Mother of a Son

Best Supermom photo of all time

So recently my friend Kelly sent me this blog post about mothers of sons.  About what we need to teach them.  It is sweet and funny, if not a little long, but is a great list of life lessons. Some I found to just be general parenting (not necessarily gender specific) but I thought I would jump in on the discussion.

I know people harp on this all the time about not buying gender specific toys and not stereotyping your kid…and here is my 2 cents.  I was raised pretty down the middle. Not overly “girly” and not overly “tomboy”.

As a tot, I loved wearing frilly dresses on my birthday but I could make a kick ass mud pie in my grandma’s garden.

In the 4th grade, I had a sweet set of Barbies but I also LOVED playing kickball.

As a high schooler, I had enough makeup to makeover a small production of The Lion King but I also could change my own oil and tires.

Once I got married, I was pretty fucking proud of the fact that Kevin’s uncle told me I “didn’t throw like a girl” when we would toss the baseball. You should also see my spiral ;).

::sidenote: this tendonitis in my wrist has rendered me useless in this now and I am pissed::

With all this being said, boys and girls NATURALLY gravitate to certain things.  Daycare is about as gender neutral as you can get.  There is dress up, blocks, cars, baby dolls, books, art and plenty else. EVERY DAY we go in, he goes for the plastic cars or something with wheels. Even as an infant, he LOVED the rolling toys. He eventually plays with everything but you can’t deny he loves cars. He sleeps with cars and trains every night. Not even Disney branded ones.  Even just little legos with wheels.  LOVES.

Now with all this aside, there are some things I want to be sure to do with him/teach him to add to the list in the post above.

  1. Let him watch princess movies – Or whatever thing is determined “girl”. (except for Dora and/or Diego..I hate them for entirely non-gender reasons). And that boy loves him some Tangled. He loves the music and loves to dance to it. Along with that, if we go to Target to pick out potty seats(weekend project this week) and he wants to sit his butt on Abby Cadabby or Rapunzel? I couldn’t give a rat’s ass. More power to him. He can have I won’t him to be happy with whatever…no matter what the redneck in the aisle thinks.  They can SUCK IT.
  2. Teach him to clean like a boss – I have first hand experience here. My mother in law (Hi Deb!) is quite possibly the cleanest person ever. Well next to my grandmother-in-law, Miss Lela. But along with that, Kevin can clean better than any male I have ever met. Hell, better than me. Granted there are some OCD tendencies sometimes but if you want someone to vacuum your car, talk to him. This has not only made my life so much easier, it has made our marriage so much more 50/50. Like trying to sell the house right now, I am not super stressed every morning before we leave because we BOTH clean like champs and keep our shit in order.  Such a blessing. I want Landon to bring that to the table in a future marriage/relationship.
  3. When he is older, teach him how to play and treat smaller kids – Another first hand experience but also a little glimpse into the other side of the tracks.  A couple of years ago I overheard a conversation with some guys with one’s wife was about to have a baby.  He was bragging that he was 36 and had never held a baby. Um, what is to brag about here? Sounds like a recipe for “raisin’ babies is a woman’s job” type fight at 2 months postpartum when she hasn’t slept in a week and he refuses to change a diaper. Once again, better partnership.  Kevin grew up helping take care of the little kids in the family. He babysat, helped his mom potty train kids she kept and even now is the late night phone call for young family members in need. It also shows through to how he can win over EVERY kid at daycare.  Those kids come running to give him mulch or play peekaboo.  It’s precious…if not ovary busting.
  4. How to see something that need to be done and do it – This can be anything from picking up toys to knowing your boss needs grunt work done…no matter what your status.  This really isn’t a male vs female thing but just a value Kevin and I both have.  You are invited to dinner, you help clean up. You see a lady with a toddler on her hip and balancing a grocery cart with 1 hand, you help her to the car and with the door.  You see a job that needs to be done, you do it.  Whether that is filing papers or picking up dog shit. You do it.  It makes you are better human being.
  5. How to dress – Match socks, no brown shoes with black pants and even find pants that FIT. Hate to sound like a broken record but I am a lucky duck here too.  K can dress.  Like BONABLE dress. Fitted jeans, slim fit sweaters and the shoes.  He can pick an awesome shoe.  I believe he likes shoes more than me. But main thing, he can always look presentable. He doesn’t have to check with me before work to make sure something matches.  I know WAY too many guys that have to do this.  It’s not cute.  It’s pretty sad honestly. I don’t have to shop for him…we actually enjoy doing it together.

I think a lot of times as parents we get sucked in to the “I will never…” with our kids.  What are you gonna teach them?

13 Comments

  1. Grear list, Brandy.

    Know what I think is awesome? How boys seem to gravitate to babies/toddlers. At all my recent family gatherings and functions with friends/coworkers, I’ve been amazed by how the boys are the ones who want to play with/help with/hang out with the babies. Dunno if it’s because little dudes are less grossed out by shitty diapers and spit-up? Or maybe they recognize the value in investing in their 1 year old cousin so they’re friends later?

    Regardless, it’s been an almost universal truth in my experience.

    Liz

    PS – My husband fucking LOVES shoe shopping.

    • Yeah Landon is always gentle and understands how to be around them. It is nice to see. I think some is from daycare when the little ones transition in.

  2. You never disappoint :). Here’s where I’m thankful that Noah has older
    Sisters. Already has seen all the princess movies. Tangled being a fave
    And I recommend the tinkerbell movies too. Double duty she’s the most
    Scantily clad and the material with the animals and funny stuff cant be beat

  3. Great article, and I couldn’t agree with you more. I too am lucky to have a husband with just about all of the above mentioned fantastic qualities, and I hope we are able to raise our little boy to be a great man just like his father.
    We don’t force our son to play with “boy” toys over “girl” toys, he naturally plays with them. With lots of older cousins (male and female), he has access to all kinds of toys. And now with a little sister all his own, there are more pink and purple toys in the toy box, and he will play with them occasionally, but give him a car or train and he’s happy for hours.
    All I want for my kids is to grow up to be well rounded respectful individuals, should be easy right?

  4. First, as a helmet kid mom myself, I have to give a shout out to the helmet baby mom in that photo.

    Ditto on everything you’ve said. My college was 75% men and I was SHOCKED at how little these men knew how to cook, clean, etc. I had to teach so many boys how to do laundry. We started them before Landon’s age in chores – helping with laundry, picking up the house, etc.

    And this also goes with our hippie UU philosophy but we are raising them to understand ANYONE can be ANYTHING and do ANYTHING they want (as long as they are not hurting people). Boys can paint their nails and women can be construction workers. I like to think we are doing this by modeling to them, but it has also come up a lot in conversation since starting kindergarten.

  5. YES! I love this.

    Alexa gets all sorts of toys, “boy” toys, “girl” toys….same goes for movies and t-shirts (seems most of the character she likes only come on “boy” shirts…not that I try to douse her in Elmo, but still). She’s pretty much even with how much of each gender’s things she likes. Give her a tutu and a car ramp and she’s overjoyed.

    I guess it helps that I didn’t have kids with a “man’s man”. I mean, he’s a guy and likes guy things, but it’s not all football and ball scratching LOL!.

    While our daughters most likely won’t learn how to change their own oil, they’ll definitely learn how to build a computer (Peter’s first love) and organize a closet (My past life is still with us). They’ll also learn that education is a hugely important thing and girls can do anything boys can do (AND VICE VERSA).

  6. Love this! My husband is a pro at doing laundry, an expert at loading the dishwasher (so much so that he tells me not to) and is a great sous chef for whatever we make. I hope to teach Daniel those same skills as well as how to cook and clean. We bought him a kitchen and a train table for Christmas and love that he likes both. He is also so sweet and nurturing of his stuffed animals & cries when he thinks someone is hurt on tv. I hope he never stops feeling that way.

  7. I have never parented a boy, but I’d like to think at this stage in the game it wouldn’t look much different save for the sheer amount of pink & purple in our washer and dryer.
    I don’t believe in parenting per gender- that’s not the stuff you should be wasting your time teaching them. It’s hard enough to ingrain “please” and “thank you” and “I’ll help you with that” into their vernacular without adding the pressure of what’s socially acceptable for them to like.
    I parent with a man much like Kevin: he cooks, he cleans, he paints toenails and he teaches the Ladies about hockey and not being whiners when you’re knocked down. It’s a lovely balance:)

  8. The mother catcher baby on hip is my hero! I thought I was fab catching a wayward ball while sitting on the lawn with my latte. This woman beats me by a million. Kudos.

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