In our land of excess and social media attention, baby gender reveals have become a thing. Expecting couples plan a celebration to make an announcement of their baby’s sex. Family and friends gather to watch the couple cut into a cake, leaning nervously forward to get a glimpse of either pink or blue. Or they hold onto a big, black balloon with needle in hand, anxiously waiting to be covered in one color of confetti or another.
There are so many creative ways people have come up with to reveal what genitalia their baby is blessed with – hit a powder-filled baseball or shoot it out of a hand cannon, and even lasagna isn’t safe from blue or pink food coloring.
People love to hate on gender reveal parties, but I’m not one of them. Are they over-the-top and unnecessary? Yes. Do I believe in traditional gender stereotypes (blue for boy, pink for girl)? No, I don’t.
But what I do enjoy and support is the excitement of expecting parents sharing their joy with family and friends. And I always love a good surprise.
For me, my husband and I missed the gender reveal trend with our first son. He’s only three, but it seems like it wasn’t really a thing back then. None of my friends did a gender reveal, so it wasn’t something on my mind. We found out the sex of our son from the ultrasound tech, told family and close friends, and then made a Facebook announcement of, “It’s a boy!” And that was that.
With our second child, my husband and I decided we would let its sex be a good ol’ fashioned surprise – waiting until the birth to find out whether we were blessed with another boy or a girl. Not finding out the sex of our baby shocked (and annoyed) a lot of family. They couldn’t understand why we wouldn’t want to know.
But knowing that this was probably our last baby, I liked the idea of a good surprise. And besides, I already had baby stuff, so there wasn’t anything I needed, even if it was a girl (girls like blue too).
On the day of his delivery, a sheet hung between my face and my new baby, so I had to ask what it was. Hearing my husband exclaim it was a boy, I remember feeling such warmth and excitement to learn my oldest son got a little brother. It was the best surprise, and I was so happy we waited.
That said, I love gender reveals. The guessing games, the anticipation and restlessness of the parents to be. And there’s always food involved. And who doesn’t love food?
In my dreams, if I were to have another baby, I would probably have a gender reveal party, much to the dismay of many. While this isn’t likely to happen, I have found myself scrolling through social media, watching gender reveal videos and feeling that twinge of excitement. A boy or girl, either way an expecting couple learns a little bit about their future bundle of joy.
If you are someone who rolls their eyes when you open an invitation to a pink or blue party, put aside those feelings of extravagance and ridiculousness, and consider the excitement of the soon-to-be parents. They invited you to share in this moment. So sport your blue or pink, or whatever you want to wear, and just be there to support the couple. You many enjoy it more than you think.