Finding out your baby’s gender is a huge moment, but for some it may be more disappointing than exciting. Gender disappointment can happen to anybody and there are several reasons why. Whether you had your heart set on a boy, or were dreaming of a baby girl, it can be quite the shock if your plans suddenly change.
But it’s important to remind yourself not to feel guilty about gender disappointment. There are several important things happening which can explain why you are feeling this way, and there are a number of ways you can learn to deal with gender disappointment. It’s a lot more common than you might think.
In this article: 📝
- What is gender disappointment?
- Gender disappointment – wanted a boy
- Gender disappointment – wanted a girl
- How to deal with gender disappointment
- How to get over gender disappointment
- Talking through gender disappointment on Peanut
What is gender disappointment?
Gender disappointment is when a parent-to-be believes or wishes that their baby will be a certain gender. They’ve dealt with the “would you like a boy or a girl?” questions for weeks, maybe hiding their desires and saying that it doesn’t matter as long as the baby is healthy. And then the news at the ultrasound changes everything. This can be a huge blow for some parents and has the potential for a lot of upset and guilt.
So, is gender disappointment different depending on if you wanted a boy or a girl?
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Gender disappointment – wanted a boy
First, let’s take a look at parents who wanted a boy and then found out they were having a little girl. There are many reasons that this can happen. For example, Mom may have grown up being friends with boys more than with girls. Therefore, she thinks she may be a better mom to a boy. Or perhaps there was a difficult mother-daughter relationship in Mom’s own childhood which she wants to avoid repeating.
It is also possible that the parents already have a boy and want a little brother for him to play with. They may be imagining them playing football together or wrestling in the backyard. But these thoughts should not cause gender disappointment if it turns out a baby girl is on the way. Much of gender disappointment comes about because of societal expectations of each gender. Making assumptions about what life might be like with a boy or a girl can be completely different from reality.
Gender disappointment – wanted a girl
On the other hand, what about parents who wanted a girl and found out they were having a baby boy? Equally, there can be several reasons for wanting a little girl. A mom may want a girl because she grew up without a sister and has always wanted that bond. Having a daughter may offer that. Equally, Mom may have grown up having an excellent relationship with her own mother and wants to carry this on.
Similarly, for those parents wanting a girl, there are also societal expectations that can be present. They may have a vision of a traditional girly-girl (which Mom herself may have been when growing up). Nowadays, this vision can be very much out of date; there is every chance that your little princess could grow up to be the next big CEO or international soccer superstar.
How to deal with gender disappointment
So, how are you meant to deal with gender disappointment if it happens to you? The first thing to understand is that these feelings are common, natural, and that you should forgive yourself, not judge.
The next step is to talk openly with your partner, or with other moms. You may feel guilty for having these feelings, but it’s important not to keep them bottled up. Speaking about it may help bring about more positive feelings or may help you find out why you had gender disappointment in the first place. Finding out the reason you wanted a boy or a girl may help deal with the overall issue.
It is also important to realize that you are having these feelings based on an imaginary life. It’s perfectly natural to get excited about the future, and these visions can be extremely strong throughout pregnancy. However, children grow up to have all sorts of diverse interests – many of which may not have been present in your vision.
How to get over gender disappointment
If you’ve started to pinpoint just why you are suffering from gender disappointment, then it’s much easier to make a plan to get over it.
At the start, it’s likely that you will feel judged for having gender disappointment. You’re lucky to be having a healthy baby, so you shouldn’t feel any negative emotions, right? Wrong. These feelings are extremely common, and you should forgive yourself. Talk honestly with people close to you and get to the bottom of it. Getting rid of the “why am I feeling this?” will make everything easier.
Then, of course, nature will do its thing. As the birth date gets closer, you’ll have new dreams of your future with your baby. You’ll make new plans. And then, as soon as the big day arrives and you hold that bundle of joy in your arms, love will take over. For many moms, gender disappointment can end up fading away as soon as the baby arrives.
Talking through gender disappointment on Peanut
It’s important to talk to others, and many mamas have experienced gender disappointment before you. For support, advice, and friendship, join Peanut.