“Boys will be boys.” Can someone please tell me who came up with this saying and why they thought it was okay to give males the excuse to act a certain way because of their sex?
Before kids, I knew I wanted a girl. Someone I could play dress up with, sing with, and someone I could talk to for hours. I imagined lots of laughs and fights and an indescribable bond. And while I had this clear vision of a daughter, the thought of having a boy seemed a lot less comfortable to me. Not because boys are icky or stinky, or something crazy like that, but because I always wondered if I’d be able to connect with a boy.
And then Emory was born and all of those ridiculous thoughts completely vanished. For starters, we bonded the moment he was born. It was instant and I’m so grateful for the relationship we’ve shared since the beginning. Anddddddd he is SUCH a mama’s boy and I’m one of those annoying boy-moms who loves that so much.
The first time I held him in my arms, my perspective on having a boy completely changed and lately, I’ve started to realize how much of a privilege it is to be a boy mom. I see so many great qualities in him already (obviously the ones he gets from me – kidding!) and he’s shown me how much of a blessing it is to teach and help shape him into the person he’ll become.
In a world where power-hungry men are leading our country, the #metoo movement exists, and boys are ashamed to wear their emotions on their sleeve, I can’t help but think that my husband and I have a huge responsibility on our shoulders in raising him. Not only teaching him to be a good person, but also not falling into the “boys will be boys” trap. What a hideous trap it is!
Boys shouldn’t grow up thinking that their actions can be justified because of their sex. Boys shouldn’t be told it’s normal to be crazy, disrespectful, condescending or egotistical because of their gender. Boys shouldn’t have to hide their emotions because it’s more important to “man up” than feel raw or vulnerable. Boys shouldn’t grow up thinking they’re superior to women. Ever.
It’s these skewed and twisted ways of thinking that make my job as a boy mom an important one. Let me clarify, I’m not blaming moms for man problems because at some point, both men and women are going to make their own decisions and become the people they choose to be. But, I do think it’s important for us to make an effort from an early age to try and shift the way boys view themselves and the people around them. It’s the same thing for girls – I hope to teach my daughter to be kind to others and empower her to embrace being a woman.
My interactions with our son, the conversations I have with him, the way I treat his sister in comparison to him will shape him. There’s no doubt. I know he’ll be watching and observing my actions. It’s not only my hope that my husband and I can help shape his heart, but also encourage him to be open with his emotions, fight for equality and just be kind. It’s simple, but it’s tough when society is accepting men who are the polar opposite.
Luckily, he’ll have an extraordinary example in his father and the way he believes in me and ALWAYS treats me with respect.
These next several years, I can only pray that he’ll take what we teach him to heart and find joy in being a good person. Sure, he may play sports, stomp and roll around in the mud and find math interesting (I know, so stereotypical) and even though I have absolutely no interest in any of the things I just mentioned, I’ll be there to support him. At the end of the day, I’m his mom and that relationship in itself will be enough of a reason for us to connect and I’m going to work my butt off teaching him why there’s beauty in being smart, kind and generous.
Here’s to all of the boy moms out there who continue to fight to raise good men! You inspire me and I respect you all SO much.
P.S. How cute is Emory’s shirt from Simple Little Apparel? This shop took the words right out of my mouth.