What it Means to Never Have a Daughter


“Its another boy!” I can still hear the surprise and slight disappointment in my sister’s voice as she announced the gender of my third-born child. I was already Mom to two precious boys, and this new babe was now solidifying my status as a “boy mom”. To be honest, I had never even considered the fact that I might not have a daughter. Yet, here I was holding my third boy born in just over three years. These precious brothers . . . the very sight of them all together made me picture years of playing in mud puddles, shooting hoops together, camp outs, endless sporting events, and all things “boy”. I knew that they would have so much in common and it was going to be so special to watch them grow up together. And yet, there also came the realization that at 28 years old, having already had three children, I might very well never have a daughter. 

I think that for the most part, a baby is a baby. Boy baby or girl baby, they all need to be fed, changed, loved — all the basics of what it takes to raise a small human. Sure, the clothes for girls are so much cuter, but here in the South there are plenty of precious smocked dump trucks and airplanes to make me swoon. I love a little boy in a bubble or a Jon Jon! And it seems easier to not have to buy 500 bows in every color or ruffled socks to match every outfit. I would assume that it’s probably hard work to style a toddler girl’s hair . . . and convince her to not yank those bows out of her hair. 

It is the long term of not having a daughter that makes my heart sting a little. To even admit that makes me scared my boys will one day think I wish they had been a girl. I do not wish that even for a second. These boys of mine, I would chose them a thousand times over. Even as I type this I can hear their laughter as they ride scooters in the driveway, and it literally melts me. They own my heart in every way possible.

But I am aware that these little Mama’s boys of mine, the ones who ask for “morning cuddles” every day, who whisper their fears and their dreams only to me; these little boys who hold my hand, and tell me I am “so beautiful” and who ask if they can live with me forever, who never tire of my kisses; these little boys of mine, they are going to grow up to be young men. They will need me less and less every single year. Their affection for me will shift, they will hug me less, and they will whisper their fears and dreams into someone else’s ear. They will become men, and the memory of four little Mama’s boys will be remembered only by me. 

Yes, they will still love me; and yes, they will always, always be my babies. But time will turn them into men, and a new relationship will emerge between us, because it has to. I think this is when I will know the true weight of having never had a daughter. If I had had a daughter, the “growing up” part is when we would become closer. I would hold her secrets, and teach her how to be a young woman. I would help her learn to be a bride, a wife, a new mother. She would welcome me into a relationship that can only exist between Mother and Daughter.

In many ways it’s the opposite of my boys, who will pull away as they grow. That is the part that hurts my heart. I see my grandmother, my own mother, and I know that I will never share that connection with my own daughter. When I am my own mother’s age, will I be lonely? Will I miss what could have been? Perhaps I will, and that is okay. Perhaps my daughter-less future will not be sad, but just different. Perhaps it might one day even include a granddaughter. I will surely go broke buying all the pink in sight. 🙂 

What it means to never have a daughter

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Alli is a Birmingham native who always knew she wanted to be a mommy to many, but had no idea that would turn into many little boys! While being a "boy mom" was not what she expected, you will now find her trudging through the woods and happily exploring everything "outdoors" with her brood of little men. Happily married to a builder, you might find that her Google searches reveal a never-ending list of home improvements, which leads to lots of screen shots and "Let's do this next" text messages. When not chasing around her boys, you can find her off on a long run, drinking coffee, going out for a girls' night, or wandering the aisles of the most wonderful place on earth, Target.


  1. Well that just made me cry! My third sweet son will arrive any day now and I feel like you just published a page from my own journal. Lol

    I tried to explain this to my husband. I am not at all sad to have three sweet boys but I am in some ways mourning the idea of never having a daughter to mother, teach, guide, etc. But it’s God’s plan for us to be boy Moms and it’s pretty exciting to watch them grow. ❤️

    Thanks for sharing your heart! ???

    • Rebekah, thank you so much for commenting! It was upon the birth of my third son that I too realized I might’ only have boys. His isn’t at all a bad thing, I absolutely love being a “boy mom.” its Just different than what i has envisioned as I’d expected to have some of each. So processing what life will be like long term as a mom of only boys, well that just took my head and heart a little while to catch up to speed on! But you JUST wait until you see all 3 of your boys together, playing, laughing, it’s a bond only held between brothers. Gods plan for us is far greater than our own, what an honor to raise these future men ? congrats to you and enjoy those newborn snuggles, they are heaven!!!

  2. This resonates with me because I am 30 weeks pregnant with my second boy. I am the oldest of four girls, my dad the oldest of three boys, and it seems like my family either gets all boys or all girls. I spoke with someone recently who told me he has all boys, grown men now. He said, “They are good to their mom.” My heart filled with joy thinking that as close as my sisters and I are to my dad, maybe my sons will be that close to me. I know it will be different, but I think it will still be sweet.

    • Lindsay, I am so glad you could relate. Congratulations on boy #2! I promise you there will be nothing quite like watching your boys become best friends. There is such a bond between brothers, and it makes a mamas heart melt! My family (well except me!) seems to have 2 boys and 2 girls, and even mix … guess I’m the odd ball! I love hearing about a Mom with grown sons and that “they are good to their mom,” that makes me tear up!! It absolutely will be so special to see that adult relationship emerge. Wishing a safe (and speedy!) delivery! Thanks again for commenting, love connecting!

  3. This is beautifully written. I am on the other side of this. I am a 28 year old mom to 3 little girls. I too wish to know the love between a mother and a son. Not sure if I will ever get to experience that and it too makes my heart a little sad. But like you said, I would never change these beautiful little humans that God has blessed me with! I think we are just so lucky to have the love of our children, some women will never get that at all..

    • When I wrote this, the thought of a mama with all girls was completely on my mind! I can imagine it is very similar feeling, the sadness of not experienceing a mother/son bond. I can see the reason why people want 1 (or 2!) of each! But YES, one thousand times over I know Gods plan for us is exatcly what it is suppose to be. I think of each of my babies, and I know their gender was not a mistake, they were perfectly created and I am blessed to be chosen as their mama. Your girls are going to be best friends. I truly think that is the biggest plus to having all of the same gender, their bond as siblings. Having a sister myself, I know how great it is to have a built in best friend. Thanks so much for commenting, I love connecting with Moms!!

  4. I felt like this a few years ago being a mama to 3 girls. I longed for the bond and experience of having a boy but knew that God always knows what is best for us. Seven months after having my third girl I found myself pregnant again and was just sure I was having another sweet girl. Well God sure does have a sense of humor, because he gave me the surprise of my life! His name is Nathan and he’ll be 2 years old this March. You’re family is beautiful! Thank you for this, it makes me look forward to my future with my 3 girls, especially considering two of them are teenagers and they’re as sassy as their dear ole mama…

    • Nydia, thanks so much for commenting! I love that you had a sweet baby boy, I’m sure he is adored by 3 big sisters! The Lords story for our lives is absolutely always better than the one we “plan.” I have heard those preteen/teenage years w girls can be quite hard! I might still be sassy w my mom too ? But yes, they will come back around and you will be there best friends one day. Thanks again for reading my post! Love connecting w fellow moms ?

  5. I know it’s not the same, but daughter-in-laws can have amazing relationships with their mother-in-laws. My mother-in-law is a “boy mom” of three. She wanted a girl SO bad. The third she had 10 years after her first for the sole purpose of trying for a girl. She is an amazing person and she is on my speed dial for all things motherly, right next to my own mom. I usually get each of their opinions on whatever my question is. Sometimes I go with my moms advice, sometimes I go with my mother-in-laws advice. I also gave her her first granddaughter, and let me tell you… she is over the moon in love, she sees her almost everyday and loves buying all the girly things she didn’t get to buy for the boys. Like I said, I know it’s not the same, but raise good men and you will get good daughter-in-laws 🙂

    • Caitlin, your words about your MIL made me tear up!! I pray to be that kind of MIL every day. I totally agree that you can have that connection to a DIL and I will be hoping for just that one day. I do joke with my boys that the first one to give me a granddaughter gets everything in the will!! Thanks so much for sharing this with me, made my heart so happy!

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