What is it like to be a mom of all boys?
The dictionary defines a boy as “a noise with dirt on it.” You guys, I’m just kidding!! That’s not the dictionary’s definition, but it is a good one! Raising boys can be very noisy, messy, rough & tumble, and completely wonderful , all at the same time. You may have also heard the expression, “boys are a lot less drama, but harder to keep alive.” I think it’s true that boys and girls seem to be wired very differently.
As a boy mom, I try to think about how to best engage my young men in whatever activity we are attempting, whether it be learning new words, baking cookies, doing experiments, or otherwise. I have found a few tricks to capture their attention. If it has to do with dinosaurs, they are in! If they get to pretend to be pirates or knights who are conquering new lands, they are all about it. And if they also get to throw or smash things in the process, even better! These are some of the things that really spark their interest, and capture their imaginations. While some of these interests may appeal to girls, there have been several occasions in our past when they have definitely not.
My boys have received some funny looks when behaving as boys tend to do: roaring like little dinosaurs at the playground, talking like pirates at the store, seeing something interesting and wanting to stomp on it... My boys like to do things that don’t necessarily hold the same appeal for their female counterparts. Sometimes they are too rough. Sometimes they are too loud and sometimes girls don’t even know what to think, but they are just TOO MUCH! Especially when they were younger, my boys would rarely sit down to engage in a quiet activity for an extended period of time. Gently taking care of stuffed animals or dolls is not something they have ever found exciting...but launching them over the stair-rail to crash to the tile below - now that’s fun! It’s no wonder that their friends often choose not to let the boys play with their favorite toys, and I can’t say I blame them. I think the challenge we face as BoyMoMs is how we can discourage our sons from being rough and tumble, while still encouraging them to be adventurers, explorers, and leaders. We somehow have to find that perfect balance of correcting without stifling, supporting without overindulging. It is a daily challenge!
I won’t pretend I’ve got it all figured out. I occasionally still find myself apologizing for my boys’ behavior when I receive funny looks from strangers. At the same time, I am extremely grateful for those supportive and understanding nods I receive from fellow parents of boys. I am equally grateful when parents of girls show forgiveness for toys that are suddenly broken, houses that are instantly messy, and games that morph into rougher versions than their original forms. I think the very best thing I have learned from having all boys is that understanding and acceptance is a gift that brings joy to both giver and receiver. Supporting each other despite our differences is the goal, and when we can do that, everyone benefits.
Through supportive friendships within FWMoM, we not only have the best of friends, but we even get to experience the best of both worlds! As much as I love being a BoyMoM, I occasionally feel a pang of regret when missing out on an experience. Don’t get me wrong, there are many things you can do with both boys and girls, but there are a few exceptions. For my family, I feel like we have missed out on: Daddy-daughter dances, shopping for the cutest clothes and jewelry, sporting matching Mommy-daughter dresses, and all things Disney-princess. Dance recitals would be another exception on my list, however, we actually got to participate in this unique experience through our friendship with another family. This photo of my boys taking flowers to their best friends’ recital says it all!
We cherish all the memories made on playdates, from dress-up and playing house to chopping everything in sight with stick “swords.” I am so thankful for the doors that have been opened to my family through our relationships, and it is my wish that the same would happen for your family. We truly are better together, and this tribe of Mothers of Multiples is evidence to that fact!
So, even though I have all boys and will never know the beauty and challenges that come with parenting girls, I love how full our lives have become as a result of fostering great relationships. I love being a BoyMoM, and wouldn’t trade it for anything. I hope you all will attend playdates and watch your kids grow together , as you also form bonds with all of the other BoyMoMs, GirlMoMs, & BestOfBothWorldsMoMs!!
Ashley is a 5 year member of FWMoM, and current serving on the board as Past President. Ashley & Scott have been married for 10 years. Their identical twin boys, James & Timothy, are 5 years old and both very excited to be attending kindergarten!