Friday, August 27, 2010

Flashback Friday: An Imbalanced Family


*I'm off to a childbirth educator's workshop this weekend, so to make life easier for me, here's another Flashback Friday!  This post was written a year and a half ago, right before the birth of my fourth baby girl.  I hope you enjoy!*

An Imbalanced Family
*originally posted January 2, 2009*

I do alot of reading online, various articles, message boards, blogs, etc.  I don't really enjoy watching the news, so I learn alot about what's going on in the world by reading the opinions and thoughts of people who enjoy it more than I.  I also find reading the thoughts of complete strangers interesting because often my sphere of interaction is rather small and one-sided, meaning the people I spend the most time with in real life have similar views and thought processes as myself.  So, reading online allows me to investigate other viewpoints and beliefs and really stretches me to think about things outside of my own box.

That being said, I ran across an interesting concept today that had never occurred to me before.  And to be honest, it initially rubbed me the wrong way.  I was reading a thread on a message board about opinions on high-tech gender selection.  Basically, choosing the sex of your baby by using science and technology, ie.  MicroSort.  I'll tread lightly on my own thoughts about MicroSort and the like.  In general I'm an "in moderation" type of person and I'm incredibly grateful for advances in science that even make such a thing a possibility.  It wasn't the fact that this sort of technology is available that rubbed me the wrong way.  It was the suggestion by some of the posters on the thread that did.  The thought held by some of them that MicroSort might be necessary in order to correct a gender "imbalance" in the family.

I'm sure I'm internalizing these comments too much, but indulge me for a moment.  At first glance I suppose that our family would be considered "imbalanced".  In a mere 6 weeks it will be 5 to 1 in favor of estrogen.  Our pink/red laundry still outweighs all other colors handsdown.  Even though we have a bin full of matchbox cars and a race and go speedway, they get passed over more often than not in favor of Littlest Pet Shop, My Little Pony and Barbie.  And yet, I look at my family and I see not imbalance, but perfection - exactly what was intended to be.

I realize that it is probably difficult for me to have an unbiased opinion about this "imbalanced family" concept given the status of my own family.  It just bothers me to think that someone might look at us walking through the mall or eating at a restaurant and actually pity hubby and I for having an "imbalance", as if it's a disease or something.  And perhaps it's just semantics.  Maybe if a different choice of words was used, it might not sting quite as much.  Imbalance suggests imperfection, no?  But by the same token, I hate to think that there are people in this world that may feel their own families are "imbalanced" because they only have girls, or only have boys, or maybe have some of each but not equal parts.  I can totally understand wishing to experience pink or blue and totally sympathize with those that feel somehow incomplete if they for whatever reason are not able to.  But to suggest that a family is somehow imbalanced or imperfect simply because of the gender makeup of the children bothers me.  And I suppose this is the point where my own views and beliefs come into play.  I don't know why hubby and I are the parents of (almost) 4 girls and no boys, but I believe beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is how it was meant to be.  That for whatever reason we were chosen to be the leaders of this Planet Pink.  And in my (maybe not so humble) opinion we're doing the best we can at it.  

Would it have been interesting and exciting to add a little blue to this planet?  Sure thing.  But I would suggest that balance is NOT what blue would have brought to our family dynamic at this point!  

My friends, how do you feel about family "balance"?  Is it really about gender, or do other factors contribute to family dynamics?  Can you be a balanced family without equal parts?  Or does there need to be so-called "balance" at all?


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2 comments:

  1. I agree with your feelings. And balance for me is having two boys because that's what was meant to be for our family as having four girls is for you. There's a strange pressure for gender balance when having children and although I think it's great for the families that it works out that way for, family balance is not about gender (in my humble opinion that is!)

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  2. Hmm, good post! If we can have another baby we of course would like a boy; one of each. If we cannot then so be it. There are a few books to that suggest you can increase your chances of a boy by 'timing' it. To that vain, if I can increase my chances of a little boy a bit then I will.

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Let me know what you think!

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