I have 3 boys, and that makes me what I’ve been since my first son was born: a mum of boys. I’m often seen out and about with the 3 of them on my own – at the park, at school, grocery shopping, at football practice, swimming lessons, at the airport… You name it. And we seem to attract a lot of comments. Let’s face it though, not all of them are welcome.
Boys will be boys
Son: “Mamma, James kicked me in the face today at school!”.
Bystander mum: “Ah! Boys will be boys!”
What does that even mean? That we’re supposed to give up on them? That because they’re boys we’re just going to accept that they will get into fights, be rough with their friends and get hurt?! They are CHILDREN. They are human beings. They’re not just about fighting, making up poo jokes, peeing on the toilet seat and picking on their friends (but yes, they do do those things). Had James kicked a little girl in the face, said little girl’s mum would have been marching to the Head Teacher’s office straight away! So don’t tell me that boys will be boys please. It sounds patronising and like there’s no hope left for any of them. The boys I’m raising, in fact, will be your children’s boyfriends and husbands one day, so if you want them to grow into kind, decent human beings, help me try not to stereotype them, and they might just become the great men that I know that they will be.
You need to try for a girl
I don’t need to try for anything, thank you very much. We wanted 3 children, and 3 children we have. We couldn’t be happier with our bunch of little guys (as I’m sure you couldn’t be happier with your own bunch of children, whatever gender they might be), so no, I don’t need to try for a girl. I don’t need a girl to make me feel better about life or fulfil some sort of deeper need. In fact, I don’t even know what I supposedly, specifically *need* a girl for! I’d be delighted if I had a little girl, of course, and I’d love her just as much as I love any of my children, but I’m pretty sure that I can do most things in life with my boys, and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything, thanks.
Crying is for girls
Just DON’T. SAY. THAT. To MY boys. EVER. I might just not be in control of how I react the next time I hear this. So let’s think about this one for a minute. We moan about men who are too quiet, talk too little, are not in touch with their emotions and cannot express their feelings, and yet when they’re little boys growing up we tell them that their feelings, their daily ‘dramas’ are not worthy of being validated because a little boy is never to cry?! Really?! When they’re hurt, upset, angry, whatever, and they feel like crying, my boys have my blessing to do so, and I’ll be there and do my best to help them through it. So thank you very much for trying to help me stop my child from crying, but that’s just not how we like to do it, thanks.
You have lost so much weight – they must keep you busy
No s*** Sherlock! Wouldn’t any 3 children keep any mum busy? You don’t necessarily have to be a mum of boys to be busy, do you? I work part-time, look after the house and my children before and after work during and generally every minute of their awake times, and often I’m still running around when they’re all asleep. So yes, like most mums, regardless of how many children they have and what gender their children are, I am busy. I do run around, I clock a lot more steps when I’m with them than when I’m in the office, and I’m pretty sure that you think I’ve lost weight because you’ve mainly seen me pregnant or with a young baby in the last 7+ years, so yes, if I’ve lost weight it’s because I’m finally not pregnant and my youngest is nearly 2! But thanks – I’ll take it as a compliment.
Are you being naughty? (to the boys)
Ah, that word – a personal bugbear of mine! Why do we need to label children all the time? And yes, naughty isn’t the end of the world, but why do you feel the need to ask MY child (or are you really asking me?) if they’re disobedient and badly behaved? My children are A LOT of things, and they’re not perfect. Sometimes they don’t listen, just like yours. Girls do that too, you know? More often than not, my boys are just being children – happy, lively, running around, messing around with their brothers and letting off some steam. I spend most of my time with them, and I don’t call them naughty, so I’d really appreciate it if you didn’t either.
So next time you see me with my boys, ask me what they are like. Ask me what they like. I could tell you how different they are and how they like different things. I could tell you that they make me so proud and happy and then drive me insane the next minute, but I wouldn’t change them for the world, so please don’t try and label us or give us tips to change our situation – we are happy just as we are, just as YOU are.
Are you a mum of boys? What kind of comments do you get all the time? And how do they make you feel?