Monday, 4 November 2013

A Mummy to Boys

My first pregnancy was completely unexpected, and I was still busy getting my head around the fact that I was going to be having a little person to look after when my 20 week scan took place.  Nervous and excited, we decided to find out the gender, although all my instincts told me that we would be buying blue.  The scan proved me right, and I busied myself planning a life for us and our baby boy.



I lingered over the pretty dresses, delicate tights and beautiful tutus, but found a home alongside the dungarees, mini band tees and funky sneakers.  Boy's clothes are fun and fresh and there are so many options if you are willing to go outside the norm. 

When I was pregnant with the second, my instincts again took over, and I bought a few bargains in the lead up to the second scan as I was so certain we would again see the tell tale signs that another little boy would enter our family.  Yet again, I was right and alongside the hand me downs, I bought bright and colourful newborn pieces for our new arrival.  Dylan had worn the traditional blue, white and grey but I wanted reds, greens and browns for the newest addition.


Archie came into the world bright and early one Sunday morning and I knew straight away that he would be very different to his brother.  Unlike the sleepy, calm baby I had born 18 months before, Archie was awake and alert and so curious.  I had never expected a carbon copy, but I had also not expected the boys to be so different, and I wrote previously about having one of each, as their personalities couldn't then, and still could not now, be further apart.

One has always been a sleeper and a dreamer.  Happy to watch the world go by, and content in his own way.  The other needs to see, touch and experience everything.  He wants to do more than his body will allow and there is a twinkle in his eye that says he will catch his brother up in no time.  Both are equally perfect, but both are so different.


But they are both boys, and I am a mum to boys.  I am the lone female in a house of males, and I am so happy this way.  I hate the gender stereotypes, but I love stomping through leaves, squelching in mud and kicking a football around the park.  Baggy jeans and welly boots are our family uniform at the weekend and I feel at home as a mummy to boys.

My girly pink bits and pretty hefty shoe collection stand out in a house of blue, train tracks and dinosaurs, but I love being the feminine touch.  I love being able to come home to 'my boys' - all 3 of them and I love the role I play in their lives.  


I feel like I was made to be a mummy to boys.  To my calm, confident and cheeky toddler, desperate to learn and to my cuddly,clingy and curious baby, desperate to explore, both needing me in such different ways, but both needing me just as much.  




32 comments:

  1. Beautiful! Such lovely little boys, and the photos seem to perfectly express their different personalities. Has Archie stuck with the red, greens and browns as he has got bigger?

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    1. He has actually. He has a lot of hand me downs but I love him in red and orange and funky stuff still.

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  2. I was exactly the same. I also knew that I would be a mum to boys. It's just the way I'm wired. My best friend has two little girls and when I have to shop for them, I'm overwhelmed with confusion. I stand in the middle of pink-world not knowing where to start. I love boys clothes.

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    1. See I love shopping for girls, and have so much fun finding beautiful things for friends and family, but I do find there is a lot more choice with the boys clothes than I expected and I love it all! I have a feeling should I have 10 children that they would all be boys, I think that is just how it was meant to be.

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  3. This article implies that girls don't 'stomp through leaves, squelch through mud or kick footballs around' I have three girls and they all do this and far surpass their male peers when it comes to being adventurous outdoors. My house is also awash with blue (and pink, green purple, red etc) train tracks and most especially dinosaurs! You say you don't like the gender stereotypes but your article reeks of it. It's a shame you feel the need to pigeon hole girls in the 'delicate tights and pink tutus' box in order to make being a mummy to boys superior. It sounds to me as though you don't teach gender equality to your children and that's a shame for future women (and girls) who meet your sons growing up as I fear they will face misogyny and sexism from ' your boys' . I believe that an effective parent teaches their children feminism (regardless of gender) and gender neutrality (not to be confused with androgyny).

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    1. I am sorry that you read the post that way as that is not how it was written. I don't think being a mum to boys is superior to any other role, I am simply trying to say that it is one that I feel I was destined to do, and one that I enjoy. My boys are brought up to understand gender equality, they play with whatever toys they like and my toddler loves taking his pushchair for a walk - a toy traditionally marketed at little girls. My post is trying to explain that my children and I share a love of these things. Boys are intrinsically different to girls, they have different parts and different hormones, they are not superior nor inferior, but they are not the same either. I hoped this post made clear that I encouraged my sons differences and their individual personalities, but I also love the fact that they are my boys,

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    2. Little boys' hormones don't affect them until they hit puberty the same as girls. So your boys at their ages are not aware instinctively that they are any different from a girl. Society forces this difference. And when people like you say things like "I'm glad I have boys so I can play in the mud" and "I'm glad I have boys so instead of buying frilly pink princess clothes I can by cool band tees and funky sneakers" you send a message that girls can't play in the mud or wear cool clothes, girls were made to be clean, tidy and look pretty. You need to read through your post again from the eyes of a mother of girls or imagine you are a young girl reading this post, then tell me what message it sends. And be objective forget the fact that this is your post. And just because your son plays with a pushchair does not mean you are empowering women your teaching him gender equality, especially not if this post is your attitude to being a parent of boys. This post would have been fine if instead of focusing on what you can do as a mum of boys not girls and focused instead of being a mum to your two children. Forget gender.

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    3. I think Becky has every right to focus HER blog post on whatever she wishes, the fact she focused on being a mother to two boys is her every right and is a post that many of us as mums to just boys can relate to. I think you're the one that needs to read this in a different light, not imply that Becky needs to right this in a different light.

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    4. I find it just so wrong you have read this post in this way, Becky has not sterotyped in anyway, in fact my children (I have boys and girls) have had the pleasure of playing with Beck and her boys and they have played what you think she is classing as Girly games. Becky has every right to write about being a Mum to boys, I write about being a mum to a disabled son as well I am sure you write about being a parent to girls. Gender is hugely important and if you think not I am afraid you are wrong, I hate people branding but still in society there are things girls are not allowed to do, I legally was not allowed to play touch rugby at school for legal reasons, this is still the case to date. Girls and boys are different but that is not what she highlights in this post, she highlights her love for playing with her boys.
      I have sons that wear pink and a daughter who's favourite toy is a dinosaur and I certainly did not read this post as you have. I would love to read some of your blog posts on parenting

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    5. Dear Anonymous. You are a little crazy. I'm being objective.

      This is a post about a mothers love for her children. The topic is about the joy of having 2 boys. You have read this with tainted eyes and assumed that it is talking negatively towards girls.

      The post does not compare boys to girls. It does not say boys are better than girls.

      You miss-quote "I'm glad I have boys so I can play in the mud" with the self injected word of 'so', which suggests that the mum (female) can play in the mud, which is immediately contradictory to your statement "girls can't play in the mud". Illogical, yes. Crazy, perhaps.

      2 - I partially agree that the idea of boy things and girl things is gender stereotyping. However this is not a bad thing in principle. Its just a basic method of differentiating and grouping, which humans do by nature. You seem to be overreacting quite dramatically. Any male who would live by your principles above couldn't possibly go out for a beer with the lads, have a short haircut, cook food at a barbeque, or jump in the mud, because any one of these things sends the wrong message. Boys can do boy things. So can girls. Just because the post doesnt specifically discuss what a girl can or cannot do (because the post is specifically about boys) it by no means implies anything which you have suggested above.

      Now I agree with your sentiment and views of gender equality, however I feel you are misguided in finding this post in any way contrary to your views.

      To result to direct insults over your misinterpretation seems brash. Your insults such as "It's a shame you feel..." are condescending,
      "you don't teach gender equality" - based on a mini snapshot how could you possibly know?
      "they will face misogyny and sexism from ' your boys'" - because they participate in things such as playing in mud? This is insane, concluding that you are crazy.
      "I believe that an effective parent teaches their children feminism (regardless of gender) and gender neutrality (not to be confused with androgyny)." - this is good. Lets hope your crazy lashing out at people for doing nothing wrong at all isn't part of your parenting, or something that is ever visible to any child that may ever have access to the internet.

      If you will allow me to make wild accusations of my own now? I'd suggest for you to see a councilor. It seems you have your own issues with the world which are causing you to have outbursts, and the cause of which is not quite aligned to reality. My guess is that you really wanted boys but only got girls, and you have dealt with this by being incredibly oversensitive regarding the topic of gender.

      I suggest you go read some more of these blog posts to get a better understanding of the parenting style and come back with your views based on research (as any good lecturer would surely tell his (OR HER) students).

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  4. I didn't read the post that way. I have 4 children, 3 of them are girls, and I read this post in the spirit that was intended, I think. I dont think anything negative was implied or intended, we're all mums together who are trying our best to raise our children and celebrate their differences and skills and I think that as a community of mums we should be supportive of each other. This was the first time I'd read this blog and I really liked the voice and images it gave me. I think you misinterpreted where Bex was going with this.

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  5. Your sons are beautiful! This is a sweet post. I wonder how Laurence is going to find being the only male in a house full of girls! :)

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  6. I didn't read it as favouring boys to girls either. I read it from the perspective of a proud mum - which you clearly are. It's funny - my latest post says some similar things and I never once thought that girls couldn't like dinosaurs or wear dungarees, I just thought of what my boy liked. I never quite understand why happy posts are viewed through a microscope. Sometimes, things just are! It's sad that motherhood implies some sort of hidden agenda with everything. Your boys are gorgeous, as always. xx

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  7. I think that the mum of girls needs a dose of reality if she read that to mean that you were trying to sound superior. It's how you feel. I am a mum of a boy and I will be hoping that the next baby will be a boy too. If I had a girl, she would have had lots of boy clothes but I would have mixed it up with dresses and stuck a band t shirt with a tutu I'm sure. You just can't do that with a boy though so your house is naturally going to be full of all boy things. If that's what you like then why not write that in your blog jeez!! We're in a society where mixing boys with pink is much more different to mixing girls with blue.

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    1. First of all I'm not a Mum I'm a Dad. And why can't your son wear a tutu? If he asked to wear one would you tell him no because 'you can't do that with boys' FYI I am a lecturer in women's studies and women like you are the reason gender stereotypes continue to be perpetuated in our society.

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    2. I wouldn't wear a tutu so what does that make me? Jeez you're getting a bit sensitive feel free to go and rant and rave all over my blog you clearly have the time to

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  8. I haven't read it as favouring boys over girls. You're just talking about life as a mum with boys, its as simple as that. I completely agree with Charlotte and Caroline's comments.
    Gorgeous boys x

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  9. I could of just easily wrote this, though obviously not as brilliantly as you. This totally sums up how I feel about being a mother to two boys. Guess it takes being a mum to 2 boys to GET this post ;)

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  10. Lovely post as always and Dylan just gets more and more gorgeous every time I see him - he is going to break some hearts!
    I totally get your point of view here - living in an all female household, even though we don't have any gender stereotypes, can be hard - the male touch is missing despite our best efforts to compensate. If the coin was flipped and I was the only female, I think I too would embrace a more feminine persona to rebalance things - yes girls can do all the things boys do, and boys can do all the things girls do, but sometimes there are things that really stand out as being one or the other and they're the things we choose to highlight in ourselves to almost make a point - be it to society or just our own minds. There are gender roles that are enduring in western society, but we can fight against them, while still enjoying them occasionally too. I don't think you're perpetuating them, you're just highlighting how being female in a male world has made you explore that side of you too.

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  11. I think God knows what he's doing when he hands out our babies....I had 2 girls first and then a boy but my son is quite placid and fits in well with our family. It's lovely that you feel so happy with your boys, sadly there are many parents out there who try to turn their children into something they're not because they wish they had had the opposite sex. At the end of the day, every child is incredibly different (as you so rightly pointed out about your two) whatever sex they are :)

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  12. First of all I don't have a parenting blog, I was looking for material on how parents reinforce gender stereotypes, and this post and all the ignorant comments have made for great material to teach my next class. Thank you.

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    1. first up, read my comment above. second, do you not think there is a world of difference between acknowledging gender related activities and negative stereotyping?

      a generalisation (ie boys like to play with fire) does not imply the opposite (ie, girls dont or cant)

      why do you feel the need to point blame at parents? blaming parents for every bad thing in the world is easy to do (ie, the london rioters were brought up by a generation of bad parents) but in itself is just as damaging as the stereotype that women should do all the cleaning.

      a lot of this comes down to tradition. are you also saying anyone who celebrates christmas but is not christian is religiously immoral?

      i would love to sit in your lecture.

      i would love to study you.

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  13. woah... have no idea why this post has induced such a strong reaction - crazy. Easy to be so opinionated when you're anonymous right...? I will take it as it was clearly intended. Your boys are adorable and it's lovely they have such different personalities. xxx Don't worry about the haters! There's always one...lol ;) x

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  14. Love this post, your boys are gorgeous - so smiley and obviously love having their photos taken by you!

    I also love choosing boys clothes for N. So many people (usually mums of girls) say how boring boys clothes are, and yes N does have a lot of blue clothes, but blue features heavily in my own wardrobe as that's one of my favourites. He also has a lot of red and looks great in it.

    I'm quite surprised at the mention of your anonymous poster saying boys aren't aware of gender differences until puberty. My son's only 2.5 but he is quite aware what daddy has and mummy has/hasn't body wise, although I'm not sure he's related that to boys and girls yet. While he also likes pushing his soft toys around in my old childhood pushchair and playing kitchens, already at his age (and earlier), I notice how different he and his male peers are to the majority of the girls who he's at nursery with or in our NCT group. Yes, there's one girl who loves trainsets, but the other 3 aren't interested at all. Conversely, the 4 boys all gravitated towards vehicles and are less interested in dolls. Yes these toys might all be stereotypical, but when given a choice at a young age, in my experience I've noticed the children more often than not opt for the 'traditional' one for their gender. Even with books, N has 2 Spot books. One has a pink cover (and is about a little sister), the other has a green cover (can't remember the story)...he used to refuse the pink one before he even knew the story, and always opted for the green one. He's always chosen his books to read, so I found it quite exciting that he was never keen on the pink, when actually it was only a colour.

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  15. Lovely post and lovely pictures, a very proud parent of her 2 little boys is the only thing I got from this, none of the other crazy talk as mentioned by the anonymous user above.

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  16. Ahh they are so gorgeous. Before I had J I had no idea what it would be like to have a boy having only had a girl but I just love it, obviously I love having a girl too and I can't really explain how it's different but it just is. I don't treat them any differently obviously and I love them exactly the same but it is just different because boys and girls are different, in most cases x

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  17. Oh Crikey - so people are odd! I'm a mum to 2 boys and love it too, sue me.

    I also think it's nuts to imply there are no differences between boys and girls, my boys are very stereotypical of boys and my nieces are very stereotypically 'girly' - those conceptions exist for a reason!

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  18. And I'm a mum to my two girls and that feels exactly who when and where I'm supposed to be! This is a lovely post and your boys are gorgeous!

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  19. Really enjoyed reading this. I only imagined myself having one child so when I had my girl I thought being a mum to her was all I was meant to be until I had my son they are so different in so many ways she's a typical girl and he's a typical boy and having the both of them makes me feel complete. I wouldn't change a thing :) Your boys are absolutely beautiful! x

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  20. Lovley post :) Love buying clothes to charley, And i love the funky clothes you put your little boys in :)

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  21. Aw gorgeous post! I have always expected to be mum to boys as my whole family is pretty much boys and I have 3 brothers but I had a girl! Wonder what the next one will be!

    Kerry @ Lived With Love! | Mummy, Beauty & Lifestyle blog

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