In about two months from now I will be the proud father not just one child anymore, but two. Currently we have one wonderful boy and the next one according to the ultrasounds will be a little girl. When I was telling my family when we first found out, my dear sweet grandmother congratulated me on a “Million Dollar Family”.
Sadly, I had hoped it would mean she was going to give me a million dollars, but that wasn’t the case. As the announcements went on to friends and co-workers, this term was used again and again. Mostly by baby-boomers and plus in age. It was a bit of a head scratcher because I didn’t quite understand what the meaning behind it was. It all sounded a bit mean to say that couples with two sons or two daughters got the poor end of the stick.
So as any avid internet use would do, I ran it through the search engines. The first result I was given made sense to the old days, and why someone like my Irish-born grandmother would use such a term.
The Rich Man’s Family
One son–to inherit and rule the estate…no brothers are needed to work the fields or run the business (because you’re rich) so best deal is not to have second and third sons who will not receive a birthright and will skulk around, envious, making trouble
One daughter–to marry a powerful ally’s son and spread your power and influence
That is pretty much the only “origin” type of description I could find floating around on the web. The odd thing is that during my search, I still found many forums of parents ranting about how they received this exact same comment, creating the same feeling I have about families that have same gender siblings. Some were even getting this same comment after having 2 or 3 of their previous children being the same sex and the new child finally being different. So this expanded the theory of that million dollar family to include unlimited amount of children until one comes out different.
Taking an interesting turn on this, UK site bounty.com posted this article back in 2011 where they surveyed 2,116 their readers to come to the conclusion that having two girls is the ideal combination for a happy family, making this point:
“Two girls rarely annoy their parents with too much noise, confide in their parents and are unlikely to wind each other up or ignore each other.”
I say it’s all in the eye of the beholder. It’s not like we can sample different combinations and find out what is the best, and at the end of the day you have been blessed with your family and that is what should be the key to your happiness. How the children behave should not depend on their gender combination, but how you as parents are raising them.
With all of that being said, there is reasoning to using this term. It’s not to point out the fact to you finally had a boy, or that you have less rivalry between two of the same sex. It’s about getting the best of both worlds. I read a wonderful article written by a father of a bride-to-be. It really encompasses what the true meaning of this phrase is by describing how he watched and experienced his boy and girl growing up.
I’m delighted to be graced with another child soon, and for all the people who asked me what I want(ed) it to be, I did want a girl. I grew up in a dual-boy family and my wife has the opposite with having one sister. But if it was another boy, I would still feel the same and never look back at what could have been different. I will always truly feel rich with all the times my son looks up at me and says “I love you daddy” for no reason except to express that feeling, and I will be truly wealthy if my daughter follows that same path.