What Raising Boys Taught Me

They’re loud, they’re busy and they have a love for their moms like no other, welcome to the world of raising little boys

raising boys

From the time I saw those two pink lines appear on our pregnancy test my husband and I made a pact that we wouldn’t find out the gender of our baby. That said, for nine long months I was pretty sold on the fact that I was having a little girl. My reasoning was simple; I’d grown up with a sister, my mom was one of three girls and all the cousins closest to my age were, you guessed it, girls. It was pretty much a given, right?

It wasn’t that I was opposed to having sons, I’d just never really thought about my own tribe consisting of little boys. So when our first son was born almost six years ago I couldn’t actually believe he was mine, let alone a gorgeous little boy that would make my husband and I the family unit we’d longed for. By the time baby number two had rolled around I was once again overwhelmed with all the girl vibes. I even had little old ladies on the street and by the office watercooler telling me that all signs pointed to a little pink bundle. But as my husband boldly announced, “it’s a boy!” as our second son made his entrance, I distinctly recall asking him in my state of post-delivery delirium if he was 100 percent sure. How could those little old ladies get it so wrong?


By no means am I an expert on raising boys but what I am certain of is, they are destined to keep you on your toes. They’ll also be sure to say completely inappropriate things at completely inappropriate times, like why do babies come out of a vagina while you’re unpacking your trolley at the grocery cashier.


From where I’m sitting no one knows exhaustion quite like a mother of boys. From the minute they wake until their little heads hit the pillow it’s go-time. Cars, trucks, banging, clanging, yelling, climbing and running; in short, Elon Musk could power a fleet of Teslas for a year with the energy harnessed from a morning spent with a pair of rowdy brothers. Oh, and did I mention they’re loud? Even when we attempt a ‘quiet activity’ – like, say, craft – what begins with the best intentions often looks like the aftermath of what can only be described as a tornado in the middle of a Monster Truck demolition derby. Creative, yes. Serene, definitely not.


I will never truly understand the appeal of toilet humor. Perhaps it’s biology or the fact that living in a home with three boys (husband included) there’s only so many fart jokes I can truly appreciate. Add in the age-old toilet seat debate, learning to aim, catching them casually peeing in the bushes at school or holding onto their precious cargo for more hours a day than I care to acknowledge makes learning how to flush seem like a very minor issue.


If one thing raising boys has taught me, it’s that repeating yourself is a given, although I suspect this one is non gender specific. There have been many moments where I’ve been left wondering about the state of my children’s hearing, so much so that I’ve spent countless hours with Dr Google typing in phrases like ‘signs of childhood hearing loss’. Surely no one has the resolve to completely ignore a person who has asked 20 times whether they’ve brushed their teeth or if they’d like peanut butter on their toast? Or do they? All I really needed to do was rattle a packet of M&Ms from three rooms away to realize our issue was simply a case of Selective Hearing Syndrome.


Growing up without brothers meant cars and trucks were not really part of my childhood, but having my own children would certainly change that. Since becoming a mom of boys I can detail Hot Wheels names with encyclopedic accuracy and my Lego building skills could be legitimately added to my resume. In our home we encourage all kinds of play and I can safely say that boys love baby dolls and cooking equally; hopefully a skill their future partners will appreciate.


Like most siblings, brothers will bicker. Whether it’s over who has the biggest truck or scrambling for that coveted Lego man, daily scuffles are guaranteed to ensue. But despite their constant disagreements, when the chips are down they always have each other’s back. Call it brotherly instinct, it has been one of the biggest joys to watch their love for each other grow. Hearing them tell each other they love each other with a broken Transformer in hand is guaranteed to melt any mother’s heart, then suddenly all that crazy that comes with little raising little boys is forgotten.