Thursday, June 9, 2016

Mom of Boys

Sometimes I get tagged in posts about what only "moms of boys" know.  Yes, my house is loud, dirty, and insane.  Yes, I am occasionally asked what happened to my penis.  Yes, I am routinely saying things like "wrestle somewhere other than on the stairs."  Yes, one of my kids put his hand through a window (out of sheer energy, not anger).  So I'm a mom of boys, right, high-five?

But it doesn't seem quite right.  I know in my heart that I had two girls.  And I'm not sure what that makes me.

First, I never get the "mom of three boys!!!" pieces of writing when one of the boys is an infant.  They are 99% the same, folks.  I had three boys with Caterpillar and with Beetle, but, um, they just acted like babies.  Yet I admit there was some special wonder when Pterodactyl arrived, that we had a girl after only having boys.  I knew at that moment, that I would check the box of being a mom of a girl, even if just for months.  I could enjoy the clothes and the headbands.  I could say words like daughter that hadn't been on my lips as much before.  Little things, but I did enjoy them.  But in practice, a house of boys that includes a newborn boy is the same as a house with two boys and a newborn girl.

And Cricket was my girl.  For all of the time I spent on her hair and worrying about her hair, I know she was my girl!  I know boys can need serious haircare as well, but the expectations for girls are especially strong and complicated.  Hair and clothes aside, a lot of her time in our home sounds a lot like those "mom of boys" stories.  People will say, "Oh, three boys, your house must be so loud!"  Yes, it is, but it was about as loud a year or so ago with a girl.  And she was destructive, loved tearing things up.  Some of it came out of trauma, but I'm pretty sure some of it was part of her personality.  Kid just loved it.  She was our first real source of "bathroom words" in the home.  She has a bit of a gruff voice, so no high-pitched little fairy voice here.  And yes, she loved taking care of her baby dolls, loved Dora and Elsa and Hello Kitty.  But a lot of those were favorites before she came to us.  I have no idea what gender messages she received during those times.

So, is my life as a Mom of Boys so different than being a Mom of Two Boys and a Girl?  I'm not so sure, and I don't think I'm redefined each time the gender mix changes in our home.  I'm a mom trying to meet the challenges of parenting different kids, and some of their differences come from gender, but most of them don't.  I am a mom of Dinosaur, Rhinoceros, Pterodactyl, Beetle, Caterpillar, Cricket, and Crocodile.


  1. I felt like this when the baby (who will be two in a few weeks) was placed with me. He wasn't my first infant, in fact he was my third. But, everyone I knew (even those who knew I had other babies in care) told me "Welcome to parenthood!" Never mind the fact that I was raising a teenager at the time, or the fact that this little guy was the seventh child I was parenting, not counting weekend respite kids. It used to infuriate me. But, I guess that's the way it is in foster care - we live our reality and other's assumptions!

    1. It's so strange how people respond sometimes. It doesn't follow the timeline they're used to, so it just does not compute I guess.

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  3. So much complexity in fostering. It is hard and lonely sometimes. Just wanted to say I understand :)