Ideally, people would be equally excited about having a boy or a girl.
But in reality, parents have visions of what it's like to raise a kid, and gender is a factor that plays into it. And when you frame it that way, it does make sense for a parent to secretly hope for a boy or girl, even though it's out of their control.
However, as with most parenting experiences, if you and your partner don't align on your priorities, it can get tense fast.
WIBTA if I didn't let my husband attend the baby shower or birth of our child?
My husband (29yo) and I (28yo) have a daughter (3yo), he was happy when I told him she was a girl. We're having another and when I had my ultrasound, I was told it was another girl, again my husband was happy.
Turns out I was told wrong, and it's actually a boy we're having, and my husband freaked out in excitement. His reaction to us having a boy was nothing like either of his reactions to having a girl.
He was actually jumping around and yelling, he immediately called all his friends and family, he kept hugging and swinging our daughter around telling her she's getting a brother.
I confronted him about not being this excited about having girls, and he said “cause I wanted a boy.” I got so pissed off, I don't want him at the baby shower (I guess it's not really a baby shower as we're not asking for anything, but still) or the birth.
He thought I was kidding at first, but once he realized I seriously got really upset and started an argument over it. WIBTA if I didn't let him attend the baby shower or birth?
The thread quickly blew up, as people had a lot to say.
YTA. Not wanting your husband to attend a baby shower and/or the birth of his own child because he is excited about having a son?
Which you interpret years-later as him having been insufficiently excited about having a daughter is, honestly, one of the most mind-numbingly dumb and a**hole-ish things I've ever read in this sub.
Not only are you the a**hole, you're the a**hole a thousand times over.
I can understand your feelings over this, that has to be a little hurtful and frustrating for you. But speaking as a dad this seems like an overreaction on both parts.
The guy is that excited to have a son and you are wanting to deny him being at his son's birth? Maybe he should have toned that down a bit but...let me offer this perspective.
Do you have any idea how many kids out there have sperm donors who don't seem to give a sh*t about them?
Just the other day on here there was a story about a woman going to an ultrasound appointment like you and her husband ditched her at the last second to have lunch with a friend.
Your husband is present, engaged, it sounds like he is engaged and active with your daughter as well, and he's stoked that he's having a boy. Maybe this has been a lifelong dream of his, to have a son.
Now obviously the hope is that he does not play favorites, but until the kids get to that age, you're not going to know if he will do that or not. If you ban him from his own child's birth, YTA.
Also: If I've learned anything from the amount of couple's therapy I've gone through with my own wife, it's that any kind of withholding techniques used as punishment toward a partner only ever makes your partner resent you that much more.
Is that really how you want your son's life to start?
Edit to add: PLEASE READ BEFORE COMMENTING:
Since so many people mistakenly seem to think I am saying this woman should be 'over the moon' or 'falling at his feet' for doing what they are calling the 'bare minimum', allow me to clarify what I meant when I offered the perspective above:
Appreciation goes a long way, and sets the tone for a better relationship. When my wife shows appreciation for even the most basic things, it actually makes me feel good and therefore more motivated to do bigger and better things.
Vice versa when I show my appreciation for her. The lack of appreciation, or taking things for granted, sows the seeds for resentment and has quite the opposite effect.
If even the little things aren't appreciated why should I bother to try and do more? Any marriage counselor or couple that has been married a long time can tell you this. The little things really do matter.
OP's concerns are totally valid, but her reaction is not. Rather than jump straight to punishing a man who is present and trying, (for something he hasn't done yet) OP needs to TALK with her husband.
Tell him how his reaction made her feel, listen to his perspective and try and work this out via mutual respect and appreciation for one another through deeper communication. A counselor would be an excellent support for that endeavor.
OP, I agree that punishment and withholding techniques are a bad way to go and will negatively affect the health of your marriage.
You need to have a serious talk with your husband, give him space to share with you, without judgement, what having a daughter or having a son means to him. Also, share with him why you find his behavior so concerning.
You need to figure out whether or not his attitude is a deal breaker for you (such as, if you truly don't trust him not to play favorites and hurt his daughter). If it isn't a deal breaker, then find a way to incorporate his feelings into a healthy family dynamic.
Don't let this poison your family.
No judgment, as I would be disgusted too. But please talk with him after you’ve had a chance to reflect, and be honest about your feelings rather than doling out “punishments”.
One thing to ask him is what your existing child might be unconsciously internalizing about her worth, based on his reaction to this, and if/how that’s going to play out going forward?
My father has four kids total. First three were girls. He was like: good. Found out the last one was a boy: hallelujah, hallelujah! So excited. It took twenty years, but to him, it was all happening now.
Except, it wasn't. My brother could not care less about anything traditionally considered to be masculine. Either in terms of his own identity, hobbies, interests, romantic life, or his personality.
Meantime, his first daughter loved baseball, rough housing, independent, tough as nails, all the things etc. And he ignored all these things for a couple of decades. I could see it dawn on him by the time his son hit puberty.
But it was too late for everyone involved. The two oldest have been NC and LC most of their adulthoods.
Everyone was hurt. Very soft YTA. Punishing him won't help, but there are a LOT of things you need to discuss.
I cried when I found out I was having a girl. I have a shit relationship with my mom and was so scared she wouldn't love me that I wanted a boy.
My daughter is the best human I've ever met and I wouldn't trade her for anything but in the moment, I was upset. By the time I had my son, I wanted another girl. Lol. YTA.
Just because he's really excited for a boy doesn't mean he has a problem with girls. If he's a good dad and husband then you need to let this go.
YTA. By your own acknowledged he wasn't sad or angry about having a girl, he was happy. He was just happier to have a boy. You're reading into this way too much.
YTA- excluding would be a relationship ender for me and many others. It doesn’t sound like he treats your daughter badly or complained about having a second girl.
So what’s the problem that he got excited for unexpectedly having a boy?! I know women who had similar reactions to having a girl doesn’t mean they love their sons any less.
It's clear most people think OP's punishment technique makes her TA, but it's also fascinating how differently people perceive the gender nuance in the conversation.