Can I ask you a question that has me totally stumped?
Why do people care so much when a pregnant mother says she’s waiting to find out the gender of her unborn baby until the birth?
These are some of the many responses I’ve heard people actually say when they hear that a parent won’t be rushing to an ultrasound appointment at week 14 to learn their baby’s gender:
“I just couldn’t do that.” (Good thing it’s my baby and not yours, then! When it’s your turn, you won’t have to.)
“I’m not patient enough to do that; I needed to know ASAP!” (Okay.)
Said with an attitude, complete with eye roll: “Why would you want to do that?” (It’s exciting, it’s not necessary to find out the gender, people didn’t know for centuries before technology and survived, and why not?)
“Don’t you want to bond with your baby more by knowing whether to call it a he or she?” (Pretty sure this baby’s tap dancing on my bladder and rubbing it’s bum across my belly allows me to bond with it just fine.)
“Don’t you want to start calling it by its name?” (Not really, since we aren’t really set on our name picks yet, anyways.)
“Why aren’t you taking advantage of modern technology?” (I am. I use the ultrasound to check the baby’s development, growth, and health, which are what it was originally intended for.)
“Don’t you want to be prepared with the correct colors of things?” (What is your definition of “correct?” Also, who cares?)
Seriously, why does it matter so much to some people? Everyone’s going to find out eventually so sit down and be patient, Aunt Trudy!
If you’re dying to know your baby’s gender as soon as possible, it can seem odd to you that other parents are perfectly fine waiting the entire pregnancy to be surprised at the birth. Because it seems odd to you, you’re perfectly allowed to have the shocked look on your face and to ask the expectant parents for their reasoning. That’s no different than being shocked someone doesn’t vaccinate or if they plan to homeschool, and then asking why. The problem is what you do after that initial conversation.
If you follow up with comments about the parents being “crazy” to wait so long, or exclamations about how you would just have to do it differently, you’re being the wrong kind of friend.
If you plant fears in their brains about lack of bonding or preparedness, you’re being the wrong kind of friend.
If you fixate on, and assign, which specific colors are the “correct” ones for each gender, you’re being the wrong kind of friend.
But if you accept their reasons, even while not fully understanding or agreeing, and then move on, choosing to be excited for them regardless, THAT’S being the right kind of friend!
So the next time you ask a pregnant lady what gender baby she is having, and she responds, “We are actually waiting to find out at the birth,” remember this simple fact: some moms want the surprise while they’re laying on a cold table, jelly on their belly, and a tech announcing the gender. Others want the surprise in the moment after having birthed the child, seeing him or her for the first time in person. Both ways are perfectly normal and exciting. Just because it’s different than how you’d do things doesn’t mean it’s wrong, so try to keep your unsolicited opinions to yourself. Trust me, your mom friend will appreciate it.