Good Dads Don't Need Sons

Mom Moment 46

girl and dadWhen I tell people my daughter is going to be an only child, without fail, I get the same response. "Oh no, you need to try for a boy ... for your husband." As if somehow the whip-smart, quirky, hilarious, gorgeous human being standing in front of them just ain't good enough because there isn't something dangling between their legs.

Of course when I point that out (because yes, she got that whip-smart, quirkiness from somewhere y'all), they start backpedaling like crazy and throw out stuff like "oh, but, well, he needs someone to go to baseball games with him." America, I want to thank y'all for being so concerned about what's going on between my daughter's legs. Now do me a favor, would you stop telling her it means she doesn't matter?

Because when you start talking about how their dad "needs" someone else to be happy, that's what you're telling a kid: that she's not good enough. If my husband wasn't the kind of guy who enjoys spending an afternoon in his armchair with our daughter firmly on his lap watching her favorite movie du jour (this week that would be The Muppets, last week it was some My Little Pony flick ... he doesn't care as long as she's happy), she might even begin to worry that she'd done something wrong.

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Why would anyone do that to an innocent child? Make her feel like she'd made a mistake simply by being born?

Because our society still clings to a misguided notion that fathers need boys to do "boy" stuff with, and mothers need girls to do "girl" stuff with. Ironic, isn't it? We fuss about the genderization of toys by corporate America, but we do it ourselves. And it's not just for dads and sons or only children. We walk up to women who have three boys and ask if they're going to "try again" to "get that girl." As if her cup hasn't runneth over with love for her little men.

It's because I have a girl that the "he needs someone to play baseball with, kick a soccer ball around with, etc." idea really rankles.

My husband happens to be one of those dads who really wanted a daughter. Even when she crossed her legs during the sonogram and we were unable to find out the gender of our little Squirmy (as we called her), his faith was steadfast. He would have his little girl.

Would he have been happy with a son? Of course. We wouldn't have tried to get pregnant with the 50/50 chance if he wouldn't. But the fact that our newborn was a daughter was like the most delicious icing you'd ever tasted on a cake so exquisite one bite made you feel like you were seated in nirvana.

And I'm not just going to say this because I married him ... he is the kind of dad that every little girl needs. He takes her outside to kick a soccer ball around because it would never occur to him that a "daughter" couldn't do that. She has two feet, doesn't she? Indeed. On the other hand, he's the kind of dad who wouldn't dare let it slip that he finds dance recitals dreary and boring because goshdarnit, that's his little girl up there, and she is having fun.

Next time someone tells me my husband needs a son, I have an idea. I'm going to ask them what they think my daughter needs. Because I think she's already got it.

What's the most insensitive thing people have said about the gender of your child or children?


Image by Jeanne Sager

family, girls


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nonmember avatar rhianon

I feel the same way, having a girl who is going to be our only child. But it irks me in general when people tell me I'm going to change my mind or I'm making a mistake by not trying to have another child. I just think its better for me, my SO & my daughter


I have 4 boys and have been asked everytime I was pregnant after the first if I was wanting a girl. I didn't care either way but I'm happy with my boys.

Melis... Melissa1508

Way to go Jeanne!  As a mother of a daughter (and another daughter on the way) I get so sick of people telling me "Oh, but you need a boy too".  My husband is super happy to have girls and we aren't missing out on anything by not having a little extra testosterone in the house.  People's comments amaze me!  By the way, my little girl can go to baseball games and kick a soccer ball just as good as any boy can!

jayde... jaydensmom1726

people ask me when i tell them my son is going to be an only child,dont you want a girl.while i did want a girl when i was preganant but  now i am happy that i have a son

2Swee... 2SweetMayGirls

I have two girls - yes my husband wanted a boy really badly, esp first so he could protect little sis (we knew we'd have two kids due to him being an only child) And when she got here, we couldn't have been happier!! And let me tell you what, that girl plays tball & soccer. She loves to sit and watch basketball, baseball, football AND nascar on TV with or without her dad there to watch with her. She also fights me every morning wanting to wear a football jersey and old tennis shoes to school rather than a cute tshirt with glitter and a pair of maryjanes - but you pick your battles :) Also, my youngest.... totally princess girly-girl obsessed with pink :) So we win!!

kjbug... kjbugsmom1517

I think thinking a girl can't do things like watch baseball or kick a soccer ball is crazy! I have 2 girls and both of them love that stuff too! And the grunge music my hubby listens to. Dam sexists. Girls r just as great as boys for a daddy.

kebrowni kebrowni

I'm with Rhianon. I have a boy who is going to be my one and only and it irritates the crap out of me when people tell me I'm going to change my mind or I'm making a mistake by not trying to have another, specifically a girl. And it's always people who have 2+ kids that say it to me, too. I was never much of a girly-girl, so I don't feel as though I NEED a girl. My husband and I are happy with just the 3 of us :)


I love both my sons with all my heart but there are a lot of days I'd give my eye teeth to talk to another woman as a child and friend and have "that kind" of a relationship with a same sex child. Someone I know really loves me that I can share my feelings with. When I battled pre-cancer and so on. At the time people told me "don't you want a daughter" and like all of you, I got all indignant but now that I only have grown sons, I know what they meant and you guys, it's not a bad thing. For example, I've been married for almost 35 years and have never been thrown an anniversary party. Guys just don't think about it but I always have a plowed out driveway and a full house on Sundays for the Viking games and a mom cooked meal. On the other hand, it would be pretty hard pressed that a dad is going to go on a hunting trip to Alaska with a daughter. It's not a bad thing but we all know how different men and women are. And yes, there are always exceptions to the rule.

The people who are rude to you are just that. If you only want one child, that's nobody else's business and those of you, like me, that have more than one of the same sex, that's just rude and I don't believe you should keep having children because you want a certain sex. I guess what I'm really saying is I'd like to have a daugher for me sometimes but God bless what he gives us.

Todd Vrancic

When our son was little, he was "Mommy's".  He was always more interested in music than sports, which is a mystery since we aren't particularly musical.  This does not make him less male, it just makes him an individual.  Just because someone is male does not automatically make him interested in sports.

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