Please Stop Wishing for a Girl on my Behalf

Brooks boy #3 has a name! A real name to put with a real face. (And real javelins disguised as legs that pierce my spinal column with each kick. That’s neither here nor there, just a struggle I’d like to mention.) A real name to get embroidered on bibs because that’s what Southern people love.

I’m pretty excited about it.

I should tell you his name – if for no other reason than to tempt you into making him bibs – but I won’t.

I have taken a vow of silence.

I’ve never been in the “let’s keep the gender/name/this entire pregnancy a secret until the baby is born” camp because I’m horrible (HORRIBLE) at keeping secrets, but I am firmly planted there now.

Why, you ask? Because from the moment this baby was conceived (accidental or otherwise), outside opinions haven’t stopped flowing in.

Most of them well-meaning, most of them harmless, but most of them negative. And when you receive enough comments in need of an “I’m sure they meant well” mental pep talk, you’re just kind of over it.

“A third baby? Already?”

“You know how babies are made….right?”

“2 to 3 is BY FAR the hardest transition. So. Good luck with that. (*insert maniacal laughter*)”

“Trying for a basketball team, are ya?”

And when we found out #3 was another boy?

“Awww. I’m so sorry.”

“Looks like you’re gonna have to try again on #4!”

“(long pause)….well….you’ll be alright.”

“We’ll be praying for you.”

“We’re not giving up hope. You’ll get your girl someday, I just know it.”

All real-life, left-someone’s-mouthhole-and-came-to-my-earballs comments.

They’re probably jokes. I’m 90% sure they don’t mean anything.

I’ve probably said some version of them to someone else before. Or maybe even about myself because it seemed like the right thing to say at the time.

But blame it on hormones (do it…I dare you), blame it on oversensitivity, blame it on whatever…I just need it to stop. Like, yesterday.

Because we aren’t having a girl. And I’m not actually sad we aren’t having a girl. I have yet to shed tears that we won’t have tea parties and dual-manicures in our house. I’m not heartbroken that we don’t own a single tutu.

Maybe one day I will be, but right now I’m just not there.

And because I’m not…and am constantly being told I should be (whether overtly or implied)…I feel like I’ve been fighting for joy this whole pregnancy. I’m not questioning the surprise factor of this pregnancy, I’m trusting there are amazing things in store with this bonus child. I’m not mourning the girl we don’t have, I’m fighting to celebrate the healthy boy we do have.

And that, you guys, is why his name is a secret until further notice. Because I’ve heard enough opinions already that I just. don’t. care. to hear one more.

Call me crazy, but I JUST WANT TO BE EXCITED ABOUT HIM, OKAY?!

Yeah, boys are nuts. And loud. And destructive. And smelly.

But they’re also awesome. And brave. And strong.

And God, for whatever reason, has chosen us to parent 3 of these creatures.

The perfect family to you may look like 1 boy and 1 girl. Or 2 boys and 2 girls. Or 5 girls. Or only fur-not-human-babies. Regardless of what it looks like to you, it looks like 3 boys to me. Because that’s what we have. And for us, it’s perfect.

3 boys

So when my 3 boys turn into handsome, well-mannered, chivalrous men and all of your daughters are fighting over them, well, first we’ll laugh hysterically that they turned out halfway decent, and THEN I’ll remind everyone of justhowsad everyone thought it was to not have a girl when there suddenly aren’t enough Brooks boys to go around. There will be a day, you guys. Or so this boy-mama heart likes to think.

In the meantime, I ask you to join me in taking a pledge. A pledge where we all stop saying dumb stuff to each other. A pledge where we choose, instead, to be positive. To choose encouragement rather than sympathy.

I promise you that pregnant mom is well aware of what could/will/might go wrong once that baby is born. She knows she should “catch up on sleep while she can” and “go on vacations while they’re still fun”. I promise she knows those things.

I also promise the mom of young kids knows she “has her hands full”. She is well aware of terrified she should be about “the teenage years” and how she’ll afford to feed “an army of high school boys”.

They know those things. They hear them daily. Mostly from cashiers at the grocery store.

What they don’t know – or hear near enough of – is that every child is a gift to be celebrated. They don’t hear enough about what great moms they are/will be. They don’t hear how fun it is to watch your family grow and evolve with each child. They could use more “We are so excited for you!” and “This stage is crazy, but you’re doing a wonderful job.” in their life.

So DO IT. Respond with positivity and encouragement every time. And I will, too.

Together we can end the madness. #bethechange

{Also? Freaking join me in shooting off confetti cannons for our third boy. He is worth celebrating.}

21 thoughts on “Please Stop Wishing for a Girl on my Behalf

  1. Elizabeth

    Maybe it’s because I don’t have children yet, but I’ve never felt the need to say something negative about the gender of someone’s baby or a comment about how many children they’re having. I may be thinking “wow, another baby!” but it’s more out of wonder/excitement than judgement. I feel like it’s mostly men who make the comment asking if they know how babies are made…like they have nothing else to say. Anyway, CONGRATULATIONS on your third boy! He’s only number three. Tell the commenters to shut their mouths until you’re at number 12: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2386199/Couple-trying-baby-girl-22-years-welcome-12TH-SON.html
    Little boys are so precious and I know yours are going to be such wonderful men someday. Plus, your funny stories are the best! You’re doing great, girl!

     
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    1. Sarah Brooks Sarah Brooks

      I cannot get over that story. Like…how is that even possible statistically?! 12 sons?! That is baffling to me!!

      But thank you. Boy or girl – each is awesome. Even if it’s the 12th in a row. 🙂

       
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  2. Kimberly Dietz

    I love this! I am a Momma of 3 boys and I, too, heard every one of these things! It is such a privilege and honor to raise any child, but to have the opportunity to raise boys who will be men of character and integrity in the midst of a generation that has, seemingly, forgotten these things is one of the greatest callings I can think of. Thanks for sharing such wise words!! Btw..I have a 16X20 print of the picture you posted hanging in my Living Room! It’s perfect!

     
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    1. Sarah Brooks Sarah Brooks

      I love that you have the picture!! I got the same size print for Mother’s Day when we had 1 son. I thought it was cute because it looked like my husband’s truck and it made me think of all the friends our son would have. Little did I know it would be a perfect picture of our own boys!

       
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  3. Mickey

    “What they don’t know – or hear near enough of – is that every child is a gift to be celebrated. They don’t hear enough about what great moms they are/will be. They don’t hear how fun it is to watch your family grow and evolve with each child. They could use more “We are so excited for you!” and “This stage is crazy, but you’re doing a wonderful job.” in their life.” <<<<<<<—- YES!

    Different situation, similar emotions. I am marrying a man who has a child from a previous relationship. Instead of hearing congratulations or much needed encouragement, most of my conversations are something like: "How is the relationship with his mom?", "Does everyone get along okay?", "It will be really hard to raise a child that's not yours", "Wow you are really brave to do that. I could never do that", "Is he upset his Daddy is getting married?".

    When they ask me such invasive questions (typically strangers or acquaintances) I want to respond, "None of your beeswax, lady!" Followed by a more mature, "Can you please let me enjoy the life I've chosen, as complicated and messy it may be, and throw me a bone?"

    Thanks for encouraging us to think about our words! I'm taking the pledge!

     
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    1. Sarah Brooks Sarah Brooks

      Bleh. I get it. I really do. I’ve probably even asked such questions out of curiosity. But, I hear you. You already know all the hardships and worries and complications and whatever else. It doesn’t really help when others point them out.

      In other news, I have seen this little punkin and I’m excited for your family. And you. And your husband (because you’re quite the catch, if I may say so myself). Congrats, my friend!

       
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  4. Juanita

    i had three girls and the reverse was always said to me. My reply would be, in a few years, I’ll get my boys. ( sons in law)

     
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  5. Kristen O'Quinn

    Hi there! Not sure how our paths have never crossed as I see we have a lot of mutual friends (we go to The Hills SL campus). Anyways, I loved this post! We have three boys (12, 10, 6) and they are the best. My question is…I love the painting you posted. Can you give me information on the name of it? I would love to have it hanging in my house! Thank you!

     
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  6. Beth

    My very favorite family in all the world has 3 boys! As a mother who never gave birth, but traveled on a plane to bring them home instead, each and every child is a true gift from the Lord and His choices for us and them are never wrong. Love your writing and would love to hear you talk with our HS girls sometime.

     
    Reply
    1. Sarah Brooks Sarah Brooks

      I love that mamas and families come in all shapes and sizes and colors and origins and …everything. So cool. Such a picture of heaven.

      And thank you – I love getting to spend time with HS kids. Check out my contact page if you want to chat more about that! 🙂

       
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  7. Alasha Maxwell

    First,I want to say THANK YOU! I too have 3 boys ages 10,7&6 my second and third are 14 months apart so I’ve heard all of the comments you have! I am proud to be a mom of 3 boys! My prayer is that you are encouraged as much as you’ve encouraged us!

     
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  8. Shelley

    Wow ! I think you should spend more time enjoying your boys and less time complaining about how you’re allowing other people’s thoughts and comments make you feel. Seriously .

     
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  9. Mary Jane

    Be encouraged! There is nothing like raising boys to be Godly men who seek Him, who are bold and strong and who love their wives! Raising any child/children has its moments of great joy and blessings as well as struggles and heart aches, but it is so worth the love you pour into them.
    Love with all your heart!

     
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    1. Sarah Brooks Sarah Brooks

      Love it! Thanks for sharing. Love the perspective from someone with the “perfect family”. 🙂

       
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  10. Faith

    i have 4 BOYS all 19 months apart. I have been told all of those things, too. Plus I’m still getting told that and my youngest is 6. I’m good with my 4 loud, yet very loving boys. You will be fine. Sometimes it will be all a blur & you won’t remember what happened that day, but it does get a little easier because you learn a lot and so do they. My oldest is now 11.5. It goes by so quick, so enjoy every moment. 🙂

     
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  11. Ashley

    Hi! Mom of 4 boys here! And I absolutely love it also! I’ve heard all of those comments, and while sometimes it might be a little annoying, I’ve never considered any of them to be negative. Most people are honestly just curious, or don’t have much else to say, or are just trying to be funny. Haha I’m guilty of making similar comments to other moms. I think it’s just that attempts at conversation.
    I actually wrote a short blog about it awhile back. Would love to share it with you!
    http://www.myhousefullofboys.com/a-different-perspective-on-what-not-to-say/

     
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    1. Sarah Brooks Sarah Brooks

      Thanks for sharing – great post. I love the positivity of it, and the permission to be curious.

      I do feel like there’s a difference between genuine curiosity and sympathy. Totally ok with the first – “Do you want a girl one day?”, not ok with the person who pulled me aside to console me after we found out it was another boy, haha.

      Anyway – great read. Thanks for sharing!

       
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  12. Danielle boyd

    I love your blog. Actually some of your stories are what made me WANT my own little boy (crying baby in a peanut costume? Yes please) 🙂 now I have him, and I have to say that boys are amazing. If we ever have another baby, I would be ecstatic for another boy, just as I would if it were a girl. I believe every mother is given the exact babies she needs, but boys are just so fun! Congratulations and I can’t wait to see what funny situations brooks boy #3 will get into.

     
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