Second Baby: What It’s Like Having a Boy and Girl

When my husband and I began trying for a second child, I wondered how it would be to have two girls, or a girl and a boy. For both of my pregnancies, we had chosen not to find out the gender ahead of time, which meant I could play out all kinds of scenarios in my head!

As it turned out, we had our Nina first, and then Eli, our son, came along second. Our daughter was, and is, a bright and beautiful girl with a wonderful outlook on life and the world around her. She has such a big presence, though, that we wondered if our second child would feel overshadowed.

For us, having a child of the opposite gender ensured that, in at least one sense, our second baby would stand out. Our son has ended up being just as amazing as our daughter, in ways that are both similar and different, but you never know how things will end up until that second child actually arrives.

While I always knew that having two kids of the same gender didn’t guarantee a close relationship, I did worry that our daughter and son might not be as close as they may have been if they were both boys or both girls. Today our kids couldn’t be closer, and I think that has to do with how we raised them. We did a lot of things with our daughter that some might consider stereotypically “male” in character, like washing the car and working on home projects. Now we all participate in these activities, as one big family.

In our house, we try to stay as gender neutral as possible -- I always say that anyone can do anything. My son puts on dance shows for us, and my daughter plays superheroes. It’s really interesting to see them both take part in each other’s interests.

Any worries that I might have had when our second child turned out to be a different gender from our first were quickly washed away. Our kids get to learn so much about the opposite gender from each other, and that's wonderful. My hope is that this insight will translate into great relationships with other kids, and then eventually with other adults of the opposite gender, as they grow up.