thoughts on raising boys

Ryan’s been gone about a month now, and I feel like we’re hitting our rhythm here, yet again, as a trio. That’s not to say this TDY has been without its hiccups. Monday was, quite possibly, the worst Monday on record with more literal sh*t in the house than any mother or pet owner should ever have to deal with. Add in a three-year-old redhead with a will a million miles wide, and I was begging for a do-over by 9 AM.

I mentioned it on my Instagram a little bit yesterday, but there’s something that’s been weighing on my heart a lot lately when I look at these boys – especially Spencer. They are growing up insanely fast, and it’s so easy to focus on the little minutiae of raising children. Here’s the thing though. We’re not raising toddlers. We’re raising little boys, who will grow to be proud, functioning, wonderful men. That won’t happen overnight though, and it takes some serious work.

One thing that I’ve recognized about myself as a mother is that I inherently see the bad behavior. I see that stubborn streak and want to redirect it. When he does something wrong, I’m quick to act and set him straight. I’m not always as fast to praise though, and that’s equally as important. Spencer did a complete 180 from our terrible Monday morning and had a fantastic day at school. I made a point of telling him how proud I am of him and how happy it makes me when I see him being such a big boy. I watched that pride fill him, and his happiness was evident.

Being a parent means loving your children at their best and at their worst. Sometimes, the bad times really are bad. They act out, and they can be downright mean, but you have to meet them at their level. Little children are meant to be active, imaginative, silly, fierce, determined, feisty and, over time, develop a sense of independence, and it can be hard to let them have that. However, it’s so important to see and recognize the signs that it’s time to change gears – even if it’s just a little bit.

And, above all else, I’m learning to love them wild. Let them be little. Let them have their youth because they only have it once. There’ll be a time for solemnity and quiet, but for now, I’m learning to embrace the chaos and the messes and just love being a boy mama.

Mothers (or parents, in general), do you ever find yourself at a crossroads as a parent? What, if anything, helped you deal with the chaos and find peace in your role?