**Now, before you start reading this let me say this…..if you have girls…I am certainly by no means saying you are less than stellar or have an easy parenting life. I KNOW IT’S NOT. Girls bring their own challenges and teenage girls….well good luck with all that. 😉 You too are a special kind of person so please do not in the slightest bit feel offended. I hold you all in the highest regard. After all, we are all in this together.**
When the universe decides to give a woman nothing but boys it must be the biggest dare or joke ever played. I remember when we found out Gavin was a boy I literally thought I was being pranked because I never pictured myself as being one of those women worthy enough to raise all boys. I’ve always admired moms who just have boys. In my mind they’re strong, fearless, adaptable, smart and courageous. There is nothing happening that you can truly ever relate to fully since you were never a little boy but you try extra hard to understand what is happening in their world and what they are thinking. It requires extra research, lots of practice, a lot less sleep and a heck of a lot of responsibility.
Having boys weighs heavily on my mind. While it is a great privilege to have been trusted enough to bring up good men it can be an often overwhelming thought. It can be difficult to know how to raise a good man when I’ve never been a man myself. I don’t fully understand the challenges they will face and the pressures they will come across. I do understand that as humans we all face similar pressures, no matter what the gender, but it can still be a stretch for me to understand society expectations on young men when I’m still trying to work out my own. I can only navigate how I want to be treated and how I think a man should act and hope that I can relay that in a way my boys will understand, respect, and duplicate. Thankfully, they have the most amazing father who can help me navigate through those times I’m just left shaking my head in confusion.
At the end of the day I do feel like the best parenting is leading by example. I fail at this every. single. day. But it’s not for lack of trying. Kids are so observant and I don’t think there are certain things you can teach. I feel like hard work and respect are one of those things they learn by watching others with those same characteristics. Or at least I hope. If they learn hard work through observation then they’ll be the hardest working men on the planet. Score! haha. As adults, having to be on your best behavior at all times is no easy task. It’s hard when you have all these pairs of eyes watching your every move and little ears listening to every word. It’s easy to let your guard down and forget they are in the room and then you feel days of guilt following whatever you said. I say, we are all human and we all make mistakes and the sooner our kids realize that no one is perfect and that’s part of the process….the better off they will be.
The hardest thing about being a mom to boys is the isolation. I am not going to lie and say that it’s always easy. Being surrounded by nothing but testosterone all day can be rough….sometimes. When I was young I spent my days playing barbies, and having tea parties, and dressing up as a princess and planning my wedding. (Funny, I never got one of those….oh life’s ironies….haha) I loved to ride bikes, and play hockey with my brother and climb trees but deep down I’ve always been the girliest of girls who would rather spend a day in a nail salon than hiking a mountain. I’ve adapted quickly and well…I think. I’ve learned how to play superheroes and I can throw a mean spiral. I still hate the sight of any bug, big or small, but I’ve learned to be in the same vicinity without completely losing my cool….while I convince one of my sons to kill it for me. haha. I’ve traded in my heels for flats and sneakers so I can run around in the backyard searching for fireflies and play a game of basketball. We don’t watch princess shows or movies (minus Frozen) and I’ve learned to accept the fact that I may always be the only one in the house who still thinks Belle and Cinderella are just cool peeps. When I go and get my hair done I go alone and realize that alone time can be okay and lets be real I’ll save a lot of money in the future not having to pay for my daughter’s glam sessions. 😉
Now do I feel really lonely sometimes? Yes, I do. Am I tempted to dress up my boys in dresses and put bows in their hair just so I can tease myself into thinking there is fellow estrogen in the house??? Yes, yes I do. Does this make me unhappy?? No, not even in the slightest. I don’t have a daughter (as of right now) but my heart is too full to be sad. There is so much love in this house and no gender can make that more than it is. At the end of the day, at this moment, I am the single most perfect woman in my kids’ eyes. They still need me, even when I’m a crank, and they still value my hugs and kisses and cuddles. They don’t need me to be the female version of Peyton Manning….they just need me to be nurturing and kind and show them what a good woman is. They need me to be strong when they are not and have the courage to discipline when they have done something wrong. Most importantly they need someone to wash their sweaty, stinky clothes, fix them food, and keep their toothpaste stocked since they can’t seem to use the recommended amount. 😉
I remember a moment when my mother n law passed 2 years ago. She died early on Tuesday morning and that Sunday night before is when I felt her starting to leave us. I had sent my husband home that night to get rest and get our oldest off to school. All Sunday night, my MOL was no longer really “here” and then something remarkable happened. My husband showed up at about 8:30 Monday morning and she came back to us, so completely and fully. He walked into her room and she held out her arms and saw him with as much clarity as she had before she got sick. He laid next to her and she held him and kissed him and told him she loved him. As I stood there and watched I knew that she wasn’t thinking, “Man, I wish I had had a daughter.” or “I sure missed out on a lot by not having girls.” No, in that moment one of her greatest achievements stared back at her and all doubts were washed away. In that moment she knew her journey of motherhood was a “job well done.” I know with every fiber of my being she waited for him. After that moment she did leave us and never came back. I saw the true power of love that morning and not just any love…..but a love between a mother and her son. It has forever changed me.
So, I feel honored to have been chosen to be a mom of just boys. It is overwhelming and I feel most days like I have failed but someday, when the end is near for me, I hope my 3 (maybe 4) boys will take my wrinkly, weak hands and I’ll also know that my journey was a “job well done.”
Mommy loves you, little dudes!