Boy Anxiety: Raising a Son After Two Girls
Is it as easy to love a boy as a girl?
Like a lot of men I’ve always wanted to have a son, but when my wife and I found out we were expecting one earlier this year I was surprisingly nervous. The main reason was because my experience as a dad had so far been with girls. My wife and I had already brought two beautiful girls into the world, and I felt I had a good idea of how to raise them. Boys were a whole other thing, though, and that was scary.
My biggest worry was that the experience of raising a boy would turn out to not just be different from what I already knew, but worse. What if I wasn’t as good at fathering a son? What if I wasn’t as close to him as I am to my daughters? I worried that the father/daughter bond might be stronger than the father/son bond.
I also worried that I wouldn’t be able to kiss, cuddle, and love on a baby boy the same way I have with my girls. I had this weird image in my mind of my son being born and just kind of looking up at me as if to say, “What’s up, Bro.” I even imagined myself going in for a kiss and having him offer me a little baby fist bump instead.
Now that my son, James, is four-months-old I know that all of my worrying was pretty silly. It’s been just as easy to bond with him as it was with my girls, and I feel connected to all three not by a father/daughter or father/son bond, but a more powerful father/child bond.
I’ve also found that babies are all pretty much the same regardless of their sex. They all coo and giggle in the same adorable way, and you can kiss, cuddle, and love on ‘em all. I cuddle on James constantly, and have even taken to calling him “Honey”. It’s a term of endearment that would surely embarrass him when he’s older, but it doesn’t matter now that he’s a baby. And, just between you and me, he’ll still be my “honey” in my heart even when he’s a stinky teenager.
I wanted to share my pre-son feelings with other parents because, while these feelings seem silly now, they didn’t at the time. So whether you’re the parent of girls who’s worried about what a boy will be like, or the parent of boys nervous about having a girl, please know you don’t need to be anxious. It will all make sense once your baby arrives, and, boy or girl, you will love your little honey just the same.
YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN