I consider myself a “boy mom.” I have one awesome daughter whom I adore, but I have had three boys in a row and I have been in” boy mode” for almost 9 years. I feel like I am part of a special “boy mom” club. I always bond with moms of boys right away. Most of my good friends are mothers of my sons’ friends. I do have a couple of close friends who are mothers of my daughter’s friends, but most of them also have sons. I feel like they “get” what it’s like to be a mom to boys. I always feel better when my boys have teachers who are moms or dads to sons.
Boys really are, in my opinion, a whole different ball game, no pun intended. As much as I told myself I was going to parent my girl and boys the same way, it just hasn’t worked out that way. I had a lot of preconceived notions about boys before I had them and I have been proven wrong many times. Raising my girl is not what I expected either, but that’s another blog post.
To be honest, I still can’t believe that I have three sons. When I was younger and I pictured my life, it was always with two or three daughters. Maybe that’s because I only had a sister and I wasn’t really around boys growing up. I just never thought about being a mother to boys.
When I was pregnant with my first child, a girl, we didn’t find out what we were having. I never said it out loud, but I REALLY wanted a girl. I planned a girl nursery. I had visions of ruffles, hair bows, dresses, pink, pink and more pink. I would look at little girls and get so excited to have my own. I just HAD to have a girl.
When I gave birth to my daughter, they had to take her quickly to make sure her lungs were clear because she had meconium (she pooped on the way out). For two or three minutes, we had no idea if I had a boy or girl. My husband asked what it was and the mid-wife smiled, “You have a beautiful baby girl.” I sat straight up and screamed, yes, screamed “I GOT MY BABY GIRL!” To say I was excited would be an understatement.
I had my little girl and everything was going according to my “plan”. I became pregnant with my second child and I thought ” Oh, another little girl…smile, sigh” Then we went in for the ultrasound and the technician asked us what names we had picked out. I told her ” Grace…………… oh, and Cooper.” As an afterthought. She checked out all that she needed to and asked us if we wanted to know what we were having and we said, absolutely. She began to type in a name on the screen and she started with C. Hmm,I thought, that was weird, Grace doesn’t start with a C………wait……….Cooper? A boy? I was having a……boy? I immediately started to panic a bit. What was I going to do with a little boy? Boys are wild and rambunctious. Boys are loud and they wrestle. They pee everywhere. They have a penis! What if I had to start watching and liking football??? What would I talk about with a little boy? How would we connect emotionally? I was very naive and a bit sexist, if I’m being honest.
Our first little boy was born and he is beautiful and wonderful. He was followed by two other beautiful and wonderful little boys. Our home was quickly filled not with baby dolls, Barbies, princess dresses,but with trucks, cars, balls, blocks and so on. But, those things were not purchased just for our sons, they were for our daughter as well. My visions of baby dolls, frilly dresses, big bows and pink, quickly flew out the window when my daughter began voicing her opinion. My girl is not now nor has she ever been, a girly girl. No way.
I spent so much money on smocked dresses with matching bows for every holiday or event we had. She would rip out the bow and hike up the dress so she could jump over couches , climb trees or wrestle. The dolls, baby cradles, purses, and shoes went untouched. When she discovered her passion for reading, it wasn’t princess stories she wanted to hear and read, it was adventure and science fiction stories.
My boys are all, indeed, a bit wild and rambunctious. They are loud and they do like to wrestle. They jump off things that are too high. They like to smash things just because. They barrel down the stairs instead of walking. They pee all over the toilet seat and the ding dang floor. They love sports, especially football. Yes, they are all “boy” and they are different from my girl in many ways, but those differences make them wonderful.
I didn’t expect my boys to be tender-hearted or sensitive. They are much more so than my daughter. They love lovin’. They love to cuddle and have “talks” with me. They are caring, sweet and kind. My daughter is all these things as well, but she has more of an edge than my boys do. She has a much more independent attitude than the boys. She’s a tough cookie, and always has been.
My good friend and I have had many conversations about being mothers of boys. We have talked at length about how having sons helps us understand men just a little better. They really can’t help some of the things they do because it’s just who they are. Being the mother of boys helps me understand how hard it is to be a boy today. There’s a lot of pressure on boys to be strong, not to show too much emotion, to “suck it up” and be a” man.” It’s not easy being a girl either, but I knew that. I didn’t understand about being a boy until I had my sons.
As I mentioned earlier, I feel like I’m part of a special “boy mom” club. I can’t tell you how many times, when I am out with my boys, women come up to me to make a comment. Whether it’s, “Hey, I have 2 boys at home.” or ” You remind me of myself 20 years ago. I have three boys.” or “I have 8 grandsons.” Women want to make a connection. I don’t get that when I’m with my daughter.
My husband has four older brothers. Unfortunately, his mother passed away when he was very young and I have never had a chance to talk to her about her experiences as a” boy mom.” There are so many things I wish I could ask her and learn from her. I will always remember what my husband’s grandmother (his mom’s mother) told me when I was pregnant with my first boy. She said ” People always asked Sharon if she wanted a girl. She always answered, ” My boys love me so much. I get to be the queen of the castle.”” I think that is the best description I have heard about being a “boy mom.” My boys do love me, they tell me how great I am and they do treat me like a queen…….it’s good to be queen.