Motherhood

The Joy of Having Boys

The Joy of Having Boys

When pregnant, did (or do) you secretly hope to have a boy or a girl? Honestly, seven years ago, I was nervous when I discovered I was pregnant with a boy. What if I couldn’t connect to my son? Worse, what if he didn’t connect with me? But then of course (OF COURSE!), I fell head over heels crazy in love. Here, nine moms, including myself, share what they love about having sons…

Toby has always been a die-hard romantic (exhibit A, exhibit B). But recently Anton has gotten swept up in the excitement of all things fancy, as well. Last week, they asked if we could dress up and go to a nice dinner. They took a bath, THEY WASHED THEIR HAIR and they picked out nice clothes — including blazers and light-up sneakers. “Mommy,” Toby said seriously, as he combed his hair, “you should probably wear a dress.” We decided on our neighborhood Indian restaurant. During dinner, Anton wriggled off his chair, crawled into my lap, and spent the rest of the meal cuddled in my arms. I find these two so delightful — I literally delight in them. They are the great joys of my life.

The Joy of Having Boys

I cried in the car after finding out the sex of our baby during my first pregnancy. What would I have in common with a son? But after Hugo was born, all those fears evaporated. The mutual adoration was real and intense. We were together so much during that first year that I called him my little barnacle. It makes me laugh to think that I ever questioned how we’d relate. Not only does he love so many of the same things I do — books and baking and knock-knock jokes and cuddles, to name just a few — but it has been remarkably fun to discover the other things that bring him joy — pirates and animals and music and his unbridled imagination. When we had our second child, I found myself hoping it would be another boy. I’m thrilled to be the mother of two sons, whose all-encompassing love is the most special thing in my life. — Luisa Weiss

The Joy of Having Boys

Six-year-old Eli sometimes asks to “do my hair” and it’s so sweet. When I say yes, he gets excited like it’s a special treat. He brushes out my hair until it’s “really soft and smooth,” then he makes ponytails or braids (he just learned to braid). He’s always eager to find out if I like the results. I’ve raised my boys very gender neutral, supporting all their interests and never ever saying that something is “for girls” or “for boys.” But for some reason I never imagined playing “hair salon” with my son. It has been a pleasant surprise! — Lena Corwin

The Joy of Having Boys

Oak is hilarious and has no sense of boundaries. Everyone is his friend: the crossing guard, the stranger at the flea market, the guy at the bodega. Literally, he will walk up to anyone and say “Wass your name? I Oakie!” And that free spirit and lack of self awareness is so new for me to watch and love. I’ve learned so much as his mother. — LaTonya Yvette

The Joy of Having Boys

I don’t know what I thought it was going to be like, having a boy, but this beautiful, gentle 17-year-old who drives his sister to the town library and plays Joni Mitchell on the piano and says deadpan things like, “Same,” to make me laugh after I muse aloud that perimenopause is killing me — this is beyond whatever my wildest dreams must have been about babies, boys, people in general. Whatever it is you imagine boys are, or teenagers, I promise you want this. — Catherine Newman

The Joy of Having Boys

I feared my son might prefer things foreign to me. What if he liked sports?! Would I have to fake liking them, too? (That had never worked for me when dating!) But it turns out that I’m so in love with him that experiencing something he likes is entirely different than trying to like it for myself. For example, the other morning at his soccer game, I found myself on the edge of my seat during a heated play. When I realized it, I laughed out loud — that had never happened to me before, but I couldn’t help being swept up in passion as I watched his little body race after the ball with all its might. — Linsey Laidlaw

The Joy of Having Boys

I’m the mother of two sons — ages 28 and 35. When my sons began following their passions, I made a point of reading their Skateboarder and Surfer Magazines. It was fun to learn about those subcultures, and my interest gave us so much to talk about. Likewise, their graffiti phase sharpened my fascination in the tags we’d glimpse around San Francisco. Cooking is where our hobbies intersected. Ned discovered that baking a cake was a fun date; and Alex regularly makes his own gravlax to go with bagels. Nowadays, we talk and text regularly about what we’re up to in the kitchen. — Nicole Young

The Joy of Having Boys

My nine-year-old son is hands-down the most sensitive and empathetic person I have ever known – all ages and genders included. (I have a daughter, too, and we openly acknowledge who the most sensitive family member is!) He notices if I am wearing a new perfume; he sees if I am a little stressed or sad and asks why and if he can help. When I ask if he wants a back scratch at night, he’ll often offer me one in return. — Rony Elka Vardi

The Joy of Having Boys

When Beckett was three, he went through a major Batman phase. He was Batman, and I was his sidekick, fighting crime across every inch of our apartment. “I’m Batman, Mommy. Who’re you going to be?” has been the kick-off question, and, to amuse myself, I’d given some random name off the top of my head. At some point, as the Batman phase was winding down, I remember one of our last battles. We were doing our usual: kicking imaginary villains on the yellow sofa in the playroom, when I turned to him and said, “I love you, Batman.” He looked up at me, straight-faced, and said, “I love you, too, Milli Vanilli.” The image of that moment remains in my mind — those chubby, flushed cheeks; the nylon Batman costume. I had totally forgotten my sidekick’s name from a few months before — but Beckett had not. The most surprising realization of mothering boys is that, for the most part, I forget they’re boys. I think of them as children, as loves of my life, as interesting individuals, as the reason I’m excited to wake up in the morning.” — Lisa Rubisch

What about you? Do you have a boy or girl? What has your experience been like? For any mothers-to-be who are secretly nervous about having a son, let me reassure you: you will look back a year from now and not be able to comprehend how much you adore that little person. xoxo

P.S. When I showed him the top photo, Anton said, “Mommy, was I smiling in that photo? Is that smiling?” Haha, kind of!
P.P.S. Toby’s week of outfits, and how to talk to little girls.

  1. Stacie says...

    My son is two. He’s the love of my life. I’m expecting a girl in September and I’m waaaaay more nervous (but very excited!!).

    I’m currently reading Catherine Newman’s book titled Waiting for Birdy. Just an hour ago, I was laughing so hard I was crying. (What got me? It was a few paragraphs about hemorrhoids, eating gummy bears while pregnant, and not slipping in the bath.) It was fun to read on here about her son as a loving big brother to Birdy now.

    Also, Oak is such a great name. It made my heart skip a beat.

  2. Jess says...

    I’m getting ready to have my first, a boy, in a few weeks. THANK YOU for this gorgeous article! Made me feel very emotional to read these accounts and the comments. I can hardly wait to lock eyes with my little dude soon.

  3. Amie K says...

    Oh man, I was raised by a single mom and I’m a single mom of a little boy. When we found out I was having a boy we were like “A BOY! What are we going to do with a boy!?” This kid is the funniest, sweetest, most curious little human I’ve ever known. Now that he’s been on this planet for 2.5 years I can’t imagine my life any other way. I’m so grateful to have a boy. He loves to sing, dance, play the piano. He’s charming and stubborn just like his dad but playful and resilient like me. We’re already learning about consent and respect; I feel such a special honor in raising a boy who will become a man with values centered around compassion and empathy. He is what a feminist looks like and that won’t automatically negate his masculinity. <3

  4. Heidi says...

    I never wanted to have a daughter. I was the middle child of three girls, and my oldest sister and I were vicious to one another. Thank God, He gave me three boys! Being a mother to my sons has been everything to me in my life. I was created to love and nurture them, support them and let them go.
    The time has come that my youngest son is graduating from High School. How bittersweet it is to watch them flourish in life. I want to grab on with all my might and not let go, yet, I also revel in their aptitude and joys in various areas of their lives. Oh boy, this is tough!

  5. Louise says...

    I love having a girl and hoping to have another girl this time around :)

  6. Casey says...

    I have one boy, almost 4, and he makes my every day complete. I work full time but he is my joy in the mornings and my delight in the evenings. I simply can’t imagine this world without him. I’ve just started trying to wake up an hour earlier to check emails before I get to work and get organized before the chaos sets in. Yesterday he woke up early too and wobbled downstairs with squinty eyes. I told him you should be sleeping! He said, “But I love you and want to be with you”. I called him over and held him in my lap.

  7. Susan Rubinsky says...

    I wanted a boy (And that’s what I had!). I dreaded the thought of possibly having a girl. I wanted nothing to do with girl. I feared I would end up with some girl girl who wanted to do things like take dance classes. That would have been horrific for me. Boys are awesome! Mine is 20 now.

  8. Mom of three boys here, and with each pregnancy I thought I wanted a girl, grew increasingly disappointed each time we found out we were having another boy, and now realize it is even better than I could have dreamed or planned for myself. Girls are wonderful but instead I’ve been given the responsibility of raising three good men, feminist men, strong and sweet and kind men. It is an important job I don’t take lightly. And in return I have three loves who think I’m magic and there is nothing better. They love me so hard and fiercely. They give me more than I deserve on a daily basis. They are 6, 2.5, and 15 months and I’m in the thick of it and so so tired and there is SO MUCH NOISE and pee everywhere and I love it all. Maybe not the pee everywhere, but you get the idea. Boy momming is so special.

  9. Ellen says...

    My boy is an almost four year old who loves dressing up as spiderman, pirate or knight. Today he was a knight, I was his princess and he “bought” me a dress: so I walked around in a big blue dress from the dressing-up basket all afternoon :)

  10. Lisa S. says...

    Sweetest post ever! There’s just something about your own little boy. I like your story about Anton climbing into your lap. This happened to me the other night at dinner with my mom and son. After eating and taking a break from Minecraft, he said “can I sit on your lap?” It made my heart melt and I was thinking of it often this week. He is 7 1/2 and his feet are almost as big as mine but I just love to cuddle with him and when he asks I will jump at the chance!

  11. A says...

    Guys.

    I’ll be 30 in a couple months and I’m lingering in that period of time where I’m waiting for my period. If it doesn’t come – I very well could be pregnant.

    I’ve been a bucket of anxiety about it as my partner and I aren’t fully in the spot where we want a child yet [we’re living in a basement, we’re trying to buy a home in a very expensive market, I’m working on my mental health and myself so I can fully be there for a baby] but we’d make it work if it happened, of course. Somehow.

    These posts are making me feel SO much better…. Love all you moms and your beautiful kids – in the post and the comments! <3

  12. Jill says...

    Am a boy mom and LOVE it! Thanks for this post!

  13. I have two boys and a girl. When we were expecting our daughter, we found out the gender, which we hadn’t done with the first two. And everyone was so excited for us that we were having a girl after two boys, and I just knew I would have been just as happy with another boy. They’re so wonderful. My first son looks just like his dad and is just like me in every other way and it’s amazing to be his mother. And my second child amazes me with how different and unique and all his own he is. Boys are the best (which should in no way be taken to mean that girls aren’t the best. They are the best too.)!

  14. Mandy says...

    I love that Luisa called her baby a barnacle. My 5 month old’s name is Arne and I call him Arnacle the Barnacle or Arne the Barne, for the same reason. LOVES to be held and cuddled, which I love.
    We didn’t find out “what” we were having. I just really wanted a surprise. And what surprised me most was how people were itching to give the fetus personality traits based on its sex, even before he was born. I’m trying to check that reaction in myself when I hear about other people’s pregnancies now.

  15. Whitney says...

    When I was in high school I told my mom I was going to have four boys. I knew for so long I was a boy mom and while I had hoped for a girl with both pregnancies, I knew it was a boy. We are done at 2 and I LOVE being a boy mom with all my heart. I have never wished for a girl. Not once. But I have been surprised by a few things with my 2 and 3 year old. 1. My oldest LOVES crafts. I by no means am a crafty person but he will sit and do any craft for at least a half hour. That’s an enternity for a 3 year old. I now have an entire craft bin filled with options. I’ve been labeled the crafty mom which is hilarious. 2. They LOVE SO HARD. Both my boys grab my face to kiss me or they wrap their arms around me and squeeze so tight. They look at me with the most adoring gaze and I melt every time. 3. Boys clothes are SO CUTE! I love shopping for boys clothes. And don’t get me started on the shoes. 4. I am more laid back when it comes to parenting boys than I thought I would be. My husband is not this way so he will stop them from playing in mud before I will. I’m firm on manners, empathy and kindness but when it comes to dirt and water I let them have a blast regardless of the mess. Thanks for including a mom of older sons. I love to cook and bake and have high hopes that they will too. Great post.

  16. Tess says...

    Oh my goodness, the Milli Vanilli line made me cry! Motherhood is the very best.

  17. VP says...

    Before I got pregnant, I wanted a boy. I even wrote a whole blog post about why — https://penpaperstorm.wordpress.com/2014/10/20/i-hope-i-have-sons-but-not-for-the-reasons-you-think/

    I wanted a boy up until I found out I was having a girl! At that point, it doesn’t really matter what I want or expect. I was so nervous to have a baby girl because of my own struggles as a girl and woman, as a daughter of a strict immigrant mother — a woman who had a tough time raising a very independent and vocal young girl. I was supposed to be quiet and demure and a “good” girl but resisted these. Not in an extreme way by any means, for I still excelled in school and learned how to be responsible and live independently. But for many years, I experienced a challenging relationship with my mom and was afraid the same would occur with my own daughter. Now, she is nearly 18 months old and I cannot picture not having her. I actually want another girl now! Regardless of whether she has brother(s), sister(s), or ends up being an only child, I want her to be happy and form strong bonds with her family. I want her to feel secure and know we have her back, something I did not always feel when I was growing up.

  18. Lindsay says...

    I just love reading the comments on Cup of Jo – such wonderful insight into mothers’ hearts! I am the mother of 2 girls (ages 8 and 6) AND 2 boys (ages 4 years and 21 months). When we went to the ultrasound for our third baby (who turned out to be our first son) I secretly hoped for another girl. I ADORED my girls. They were the only world I knew. Then I had my son and my heart just burst with an equally fierce, but new kind of love. I felt like I was holding a mini version of my husband, which meant I had someone else to love me like he does :)

  19. Erin says...

    So…. Nicole Young, is your son single?

  20. Armagan says...

    My son just turned 8. He is a delight! Wish I could slow down the time.

  21. Kait says...

    I am pregnant with my first child, a little boy. Growing up in a house full of women (even the pets) has left me with a soft worry about if I would be able to connect with this little guy. So happy you wrote this. Was everything this mama-to-be needed to read. Endless thanks.

    • B says...

      Same, same, same.

  22. John says...

    I gotta say this post made me bawl my eyes out like a little baby. It’s just so so beautiful.. I’m just a really sensitive guy that’s all lol. I don’t have any children but I would love LOVE LOVEEE, more than anything, to have one or two down the road. My boyfriend and I both want children one day and have had multiple conversations about how we would go about making that happen. I just know that when that does happen and we have a child/children, it will complete me and my heart and soul, just like he did when I first met him. <3

    /endemotionalrambling

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      awww, i love that, john. sending love your way!

  23. ADORE this post! We have one son. A little (expat) farmer who plays the accordian and fancies himself a chef, ha! I secretly always hoped for a boy, just thought I could be a better parent to a son since I was such a tomboy growing up? Thank you for sharing all of these wonderful stories. Imen xx

  24. Blandine says...

    Really lovely, heart-warming article! As a mother of two boys, raising them to be feminist, open to their emotions and to reject toxic masculinity (not an easy task) has been on my mind a lot and it can feel a bit daunting. But on a daily basis, the fun of being with them is really the main thing. I loved that sentence from the article because I feel the same way. ‘The most surprising realization of mothering boys is that, for the most part, I forget they’re boys. I think of them as children, as loves of my life, as interesting individuals, as the reason I’m excited to wake up in the morning.”

  25. Lucy says...

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this delightful piece. I had my second son 2.5 weeks ago. His gender was a surprise although I had a feeling he was a boy for no reason other than I felt strongly it was my lot in life to be surrounded by nice boys. Now it will be my privilege to raise fine young men who like their Dad is thoughtful, sensitive and considerate.

  26. Wendy says...

    I was convinced I was having a boy through my entire pregnancy- so much so, I didn’t even ask the sex after he was born (the doctor prompted me!). I felt more comfortable having a boy- I had a lot of male friends growing up and while I love my mother, our relationship is hardly an ideal template for mothers and daughters. I worried I would replicate that with a daughter…

  27. Lillian Chang says...

    Thank you for this post, Joanna! My six month old boy is my great love and joy these days. But sometimes I still have fears…

    Mostly, I always wanted a girl because of when I’m older. I have a brother, and while he is so awesome and kind, he is always off doing his own thing. He doesn’t call that often and we rarely get updates. My sister and I, on the other hand, are always calling our parents and talking to them about our lives. That was/is one of the reasons I wanted a girl…and now that I am a mother myself, I have an even deeper relationship with my own mom, and so much more appreciation for everything she has gone through. Will a boy ever truly understand that?

    Plus. I’m a little worried about becoming a mother-in-law one day. I have a pretty turbulent relationship with my MIL, and I worry what that experience will be like. I wonder if he marries a girl who doesn’t like me…and you know, it’s often the wife (if heterosexual) that seems to make the effort with calling/keeping in touch with the family.

    Am I worrying about this too much?? I’d love to hear thoughts from other mamas, particularly those who have older sons and experiences to share!!

    • MBH says...

      I have two sons I adore and I worry about this too. My husband barely talks to his family –but I remind myself that they don’t really call him either. I have a feeling I’ll be calling my adult sons at least weekly. But I totally hear where you are coming from and worry the same. Especially about my relationship with a future daughter in law! I feel like girls tend to lean more toward their own parents and MIL’s by nature are ‘annoying’. I know i’m generalizing, but that’s my own and so many friends experiences!

  28. Kate Baumwol says...

    Yep boys have BIG love for their mum.

  29. Sarah says...

    I love Catherine Newman’s comment! I love the idea of seeing who our kids will be as young adults and eventually adults. People have so many terrible things to say about raising teenagers. Sweet to hear from someone who is loving it (and them!).

    • Megan says...

      I so agree! My oldest son just turned 13 and it is thrilling to watch him and his friends go from boys to the funniest, loveliest, young men. Catherine Newman always has a way of putting the messy, heart wrenching beauty of motherhood into words. Love her writing.

  30. I’ve always wanted a boy and a girl so that I get to experience both. I was excited to find out our first was a boy, but found it odd that everyone I told I was having a boy said, “Oh, boys are so much fun!” I was like does that mean baby girls aren’t fun or are people saying that because they assume I wanted a girl? Now that he’s seven months old I totally get it! He’s so adventurous and silly, but also a total mama’s boy (which I can’t help but love). I still would love to dress a girl up, but I’ll be delighted if we end up with two boys!

  31. Christina says...

    I’m currently pregnant with our second girl and could not be more thrilled to get to raise sisters, even more so because I do not have a sister of my own and am so excited my girls will have each other. But reading this and seeing those beautiful photos, now I’m feeling pangs for a little boy. No one remind me of this post for several years. :-)

  32. Meghan says...

    I am expecting twin boys in July and everyone’s stories and comments are bringing me so much comfort! I have a 2 year old girl and feel clueless when it comes to raising boys. The best advice I’ve heard so far is to give them 2 walks a day as you would a new puppy. Very unsure what you do about all of the smells and stickiness that come with boys eventually though :)

    • Jessica says...

      Two walks a day lol!!! Hilarious advice I love it! I don’t have twins but I do have three boys and they are awesome :)

    • Meghan, I have twins. When I was told one was a boy (they couldn’t tell the gender of the other baby), I said to my husband, “what do I know about boys?!” but they were born (one girl, one boy) and he is exactly like I am so I understood him from the very beginning. All my worries were for nothing.

      Now, I agree with that advice. Be prepared to run and play and get outside with them basically every day until they’re about 3. My one started calming down a bit then :) I tell him now (nearly 8) that he’d jump out of his cot and not stop running til he fell asleep at night. This is true. It was exhausting but so, so fun.

  33. Thank you for this post. When I found out I was having a boy my heart sank and I felt annoyed at myself for having such a reaction. I had a happy healthy baby, what more could I want? Like so many, I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to bond with a boy. What is a two-year-old boy into? What do seven-year-old boys talk about? It’s such a valid point that you’re bringing a unique human into the world, a special little person with quirks and viewpoints and characteristics, not just a ‘boy’ or ‘girl’. As a mama to an eight-month boy, I feel sheer delight every day. He squeals like a tea kettle, flirts with strangers on the street, loves to eat kiwifruit and does things that surprise and amaze me. Whether the next baby is a boy or girl, I’ll be content.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      your son sounds amazing, gemma! “squeals like a tea kettle” = (all the heart emojis:)

  34. barbara says...

    loved reading this piece! i am the 69 year old mom to my two dons, who will be turning 42 and 45 this month. they each have two sons, so i am the very fortunate granny to 4 fun boys ranging in age from 4 months to almost 13. i can honestly say that all i ever wanted was healthy babies. never cared about their gender. i get to see my older boys every thursday and younger ones, every saturday. very grateful and enjoying every minute!!!

  35. Karin says...

    Love this post! And OMG how is Catherine Newman’s Ben from “Ben & Birdy” 17??? Thank you for including her – now I dug up a bunch of her more recent writing and it’s as good as I remember it.

  36. Thank you for writing this post Joanna! I have a three year old boy and it has been so much fun to see how much joy and delight he brings so many people. I cannot imagine my life without him. Interesting topic for a post: little boys images of their momma. Does anyone else’s preschool son comment and have opinions on their appearance? (hair, dress, makeup, etc.) I wonder if it’s a developmental thing.

  37. elisa says...

    I love this article so much! It’s safe to say that parenting any child is filled with delightful surprises. I love being mama to my wonderful 6 year old – he’s painfully shy, which I’ve never been, and also a total romantic. When I was sad the other day because my mom was back in the hospital, he got right to work on a heartfelt drawing to cheer me up. Love your fancy dinner – your boys are fantastic!

  38. Meghan says...

    I absolutely loved reading this! I have 2 little boys (aged 3 and 1!) We didn’t find out while pregnant what either of them were. When my oldest was born, I was a little surprised because I thought he would be a girl! I was nervous and excited holding him the very first time, thinking about what it would be like having a boy. When I was pregnant with my second, I KNEW he would be a boy; I just knew it because I remember being very girly growing up and always feeling sad when families didn’t have daughters – I knew that would be me now! When he was born, my husband told me, “It’s a boy…” and I said, “I know.” While pregnant the second time, I starting think about things I might miss out on… wedding dress shopping… my daughter having babies of her own… having a relationship like I have with my own mother. But now that I have these two amazing human beings in my life, I cannot imagine it any other way. Every day I wonder how I got to be so lucky that they chose me. I am honored and so proud to be their mom. Our family is totally complete and is absolutely perfect. I know I am so biased, but being a mom of boys is the best.

  39. Rachel says...

    I’m nowhere near having kids, and I’m in the “genuinely, gender will make no difference” camp. That being said, I felt compelled to leave a note about the way my younger brother (he’s 21, I’m 23) continually and consistently salvages the idea of men after a particularly gross date or encounter. Since we were kids, he’s always had this quiet empathy (sometimes revealed by my parents later: “Oh, he didn’t go to that party because you were sad and he thought you’d want to watch a movie”) and way of careful listening. He’s good and he’s kind and growing up with him meant growing up with a best friend, even when I didn’t know it. Basically, he’s a big reason that I have no qualms about someday maybe raising a boy (though if it happens I’m sure I’ll spend a lot of time on the phone getting advice from his uncle).

    • Mary Beth says...

      @Rachel – How lucky you are to have a truly lovely sounding younger brother and how lucky he is to have a sister who appreciates and cherishes him!

  40. dylan says...

    This was so moving. I am light years away from having children, but I have always been a girl’s girl. Always loved girls, been friends with girls and connected with girls on really deep level. It’s no secret that I’m terrified at the prospect of having a boy (how will I relate?!), but this really put me at ease. Thank you.

    • Meghan says...

      I was absolutely the same… now I have 2 boys and it is magical <3

  41. Kelly Herzberg says...

    This is incredibly beautiful and moving. Thank you.

  42. nilam says...

    I always wanted a boy and was thrilled when I found out my first child was a boy and, truthfully, a little sad when I found out my second wasn’t. Of course, now I wouldn’t change a thing but I do find it odd that people – strangers – will approach me on the street and tell me that I’m “so lucky that my family is complete. ” I wonder, wouldn’t my family be just as complete with two boys or two girls? The answer is an affirmative YES!

  43. Bethaney says...

    I love my three boys age 17, 14 and 11 with a wild and wonderful love and found these tributes to be so relatable. It is amazing to raise men, awe inspiring, terrifying, and incredible. They are as loud and rowdy as you hear and as sweet and sensitive as you often don’t. I am so much of a better person because of my boys.

  44. Bekah says...

    I always wanted girls but ended up with 2 boys (Ages 5 and 3). After my first son was born, I was so in love and nothing else mattered but getting him healthy. He was born with complex congenital heart defects which required multiple open heart surgeries. (Some of the scariest times of my life) When I was pregnant with my second we decided not to find out the gender – the only thing we hoped and prayed for was a healthy baby, and he was! Each day has its struggles, but when I look at my boys I feel truly blessed. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  45. Paula says...

    Ok, am I the only person with whom this fuss over being a “boy mom” doesn’t resonate quite as much? I have seen boys being favored over girls in so many families growing up, and now my friends who have children are guilty of it as well. And it is usually the moms who perpetuate it – the boy is always a little more special, and it totally rubs me the wrong way.
    I personally don’t like how many women groan with relief over having boys because they are “so much easier” than girls, when in truth every child is completely different. The argument is always that boys are much easier in puberty than girls. Of course, when parents start thinking about old age, they usually turn to the daughters for elder care and support (or that role falls naturally to them). There is little to no expectation on boys to actually care for ill/old family members.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      such an interesting point, paula. i loved reading this.

      it feels like the opposite around here. i’ve had old ladies stop me on the street to say things like, “now you need your girl” or taxi drivers ask me if i’m disappointed that i don’t have girls. i was talking to a dad i had never met at the playground the other day, and he asked if we were considering having a third and i said, no, and he said, “i understand, because what if you had at third boy?” (!!) it’s fascinating how much it seems like girls are favored these days around here. i wonder if it’s a generational/regional thing?

    • SJM says...

      Yes! I agree completely with your comment. My brother was way more of a handful than I ever was, everyone is an individual regardless of gender.

    • Megan says...

      I have noticed a few of these “bonding with a son” posts on Cup of Jo. It would be so interesting to read the opposite perspective! Raising a little girl as a women feels very special, but also sooo complex in so many ways. I’d love to have that conversation with moms (and dads!) of daughters.

    • Meghan says...

      Joanna – it is totally the same for me in regards to comments about having boys. When we are out, I also constantly hear the, “Boys! You sure have your hands full!” The other day while out with my sister (who has 2 girls and a boy) I heard the hands full comment and the trying for a girl comment. My sister couldn’t believe it because she said she never had strangers make comments like that to her.

      Such an interesting perspective, Paula!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      great idea, megan! my personal perspective is of course all about boys, but i’d LOVE to find some great moms to talk about raising and bonding with girls.

      in the meantime, we did these posts, which you might enjoy:
      https://cupofjo.com/2011/08/motherhood-mondays-how-to-talk-to-little-girls/
      https://cupofjo.com/2016/01/kids-books-with-female-characters/

      plus, a few lovely moms of girls:
      https://cupofjo.com/2016/03/nicki-sebastian-photographer-beauty-routine/
      https://cupofjo.com/2014/04/my-beauty-uniform-9/

    • jamsen says...

      Ha, one of my friends was this way completely and it was so difficult for me to watch because she was also a women’s advocate in an NGO for some third world country. Yet she made her 11 year old daughter do the dishes NIGHTLY while her 12 year old son was waited on and had zero chores. We co-housed for a while so I saw it all. It was heartbreaking and I never found a way to ask her about it, which I deeply regretted even then. All I could do was pray for that little girl, and hope that her brother would wake up, show some integrity and start helping her out.

    • Voni says...

      I agree! I’m pregnant with a boy now, and I dreaded telling my in-laws, who personally and culturally come from a place of being happy to raise spoiled man-children while making girls do all the grunt work. That my husband turned out so contrary to their macho vision is a total wonder. On the other hand, my brothers were/are such intense, hand-to-handle guys, my mom and I ended up being thick as thieves, and the two of us secretly acknowledge that she loves me more!

  46. tears in my eyes. thank you for sharing! I hope I get to mother a son one day.

  47. Thank you to all of the mothers who participated. What a totally delightful, positive article. I think I love each of those boys too!

  48. Stephanie L says...

    I am a 33 year old mom of 2 boys (2 and 4 years old). After I had my first boy I really wanted another boy so I could see the 2 brothers bond in a special way like my husband and his brother. When I found out I was having a second boy I was thrilled. (to be honest, the thought of having a girl scares me!)

    • NM says...

      What scares you about having a girl? Just curious! I have one of each.

  49. E says...

    I really enjoyed reading this. We have a 3 year old daughter who, though we tried hard to avoid it, would bathe in pink if we let her. But she equally loves to play rough in the mud and lives for our daily “adventures” and loves to play catch with her daddy.

    We just found out we’re having a son and my husband immediately said “I can’t wait to take him to baseball games!” Cue the most evil of evil eyes, I said “and you’ll also take our daughter, right?” I never realized how deep gender stereotypes are until finding out we were having a boy. My inlaws had bought my daughter pink everything – pink play car, pink table and chairs, pink bassinet that she slept in. I’m too lazy and cheap to buy all new things but my inlaws are already saying they’ll have to replace those items at this boy’s birthdays. What’s going to happen to him if he plays in a pink car?? This will be an interesting time making them calm down the gender stereotypes :)

    • Blandine says...

      Very true. Stereotypes run very deep. But kids can surprise you, my son’s favourite colour is pink (which a feminist’s activist dream come true) and it has been for the past 2 years. He often chooses clothing or slippers with pink details or hearts or glitters and seems impervious to surprised looks or comments from other kids or adults.

  50. I love this post so much! I have a son who just turned a year old and before I got pregnant, I really wanted a girl first. I wasn’t really worried that I wouldn’t be able to relate to a boy, just wanted to raise a strong girl/woman and teach her all about feminism and leadership, etc. But, I can do that with my son too! I was sure I wanted to find out the sex of our baby because I was worried that if it was a boy, I might be disappointed and wanted to give myself time adjust before they arrived. But, when we went to our first ultrasound and saw the baby move and “jump”, I knew I didn’t need to find out. I already loved that little jumper so much, it didn’t matter anymore. Now, I can’t imagine having anyone other than Will. : )

  51. Stephanie says...

    I worry that we do our sons a disservice when we react with surprise at their tender, thoughtful, of empathetic behaviors. Shouldn’t all children be raised with the expectation to show kindness?

    • jillygirl says...

      amen. another example of how men/boys are lavished with praise for being human while it’s just a non-negotiable fact for girls.

    • Sally says...

      Wonderful and true.

  52. Alina says...

    Growing up I only ever imagined having a girl- I couldn’t wait to raise a badass little feminist! Well my first child ended up being a boy and I can’t imagine life any other way (and yes I feel very sure he can be a badass feminist too). I am pregnant with my second and it’s a GIRL and – believe it or not – I’m experiencing some anxiety and having a hard time wrapping my head around it. I have loved being a boy mom so, so much! I know I will discover all the wonderful things about raising little girls but it has been funny to see just how much my perspective has changed thanks to my son. Wouldn’t have it any other way.

  53. little miss says...

    Oh boy…does this subject hit home with my family and I…!!!
    I was born in a 5-daughter family and to top things off with all the estrogen,my dad worked abroad so its was all us 6 girls most of the time and we enjoyed it badly,in an almost too feminist way.
    And then we grew up and my older sister was pregnant to twin BOYS!!!
    During that wonderful life-changing ultrasound (which as Mediterranean people went all 8 of us-dad and husband included) we just turned to each other wondering how we would manage to raise boys.
    The answer to this is quite simple: Humans are only humans.its not a matter of gender.our two boys are so tender and sweet albeit their more adventurous spirit and natural strength.they always respond to our need for hugs and kisses and they also respond to hikes,bike rides and midnight mood for games.
    We were not deprived of any form of happiness hidden in having a new life in our lives :)

  54. Anastasia says...

    I love what Lisa has to say and I agree – to love a child is to love truly and deeply unconditionally and gender blind. I have a girl and I too forget or don’t think about her gender. I love her for the person she is.

  55. Sarah says...

    I think the most surprising part of raising a son has been how much he has taught me about men. Thinking back to high school and college when I was dating, guys were always such a mystery to me. They seemed so aloof, tough, uninterested in emotional bonds, and sometimes just plain immature. Of course I am generalizing, but when you are a young woman who always seems to have a broken heart, it can just feel that way. Seeing my son with all of his sensitivities, insecurities, diverse interests, and kind heart, I feel like I’ve gotten a behind the scenes look at all the boys from my past and I now know how wrong some of my assumptions had been. It has been a truly endearing and eye-opening experience. Now I think constantly about protecting him from toxic masculinity and helping him to maintain that outward sweetness that keeps me falling in love with him all over again each and everyday.

  56. Katie says...

    What a tear-jerker of a post!!! As I sit here, my two month old snoring away on my chest, I can’t help but feel all those moments that those mama’s before me have experienced. These first few weeks of motherhood have been the hardest of my entire life, but I can’t help but think that this little guy was made just FOR me and me FOR him. He’s already my side kick, my “barnacle,” as one mother so lovingly put it (I call him my carp). I can’t wait to see what the rest of our days together hold.

  57. Madison says...

    Thank you so much for this post! I have a one year old little boy and absolutely adore being a boy mama. I loved reading about how wonderful it is to have sons and how it seems to just get better and better as they grow up. I shared this article with all of my friends who have sons and it made them cry just like it did me. <3

  58. We are hoping for a baby soon and I truly feel equally thrilled when I think about having a daughter vs. having a son.

    I don’t have a mother in my life, so having a girl represents a hope of experiencing what a mother/daughter bond could be, yet having a mini version of my husband running around makes me ache in the very best way. My only real hope is that I eventually have at least one of each, to really experience it all.

  59. Laura S says...

    We found out we are having a boy just a few hours ago! When I read this post yesterday, it could NOT have been better timing! I’ve been envisioning a girl, and after reading everyone’s comments, it made me think how special it would also be to have a boy. I just hadn’t thought about it! So excited to start planning everything now. Thank you for such an honest post!

  60. Alexandra Marie says...

    This is perfect timing. I find out the gender of my first baby on May 10th. I’d always dreamed about having all girls, so I feel like I might have some gender disappointment. Something that has helped is finding a boy name that I love, and remembering that, like the other women interviewed have said, a boy would have our genes and we will have our own family culture, and boys can be just as sensitive and empathetic as girls. <3

  61. Rachel says...

    Thank you for this post! I am in the process of adopting internationally as a single mom. A few months ago I was matched with the most beautiful 3 year old son. Upon hearing the news I was equal parts thrilled and terrified. The women in this post echoed so many of my fears, but also so many of my hopes for the future. Thanks for the reminder that he is a child above all else and our new family of two will be just right.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      that’s really wonderful, rachel!!! xoxo

  62. This was an awesome post – thanks to all the parents who shared! I don’t have kids yet, but I grew up with 3 brothers and always thought I wanted to have girls to balance things out, but if it’s my lot in life to be surrounded by boys, so be it!

    Kate c/o soulandspice.net

  63. Jami says...

    Oh, BOY! I am 21 weeks pregnant and we’ve decided to keep the sex a surprise. I went through a semi-secret “I’d be happy either way but I really hope it could be a girl” during the first trimester but now that we’ve gone to our anatomy scan and seen the elegant, wriggling little life inside of me, I’ve started to embrace and actually *hope* for the possibility of a boy! This post makes me soooo happy and excited for that scenario! Thank you for highlighting the joy of parenting–girl, boy or otherwise.

  64. My first born is a boy whose nearly six now. My second one is a 15 month old girl. During my first pregnancy I didn’t have a secret gender wish because I was sure that it wouldn’t make a difference to me. I love having a boy and to be honest I became nervous at my second child’s pregnancy because I thought that being used to a boy and all I wouldn’t make a great mom to a girl. It turns out that such thoughts were nothing but silly fears of mine because it’s all about giving love. Love is love, it’s not about gender and it’s not about me. It’s all about them.

  65. Lisa R says...

    Thank you so much. I needed this post and it made my cry. I’m 16 weeks pregnant with a baby boy and am definitely nervous. This made me so excited for the sweet relationship we’ll have.

  66. Jenny says...

    Thanks for this, my son is 15 months old now and I assumed we’d have girls (even though I pretended I didn’t until we found out), but I wouldn’t trade it for anything!

    Building on this, there are two things about little boys I’d love to see a round-up – cute, but affordable shoes/sandals (that aren’t just character-driven) and little boy haircuts for different hair types! My husband really wants to cut our son’s hair very short as he gets older (for comfort and cleanliness) and we may do that, but I’d love to have some other inspiration to refer to for haircuts in the future!

    • Inge says...

      I completely agree on those little boys haircuts, I find this very hard too!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      great idea, thank you, jenny! PS wait, not everyone gives their kids bowl cuts on the sidewalk like i do? haha (insert cringing emoji here)

    • Emily says...

      Ah, yes, I have two little boys and find haircuts/hairstyles to be the hardest thing! I would love such a post! (p.s. re: sandals, try Zara Kids or Native)

  67. Jolanda says...

    I was hoping I’d have a boy thinking boys would be ‘easier’ (less emotional) then girls. Instead I had a girl and she is perfect. I have a difficult relation with my mother and had a challenging childhood and I am afraid that these experiences will influence my daughter and make her childhood miserable as well.
    My daughter is still very young (only 7 months) and I am still scared sometimes, but I do feel that loving her is the easiest thing I ever did and will do. My mother did not want children, but I wished and hoped for my baby so much. Hopefully she will always feel how much we wanted her. She is my whole world in a way that I could not ever imagine before she was here. I would not mind having another girl if we would be blessed with another child in the future :).

  68. I wanted a boy; I got a girl. Then I got three boys. The important thing is they are healthy, wanted, and loved.

  69. Kim Vukovich says...

    Oh I LOVED reading this! As the mother of 3 daughters I thought, “Ooooh, I’m going to get a glimpse of what I missed, not having any sons.” But it seems I’ve not missed anything; children are children and we’re all experiencing the same deep, delightful love as we watch them grow.

    • Melody says...

      “children are children and we’re all experiencing the same deep, delightful love as we watch them grow” – beautifully said!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      so lovely, kim!

  70. Carrie Brass says...

    i love how boys fall in love with their moms – when my son was 3 he grabbed my face, kissed me on the lips and then said “we are getting married” my heart exploded. after having a precious girl i was nervous to have a boy but they both bring so much joy.

  71. Laurel Cyr says...

    I have two boys, 4 and 18 months. And I was also nervous about having a boy with my first. We didn’t find out the sex beforehand and I was convinced he was a girl. But it really didn’t matter. All the fears I had about being a mom and having a boy instantly went away when I met him. I knew what I had to do right away. Obviously I have worries now; and it’s not always easy to just be a good mama. But they are my life and every day I learn how to be joyful from and for them.

    I love how they can just be together. I am an only child and never had what they have. Often I’ll come into the living room and they are lying on the floor, side by side flying toy planes around. And it’s totally ridiculous how they can be so loving one minute and shoving each other the next.

  72. Andrea says...

    Nothing is more special than the bond between a mother and her son. I was pregnant while still in my teens and alone. This was back in 1983 and they only did ultra sounds if absolutely necessary so I never found out the sex and being so young was convinced it was a girl. And I went into labor early, on Pearl Harbor Day no doubt, and out pops this nine pound baby boy. I was elated! I decided right then and there, to be born on such a day, and early, he was a fighter and so was I. We grew up together but the bond we have is something else. And with so many odds stacked against us, today I look at this beautiful six foot four man who’s now 33 years old and a successful attorney and I think to myself, yep, we did it! Raising boys is the best!

  73. I could cry reading these, how beautifully written. I was the same, when I went for my 5 month scan I remember saying to the Dr, ” Ok, just confirm what we already know, it’s a Betty! ” How wrong I was and I should have realised from those hard kicks that my longed for first and only child was a beautiful, beautiful boy. I was so convinced I would have a daughter though, I was really quite shocked and so pleased I found our the sex of my baby so I had time to adjust. Woody is now five and I laugh with him every single day, in between trying to run and hide from playing aircraft for the millionth time of course. He is beautiful, kind and funny and such a sensitive soul, I would happily have another ten ( if only I were young enough) if they could all be as magical as he xxx

  74. Lisa says...

    I didn’t know that I was having a boy as we decided not to find out. I didn’t really have a preference – I was just so grateful to be able to have a child. It annoyed me so much when trying to get stuff before that it could be so binary (like trying to buy a changing mat – in the store they were either pink or blue) that anything stereotypically boy or girl made me a bit ragey.
    I love having a son – a bit like Luisa we spent so much time together in the first year (I got a long mat leave) he felt like my constant companion and were very close. He loves music, animals and food. He has the best giggle and is so curious and on the go from the moment he wakes up til he goes to sleep. He’s cuddly and very affectionate. I couldn’t imagine having a daughter instead. He also hero worships my husband – he now constantly pretends to talk on the phone (everything is turned into a phone from a remote to a banana) and nursery and I were trying to figure out where this came from (as I hate talking on the phone, so it wouldn’t be me) when my husband realised that when he’s walking him back from nursery he frequently takes work calls, and my son is trying to be like papa!

    I’m pregnant again and we’re once again trying to decide whether or not to find out. To be honest, the thought of having a second boy who runs around constantly scares me a bit, and as I just had brothers (no sisters) when growing up, I would love to have a girl in the family but I know if this baby is a boy, he’ll be a wonderful little person

  75. Sally Dalwood says...

    I’m six months in to being a mother of a boy, and so far he is undoubtably a baby boy but who knows how he will grow? My only comments on being a mother of a boy is from the moment I became one. My husband was so sure we were having a girl, he would talk about it with other parents-to-be in the obs waiting room. I come from a family of boys, brothers and nephews so had always thought I’d have a first born boy, and always wanted any other children I may have to be able to count their own big brother/s as the great blessing of their life as I do. I always wanted my “other children” to know what the fierce love of a big brother felt like. As the months progressed I was swept up in the talk of a girl, of pink tutus, of my mother telling anyone she met that this was going to be perhaps the first granddaughter after 20 years of grandsons. As my mum was buying pink embroidery thread for smocking, I was giving birth to a precious baby boy. When his Daddy realised he was indeed a boy and not a girl, he needed a few minutes alone at the side of the room in the chaos of the birthing room to come to terms with our baby being in fact a boy. For me, I will never ever forget the moment I told my two brothers they had a new nephew. One was working in the outback and was driving many miles each night to the highest hill he could find to get some phone service to check in. The other, at almost fifty, was speechless – just as I count having brothers as the greatest accident of life, I could see he was so pleased that I would experience the joy that having a son would bring me, as it has him.

  76. I have had the wonderfully humbling and occasionally confusing privilege of having two girls, a few days shy of two years apart, who could not be more different from each other in both personalities or interests. One is introspective, creative and thoughtful, the other fearless, funny, and determined. Our house is full of trains and cars, princess dresses and glitter pens and they all get used, intermingled and loved. I love that they challenge my own expectations on what having girls would be like, and they both serve as wonderful examples for each other whenever they hear anyone generalise what girls “should like” or “are like” because they can clearly see the spectrum even in their own household, each interest just as valuable as the next.

  77. We have four boys all grown up now ,but life is still full of every minute of joy .The old saying you lose a son but have a daughter for life is not true ,and we have been also bless with two grandsons , and to top all this blessing we just love their woman in they lives as they same to love us ,as are home is also their home when they come over .

  78. Maaike says...

    I’ve just found out that I am pregnant (for the first time) so I have been reading all of your motherhood posts again! This one is really great – obviously we will have to wait a bit to find out the gender of the baby, and we will be happy either way as long as the baby is healthy, but I have been worried a bit that if it is a boy, I will find it harder to relate to him (my husband has the exact opposite view and worries about being able to relate to a girl). I also have to admit that I am a bit worried that, if it is a boy, he will have a higher chance of also inheriting the (relatively mild) autism that runs through my family, mostly manifesting in the men. But if that is the case, at least I will know what to do, having grown up with both a father and a brother affected. Mostly I am just really excited, and reading the comments make me even more excited!!

  79. I am expecting a little boy in September and reading this post meant so much to me. In my online reading around parenthood, I’ve found so many articles that emphasise how tough it’s going to be. While I’m sure it is, it’s wonderful to just relish in the excitement of how this little soul is going to enrich our lives in so many unexpected ways :)

  80. All stories are sweet!

    I always wanted a boy as my first born, simply because growing up in my family, I’m the big sister with two brothers. And when I was pregnant, I was so sure that I carried a boy. My mom, mom-in-law and sist-in-law said the same thing too. So when we found out the gender is a boy, I can’t be happy anymore!

    My son now only 8 months old, but I feel we both are so connected. I can’t wait when the time he grows up, we will share and do lots of fun things!

  81. Marie says...

    I grew up with a boatload of brothers and wanted my first to be a boy so badly simply because it felt far less scary than raising a girl. To my surprise, I found out I was carrying a daughter. I cried in the car after the ultrasound; she just felt so foreign to me. Now she’s about a year and a half, and I’m still a little terrified, but also explosively happy that we ended up with her and no one else.

  82. Holly says...

    I have a 1.5 year old boy and a newborn boy and there may not be little girls in our future (who knows) but this made me so excited for all the future holds. It really boggles my mind that these little ones will turn into men. What a gift ❤️?

  83. Lo says...

    I’ve always wondered whether mothers of only one gender ever wish they had one of the other, and I’m sure a tiny slither of them does – but 99.9% of mum’s I meet are desperately happy with their brood and couldn’t imagine it any other way!

    Lo
    http://www.themixtures.com

  84. Amy E Jones says...

    I could never have imagined the pure joy my son has brought. Even tho I’m not interested in sports at all, I love cheering him on at the ice rink or ball park. He has acquired my taste for reading & we play a mean game of Uno every single night before bed. He is my best friend and true love (shh…don’t tell my hubby!) ❤️

  85. I have 2 boys and soon after the first was born I realized how different it was going to be. I grew up surrounded by girls, a sister, and a slew of girl cousins so boys were foreign to me. I actually had to read about them! The energy level of my guys is through the roof, but I’ve learned to accept and be okay with them literally bouncing and jumping all day long. It can be infuriating, but I found that when they don’t do it, like when they’re sick, it feels like something is missing. I’ve learned to appreciate their aggression, intensity, and constant movement.

  86. Sarah says...

    I have two young boys and lamented when finding out the gender of the second about who I would teach about third wave feminism, among other things. Bless my husband, he said we would absolutely teach our boys about it too. It’s an adjustment watching them crash cars (and everything else), be fascinated with guns, and potty humor. Sigh. But oh they are the sweetest, cuddliest, most adorable kiddos who surpassed my greatest wishes for motherhood.

  87. Kiera says...

    I starTed reading this thinking about how easy this would be for me – I’ve always wanted a boy over a girl – but as I read on, and read about boys who sounded like my brother and my nephew , I realized how it doesn’t really matter, how it’s the humanity of it. I never thought I would love a man the way I love my partner, and it reminds me that we can never understand a love we don’t know. Boy, girl, or no matter what I have, I can’t wait to experience the new kind of love and adventure I will have with my future child.

  88. NM says...

    Would love to hear more from mothers with sons who are all grown up and married with families of their own. Does anyone have a crazy close bond with their son once he’s all grown up? Obviously the mother/son bond can be so incredible (and I can vouch for one as I have both a son and a daughter and I’m super close with my son) but does it continue past, say, high school or college? I tend to see daughters taking on the role of checking in with and caring for their parents later in life far more than sons (I am constantly reminding my husband to call his mother whereas for me it’s second nature; I call my mother every single day) and I know I’m not alone here as many girlfriends have expressed similar. It just makes me a little sad to think my super tight relationship with my son likely has an expiration date, and based on experience, that day comes when he first falls in love for real. But I guess it’s selfish of me to even say it’s “sad”; I guess it’s bittersweet. Because what’s more important than their happiness?

    • Sally says...

      It feels like my husband is constantly on the phone with his mother; they text probably 20 times a day. As the wife (who calls her own mother maybe once a week or two) I find it very annoying, but I just wanted to mention that it is not universal that boys stop being in touch with their mothers once they are grown. My mother-in-law also knows all the details of my life, such as what I had for breakfast, if I’m working late, etc. (even though she lives 1000+ miles away in another country). So good news for you, the closeness doesn’t have to stop (but I am not planning on keeping up this sort of relationship with my own son into adulthood because it has brought me and my husband to the brink of divorce).

    • Cynthia says...

      I have two grown sons (married, with children) and we are close. We text most weeks and talk most months. We see each other most months but with their young children, earnest convo doesn’t often happen then. They both call me for parenting advice. When the eldest was about 28, he told me that he had been giving this serious consideration and wanted me to know that he wanted to care for us in our old age. On his wedding day, 10 minutes before the ceremony began, he knelt before me and told me he wanted what I had (a lifelong marriage and happy family) and said some very kind and thoughtful words. I think moms have to be willing to let go of their boys AND girls and treasure the adult relationships that evolve.

    • Eleanor says...

      My husband is one of three boys and he is close with his parents but doesn’t do the daily calls or texts. It drives his mom bonkers, she says we’re keeping things from her. One of his brothers shares EVERY detail of his life with his mom, no secret is safe and every time I see my mother in law she’s on the phone with this son (a little extreme if you ask me, I know every issue in their marriage). Then the third son calls or facetimes but not over the top.

      My mom passed away years ago but before she did, we’d email or call often. I miss that bond and told my husband I’d be fine with him talking to his mom more, but she tries to pry into our personal lives (battled with infertility for a few years recently and all the marriage ups and downs that come with it) and he said he prefers to just do occasional dinners when I’m there as well. We just found out we’re having a son and that was my initial fear too, that I’d lose that bond when he got married, but my mother-in-law PRIES and over-offers advice, I just know not to do that and hope our relationship is better :)

    • Trish O says...

      i only have sisters and my boys are teens, but I see the relationship my husband and his brothers have with their mother. They are a large family of boys and girls, but they all equally care for their parents. My husband has breakfast with his mother every Thursday and Sunday (his father has passed away. Before that, he had breakfast with them both). He is always in touch and I would not have it any other way.

      I guess what I would say is some people contact their parents often, some do not. I don’t really think it is a gender thing. I think that old saying came from dated societal structure. Just my thought.

    • Inge says...

      I would love those stories too! I have a son, I adore him so much! We would like one more child, and I wouldn’t mind another boy, but I do worry a little bit about our relationship when they’re all grown up. From my current point of view, a lot depends on the daughter in law also. But for some things in life (marriage preparations, pregnancy), I do tend to go to my own mother myself and not to my mother in law as much. So I fear I’ll always feel like I will be a little more left out in a boys’ future. Maybe I’m completely wrong, having a girl doesn’t guarantee anything either…

      But I wholeheartedly agree with what so many women write: no matter the gender, I have no doubt that I’ll love my second child as much as my first, and I’ll have a wonderful time to see them growing up and making memories together. So looking forward to it!

    • NM says...

      Yes Inge! I totally meant to add that point about a lot of it depending on the daughter-in-law relationship. And as many of us know (myself included) that is a notoriously tricky one… I myself am at fault for sharing sooo much more with my own parents than my in laws. It’s human nature I suppose.

  89. M says...

    I have three children. Two boys and a girl. They are all so fun. (obvs hard and sometimes drive me mad too). I can truly say that I loved that my first two were boys. They are so fun, funny, sweet and observant. They shattered the stereotype I had about having boys. I am so grateful for that.

    Frankly, the hardest part about having boys were the reactions of pro-girl friends and family. They were horrid and sometimes made me cry. Such opinions! Such judgments! When I held them both in my arms when they were little, I could not have been prouder of them.

    I did go on to have a girl. She is my last baby and lovely in her own way. I can remember finding out her sex and feeling relieved to find out it was a girl. But not why you would think (because its a girl…or they are cuter…or whatever bs). I felt that finally my opinions of boys would be heard and made valid because I actually had a girl to compare. I recognize differences but seriously? Some people are so irritating.

  90. M says...

    We have 3 boys, and it is a soul-satisfying joy to be their mom.

  91. Tiia says...

    Love this! I had always wanted a boy, but when I found out I was having one, I freaked out – will we like the same things? Of course – I’m a major nerd for superheroes, dinousaurs and love Top Gear, so it has all worked out! Now we are expecting our second and hoping for a boy again.

  92. I love this! I have two boys and I actually really, really wanted two boys. Like probably would have secretly cried if they were girls. I have three little sisters and have wanted boys ever since I was a kid. Maybe it’s the novelty.
    I feel like lots of men (and women!) in my family struggle with vulnerability- any other Brené Brown fans out there? So thankful my husbands family doesn’t have many of these same issues about men showing weakness. I’m really trying to raise them to know it’s okay to be vulnerable. And I’m also really just trying to enjoy them. Delightful is a great way to describe them. And wild. So wild.

  93. Emma says...

    This post couldn’t be more timely for me. I have a daughter and am pregnant with my second. She was convinced it was a boy from the start. Turns out she’s right and we’re having a boy. I couldn’t quite get my head around it (having a daughter already feels like it makes it even harder!) but reading this post just gave me butterflies. I am so uplifted. Thank you!

  94. Abby says...

    Oh, this is so timely. I just had my anatomy scan at 20 weeks today. We already learned the baby’s sex (boy) a few weeks ago because of some blood tests. I initially was deeply saddened, almost in mourning that I might not ever have a daughter. It took about a week to undergo what my husband, the philosopher, refers to as “belief revision”. Now, all is well and I’m excited to raise a boy. These stories certainly help too.

  95. Savannah says...

    Growing up, I only wanted boys. Now I don’t know if I will have a baby at all but I will be delighted with either gender if I have a baby.

  96. Sara says...

    This was so sweet! Definitely made me tear up a few times. I especially loved the last line: “The most surprising realization of mothering boys is that, for the most part, I forget they’re boys. I think of them as children, as loves of my life, as interesting individuals, as the reason I’m excited to wake up in the morning.”

    I’m trying to get pregnant right now and it’s been more of a struggle than I anticipated so worrying about gender is not at the top of my list at the moment. However, my husband is one of three boys and both of his brothers have boys so we have been joking that he’s going to end up with a house full of girls to make up for all the testosterone in his family. :) I will be thrilled no matter what we end up with, although I have been strongly envisioning a girl as our first. It’s funny because I grew up as an older sister to a younger brother and always thought it would be nice to have the reverse (an older brother looking out for his younger sister).

    I love your motherhood and family posts, Jo. They always bring such a lovely array of perspectives and touching moments. So excited to see Motherhood Around the World is coming back too!

  97. Jessie says...

    I thought for sure I was going to have a boy. I wasn’t nervous at all. Turns out I had a girl. That is when I freaked out. I kept thinking of how the relationship I had with my mom. That and I never really got along with girls. Second Pregnancy I thought again a boy. Nope, had a girl. Third pregnancy I thought for sure a boy. What came out? A girl. My husband loves having all girls. I love it now too, however it is very very loud in our house from just random no reason screaming.

  98. Elizabeth Spence says...

    *heartswell.
    I chose to not find out the gender of my babies but when I was pregnant with my first child I secretly hoped for a girl and I stopped calling the baby bump or bubba and just called it ‘Isobel’. I was one of three girls and I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to have a boy. When i gave birth and found out that I had a boy all my worries about connecting with a boy fell away and I was overwhelmed with the love I had for my baby. He is 6 now and truly the most sensitive, loving, sweet soul I have ever known. It is a privelage to get to know his interests and explore them with him. We are completely attached to each other and I wouldn’t change a thing about him.

  99. Becky says...

    Perfect timing! We have 2 daughters and I am 28 weeks pregnant with our third, whose sex we’re waiting to find out until he or she arrives! It amazes me how many people (family and strangers alike) assume we (especially my husband) are hoping for a boy. I think we’re both a little nervous about having a boy since we “know” girls and it would certainly be easier to just add another sister! So happy to read this as I have felt a little as though I might not connect as deeply with a boy. So excited to meet this little one!

  100. jamsen says...

    Got to ask: foreskin or no foreskin? What to do??

    • Ferrell says...

      This is obviously a very personal thing but we left our boys intact. When you really start researching you will see there is no reason to do it. Routine circumcision is actually not common in many countries around the world
      ( I believe there is even a proposed ban on it in Norway). I was sort of on the fence about it with my first but now feel very strongly against it.

    • I let my husband decide since I have no experience having a penis. He picked circumcision.

    • Amy P says...

      I feel the same as Ferrell on this one. I’ve heard the argument about “Daddy and son needing to look the same”, or even brothers needing to look the same (when parents have changed their stance between kids yet circumcise the next one anyway), but I don’t really see the big deal. In our part of Canada you need to travel 3+ hours to find a physician who will do it, and we don’t live in a rural region!

    • M says...

      We did not do it, but I have mixed feelings about it. I think the AAP did not recommend it at the time.

    • Lola says...

      It’s really up to you. When it’s gone it’s gone and it makes not difference to how much you love them or their personality or how they wear underwear. They will never be a lesser man for not having it or more enlightened because they do. Really it’s your decision.

    • Melody says...

      I agree that it’s a personal decision for parents to make, but I will point out that the proposed ban in Norway stems from anti-immigration sentiment from an anti-immigrant party, since circumcision is a routine tradition in many cultures and religions outside of Norway.

  101. Nina says...

    Its so funny, I cried for two days when I found out I was having girls (twins). But then I spent a few days unpacking my feelings and by the time they were born I was very okay with the idea. Now they are almost 4 years old and, obviously, I’m obsessed. And they are sooooo ‘girly’ and they get on my case about not being fancy ever and they beg me to get my nails done (for them, I might)… But they are hilarious and perfect and mine and I couldn’t imagine how I could love them any more.

    Oh, and they are obsessed with their dad so that basically I am the assistant when he’s around. So I’m still a little jealous of my friends with boys because the mommies seem to get the lion’s share of love in those homes.

  102. Ellen says...

    Oh my god! Oh my god! This is so great! There is a baby boom going on in my group of close girlfriends and out of 9 babies born, mine is the ONLY boy. And I had wanted a girl so badly. To make it worse, my in-laws teased me throughout my pregnancy that they thought I would only have boys. I was so nervous and disappointed to find out I wasn’t having a girl. I, too, was afraid I couldn’t relate to him, that we wouldn’t like the same things, and that we couldn’t be as close as I could have been with a girl. Well, he’ll be one in 3 weeks (!!) and those thoughts and fears seem like nonsense now. I am SO glad he is who he is! He’s my sweet, wonderful, perfect son! How could I have been sad to find out about him before?? I’m so overwhelmed with love for him. I cried through this whole post! Happy birthday, Jack!

    • Stephanie Burke says...

      That’s funny because the same things happened to me — I was teased about having a boy (because somehow that’s not as good as having a girl?!) and I started to worry that I wouldn’t be able to connect with a boy as easily as a girl. I have a great relationship with my mom so I worried that I could only have that same kind of connection with a girl. WAS I WRONG! my son also just turned one and he is our world. I also cried throughout this post. I never knew love could be so strong!!!

  103. I have a wonderful daughter, and hopefully one day she will have a little brother :-)

  104. Liz C says...

    I found out the gender of my babies after they were born. I’m blessed with a 3.5 year old daughter who is high energy, sensitive, inquisitive, happy and loving. She adores her brother, 10 months, as much as me (and her daddy). Joseph is curious, joyful, content, snuggly and he has the best belly laugh! Together, Grace and Joseph make our family so special. I thank God for them always.

    • Anne says...

      What is the deal with all the pressure or pushing of gender preference on parents? I found it bizarre while I was pregnant that some of our friends seemed annoyed that we were waiting to find out and/or would insist they knew what we were having. In my case, everyone told me BOY. I found it funny and came to realize people LOVE to tell pregnant women they are having a boy. For whatever reason though we just began to believe it to be true. I didn’t know what to feel. We just wanted our baby to be healthy. For sure I did hope to maybe have a girl one day. I dreamed of that idealized mother / daughter relationship I never had with my own mom. But I also wanted a boy and would feel happy and blessed either way. The moment my daughter was born, my husband and I were in shock. We didn’t even really have a girls name picked out. It’s been an amazing experience to be her mother but I know that it would feel the same if she was a he. I would love any baby with all of my heart. I feel so conflicted sometimes about all this as I watch my friends struggle with their own relationships and fertility. Before the birth of my child, I would have given anything to be pregnant and have a baby – boy or girl.

  105. Jessica says...

    When people ask me how my (2 year old) son is, I always say “he is such a joy.” And joy doesn’t even begin to describe the light he shines on my world. A happy guy from Day 1, his love for life has brought such a new meaning to mine. Ordinary everyday things – bees, rocks, cars, the moon – bring such amazement to his eyes and with him I see the world anew. He is the light of my life. And I am so grateful every single day to be his Mom.

  106. Katie Sherman says...

    Would love to see a post like this about having girls as well. So many people when I was pregnant with my daughters lamented that I would never have a son and miss that “special relationship.” I would just love to see some of these same comments about daughters too.

    • Amy P says...

      Me too. I struggle more with my relationship with my daughter than my son and could use some positivity to encourage me!

    • Keeley says...

      I have gotten these comments too (I have an almost two year old daughter) and they are very hurtful. I would have been happy with a boy or a girl and I am not sure why so many people feel the need to say “but, a boy is really special”. So yes, let’s see a post about girls too please!

      I did enjoy reading the comments from moms in this article since they all seem to be of the opinion that children are special no matter what.

    • Elisabeth says...

      It’s so weird — my only child is a son and I got the same comments about why I should have another baby so as not to miss the “special relationship” between mother and daughter! It seems people just LOVE to comment about what you’re missing either way. Ugh. Perhaps the takeaway is that people should just say, “You’re having a _____, how wonderful!” and leave it at that.

    • Jasmine says...

      Yes, as a mom of two girls, I have the perspective that people often claim how much easier boys are than girls. Boys, with their physical activity and bumps and bruises, while girls are all emotions and social drama. Being a parent is both difficult and wonderful, and every child is their own little unique being, whether male or female.

  107. Melody says...

    What a beautiful post! I am the mother to the sweetest, funniest, most loving 10 month old boy, and he is the light of my life. I remember wanting a girl so that I could recreate what my mom and I had, but I am so grateful and lucky to be able to just develop my own relationship with my son, with no comparison or pressure. As my mom told me when I found out I was having a boy, “no, you’re having a child, and you have no idea who they’re going to be.”

    • Stephanie says...

      Your mom sounds so wise! I love her advice.

  108. Oh, this really rang a bell with me. We just had our first child- our three month old son. Its funny- I didn’t think I had any bias or favored one gender over the other before we found out the gender. I did, however, have this incredibly, incredibly realistic dream in which my husband put a screaming newborn into my arms (obviously, I had just given birth, like, moments before) and he said, “Meet Cora.” We had never discussed this name; I’v e no idea where it came from. But we felt it was a perfect name. On seeing proof of boyhood in the ultrasound though…. we both met each others’ eyes with the identical thought of “I guess that name won’t work!” I hadn’t realized I’d subconsciously been expecting a girl until it was definite we weren’t having one. But a bit of picturing a little boy instead, soon turned that around. I’m now so excited as each day, we get to know his personality a bit more.

  109. Oh, I’m so glad you posted about this as I’m having my first child – a boy – in August. I didn’t have a preference when it came to the sex of our child, and was thrilled to find out that he’s a healthy baby boy a few weeks ago. I was taken aback, however, when my OB confirmed the baby was boy (though the ultrasound tech had already told us) and said “Don’t worry, boys are cool too,” as if I would be disappointed. I hope one day I have the opportunity to parent children of both sexes, but it’s certainly a privilege to raise a baby boy into a man (which I wrote a bit about here: https://www.chevyandco.com/blog/2017/4/17/my-hopes-for-my-son).

    I can’t wait to meet our little guy and cheers to all the boy moms out there!

    • Liz C says...

      Brittney: what a beautiful letter to your unborn son. I have a son (10 Months old today!) I fall more in love with him everyday! Best of luck with your pregnancy journey!

  110. Geysil says...

    Lovely post, thank you. My second child is a boy and I love it!

  111. Trish O says...

    Mom of two boys, 15 and 13 this Sunday (we are going to see Hamilton to celebrate. It is a surprise. He is obsessed). Anyway, I have only sisters….so to live is a house of boys is a wonderful adventure. Now that my boys are a little older, I sometimes feel like I live in a fraternity. And don’t even get me started on how much boy feet smell. But I would not trade my life for anything.

    I worried i would be left out, that my boys would be so connected with their dad and I would not be part of the club. Turns out, I should not have worried. They always let me play, too. And sometimes the three of them out in their nice clothes and let me pick the restaurant.

    • Jasmine says...

      My 11-year-old daughter has the smelliest feet :)

  112. As I read this post I thought about how very sweet teenaged boys can be. And right on cue, my son texted to say that he was about to drive home and asking if I wanted an Italian ice. He’s charming and funny, hard-working and helpful. It’s been a lovely journey raising this boy of mine.

    • Christina says...

      Oh this is so sweet! I love it.

  113. Vicki says...

    My brother and I were two years apart and I looked up to him, so I was into all the same things he was – HeMan (NOT Shera) GI Joe, Batman, – standard 80s fare. My mom was shocked when in junior high I got more into fashion (she had to bribe me to wear a dress as a child) even as I kept up with sports and stayed up to watch the NBA finals with my brother. So when we found out that our first child was a boy, I felt perfectly ready to be a mother to a son. I didn’t feel unsteady until I found out our second child was going to be a boy too – I wouldn’t have said I had any expectations or hope for the sex of either of our children, but I was shocked when the ultrasound technician said its a boy the second time. It was the realization that anytime I had heard someone talk about an issue with a daughter or I felt some injustice to women, I would think “When I have a daughter… ” and then all of a sudden, I was not going to have a daughter. It wasn’t sad, just a change of how I had been thinking about things.
    Now I have my two beautiful boys I feel so lucky and happy when I see that special brother bond they have. Even now they are sitting practically on top of each other in the same chair laughing at the Madlibs they wrote. They can wear pink if they want, and we talk about how its awesome that Rey rocks with a light saber (finally!! a female Jedi, my little girl self wanted that so badly) and how its not right that the female characters in the Pokemon shows sometimes participate in cooking competitions instead of battles. We snuggle, cook, play and read books. Plus my knowledge of shows like Voltron and Transformers from my childhood gives me street cred – little did I know what my childhood was prepping me for!

  114. I don’t know what I would do without my son. He has the most beautiful heart, and loves his older sister like she is a goddess. He makes us all laugh with his perfect timing. And I was beyond frightened when I found out I was pregnant with him. Then the moment he was born, my heart opened bigger than I thought was possible.

  115. Alice says...

    I have two boys.
    Pre-kids, I was told I’d never conceive and then told a second was unlikely so honestly – I don’t think I’d have cared with way, either time. I was endlessly grateful to be pregnant (although didn’t get along well with pregnancy!).

    I didn’t have a preference with my first, but with my second I wanted a boy because my sisters are my partners in crime and I wanted that same gender sibling bond for my son. It annoyed me when everyone presumed I’d want a girl! I’m endlessly grateful for my sons. My eldest is energetic, agile, and wildly imaginative but the girls out back are bossier and tougher than he is. My youngest is a cheerful, solid, bear! I do love having boys, but I’m not sure it’s because they’re boys. They’re different to each other and have their quirks within and outside of their gender stereotype, like all kids, right? Jeez their gender might be different in 10 years. Who knows! I just love these little people.

    I’d love to read one about daughters too. I’m one of three and although we’re an amazing sisterhood, I imagine we were a handful! Actually, I would have been concerned about having dealing with a teenage girl, having been one!

  116. Marisa Arnold says...

    This made me cry!!! I adore adore adore my sweet, cuddly, funny (3-year old) little boy. If I ever have another I want another boy. The entries about the older boys somehow tugged so much at my heartstrings- I hope my little love turns out to be as sweet as those “beet boys”, as he says.

  117. Liv says...

    I always imagined I’d have a girl but I got three hilarious, little boys instead- I seriously laugh every single day. And they are so sweet- even with all their wildness and rough play, there’s not an ounce of mean. They love when I smell good and they’ll snuggle my neck and play with my hair- I look forward to the day that they grow taller than me and eat all the food in house and tease me- it really is a party all of the time. I’m proud that they’re mine.

  118. Mary H says...

    My 19 yr-old son is the light of my life. Thanks for this post.

    • Delphine says...

      Ditto, both my sons (19 and 5) are my ‘soleil ‘ and I just love that the two words are homophones in English !

  119. AJ says...

    This is such a gorgeous feature. Really touched by all these stories… thanks for sharing x

  120. anna says...

    I am seven months pregnant with our first child, a BOY, and this confirmed all the suspicions I’ve had – that having this little guy will be a beautiful wonderful thing. Everywhere I go I lately, I seem to hear negative comments thrown around about boys, and this article spoke so truly to my schmoopy pregnant heart. Someone just yesterday made comments about some light brown moccasins sitting out in our nursery and how they read too “pink” for a boy… I wanted to scream! Maybe pink will even be his favorite color, and I’ll support whatever he chooses. The mama bear in me is already roaring out.

    I am the biggest defender of boys and really feel strongly about helping children find their happiness and peace (apart from gender roles and stereotypes), so thank you for this. It felt written just for me. :)

    • sarah says...

      pink is my five year old jackson’s favorite color.

    • Katy says...

      My 3.5 year old, Leo, loves pink and red, and his Elsa dress.

  121. Cynthia says...

    As always, love reading the comments the piece inspired. Raised in a family of all girls, I was pleasantly surprised to become the mom of two sons. It was a joy and privilege and the teen years were (mostly) drama-free. Now they are married and papas themselves and there’s nothing more heart-warming than to see them nurture their littles in love and patience and gentle kindness. To raise strong men who become good partners and fathers is so satisfying. I will say, though, that with five grandchildren, I could not be more delighted with the three granddaughters I now get to play with. IT’S ALL GOOD!

    • Katy says...

      Love this!

  122. Jessica says...

    We didn’t find out the sex of our children until they were born. But I always envisioned myself as a boy mom, given that I’m not girly at all. I was overjoyed that our first was a boy. When our second was a girl, I felt nervous and inadequate to teach her all things girly, but we are figuring it out just fine, as we go along.

  123. I love this so much!! I had two girls and then four boys. I was terrified about having boys–I grew up with all sisters–but I can’t imagine not having their sunshine in my life. (And they’re much more into cuddling than my girls ever were!!)

  124. Yay for boys! I have a 5 year old and I’m pregnant with another one whose eviction day is new Thursday (yikes!!). I remember my heart pounding at my fetal scan with my first born when the tech asked if we wanted to know the sex. I was hoping for a boy for my husband’s sake. I didn’t have a preference either way, but certainly felt I would be better equipped to raise a girl since I am one (so silly) and I grew up with a sister. When she announced that it was a boy I immediately felt like “Wait, what the heck am I supposed to do with a boy!?!” When we went to our second baby’s scan I hoped for a boy because now I felt like I wouldn’t even know what to do with a girl at that point. Funny how our perceptions change.

  125. Joanna says...

    Hmm, funny- I felt the opposite. I was never a girly girl…so when I found out my first(and second)we’re girls all I could think about we’re bows, pink glittery everything and princesses. My nightmare!
    Luckily it’s been a bit more of a neutral real-life experience, with my first loving bows here and there but also loving dinosaurs too. :)

  126. Laura says...

    Catherine’s comments made me smile and laugh out loud! As I near my 30th birthday, having children seems synonymous with having BABIES. Of course, though, those babies grow up into complicated and nuanced children, teens and adults who make wise cracks and surprise you with their growing personalities. Honestly, raising a teenager seems like a fun and exciting challenge!

  127. I love this post! I am the mom of FOUR boys — 5, 3, and six week old twins. I thought I’d be sad when I found out I wouldn’t have any daughters but instead I was excited. I love my boys — they’re wonderful and sweet and magical and fun –like the all the boys described here. I can’t wait for our baby twins to be big enough to play with their big brothers.

  128. No children here yet. But crying on the train on my way home. I have a brother that I adore. We’re closer now that we are older but he was always the sweetest bay brother when we were growing up. I’m also humbled by how proud of me always seems to be.
    x Tali
    http://www.stylecheese.com (street style)

  129. Yesterday, while I sat at the pool covered in a long caftan and sun hat (I am so fair I’m nearly translucent), my son walked over and said to me, “Um…why are you wearing a tablecloth?” The entire crowd laughed, of course, and I thought to myself: only my son could say that to me and be endearing. I think raising a son has made me think about being a woman differently, and I think all the time about not only the example I set for my daughter but, equally important, the example I set for my son. What will he expect of women based on my role in his life? How will he learn to treat women? What is he absorbing that he (or I) is not even aware of? I asked a male friend the other day, “What is your favorite childhood memory?” He replied, “Resting with my head in my mother’s lap.” I hope my son has a similar response one day.

    • Rachel says...

      This made me laugh — when my 13 year old twin sons saw me wearing the caftan I purchased for our beach holiday one said “what IS that?” and the other told me it looked like something Lord Voldemort would wear.

      I only laughed and promised I’d wear it near them every day in the most public place possible. Love my boys!

  130. Mimi says...

    I hope that I can do as good a job with my two boys as Catherine and Nicole have! What beautiful words. I love being a boy mom. People always ask if we will try for a girl and as much as I love the thought of having a newborn, the thought of potentially having to raise a girl terrifies me!

  131. Mary says...

    My oldest is a boy, and I’m expecting another little boy this fall. Raising my son has made me look differently at the men in my life. Before, I always thought men were hard to read. Now, I (happily) assume that they’re grown up versions of my son–tenderhearts with a studied air of cool.

  132. Jay says...

    Love this – it gives me so much to look forward to!
    I have a 3 boys (a 3 year old and 1 year old fraternal twins) and lately I find myself covertly checking out boys of all ages and their moms at the playground, at the grocery store, at sporting events, and trying to imagine my sons at that age. What will they be like at 11 or 12, with big teeth and long limbs? What will life be like when they’re 20? What is being the mother of A FORTY year old MAN like?

    • Laura C. says...

      Oooh. I have two girls, 6 and 3,and all of my friends have at least one boy. I am always telling them that if I had had a biy I don’t know how I would have managed him, and if I could have had a third one, I’d have wanted a third girl. My relationship with my mother is not the best at all, it’s never been. I’m sure that if I had have a boy, he would be the love of my life, but as long as I see it, I wouldn’t be able to manage with a boy!

  133. Jules says...

    I have three boys- 4 next week (!), 2, and 5 months. I love them more than words can say. During my third pregnancy people would always say ‘Trying for a girl?’ or ‘Hoping for a girl?’. Nope. I loved my 2 boys so much that I was so excited to see what a third boy mashup of my husband and myself would be like. Turns out he’s my little ‘sidecar’. That’s the name my husband gave him because he’s always next to me.

    We’re planning on having a fourth child and will be thrilled if it’s a girl or a boy. If/when I think about it I feel bad that (so far) my husband has no one to go to a father-daughter dance with or that I will always be ‘the mother-in-law’ when they’re older, but my boys are the lights of my life. I am blessed to be their mom.

    • Allison says...

      I adore my mother in law. She is loving, and wise, and stylish, and interesting. Don’t worry about the label!

  134. Aya says...

    This made me tear up and hope for a baby boy to join our family one day.

  135. What a beautiful and powerful post. I normally don’t comment…ever. But felt impelled this time. I have two sons and two daughters. My boys Willem and Linus (ages 10 and 4) have an inner sweetness that is so pure and indubitably noble. My goal each and every day– each and every interaction, is to help them discern and engender their inherent goodness, and then nurture the desire to pass it on….to make a life of passing it on. The world is starving for good men and I want to aid in the deliverance of strong, honest, benevolent, happy, committed men. It makes me heart breathe with hope that so many mothers are doing the same!

    • What a lovely comment/reply. I love your use of the word ‘engender’ in that sentence regarding your sons’ inherent goodness. What a beautiful way to express that.

  136. SR says...

    loved this post so much. i have a 21 month old little boy and he is the light of my life! (i grew up with all sisters too, so i never thought i’d be so into having a boy – but it’s really been the best)!

  137. Katharina says...

    I had always pictured myself as a boy mum. I don’t know why. So I was maybe a little disappointed at first when I found out that our first child would be a girl.
    Now I’m the mother of three girls (7, 4 and 1 y.o.) and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

  138. Jesse says...

    Thank you so much for this post. As the mom of two boys (7 and 4), the feedback from the outer world always seems to be, “Wow, you’ve got your hands full,” and “are you going to try for a girl?” Yes, I’ve got my hands full, who doesn’t? :) Our boys are energetic, and physical and constantly interacting with their environment. I admit I always imagined having a daughter- I think I wanted the opportunity to parent myself! My mom assures me this was no walk in the park! My older son recently mirrored my own advice back to me, (about some lego thing probably) which I find quite fitting to this modern obsession with having girl babies: “Comparing two things, destroys them both.”

  139. Samantha Kunio says...

    I have a 3.5 year old boy and a 16 month old girl, and they are both darling and my love for them is measureless. I was a little nervous when I found out my first was a boy, I grew up with a sister and I just never pictured being a mom to a boy. However, perhaps obviously, when he was born none of that mattered and he is such a joy and I love being a mom to a boy. He is currently very into super heroes (courtesy of a book gifted to him by his uncle), and I spend many hours playing batman or superman with him. It is lovely, and I totally hate super heroes, but it is not hard to get into whatever he is excited about. When I was pregnant with my second, I actually wanted another boy…but of course when my daughter was born I had the same experience but in reverse. I love being the mom to a girl as well. Of course my children are still young, so who knows how their gender will present as they get older….basically whatever you get it is wonderful and you will fall deeply in love with the being in your care.

  140. Megan says...

    So sweet! I love how you included mamas of boys of all ages. It’d be fun to read one about daughters, too.

    • GFY says...

      The only way to do that right would be to have fathers describe how they felt about having a girl. I would LOVE to hear those stories!

  141. bisbee says...

    I always wanted a girl. I hoped that my first would be a girl so I wouldn’t have to worry about future children. This was in the days when no one found out before…and I had a boy. He was a gorgeous baby, big blue eyes, and I was in love. When I was pregnant again, I figured it would have to be a girl because Inwanted one SO much. When my husband said “It’s another boy”, I was so happy to be done with a difficult natural childbirth, I remember saying I didn’t care…I’d never do it again. He turned out to be my sweet soulmate…who didn’t want to go away to camp because he would miss me too much.

    I actually found that I loved being the only girl in the house…and I loved that, after 28 years of marriage, when my husband left, my boys were SO protective of me! Today, I have 2 sons, who at 42 and 39, are wonderful husbands, and one is the best father I’ve known. I am so proud of them both!

  142. Kate says...

    I love this. I have 2 boys, and my older one is 3.5 and becoming so mature. He always asks if I need help, he tells me constantly how I’m the “most perfect mama in the world” and tells me he wants to be a doctor so that he can take care of me forever.

    I always wanted boys, I just also figured I’d also have a girl. If that’s not in the cards for us, I’m perfectly happy. In fact, I’m downright grateful for the love I’ve been given already, and won’t get too greedy.

    I had a miscarriage before each of my boys, so while on the surface, you see a mom with 2 boys, below that surface is a mom who thanks the stars above every damn day for these boys.

  143. Laura H says...

    I am a mother of two little boys (4 and 1)and I wouldn’t have it any other way. The bond we have is so immense I can’t imagine what it would be like to have a girl, my husband has 3 brothers and his parents now have 5 grandsons so it’s a very strong gene but we love these boys so much they are all unique in their own way and are so full of love and wonder, the love from a son is so special and they are also an absolute hoot with such imaginations I’m def a boy mama!xx

  144. This was so sweet to read. Especially from lots of ages of mothers and sons.
    I am likely going to start trying to have a baby within the next year and I admit, I am a little nervous about boys. I am so close with my mom (my dad is amazing! so no snub on him, I am just a total mama’s girl), but when I think about my brother, and my husband (and even my dad!), they are all such sensitive, sweet guys. I’d be lucky to have a boy like any of them. xx

  145. Lori! says...

    Amazing read! I’m a boy mom twice over and it is pure joy (and chaos)!

  146. Ramona says...

    Bravo to all the Moms who raise sons that are respectful to women and children. Who understand the importance of being strong, but tender-hearted. To be proud and confident, but loving and caring. When we raise good men, our country will benefit greatly. Our son is such a good papa to his children. His son has Autism and he has shown incredible strength and endurance through that journey. Next week our son will graduate with his Master’s degree. We are SO PROUD of the great man he’s become.

  147. Jessica O'Malley says...

    I spent all day Saturday at Truck Adventures, which to my 18-month-old boy, was heaven on earth. A parking lot full of all kinds of trucks and cars! I never would’ve imagined it, but it was heaven on earth for me, too!

  148. Hillary says...

    I needed this article today… I had my 20 week ultrasound last week where it was confirmed I was having a boy and I got nervous thinking all these things and feeling guilty for being a little sad it wasn’t a girl. My mom passed away last year and the hardest thing about being pregnant is not having her here- she and I were best friends and I have missed that relationship so badly and felt like I would only be able to have something like that again if I had a daughter. I just teared up even writing that sentence- reading all these stories made me smile- so thank you for this article for today :)

    • Gen says...

      I’m so sorry Hillary. I know you will tell great stories about your mom to your little boy, and he’ll be proud of his Grandma, and you’ll have a wonderful mom-child relationship regardless of who is what gender.

    • Megan says...

      You will have this with your son. They love their mama’s so much!! All the best to you.

    • Christy says...

      I’m tearing up as I read this! Boys are the most beautiful gift and I am fascinated daily but what my 2 year old little guy is teaching me. I’m sorry to hear that you lost your mom. I believe she may have had a hand in the fact that you’re having a boy- to preserve the beautiful relationship you had with her. Enjoy the ride!

    • Eleanor says...

      Sending hugs, my mom passed away 5 years ago and I promise you’ll feel her love and form that special bond whether you have a son or daughter. I have a 3 year old daughter and am pregnant with a son, my favorite things with my daughter are what I did with my mom: hiking, baking, watching old musicals and picnic meals outside. Boy or girl I’ll do those things and form those same memories with my kids that I had with my mom. It’s so hard without your best friend (mom) but know that it’ll be ok.

    • Sara says...

      So sorry to hear about your mom Hillary. My mom is also my best friend so I can understand what you mean about envisioning that bond with a daughter. That said, my husband is one of three boys and the way he and his brothers dote on my mother-in-law is the sweetest thing. And I am so thankful to her for raising kind, compassionate, supportive men! We need you strong boy-mamas!

    • MA says...

      I’m so sorry for your loss Hillary, and happy for your boy as well. Its a very bittersweet time for you, I can imagine. I’m mom to a 10 yr old boy and he is my best buddy. He is the most sensitive family member in the house and also the most empathetic. Its been a joy watching him grow. And the snippets of whats to come from Catherine and Nicole make me even more excited for the future.

    • Hillary says...

      Thank you to everyone who responded to my comment- your words really touched me <3

  149. marie says...

    i found out TODAY that i’m having a boy. i have seen soooo many women post about how right on you are with timing all the time but this is uncanny. thank you xox

    • Laurel Cyr says...

      Congratulations! And kiss your heart goodbye, he will have it forever.