I’ve often found myself wondering why both of my kids are boys. Not that I don’t love having two boys but I’m one of those super annoying people who believes everything happens for a reason, and so I find myself wondering (more than you’d think) why I had boys. During my first pregnancy I really, really, really wanted a girl and I was convinced (thanks to all of the gender myths and my internet savviness) Matheson was just that. The day we went to find out the gender, the ultrasound tech said, “Do you see what I see?” and immediately my mind went into panic mode. She was about to wreck all of my theories. Neither of us said anything.
“IT’S A BOY!”
I felt like Miranda in Sex and the City. I was supposed to be excited but, while Seth beamed beside me – tears in his eyes, all I could muster was an “are you sure?”
She was sure. I was shocked. Seth was elated.
When I was pregnant with Abbott, I just had a feeling it was another boy – I held out a small hope but long before we found out that he was a boy, I was already coming to terms with the fact that it was my lot in life to be surrounded by boys. The rest of that pregnancy is history and I was – obviously – right.
Two boys, no girls. And I often wonder why.
I have my theories but when I think about having to raise a little girl in today’s society, there’s always one theory that stands out amongst the crowd. I don’t have the self-confidence, the type of tough skin or the healthy body image I’d need to raise a healthy, confident daughter. Is that to say I couldn’t pretend? No. I pretend every day. And it’s not that I couldn’t do it or rise up to the challenge but that’s just the thing – I’d spend my lifetime pretending. To be a woman and deal with the stupid shit we deal with when it comes to body image, is to understand how much it can hurt, how hard it actually is and how impossible it can seem to find a happy place in your skin. I worry about this with my boys, too, just not to the extent I would if I was raising a daughter.
The boys will at least have Seth who (has no shame) is just the way I’d want them to be. The way people deserve to be – comfortable in their skin, believing they deserve a happy life regardless of their shape or size, believing they’re worth it even when others think they’re not. Despite two pregnancies and a lifetime of experiences highlighting how amazing the human body is, I still worry about things like the baby weight and how clouded people’s judgements of me may be if I don’t lose it all. I worry about how I look when I’m working out even though that’s the whole fucking point. I worry about fat rolls and cellulite just like every other woman (big, small, average or tiny) romping around in this country. I have to remind myself that I just had two babies, that my body grew a human being inside of it and now those human beings are outside of me interacting, loving, smiling and laughing. I’ve got to remind myself every day when I weigh in and the needle hasn’t moved that there are people who are aren’t as fortunate as I am, who aren’t able to get out of bed or walk down the street or go to work. There are people who never get to enjoy the weather let alone have babies. Men can’t even have babies! Gah.
Early this morning as my family still slept I was scrolling through my newsfeed when I came across a high school friend’s post about her pregnancy weight gain and how tough it has been on her but that, because she has a daughter now, she is making the choice to be healthier and to be the confident role model she wants to be for her daughter. As I read her post tears surprisingly filled my eyes – it was so honest and endearing. I quietly whispered me too, girl, me too. Then as I continued to scroll I came across this story about why one woman sexts her best girlfriends. It’s a must read. Queue the waterworks.
The human body is amazing and there’s so much more to it than its size, whatever it may be. Sometimes it’s just really good to remind ourselves to take care of it, to take advantage of our health and to be accountable for and proud of every aspect.
Youth really is wasted on the young – but it doesn’t have to be.