Since my son was born, followed closely by his two baby brothers - I have had no shortage of negative comments and remarks directed at me about their gender.
Ridiculous comments of course... ones I wish I could have easily brushed off, but comments that hurt my feelings.
If you have only one child or a child of each gender, this may be something you haven't experienced but for those of us with multiple children of the same gender - it can be a very common experience.
When having my first son, the first boy in our family for 27 years, I was already feeling a little scared and unsure of what to expect from life with a boy - it was completely foreign to me, the mother/son relationship was something I'd never seen close up.
The comments I heard from people just made me feel more worried and even dampened my excitement.. comments like:
"Oh boys are so messy and loud - your house will be filthy all the time! They'll bring mud in every day, they're always so mucky..."
And the one that hurt the most: "A daughter is a daughter for life, a son is a son until he finds a wife".
I envisioned a life full of mess, dirt, smell, army tanks and fighting, and a lifetime of grumpy, distant boys.
I hated the thought of filling my house with things I had no interest in like cars and superheroes - I understood dolls and prams, I liked those - but not "boys toys".
But the thing is... I couldn't have been more wrong.
I was completely clueless.
And so, for any other mums-to-be out there carrying a boy and a little unsure of what to expect, here are just some of the amazing things about having boys that nobody tells you about:
They are SO affectionate
My oldest two boys are both the cuddliest children - they love to snuggle up to me on the sofa, they ask to "cuddle in" all the time, they smother me in kisses, and my oldest tells us all that he loves us numerous times every day.
Just last week, my little boy said to me "Mummy, when I'm bigger can you be my wife?" - If that's not a heart melting moment, what is?!
Boys can be your best friend too
I always worried that my sons would be closer to their Dad than me, but I was wrong - they are all Mummy's boys and my relationship with my oldest son is very much a Best Friend one - we have our "secret club" which Daddy isn't allowed into, and we even have Mummy and Tiny "date nights" when we have quality time just the two of us - boys (little boys, at least!) love to be around you just as much as girls do.
Ok, I'm sure this will change when they're teenagers, but I know PLENTY of teenaged girls who want nothing to do with their parents too - it's not a gender thing, it's a personal thing.
All the things that you thought you'd hate about boys - you will find so cute!
Or at least, that has been my experience. All those superheroes I thought I'd hate? Well I think it's adorable - seeing your little boy dressed up as The Hulk, telling you he's going to "save the world, Mummy!" is the sweetest thing ever - there is no way that your heart won't melt.
And as for the cars and 'boy toys' - if you'd have told me this three years ago I would never have believed you, but I find myself getting excited when I find a cool new monster truck that my boy would love - their excitement and enthusiasm for things is contagious, it doesn't matter what it is or how you felt about it before - if your child loves it, it will grow on you and soon you'll be getting excited about the same things they do.
They love "girl toys" too....
And make up, and dressing up, and dancing, and nail polish...and anything that you imagined your daughter would do, boys can do it all too.
That's the great thing about raising modern children - there ARE no boys and girls toys anymore.
Toys are just toys, playing is just playing - it really doesn't matter.
My son has recently become obsessed with Frozen Fever and has asked for an Elsa doll for Christmas - which suits me just fine!
If you expose your children - boy or girl - to a range of toys, then they're going to have a range of interests - there's no need to pigeon hole them.
They have an enthusiasm for life that you can't help but catch
Every day spent with my kids is exciting and there are always a lot of moments of fun, even on the hard days.
They are always looking for the next adventure, always trying to create something new to do (cushion forts will be your life and it is actually the cutest thing!), always running about in excitement... and instead of being exhausting or meaning that I "Have my hands full"... it's contagious. My world has been a more colourful and exciting place since my kids have been in it.
So if you're about to become a mama to a boy... you are honestly so lucky. You are in for a whole lot of fun!
And to the girls mamas... so are you.
Because ALL children are unique and wonderful in their own way.
It's not about their gender, it's about their personality - their gender defines nothing about them.
Don't let the small minded and outdated people with their thoughtless comments drag you down - their generalisations are not going to define your experiences.
Go and raise a wonderful, happy, free spirited child and don't waste a second more fretting about it's gender.
I promise you, there won't be a day that you'll wish they were anything other than themselves.
This post first appeared on Sparkles & Stretchmarks - A Blog About Life As Mum To 3 Boys