During my first pregnancy, I didn’t care whether the baby was a boy or girl, I just wanted a healthy baby. When I found out the baby was a boy, I was happy, but I didn’t realize that I would be a bit nervous about raising a son. I think that was because I didn’t have much experience taking care of boys, so raising one felt like unchartered territory!
Would I be able to talk to and relate to my son the way I would with a little girl? Would I be interested in his hobbies and toys? Would I get his clothes all wrong and dress him accidentally-on-purpose like a girl? Would I feel like I’m missing out because I assumed I wouldn’t be able to style his hair and play dress-up the way moms and daughters do?
My son turned 9 a couple months ago, and I’m happy to have the answers to those questions. I’m pleasantly surprised with the perspective I’ve gained from raising a boy. Raising a boy has opened my eyes to seeing things I don’t think I otherwise would have seen if it wasn’t from watching my son grow up every day. Aside from easing my doubts and concerns, having a son has taught me more about my husband, my daughter, and myself.
Would I be able to talk to and relate to my son the way I do with a girl?
I’ve realized that so far, there’s no difference when it comes to how I talk to my kids, and I make an effort to relate to both of them. I enjoy talking to my son about what interests him at the moment as a typical boy. He likes the outdoors, superheroes, and sports. I’ve had male influences all my life, but none of them ever came close to piquing my interest in sports like my son has been able to influence me to do, giving me a newfound interest and giving my husband and I more interests to share, too.
Would I be interested in my son’s hobbies and toys?
I remember how much I enjoyed playing with my son’s toys when he became a toddler. I believe that toys shouldn’t have labels; that girls and boys should be able to play with any toys they desire. I didn’t encourage my son to pick only “boy” toys, but he did choose cars and superheroes most of the time. We had a blast playing together and taking his toys on adventures. I look back on those days with nostalgia, missing the afternoons we spent together after school as we picked up on the adventure we had the day before. Those days are now replaced with outdoor activities, influencing me to be more athletic, which I’m thankful for!
I’m still surprised how much I now enjoy watching football, even when he’s not the one playing! I’m happy to be the mom cheering on her child and can’t wait to see what other activities I’ll discover that pique my interest.
Would I feel like I’m missing out about not being able to style my son’s hair and play dress-up the way moms and daughters do?
No! It’s been refreshing to get a breather from that every now and then, especially because my youngest is a girl who enjoys playing dress-up and styling her hair, although, my son likes to style his hair, too. He asks for a haircut every few weeks and requests styling products to maintain his hairdo. When it comes to fashion, I’m relieved he’s a boy who doesn’t require multiple accessories and a new outfit to wear every five hours the way my little girl does! However, he does like to choose his own clothes. So far, they’re mom-approved, but there are times he can be picky.
A Fresh Perspective From Raising a Son
The most important thing I’ve learned from raising a boy is that it has done wonders for my perspective, not just as the mom of a boy and girl, but as a wife and person. Watching him and my daughter from the outside looking in, I’ve learned that boys and girls sometimes react differently to certain situations but can have similar reactions, too. I make sure to reassure my son that it’s okay for him to show and share his feelings. I’ve become more attentive to listening closer, even when he doesn’t say much. This perspective has been beneficial for my relationship with my husband. I strive to be more patient and understanding of how he may be feeling even when he doesn’t verbally express it.
I’ve been asked about who is easier to raise, a boy or girl. Parenting is tough no matter what and is a constant learning experience, even if I had only girls. In a world that still expects boys and girls to have a great degree of difference, I feel like I have an improved outlook. My answer isn’t who is easier to raise but that raising a boy for me offers a fresh perspective.
I’m able to see both sides with a clearer lens and from where I’m standing, boys and girls aren’t very different from one another and shouldn’t be treated that way. It really is how they’re nurtured, reminding me every day to raise my kids equally, no matter their gender. My son makes me a better mom to my daughter, a more understanding wife to my husband, and more open-minded as a person. I’m happy to bring another boy into this world who I can help shape into being a gentleman but who has also helped shape me into being a more well-rounded person. I’m excited to see what new things I’ll learn about him and myself as he grows!
How has your perspective changed as a mom raising a boy?