[I wrote this piece a few years ago and found it and have reread it and wanted to post. I love it because I’ve been able to see how I’ve experienced more and grown as a parent. My son is certainly “all boy,” as they say but he also loves to wear bows in his hair because that is what his sister does. He’s tried on my bra because it looks interesting. He picks out kitty cat valentines instead of Ninja Turtles. Guess what? I love every single bit of it. He is amazing to me. He is creative, accepting and loving. Lets encourage our kids to be exactly who they are– because they’re beautiful!]
When you find out you’re expecting it is such an exciting time. Your mind is clouded with a million thoughts at once. When I found out I was expecting I could almost feel the thoughts surging through my body… physically. It was so much at once. It was fear. It was excitement. It was overwhelming! When the news settled with me, the fear and excitement turned to complete curiosity! This little baby inside of me… was it a boy or a girl?
I imagined a pink room with big monograms and pearls and butterflies and sweet sayings. I imagined a room with dinosaurs and trucks and dark blue hues. I wondered if I was carrying a boy or a girl. I wondered if a boy would like dinosaurs or sailboats… or if a girl might love princesses or kittens! All I knew was, I couldn’t wait to find out the gender so I could decorate “accordingly.”
In the news lately it seems that there is a lot of praise for “gender neutral.” I certainly understand what the fuss is all about. Recently someone tweeted that Target had signage that indicated there were building sets and “girls’ building sets.” I assume that means there are building sets, and then there are pink building sets. I understand that Target was just distinguishing between the two. However, I also get that someone could take offense to this verbiage. I have found myself in the toy aisle lamenting about how all the kitten toys have pink bows! Why can’t cats be for boys? We love cats in this house and I would love to find a “boy” kitty toy.
With this being a hot topic in the news, I’ve wondered recently… am I wrong to want to decorate a daughters room with pink and pearls? Am I wrong to assume that my son wants dinosaur sheets and a train bed? Am I wrong to wish that they had “boy” plush kitty toys?
Yes, and no.
I believe that once a child is old enough to tell you what they want and what they prefer, then by all means, indulge them! (within reason of course). If my son tells me he wants the kitty with the pink bow and the diamond collar that is typically marketed for girls– he will get the kitty! Even if I was secretly wishing there was a more masculine kitty option, I didn’t hesitate at all because underneath it all, it is a toy cat! Whether it is a boy cat or a girl cat– it is a cat that makes my son happy and that is ALL that matters. If my daughter told me that she wanted a train set with little boys playing on the cover of the box– give her the train set! This does not bother me. I would buy them what they desired and would not make them feel ashamed for it or embarrassed by it. There is nothing embarrassing about wanting these things. A child’s interests should be encouraged.
With that being said, what I do have a problem with is the people that “hate” on those that hear they’re having a boy or a girl and decorate the nursery traditionally. By traditionally I mean, a blue room for boys and a pink room for girls. They are babies. They can’t talk yet, they can’t tell you that they hate pink or that they love blue! They are your sweet bundle of joy and you want the absolute best for them. You want a room that you believe makes them happy and makes you happy. If you have a beautiful little girl and you want to paint the entire room with Disney princesses, I think that should be encouraged and not looked down on. You are not limiting this child and restricting what they are allowed to love. You are painting a picture of what you think is fun/fitting for your child and what you think they would enjoy (and what you enjoy!). You care enough to give them a festive room that they may grow up to love and they may not. But for now, embrace this time. Decorate, celebrate and love. They are only babies for such a small amount of time. Try not to overthink things.