Every now and then I come across a parenting blog that just doesn’t get it. These lucky parents are raising perfect kids in a politically correct society and somehow manage to make the best decision at all times. As if this wasn’t good enough, they take it upon themselves to remind the rest of us average to craptastic parents that we are doing it WRONG! Kansas City Mom Blog posted an article by one of these super perfect parents last month and I came across it this morning while drinking my third cup of coffee, so here is my caffeine fueled response.
The article is titled Don’t Call Me a #Boymom! (if you want to read it and vomit in your mouth a little, click the link). The author goes on to discuss all of the reason’s she hates the #boymom tag and even attempts to shame a couple of moms who use it. If you read a couple paragraphs in, it becomes brutally obvious that she just doesn’t get what the #boymom tag is truly about. She thinks it is about stereotyping boys as messy and violent. She thinks it’s about enforcing out of date gender roles. She discusses how little girls can be messy and play with Star Wars toys. She rambles on about how little boys can paint their nails and be taught not to pee on the floor. She doesn’t realize that the #boymom tag isn’t about the boys at all. The #boymom tag is about creating a supportive community of mothers.
When you use #boymom you are identifying yourself as the mother of at least one son. It doesn’t matter if you have one son and one daughter, three sons and one daughter, a son who is an only child, or four amazingly different sons. Every #boymom has one important thing in common, we are all raising at least one child who isn’t the same gender as us. Gender equality is great, but all of that crap about boys and girls being exactly the same flies right out the window the first time you have to teach a boy to pee, when you don’t pee standing up. The truth is that I have high levels of estrogen and a vagina and my boys have testosterone and a penis. My youngest son lets me paint his toe nails. My oldest son’s favorite toy as a toddler was a kitchen set. No boy fits perfectly in a stereotyped package and the #boymom tag doesn’t mean I expect them to.
What the #boymom tag means is that I am part of a tribe of amazing mothers. We love our sons fiercely. We are proud of them. Sometimes, we are frustrated or overwhelmed by the things that they do. We share our stories and pictures so that we know we are not alone in this whole motherhood thing. It doesn’t matter if your boys are delicate, emotional, rambunctious, or adventurous. The majority of them will miss the toilet at least once in their lives and while you are cleaning pee off the toilet seat, floor, or wall it’s nice to know that someone else understands your pain. We don’t make excuses for bad behavior, but we do support each other’s struggles. We understand that boys running around wild, wrestling, and play fighting doesn’t mean they will grow up to be violent. It means that they are using their imagination and that is one of the most valuable gifts that a child can use.
So #Boymom’s everywhere keep posting your pictures, statuses, tweets, memes, and stories and your tribe will be there to celebrate your victories, laugh with you about your failures, and support you when you need it!
Tiffany O’Connor is a mom to two amazing, energetic, and fearless boys. She is married to her high school sweet heart and has three college degrees. Her hobbies include watching TV shows about zombies, hiding in her hot tub with a bottle of champagne, and writing all about her misadventures parenting in a “man cave” at #Lifewithboys.