‘My boys aren’t a consolation prize – they’re equally as precious as their sister’

‘Girls wreck your head, boys wreck your home,’ I was assured

 Jen Hogan with her daughter Chloe and six sons  Adam, Noah, Zach, Tobey, Luke and Jamie in their home in Co Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

Jen Hogan with her daughter Chloe and six sons Adam, Noah, Zach, Tobey, Luke and Jamie in their home in Co Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne

“At least you have a girl” is one of the comments I hear most frequently, when people get over the initial shock of my numbers, and move forward to asking about gender divide. The announcement that I have six sons has been enough to send many an unsuspecting question-poser floundering in recoiled horror.

I’ve never been quite sure if it was a general aversion to boys or if a perceptual difficulty with my uneven gender balance was enough to provoke such a tailspin.

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