I was disappointed to find my coming baby is a boy

The Yomiuri ShimbunDear Troubleshooter:

I’m a homemaker in my 30s, and I was shocked to learn our third child will be a boy.

I’m eight months pregnant, and we already have two boys aged 2 and 5.

Although we wanted this pregnancy, we were disappointed to find we will have another boy. We sincerely wanted a girl.

My husband and I talked about this and decided to get over it and celebrate the birth of our coming son.

But I feel hurt when people around me say things like, “I’m sorry to hear that,” “Let’s hope your fourth child will be a girl,” “Raising a child is not rewarding if it’s not a girl” or “A boy again?” I feel like the existence of our coming baby is being belittled.

And it made me realize again how much I wanted a girl. I feel horrible to have this feeling toward my coming baby.

My husband is a kind person who helps me with household chores and child-raising, and I adore my children. But I’m confused and cannot sleep well at night over this.

Please give me some advice to help me.

K, Chiba Prefecture

Dear Ms. K:

It’s not difficult to understand why you are disappointed to find you will have another boy.

People around you are also saying silly things, but people tend to say whatever pops into their heads. Try to let their words wash over you as meaningless noise. However, I know their words must be echoes of a whisper in your heart, too.

You are hearing other whispers, too. They say, “My poor baby” because people are being choosy about its sex or “Get over it.”

Which whispers should you listen to? The latter, of course.

To that end, I believe it is important to think again about what it means to raise a child. Some people say children are “gifts,” but I think they are someone being “entrusted to us.”

If you consider children as “gifts,” you sometimes might feel like you possess them. But I think we are being entrusted with their lives. If you look at this like that, you will hopefully come to accept reality as it is and try to raise your child the best you can.

Your new child must be looking forward to seeing his mother, father and two older brothers. Please greet him with a heartfelt smile.

Masami Ohinata, professor

(from Aug. 31, 2015, issue) Speech

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