children regardless of gender. We have suffered miscarriages and sometimes I have to bite my tongue at the comments I hear people make, so as not to blacken my Lords name, on the other hand the comments sometimes run through me like a knife.
But yes Will is right, thats not what this post is about. 🙂 I actually wasn’t going to read it either, then decided if I was having a ‘strong’ day I would anyway. I really was blessed by it.
Anyway May the Lord bless your heart and send you peace and joy in this journey. Blessings, El
El, so glad this was a blessings. That is always our intention. I truly hope the Lord blesses you with his peace and joy as well!
Great post, Will!
Great post! We have 3 girls! Sooo blessed! I’ve had many similar comments. I was also the middle of 3 girls growing up and heard the same stuff. It’s just wrong! God knows what He’s doing when he blesses!
I agree April…such blessings. And what bothers me most is when the girls hear the comments.
I have 4 girls and don’t know how to cope, in fact the last 3 that arrived were as triplets. My wife had her tubes tied so there is no chance for us to have a boy. I am miserable knowing that my family name will likely die with me. This is eating me up inside and harming my marriage. Anyway, all these comments are geared the same way, thought I would offer a different perspective and ask for help.
Just found out I’m having another daughter I love my daughters but I just want a son that I can mold and bond with as a man I’m very upset
Peoples comments really bother me, I know they shouldn’t and I really shouldn’t let them but me, but there is an underlying moral issue that makes those comments really rub me the wrong way… We’ve heard all sorts from the most annoying “you know what causes that don’t you?” To the “hands are full” to the “good thing you got got boy” people don’t just devalue girls, they devalue kids in general, that really bothers me.. Almost to the point where I want to slap the people who make the comments just for being ignorant. We love our babies planned for and prayed for our babies and intend on having as many precious gifts as the lord deems fit for us, and I really don’t think that anyone has a right to comment just because they don’t hold the same moral set and values as I do.. It’s just inappropriate for people to devalue our kids and especially in front of them!
The kids being able to understand is what bothers me most. I try not to let the comments themselves get to me. I’m not always successful, but I do realize that people aren’t trying to be mean.
Definitely not looking forward to the kids understanding! I think that will just be the icing, it bothers me to have people say things like that in front of the girls because to me it’s like the fat girl getting slapped with a bad person label just for being larger than the rest of the group.. Training our innocent kids to think there is something wrong with them, and since they are raised hearing it they never know that it is wrong this backwards child hating culture. My oldest has been starting to question all of these things and all I can truly come up with to say to her is that people are blackened with sin and we need to be praying for them to understand Yeshua culture (hebrew Jesus).. But my heart aches for these children today that are raised in this culture that hates kids. (We do live in a city of 2 million, that might be skewing our perspectives just a tad
I have 3 boys and the comments go the other way too. People ask me all kinds of questions. They say boy you are outnumbered. How do you control their energy? When will you have that girl to even things out a bit? And the list goes on. God gives parents what they have.
Most people have no filter. Great post by the way. My neighbor has 4 little girls that my boys adore.
I know, Kristy. The comments can come from all sides. I just have never understood the reason for them.
You are INDEED blessed! It’s great to see that you know it, because far to many Dad’s out there don’t. *sigh* We weren’t blessed with children sadly, but my husband would have made a GREAT father. He told me a few years ago, that had we been given children, or even one child, he would have wanted a girl. I’m sure he would have loved a boy, but that little girl was what he really wanted. How blessed am I to be married to a MAN who doesn’t feel that men are BETTER than women! I may not have got that ultimate blessing of children, but God really has compensated me with the Man he put me with and I feel blessed, even without children…as much as I wanted them. God knows best. :-))
Thank you Deb. I am very blessed, and it sounds like you are as well. Your husband sounds like a great guy.
Emily at Live Renewed
This is such an important post for everyone to read, whether you have all girls, all boys, or a mix, we all know that all children are such an amazing blessing! Why people continue to make comments like this makes my heart so sad! As the oldest of three girls I am so thankful that my dad sheltered us from these types of comments and opinions. He loved us fiercely and was so proud to have three strong daughters. I’m so thankful for the legacy he left for us!
Thanks Emily. All children are a blessings regardless of the number you have or the gender or anything else.
This is a sensitive subject for me, as someone who has zero control over the size of my family, let alone gender. I have three babies in heaven and one beautiful son who we adopted as a newborn. By the time he was two, we constantly got comments about why we didn’t have another baby or one on the way. I wanted to scream that not everyone gets to just decide to get pregnant and have another child. Now that he’s seven, I don’t get those comments very often, but I remember how painful it was five years ago.
I’m so sorry for your losses, Claire. I don’t people realize our inadvertently hurtful their comments can be when they have no idea of the person’s situation. I have only ever discussed those types of questions with close friends whom I know.
Great post! Our family (my siblings) have lived our adult lives with no mixed gender offspring per family. Not sure why but one brother and one sister had only girls. Myself and my baby sister only have boys. My dad, God love him, is from ‘that generation’ that feels a male is important to ‘carry on the family name’. So he’s always felt bad for my brother that only had girls. However, his interest is not in carrying on the name of my sister’s husband and them having just girls. And to tell you the extent of the carrying on the name issue is (and not JUST having a boy to raise)… my oldest brother had no biological children of his own but did help to raise his stepson. This stepson still carries HIS father’s last name and not being biological does not contribute to the name thing so my dad ‘hates it for Tony’. I do have to add recently that my sister with only girls does now have full custody of the wonderful little boys (brothers and children of a distant relative) and hopefully adoption is just ahead in their future. She should have taken on three more girls in a heartbeat as well though had that been the situation.
I’m SO GLAD to see such a supportive post, and even better from the dad’s perspective, that we should cherish all of our blessings from God no matter the number or gender!
My dad says the same thing to me about having a boy and carrying on the family name since I am the only male. Though, he loves his granddaughters very much, I think deep down he wants me to have a boy.
What wonderful insight! It’s so sad more men don’t feel the way you do on this subject. Many women also favor boys over girls. I have been the victim my entire life of prejudice because I was born a girl. And, as the mother of one terrific girl, I wouldn’t have it any other way, and am so thankful I had her. My relatives that have boys “pity” us. We are looked down on a little, as if we didn’t achieve the pen-ultimate of parenthood. There is very obvious favoritism toward the boys. It is upsetting and unfair, and I appreciate your humility and desire to not let these societal failings bother you. It is a lesson all men and women can learn, because there is nothing wrong with girls. Just so you know, boys whine just as much as girls! And if you think boys can’t bring the drama, you’re in for an awakening, especially when your daughters have to deal with them when they’re teens. I have never seen more drama “queens” than I have in the last couple of teen years, and all boys! It’s all in the personality, not the gender. Thank you again for a mature outlook on having such great daughters and being proud of it.
Haha…Michelle, I’m sure there is drama from all sides. I’ll just have to cross that bridge when I get there. For now, the sibling drama is enough for me. lol
Bravo!!! My husband and I have 5, yes 5, daughters and we have heard them ALL. Of course our favorite is hearing about asain culture that 5 daughters represent financial success. We will take it. Lol Of course we would’ve loved a boy..but right now I can’t picture it any other way. 🙂
I haven’t heard that one about financial success. I have a friend who has 6 girls, so I’ll have to ask him if he’s rolling in the dough yet. haha
As a dad who’s “stuck” with 6 daughters (4 bio, 2 adoptive) I can honestly say that I love my daughters, and would never have chosen otherwise. They are just as rambunctious as any boy, and love the life that God has given them. To those men who lament the fact they they don’t have enough “testosterone” in their family, I just tell them that that’s a personal problem, and “I hear there’s a cream for that.” God has blessed us with 6 very different, very energetic, very emotional, very wonderful, very awesome, very smart, very talented young ladies who are being trained by my more wonderful wife on how to be godly women and how to raise their own families to honor God, each other, and others with their lives. Please tell your husband that he’s only halfway done… I’ve got more Barbies, and Elsas in my house then he does!! 🙂
David, I am cracking up at the “cream” remark. I’ll have to remember that one. Love hearing from another man on the subject.
It’s good to hear a dad’s perspective on this where the dad is proud to have his girls.
I know this post and the comments are old, but this issue has become so relevant to me recently.
I’m currently pregnant with our first child. Yesterday we found out it’s a girl. My husband was quite depressed about the news and it saddened me that he felt this way – especially since this is our first, so there’s still plenty of opportunity for more kids.
What’s made it worse is the comments men have made to my husband upon hearing the news — expressing their pity, or implying that my husband’s manhood is somehow inadequate because he fathered a daughter instead of a son.
My husband even went so far as to say he feels ashamed to share the news with other men. Obviously he shouldn’t have to feel this way, but some men just don’t seem to care to imply that dads with girls just haven’t “made it” as dads somehow. Like you don’t really have children that matter till you have that much-coveted boy.
I don’t think it’s bad for parents to want a child of the same gender as themselves, but it sucks that men will openly suggest to other men that if you have girls only it’s not good enough.
My husband is 100% convinced that all men who only have daughters secretly feel they got dealt a bad hand. This also saddens me.
I know if we found out it’s a boy, my husband would’ve been excited to share the news with everyone and buy his child some clothes. But since it was a girl, he didn’t even want me to buy something for her.
I don’t think my husband will be a bad father to our girl, but he’s already saying we should try for a boy soon after. I feel worried that either we end up with all girls, or that he’ll favour a future son above our daughter.
A lot of dads with only girls noticeably don’t care to bond with their kids. I don’t think my husband would be that extreme, I just want him to love our daughter more right now already and be really happy for having her, even if he would like a son as well. Right now he’s still down about a girl and scared of an all-girl family.
I understand if he wants a boy too, it’s just that I want him to be more accepting of the fact that we’ll get whatever children God blesses us with. If we had a boy I would’ve been happy, but I’ll openly admit I’d still have hoped for a girl. But I’d have bought my son clothes too, and celebrated the child I’ve been blessed with still. Regardless of gender, my perspective would have been that my little child deserves to be celebrated for who God created them to be.
If this is the first girl, I shudder to think of how rejected the second one might be (if there is another girl next time). My husband didn’t want to buy this girl clothes. What’s he going to feel if the second baby doesn’t “redeem the situation”?
I’ve seen too many people comment about similar situations saying “just wait till the baby comes. He’ll love her to bits”. I just don’t think it’s fair to her, really. Just like I would’ve celebrated a son, even if I’d like a daughter, I’d like my husband to think about this child rather than what other guys are saying and value her above societal norms of “men always want a boy”.
So what? I’ve always wanted a daughter, but (hypothetically speaking) mourning the news of a son wouldn’t be an appropriate response to becoming a parent for me. If we just had boys, it would probably be difficult for me, but I’d try to get over myself and my expectations and I wouldn’t think myself justified for not wanting to get my child some nice things, even if it were the third or fourth son, it would only be appropriate for me to remind myself that my child is nevertheless a blessing from God.
The point, at the end of the day, is that no one gets to choose the gender of our children except God. Yes, we all go into parenthood with expectations — even expectations of raising a son or daughter, specifically. It can be understandably hard that we have no control to fulfill those expectations, especially if these expectations are left unmet with the second or third baby too. From the perspective of an imperfect human being, I can at least have empathy for anyone with expectations that go unmet, but I can’t agree it’s okay to imply your children are inadequate because of gender.
But for us, this is the first baby, not the second, third or fourth. Can’t we at least just be happy with this baby no matter what? I feel sad that my girl, our only unborn child, has already been labelled as insufficient more than once for her gender. I personally feel ashamed to discuss my husband’s gender disappointment with friends or family. These are people we know personally and I don’t want to cast my husband in a bad light.
Still, I feel my husband needs to gain some perspective from men with only daughters and realise that it’s possible for dads to truly be happy and content only having girls — just as some moms are with only boys. I don’t want insensitive, gender-biased men to keep leaving a negative imprint on him rather than men who set a good example as fathers to girls.
My husband doesn’t even need to turn out as an all-girl daddy after more kids. There’s still opportunity if the Lord wills. I just want him to process and accept that God gives life and children, no matter what gender. I want him to love all our kids equally and spend time with all of them, regardless. That’s all.
Right now, I feel there’s still an unhealthy bias for a boy to the extent of devaluing daughters.
What should I do? What can I say to him? I’m trying to be understanding to my husband, but I still feel sad for my unborn baby’s part. It’s not right, even if this were a boy, the whole reaction would be all wrong either way. I’m not sad because she’s a girl being discriminated against, but because she’s a child not being appropriately celebrated.
I think the commenter in this instance probably was more referring to the fact that a dad might want a boy as another male– not that boys are better. I can easily imagine a mom with three boys getting the exact same types of questions and comments like “oh, I’ll bet you want a girl to go have a nail party!” I agree that we need to be careful what we say around kids, but I don’t think our society values boys more than girls… to the contrary boys tend to get a lot of flak as “noisy dirty ugh.”. It’s also ok for a parent of one gender to desire a child of their same gender to teach and care for.
Well said! I had 4 boys and was never offended by the “are you gonna keep trying for a girl” question or any of the other comments. And I never for a moment considered the comments to mean that my boys weren’t “enough”.
I am not offended by those comments either, but I do think the perspective is a little different. If I were a guy with 3 boys, I’d get a pat on the back. But as a guy with girls, I get pity from people. I’m sure your perspective is different as a woman with 3 boys, so this is just my experience.
BINGO. Love this article.
I do know that boys tend to be more flak in school because the tend to be more energetic, squirmy, etc., and I know moms with all boys get comments about that as well. I also agree that it’s totally fine for a parent to want a child of the same gender. However, from my experience, the comments that are made about me as a man having all girls do show an undervaluing of girls. When someone says to me, “Looks like I won,” there is a reason that statement is made. When someone says that I am “stuck” with all girls, the negative connotation does not escape me. When someone says, “You must be sad you don’t have a boy to carry on the family name.” The comments don’t bother me because I really don’t care what people think, but I do think there is a reason people make those comments with some underlying tones. As a guy, this has just been my experience.
I am the middle of three girls. My dad has told my mom, who then passed it on to us, that everything he could have done with a boy, he did with us girls. I remember learning to shoot and change the oil and rotate the tires. He worked a swing shift, so he wasn’t always around for our events, but we always knew he loved us, and still does! My sister has 6 boys, and she says she wouldn’t know what to do with a girl. 🙂 No, they weren’t trying for a girl. They just wanted a big family. It’s sad that people feel it’s appropriate to say those things. I know I hear a lot of it when I say my sister has 6 boys. I’m proud of my sister and her husband for what they do for and with their boys. They are fantastic parents! And I think anyone lucky enough to have children and value them for being them, is blessed beyond measure. Thank you for this post. Will be sharing. 🙂
Thanks Richelle! I want my girls to learn to do all of those things as well.
That’s like my family! I’m the oldest of four girls. Daddy said he would train up the boys and Mommy would train up the girls. Well, it worked out, because Daddy was in the Navy and gone a lot! I felt like I did the things a son would do, but my sister was the tomboy! We all mowed the lawn and did whatever needed to be done. Gender did not matter.
My husband is the middle of three boys. Now we have six boys and two girls. I have to say, my girls are dirtier and do more disgusting things than my boys. They are all fun! I teach them all to do all the jobs and taught them all to sew. The child who likes to sew is a boy. At least one like to sew!
And now the grandchildren… We have six boys and three girls, 7 years and younger… So far… Only three of my children are married.
We have 3 daughters ages 10, 9, and 3 and now we have a son almost 1. My husband always got these comments, but he always said he wouldn’t trade his girls for anything. Yes there is drama, but there is something about a daddy and his girls. It’s a wonderful bond they have. Yes, they want me when something is wrong or they are sick, but they love their daddy. Now that we have a boy (which is NOT easier, by the way), we still get the comments disregarding our girls. We just make sure our girls know that they are wanted and loved just as much as any of their siblings. God blessed us with each of them at a time when we needed them in our lives and for that, each of them are very special. Thanks for the post.
I’m sure boys provide their own challenges as well, but you are right that they are all special.
“Now that we have a boy (which is NOT easier, by the way), we still get the comments disregarding our girls. ”
How sad. But that reinforces the low value assigned to girls by many people. (By the way, all these people that want sons so badly, how will the human species continue without a certain number of girls being born? Everyone should have sons? Just kidding-being sarcastic, but this male-child preference really burns me up. )
Kristen @ Smithspirations
Yes! This post almost makes me a little weepy because I love it so much. The things that have been said to us with our four girls and one boy are really incredible, and like you, said right with our girls around. We truly thought our fifth was going to be a boy, and were all surprised when they said she was a girl! And then the comments… “I feel sorry for your husband!” and the like. It’s terribly sad and I do think speaks to some underlying bias against daughters. We got it even when we learned our first was a daughter. Of course we’d love to have a brother for our son, but if he’s blessed with another sister, we wouldn’t be disappointed!
Will, I so appreciate your well spoken thoughts!
Thank you Kristen.
as one of 5 daughters, these comments sound so familiar! i believe you are totally right w/ your approach; no child-rearing can be easy. my dear daddy had a cute remark when asked the question, “no boys?” “oh, they’ll come later.” =)
I like that comment!
I love this post. I have two boys and a newborn girl. Before my pregnancy everyone would ask if I was going to try for “my girl”. During my pregnancy everyone would ask if I was so happy that I “finally got my girl”. When I would explain to some folks that I was so blessed with my two boys and would’ve been happy either way they looked at me like I was crazy. Now friends and family alike are both commenting that now we can be “done”. We aren’t sure if we are in fact “done” because we’ve been blessed with a daughter. I would’ve genuinely been thrilled with three sons. I felt joyfully outnumbered with all boys in the house. I never felt an emptiness or that I was missing out not having a daughter. Each child is a gift no matter the gender. I wish more would see it that way.
Each child is a gift!
People are EXHAUSTING. As a woman, my goodness, people have something to say about your body from early on, then it is about your reproductive system and reproduction plans, if any (“how many kids do you want to have?” “when will you start having kids?” “Going to keep trying for a boy?” “How many more kids will you have?”)
Just WAIT and let me INFORM YOU!!!!
Girls are awesome!!! They children do not make a good dad that is something he has to make himself. Just fathering a child doesn’t make a good dad it has to come from the heart!!! There are a lot of them in this world and thank God if you are one of them!!!!
Jean | DelightfulRepast.com
What a lovely *balanced* post! I love how you didn’t take offense at the thoughtless remarks and respond with a snappy comeback but gave thought to the effect on your daughters. I think all parents get inappropriate remarks and “helpful” parenting tips from strangers on all sorts of topics. If only they all could look at it and respond the way you did.
Definitely don’t respond perfectly every time, but I try not to let it bother me.
We are expecting our 4th child this Summer….girl #4! We have had comments like “please tell me the dog is a boy!” Nope, our dog is a girl. My husband has been saying “I’ll be well taken care of when I’m old.” And that totally throws them off! Because it is true and when girls get married who do they want to spend holidays with? Their family! 😉
Steph, I’ll have to remember the “being taken care” of comment. That’s great!
People say all kinds of things, not just about only girls but also about only boys or large families. I do think everyone has an innate desire to have children of both sexes. A man has a different relationship with his boys than with his girls. Different, not better. As do women have a different relationship with their daughters than sons. Maybe this guy just couldn’t connect with women very well. 🙂 If God provides us with children who are we to determine or want what sex those children will be? You are blessed (as am I!)
Thank you Will for sharing your experiences with your precious girls. We have 5 daughters and 1 daughter-in-law; 32-16. My husband is the best Dad to our girls and recently gave each of them a personalized gift for Valentine’s Day. God knew what he was doing giving us 5 girls. They are each so unique and adore their dad. God even gave us another daughter when our only son married and they have since given us an adorable granddaughter!
So many blessings, Michele! Thanks for reading!
It almost made me shed tears to hear that your little daughter felt apologetic for your family being “all girls”.
I am the oldest of 7 girls in our family. No brothers. We get those kinds of comments addressed to us all the time people see us together. Both men and women tell us bluntly “your poor father” etc. etc.
Why don’t people say “your poor mother” when they see a family of all boys?
Ever since our 5th sister was on the way people kept predicting that “finally now the boy is coming”. We tell people dad actually considers himself blessed. We work together, run together, we’re a team. He trained us to change the car oil, electrical stuff, painting and so many other ‘manly’ jobs. Sometimes it hurts when people constantly talk like that to our face as if we’re some kind of problem/difficulty- but we’re usually amused by their shocked faces and reply that dad enjoys his daughters.
There’s a saying we really enjoy that applies to families “stuck” with girls:
“God doesn’t place a man in the house where there already is a man.” 🙂
I think moms of all boys do get those kinds of comments, but you are right that all children are a blessings. I want to teach my kids that stuff as well!!
Excellent! I have three little girls too – well, 23, 21, 19 – but they are still my little girls and I love them and always will, no matter what – something I have said to them since they were truly little. I would not trade all these years for anything.
When people asked us similar questions about boys, we would just tell them, someday we’ll have boys, but our daughters will have the privilege of choosing them! One just got married in January and the second one engaged in February, and now I love these boys too.
Keep loving your girls -all of them, including your wife, and someday your girls will choose some sons for you. All the best.
Grace and peace,
Thanks for the encouragement, Bob!
Our two beautiful healthy girls were 1 and 3 when we decided to try for a boy. God knows best because he gave us twin girls that time. Now they are 9, 7, 5 and 5 – and almost without fail when we are out all together someone comments about us “having our hands full” . Sometimes I think these people are ignorant, sometimes I allow that they might just be making chit-chat. My favorite comments come from parents of 1 or two that say “I can barely handle one (or two) – how do you do it?” – I really love these because I always take it as a sign that I am weathering this amazing challenge, one day at a time. It is a tornado of appointments, activities, fighting, crying, whining, hugs, kisses, snuggles and some of the most precious off-the-wall comments I could never invent alone. Sometimes I forget to enjoy the journey . . but sometimes I remember too. . .
I think sometimes they are making small talk like you said. I just like that my girls are starting to understand them. I do love your point about enjoying the journey with all its trials and joys.
As a mom of 3 young boys, I often get comments as well, and I wonder if it is less about the value our culture has for girls and more about this weird idea we seem to have that a) it would be good for us to be in charge of gender selection etc for our offspring, and b) “normal” parents probably do/should want one girl and one boy – adequate variety without excessive numbers of children. And if you “accidentally” end up with all one gender, you *must* be wanting one of the other gender. It’s true that my husband thinks he would like a girl, although it seems to me it’s more of a grass is greener thing than anything else. I figure, I already have boys mostly figured out, so why change now? 😉
I can definitely see your point, Sharon. I guess for me, as a man, the comments suggest a devaluing of girls since I am “stuck” with them and didn’t “win” the testosterone battle. I do think some people are just making small talk, but some of the comments do seem to portray that I should how be disappointed because I have all girls. Maybe it’s like you said and people just assume that I want something I don’t.
After reading this I had to ask my husband if he wrote it…down to the beta fish comment! We have 4 daughters. I have learned to let more comments slide than my husband. It is hard feeling he is constantly defending our precious family of girls to others. Our oldest is 7 and our hearts break for the comments she has questioned.
I think that is what bothers me most, Lacey. The comments don’t bother me, but it does bother me when my girls hear and understand them.
Lacey and Will, I admire how evenly you respond. Are you also challenging people when they lob those comments toward your girls? (And I do not mean in an aggressive manner, but turning the table on those inappropriate people who have no problem asking what I consider inappropriate and hurtful questions–though usually well-intended (I guess) or just ‘small talk.’ The first thing out of my mouth may be “What do you mean, are we trying for a boy? Is there something wrong with having a family of wonderful funny/intelligent/sharp/inquisitive/etc young ladies who will change the world?”)
Melody Maynard @ Joyfully Ever After
People can be so thoughtless at times, but it doesn’t help when a lot of people actually think that way! I am thinking of one family in particular that had four boys and one girl in that order that openly admits they kept trying for a girl. It goes both ways. I am an only child due to my parent’s fertility problems. My husband is the baby of his family with an older sister and brother. We are hoping for a large family with both boys and girls, but will be delighted with whatever children God chooses to bless us with!
Delight in the Lord and He will give you desires of your heart. I truly hope the Lord does bless you with the family you desire, no matter the size or gender!
Thank you for posting this. My husband and I have four daughters and are bombarded by those comments all the time. It’s nice to know we aren’t the only ones. Our family is perfect just the way it is and we couldn’t imagine our lives without anyone one of our girls.
Definitely not the only ones! I have heard many stories from parents of all girls or all boys or large families or small families, etc. I wouldn’t imagine my life any other way either.
I hate to break it to you, but having boys doesn’t rule out the nonstop “Frozen.” 😉 ALL of my kids belt songs from that movie all day long — including my 2-year-old son. (It’s pretty funny, though, listening to a kid who can barely talk belt out “…LIGHT of DAYYYYYY”!)
Haha…That’s awesome, Rachel! We get the same thing from our 2 year old, but it’s usually the “I don’t care” part and then “Let it go” along with the rest of the song babbled in her own language.
As another family blessed with 3 (amazing!) little girls I can completely relate to this! Our girls are 8, 3 and 13 months and we often get comments (mostly to my husband) about being overrun with the female persuasion. When we found out our 3rd was a girl I asked my husband if he was disappointed and he said “of course not, I love my girls, boys are weird….I should know I was one” lol now not to devalue boys either but I was touched by his response. I often get told I “must have my hands full!” And I love to quip back “yup my hands are full but so is my heart!” Which usually gets a smile and my girls love it 🙂 I have a stepson who does not live with us and we often get a sigh of relief when people here, with a pat on the back to my husband and a “oh so you DID get your boy- that’s good!” Which I find so frustrating because I think these 3 girls are amazing and can do anything boys can do (except pee outside- I will give you that one mothers of boys- potty training would be much easier if we didn’t always have to run inside!). I would love to have one more and get to experience raising a son, but not because they are somehow more important, rather just because I know it is a different experience. But we don’t have more children or if we do and are instead blessed with another sweet princess I won’t feel like I am missing out. My girls are my whole world, and their daddy’s too.
I love your response about “a full heart.” I’ll have to remember that one.
This is a wonderful post! We have three girls and my husband is from a family of three boys. He is all boy but LOVES and adores our girls! We get similar comments all the time! We also feel blessed and wouldn’t change anything about our family!
Sounds like you have 3 daddy’s girls…just like mine. Awesome!
We only have a daughter (well we have four dogs but it’s 2 boys and 2 girls so they even out! lol). I get so bent when people make comments, but I don’t have a typical girl either. My Mini gets her nails done to go play softball. She hates leggings, dresses, Barbies, My Little Pony anything fitted. She loves super heroes and Star Wars. She prefers boys sweatpants and most tshirts to pretty much anything in the girls department. She’s not into Disney Princesses.
I used to think that people would make comments about all girls because.. well.. PMS.. and when females live with each other, their cycles can sync up. As I got older, I realized people just suck. It’s like as a man, your life isn’t complete if you don’t have a son. Like if you have all girls, you’re “missing out” on something. I get comments on letting Mini wear “boy” clothes and “dress like a boy”.. People have accused me of “pushing” my child towards being gay (my response to one of them was that the t-shirt I was wearing at the time was from the mens department so they walked away). Also, because she’s an only child, I’m told I’m selfish for not giving her a sibling.
People have such ridiculous ideas about how other people should feel. The judgments and just need to stop. How does anyone else know what it takes to make you happy?
Kristen @ Practical Mommy
I loved this post! When I saw it on my newsfeed, I knew I had to share it with my husband. We have 2 girls and this has never happened to us yet, but he still really wants a boy. To my surprise, he actually read it! That night he told me it completely changed the way he looked at WHY he wanted a boy. He loves our daughters so much and would be happy with just two daughters forever. Thank you for opening our eyes to why we think and want what we want sometimes.
I’m so glad that it spoke to you and your husband. I really don’t think there is anything wrong with wanting a child the same gender as the parent. I would not mind a boy, but I think you are correct that the reason behind it is the key. Thank you for reading and your encouragement!
As the very proud dad of three amazing daughters that are 35,32,30 who are hard working,fun loving,generous and genuine, I can truly say I would never have traded any of them for any number of boys!! They have brought more joy to my life than I deserve and I pray you will be as blessed by your daughters as I by “My Girls”
As a girl with a dad and a stepdad who both sound a lot like you, I’m sure your daughters will thank you some day for cherishing them the way you do. If they marry, the way you value them will teach them how they should expect a potential husband to value them. It’s one of the best gifts you can give them : )
Funnily enough, the guy I’m about to marry really *wants* little girls! (Though I’m sure we’ll both be happy about whoever God adds to our family.)
We are blessed with four daughters. My reactions are similar to your. I realize most people who make that kind of comment are just being conversational, but they should realize that their comments aren’t original and also aren’t funny.
I live in Italy with girls and the comments are exactly the opposite. All the Italian mums want girls and they say things like: ” You are so lucky to have a girl.” IN FRONT of their boys listening. I think it’s a terrible thing to do.
I can’t help but think of my dad when I read this article,, as he was the only boy with 4 little sisters and then went on to have 4daughters,,no sons. Plenty of comments have been made to him during the years,,but he always says that he didn’t miss out on sons. Especially,,because all his daughters went on to play sports very well,,and he coached us on our regular and traveling tournament teams. We have over 200 trophies to show for our memories and many, many stories of what it was like when dad coached us on to many basketball and softball victories and state championships…..as well as his Coach of The Year trophies. Many good times. And yes, we also came home and baked him cakes and cookies,,did our prom and wedding things, helped him with the lawn and stood out there with him while he worked on his car. Every day when he came home from work,,4 little girls burst out the front door to greet him with hugs and kisses, and carry in his lunch pail. Now he also is best buddies with his son and grandson in laws. If you can imagine all the daughters and granddaughters then you can picture all the husband’s,,,so lots of male energy to add to the mix now. Lol. My grandfather would tell my father something in Spanish everytime one of us was born,,to the effects of “another cup of coffee”. Meaning,,that “your daughters are never going to leave you”. We all live within 1 mile of him and see him on a daily basis….so,,gotta say,,,grandpa was right about that.
Such a lovely story, gina.
God has entrusted me with the care of three eternal beings, and He doesn’t make mistakes. Everything from their gender to the length of their eyelashes was part of His plan. I am beyond blessed, and honored, to be in this role!
I totally agree, Jennifer! Such blessings they are!
I am a mom with three boys ages 1, 3, and 5 and I get the same comments as you…just the opposite since I am the mommy instead of the daddy. I am so grateful for my family even though my hands are full. And if we were to have another baby someday, I would happily welcome another boy (though my oldest has said he would like a sister!)
This is a wonderful article. It is funny how people think in stereotypes. My husband and I have three healthy children, the youngest a senior in high school now. But I remember when we only had the first two. People used to comment that we had the perfect family, a boy and a girl, as if every boy was like every other boy and every girl was like every other girl.
We did not feel like our family was yet complete, and God blessed us with another girl. I will tell you that all children, regardless of gender, are completely different beings. They have different personalities and thoughts. So, whether they are boys or girls doesn’t really matter. God made them all in His image.
I am a mom of 7 with an almost perfect mix of boys and girls, and even still people have something to say. When I only had 4, and it was a perfect 2 and 2, they thought my family must be perfect, and I must want to stop having children now. I got it again when I had an even 3 and 3. Now they just ask me if I’ll ever stop popping out babies! People seem to want to make conversation and don’t really think about it before commenting. I’ve stuck my foot in my mouth so many times myself! I find myself finding the best way possible to take the comments and assume the best intentions. I assume they’re seeing something they consider unusual (like twins) and are just genuinely interested. I love when their eyes get big and say, “God bless you!” because then I get to come back with, “He already has!” And He truly has! I’m glad you see the worth of those beautiful daughters of yours! Just keep telling them they are beautiful creations of God and watch them blossom under His watchful care!
I didn’t realize it would include that link! It is a very old post that is not relevant any more… I guess it’s time to update my blog! 😉
I have something to confess.
I am one of those people who feel ‘better’ about having 2 boys and 1 girl. This is not a way I want to think and I am not sure where it came from or when it started. You would never know this judging from my daughter. She is a very strong minded girl with good thoughts about herself. I work hard at not allowing my internal dialogues to influence my actions. I believe it is the only way to affect change.
Thank you for the article. I have always known this about myself, but you have caused me to think deeper about my thoughts.
My brother in law had 5 girls. When the last was born, people actually offered condolences! How awful is that? Are we some sort of primitive society that values boys over girls, or is this America in 2015? Sometimes people can be such wackadoodles!
I generally shoot people a look when they say something stupid about us having three girls.
Recently, a guy my husband knows found out that we have 3 daughters, 2 granddaughters, as well as 3 girl dogs; told my husband he must have committed myrder in a past life. It’s at be horrible to be around girls all the time.
I shot him my look, grinned and said “Only the strong can handle all girls. Looks like it’ll be boys for you.”
I honestly don’t believe this. Raising kids of either gender is hard.
Thanks so much for this! We have three girls too! Ages 5, 2, and 6 months. We also have a Beta fish which turns out it is female also. My husband feels he is a very blessed man and treats all of his girls like princesses and we treat him like our prince 🙂 He receives those type of comments all of the time gracefully. He sometimes teasingly responds ” well, God knew this house only needed one man” or “One day I will gain three sons that I didn’t have to raise”. We are both so grateful for our three girls! We are blessed beyond measure! Thanks for sharing your story. It is nice to know we aren’t the only ones hearing Frozen non-stop! 🙂
As a father of four girls I can only think how their boys will come calling to my house one day. We’ll see who’s sorry for me then.
I am sorry but the very title is wrong and the article betrayed the author. It twice mentioned thing like “there is a lot of drama and I am ok with it…” and “estrogen frustration”. I am the founder and managing partner of a leading law firm which has more women than men. I also have a household full of girls (my wife and daughters). I can never complain about estrogen frustration or having drama in my office or at home. It is simply normal. If anything, I need more pampering than any one of them. So to create these sorts of distinctions about estrogen and dramas is itself bias and causes others to view people like us differently!
yeah, that estrogen part..I just chuckled. Kids are challenging, period. Wonder if there are ever comments by dads with all sons, about a houseful of testosterone?
Love your thoughts however your comment , I struggle with the drama and the whining sometimes , is stereotyping at its best . I will forgive you because as a Dad without boys you do not know that boys cause more drama and are whinier then any girl. I, the Mother of 1 boy and 2 girls, have observed this in my home as well as in friends homes where little boys are stomping around . So there you go , you have even more blessings to count!
As a mom of 4 amazing girls, I can assure you the best part of my husbands day is walking through the front door and watch as his girls all race to see who gives daddy the first hug…. And by the way, our oldest is 16 & she still competes for that hug.
I have four girls and get the same dumb comments. I’m 100% happy with the way things are, not the slightest disappointment. No thought ever crosses my mind of wanting things to be any different. Yet other men will say they feel sorry for me, will ask me if we’re going to “try for a boy,” and similarly ridiculous (I’d even call them offensive, but just totally ignore it and don’t respond) comments.
Our immediate family consists of daughter, Mystique Sea Flores-Scully daughter, Destiny Elyse Flores, daughter Domonique Ramirez, daughter Sara Ramirez, granddaughters, Melina and Nevaeh, female doggies, Marble and Chiquita, momma Angela and the lone male daddy/grandpa Lorenzo Ramirez and he would not have it any other way! Its the best having daughters. They can be babied, kissed, and hugged forever. This is not to say that you can’t do this with boys but there comes a time when dads feel it necessary to toughen their sons up. With little girls they will always be your princesses . And as far as needing a boy, hahaha, they will all come later! Actually had we not had girls we would not have the privilage of adding these amazing men, Jarryd Scully, Archie Garcia, Michael Cardamone and Elysha Cardamone to our Family! So to refer back to the phrase Dad “STUCK” with daughters” bring on gallons of crazy glue because This mom and dad never want to be anywhere else!!!!!
I have 3 boys and 3 girls and one of my brothers has 2 and 2. One brother has no wife, no kids. But the other 2 have only girls. One with 2 grown young ladies. And the other has 4 and his wife is pregnant. Before we knew what she was having we joked that he was going to get a girls basketball team (Which since my brother loves basketball would be great!) OR that they would get a token boy, after reading this, I realize that we were not very kind in that comment. HOWEVER!, I am the token sister and my husband is the token boy having only sisters. We actually feel pretty special! My brother has said for years that he Specializes in Girls, a comment we love! Those girls keep up with the boys just fine and the girls keep the boys grounded. I honestly think that it is good for both my jock brother and the girls. He gets them involved in sports and the more ‘manly’ activities and they invite him to tea parties and play dress-up. I am not sure it would have been the same if they had both boys and girls. (I say this because of my brother’s personality not to generalize) No one has really thought ‘poor them with only girls’ But come October they will have to figure out what do do with a boy…..
I have heard some of the same comments and I have always said… “Yes, I have a home full of women, a boy would be interesting. But, God gave me just what I needed and they are my special girls. Hey… I know I’ll be taken care of when I’m old, cause my girls love their daddy and I love them. Good luck with those boys!”
Proud mommy of 3 boys, age 2 months to 4. I constantly hear “hands full” and “are you going to try for a girl” comments. I appreciate your post and hope it prepares me for reassuring my boys that I wouldn’t trade them for girls and that there is nothing inherently bad in being a boy, which a lot of people seem to think based on comments I hear. I will be using the “yes my hands are full…full of blessings.” Thank you.
Absolutely loved the article as a mom of 2 angelic girls and aunt of 3 beautiful nieces. Totally relatable! Bad thing is its the same across many cultures and nations..
But reading your article gives us hope.. with men like you out there. The world could become a better and more respectable place.
I think this is a good article, however I think there is a different issue. People still think that having one boy & one girl makes a complete family. I’ve heard people make comments to families of all boys as well. I know people just want to make conversation, but this can make children feel badly about themselves and kids have so much stacked against them as it is. God blessed this family with 3 girls (or 4 boys or whatever) just be thankful for your children and let other parents be thankful for their children. 🙂
Loved the post! My husband and I have 2 daughters and no plans to have any more children. People have said these sorts of things to him and he us usually the funny type so he just says “I was the youngest of 5 and the only boy, I’m used to makeup, hairspray and boxes of tampons in the bathroom it’s not gonna bother me a bit.” He also enjoyed pointing out to another friend who commented Dave only has girls and that he has all boys that his house will always smell sweet and lovely unlike his friends stinky field house smell. I love that he loves his girls and wouldn’t trade them for a boy and in fact wanted a second girl when we found out we were expecting our youngest. All children are valuable your boys and our girls so let’s just be happy God gives some people boys and some girls so our children have someone to marry one day.
We can relate to your story, we had 3 daughters and heard similar comments all the time. We just let the comments slide, then we had our son…and it was “oh you poor boy” and other comments hinting about the poor boy having to live with “bossy” sisters (this from strangers, who didn’t know us at all ) our oldest two were 8 and 6 at the time, and started asking why people felt sorry for our son. We assured them that Coby was actually very blessed, not all boys had 3 sisters watching over them and doting on the?
I have also been blessed with two daughters and have heard the comments.I don’t think I would have done much differently if I had two boys.You love them and try to teach them right from wrong and love them some more.People have actually asked me if I was disappointed I didn’t have boys because they couldn’t play football.Ridiculous! I’ve often said I didn’t understand the consept of hoping for a boy or girl because if you have the opposite of what you were hoping for.Your first thought about your new child would be disappointment and that would be truly sad.Well that’s my two cents.God Bless
Well said. As a father of four girls and one boy (the youngest two are twins – girl & boy), I have heard these all and more. Thanks for the reminder of the impact on my daughters.
Having a boy who is the youngest (yes, a twin but he is smaller than his sister so looks youngest) I often get “At least you finally got your boy.” My response is “I know. Thank goodness it wasn’t another girl or I would have had to leave her on the mountainside to die.” At least that’s what I want to say but my wife has wisely warned me not to. But, one of these days ….
I am bugged that people feel like they should offer comments like:
Trying for a boy?
Are you done yet?
Do you know what causes babies?
And other personal questions…
I don’t even ask my sons if they have plans for more or if they are done. I’m family, but it’s still none of my business! That’s private! Also, it’s not really up to us anyway! Only the Sovereign Hand of God.
We need gracious rehearsed answers to their rudeness.
I am mom to 3 boys. I remember being told I had my hands full which, like you said, was no different than any parent with 3 children. There were only a few times I was asked if I was going to try a girl. My first two sons were only 23 months apart. My third one was a surprise and 5 years younger than his older brother, 7 from the oldest. A year or two after his birth I thought about having another child, but that never happened.
The worst thing I had to deal with was when they reached their early teens and decided that since I was outnumbered, they no longer needed to put the toilet seat down. Two are married now and I sometimes wonder if they debated issue with their wives.
That’s funny about the toilet seat! That is one thing we don’t have to deal with in a home full of girls! LOL
This is probably my most favorite blog post in a LONG LONG time! We have 6 girls and the comments to my husband are unreal sometimes as though having all of those girls is somehow terrible! Thank you for sharing this.
Thank you for this post! We have 5 girls. 8 yr, 7yr, 5yr, 3yr and just turned 1 yr. We get a lot of comments going out. My husband does a great job with the comments. Again, thank you!
I have four girls and hear these comments, and many more, very often.
When someone says to me, “Man you’re outnumbered.” I say, “No, I’m not. They’re all on my side.”
One time a lady at a department store check out said to my wife, “Wow! So many beautiful girls! You must of had a sleepover.” My wife replied, “No they’re our mine. The clerk said, “oh…” and kept checking them out.
I love the comments. It gives me an opportunity to make people saying these things feel awkward just as they make the parents of same gendered children feel. It’s fun.
My daughter at this time is 11 months and we will be expecting our twin girls in June. All my daughters are not even hear yet and i always hear the comments. I always tell people that i dont know exactly what i am walking into but i know i am ment to be a full blown girl dad and i am 100% for that. My wife and my daughters have saved my life and if my daughters want their dad to be a princess with them, than you best believe im going to be the most beautiful bearded princess ever because my wife and daughters will show me how to.
-Stephen Jones aka Dad
Thank you for this article. I am a dad to 2 girls with a 3rd on the way. 3rd will be here in mid to late May. I’ve experienced many of the comments you’ve written out with my first 2 in the last couple years… but it’s been at every mention here recently with finding out the gender of the 3rd. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t “hoping” for a boy and morning the loss of the ability to raise a boy (no plans for 4th)… but will not question God’s blessings for our family and it does not make me love this one any less or consider her as any less special. Admittedly, my wife and I have avoided some “preparing for another” type conversations as we know it will, once again, come up. It saddens me as I feel we aren’t able to celebrate this blessing like the others. Once again, thank you and God bless you and your beautiful girls.