Since we made it public knowledge last week that we are expecting a boy in February, I've received several comments to the effect of, "he's going to be rrrrrreally outnumbered!" As the only boy in our soon to be family of five, yes, he will be. I often wonder if their comments come from the thought of two women raising a boy.
Sure, there are nerves at the thought parenting a boy, but honestly, the feelings aren't any stronger than the thought of parenting a third child. Just like when I was pregnant with the girls, the thought of my children not having a "father" never worried me. From day one, my girls developed the most incredible connection with my Dad and my two brothers, Rob and Michael. The last thing they lack is a strong male influence! It won't be any different for the little monkey. While there will be unique challenges that arise from parenting a boy, we are so lucky to have three wonderful and trustworthy men to turn to instantly. My Dad, Rob and Michael never ran away from a crying baby or a dirty diaper. My Dad would always happily change the girls -- a welcome break for Jenn and I who used to change 16+ diapers per day. Rob made babysitting infant twins look effortless and Michael was always so willing to learn something new in caring for the babies. The three of them are all fantastic chefs, who are more than willing to jump up and do the dishes after dinner. They are incredibly thoughtful, kind and loving. My Dad used to call every morning when the girls were born to see how our night had gone (and still calls many times per week to check in). Both Rob and Michael call and text regularly and are always there for me when things get tough. They would all be here in a second if we needed them and have done that many times in the past. If my little boy turned into one of these three amazing guys, I would feel incredibly lucky.
The girls are well aware at this point that they don't have a Dad. I've heard them tell other kids, very matter-of-factly, "I don't have a Daddy. I have a Mommy and a Mama." They will often talk about how kids have a Mommy or a Daddy or a Mama. They haven't asked why yet. I'm actually somewhat surprised, given their inquisitive nature. I'm sure it's coming! I think that it has just become so normal to them. They have friends with a Mommy and Daddy, friends with two Moms and friends with two Dads. I love that about Toronto. There isn't a "normal" type of family.
My Mom always says, "all children need is love." There certainly won't be a shortage of that for the little monkey.
Yeah, I wouldn't worry about that because your family is beyond your house. Boys are different but that's all. You can parent a boy very well as a mom. I know he's going to do just fine in your loving home.ReplyDelete
Exactly. I've never really felt worried over it, but apparently others do ;)Delete
He's one lucky kid to have so many wonderful people in his life.
We have heard this SEVERAL times through the years and it occurs more and more that we have had a daughter and he really is outnumbered 3 to 1 in the house. I completely agree with this post. Your children (all of them) have such strong male role models. Before I even got to the part about your brothers, I immediately thought of them. That said, women have been raising male children absent of a father in the household FOREVER and society is yet to crumble. Six years into this raising a boy thing (and YES it is different, i know not the politically correct thing to say, but it is true) and the best advice I can give you is: Point the penis down when putting on a new diaper! Or you are going to be changing a lot of outfits from pee streams shooting out of the top of the diaper. Other than that, you are good to go ;)ReplyDelete
Personally I'm excited to follow along on this #3 journey!
Thanks for the tip! Penis down…got it. And I definitely owe you a bell shot. I actually wanted to do one and compare to the last pregnancy.Delete
We too have tried instilling that every family is different. My kids have all gone through the stage of telling other kids that they have a dad. My little boys have gone as far as telling them that their dad was killed at war (???) Thing is, they are from a different family and that's ok. As long as we keep talking about it and staying open about it. A therapist once told me that when our kids say, "I wish I had a dad" or "I hate it that I don't have a dad" Instead of jumping to the old, yes, but you are SO lucky to have 2 moms...etc...that we need to acknowledge that they are sad, that we need to listen to them and understand their feelings. "yes I'm sure it does make you sad sometimes." "I'm sure you do wish you had a dad" The end. No trying to explain, or change their minds. Just acknowledge. It's hard. I can't say that it is easy and you want to make them feel better....but just by letting them know that you understanding them makes them feel better. They know that you love them. They know that both mom's are important in their lives. But sometimes the grass looks greener and our minds often wonder...what would it be like to (have a dad) (have a big house) (have your very own room)ReplyDelete
Ok, I've gone off on a tangent. I know lots of men who were the only boy in a house full of girls. Whether dad was MIA or not. This isn't always a gay issue. They all turned out to be great people. It sounds like you have AMAZING examples of men willing to take a roll in the life of your little boy. He's going to be loved completely. He's going to be JUST fine.
I completely agree with what that therapist told you. I've tried to do that with the girls quite often. Even when their tantrum or worry might seem silly to me, I remind myself that it is huge to them. I always try to acknowledge it and simply listen. In general, I want them to always feel like they can talk to me and I think that this is part of the process.Delete
Oddly, that is something we have never really been subjected too & luckily, like you, we have some amazing men in our lives. We are the ones outnumbered in our family, lol...ReplyDelete