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You Don't Have to Be Afraid of Being a 'Boy Mom'

Photograph by Twenty20

I've never been a girl who loves surprises. As a child I was forever shaking my Christmas presents to decipher what they held inside, and as an adult I haven't really changed. I choose my own birthday presents, a surprise vacation sounds like my very worst nightmare and I always choose to find out the gender of my babies as soon as humanly possible during pregnancy. I know that some people like to wait and be surprised about the gender of their babies, but I figure babies come with enough surprises already, so why not find out what you can ahead of time?

So I remember when I found out I was having a boy feeling so ill-equipped and honestly more than a little bit scared. You see, I'm a "girl mom" to my core. My idea of a good time with kids is picking out cute outfits for them and playing make-believe with dolls. I always looked forward to braiding hair and painting little nails when I dreamed about my future children. What would I even do with a little boy?!

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In my mind little boys were messy little bursts of endless crazy energy who like to dig in the dirt and play with dump trucks. Not exactly my thing as a tidy mama with obsessive compulsive tendencies. And then I let my imagination get away from me as I looked far into the future, imagining awkward pre-teen conversations about puberty, the terrible statistics for teenage male drivers, and the fact that boys tend to leave their families more and lean towards their wife's family in many cases. I know it was was a little bit ridiculous, but I was basically an emotional wreck before I'd even met my child.

In fact, it isn't really different from being a 'girl mom' because being a mom is being a mom and parenting each child is an entirely different journey.

And then he arrived on a perfectly sunny day in June and my life was forever changed. I love my daughters to the moon and back, but there has always been something so very special and altogether different about my relationship with my son. The term "mama's boy" is so very real and he was glued to my side from the very beginning. He was so much more snuggly than my daughter and so much more dependent on me and my affirmation. Where my daughter has always been an independent, free spirit, my son has always just seemed to need me just a little bit more.

Some of my preconceived notions of what having a son would be like did end up coming true. He does love rolling around in the dirt and dump trucks and diggers are one of his most favorite things. He loves trains and cars and playing super heroes. But he also loves snuggling up to read books and tucking in dolls with his sister when they play house and he's the most nurturing and kind little soul I've ever met. He's grateful for every little kindness he's given and even says "Thank you mama" after I change his diapers. I'm sure there will also be plenty of awkward teenage conversations that happen.

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But, I've realized that being a "boy mom" isn't anything to be afraid of. In fact, it isn't really different from being a "girl mom" because being a mom is being a mom and parenting each child is an entirely different journey. Whether you're parenting daughters or sons is of little consequence. It's a process of give and take and learning what your individual child enjoys and needs and unlocking the secrets to making them thrive in their element and I am loving doing this with my son.

He's so different from his older sister and it's been fun taking on these new challenges and figuring out what makes him tick. I may still feel ill-equipped for the job of being his mom at times, but I also feel that same way about my daughter. I'm starting to think this parenting thing is simply a matter of learning as we go and being reminded that we all feel like we don't have what it takes at times, but knowing that we can get there eventually.

So to the mama who is pregnant with or has a newborn little boy and is worried that she's not cut out for the job of being a "boy mom," just know that you absolutely are. You'' learn and grow along the path just like the rest of us and you'll be the very best mama for your child that you can be.

Little boys have a special magic all their own and I can't wait for you to experience it!

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