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If I'm being honest, I wanted girls. This is funny, because I am the mother of four beautiful little boys.
It’s not that I don’t absolutely adore my boys, it’s just that I really struggle to understand them.
I am the type of person who cannot function in a cluttered environment, insects and animals scare me, I prefer to stay inside, and I really, really thrive in a calm and peaceful atmosphere.
And although boys can be pleasant and quite clever, they never, ever stop moving or making noise. I know there are boys out there that don’t fit the mold. They enjoy coloring, or wearing matching clothes, or brushing their mom’s hair. Unfortunately, none of my boys broke the mold. And while I still have LOTS to learn, here are a couple of scraps I can throw to other new or soon-to-be moms of boys.
Pick your fashion battles.
Just this morning I picked out an “athletic” outfit for Dan, our kindergartner, to wear to school. However, when we got to the door Dan decided he wanted to wear his cowboy boots. I tried reasoning with him that sweatpants and cowboy boots “don’t go together.” And he, of course, didn’t care. I didn’t waste my energy. He is now at school with sweat pants and cowboy boots and I am working. It doesn’t even matter, I am not there to witness his fashion catastrophe.
*Cowboy boots and pajamas are also okay at our house.
Allow messes to happen.
Because usually you have the option between two things: kids playing and making a mess, which makes them happy and quiet. Or, a clean house where your kids will run around and fight each other. Some days I choose clean, some days I choose quiet. I’m a little adventurous and like to mix things up a bit.
Put them to work.
I am not awesome at this because I am a perfectionist, but my husband is a master. My boys are never happier than when they feel like they are accomplishing something, whether it’s scooping snow outside or helping with the dishes.
Get comfortable with the outdoors and sports.
Like I previously said, I really don’t like being outside. So, I find ways to make it a little more bearable. We live in the country where insects and garter snakes are abundant in the summer so I purchased a big trampoline with a safety net. When it’s nice out we go out there and jump, lay on blankets, play games, and have picnics that are snake- and insect-free.
Penis issues start early.
You would be absolutely shocked the things I have googled about baby penises. Here are a couple of things I now know. First, when a baby gets really chubby, it’s possible to look like his penis has disappeared. Second, be careful when changing poopy diapers. Boys like to grab, scratch, and play with their penis...even if it is covered in poop. And lastly, boners come way earlier than you would think.
*This is not me. But, I'm about 80 percent sure this woman is googling, "Help! My son's penis is inverted and looks like a cheerio." Looks like she got good news, too!
6. For a long time, pee will be all over everything. AND, it smells. For some reason boy urine is 10,000 times more potent than girls'. I have no advice for this other than to have the bleach handy. Just be comforted knowing all boy-moms are going through the same thing.
7. Boys can be emotional too. You would think one of the many upsides of having boys would be a lack of irrational emotions. This is completely untrue. I have witnessed my boys losing their sh*t over absolutely nothing. In fact, this probably happens daily.
What have you found true of raising boys? What advice has been helpful?
This post was originally published in February, 2017.
Photo credit: Whitney Barthel, iStock
Opinions expressed by parent contributors are their own.