Sometimes people see me with my three boys (ages six, four, and 19 months) and they say, “I don’t know how you do it!” and I really want to reply, “Me neither!” Raising three kids has enough challenges of its own, but when they’re all boys – well, let’s just say it’s a special kind of crazy. Don’t get me wrong, I love my three boys, but this boy mom stuff is NOT for the faint of heart.
8 Reasons Raising Boys Is Not for the Faint of Heart:
1. It’s like living an episode of “Fear Factor” every day.
Boys love all things gross like boogers, poop, creepy bugs, and slimy worms, and what’s more they want to show you all these things you can’t flinch, or show fear, or act disgusted because it just encourages them to show you more disgusting things. My husband recently caught my two oldest boys underneath our patio table with their mouths open wide. They told him they were sticking slugs to the bottom of the table and trying to see if they could close their mouths before the slugs fell into their mouths. If that doesn’t make my point, I don’t know what will.
2. All their crazy stunts don’t always end well.
Every time I hear the words, “Watch this!” I instinctively cringe; anticipating whatever dangerous stunt one of my sons is about to perform. I once caught my five-year-old with a rope tied to a flimsy board of his tree house. He was preparing to step over the side and repel down when I had the audacity to suggest that this was not as good of an idea as he thought. It’s “American Ninja Warrior” stunts like these that help us meet our health insurance deductible by February.
3. Anything that can be used as a weapon will be used as a weapon.
In a boy’s mind, if it looks like a weapon, it can be used as a weapon, and should be used as a weapon – like hangers, sticks, candles, or even the cardboard paper towel holders. Plus, toy manufacturers give them quite a few options as well. Have you seen the size of NERF guns today? They are seriously bigger than a small child – as if the old guns that only shot 50 darts weren’t big enough.
4. You may go into debt to pay your food bill.
The other day my 6-year-old wanted a snack, so I told him he could have some buttered toast. He went back in forth from the kitchen to the living room, making toast, eating it, and going back for more. I finally asked him how many pieces of toast he’d had to eat. His answer: seven! And this was just a snack! Did I mention we aren’t even close to the teenage years? If you’re not a millionaire, and you’re raising boys, you’re in trouble, and, likely, in debt.
5. Everything is a competition.
If you have more than one son, then get ready for non-stop competition– who can get out of the car first, who can eat their cereal first, and, even, who can pee the fastest. You will be surprised (and then eventually, not at all surprised) by all the things that boys will turn into a competition.
6. They can’t control the volume of their voice.
When I had one baby, I hated when the garbage truck would come every Wednesday morning and wake him up early. This was the loudest, most annoying part of my week, which is really quite laughable now that I have three boys. When I put my toddler down for a nap, I spend the full hour of his nap like a guard on duty, saying, “Shh!!!” and “Please, don’t slam the door!” and things like that. The other day my two older boys were being loud and I said, “Can you two please be quiet?” My 4-year-old responded: “No, because we’re boys.” I think he may be onto something. The only time it’s quiet in our house is when all three boys are asleep.
7. They’re complicated.
Contrary to popular belief boys aren’t just noise with dirt on them. My three boys are all so different with three unique personalities. They have big hearts and thoughtful questions. They’re curious and adventurous, and yet they still want hugs and kisses and back scratches. All those times of stepping on Legos in the dark, or picking up pillows from forgotten forts, or washing muddy footprints off the floor fade into the distance when your son crawls into your lap and simply says, “I love you.” It gets me every time.
8. They’ll make you question your sanity.
Everyday I run a gauntlet of Lego minefields and NERF darts while trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to keep my boys from jumping off the furniture, or wrestling on the living the room floor, or yelling like mad men inside the house. Yes, there are days when I question my sanity, but at the same time I love that my boys are living life to the fullest, and that their sense of adventure hasn’t be dulled by the monotony of adulthood. These days people expect boys to sit still, pay attention, and calm down, but childhood and boyhood is about experiencing life – and life can’t be experienced just by sitting down – not when there a trees to be climbed, mountains to scale, and mud pies to be made! Boyhood is the time for adventure, so I say bring on the adventure! (Okay, minus the trips to the emergency room Those I could do without).
So, yeah, parenting boys isn’t for the faint hearted, but I honestly couldn’t imagine life any other way. These crazy, bug-loving, NERF warring, occasionally snuggly sons of mine make life better in every possible way.