I never in a million years ever thought I would be a mom to all boys. Growing up I always wanted 5 kids. 3 girls and two boys. I wanted my oldest to be a boy so the rest of the kids could have an older brother. I also wanted them all to be two years apart and we would be this perfect little family.
Well, life doesn't really happen that way does it? We struggled even getting pregnant and it took us 7 years waiting for our first born to arrive. According to the 3 ultrasounds I got, we were told we were having a girl. You can read all about that here and here. I guess I got my oldest son after all!
So when two more little boys came along in the years to follow, I was just shocked. I still was waiting for my little girl to come along, but it's just not meant to be. We are finished having children due to my health, age and some other factors. We feel like three is the perfect amount that we can handle! Everyone has their own opinions and this just happens to be ours.
I have been thinking about this post for a long time. I hope that my honesty doesn't come across as complaining, but as help and inspiration for those moms of all boys. Not every family is the same and I know that girls can be tough with all the drama. Boy and girls are just different (duh!).
See, boys have the tendency to be wild. Most come with an adventurous
spirit and it needs to run. It needs to be let loose and explore
everything. Boys love to jump on the couches. They love to get dirty.
They love to be LOUD. All the time. They also love to climb
everything, run everywhere and fight. They can turn anything into a sword
or gun and use it against each other. They love to take things apart
just to see how it works and not have a clue how to put it back
All those years ago before I had kids, I never thought I would say things like "Don't sit on your brother's head" or "Make sure you pee into the toilet" or "Stop jumping on the couch (a million times a day)". If we are headed out to a friends house I didn't think I would be reminding my boys to refrain from saying butt, penis, fart, or butthead in front of company.
I will admit that when I first thought to write this I was having one of the toughest weeks as a mom I've ever had. It seemed like I was getting it from all sides. The boys were the worst they've ever been and from my perspective, everyone around me was pointing it out. I was angry, crying, yelling (yes, yelling), throwing myself all kinds of pity parties and the more I tried to reign it all in and control every situation, the worse it got.
I didn't want anyone to know that I was struggling because I thought they would think I was the worst mom ever. And truth be told, I was the main culprit. The more I yelled, the crazier my kids got. The more I got angry, the wilder they became The more controlling I tried to be, the more out of control they got.
I had gotten to my lowest point and decided I would call my Aunt Ellen. She is my mom's sister who I grew up in the same town with. At the time she had three boys who I loved and we did a lot of stuff together. Even as a young kid I remember they were very, very active. I was a quiet and a pretty introverted child, but around them I enjoyed their craziness. I do remember them always getting in trouble and my Aunt yelling a lot.
Being a mom of all boys herself, I knew she would understand where I was coming from. When I called I knew there was chance that she would be at work, but I just had to talk! She was, but took about 5 minutes to calm me down because I just started sobbing on my end of the line. I was at the end of my rope and just couldn't hang on any longer. We hung up with promises of talking later that night.
When she called me that night, we talked for what seemed like forever. She answered every question, concern and worry I had about being a mom of all boys. For the most part, it felt like she was reading my mind because she would give me advice before I had even asked her about something. During that phone call, I had realized I was doing a lot of things wrong. It wasn't a bad thing, but more of an eye opening experience to see it from a different direction. She was experienced and now could look back and give me the advice she wished she could have known back then when she was a young mom of all boys.
1. Walk out of earshot more often and just let them be boys. They are going to fight, but let them figure it out. They are going to make messes. Help them clean it up afterwards. They are going to jump on the couch, but guess what? It's just a couch. Help when it's needed, but they don't need someone hovering over and hounding them about everything little thing.
2. Boys are always going to think that butt, fart and penis are the funniest words in the world! Set boundaries of when it's appropriate to use and say those words.
3. Find friends and family who understand and love your family no matter what. That should go for everyone, really, but not everyone has that support system. I was afraid that people were thinking, "Oh, here come those Williams' boys...batten down the hatches!" and if that was the case, I don't really want those people in my life if they can't accept that we are trying our best.
4. Teach your boys manners. Teach them to be gentlemen. Our boys are really great about 'please' and 'thank you', but we are now working on table manners and public manners. My husband is also really great at teaching them 'ladies first'. Opening doors, taking turns, etc.
5. Unless you are willing to spend countless hours scrubbing or spend all of your money on a maid, you're bathroom will smell of pee. It just will. Boys are always too busy to pay attention and pee will be everywhere. Teach them young to clean it up themselves. They will be grossed out so much that they will start to pay more attention of their aim. To help yourself get through it, start counting down the days when they will move out and you can do pee on their bathroom floor!!! LOL!
6. Read to them and have them sit still while you're reading. It's great practice for them to pay attention and let their bodies just rest for a bit. Then hopefully they will learn to love to read.
7. Limit the amount of hard balls in your house! If you're boys love to throw as much as mine do, keep those balls outside. Luckily, nothing has been broken yet, but it's because we adhere to this rule!
8. Along with that, give them an outlet. Boys are busy and need to get that energy out! Whether it's sports or playing at the park, let them RUN! Running is great for boys because they love it! And it tends to wear them out.
9. Don't let the mom guilt settle in at night. You know exactly what I'm talking about. You lay there in bed thinking about all the things you should/could have done. It will ruin you! Think about all the things you did that were great that day. Even if it's one thing, be grateful you did it and be better the next day. These boys love you and truly want you to be a great mom for them.
10. Just breath. It truly is not as bad as you think it is. You are a strong woman. You gave birth to these little ones! Or if you adopted them, you worked hard to get them into your family! You are their mom and they need you to love them unconditionally. Not to yell at their every move or get worked up over the littlest things. Embrace the loudness. Embrace the dirt. Embrace their boyhood.
I truly do love my boys. All three of them have their own personalities that I have learned to love! They each bring something fun and unique to our family and that is what makes us, us! I am definitely not perfect at being a mom. Totally far from it, but I do try every day to be the person they need me to be. And I'm yelling a whole lot less and hugging a lot more! Sounds corny, but it's true. They are happier and so am I!