Our sons teach us so many life lessons while we’re raising them, don’t they? From the hilarious (like how to avoid projectile pee) to the heartwarming (like how important we are to them), below are just a few of the truths all moms of boys learn early on. Enjoy!
Lessons & Truths All Moms of Boys Know
Recently, I was talking to a few mom friends about what parenting has taught us. One of my friends has all girls, the other all boys. They were having a friendly-yet-heated debate over which was harder. Since I have both a son and a daughter, they asked me to cast the deciding vote.
Honestly, I don’t think either is more challenging than the other. Different, yes, but my daughter is no easier or harder than my son or vice-versa. There are just as many things that make being a boy mom extraordinary as there are about daughters.
That said, the conversation made me think about the different things both of my kids taught me. Since we’re talking about boys today, here are just some of the “truths” I’ve learned while raising my son. I also asked my other “moms of boys only” friends to chime in, since they may have a different perspective.
1. All boy moms get a crash course in thinking fast on their feet
Do you know how every movie depicting new moms of boys has that scene where she’s changing his diaper and he projectile pees all over her? Until I actually had a son, I always thought those scenes were a joke. Surely boys don’t actually do that, right?
One of the very first lessons my son taught me was just how wrong I was. The second thing he taught me is how to quickly think on my feet (and how to duck & cover!), a lesson that definitely applies not only to other parts of parenting but to life in general.
Oh, and don’t think the “lessons learned from pee” stop coming once they’re out of diapers. You have many more wonderful lessons ahead of you, like how to check a toilet seat BEFORE you sit down. 😀
2. Boys can be just as “dramatic” as girls
I remember coming across a “boy mom truths” post years ago that said something like having boys means you don’t have to deal with as much drama. Well, let me tell you, boys can be just as dramatic as girls!
One of my friends says, “I had to buy a children’s anatomy book to teach my son how blood is made just to prove that he would NOT bleed out and die from a paper cut. So don’t tell me boys aren’t dramatic.”
That said, I never really liked the term “overly dramatic.” Kids have very big feelings and they’re not afraid to show them. I think we could all stand to be a bit more dramatic in that sense, don’t you?
3. Toxic masculinity is a very real issue that you’ll think about a lot
While I think as a society are getting better at recognizing toxic masculinity, it’s still a very real issue, and we moms of boys spend a lot of time thinking about it. Most of us grew up in the age of “boys don’t cry,” or “boys will be boys,” so we had to work to recondition our minds to let go of that junk.
We’re actively looking for ways to make ourselves better so that we can raise happier and healthier sons. That alone makes us far more conscious of just how much toxic masculinity still exists. People will tell you that you’re making your son “too soft,” or raising a mama’s boy. My reply? GOOD! I want my son to know that it’s okay to show emotions, and I truly believe that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with raising a mama’s boy.
Hopefully, we’ll do a good enough job with our kids that our grandsons won’t ever hear the words “real men don’t” in their lifetime.
4. You’ll worry about them just as much as you do/would your daughter
One of the things my “daughters only” friends said is that at least boy moms don’t have to worry so much for their kids’ safety. Yes, statistically, there are more violent acts committed against girls than boys in America, but that doesn’t make me feel any better.
Statistics don’t change the fact that I worry just as much about my son when he’s not with me as I do my daughter. Mothers worry, regardless of their child’s gender. Period.
5. Raising sons comes with great responsibility
One of my favorite quotes about raising boys comes from Shannon Alder. She said, “To be a mother of a son is one of the most important things you can do to change the world. Raise them to respect women, raise them to stand up for others, raise them to be kind.”
I take that responsibility very seriously. As a mom to a daughter, too, I do worry about those statistics I just mentioned above. I want to raise my son to be the kind of man that I’d want my daughter to end up with if that makes sense.
6. A son IS a son for life, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise
I really dislike that old saying, “A daughter is a daughter for life, a son is a son until he takes a wife.” First, it’s complete and utter bunk. I know plenty of adult men who are still just as close to their moms as their sisters are.
Second, it feeds into that bizarre myth that daughters-in-law are born and sworn enemies to moms of boys everywhere. It also keeps us locked in a weird self-fulfilling prophecy cycle. We think our son’s wife is trying to take him from us, so we treat her badly. He doesn’t want to see his wife hurt by your rejection, so he visits less often. Then we say, “See! She took him from us!” Seems kind of unfair, doesn’t it?
Allison McDonald Ace puts it beautifully in her article on Today’s Parent. She wrote,
“What it really comes down to, regardless of sex or gender–or anything else–is the relationship between you and them. What it has only and will only ever be about is your unique relationship with your son. No one else’s negative experience has any bearing on the outcome of your life with your boys. Full stop.”
7. Sometimes, you’ll miss the daughter you never had
This one comes from a “sons only” friend. She said that she sometimes wonders what it would be like to have a daughter. “I wouldn’t trade my son for anything,” she says. “I love being a boy mom. Still, there are moments where I ‘miss’ my non-existent little girl. Does that make me weird?”
Nope, it doesn’t make her weird at all. In fact, a lot of moms of boys only that I talked to say the same thing. They love having sons, but they do have at least fleeting “I wonder what my daughter would have been like” moments. I imagine that girls-only moms feel the same way about boys, too, though.
8. You wouldn’t change a thing
As my friend explains, “When I pictured raising kids, I always pictured daughters. It took me six years to get pregnant, and I was convinced right up until the day of my ultrasound that I was having a girl.
Then Mr. Winky showed up on the screen, and I was a boy mom. Just like that. In that moment, even in my surprise, I knew that I wouldn’t trade him for anything. He was my dream come true, even if the dream threw in a bit of a plot twist.”
If there’s one truth all moms of boys know, it’s this one. If you could go back in time and choose between having a daughter or a son, you’d choose your son over and over and over again.