It has been 11 years since I gave birth to my oldest son. From the time I found out I was pregnant, I just knew it was a boy. What I didn’t know is that he would be followed by 3 more baby brothers and that I would forever be a “boy-mom” raising boys in a world that wouldn’t always be kind to them.
As the years went on, I noticed one major shift in the conversations I was having with people about my family. Baby boy #1: “That’s so great!” “Boys are the best.” or “I bet you and your husband are so excited!” Baby boy #4: “I’m sorry!” (Really? Why are you sorry?), “Well, keep trying and you’ll get your girl.” (As if “trying” harder can determine the gender of a baby), “You can’t stop now” (Um, yeah, pretty sure I can) or the worst, “Your family can’t be complete without a girl.” (I have four beautiful and healthy children so yes, I’m pretty sure it can be complete.) I’ve heard all of these and then some.
Now instead of congratulations, I often feel like I am receiving condolences whenever I am out with my family.
These types of comments never really bothered me until I noticed my boys reacting to them. The looks on their faces says it all. It is almost as if they are wondering if there is something wrong with them. And that’s not okay with me.
I would never for one second want my boys to feel like they weren’t wanted or that I would have preferred that they were a girl. My boys are my heart and soul, and yes, raising boys can be challenging but the love they have for my husband and me and the bond they have with each other, makes even our most challenging moments all worth it. You’ve heard the term, “Brotherly Love”, yes it exists and it is a beautiful thing to get to experience from the outside looking in.
The birth of a healthy baby boy is never a time for condolences, even if said jokingly. I chose to have four children and I recognize that the opportunity to be a mother to those children is my greatest blessing. My choice to become a mother and to love the souls that we welcomed into our lives didn’t come with conditions based on their gender. My love for my children would always have been unconditional regardless of whether we brought home a pink or blue bundle of joy.
So, the next time you come across a mom of all boys, give her encouragement, cheer her on but please don’t say mean things about her children when they are standing right in front of you! The words you say can and do make a difference to them.
So, Yes, I am Raising boys and No, I am absolutely not sorry. Having boys was the best thing that has ever happened to me!