Raising any child, regardless of gender, is difficult. I mean, gender doesn't decide how often a baby poops or needs to be fed or cries or, well, you name it. However, there are some struggles moms of boys understand all too well; struggles that seem to be somewhat "boy specific," although that's probably thanks to the gender stereotypes our society has continued to perpetuate. Honestly, I know plenty of moms with daughters who experience many of the same struggles on a day-to-day basis, too. So, in the end, gender be damned: raising kids is just hard all the way around.
Still, if you're raising a boy you probably (or definitely) feel an obligation to raise him to be respectful and kind and to not use his privilege as a self-identifying male (if he continues to) for all the wrong reasons. You don't want to chain him to the concepts of toxic masculinity either; the kind that tell him that he can't be sympathetic or emotional but should, instead, be violent and detached. When you realize how powerful gender stereotypes can be, you definitely feel the struggles associated with combating them. So, while the following struggles seem somewhat specific to boys (sometimes), it's safe to say that the biggest struggle any parent has is fighting against gender stereotypes that society continues to try to place on people, even children. It's about fighting against the idea of toys being specific to either a "boy" or a "girl." It's about pushing against the idea that only a little boy can do one thing and only a little girl can do another thing. It's about letting our children discover who they are, instead of pushing them to be a certain way because of their gender. Because, hey, they're just children.
So, with that in mind, here are a few struggles moms with boys probably experience on a daily basis. As a mom of boys myself, I can attest to every single one. Keep on fighting the good fight, parents. I see you.
We Own 400 Tiny Cars
A boy’s first love is often his first car, even when he’s barely a year old. They come out of the womb knowing what a car sounds like and will “vroom vroom” those little plastic vehicles until they turn blue in the face. It’s all fun and games until someone sprains an ankle after stepping on one of those tiny grenades on the way to the bathroom at night.
There Is Dirt Everywhere. Literally, Everywhere.
How is it even possible to conjure up enough dirt to start a mud wrestling ring after less than two minutes outside? Why do they find the stickiest substance in the room and instinctively smear it across all other surfaces of the house?
We Feel Like Mr. Miyagi Every Day
Our boys feverishly roll, jump, and chop their way through life. They're constantly in a state of motion and the living room is their playground and they use every single inch of it to master their Kung Fu.
This is especially true if you've got more than one boy, as pretending to be action heroes is kind of their thing. At least if there's more than one, they can practice their moves on each other rather than on their mother's unsuspecting faces.
Our Boys Couldn't Care Less About Their Designer Duds
Spending more than just a few minutes picking out coordinating cardigans and khakis for a boy is virtually pointless. First of all, they would rather be naked. Second, refer back to #2. Basically, they just need a cape and they're good to go, as far as they're concerned.
Boys Have An Inherent Need To Watch Bruce Willis Blow Things Up
Boys like loud noises. They’re also thrilled at the site of an explosion, a car chase, or a tough-talking Bruce Willis. I mean, I can't blame them. It's Bruce.
Boy Moms Are Way Too Comfortable With Urine
From the surprise sprinkling during that first diaper change to pulling double duty while potty training our boys, urine is a thorn in the side of every boy mom until, well, forever.
We Spend A Lot Of Time Apologizing And/Or Having Anxiety Attacks At The Playground
All kids need to run off some energy every now and then, so trips to the park or the playground are an integral part of most parents' lives. This is great, until our boys think that the entire playground is on board with their karate moves and they get a little too rough with the other innocent and unsuspecting children on the slide. It's our job to teach our boys how to respect others and play nicely--that's a pretty tall order considering that boys are inherently physical creatures. It makes courting an entire playground for the sake of their future friendships and relationships kind of difficult.
Also, a lot of boys have no sense of fear when it comes to things like heights and slides, so trying to keep them from trying to fly off of the top of the playground in their cape because they think it makes them magic is actually really stressful.
We Deal With A Lot Of (Recreational) Balls
Basketballs, soccer balls, baseballs, golf balls, wiffle balls; our houses are filled with an insurmountable assortment of balls. They’ve taken over by land, by tub, and by air.
At Some Point, Boys Are Going To Assume That They Actually Are Dinosaurs
Or dragons, lions, tigers, super heroes, race cars, cavemen, dogs, wizards, etc.
Moms of boys must navigate their way through an array of strange smells, bodily functions, and sticky substances; we fend off flying objects and deter loud noises. And when equipped with enough hand sanitizer, bleach, and bandaids, we too can become ninjas like our sons. Of course, moms of girls do all of the above as well, because gender stereotypes are for the birds. #Solidarity.