Raising Boys: 10 Things No One Told Me

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raising boys

Raising boys. Some say it’s easier, because they aren’t as dramatic as girls. Some say it’s harder because they are so much more active. I say . . . it’s pretty awesome. I love my boys (I have three), but there are some things no one ever thought to mention to me about being a boy mom.

1. Boys Are Emotional

I grew up with all sisters and I know how emotional girls can be. I fully expected boys to be more stoic and less prone to crying over stuff or getting upset about silly things. Turns out, boys are just as emotional at times. The trick is to embrace that and not tell them to man up. There will be plenty of time for that later and a guy who can cry over a sad movie is not the end of the world. Raising boys means being sensitive, too.

Raising boys2. Raising Boys Will Give You Heart Attacks

I swear 99% of my grey hairs are from these boys leaping off of things. My middle son actually climbed up a ladder and onto the bathroom roof when he was a year old. He couldn’t even walk properly yet, but he sure could climb! I’m pretty sure these guys live to give me adrenaline spikes. Fortunately, we’ve figured out how to harness some of that danger addiction and to go with it, like when I let my kids play with matches.

3. They Might Hate Math

All my life, I heard that girls were good at language and boys were good at math. Stereotipical? Yes, but it was kinda ingrained in my head. Then I had my kids. My firstborn is an ace at math. The second? Well, he got his mom’s abilities with numbers. In other words, the poor kid is doomed. He’d much rather read a book on the Titanic than do any kind of math problem, even the easy ones. Fortunately, the little one appears to be going the math path.

4. They’re Motivated by Muscle

Want a boy to eat his spinach? Tell him it will make him strong and give him muscles. It’s amazing how well this works. My kiddos ended up at least trying a ton in order to get those coveted muscles. Maybe some girls are, too, but I know I never would have eaten green beans just for muscles! Obviously, some kids are pickier than others, but so many times, raising boys became easier by simply telling them they could have muscles like Superman or Batman if they ate right.

5. They Talk. Nonstop.

I have three sisters and when we’re all together, it’s all about the chattering. All the men I’ve met seem to be less inclined to talk as much as women, but you’d never know it from listening to my boys. No one ever told me that raising boys would be so much listening! They never stop. All three of them talk to me at the same time and give me whiplash. If I’ve been working in my room for an hour, I need only open my door and they’re all babbling away. And they’ve done that since they started talking.

6. They Are Protective

I’ll never forget walking down the streets of Santiago, Guatemala, with my kiddos and a man came over and grabbed my arm. He wanted to ask for money, but to my then 4 year old, he was a threat. That tiny boy planted himself in front of the man, arms crossed, face fierce, and yelled, “Don’t you TOUCH my mama!” The man apologized and left us alone. Since then, I’ve seen that protective side rear up in many situations, not just with me, but with their brothers and friends. It seems to be programmed into their DNA to protect the ones they love.

Raising boys

7. They Fight

All kids fight. I know I fought with my sisters, but I was not prepared for the level of physicality that boys fighting takes on. The first time I heard the sound of flesh hitting flesh and ran in to find my small children pounding on each other with tiny little fists, I was horrified. I did everything I could to stop it, but the fact is, when they argue and things get too crazy, they always end up wrestling, punching or something similar. It’s not something I like, but their father assures me it’s normal.

8. They Get Over Stuff Fast

Girls tend to hold grudges. We also like to dredge up stuff from the past during our arguments. I was ready for that with my boys, but nope. Those fights I just mentioned? Those happen to erase everything that has happened between them, never to be mentioned again. These boys clear the air and then they’re best friends again. I kinda wish I could do that.

9. Penises Are Everything

From the time they’re born, boys are all about the penis. They talk about it.They play with it. They do weird things to it. As the oldest of all girls, I had no idea this was a thing with raising boys. It was bizarre to me that they would be so obsessed with a part of their body, but there you have it. Men are just little boys in bigger bodies, it seems. And there is an innate need to fixate on that particular body part. Get used to being flashed if you’re a boy mom, because it will happen often and eventually, you just get immune to it.

10. They Love Their Mom

Okay, this was kinda said when I was pregnant, but I never realized just how incredible a little boy’s love can be. It’s amazing to have them glom onto you (though somewhat annoying at times) and see how they just adore you as much as you adore them. I’ve never had a little girl, but man, little boys are awesome. My five year old’s favorite thing to say right now is “I love you forever!” about fifty million times a day. He’ll literally stop playing and run in to tell me. This may well be the best part of raising boys.

 

What did you learn about boys that no one told you before you started raising boys?

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8 Comments

  1. I loved your article. I, too, am raising a boy. Not three like you! I also have a girl. I think it’s interesting that all these gender stereotypes that we grow up with and internalize we also unconsciously place on our children and the world teaches them the same too. We’re taught that boys shouldn’t be emotional, so we are surprised when they are. We are taught that boys should be better at math and are surprised when they aren’t. Research has shown that abilities between girls and boys is exactly the same. Yet, gender stereotypes exist. Anyway, thanks for reminding me to let my kiddos be who they are, not what the world or I want them to be!

    • So true! I realize as I raise these guys that there are so many things I was told as a child that simply aren’t true. It’s stuff you internalize without ever realizing it.

  2. This was great!! I have two little boys so far, ages 3 and 11 months, and I have already discovered several of these (like #2, #4, and YES #9 😉 ).

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