Gender anxiety

Reading time: 3 min

As usual, I was woken by the not-so-little, rather uncomfortable kicks. Someone was alerting mommy that it was time for breakfast. When I finally woke up, I was flooded by thoughts of guilt, confusion and uncertainty. I thought to myself “am I being fair to you, my baby, because I’m not sure how I’m supposed to feel, let alone say to you”. Every day I’m overwhelmed by these thoughts and hope that someday it will be all fine.

Some days I think to myself that maybe it’s the fact that I don’t know whether you are my little princess or prince. The thought of having another Prince Charming really warms my heart simply because I have first-hand experience in raising one.

But now the thought of having a baby girl leaves me with all sorts of feelings! Excited yet terrified, I have butterflies in my stomach as I ponder having a mini-me. I picture us playing dress-up and styling your hair. I wonder whether you’ll be a girly girl or just a tomboy like I was growing up. I am thrilled at the idea of walking into a shop and heading to the “baby girl” section but, as happy as I am, I’m also terrified at the thought of what happens to our girls in this country.

“Whatever gender you will be, you have filled my heart with so much love and warmth already.”

I’m terrified that every time we walk through a mall, I’ll have to watch you like a hawk because of what may happen if I look away. I worry that inside a restaurant someone can snatch you if I let you out of my sight for a second. I fear that even in the places we consider safe I will still have to constantly look over my shoulder.

But as fearful as I am right now, I still stay hopeful that you will live a happy life; that you will blossom and become the person you are destined to be. I hold on to the hope that, like a rose, you will show your beauty even in the midst of so many thorns.

The thought of having another Prince Charming leaves me weak in the knees because it will be like having home-ground advantage. As tiring as it is to run after a very busy little boy, I would do it all over again given the chance.

Whatever your gender, you have filled my heart with so much love and warmth already. As confusing as some things are now, I’m not confused about the love I have for you! I’m often filled with wonder at how such a tiny person can drastically change my life, my point of view, thoughts, feelings – not to mention my taste buds and sense of smell. Nonetheless, I am enjoying every moment of our journey…

 Written by Zintle Naketi

Also read:

Pink tax for kids’ items
Gender what?