You get what you get

Lee's Summit JournalFebruary 11, 2014 

Lately I’ve been giving a lot of thought to families that have children of a single gender. Pregnant with our third and likely last child well be having our third girl in a few weeks. So its no wonder why I’ve had this subject on my mind. I also suspect I’ve thought so much about it because of the reaction from other people. It’s been everything from your poor husband to girls are such a blessing. Obviously it’s the former comments that bother me.

I was completely caught off guard and surprised by the comments that implied our family would be incomplete without a son or that somehow my husband wasn’t man enough to produce a boy. I tried to laugh off comments that suggested we needed to have a fourth child to try for that boy. To my husband’s credit, he’s always wanted four children even before we had our first, but I don’t see him convincing me of that any time soon.

I will admit that when we first found out we were having another girl I had a moment. Knowing this will probably be our last child, I thought it would have been nice to experience the joys of raising a boy too. I thought of my friends with sons who have said that there’s nothing like the love/bond between a mother and her son. But then I thought about my two sweet girls and that moment passed. I started to think of how happy I was that my girls would all have the same opportunities.

I remember feeling frustrated when I was growing up because my brothers were allowed to do things I couldn’t because they were boys. My girls will never have to deal with that. I am happy that I’m married to a man who will support his daughters and push them in sports, dance, theater or whatever else they may choose just as much as he would if he had a son.

When I was pregnant with my second daughter an adorable little old lady was asking about my pregnancy if we knew what we were having and if I had any other children. I told her I had a daughter and we were having another girl. She told me to count my blessings because a daughter was a daughter for the rest of her life, but a son was a son until he got married. Her comment surprised me and I didnt know how to respond to it, but I always remember her words. I thought about my two older brothers and my husband, and while they obviously havent abandoned their mothers, when I compared my relationship with my mom to that of my brothers, I think I understood what she was trying to say.

My best friend is one of three sisters. When I think of my three girls I always think of her relationship with her sisters. They are the closest siblings I have ever seen and they have such a special relationship with both their parents. That is what I hope for with my girls. I grew up always wanting a sister, and while Ive heard of plenty of sisters who dont get along or who butt heads and fight all the time, I am constantly drilling into my girls the special aspects of their relationship and how lucky they are to have each other. Thank you to Disney’s new movie Frozen for providing another teaching lesson on the importance of love between sisters.

I think parents who have all sons most likely share my feelings, but for different reasons of course. All boys, all girls, a mix, it’s all amazing and no one should make you feel otherwise. Children really are such a blessing and yes, I’ll use the cliche, a miracle. When you decide to have children and perhaps discover the challenge of getting pregnant and the worries that come along with all of it, how can you not be happy to have a healthy baby, boy or girl?

My four-year old daughter loves to repeat the phrase she learned at preschool you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit. Oddly enough, it applies here. We’re so happy to welcome another sweet girl to our family and we can’t wait to meet her.


Debbie Carroll was born and raised in Chicago and recently relocated to Lee’s Summit. After spending many years in the fields of marketing, communications and education, she is currently at home with her two young daughters.

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