I’m a boy mom.
As someone who hates labels, I’ve finally accepted this one.
All kids test your patience. Boys seem to do it ways that are loud and involve jumping off furniture. They don’t have an older sister to keep them in line or a younger one to protect. Our boys have each other to pick on, fight with, and run my patience razor thin.
If you’ve ever felt like there’s something wrong with your son, it’s probably not the case.
Here’s what I’ve learned as a boy mom
People Will Judge You – Let Them.
Maybe your boys are wrestling at Target (I have experience in this). The judger gives you disapproving looks. Ignore the judger. The fellow boy mom nods in solidarity because she’s been there. And, the grey-haired boy mom stops to tell you you’re doing a good job and shares a story about her own sons.
Fighting, Wrestling, Boxing – and Everything in Between
It’s normal. You can try to stop them but it’s easier to let them go. I was Christmas shopping a few years ago when our boys were little. A dad and two high-school-age boys were messing with each other in line behind me. I said, “I have two sons and I guess the fighting won’t stop?” The boys looked at me and laughed, confirming my assessment. Dad rolled his eyes – a gesture that told me he’d given up on the fighting years ago. Their story made me feel better!
Every Surface is up for Grabs
They hang from the door trim (it’s Ninja Warrior training, duh). Couch arms are for jumping off and counters are for climbing. They’re not sure why touching jars of spaghetti sauce in the cupboard is a problem. Throw pillows turn in to forts. The living room is a football field perfect for a pass rush and the basement floats between a baseball diamond, soccer field, and boxing ring. I don’t have a lot of breakable things and tend to decorate with cheap stuff!
Someone will get your kid a Nerf gun. Or, you’ll cave like I did – it’s all they wanted from Santa! I made a rule they’re only allowed in the basement – until dad was home solo and engaged in an all-out battle. In shoes, under the rug, between the cushions and somehow, in the sink are all places darts have been found.
A Fashionably Awkward Boy Mom
This one is all about me. I have this irrational fear my fashion sense will become an odd pairing of athleisure wear and bling. It’s why I follow people like @bybmg – she has all sons, is a fellow contributor, and always looks great! Surround yourself with good girlfriends – both online and in person.
Cook With Them
Let them in the kitchen as soon as they can dump a measuring cup into a bowl. It’s a really fun way to connect (and teach them life skills!). Our seven-year-old gets mad if I peel and cut potatoes without him. Yes, cooking with kids is messy but it’s worth it!
It would be adorable to have one of those perfectly-dressed little boys with the cute hats and bowties. This is not my boy mom reality. I buy Old Navy athletic pants in bulk because my boys hate jeans. Most clothes end up with holes in them.
Sometimes, I am at work before they’re dressed and I see them after school. Good. Grief. There is no planet where the outfit they have on looks good and yet? Here we are. I shake my head and let it go. I bribe them for church and weddings. The rest of the time, it isn’t worth the battle.
My five-year-old and I go on “cake dates” at Provisions. My seven-year-old likes Starbucks. I take them out solo a few times a year. The one-on-one time away from the other brother is nice for them and for me! It reassures me they’re not totally ridiculous all the time and can actually sit down for a conversation.
No matter how much they fight and say they don’t like each other, what we call “Team Brother” always shows up in little ways. It’s a quick hug, pride when the other brother does something new, grabbing for the other one’s hand when they cross the street and chatting about their favorite show before bed.
As your boys get older, you might feel like you’re doing something wrong. I’ve been there! Why are they loud? Can’t they just color quietly at the restaurant? Do they have fashion sense? And, why can’t they keep their dang hands off each other?!
Then, I talk to another boy mom and we swap stories. It’s a good reminder that my kids are doing okay – because her boys are doing the same things!