This post is part of a series of behind the scene posts authored by the Where The Boys regular contributors. This is our opportunity to share with you the very best of us and our different perspectives on mothering / capturing / documenting our sons. Our hope is that in these posts you find encouragement and inspiration in your journey of celebrating your son(s).
Growing up, I never once dreamed or even gave causal thought to Motherhood. I didn’t think about the number of kids, their gender, or crafted a name list. I was void of that fantasy. But when the sticks turned pink, I had one wish.
Please. Please let this baby be a boy.
Please. Please let this second baby be a boy.
I knew I was well suited to what I believed boys would bring. I’m good with those stereotypes. Gas? Bring it. Potty talk? Hell, yes. Possible threats of a Princess Phase? Oh sweet Lord, no. Pulling up ponytails? Lock me up.
But I also had an incredibly selfish thought (I’m selfish). I felt that being a boy Mom meant they would eventually need me less than a daughter. Eventually, I’d go back to semi-non Motherhoodness. I was ridiculous. You never undo Motherhood. But I still stand by my statement: eventually they wouldn’t need me as much as a daughter.
I’m standing on the edge of my words. And I’m not sure it feels as fantastic as I had thought. Sometimes my naïve words make me dizzy with regret for having uttered them. The boys are at an age where I’m not needed as much. That independence does feel amazing. I encourage it. I adore that they don’t need me in the mornings. They can do their homework without much help. They don’t need me to pick out clothes and they definitely don’t need help getting dressed. But…
The boys could play video games for hours and my husband can easily pick up a remote and play along. Could I? Sure. But my interest is there for about 2 minutes. The three of them could discuss superheroes until they’ve run out of villains and alter egos. I can happily watch a three man wrestling match from my couch. Do I want to tap in? Nope.
Am I jealous of my husband’s relationship with his sons? No. Jealous is probably the wrong word. Sometimes I feel left out. It isn’t because they don’t ask or sneak off without me. It’s because I’m not a boy. It’s because I’m the only woman in the house. It’s just different and sometimes it feels lonely.
I tried to explain this to my husband the other day. It wasn’t an easy conversation because I was asking him to understand something so counter-intuitive. “Imagine if you had to deal with Princesses all day long?” I asked. “You don’t even like Princesses, Erika!” he truthful responded. “Why don’t you play video games with us…” That’s not the point. I’m always bending to something that is completely out of my nature. Being the opposite sex parent is just difficult because it’s OPPOSITE. And that’s something he will never need to understand.
I was starting to feel bad about my new lonely feelings. It felt very non-maternal and almost too selfish even for me. I asked my mother-in-law this weekend if she ever felt like this as the only woman in the house. “Of course. That’s why I read a lot of books. Plus I also got to feel like the Queen of the house,” she told me.
I have plenty of hobbies and I’ve always felt like the most badass Queen of the house. But it felt fantastic to feel normal and that other Boy Moms experienced this loneliness. I don’t anticipate these feelings to last long. It’s my first brush with them. Just like everything I’ve learned by parenting the opposite sex, these feelings will become my most beautiful normal. Lonely will be replaced by a greater Independence. Something that I desperately wanted. Something I would never trade. It will become my version of Motherhood as a Boy mom.
The only type of Mom I ever wanted to be.