Dear Hassan, I’m Sorry I Wished You Were a Girl

As you might have guessed from my last Two Pink Lines piece, I had a hard time accepting the fact that I’m about to become a mother. Maybe I wanted to enjoy married life without little beings running around for some time, maybe I wanted to take my time adjusting to the new responsibilities that come along with marriage, or maybe I just didn’t accept the fact that I was growing up.

However, I did manage to accept it at a point between my third & fourth months of pregnancy, Somehow, I convinced myself that having kids doesn’t mean that my life has ended – I was right, but more on that later. I happened to convince myself that I was having a girl – I was wrong; you should never make presumptions. The problem was that the two ideas I convinced myself with, went hand in hand. 

Cooking Together

Inside my mind, I pictured all the perfect moments I’d be having with my daughter. How we’d cook together, bake together, shop together, and read together. I pictured her painting her nails and trying out high heels for the first time. I saw us going to all those sophisticated movies together.

I also saw how I’d raise her to be strong, how I’d tell her that she can do anything, how she should never let a man abuse her – even in the context of marriage -, and how she should live her life for the love of God, not out of fear of God. I convinced myself that finally, I’d have a best friend for life…

The moment my doctor told me that I was having a boy, I returned to point zero of my acceptance cycle. All those pictures crashed into the sea. They were replaced by pictures of my son playing football, going out with his friends, playing PlayStation with his dad, and shutting me out of his life! 

Playing Football

Right now, I really regret how I was thinking. I blame society for it in every single way. Our society has put naïve stereotypical images into our minds of how a daughter should behave, and how a son should behave. I thought I was immune to those male-dominated societal ideas, but I was not. Apparently my brain was pre-installed, and my feminist self did not want to bring one more male into life.

Consequently, I spent a couple of weeks shocked at the baby boy news. The only thing that brought me out of my shock was letting my brain work it out. I started asking myself: Why am I this upset?

It was easy…I realized it was because of those stupid stereotypes. Once I knew what the problem was, I shut it off! This is proof that awareness is a huge part of solving the problem. 

Sorry society, I’m not raising another Si el Sayed in my house, not on my watch…

I started re-picturing all those perfect moments. Who said Hassan and I won’t be cooking together? Baking together? Shopping together? Reading together? Who said I can’t raise him to live his life knowing that God is watching – not that people are watching? Who said he can’t be my best friend?

Obviously, he won’t be trying on nail polish and high heels. But, he can still have a sense of style. He can be a très chic gentleman. He doesn’t have to wear trashy clothes, just because he’s a “man”! He can take care of himself. He shouldn’t look like a caveman just because he’s a “man”!

In fact, it’s my duty as his mother to teach him all of that stuff so that he becomes a decent human being. We, women, keep saying that we want to be strong and independent, while, in fact we are. Men are the ones who are not. For God’s sake, they can’t survive without us! I plan on raising my son to be a strong independent man: he should be able to cook his own food, do his own laundry, and clean his own mess. 

After a lot of thinking, I realized that raising a son gives me the power to change this societal mess. Instead of telling my daughter that she shouldn’t let a man abuse her, I’ll be telling my son that a true man doesn’t abuse a woman. Hence, I’ll be saving every woman in his life the exhaustion of fighting off being abused. In a way, I’m doing humanity a greater good.

Dear Hassan, I’m sorry I wished you were a girl. I will forever regret it. 

Dear son, I solemnly swear that I’m going to do my best to raise you to be a great man, a truly decent human being, a supportive brother, and an awesome husband. I’ll raise you to follow your passion, stick to your morals, and go after your goals. 

I will also raise you to be your mom’s best friend. 

What do you think?
Tell us about your reaction when you found out your baby’s gender in the comments.

Menna Rateb

I’ve studied engineering & I have an MBA with a major in human resources, I’m also working as a planning specialist in a well-known company, but where my heart truly lies is with movies, the books I love, the places where I’ve had my best memories and the people I’ve made these memories with. I’ll be writing my column Mummy's Issues & for the Film section.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *