Why the World Needs Boy Moms
Well, here we are again, a week and a half before my due date, and much like his older brother, my youngest son is showing no signs of wanting to enter the world anytime soon. It seems that Brooks Austin Prentice will make his appearance when he’s (pardon my French) “damn good and ready.”
I must say, I’ve been slightly baffled by people’s reaction when I tell them that I’m expecting another boy. My boy-mom friends squeal with delight and say “Brothers are so fun!” I think they are mostly serious, though I also sense that they are anxious to see how someone who loves shopping, manicures and cleanliness will handle a house full of mud, bugs and trucks. Most people ask if I’m disappointed. I’m a girls’ girl, and I suppose they think I wanted a daughter. And then there are some–mostly older women–who give me a sympathetic, knowing look and say “That’s ok. You can try for a girl next.”
I will admit to feeling slight sadness over the fact that I may never have a daughter. My mom and I are so close, and I’d love to share that same mother-daughter bond with my own child. But then I overhear conversations between teenage girls about crop tops or piercings or dating or I remember what I was like as a teenager (D-RAMA) and breathe a sigh of relief that I won’t have to deal with that.
In fact, the more I think about it, the more excited I am to raise two boys. Ok. Perhaps “excited” is a bit of a misnomer. Maybe nervous, downright scared, yet up for the challenge is a better way of saying it. It’s just that lately I’ve become increasingly aware of how much the world needs men of character who will stand for what’s right in a society that’s buckling under the weight of immorality. Need proof? Read this week’s headline news:
The overwhelming majority of Ashley Madison users were men.
Out of 24 police officers killed in the line of duty this year, only one of them was shot by a woman (and she had a male accomplice). Additionally, most officers who have been accused or convicted of misusing their authority to harm or kill crime suspects over the past year have been male (save this one).
Want less anecdotal, yet equally as depressing, boy related stats? Check these out:
Only 35-40% of men wait to have sex until they are married, compared to 60-65% of women.
For years, men have been more likely to commit suicide than women. In 2013, 77.9% of suicide deaths were male and 22.1% were female.
What’s a boy-mom to do?
With the odds stacked against them, it’s now more important than ever to raise our sons “right.” I’ve thought long and hard about what values and morals I want to instill in my boys. Religious beliefs and values aside (that’s a whole other post), here are a few things I want my sons to know:
- Admit mistakes and face problems head-on. Denying culpability, shifting blame or running from problems will only make things worse.
- Respect is earned, not forced.
- Recognizing when you need help–and asking for it–is a sign of strength, not weakness.
- There’s no shame in crying, hugging, laughing ’til it hurts, showing emotion and calling home every day. (Emphasis on the latter.)
- A woman of character is worth waiting for, pursuing and protecting.
- Let your “yes” mean “yes.” Don’t break promises, and don’t make commitments you can’t keep. (Except when you have committed to doing something at the same time you told your mother you’d call home. Break the aforementioned commitment and call home. Always call home.)
How then, shall we live?
All that being said, it is one thing to know the lessons you want to teach your sons. It is quite another to take the time to teach them–especially in the doldrums of everyday life and messes and mistakes. But that is why the world needs boy moms. And not just any boy moms.
The world needs boy moms who are willing to pull their sons aside when a teachable moment presents itself, even if she feels too tired to deal with it.
Boy moms who recognize that good behavior takes practice and character development is a marathon and neither are best left in the hands of school teachers, church leaders or sports coaches.
Boy moms who lead by example and model the type of woman they’d want their son to date and marry.
Boy moms who know the value of holding on tight (both literally and figuratively) yet understand the importance of letting go when the time comes.
Boy moms who understand the balance between tough love and giving them grace because she herself knows The One who loves and gives grace.
I’m not saying that I will be the perfect mother to my sons or that they will grow up to be exemplary adults. But I do know that, by God’s grace and a LOT of prayer, I’m going to try my hardest to raise real men and be the best boy mom that I can be.