Posted September 5, 2008 03:34 pm

Boy oh boy oh boy

Today's topic: dealing with negative comments, specifically about having another boy (or another girl).

Reader Jessica writes:

We are expecting a new baby soon, and just found out...uh-huh...it's another baby boy! We feel very blessed and happy, but since we have been sharing the news, I find myself sad and even crying because of people's rude reactions. People cover their faces with their hands and mutter, "I'm so sorry." Others ask when we'll be trying again for a girl (and they really mean it!)

What I'm wondering is...do you/have you gotten these same types of reactions? And if so, how do you handle that? I realize that I am probably being way too over-emotional, being pregnant and all...but wow--it hurts not to have others share your joy.

When I read this letter, I could absolutely feel Jessica's pain. I have gotten to the point where I try (I really, really try) to assume that people aren't meaning to be rude, but it really is amazing what people will say.

The situation was a bit different for me because we didn't find out gender before any of the boys were born. And specifically with baby Henry, I put off finding out for the very reason that if it was another boy, I did not want to spend the next six months getting that sad look from people. If this sounds like a "woe is me" kinda thing, maybe it is -- I think it's important to remember that when a woman is pregnant, there is a wide and intense range of emotions that make even innocent comments feel like a deep and painful cut.

Even after we had Henry, I was amazed at what people would say, poor me being outnumbered (not too bad) and how in the world did I survive (which I sometimes wonder myself) and would I be trying for the girl (some days funny, some days totally offensive). Again, as I write this, I realize it's just people being chatty, just being curious and making conversation. But really, when you hear this day after day, it makes a woman wonder 1) is her life really that bad with all these boys and 2) is she really missing out by not having a girl?

What I've learned in the midst of dealing with these comments is that you have to figure out a way to not take them personally. I told Jessica that it is indeed as she suspects -- being pregnant only exacerbates the issue. Once that precious baby is born, you won't care what people say about you not having a girl -- because if it means having to trade in one of these boys, you will be happy to go on not knowing what all the fuss is about.

Any other words of wisdom or encouragement? How do you handle the comments?