This was never the plan. When thinking of raising children, I never expected to be doing it on my own. Coupled with being raised in a house of all girls, what did I know about raising boys? And after going through a divorce dealing with the opposite sex seemed less than desirable. And now here we are with two young men depending on me for their upbringing?
It’s essentially been seven years of my doing this parenting thing on my own. Early on it required a lot of simple parenting. Meals, playtime, hugs, and giving them the basics that young humans requires no matter what their sex is. My experience with my daughter was easy. Girls can deal with girls and their needs without too much thought. The boys were more of a challenge even when younger. They play much more rough and were always a lot more active. I learned about trucks and dinosaurs and the importance of crashing trucks correctly all while encouraging those crashes not involve their sister.
How to become a Gentlemen
The day I knew rearing these boys would be my project I made a solemn vow to myself. They would be behave like gentlemen. They would treat the ladies in their life the way I would want to be treated. Chivalry is not dead and social graces still have a place in this world. Opening the car door for their sister and letting her get in first nearly killed them. But these strategies started young have now turned into habits. Recently the four of us went out to dinner and the boys just sat there while meals were being served. With the pandemic, we of course hadn’t dined out a lot and I asked why they weren’t eating. And I was reminded that my meal hadn’t arrived yet. And I smiled.
And time keeps flying by…
With each passing year it seems I check off another box. Parenting can involve a lot of advice from a lot of different sources. Especially when parenting a child of the opposite sex from what you are. But as these boys continue to grow I realize some of the best advice has come from my own gut instinct as a mom. Contrary to some snuggling with mom on the couch and extra hugs in public haven’t made them less manly. And now as they walk out the door and yell “love you mom” it becomes clear. We got this!