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Dear Mr. Dad: My wife and I are expecting our first child. When I found out my wife was pregnant I was so excited. But we just had an ultrasound and found out that the baby is a girl.

All of a sudden, all I feel is disappointment. I know this makes no sense — I should be happy about having a healthy baby, regardless of what the sex is, right? But I was really looking forward to coaching my son’s baseball team and I’m having trouble letting go of that fantasy. To make matters worse, my wife is getting angry at me and is accusing me of not loving her.

What can I do to get back the excitement I had before we found out we’re having a girl?

A: What you’re going through is pretty common. A recent Gallup study found that 40 percent of prospective parents in the U.S. say they’d prefer a boy, 28 percent would prefer a girl, and the rest have no preference. Interestingly, those percentages have been roughly the same for the past 75 years. Digging into the data a bit further reveals that it’s quite different for men and women. Overall, 49 percent of men say they’d prefer a boy (for guys under 50, it’s 54 percent), while women are just as likely to prefer a girl as a boy.

But let’s forget about the statistics and talk about reality. I completely understand your coaching dreams. But as a guy with three daughters, I can assure you that you can have just as much fun with girls as with boys. Coaching my youngest’s softball team was one of the highlights of my life.

Have you thought about why you prefer a boy? Are you afraid you wouldn’t know what to do with a girl? Are you worried that having a girl would somehow make you less manly? Are you worried that with a girl you won’t have anyone to carry on your family name? All of those are common — and perfectly reasonable issues, but you’ve got to get over them. Now.

So spend some time thinking about what’s really going on inside your head. At the same time, go to all the OB visits, hear the baby’s heartbeat, read to your baby (while she’s still in the womb), and learn about your incredibly important role and why it’s so important that you get your head and your heart in the game 100 percent for your future daughter. The more you know, the less you’ll care about the sex of your baby.

Read Armin Brott’s blog at DadSoup.com, follow him on Twitter, @mrdad, or send email to armin@mrdad.com.

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