I never realized the true differences when it comes to having a baby girl and a baby boy; stores are so much more focused on girls. This has been extremely eye opening for me now that I have a baby boy after having had two girls. One of the most vivid examples of this came when I was shopping for baby boy shoes and realized I was in a completely different world.
You will never hear me complain that our family was blessed with a little man to carry on the family name or protect his older sisters somewhere down the road. But, it was an about-face for my thinking and shopping habits from what I was used to. With little girls, there is quite the variety and selection when it comes to just about everything you can imagine from clothing to hair accessories to accessories to dress up a room. This is not the case with boys; although there have been a great increase in the amount of choices for baby boys, it pales in comparison to girl’s choices.
Believe me, I’m not one that absolutely has to have everything pink and purple for my girls and blue for my boy. I was extremely lucky to receive a lot of neutral colors for our oldest daughter’s baby shower due to the fact that we didn’t find out her gender until she was born. So, I have been able to reuse many of her outfits with our son and not feel guilty about any of it.
We did find out the gender of our son before he was born, I think because I had a little inclination that he wasn’t going to be a she and I need the time to let that settle into my brain. And, I did need that extra couple of months to pack up the pretty dresses and all the bows that he wasn’t going to wear, plus purchase a couple of bowties that would help him look like a little gentleman for special occasions.
But, when it came to shoe shopping, this is where I felt like I was completely challenged and out of my element. With my daughters, I would have a dress or outfit in mind when I went out shopping, so I knew the color that I was aiming to find or the cuteness factor that I was going for in the bling. So, when I walked through the baby boy’s section of the shoe store and found that black and brown were common for a more formal looking shoe and everything else was either a sandal or tennis shoe, I was stumped.
I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised, my husband doesn’t have 15 different colors of shoes, nor does he have to have three different kinds of black shoes for church dress. But, my mind had a hard time grasping the fact that I could buy a couple of different pairs of shoes and they would be more than sufficient for all the outfits that my son would be wearing.
This may sound absolutely hilarious to some of you, and I’m okay with that. I grew up with all the frills and bows that most girls did. I was of the mindset that pink was almost an absolute necessity for everyday wears (okay, I may be exaggerating that just a bit, but I was a girly-girl!). Now, I am faced with a whole new pallet of colors, restricted by the available choices and having my husband laugh at me when I couldn’t navigate my way through Amazon.com without having a small emotional breakdown that there was nothing to buy.
Now that I have about 16 months behind me with this new young man in my life and figured out that he isn’t going to remember any of the things that he wore or the fact that one time I had him in a purple t-shirt with a unicorn on the front because it was all that was clean that day, I have much better perspective.
In fact, from what I understand from friends and family members that have boys, shopping when they are older is much easier than it is for girls. Girls tend to say things like, “That isn’t the right color pink!” or, “I wouldn’t be caught dead in with that t-shirt!” My nephews are younger and love any superhero t-shirt and will wear it until you have to peel it off of them. I think I like the fact that I could buy my boy just about anything and he will wear it, however, peeling it off of him does make my stomach churn just a little!
And, when it comes to shopping for baby boy shoes, I’m not so overwhelmed in either the stores or online; although, I do get distracted very easily, and end up purchasing shoes for my girls and me, even though I’ve been told we all have enough pairs of shoes to last to the eternities, but that’s just me!