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After I Read This, I Figured It’d Be Better Not To Know The Gender Of the Baby

After I Read This, I Figured It’d Be Better Not To Know The Gender Of the Baby

Is it a boy or a girl? Everyone will be asking you that as soon as they know your family is expecting a baby. This will continue right up to the birth and then all will be revealed! But only if you have decided not to discover or reveal the gender of your baby. Why on earth would you want to do that?

There are lots of good, sound reasons why. Here are 8 of them.

1. You take a stand against gender stereotyping

If you do not know the sex of the baby, you are keeping things as gender neutral as possible. This can help you concentrate on what type of person your child will be and how you will influence their character when growing up. Ian McEwan is in favor of not finding out the sex either.

Bonding is not affected negatively. When talking about the new arrival, you can refer to your baby as a boy or a girl as the mood takes you. It enriches the expectation that no matter what their sex is, their birth is going to bring great joy.

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In India, where gender is sometimes a matter of life and death, the Supreme Court has ruled that ultrasounds used for determining the sex of a fetus are illegal.

“Girls can wear jeans and cut their hair short and wear shirts and boots because it’s okay to be a boy; for girls it’s like promotion. But for a boy to look like a girl is degrading, according to you, because secretly you believe that being a girl is degrading.” – Ian McEwan.

2. You do not have to worry about a gender reveal party

This will save you a lot of hassle and expense. In addition, you will not be showered with blue or pink outfits, accessories and gadgets.

3. You can have a lot of fun choosing the baby’s name

Now that you have no idea which way it will go, you can both have a great time thinking about possible names. You never have to bother with unisex baby names which are somewhat limited, such as Ashley, Ashton, Leslie, Sydney, Cameron, or Wesley. When planning a boy’s name, bear in mind what he may have to put up with at school. It can be a great weapon for bullies. The choice of a girl’s name is much less restricted.

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4. You cannot totally rely on an ultrasound test

Just in case you are having doubts during the nine month wait, console yourself with the fact that the US is not always 100% accurate. In fact, experts say that there is a margin of error of 15%, as a lot depends on the position of the baby and its movements.

If your medical insurance does not cover this type of test, think of the savings and how they can be spent on your new arrival

5. You will not have to listen to old wives’ tales

Once people know the sex of the baby, they go on and on about your shape and the way you walk. Lots of popular beliefs which go back a long time. The most notorious are those quoted in the Distaff Gospels which date back to 1470. They say that if you start walking with your right foot first, you will have a boy. If you start with the left foot, you will have a girl.

But modern day ‘old wives’ go one better. They pretend to be able to guess the sex by analyzing your morning sickness, heartburn and, of course, the shape of your bump!

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6. You can plan on recycling

Did you know that the parents who decide not to discover their babies’ gender are known as Team Green? They are adding a new color to the scene. Getting away from the pink for a girl and blue for a boy is just the beginning in the mission to make gender more neutral. But it is still controversial and many parents are reluctant to go down the Team Green route, especially for their firstborn.

However, if you do decide to go Team Green, just think of the savings and how you can recycle all this stuff again and again for all those brothers and sisters who will follow. You can use your gender neuter cradle, bedding, stroller and toys again and again.

7. Variations on a theme

Some couples cannot reach an agreement. The father may want to know and book the US and not tell the mother because she does not want to know, or vice versa. Then there is the whole question of what you tell all the curious relatives.

If you want to be traditional, then there is no need to know, like the zillions of parents down the ages. The great thing about it is that there is no gender socialization going on during the pregnancy. It is comforting to know that your child is enjoying nine gender-free months.

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8. Pre-birth gender conditioning is reduced

Mothers who know the sex of their baby address and talk to it differently. They also interpret movements accordingly. Vigorous kicking will be a footballer, if it is a boy. The girl on the other hand will become a brilliant ballerina! The gender role stereotyping has already begun before the baby is even born. This is one the great arguments in favor of not knowing, especially if you think we are too gender oriented as a society.

As we have seen, not knowing the sex of your baby has enormous advantages and can lead to more anticipation, excitement and joy on the big day. It puts the emphasis squarely on what kind of person your baby is going to be, whether it is a boy or a girl.

 

Featured photo credit: Baby Savannah/ Eduardo Merille via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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