Being the mother of two awesome sons is the best thing since… the Barbie Dream House.
I have a confession to make. When I was younger and imagined myself as a mom, I thought it would be cool to have a boy, but I really, really wanted a little girl. I wanted to dress her in pink, play with her hair, have mother-daughter heart-to-hearts, and, of course, play with our — I mean her — Barbie Dream House.
My grandmother had also wanted a girl desperately. First, she gave birth to my oldest uncle. Three years later, along came my dad. When another three years passed she tried again for her girl, and along came the next… identical twin boys. The week before she passed away she told me she wanted to try for a daughter one more time, but my grandfather nipped that in the bud.
The stories of that chaotic household — from the massive quantities of food she prepared daily, to the foot-long list of dogs that came and went for a wide variety of reasons, to the time she dumped all of their laundry on the driveway and made them all go sort it and put it away — scared me to death. So when I made it to the two boy sector of child-birthing, I called it quits. I know how my life generally works and if I had tried again I feel pretty certain twin male-children it would have been. Two boys are fantastic. Four would have done me in.
So I will admit to having a few years in there where I had to mourn the notion of ever having my little pig-tailed girl by my side. Except then something magical happened.
I realized that not only was I a boy-mom, but that I loved it! All children are a blessing and I would have loved a girl just as much, but I have grown to cherish the experience of raising these two men-to-be.
Here are just 10 of the reasons why being a boy mom rocks:
1) The hugs. Boys give so many wonderful, cozy, phenomenal hugs!
2) Other boy moms. They get it. There is a sort of camaraderie — a “We’re too deep in the trenches of fart jokes and butt flashing to care about the latest gossip” attitude — that makes for cherished, easy friendships and understanding.
3) Finally getting some hands on insight into the other side of the coin. Talking to my boys about their crushes, friendships, physical changes, and emotional experiences of all kinds is always mind-expanding encounter in the best possible way.
4) Experiencing the vast differences between who boys can be and what they may like as it shifts from child to child on a daily basis. Watch — truly observe — a gang of 3 year old boys move from preschool to elementary to middle school together and you will see every shade of masculinity unfold, fluctuate and re-shift before your very eyes. It is beautiful.
5) Never having to part with my favorite pink blanket. Or pink pillow. Or pink anything. It is their kryptonite.
6) Always getting first choice of whichever female character I want to be when playing video games, action figures, legos or anything else. I am aware this point and the one above about pink vary from boy to boy, and honestly, if either of boys loved pink or wanted to be Wonder Woman I would gladly hand them my blanket and bullet-proof bracelets. (Never the Lasso of Truth though. ALL moms need to hold onto that.)
7) Finding it impossible to grow bitter in relation to men as a whole. No matter how many times it doesn’t work out, I always remember it was about me and that particular man, not about men in general. How could I ever place blame on a gender when I know the beauty that exists in these two boys?
8) Broadening my understanding of feminism, men’s rights and gender-related issues on the whole. This list represents the favorite parts of MY experience as a boy mom. It does not define what it is like to parent every boy who exists. I look back on the women’s rights movement I grew up inside of in the 70s and see where Gen X men and women like myself currently benefit and suffer as a result, and it inspires me to do my part to effect positive change.
9) I have to constantly learn and challenge myself in ways I never expected. Never having experienced what it was like to be a boy in middle school, I had no idea what kind of drama to expect. I will tell you now that anyone who says, “Oh, you are so lucky to have boys because there is no drama!” is someone who, well, has never had boys. The drama is so very different than girl drama, though, and they keep me on my toes. Which is awesome, since I always wanted to be a ballerina anyway.
10) Being a boy mom is being a mom. Period. And that simply rocks.
P.S. I still want my Barbie Dream House.
Photo credit: courtesy of the author.