Wonderful Because They’re Them: Thoughts on Mothering All Boys

This is post 2 of my series of 7 posts in 7 days. All the time, I run across news articles or blog posts or radio segments that make me want to answer them aloud with my own take on the situation. So that’s what I’m doing this week. For each of these seven days, I’ll take a recent item (by someone more original than myself) and I’ll comment on it. That’s it, but that’s something!


This morning I had my 12-week sono. Thankfully, all went well – Baby Walsh #4 looks just as we hoped s/he would. As usual, I loved the chance to lie back and watch my baby on the screen, wiggling his body around and holding his hand up to his face. (Yes – I said “his.” No, I don’t know that the baby is a boy. It’s just that with three boys already, I’m much more used to the masculine pronouns than the feminine.)

As I watched, I couldn’t help but wonder who this little guy (or gal) is. I thought of my three boys at home and how little I knew of them when I first got this glimpse at their own wiggly little bodies. And how five, four, and almost two years later, I can’t imagine life without them. It boggles my mind to think of how much is yet to be revealed about this child, and how much I will love him.

I thought, too, on whether this child will be revealed to be our fourth boy or our first girl. Watching him, I realized that I can hardly help but think of him as a boy. It’s what I know. So as much as I’d love to have a girl, I know I’ll be fine if he indeed proves to be a he. He’ll feel familiar to me. And I’ll feel a surge of pride at having a pack of four fine boys to call my own.

These Walls - Wonderful Because They’re Them: Thoughts on Mothering All Boys - 1

If the baby should prove to be a girl, well, I can only imagine that I’ll stumble out of that exam room in a stupor of disbelief (and joy).

As a mother of three boys, I run across “I Love Being A Boy Mom” blog posts all the time. Mostly, they don’t do anything for me. I find that they tend to either wallow in the misfortune of being surrounded by boy grossness, or serve as overly-enthusiastic cheers for Team Boy.

I’m in neither of those places. I happen to think that my boys are the most beautiful creatures on this earth, so I don’t exactly appreciate diatribes against the publicly-guffawed-about trademarks of their gender. But neither do I appreciate the assertions that “Boys are the awesomest ever! Because sports and loving their mamas and not being emotionally complicated!”

I don’t need to be told that my boys are wonderful because they’re boys. I know full well that they’re wonderful because they’re them.

All that said, a couple of months ago, I came across a Boy Mom post that hit me in just the right place. The author reviewed many of the challenges of having boys, but she did so lovingly, almost tenderly – I felt like I could see the smile she wore as she wrote.

When I’m introduced to another mother of only boys, there are a few seconds of expectation. As if maybe we are going to have a secret handshake. Or maybe we are going to say, “Hey, are there black handprint marks all over your walls? Me too!”

Instead, we just nod our heads and exchange a little smile, knowing we are kindred spirits. Having boys leads to a set of personality traits, namely that you’re not fussy and that you roll with the (actual) punches. If you have a bunch of boys, you’ve probably seen a femur up close. You can get blood out of anything.

Moreover, the author acknowledged what most of the Boy Mom posts don’t – the bittersweet sadness of never getting to mother a girl.

We boy moms won’t go prom dress shopping. We won’t pick the wedding venue. We won’t be in the delivery room. We won’t ever, ever sit on a toilet before thoroughly inspecting it first. But we will strive to raise kind, conscious, able young men. All of this is acknowledged when boy moms meet and exchange a little nod and a smile. The nod is for the food prep and the property damage. The smile is for all the rest: the sweetness of a little boy, and the way he grabs your heart with his dirty hands and never lets go.

This is where I am, even as I stare up at that screen, watching my baby. The one who is still completely mysterious to me. The one who could be our fourth boy, or our first girl: I’m a happy woman in love with my boys, who would gladly welcome another. But who, if I indeed end up with a pack of all men, will always think a little sadly on what I’ve missed.

And that’s fine. I am neither a wallower nor a cheerleader. I’m a mother. I don’t need to be told that my boys are wonderful because they’re boys. I know full well that they’re wonderful because they’re them.

These Walls - Wonderful Because They're Them: Thoughts on Mothering All Boys - 2

14 thoughts on “Wonderful Because They’re Them: Thoughts on Mothering All Boys

  1. Great thoughts!! I often wonder the same, but in reverse! I wouldn’t mind at all having all girls, but I know I’d be missing something without the experience of boys. Just more proof that the sexes aren’t interchangeable!

    • They sure aren’t! Your girls are so cute — what a great place to be in: happy to have more of the ‘same,’ happy to get to experience something a little different. We win either way, don’t we?

  2. Proud mother of 3 boys and loving every minute of it 32 years later. Still when I got my first grandchild, a granddaughter, 4 months ago…..little girl heaven, I won’t deny it. They all are truly special in their own way.

    • Wonderful! I have a friend who has four sons and whose first grandchild was a boy. But grandchild #2 was… a girl! Such joy! It’s so nice to be able to experience both in your family.

  3. This made me cryyyyyyyyy Julie. Really sweet and true. And I’m actually kind of hoping to meet another boy in a week or 3 because I love my little ruffians, and I love the idea of Evie being safely hemmed in by brothers 🙂

    • Awww… thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I can’t wait to see whether Baby Uebbing #4 is indeed another little boy! Or rather, another little doll-baby girl. Good luck with the last days of your pregnancy!

  4. Oh, this is perfect! Not expecting #4 yet, but I can certainly empathize with those feelings. (I remember when we were going to find out the sexes of the twins, having this moment of panic, “What if they’re both girls?!” Well, we know how that turned out. 😉 )

    Love your thoughts, and off to read the other post as well. 🙂

    • Thanks! That’s funny about the twins, because when Jude kept saying “My Mommy’s going to have TWO babies!” before I’d had my first sono, I was shaking at the idea of there actually being two babies. “What if there were and what if THEY WERE BOTH BOYS?” 😉

  5. This is so sweet!! I don’t like that people say boys aren’t emotionay complex. Sure, some of them aren’t as dramatic as the typical preteen girl, but they do have emotions and opinions! Boys can be so tender hearted, and I hate to see people stereotype them as simple dirt producers. They’re complex dirt producers, right? 🙂

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