When I had my second son, one of my first thoughts was “I am officially a boy mum.” Having one son seemed to leave me teetering on the edge of the title, but two made me feel way too close to spending the rest of my life on the bleachers of sporting events decked out in their school colours. I didn’t know then how much different boy mum life would actually be than I envisioned. I also didn’t know then that these boys would answer so many of my questions about how guys work.
I realise I’m making complete generalities, but here are just a few things I’ve observed about my boys that could have helped me out many years ago.
They tend to focus on one thing at a time. Remember all those years waiting for some boy to notice you on the playground while they were in the middle of a focused game of whatever they were playing at the moment? Well they’re not going to notice you, not because they don’t like you but because they’re playing a game right now and they are able to focus solely on that game. They may talk to you later but all that whispering and giggling with your friends is going largely unnoticed because they are playing kickball and the only thing they’re worried about is kicking the ball. This might also be the case 30 years later when you’re telling them what you need from the supermarket while they’re watching a football game.
They are full of emotions too. Girls might generally be attracted to the tough guy but underneath that strong exterior is someone who had to learn how to process his emotions is a way society decided was appropriate. I’ve watched boys struggle not to cry at soccer games and my own sons lock themselves in the bathroom so friends wouldn’t see their tears and tried to help them fight off that stigma that boys shouldn’t cry. When these boys become men they feel all the same things women do but have learned to process it differently because of the way they grew up. An open-crier might not be super attractive to someone on the dating scene but is completely welcome to a mum trying to raise sensitive boys.
They deal with things and then move on. My boys can get in a massive argument with their friends– tears flowing and voices raised– then cool off and play with those same kids an hour later, never to speak of the fight again. They don’t hold grudges or talk about each other with other friends, they handle their issues up front and move on. Believe it or not, when I’m still stewing over the debate my husband and I had two days ago he has already moved on. He actually moved on two days ago!
They love their mummas. Being a boy mum has been full of surprises but none more surprising than the unconditional love these boys have for me. My daughters and I have our ups and downs and they are the first ones to tell me if they don’t like my outfit or the way I said hello but my boys have a love for me like I’ve never experienced. They love unconditionally with so much innocence and I look forward to a future of them growing into young men who make their wives a little crazy when they tell them I can do no wrong.
Having boys has taught me so much about men, the most important of those lessons is that they all began as sweet young boys, loving no one more than their mummas, just wanting to be happy and loved in return.
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