By Emily Pyle
This is for you, boy-moms. I’m not talking about the moms who have a couple boys and a girl. I’m talking to the moms who only have testosterone flowing through the house like a hurricane. Maybe you can relate with some or all of the experiences I’ve had with my four boys.
Parenting only boys is tough. And no one can understand it unless they live it. They wear us to the very brink of insanity with their endless energy, stubbornness, attitudes, hormones (yes, hormones), emotional breakdowns (I’ve got a drop-of-the-hat sobber), crazy messes, spontaneity, anger, competitiveness, and they play off of each other like racquetball. Raising boys isn’t for the faint of heart… they stink, make lots of sounds (and smells), and seriously gross me out with their gooey, bodily fluids. Not to mention the infamous pee all over the floor, wall, and toilet seat… ain’t a myth. These little psychos leave the house with us and forget everything they’ve ever been taught. I’ll go a step further and make it more personal… maybe, like me, you have boys that don’t care about sports like boys are expected to, they don’t like working hard, they complain about darn near everything, they aren’t always respectful to adults no matter how much you feel like you pour into them, they have fears, anxieties, a hard time making friends, and would rather be playing video games than being outside. Having boys is hard, but sometimes it’s harder than hard.
It’s not just the nature of boys, but how people make you feel when you have all boys. The most common phrase said to me, “You are busy all the time aren’t ya?” Um yes, yes I am. Or my favorite… “All boys huh, never got your girl?” Nope… thanks for rubbing it in, though. The way people look at us when we sit next to them at restaurants with our troop. Sorry to ruin your meal, but they generally do ok. People do not swoon over boys (at least not older boys) like they do girls… they aren’t sugary sweet and quiet or frilly and polite. People tend to laugh at their behavior or look annoyed. They can be little turds, I know that, but it still hurts. No shopping or pedicures with our kiddos on girl’s days… we’re the lone rangers of the bunch and have to be ok with that. Not many want to take the time to get to know our boys, especially after they get jumped on by them! But who can blame ‘em? We seldom get invited to things or, we at least don’t feel like people want us to bring our circus of boys. Maybe it’s just me thinking of what could have been, what I’m dealing with, and what I’m missing out on, that makes me critical. And, typically, I know our boys are such blessings and we’d never trade them, but sometimes what people say and in certain situations, we let ourselves feel burdened by them. Ever feel that way??
But wait!! I recently had a eureka moment… am I really missing anything? Do any of those things truly matter? Like, Pastor Dan Mohler says quite often, “You are letting it matter more when it doesn’t matter MOST.” And for a few days now, God has been bringing to my mind this question: We were created for our Heavenly Father and our only purpose on this earth is to bring glory to His name in our own unique way… so why am I living for myself? The only reason I would care about any of those things is if I am world focused and me-focused, instead of Christ-focused. To be offended by someone is to be thinking of myself and how things affect me. Me focused! Ouch! I am extremely guilty of this and it’s a daily battle where I fail time and time again, but I’m determined to live in no offense and to be thankful… always. His plan for my life is way different from the plans I thought I wanted or needed. But God makes no mistakes and he created my four boys and your boys with a divine purpose only they can fulfill. How amazing is that?!
Ok so, after I dogged on them, I have to say, my boys are pretty special, too, and I am so blessed to be their Mom. They love on me and say the sweetest things. They are all uniquely amazing and different in their own ways and it is so fun to see what they say and do every day. Malachi (my youngest), just tonight, was telling me that he never wants to forget my name. And he continually tells me he likes my hair. Haha. That kid. Thaddeus is our little man and can be heard saying, “yes, no, maybe so” and “easy peasy, lemon squeezey.” He is our little helper and is always willing to lend a hand. Zakariah, just last weekend, gave Malachi a ball he got from a baseball game. Malachi was sad he didn’t get one, and Zak wanted to make him happy. That was a tear jerker… they can be so surprising, how tender their little hearts are. And Jake, our oldest, tells me often… “I don’t know what I would do without you Mom.” Right back at you, Son. He gave his life to Christ a year ago last April, and I am so proud of that boy! They all can be caught humming Twenty-One Pilots’ songs which just makes me smile. I am excited for the day all my little boys are strapping men, towering over their Mama, thanking me for putting up with their craziness all these years!
I love my boys and being a boy-mom even though it can be very hard. Boy-moms, you are not alone. We all struggle with comparisons and exhaustion. Boys are a challenge, but so very special and needed in this world, and God knew we were strong enough for that challenge. Live without offense. Love others. Be thankful. Be prayerful. Be Christ-focused and not self-focused. (Speaking to myself, too!) Love on those boys and cherish these fleeting moments we have left with them!
Emily Pyle lives in a small town in Indiana with her husband, Tyler, and her sons Jacob (10), Zakariah (8), Thaddeus (6), and Malachi (5). She enjoys cleaning houses and working at her sister’s boutique as a breather from raising four boys. She has a love for music and has led worship with her husband for 12 years. On any given morning, you can catch her drinking a cup of coffee on her front porch swing to start the day.