All babies present their own set of challenges, but they also bring a unique sense of tremendous joy. Tickle fights? Awesome. Explosive diarrhea? Not so much. While it's important to recognize that gender is a social construct, and that children and/or adults may later realize they’ve been misgendered at birth, I think it's also worthwhile to acknowledge how assigned gender influences our kids in a number of ways.And when I asked moms to share what they love most about raising boys, their sweet and celebratory responses simply proved that while every kid is different, there are some commonalities we can all appreciate and enjoy.
I’m the mother of a young boy myself, and because I assigned him male at birth I know that he has been treated a certain way by society. For example, his family and friends gifting him blue and neutral-colored clothing, or sending him "boy toys" like cars and trucks and sporting goods. I also know that he’s becoming more and more observant of the world, and noticing how boys are treated differently than girls. I think my favorite part about raising my boy, though, is teaching him again and again how much gender stereotypes are for the birds. I love that he enjoys making necklaces with me and I love how he’s always willing to have dance parties with me. I love that he is happy playing with cars and Legos, even if they’re in “traditionally girly” colors like pink and purple.
I also love checking him when I notice some useless gender norms getting in the way, like when he says boys can’t wear dresses and makeup. I relish opportunities to nip this outdated way of thinking in the bud, and have constructive, age-appropriate conversations with my son. Basically, I love that I have the opportunity to raise a boy that grows to be a happy, confident, well-adjusted adult who understands the need for social change and social justice. But I know I'm not the only "boy mom" who loves her job, so I asked other moms to share what they loved most about raising their sons and, well, prepare to get hit square in the feels: