A Complete Family

At a recent party, many people asked me if I knew the sex of the baby. I was very happy to say, “Yes! It’s a boy!” Almost everyone congratulated me and made a comment about having 3 boys, which is fine – I know people want to know, but then don’t know what to say when you tell them.

But two people’s responses irritated me.

The first person (a woman younger than me) said, “Oh no! Are you disappointed?” I said to her, “No. Are you disappointed that you have two girls?”

And the other person (also a woman younger than me) said, “Oh no! I’m so sorry! You know they say the family isn’t complete unless you have a boy and a girl.” Apart from the fact that she was spitting all over me while speaking, I really was at a loss for words. Finally, I said to her, “We didn’t choose to have a baby because we decided to try for a girl. We chose to have a baby because we wanted to have another child.”

A family being complete with one boy and one girl (or more than two children, but having both sexes) is a conversation that I’ve had with my mother-in-law (and some of her friends) time and time again. And time and time again, I’ve tried to make her (them) understand – that the idea of a ‘complete’ family is what the parents want it to be! Whether it’s one child, two boys, 5 girls – WHATEVER. And that it’s a choice (and sometimes not a choice) made between partners and has nothing to do with anyone else, and why would anyone even feel the need to comment on it?

This backward, archaic way of thinking really bothers me, and gets me really worked up. I mean… We’re in 2022, for God’s sake.

So for the last two weeks when I’ve thought about these comments from these two young women, I’ve been trying to put my finger on why it’s been bothering me this much. And I think I’ve realized. I’ve spent so many years battling with my mother-in-law, trying to make her (and her friends) see sense, to make them understand that we’ve moved on, and that they should move on, from this old-fashioned, traditional way of thinking – only to realize… We haven’t. What hope do we have of changing how our parents’ generation think if our own generation thinks the same way?

Anyway – rant over.

I’m Still Here!

I know, I know.

For those of you who missed me – I’m so sorry!

I don’t even know where to begin…

So, we spent the summer in Dubai with my parents. My kids were so happy – we swam every morning (it was too hot in the afternoons) and spent most of the day in various play areas.

The kids hadn’t met my parents or sister for over a year, and my brother, sister and I hadn’t been together for four years – so it was lovely to all spend time together.

School started at the beginning of August.

I’m loving being back at work. But I’m also feeling a bit like a headless chicken. I’m trying to balance time with the children and time at work, as well as time with LagosDad and fitting in other stuff. I’m not managing too well, actually. School seems to be winning!

I feel guilty that I’m not always home when my kids might need me. I feel guilty that they might not be getting enough attention from me. And I feel guilty that I’m not spending much time with them. On the other hand, it’s great to be able to be doing something for me.

Anyway… More soon.

🙂

Family Complete

Last week a friend of mil’s came to visit Baby V.

The two of them hadn’t met in a while and were having a catch up.

Talk turned to someone they know who has a two (I’m guessing) year old daughter and just recently had a baby boy.

One of the women says, ‘Oh, so now their family is complete?’

And the other replies (while shaking her head from side to side (Indian style)), ‘Yah yah – family complete.

I sat there becoming more and more irritated.

WTF.

Since when does having one boy and one girl make a family ‘complete’? Is my family incomplete because I have two boys? If I had a third child and that one turned out to be a boy as well, would my family still be incomplete?

I find these archaic views of life so frustrating that I wanted to just scream.

But I didn’t.

I just shut up and smiled. This time.