Autumn is a beautiful season with golden brown leaves falling all over the ground. Nice cooling weather leaves the last glimmer of summer behind with excitement bubbling over the much-anticipated winter and hopefully snow. But that’s all in my mind because the closest I have experienced autumn is in Shanghai, and that to many folks, doesn’t count for much.
As I’m entering my third trimester, I’ll let you in a bit of secret. Well, all parents will tell you that they don’t care about gender as long as the baby is healthy. But secretly, most will have a slight lean towards their preferences. Most friends would have thought that I would prefer to have a boy as my second child. After all, my firstborn is a girl. I’m relieved and happy that I’m baking another daughter in my oven. Okay, give me a chance to explain why before you shut me down…
Balancing Becomes Easier
While every child has a unique personality, and I can’t say bringing up girls are easier, but as a girl, I grew up as a tomboy who got into bloody fistfights with neighbourhood boys. I didn’t grow out of that phase until puberty where I had a sudden inclination towards making myself pretty for the boys in the class. So I have a slight advantage of raising a balanced female who would thrive as a tomboy who dreams of being a pirate like Jack Sparrow or a girly girl who wants to be Rapunzel riding a unicorn and bestie with a squirrel.
In our house, we don’t have girl toys or boy toys. All toys are bought based on what my daughter is obsessed with at each phase. When she was 2 years old, her toys mainly were educational gadgets, blocks and puzzles. When she was 3 years old, her toys consisted of cars, Legos and pretend play toys like doctors, construction builders etc. Now that she’s 4 years old, she asks for Barbie dolls, princess dresses and pretend make upsets.
We usually indulge her requests without going overboard. She has more storybooks than toys in her inventory. Fairy tales balanced with space comics, old school Snoopy with trending Paw Patrol. Even her wardrobe is filled with different outfits with different colours.
Female Names Comes Naturally to Us
When my husband and I were dating, we had our girls’ names ready. Both of us love strong-willed, adventurous and daring women, so it’s no surprise when he picked Audrey after Audrey Hepburn, and mine is Amelia after Amelia Earhart. Straight off, no argument, we fell in love with each other’s choice of names.
We did have a headache (or at least I did) when it came to boys’ names. He didn’t like my choice of Theon after the Game of Throne’s Theon Greyjoy. I veto his choices because the names remind me of some sleazy guys I used to date.
Parenting is Easier without External Biases
No denying the fact that it takes a village to raise a kid, but I have at times purposely limit access to my daughter to folks who do not align with our parenting values. As parents, we tried to impart values that are important and fair. Like no body shaming, no labelling others, and always practising fairness. But it isn’t easy to control what others will say or do in front of your child.
Like when a family friend scolded /shamed my daughter because she did not close the toilet door while she peed. In my own house! Yet, nobody murmured a word when another boy (older than my daughter) did the same thing. She reasons that girls should know how to behave appropriately to protect themselves.
With many examples like the above, I can’t be too careful when it comes to any interaction my young one has.
Asians tend to have a preference for boys. Traditionally, preference is because boys can carry on last names and lineage. Boys are more favourable because they are stronger thus deemed more useful as farmers. With my firstborn as a girl, I subconsciously fear that our family members will neglect my daughter if I have a son.
Ceilings are Meant to Be Broken
Current times is a lot better for women than before. Of course, we can always do better. There are still ceiling to break through, boardrooms (even countries) to take charge of, people perspectives to change. I hope that it is no longer a phenomenon or new breaking that a female does something first. That is becoming a “meh”. A norm is that women are recognized that they can do the same job like any other men or even better. I wish to hear more of Françoise Bettencourt Meyers and Whitney Wolfe Herd than Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos.
There are still a lot of grounds to cover, and hopefully, comes the day when my daughters are ready for the workforce, we have paved the path for them.
Ultimately, all these opinions are mine and mine alone. Will I be happy if my little one turns out to be a boy? Of course, I will love my child no matter what gender. It will be a challenge to adapt, but I know myself to accept any kind of challenge with relish and determination. But I’ll admit that I’m cowardly and lazy to hide behind the easiest way for me to have another diva in the house.
Until next time…
Stay safe, Stay Smiling!