Somewhere in the earlier days of this parenting gig I got the idea that raising boys would be so much easier than raising girls. I don’t know why I thought that but I do distinctively recall looking at my 3 boys under 5 and thinking man did I get off easy.
Sure I knew that it was likely that they would be noisy, rough and dirty. I knew there would probably be more broken bones than if I had 3 girls and I knew it was a high probability that I would have to learn to appreciate soccer and Rugby and wrestling. Did I stereotype much as a new mum? Obviously yeah.
I had this idea in my head that boys would be somehow simpler and I guess it came from being a girl and experiencing the insecurities and sometimes the bitchiness and pettiness that girls can be known for. I didn’t know boys often deal with the same things, I guess I just assumed they didn’t.
I always thought (again with the ignorant stereotyping) that boys would be too busy playing with their balls and stuff to ever worry about those sorts of things and no I don’t mean anatomically speaking when I refer to balls .. but then again…
What I have discovered is that boys are more complicated then I gave them merit for. They can hurt each other as much as the girls cans, they may struggle with insecurities and confidence and the grittier sides of friendships and negotiations with friends just as some girls do and most importantly they feel pain just as much as girls do.
I have learned that as your kids get older and they have to navigate their way through school life, there are days even weeks that are going to be hard for them and just awful for you as a parent to watch.
The protective Mum who’s ingrained urge to protect her cubs will come to surface and there will be days where you have to remain calm, despite what you feel inside. They need that calmness to help smooth out the turmoil they may be feeling. They need to be guided by wisdom and patience not protectiveness and emotion.
It is very tempting to wish for a fast forward button to speed through all the tough times you know your child is going to face. Let's just skip past the school yard politics, the mistakes they will make, the sleepless nights worrying about them and the failures that will surely happen. It would be easier to just fast forward straight through to the Happily Ever After part. But who am I to deny them those experiences as painful as they may be. Deep down I know that Happily Ever After is a reward that typically only comes through experience and that your child has to go through both the highs and the lows to learn the skills to deal with things in the future and to recognise and appreciate the good in people and life.
Life is just a big old lesson isn’t it. I am guessing it's our job as parents to help them understand just what it is that life is trying to teach them in any given situation, and be there for support and strength when those lessons are particularly hard.
So when I look back at my ignorant assumptions that boys would be simpler than girls – man did someone need to slap me. Boys may fool you at surface level into believing they are an easier option, but dig a little deeper and you may just discover that they can be just as complicated as friends tell me their girls can be.
Did you assume that one sex or another would be easier?
To any experienced Mums of Boys - any advice you can offer up an amateur like me?