Monday, August 27, 2012

On Having a Boy

When I was pregnant with Sydney, before we knew she'd be a girl, I was weighing out the pros and cons of each gender. One of my biggest fears about having a girl was raising a teenage girl. There's a lot of drama-rama that goes on in the mind of a teen girl. I know. I was one. I worry about her being 12 and wanting to dress like she's 25. I worry about her listening to Justin Bieber-type blah. I worry about stupid boys disrespecting her. I worry about mean girls bullying her. I worry about her developing enough self-confidence and self-respect and knowing that the girls who put out at 16 are not cool and happy.

When I found out that this current pending baby is a boy, the worrying shifted, and if anything, got worse. I thought for sure, having a boy would be less worrisome. But raising a boy is huge, especially a teenage boy that has to learn how to be a man and all this stuff I don't know how to do. Luckily that's where husbands come in.

With a girl, I worry about protecting her and teaching her self worth and how to be feminine and kick-A at the same time. With a boy, I worry about him becoming a good, quality man in this world full of really, really crappy stuff. I remember a friend of my brother's telling me once the reason why parents worry more about their girls than their boys was that girls tend to get into trouble where the boys are the ones that start the trouble.

I'm a girl so I know how a girl's mind works. With a boy, I have no idea how his mind works, but I know what it's like to be the observer of boys and how it looks like their mind works. [Yes, you should bathe every day]. Therefore, I have some fears on how I raise my boy.

Here is my boy-specific wishlist.

...wants to go to college and have a career.

...shakes people's hands and looks them in the eye.

...knows how to talk to people face to face and not solely via electronic devices.

...finds enjoyment in going to church and learning the gospel and won't sleep through seminary.

...if skinny jeans for boys are still in style in 14 years, he will NOT wear them. not going to think bodily functions are the epitome of humor. Or will at least grow out of it by the time he's 12.

...finds the right friends and stands up for what is right.
...have hair like Patrick Dempsey.
...asks girls out on dates. And will open doors for them, regardless of how anti-feminist this will no doubt be by the time he's dating. And will talk to his date's parents with respect.

...never spends countless hours playing video games.

...gets a job. Any job. Saves money.
Do any of you mothers of boys have similar fears? One thing I'm grateful for is that my boy will grow up with a sister. I think boys with sisters learn valuable lessons on how to treat women. I have known plenty of high-quality guys growing up. Perhaps I should do a Q&A with their mamas to get some tips. Not in the least should be from my own mother and mother-in-law, since two of the best men I've ever known are my older brother and my awesome husband.
But times are changing. Things are getting a little ickier out there.
In Sydney's first days on this earth, I whispered all my wishes for her while I held her and fed her, i.e. "please don't hate me when you're 14". Now I'll do the same for my son in just a few weeks. He'll be new in this world, hearing his mom whispering pleas to take baths when he's smelly and not burp at the dinner table. That's not too unreasonable is it? What do you whisper to your sleeping babies?


  1. HAHAHA I don't think your boy requests are unreasonable at all. I've heard boys are easier than girls when it comes to raising babies but my thought is they're going to be about the same when they get to be teenagers, it's gonna be tough but between you and Jericho as parents I'm pretty certain these will be some well mannered, cool kids.

  2. Um Kelley, I hate to say this but....I slept through seminary and still find bodily humor funny.

  3. I used to whisper to Scotty "football is yucky" because I didn't want him to play it. It seems that his stature deemed that improbable:)

    You are so amazing. I am so proud to be your mom:)

  4. SOME of your wishes are credible. With the others-good luck!

  5. I think there is a lot of pressure on men in the future. Pressure that the world doesn't even know yet. Female power is great, but it's shifting a lot of societal focus to women. Women *can* go to college, be CEO's, run the family, win the bread, nurture the children, and do everything with grace. So where does that leave men? I think it gives them excuses to be absent. To be lazy. To disappear from society. And that's not okay. The world needs men. Families need fathers. I think raising good boys is a hugely important challenge. You're cut out for it though.

  6. Just read this after your birth post. I think our next book in book club should be about raising boys. Scares. Me. To .Death! I worry way more about raising Andrew right than I do the girls.


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