Moms of boys are a different breed and they have different rules. Having raised three boys of my own, I have learned a few things in the past 25 years that was never in the “what to expect” books when they were little. There is just something different in a house full of testosterone and non-stop activity. Maybe that child’s nursery rhyme about what “little boys are made of” had a little truth in it after all.
The mothers of sons and only sons quickly learn these 8 truths…whether they want to or not.
1, You will have broken things in your house.
Sometimes, you will hear it and know about it right away. Then the finger pointing begins and you need to decipher which one is less apt to tell a fib. Other times, you will be dusting the mantle and notice the glass missing from one of the picture frames. Only after an intense “question and answer session” will you learn that the picture was knocked down after playing football in the house. Who knows how long ago…don’t ask. You really don’t want to know.
2. You will have to start the conversation.
Never ask a question that will allow them to give you a one word answer . “How was school?” will typically be answered with what I heard time after time “Fine.” and I still didn’t learn when I asked, “What did you learn?” which was followed up by it’s partner, “stuff.” Boys do not like all of the details – they don’t care to store worthless information like girls do. Get used to it…it shouldn’t be that much of a surprise if you have any other men in your life. Let’s just say, the apple doesn’t fall too far and leave it at that.
3. You will have to show them how to clean a bathroom.
Girls are a different kind of messy – from hair in the sink and tub to the countless bottles of hair products all over the counter. Boys will continue to fill the trash can, as long as it is all in the trash can. Even leaning against the wall counts as in the waste receptacle. Somehow, the mirror seems to get toothpaste plastered all over it and don’t even get me started on the biggest mess of all: the toilet. All three of the boys denied making “the mess” around the toilet and I politely reminded them I know it wasn’t me – I can’t miss.
4. You will not know everything you want to know.
Those boys are in fact brothers. When they are young, getting the other one in trouble gives them a sense of “one upping” the other, but as they age, the are steadfast secret keepers. They will defend, protect, and stand fast against anyone that threatens their brother, regardless of the reason why. Teach them when they are young that you may not catch them the first time, but you will catch them. But it is always fun to remind them that although they may not know someone, chances are someone knows them so it is like having eyes everywhere. I love it.
5. You have to break up your share of fist fights.
Boys group up being rough and tough. You will break up your share of fist fights over the silliest of things (in my house, it was over the cartoon, “Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer”) and you won’t even need to ask why. Because it won’t make sense. Ever. But the good news is that some day, that same fist fight becomes something they actually treasure and laugh about later. Don’t even get me started on “who broke who’s leg” either. There are ALWAYS two sides to every story.
6. You have to teach them how to date.
Believe it or not, the last thing your son wants to hear is about what his parents did when they were dating. Yuck. Whenever my boys were going to a dance, there were two rules that were not up for discussion: You get her a wrist corsage and you match her dress. Chances are she will pick more than that (like where you are going to dinner and what time) because she has to get her nails and hair done. We need to show them how to show how to care, how to be thoughtful, how to love someone else.
7. You will never be told “I need you, Mom.”
My three sons are all grown and in college or living on their own and the worst thing they could ever say is “I can’t do this on my own.” We raised them to be independent, smart young men and for the most part that is exactly who they are. But they still don’t have all of the answers yet. But they don’t want you to worry, so they phrase questions that sound more “hypothetical” in nature. Like you just fell off the truck yesterday. When they are sick and tell you they don’t need anything, it means they don’t want you to worry. Deep down, they still need you…they just don’t want you to know it.
8. You will see “adjusting” going on — no matter what.
Okay…let’s go there. We all know it happens. Living with four males for the last 25 years has taught me one thing: “it” has to be adjusted multiple times a day. I don’t understand it. Most women I know neither. But we never talk about it. But if we are talking about truths, there it is. No shame in being real, right ladies? It happens. No lie.
There you have it – the 8 truths every mom of sons will learn at some point. And no matter how old those boys get or how far they move away, we can turn on “Mama Bear” in an instant, especially when our baby boys are hurt. Maybe these truths are a little more than we bargained for, but this is better than nothing. One of the most simplest of truths I have heard about moms of boys is “Mothers of boys work from son up to son down.”