When are you having a baby boy?
”When are you having a boy?” ”Don’t you know you are incomplete without a male child?” ”Do you want your husband to go outside and father a son?” ”Why are you giving birth to only girls, is there no son in your womb?” ”Don’t you know you are still standing on one leg in your husband’s house?” ”You must give us a son for us to regard you as a good wife.”
Many Nigerian women can identify with one or more of the phrases above. It is like a curse to have only female children. Many people still don’t consider a woman complete until she gives birth to a son. And many women have gone to the great beyond trying to keep up with this aspect of societal expectations.
Growing up, one of our neighbour had two girls. It took her a long time to conceive them too. So, it was with great joy and gratitude that she welcomed her two girls into the world. But her happiness was cut short when her matrimonial family started pressurizing her husband to get a second wife who would give him a son.
There is also another woman who had ten children, five boys and five girls. She lost four boys and a girl and was left with a boy and four girls. Her husband’s family started mounting pressure on him to get married to a woman who can give him many boys. They didn’t consider that the first wife had five boys but lost four of them. The man in question got married and had two boys from his second wife.
There are many stories around us about women whose husbands replaced because they couldn’t have male children. The ironic part is that it’s not these women’s fault. The sex of a baby is determined by a man. But trust Nigerians to always blame the woman for everything that’s not going right in marriages.
If you a mother of girls, hold your head up high. You are not a failure. Many can’t even have one child. Be grateful for the gifts you have and raise them to be women of substance and influence and the world will forever remember your name.