Coming from a home with three sisters and practically swimming in an ocean of estrogen my whole life, I had no idea what to do with a boy. When I had my firstborn, boyhood was a complete mystery to me. Having boys and a girl, I can tell you that they require you to tap into two completely different sides of parenting. Both are hard in their own ways. But raising boys is just constant noises, weird smells, and bizarreness. If you’re a boy mom, you know exactly what I mean.
My sister, mom of two girls, is always a little baffled by the boy-ness of her nephews. Once, my youngest had a sleepover at her house, and she called me the next day a little frazzled. Until that night, she didn’t know that a boy slapping bologna on the walls (or their foreheads) was just a regular day at a boy-mom house.
Truths about parenting boys:
Any time they say “Hey, Mama, watch this!” you’re gonna want to just close your eyes. Trust me on this one. You’re going to hear this phrase at least three times a day and if you don’t close your eyes, your heart is going to leap out of your chest every time.
There’s pee everywhere. They take special pride in peeing anywhere that isn’t a bathroom. When they do pee in a bathroom, they will leave their mark anywhere that isn’t the toilet.
They smell like a mix of dirt, worms on the sidewalk in a rainstorm, and wet dog. I can’t explain it, but if you know, you know.
They don’t sit on couches. They flip onto them. They don’t walk, they run, jump, or leap at all times. Even their walk is a slow run.
They see the entire world as their own personal obstacle course and turn everything into a challenge (climbing the door frames, handrails, ceiling fans, at times me).
They really hate brushing their teeth. Even though they do it every single day, they will act shocked when you remind them. They will do pretty much anything to avoid it. You will say, “Let me smell your breath,” on a daily basis.
They jump up to try to touch the top of the doorway. I don’t know what this is about, but it’s universal. Eventually, they’re gonna reach, and you’ll be surprised how proud you are.
If their baseball pants are white, no they’re not. White attire for boys should really just not exist.
They make noise. All the time. Meeps, Bro!, burps, tapping on the table.
It is impossible for them to quietly play a video game, and they have their own weird language. Insert Fortnite and Roblox phrases here: I got 86 honeys! Give me my loot. I need to buy that skin. You’re such a Noob! Go touch grass, bro.
They grow out of clothes in 15 minutes. Those pants fit him at 8:02. Now it’s 8:17, and suddenly they are above his ankles and he can’t button them.
They communicate with their friends through insults. And everybody is just cool with it.
Farts. So many farts. And why are they always so proud of them? And why do they always wait until the entire family is enclosed in the car?
It takes them eight months to poop. This never gets better.
Speaking of poop, they always have to poop at the most inopportune times. Thirty minutes into a long car ride, as soon as the waitress brings an appetizer, when they’re up to bat in a baseball game, right after they jump into the pool.
Their fingernails are permanently black. You can scrub them as much as you want, that black ain’t coming off.
They never slow down to eat and then suddenly realize they’re starving right after they brush their teeth.
They have an uncontrollable urge to throw every single thing that touches their hands.
You won’t be prepared for the heartbreak that comes with realizing their hands are bigger than yours and you have to reach up to hug them.
There is nothing more precious than looking at your boy when he’s asleep (maybe because it’s the only time of day he slows down enough and you’re not in fight or flight mode trying to make sure he stays alive).
They love their mamas fiercely. Even with their tough exterior and wild tendencies, boys have a special kind of love they reserve just for their moms. I feel it when my oldest seeks me out and gives me a small half smile when he’s up to bat in a baseball game and when my youngest jumps into bed with me with a gleeful giggle and then immediately nestles in and melts right into me.
Boys are feral, loud, sticky, and sometimes stinky. They’re all motion and energy. The truth no one tells you about raising boys is that they will push you to the brink of insanity over and over again, but you wouldn’t trade one single second of it.