Never in a million years would I have thought I would be a mom, specifically a mom of 2 handsome boys. I now have been a mom for about seven years. After finding out I was pregnant the first go around with Derek Jr, we were excited; but the 2nd go around, when we found out about Karter, I had to laugh to keep from crying continually. We were very excited, do not get me wrong, but I was confident he would be our girl.
Fortunately, I have always been a tomboy and very involved in athletics. My intense love for sports led me to think it would be fun having all boys around the house. However, I was in for a rude awakening.
It is said, everything happens for a reason, and God makes no mistakes, so He knew what He was doing when he made me a boy-mom! I’ve learned so much about parenting. It’s not easy.
So, with this blog, I wanted to take some time and (1) share some tips for advising what it is like being a boy-mom and how to manage it effectively; (2) share some perspective with other mother or with those who merely want some insight. Now, you do not have to be a boy-mom, or even a mom to read this, but it could help anyone wanting to know more details.
I have two boys–age 4 and age 7–, so the good thing is they are close in age, but I still have to switch gears at a time when it comes downs to parenting.
Listening and Paying Attention Matters
Boys tend to have a short attention span. When speaking to them, it is essential that you get to the point or you will lose their attention. I, however, can be long-winded at times, so I have to remind myself to keep it short and get right to the point. On the flip side, when it comes to them, explaining something to you, patience is key. Let them get it all out. Pay attention to their wording because it matters to them. They could be right or wrong but try to listen to it all.
*Quick Tip: Kids do not stay engaged very long.
Daily Affirmations or Positive Thoughts
Giving my boys daily affirmations or positive thoughts to reflect on throughout their day helps as a mom.
Often, I notice Derek Jr (DJ) walks around with his head down, which is indicative of something that is bothering him. I usually redirect his emotions with a positive thought such as ‘pick up your head when you are walking because you are strong’ and in response, he will say ‘I am strong. ‘
Another scenario is when they are heading off to school. Giving them words of encouragement as they walk out of the door or reassuring them that no matter what the results of anything is, as long as they have done their best is what’s important! I sometimes ask Derek what color he needs for the day at school. When asked, he says ‘Green, mom” and I let him know that he is correct so always do his best because he is intelligent.
As boys, they need positive thoughts. As for Karter, he hates being a sore loser and not knowing the answer. I have to redirect him and let him know it’s okay because we don’t know all the answers. I may say, ‘you got it, buddy! you are a smart young man, and if you don’t get it on the first try, it’s ok.!’
It’s important as a mom to have these talks with boys or even your child every day. It does not have to be in the morning. I do morning talks with them because I do not know what they will encounter when they are at school, but I do know when they leave, they will embark on their day knowing they are loved. I intentionally start their day off positively.
Set Boundaries and Teach Manners
Boys are gross…no sugar coating; this is real life. Boys like to pass gas and talk about disgusting things that may seem gross to someone else. This is very true in our home, but we try to keep it to a minimum and set boundaries. We teach them respectful manners and also show them there are a time and place for everything.
Teaching boys mannerable behaviors at an early stage is great for their development. When they get older, they will already be prepared and know how to respect other people.
Boys Need Love Too
Every parent shows love to their child in a unique way. There is nothing greater than a mother’s love for her son. They need it. Derek is at an age where he is learning more about who he is, what he likes, and figuring things out. These things tend to affect his emotions and confidence.
Boys need affection and love too, and I want them to know its ok to have that. It’s my job as a mother to nurture them. Derek and Karter will understand that their mother loves them no matter what. Our family is definitely an affectionate and loving family. Love is what makes up the Durr household.
Boys Need an Outlet
Boys are full of energy. Letting it out is a major key to helping them be successful. When in one spot too long, they tend to become antsy, therefore they need time to release. Playing outside or a scene change (playroom, play areas, etc.) is very helpful. If your boys have a ton of energy and are bouncing off the walls, then it’s useful to have them to sit and exert that energy into something more constructive, such as building blocks, putting a puzzle together or reading a good book; Anything to help positively release their energy.
Family Convos are Important
There are times when Derek and Karter are feeling a type of way, and they try to keep it to themselves. We don’t always know when they are internalizing. A commonly misconceived notion is to tell a young boy to man up.
It leads to questioning themselves, which affects their self-esteem. Something we work on is asking questions to check in with how they are feeling. I always ask their boys how their day has gone. They would typically say good or bad, but that’s a vague response I had to learn to think outside the box because those responses are very vague. I probe a little more based on their response. I ask questions such as ‘well if your day was good, what are two things you liked the most?’ That typically sparks a conversation; or vice versa for a not so good day. In these scenarios, I usually ask what happened that day that did not go so good, or what they did not like about their day, and this will lead to lengthy conversations, which help us to know how and what took place. This also lets them know that we are listening and here for them. So just ask questions but be careful not to force them to talk.
There are times when they will not tell you what happened, and that is okay. It can be addressed at a later time when they are comfortable with talking. The key is allowing them to share things openly.
Technology Can Be Good And Bad
Between game systems, Youtube and tablets, technology can be a curse and a gift.
Technology can be used as an outlet to help release energy and as a learning tool. In our household, we have rules for games, youtube, and other technological programs: Homework must be completed and checked first then the boys can use them. However, there is a limit, especially on school days. Weekend limits are different, but the same rules apply. The tablet is a little different because we use it for learning purposes, but it also has a limit. Setting healthy limits teaches our boys to create healthy balances.
Chores are a Must
Cleaning up after boys can be gross. Yep, I said it! From urinating on the floor and around the toilet to dirty clothes on the floor and that list goes on. I teach the boys that no one is responsible for cleaning up behind themselves but their self. To add more responsibility with age, Derek takes out the trash on trash day, and Karter replaces the trash bag. They both tag team the bathroom together and this helps keep it clean. Like every mother, I am not my boy’s personal maid. They even help load the dishwasher and are responsible for cleaning their rooms. It is important to get them in the habit of cleaning at a young age, so when they are older, they understand their responsibilities.
Knowing When it is Time to Call Dad
Being direct and intentional is critical when it comes to disciplining boys.
Consistency plays a significant role. However, boys need that special guy time with dad. The father-son bond is what helps set the foundation for our growing little men. Spending time with their day is priceless, and it helps drive our boys every day.
Overall, being a boy mom is fun. Enjoy it and make it memorable. Derek and Karter are so much fun to be around. They each have their own personalities, which makes them unique. Being a mom to boys is very much worth the time and energy put into it. The boys are hilarious–they love joking, playing around, singing and dancing. They keep me on my toes. I love making memories with them that will last into their adult lives. They grow up so fast and before you know it, they will be adults and the only things you will have is the memories you share. So make it count.
I have many more tips, but I think these are the most important. If you have any question or comments, feel free to reach out to me!