Lately I’ve seen a lot of hating on the “Boy Mom” hashtag. Moms looking for solidarity by using #boymom or #boymomproblems seem to be met with criticism of stereotyping, accusations of excluding girls, and moms who have girls (or moms of both girls and boys).
I am sick of this.
I’ll be the first to admit that every child is unique and no one fits into one neat little box. But on the whole, groups of boys and groups of girls are different. Which means raising them (especially when you have multiple children of the same sex) will be different. And that’s okay.
Let me shed a little more light on why I feel so strongly about this.
Life centers around penises in my household. I’m surrounded by them. Not to sound crass, but it’s the truth. Boys are truly fascinated—no, obsessed—with their genitalia. They think it is fun to mark their territory wherever they go (and try to do it when I’m not looking). Just the other day, one of my boys ran over to a tree in the park to relieve himself…and five other boys rushed over to check it out and decide they had to pee, too!
Boys also love to spank each other’s butts and show each other their butts. I teach them very clearly the importance of keeping private parts private but they do not care one bit. They think it’s hilarious.
It’s such a strange world for a mama to be in all by herself…which is why I love to bond with other #boymoms over these crazy moments.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with finding humor in the unique dynamic having all boys brings to our household. I admit there are some challenges because there’s not as much balance when you have multiple children of the same sex. My boys feed off of one another, encourage each other to talk about poop and farts constantly at the dinner table, and belch as loud as possible. Every night I correct this behavior… multiple times.
By using the #boymom hashtag, I am not saying “boys will be boys” and excusing their behavior. Believe it or not, these boys do have rules and consequences. I try so hard to get them to behave like civilized humans.
What I am saying is: “This is my life. Send help!” Because, I’m just at a loss for words sometimes! If I take a picture and post it on social media, I’m just trying to send and receive some laughter through this process of raising boys.
In these moments where I’m thinking, “Why, God…Why?!?!” it’s incredibly validating to talk to other moms who “get it.”
When it comes down to it, it’s just a hashtag… but it means more than that to a lot of boy moms.
Boy moms don’t get to have a lot of the same experiences as moms with girls. We don’t have mother-daughter tea parties, mani-pedis, or get to shop for cute girly clothes (which take over 3/4 of most stores).
So we need something.
And now we have a hashtag. And we claim it proudly.
Can’t we just have this one thing?