Raising a Boy

Since I found out I was pregnant and decided to share it with others, the first thing people asked was whether it was a girl or boy, or which I wanted, a girl or a boy.  I always answered that I didn’t care what it was, as long as he or she was healthy.  And I truly meant it.  People say it all the time, but I think most have some idea in their head of what they wish their baby will be…especially if it’s not your first.  But for someone like me (and many of you) who’s struggled so hard to get to this point, there’s no way I could have ever been disappointed in the sex of this baby.

With that said, I feel like most women hope to have a girl.  Maybe it’s because as girls ourselves, we feel like we’d be more comfortable raising a girl.  We’ll know what to do with a girl.  We know all about shoes and dresses and Barbies and hairbows.  It’s only natural for a girl to want another girl.  I’ve had people I know flat out admit that they absolutely wanted a girl.  I’ve seen the disappointment in people that I know when I announced I was having a boy, my own mother included.  A girl that I work with actually said to me that another co-worker’s baby was going to be getting all of her money because there was just too much cute stuff for girls and nothing cute for boys (this co-worker, ironically really really wanted a boy, believe it or not).  I’ve watched people cock their head to the side and say, “Aww,” in a sympathetic way when I tell them it’s a boy, I guess because they assume that as a woman, I wanted to have a girl.

Newsflash.  As a woman, I wanted to have a baby.

And I am SO excited to be having a son.  I am so excited to have that special bond that boys only have with their mom.  To be the most important woman in his life for the next how ever many years.

With all that being said, there are still things that make me nervous about raising a boy.  A friend was over the other day with her little girl, who is in kindergarten.  Little L whispered to me that she had a secret, and then proceeded to tell me that she liked a boy in her class because “he’s handsome.”  My friend was shocked, since this was the first she’d heard of the handsome little boy.  Then Little L started talking about kissing and getting married.  My friend almost had a heart attack.  The kid is five, and it’s all innocent, but when you have an adolescence like my friend did (haha) you can’t help but worry when your daughter starts talking about crushes and boys and kissing, no matter how old she is.  I made a joke that she was going to have her hands full since she seems to be just like her momma.  My friend said how lucky I am to be having a boy.  And while I do think the teenage years might be a little easier with a boy, I admitted that I was still a little nervous about raising a boy.  “Because you don’t know what to do with a boy?”  is what my friend assumed, who has admitted before that she was SO glad she had a girl because she wouldn’t know what to do with a boy.  Here we go back to the girls feel more comfortable with girls.  That’s not what it is though.

I’m nervous because of the kind of man I want to raise my boy into.

For lack of a more graceful way of saying it, my exact words to my friend were, “I don’t want him to grow up to be a douchebag.”

But seriously.  We all know those guys.  Those boys we grew up with.  The boys who broke our hearts.  The boys we thought we could change.  I don’t want mine to be one of those.  And I have NO idea how to make sure he doesn’t turn into one.

I want him to be a boy, yes.  But I want him to be sweet and polite as well.

I want him to open doors for girls.  For women.  For elderly people who may need a little extra help.

I don’t want to be too strict, but I want him to be a gentleman and say “yes, ma’am” when it’s called for.

I want him to never feel like he’s better than anyone else because of the house he lives in or the clothes he wears or the car he drives.

I want him to be nice to girls.  All the girls.  Even the girls he may not find attractive.  I don’t want him to lead anyone on, but I still want him to be nice to them and respect them.  Because all women are beautiful in their own right, and I want him to be the kind of man who recognizes that.

I know I can’t keep ugly words from ever coming out of his mouth, but I want him to be the kind of guy who takes the high road.  Who stands up for others who may not be able to stand up for themselves.  Who stands up for himself and his beliefs without hurting others.

There are so many other things that I can’t even put into words.  I’ve been way too weepy lately to even get through this whole post.  But the short and sweet of it is that raising a boy scares me to death, but not for the reasons that people might think. (I’m sure raising a girl would be just as scary for me as well, for similar reasons)

It may seem like I’m putting a lot of expectations on this little guy who’s not even here yet, but really it’s all on me.  It’s up to me to instill these things in him, starting right from the beginning.

I’m scared, yes.

But this is what we’ve all been waiting for, right? 🙂


4 thoughts on “Raising a Boy

  1. I fully agree with you. We had a rough journey to get to this point, and I was 100% honest when I answered that I did not care if we had a girl or a boy. And I get your anxiety about raising a child in general. I just want my baby to turn into a nice and respectful little girl and that is all on me. I think you are going to do great!

  2. I was actually terrified to have a girl. I only have boys in my family (I was the first girl born on my dad’s side in 75 years and there is only one female cousin younger than me), I only have a brother, and mostly hung out with guys. I had NO idea what to do with a little girl especially since I’m no pretty princess “let’s have a tea party and do makeup” girl. I figured since we both have all boys in our families it was practically a given for a boy…so imagine my surprise (and terror!) when there was a hamburger on that ultrasound instead of a hot dog! Like you wanting to raise a boy to be a gentleman, I’m nervous about figuring out how to raise a girl to be strong and independent and speak up for herself. But when it comes right down to it, I think no matter what you end up with, you do the best you possibly know how and it all works out in the end. A baby will love you unconditionally no matter if you “know” how to raise a girl or a boy better. 🙂 (And I HATE people who throw the “oh aren’t you disappointed?” card…so ridiculous and insensitive. I ignore them.)

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