“Your Poor Husband!”

Jami is a stay at home mom of 4 girls. She recently moved halfway across the country and is trying to put down strong roots in the Midwest. Currently, her life revolves around her kids, but she is planning to start nursing school within the next year. You can also find her at Following the Bus.

 

“Your poor husband.”

Can I just go on record and say I am SO TIRED of hearing this?! Family, friends and strangers alike have hurled this phrase at me. It never fails that when I am on an outing with my 4 little girls, at least 2 or 3 people feel the need to say this to me. Why? What makes my husband someone to be pitied? What makes anyone think this is OK to say, especially in front of my girls? What type of message does this send to a child, to insinuate that they are some sort of a disappointment to their father simply because they are lacking a penis?

After the twins were born, I tried to let it roll off of me. I get it, society thinks every mom wants a daughter and every dad wants a son. Perhaps some, or even most, do. Maybe the vast majority’s idea of a “perfect family” is one with a son (no doubt the first born), a daughter, and a well behaved Golden Retriever. Fine. I figured the comments would stop eventually. When I got pregnant with #4, everyone assumed I (and more specifically, my husband) was hoping for a boy. I expected that. What I didn’t anticipate is that complete strangers would be so distraught when I announced that it was another girl. What difference does it make to them? Why is it so undesirable to have a crew of girls, or boys for that matter?

I have officially hit my breaking point and I am no longer polite to these people, well-meaning as they may be. Now when I get this comment, I give them a piece of my mind. First and foremost, I use a phrase I learned when people asked if my twins were “natural” or not. “Why do you ask/say that?” Luckily, this gets the point across to most people. However, there are still a few that press on and insist that living in a house full of girls is something to be upset about. To these people, I say that there is nothing upsetting about having 4 little girls that absolutely worship their daddy. 4 little girls that run to the door, arms wide open, the second he walks in. 4 little girls that crawl into his lap with a book. 4 little girls that love to snuggle in (as they call it) “daddy’s big girl bed”. My husband tells anyone that asks that he wouldn’t have it any other way. He knows how very lucky he is, and how special the bond between a father and daughter is.

Certainly, he has fears about raising 4 daughters, but I can assure you none of them have anything to do with hormones or boyfriends or makeup or (gasp!) paying for 4 weddings. His fears for his daughters are about how much society still views women as a lesser sex… that some people cannot accept that a woman can be just as smart, accomplished or athletic as a man, or cannot accept that a woman can, in fact, be all 3 of these things at the same time… that a relationship between a father and daughter cannot be just as fulfilling as that between a father and son.

D and I are working our hardest to raise strong, smart, independent girls that know, without a doubt, that they can conquer the world. We do not determine their value based on the sex organs they have, and neither should anyone else. When we look into each of our girls’ eyes, we do not feel sadness or disappointment, but rather pride and unconditional love. So, random stranger in the grocery store, please keep the “poor husband” comments to yourself, especially when little ears are listening. Oh, and you can take that “perfect family” image and shove it, because we have our perfect family right here.

Follow the Bus

 

Originally Posted on Follow the Bus.

About Hollie Schultz

Baby Gizmo founder Hollie Schultz is the proud mom of three adorable kids. This certified CPS (Child Passenger Safety) Tech and baby gear expert is the host of the Baby Gizmo video reviews giving moms the inside look at baby products before they purchase them. Hollie is also the co-author of The Baby Gizmo Buying Guide. A former resident of Los Angeles, she and her family now live in Chicago. She loves the city but hates the cold!

Comments

  1. Jackie says:

    I have three sons. I get it. Poor me, how tragic to have three beautiful, smart and healthy boys!

  2. As a mother of four girls I want to thank you for writing this!!!!! I echo these words and applaud you for sharing your feelings! Life with four beauties rocks and their father adores them!!!

  3. ashley says:

    I’m one of 4 girls!!!!! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard “You’re poor father”. In the past I’ve just laughed and shrugged it off. I love this article! If anyone ever says this to me again, I will respond with a different perspective. I will stand up for my sisters and I. Not my poor father. My lucky father. He has 4 strong willed, healthy , happy daughters. What more could he ask for? And screw the rest of the world who thinks of women as less than equal to a man.

    I forwarded your article to my mom. I’m going to send it to my sisters as well. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Alison M says:

    I loved this article!! I have 4 daughters and one son. Our son is number 4. Man the stuff I hear about our poor son and poor husband. I also saw the sadness in others when we told them number 5 was a girl. I was not sad I was elated!! We were having a healthy baby!!

    I was at the store one day with my mother and a man walked up to us, asked if they were all mine. I responded yes and he told me he would trade them all for boys! WHAT? Why would you say that in front of my girls? What message does that send them? We kindly told him we will take all the girls, we love raising girls. I also dearly love my son too.. and I also hate for him to hear these comments! I am now in charge of raising a strong, kind, loving man who may one day take a wife and I want him to be the best husband/father he can be!! And what boy would not love having all of his sister’s friends around when he is a teenager?

    Thanks for sharing I’m sure families with all boys feel this way too!

  5. We started getting the “your poor husband” comments when I was pregnant with our third girl. People would come up and tell us how badly they felt for us because we had three girls. My girls started to ask after their youngest sister was born why people thought it was such a bad thing that our family had three girls. I honestly don’t know why people do this. I wonder if they say things like that to moms of all boys. Somehow I doubt anyone goes up to the mom of three boys in the supermarket to tell them they’re so sorry she’s the lone female in a house of men.

    What I find most disturbing now that we’re expecting our fourth child, who happens to be a boy, is the excessive amount of cheering and celebrating that people do when they ask if I know the baby’s gender. I find it unsettling and most don’t know how to react when I tell them my husband would have been just as happy if this baby was also a girl. The other comments that we now get are the ones telling us that we can stop now that we’re going to have our boy like we finally got it right.

  6. Oh Karen I absolutely get comments about having a house full of (only) boys. And I concer with them :/ Being outnumbered 6 to 1 has been weighing on me a lot lately. The never ending rough housing and talk about farts and penii and just “energy” is wearing. I am no frilly girl but it is exhausting. And maybe it is parenthood and not my kids sex, maybe a girl would be just as exhausting in the same or different way but… yeah.

  7. I get this comment a lot too, we have three girls, I just move on because most people are stupid anyway!

  8. Candice says:

    I can relate. We have twin daughters and we are done having kids. Even our two pugs are girls and my husband and I constantly get the “your poor husband” comments and the “double trouble” twin comments and the “are they natural” comments. Because aparently because I had twins my fertility is everyone’s buissness. I know some “perfect families” and they are no more perfect than mine. My husband loves his girls and frankly wouldn’t have it any other way. My sister will visit with my nephew and when they leave. He is always glad he had his girls. Not that there is anything wrong with boys. But for us a sea of pink is just “perfect” :)

  9. Elizabeth K says:

    How great is it to read these comments about all these families with 4 girls? I am also one of four girls! The only way I feel sorry for my dad, is that we were all teenagers at the same time (that is difficult no matter the gender). I feel equally sorry for my mom! Now that I have kids, I apologize to them both frequently for that terribly difficult decade. They said it wasn’t as bad as I remember and it brought them closer together. Now we are all very close to both of my parents.

  10. Solrun says:

    I have 4 daughters… And I love it…. Yes people say oh… And you don’t have any boys, poor you and poor your husband…. People give me a break… I love them and so does there father…… I have always wanted girls… Now my girls are grown and my Oldest has 2 boys… Those 2 grandsons are my boys… And each of the girls are such a Daddy’s girls…. They watch Football together, go shopping, go to baseball games together, go and see wrestling, go to play and Opera….. I think we are so blessed to have those 4 girls and my Husband loves to be the only male….. We even have a female dog….. People think we have allot of kids well girls but I don’t feel like that.. We just have 4 wonderful girls and if I was younger I go for the 5th one…… Good luck….. On poor you and your husband that does not have a boy ;-)

  11. Erika Fultz says:

    The ONLY time I would drop the “poor husband” line is if I were friends with the woman and her family and she’d said something about all the ladies being on their periods together! The resulting wave of tampons, pads, chocolate cravings and crying jags would be difficult in the most hardy of males!)

  12. Renee Smith says:

    Ha! I have 6 girls! We hear that too! Now it’s,” are you going to keep trying for that boy?”

  13. We had 6 girls and 1 boy so I’ve heard all these comments. My husband’s response was that he was meant to be surrounded by women.

  14. I have four daughters and it’s a dream come true. Beyond just being girls, each one of them is–get this–an individual human capable of thinking and feeling and rational and irrational actions. Why feel sorry for me? Why not my wife? Do they think that when I’m not home, my wife is calmly helping the girls braid the hair of ponies or paint rainbows on their bras? It’s insane. Our troubles and triumphs are human ones, not female ones.

    I get sick of hearing this, too. And I really get sick of how I am treasured when I’m out alone with my girls. If they’re misbehaving or having a fit in Costco, everyone has sympathy for the poor, overwhelmed dad. When my wife is alone with them? Dirty looks and comments about how she should maybe not take her daughters with her to the store. It would be nice if we treated everyone–child and adult–like people and not minor variations of a gender role established by Kellogs in the fifties.

  15. I am the oldest of 5 girls. My husband has 6 sisters–no brothers. We have 3 daughters and 1 son. Research shows that the more women a man has in his family, the longer he tends to live. My husband is very fond of saying that between his wife, 10 sisters (original and in-law) and 3 daughters, he will NEVER DIE.

  16. Kim B. says:

    I remember when I found out I during my pregnancy that my 2nd child was also my 2nd boy, the same day I found out he was a boy and shared the news, a family member said “Oh no, that’s really disappointing!”. This was because my brother already had 2 boys and now I was going to have 2 boys, so there were no granddaughters in the family. I was already over-emotional in my pregnancy, hearing that response right after excitedly announcing “It’s a boy” had me crying the rest of the night, like I had somehow failed by not producing a girl.

    To go along with your “I’m tired of hearing this!”, my husband stays home with our boys 4 days a week, as he works nights and weekends, while I work M-F, 7-4. The thing he’s tired of hearing when he’s out with our sons’ is “Oh, you must be giving mom some time off!” or “Dad must be babysitting today!”. He wants to yell at people, “No, I’m just taking care of MY kids while my wife is at work. You know, like a parent is supposed to do!”. To go along with that, my pet peeve is when I tell people that my husband is a stay-at-home parent during the day while I work, I’m told “Wow! He’s Dad of the Year for taking care of the kids and changing diapers!”. Um, how come if I take care of the kids and change diapers, I’m just a mom, but that makes him Dad of the Year?

  17. Candace says:

    I am one of 5. My mom had 4 girls and a boy. I remember being little and the grocery store with my mom and people coming up to her and saying your poor husband. My mom would look at them and gently reply there’s nothing poor about my husband he has for wonderful little girls who think the world of him. They groom him and listen intently to his stories. I assure you he is the most loved and admired man on the planet his girls think the world revolves around their daddy. Now that we have a little boy let me let you in on a little secret. My husband has come to the realization that little girls are much easier to deal with in the aspect of cleanliness. They know what’s expected of them , and are generally apt to follow the rules. Whereas little boys, are equally as precious but tend to be more rebellious. We love both our boy and our girls equally. So as for your concern about their poor daddy I assure you he is completely and utterly happy with both his boy and his girls.

  18. Mike M says:

    You obviously have a problem since this saying is meant as a joke, you have no sense of humor or are just plain crazy. IT IS A JOKE and you need to lighten up, or you just know what you’re doing to get attention, either way just stop. If anyone is creating a problem with your kids hearing it is your reaction, by complaining you are giving your kids reason to think about it so just stop.

  19. Thank you! I am pregnant with our 4th boy and we have 1 daughter. I am always hearing how sorry people are for me for having so many boys and that I at least have 1 girl. I always wanna tell these people to kiss off. I am so happy with the way I have things I would never trade it. But please shut up! Growing up I didn’t even want a girl! Now I am so happy to have my girl AND my boys!

  20. I am the oldest of five, and there are four girls if I had a dime for every time someone just assumes that my mother was “trying” to have a boy each time she was pregnant, I would probably be a millionaire.

  21. Great article. I’m one of three girls & have heard this many times. On the flip side now, I have a daughter & a son and people tell I’m lucky because I have the “perfect” set and that I can be done now. Well, guess what?! I don’t think it’s perfect & I don’t want to be done! I feel like something is missing & one of each can be a little boring. People should just mind their own business.

  22. Lisa L. says:

    I have two girls, and like others, I am asked when we will be trying for a son. I answer, “Never!” We have our perfect family and we only want two children, and that is what we have. Two healthy, smart, funny, active, caring kids. Makes no difference to me or my husband whether they are boys or girls. They are our family and I will not be trying for any others to replace an “inferior” (in these stranger’s minds) child. That is ridiculous and offensive.

  23. Rebecca vaughn says:

    While I agree with this article as the mother of a 17 year old daughter and 3 boys I say or your poor husband not because I am worried about his wanting the same sex child as himself but because I know when those girls are teenagers the poor man is going to drive himself insane worrying about every teenage boys for a thousand miles and every other thing that could happen to their little princesses and yes they do worry about their boys but there is a special bond between a man and his baby girls.

  24. Thanks for all of the supportive words, ladies!

    I honestly think we just can’t please anyone. Once you have one baby, people want to know when you will have another (as if it is a requirement). If your second is the same as your first, people assume you are disappointed and will have to try again to get the opposite sex. But be careful not to have too many children, because they will make comments about that too! Why can’t we just tell people they have a beautiful family and leave them alone?

  25. Cynthia says:

    Beautifully said. You have a beautiful family and honestly I think your husband is a lucky guy!

  26. Carla Dahlquist says:

    This is hilarious…my parents had 3 girls…then a boy and 2more girls followed. I was second to the youngest.
    I heard so many comments from the morons of the world…like: awww man do I feel sorry for your brother or so you were an accident then …right!?!
    My brother did fine in our family…ni dont think he ever got hurt or bothered by having all sisters….and as for the accident statement…ibviously they are MORONS! My baby sister and I were not accidents…we were Blessings!!!
    All children are Blessings to Love and Nurture, to Teach Strength and Wisdom, and to Bask In The Glory Of Knowing An Unconditional All Encompassing Love That Can Not Be Broken By Time Or Distance!!!

  27. sherry says:

    I have 3 little girls and 1 son. My son is 10 and my girls are 5, 3, and 1, so most of the time I’m out and about with just the girls. I am anything but a homebody and I’m out daily. I am also very talkative to everyone in public. So I find it a little hard to believe that this happens multiple times a day. I have never had anyone say anything to me about their father. Yes little chuckles with “you really have your hands full’ or “look at all those girls” or ” they all have their mama’s eye” things of that nature. I do have my hands full, they are all girls and they do have my eyes. Again never anything about their father. As far as random people in public they assume 3 girls are all I have. If I have gotten an unfavorable comment its about the size of my family and how they’re happy with their 1 or 2 kids. So what. I don’t find that offensive. Four is a lot.

  28. THANK YOU! I am pregnant with our 3rd and we just found out on Tuesday that it’s a girl (we have 2 girls already). We only announced 2 days ago and I am already tired of hearing “Poor Jim”, “OMG 3 weddings to pay for!”, “Oh just wait until they are all teenagers!” I think I may share this in hopes that it will stop. Thank you!

  29. Tricia H. says:

    I am a mom of two boys and get the “are you going to try for a girl?” question all the time. Actually, when I was pregnant with #2 I was terrified I might be having a girl because I already knew what to expect with boys (and I dont mean that in any way to say boys are better, just that I wanted to stick with what I know). I love my boys with my whole heart and dont feel like I am missing out. No more babies in my future due to a medical condition, but I am ecstatic with my little loud & rowdy family just the way it is.

  30. Erica says:

    Thanks for writing this! I have 1 girl, 4 boys – our daughter is the second oldest – and it’s SOLELY due to people’s unthinking comments TO HER that she has jags where she feels very sorry for herself in her sisterless state. 90% of the time she gets along great with her brothers, but now every time they fight she “hates having only brothers.” o.O (Right, because sisters NEVER fight.) I couldn’t believe how many people expressed sympathy after baby #5 was another boy – we were elated! – and our daughter was thrilled with him too, until people started saying, “poor thing, you were hoping for a sister, weren’t you?” So incredibly rude.

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