A full week ago, I sat nervously in a doctor’s office awaiting our “big” 19 week scan. Normally, I wouldn’t consider myself an anxious person. With this pregnancy though, all bets have been out the window. It’s probably because I’ve had a miscarriage before, but as I waited with baited breath for someone to confirm that our baby really was “ok” I felt the seeds of doubt creep in and take hold.
Luckily, the radiology tech confirmed that our little one was completely healthy. Brain? Check! Four-chamber heart? Check! Functioning internal organs? Check! No clef palate? Check! Ten fingers and ten toes? Check! As the tech moved over each part of our little one and told us that things looked completely normal, I feel like for the very first time, I can get truly excited about this pregnancy and start preparing for a baby in the fall.
Now, when you talk “baby preparation” everyone wants to immediately know the answer to one question: What are you having?
My typical reply is, “Probably a baby” but then again, I’ve always been one for sarcasm. You see, Adam and I are not finding out the sex of the baby. People have lots of good reasons not to find out the sex. Some people really like surprises. Some people don’t want gender disappointment so they put off knowing until the baby is born. Some people say it gives you extra motivation in the delivery room. Some people like the old fashion nostalgia it brings. All of these are probably good reasons.
None of them are why Adam and I are waiting.
We are waiting to find out the sex because frankly, we both abhor gender stereotyping and sexualization.
Yup — you read that right. Sexualization.
I think babies should be babies. Do you know what babies care about? Eating. Sleeping. Pooping. That’s about it. So it bugs me to no end to see babies get shoved into stereotypical gender boxes at birth. Even worse, I hate seeing adults push grown-up emotions and motivations onto small children. Still don’t know what I’m talking about?
I’m guessing you all have seen at least one onesie some of these sayings:
Hung Like a Preschooler
Daddy says I can’t date until I’m married
Does this diaper make my butt look big?
I hate my thighs
Stud in Training
Ladies Man in Training
Too Sexy for my Diaper
I swear I didn’t make up any of those. I found them all online or have seen them handed out as gifts at baby showers. Somewhere a baby has worn a onesie with these things on them and frankly, it really disturbs me. I don’t understand why we immediately force tiny beings who only care about eating, sleeping, and pooping, into adult roles. Can’t a baby just be a freaking baby? A 3-month old boy isn’t a ladies man in training. He is pooping his diaper and likely peeing on his own face accidentally. A 9-month old girl doesn’t hate her thighs. I can bet she doesn’t even think about them. And yet, we tell the boy from such a young age that he should grow up to be a lady slayer and we try to convince the girl that it is perfectly normal to grow up hating her own body.
For us, the total pink and blue closets are bad and are something we definitely wanted to avoid at all costs. But we also refuse to participate in the the over sexualization of our child — a child that hasn’t even entered this world. Since sometimes that sexualization occurs by people who only mean well (i.e., “What’s the harm in a funny onesie?”), the best way to accomplish these things for us personally is simply to not find out the sex of the baby. Of course, this only prevents these things from occurring prior to the child’s birth and I’m sure we will have plenty of inappropriate or unwanted items to return or politely refuse after Baby “Florken” arrives, but we feel our decision is a step in the right direction for us personally.
Our little one’s room won’t be dripping in princesses or Tonka trucks. It will be neutral and calm. The Little “Florken” closet will house a wide array of clothing colors — reds, blues, greens, yellows, grays, blacks, whites, pinks, purples, oranges, and more! As he or she grows, we will encourage them to seek out their own interests, rather than convince them they are “girly” or tell them what toys a “big boy” plays with.
Perhaps Adam and I are nutters. I’ve already had more than one person tell me that we’re crazy and that “all” our opinions will change when this kid comes along. Those people are right in the sense that we’ve never had a kid and we don’t quite know exactly how that experience will impact us. That said, Adam and I both have very strong opinions about gender stereotyping and the hyper sexualization of children in today’s culture and so we wonder — if our opinions are already that strong, shouldn’t our awareness and sense of protectiveness only increase when we actually get to hold this little bundle of joy we want so much?
I tend to think it probably will.
Do you notice gender stereotypes in today’s baby obsessed culture? What about the sexualization? Does any of it bother you or do you think Adam and I are nutters?