After I got married, I had this vision of family life – a little girl and then a little boy. But then I had my daughter, and could not envisage having another child. I had endured horrible all-day sickness during my pregnancy, and then had a c-section. I didn’t want to go through that again. And we were happy. Our family of three was perfect. I loved my daughter so much, and I couldn’t imagine loving another child as much. ‘But your vision’, Husband said. ‘What about that boy?’
There were many reasons, but really, I was scared of having a son. Now, I didn’t actually know I would have a boy. But I felt fairly confident. I had been certain I would have a girl first, and I did. And for some reason, I felt quite sure I would have a boy next. And I was terrified. I was afraid of cleaning little boy genitals. I was frightened of having one of those crazy out-of-control boys that one sees terrorising playgrounds. And I was worried that I could not love a naughty son as much as my angelic daughter.
‘Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails. that’s what little boys are made of. Sugar and spice, and all things nice, that’s what little girls are made of. ‘ Even nursery rhymes tell us that girls are better. Who wouldn’t prefer sugar to snails? Why is society obsessed with telling us that we want daughters and not sons? Girls are kinder, more loving, and are more likely to take care of their parents. That’s what they say.
But this is what I learned in those first few days, and first few years. Baby boys are not that different to girls. You will be able to clean a boy without breaking him. Little boys are not scary. You will love your son no matter how many times he throws a tantrum. You will grow accustomed to his muddy face and dirty clothes. And you will find that some boys prefer tea parties to superheroes. And some boys are even easier than girls.
The moment you hold your son (or even just your second child), your heart will double in size. It turns out that you can love more than one child. And the love is not dependent on their behaviour. And you will find that a boy adores his mother in a way you couldn’t imagine anyone loving you. And it fills your heart.