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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

WHAT I'VE LEARNED FROM BEING A BOY MOM






Being a boy mom is something I never thought  I would be...nonetheless 3 boys later, and I'm an official boy mom. It keeps me on the edge as they are very rowdy, busy, and constantly involved sports.  Once we got pregnant with Cyrus, I truly believed that God has made me a boy mom for a reason.  Because I know he never makes any mistakes.

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If you are new reader to the blog I have 3 boys, Cameron Allen(10), Calvin Alfonso, he is name after his grandfathers (4), and Cyrus Alexander (5 months). You may have noticed that I have 3 boys in 3 different stages of life.  I have almost a preteen, toddler, and baby.  Each require different types of parenting for each child, which can be exhausting at times.  
Today I wanted to share what I've learned about raising boys.  I wanted to go a little bit deeper and share more of my life trial and errors.  First, I wanted to give you a little look into what we are experiencing with each boy in their stages of life.
Cameron we are trying to mold him as he is making that transition into puberty and being a young man.  We are at the point where we are educating him with the reason behind our decisions.  Teaching him hygiene, and the importance of cleanliness.  This kid came home recently so funky, and of course we found out he was neglecting deodorant. Ugh! It's all about values and the consequences behind your choices.  
He hasn't yet crossed gotten into girls (thank goodness!), but I know it is coming unfortunately. So Rick and I just stress the importance of having open dialogue with him constantly.  We do this so 1. we stay in the know and 2. so he knows that he can always come talk to us about anything. With Cameron it's all about teaching him about responsibility and organization.  Like most boys Cameron deals with the case of the lazy sometimes, and we remind him this household works like a puzzle piece every member has a role in order to keep this puzzle together. 
Calvin, well he is my firecracker. If you watch my instastories then you know that we experienced terrible twos and threeanger.  He is probably the most dramatic little kid you will meet.  We are in the stage with Calvin where we are teaching him authority.  Everyone has to submit to some form of authority, and Calvin is NOT excluded from that. He is the King of no one and we are regular having to keep his mouth in check.  Even with Calvin's theatrics, he is so full of life and keeps this house laughing. I'm amazed at his animated mind and I loves to learn new things daily. 
Cyrus,  he is our little peanut.  Right now Cyrus is starting to be aware of so many things.  He loves his big brothers so much and will follow them with his eyes around the room. We have experienced some health issues (will share more on that soon) with Cyrus, so much of our energy has been spent trying to ensure he is healthy.  Outside of being sleep deprived he really is less demanding than his older siblings.
So after 3 boys you would think I would be a pro! Ha! I'm far from it.  However, I have learned a few things that I thought I would share.

1. Just know that you will regularly walk into the bathroom and the toilet seat is up.  Don't fight that battle, it really isn't worth it.
2. To add to that if you have boys you will become a professional toilet cleaner.  Make sure to pick up this cleaner, it will be a life save when your son's aim is off.   
3. Girls like to dress up like princesses, but boys love to become super heros.  keep a closet of all your past costumes, it will come in handy with the imagination kicks on. Oh and don't fight them on taking off the costume before you go out in public.  I've accepted that many people know Calvin as Thor.
4. Boys (at least mine) don't always want to provide all the information.  Cameron could have a full project he's working on and barely tell us anything about.  We make it a point to have daily dialogue and check-ins on his day.  Easy way to do this is at the dinner table. 
5. Be a cheerleader but be realistic.  My boys play sports, which I love.  I will be their #1 fan.  But with boys you can't always let earning the participation trophy be ok.  I did that for a while, and I feel that it didn't teach Cam to have that competitive edge.  Now we teach him the importance of having fun, but what winning and losing is all about.  Or educating him on what it means with some athletes have more playing time.  Most recently, I have started opening the dialogue on playing sports in middle school, what try-outs are, and how not all kids make the team.  Cam should understand now that being an athlete requires work to improve and be the best version of yourself. 
6. Yes there boys, but they need affection too.  I wouldn't say I smother my older two, but I am very affectionate.  I want them to know and understand that regardless of what age it is always "cool" to love your family and show it! 
7. Get creative with clothing.  Now, I fuss about this regularly, but it's not always easy to find tons of cute options for boys clothing that are always durable.  Some of my favorite places to shop for the boys are Gymboree, Osh Kosh, Old Navy, Target, and The Children's Place.
8. Hygiene is not a priority for boys. So before you walk out the door make sure to add some time buffers to check that teeth were brush and deodorant was actually used. We are constantly reminding them to brush hair, wash face, etc. We set the expectation that you must always look presentable regardless of where you are going.
9. There will be bumps and bruises, and that doesn't define how great you are as a parent.  Of course no parent ever wants their child to get hurt.  Having rowdy boys they are constantly jumping from something and pushing the limits.  Most recently Calvin had a bad fall at the playground, and has a large knot on his head.  I can only do the best that I can do, but boys will be boys.  Just make sure to have some Neosporin and Coconut oil on deck for those bumps and bruises.
10.  Show them who's boss!  I'm 5 ft 3 so needless to say my 10 year old is almost as tall as me! However, don't let the height fool you.  I still run these children.  Having boys you have to make your mark early on or being a mom they will not take you serious. Stand tall even if they are taller than you! haha! 
11. Don't create mama boys. While I take care of my boys, I am also stressing the importance of having responsibilities and doing chores.  No one is exempt in this house! Calvin puts away silverware, and Cameron has a weekly list.  I want to create men that can go out and function in the world, not ones that barely will know how to survive outside the home. 
12.  Keep them busy.  While it gets hard having hectic schedules, when my boys are "bored" at the house that's when they start getting into trouble.  I know as time goes on that will continue to be true. They will forever and always be active and involved in a variety of activities.
13.  Teach them how to be brothers.  We stress the importance that your brothers are your first and last friend.  If you cannot respect and have fun with your brother then you don't need to be hanging out with friends.  Friends don't eliminate time with your brother.  Your brothers will be there always as seasons with friends change.  So always keep your brother number one. Of course, we love that our kids are social, but if you can't have fun with your brother first then that's a problem that needs to be worked on.
14. Chivalry is not dead.  While we will not allow our boys to court until they are much older, chivalry first gets learned with how they treat the current women in their life. I.e. Mom, Gigi, and Aunts. Cameron had the audacity to open the door and walk through it first. I grabbed the back of his shirt so quick, and made him try that again. The expectation just has to be taught. 
15. Make sure your boys have a mentor.  Being a boy is tough, and there will be times they will need a mentor outside of their parents.  Ensure they have that, because they should always have an outlet.
16.  Stay in community.  Raising young men is hard, and sometimes you need a sounding board or advice from other people going through it.  Surround yourself with families with similar values that you can go to for advice, or just to compare stories.  It is very therapeutic and funny. 
17.  Use your resources: I've read some great boys on raising Christian boys.  Try are reading this one or also this one. Helps give different perspectives and provide practical tips.
18.  Teach him to be a leader.  We stress to the boys making their own decision and not following the crowd.  We don't strive to have the "cool" we are working on raising Kingdom men.  They are regularly learning to be comfortable in their who God see's them as rather than kids at the school. 
19.  Boys are gross.  If I tried to keep count of how many times we talk about passing gas, poop, and burps I would lose count. Oh and they stink.  All I can do is stress the importance of limiting this in public. haha!
20. They need their mommy.  Whether it is cooking their favorite meal, or hugging them when they get hurt.  I know my place with my boys, and I know they all love the heck out of their mom.  And I will continue to be there nurturing them through each season of life.
21.  They go through clothes quickly, whether its because they got holes in them or being they out grew them.  I strongly encourage you to shop affordable options, because boys grow out of them so quickly.  I lost count how many times I bought shoes for Cam and then 1 week later he got a hole in his shoe.  Here's a tip, when shopping for shoes I change the sort on my cart to LOW to HIGH.  Helps me find affordable shoes that are still fashionable.
22.  You will live at field, court, or diamond.  So far each boy seems to love some type of sport, and many of my evenings are spent being a baseball, football, soccer, or basketball mom.  Make friends with your fellow moms, it will make all the time you spend their so much easier. 
Whew...that was a lot.  I know there was so much more, but I knew I couldn't make this a novel. Being a boy mom is not an easy task, but someone has to do it.  I love that God chose me.  We are raising Christian children, and all we can do is continue to grow them in Christ. This has been a trial and error experience, and all we can do is strive to be the best parents possible for our 3 boys. 
If you are a fellow boy mom, I hope this gives you comfort that you got a friend in me.  Or if you know someone that is a boy mom, share this with them.  
Boy moms unite!
XO TARYN

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