James is a father of two from Newbury, Berkshire. He earned his honorary midwife badge when delivering his second daughter in the back of his car, the story of which kickstarted his blog dadwhodelivers.co.uk, that he uses to write about parenting from a Dad's perspective. In his own words “I love writing, and I love being a father, it’s just about parents being able to relate, knowing we are all in this together, and hopefully being able to have a laugh along the way”. You can follow James on Instagram as @dadwhodelivers.
“Do you wish you were having a son?”
Hands down the most common response to my revelation that I was having a second daughter.
As a man, as a father, I guess the perception is that you would prefer a son, an heir to the throne so to speak. And I guess in my case, as I already have a daughter, people would assume that’s even more the case.
But I can categorically say, nothing could be further from the truth. I couldn’t care less if I was having a girl or boy. And of course, this would be my standard response to the asker. Infuriatingly though, in many cases this was dismissed as me covering up for my obvious disappointment. “Yeah, but it would be nice to have a son though” or “don’t you want to continue the family name” would be casually tossed back in my direction. And despite my protests the look in their eye, the bemusement at my protests to the contrary, showed that really, they ‘knew’ I wanted a son.
Even if they did believe me, I would be countered with the fool proof, “well wait until the teenage years”. Oh yeah, I would think, they have a point, as I have visions of me and my wife cowering, huddled in a dark corner as the clock tick’s midnight on their twelfth Birthday and we immediately hear the birth of a monster from upstairs and wish, if only, we had a boy. Not. What does that even mean? Personally, I think behaviour is a trait of the individual, its not linked to gender, and dare I say it (and maybe I’ll be made to eat my words on this one), the upbringing.
I’m sure lots of parents, after having a daughter first, or even those who are expecting their first, would prefer to have a son. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have a boy, but for me that ‘love to’ is equal for both. If anything, I’m so used to my first daughter, that the idea of having a boy now is absurdly alien to me.
And this probably sounds odd, but I’m so used to seeing and dealing with girls ‘parts’ now, that the idea of cleaning a nappy that contains boys ‘parts’ scares me to death. I would get used to this no doubt, and I had the same thoughts when I found out we were having a girl the first time around, but I guess its what you become accustomed to!
This isn’t specific to men by the way, I’ve seen my wife asked the same question many times, and once the person was so insistent that she couldn’t possibly be happy it was another girl, and not a boy, we just had to give up our protests, smile, and politely depart the conversation…
And here’s the thing, even if you had, or have, a preference, I can say this with almost certainty, whatever gender you become a parent to, and how many times, does not, in the end, matter because you will love them and adore them all the same.
So, if you ask, and someone says they don’t care which sex they are having. Then believe me, you can believe them.