Why I don't care about your gender reveal

 Photo: Getty Images

So you're having a baby? That's great, babies are awesome. I love their smooshy faces and chubby little arms and legs. I can't wait to come to your baby shower or visit you after the baby is born, armed with a casserole and an adorable gift.

You know what I really don't care about? Whether your baby is a boy or a girl. It's completely irrelevant to me. And I suspect that no-one outside of your immediate family really cares that much either.

It's not that we don't care about YOU, or your imminent arrival. I get it, babies are exciting! Especially when it's your first.

It's more that babies are just babies really, and there's not that much difference between boy ones and girl ones apart from the fact that boys can pee on your face while you're changing their nappies.

Even when they get older, you might find that your girl wants to push trucks while your boy plays with dolls. That's cool, each kid is different.

That's why I'm perplexed by this growing trend to make a gender-reveal video, or throw a party specifically to announce whether you are having a Pink Child or Blue Child.

It seems like a whole lot of unnecessary effort for starters, when sitting down with your feet up is far more pleasurable when you're carrying an extra 10kg on your front.

Gender reveals can be damn time consuming, especially if you plan to concoct an insanely elaborate Rube Goldberg machine that runs through your entire house just so you can pop some pink streamers. Top marks for effort, but I'm kind of unclear what you are celebrating. Some gender reveals are just plain dangerous, like this couple who used a rifle to shoot a box of chalk, creating a blue cloud of dust (surprise!).

And just because all the bloggers and Insta celebs are doing it these days, doesn't mean you need to jump on the trend. Insta-mummies do all kinds of crazy things like stand on a stepladder to take photos of their breakfast. They are not exactly a benchmark of normality.


It's also fair to say that, while we love you, a gender reveal party on top of a baby shower followed by a Christening is a lot of parties for someone who can't talk yet. It's like when a bride insists on a destination hens' weekend followed by a kitchen tea followed by a gala wedding. It's expensive and exhausting.

In an age where many are railing against stores for having separate toy aisles for boys and girls and sexist slogans on kids t-shirts it seems strange that our society has invented a new way in which to box our unborn babies in to old-fashioned gender stereotyping. (We also know now, that not all babies are born either a boy or girl, and that some people may not identify with their assigned gender at birth.)

So why the fuss? The truth is, once that baby comes out, you'll realise that parenting is a messy, joyous, hilarious and exhausting ride. That pink or blue bundle will become Olivia, William or Jack and be a unique person in their own right, who your family and friends will come to know and love.

You may even find it silly, once you're knee deep in the parenting trenches, to think that you considered hiring a mobile ultrasound technician to reveal your baby's bits to a crowd right in your own loungeroom, and wished you'd saved that money for childcare fees.

But there is no arguing with women drunk on pregnancy hormones, so if you do want to stage a gender reveal, go right ahead. I'd suggest keeping it to your nearest and dearest and remember that asking for presents is a serious faux pas.

If people decline the event, or don't comment on your Facebook post, take heart. No one will ever care about your baby as much as you do, which is just how it is supposed to be.