What happens when you’re a both mom?
I’ve seen many posts from other moms on social media and elsewhere talking about being a boy mom or a girl mom. But, that leaves me wondering, where do those of us with both fit?
I was a girl mom first, because my daughter is my oldest. She is the one who broke me in as a mom. Motherhood is incredibly awesome, but it can also knock you right off your feet as suddenly you become irrelevant in your own life. Everything revolves around a tiny person who is demanding and dependent on you for survival. And you love that tiny person more fiercely than you’ve ever loved anything before. It’s exhilarating and exhausting!
Finding out I was having a girl was exciting. I wasn’t someone who had a strong desire for either gender. I was just excited to be growing our family. Once we knew we were having a girl, we did some girlie shopping. I found a beautiful pink outfit to bring her home in.
My daughter is full-fledged girl. From the beginning she’s enjoyed things that are pink and sparkly. She loved baby dolls more than any other toy. She’d whip up food in her play kitchen. While she took her time with more physical skills, her verbal skills came early.
From the beginning, I had fun dressing her up in adorable outfits. And now that she’s a preteen, she has fun dressing herself up in adorable outfits. She has girl energy in being able to sit and do one task quietly for a long time. That was true by the time she was a preschooler and has only gotten more true as she’s getting older.
My son arrived just over three years after my daughter. From the beginning he had a different temperament. He was more demanding. While my daughter was pretty even-keeled, my son was happy or not happy. He didn’t have much in between. Not much has changed even now that we are approaching his 8th birthday next month.
I found adorable boy clothes. There were tiny suits and tiny jeans. His winter coat when he was 2 was a small bomber jacket. His nursery was decorated with superheroes. He also talked early, but he was also more physical earlier than our daughter.
We learned early on that our son was a ball of boy energy. Thinking back now, a few years later, I hardly remember him walking. It seemed like he went from crawling to running almost overnight. Even without seeing weapons, he could pick up random toys and make them something to fight with.
He didn’t have as much patience for sitting still for activities like coloring. He liked to go-go-go. Even now at nearly 8, he most likes to do something while he is listening to our book being read. Sometimes he snuggles, but other times, he just quietly moves around his toys or pets the pup.
Getting the jokes
Lots of posts and comments about girl mom versus boy mom are about funny truths of raising girls or boys. Girl moms joke about glitter getting everywhere. It does. I have had glitter in the lint trap of my dryer more often than not over the past decade.
Boy moms talk about body parts and gross jokes. Those happen. My son cracks up at anything related to flatulence and so on.
I get it. Boys and girls both tend to have their own qualities. Some of them seldom overlap. And they are often confusing to the other gender. For example, my children were recently going to spend the day with my parents. My son pulled on clean clothes from his drawer without paying too much attention to them. My daughter labored over her decision of what to wear and how to style her hair.
I heard my son say to her, “It doesn’t matter what you wear. We’re just going to Lolly’s!” (They call my mom Lolly.) I could only think bless his heart. He doesn’t understand how things work for some 11-year-old girls.
Being a both mom
I don’t begrudge solely girl moms and solely boy moms their role. And I don’t feel like they are leaving me out in any way. But I do want to give a shout-out to my fellow both moms.
We get the best and worst of both genders. We get the sweet snuggles and silly fart jokes from the boys. Our girls give us warm hugs and commentary on our fashion choices.
Both moms get to do all the stuff. We get the girlie things and the boy things. We get a mix of both. And our kids learn from each other. Having grown up in a family where I only had an older brother, I feel like I learned more about how boys behave than I would have if he’d have been a sister. I think the same is true for my own two children.
Because as both moms, we also have an easy excuse to encourage our kids to try things that they wouldn’t be attracted to otherwise. My son has played with dolls. My daughter has played with dinosaurs. They have access to toys and activities that maybe are different than what they would be drawn to. I like that!
We both moms also have to help our kids understand each other. Not only are they different ages (unless you have multiples) who can be in different phases (my daughter isn’t as into toys these days), they are also different genders. There are times my kids just completely don’t understand where the other one is coming from.
My daughter doesn’t understand her brother’s anger and his struggle to not act it out physically. My son doesn’t understand his sister’s desire to accessorize.
Of course these things happen for girls moms and boy moms. Because even as the same gender, each kiddo and person is different. I would daresay, though, that we both moms have that happen even more because of the gender difference.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter who is a girl mom, a boy mom or a both mom. We are all just moms. Our journeys aren’t identical, because we all have our own challenges. But we are all doing the best we can to raise our children well. Each day we struggle through homework and meals. We remind kids to bathe.
We’re all wondering if we’re messing up our kids. Moms everywhere doubt their abilities and choices. We worry if our kids are OK. We are doing the best we can in the midst of the chaos and exhaustion.
Whether you’re a girl mom, boy mom or both mom, you’re doing well, mama. You’re taking on motherhood like a boss.