Growing up, I never had any little boys in my family. We were a family of girls; my sister and I. We didn’t have any boy cousins or really any friends with little brothers that we went on playdates with. I babysat girls. I was a girl. So, when I had my son I had zero experience with little boys. Zilch. But I never really bought into gender stereotypes, so I honestly didn’t think that my lack of experience mattered at all. I had wanted a baby for so long; I didn’t care if it was a boy or a girl. I just wanted to be a mom.
When my little guy was born, I dressed him in all the super cute choo-choo train outfits, “future hockey star” onesies and overalls that we received at my baby shower, but I made a conscious effort not to over “boy” his life. I painted his room light green with forest animal decals. I bought him the same books and soft toys that I bought my nieces.
I played tea party with him with the little pink tea set that I got second hand. I sang him the same lullabies my mom sang to me. It wasn’t really until he turned 2 that I started to notice boy, oh boy, I was a boy mom.
All of a sudden play time became about knocking things over or seeing how fast he could run into things without getting “too hurt”.
Other parents at the playground must think my son’s name is “Be Careful” for all the times I say it. If “danger” is a word in his vocabulary, he sees it as something to jump into rather than something to ignore.
He is CONSTANTLY in motion. Most of the pictures on my phone are of a blur that is my son, running from one activity to the next.
While my girlfriends take their daughters to the salon to get their hair and nails done, I take my son to Home Depot where he can ride in the car cart and make zzzzz noises at the drills on display, then we go to the park not to swing on the swing set, but just to run, to no where in particular, in circles we run and run and run.
We talk about farts, poops and winkies. Apparently the smellier the fart, the more proud you should be of it. My son is quick to take ownership of a fart that smells rancid. A winkie is apparently more entertaining than the bath toys I spent $20 on.
Yes, being a boy mom is like walking into a hurricane with your arms wide open.
My friends who are moms to girls laugh when I tell them these stories and say oh thank goodness I have girls. While I don’t know what it’s like to be a mom to a girl, I can say that I’ve discovered some amazing benefits to being a boy mom:
1 – You become the recipient of the biggest, sweetest hugs. My son runs at me full speed, crashing into my body to deliver his big, squishy hugs. I hold him tight, soaking in every second of him in my arms, knowing in a few seconds he’ll be bolting towards the door crashing into whatever is in his way.
2 – Did I mention that uncontrollable energy? Boys have a tremendous amount of energy and they need to expend it or else they will tear your house apart piece by piece. Everything is an object to be climbed on: couches, tables, laundry baskets, mom’s filing cabinet. Daily activities may include jumping on beds, building pillow forts on the couch then crash into them to knock the pillows down. I was never a rambunctious kid. I was more a sit on the couch and read a book kind of girl, so being a boy mom sometimes feels like having a second chance at childhood. Some days I think I have more fun playing tag around the dining table than my son does.
3 – Along with that exuberant energy comes an enormous heart. In the midst of being the most rambunctious, roughest, toughest boy, my son will suddenly surprise me with the softest, kindest words. One day while riding his bike at full speed, he stopped to pick up a stick from the ground. Our dog loves to walk with sticks in her mouth and the bigger the stick, the better. My son picked it up and said in the sweetest voice “I think Zoey will really love this big stick. I’m going to bring it home for her”. Oh, melt my heart, would you?
4 – You never have to hold in a fart. According to my son, you’re the coolest mom ever if you let one loose. And you’re even cooler if you immediately take ownership of said fart.
5 – I was never a sporty person, but my son is into EVERY sport. Basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer. If there’s a ball involved, he’s there! He’s forced me to come off the sidelines and play. My favourite moments are when his face beams with pride when I actually manage to get a ball into a net.
While I watch my son fling a superhero cape over his dinosaur shirt and run out his bedroom door yelling “I’m super boy!”, I think about my nieces dressed in their adorable puffy dresses with their hair tied in cute little pig tails. Then I leap off the floor and run towards my super boy, pick him up, swing him in the air and we both come crashing onto the couch belly laughing.
I wouldn’t trade being a boy mom for anything!