As a proud Mama of two boys, I have to say that every time I hear the phrase “boys will be boys” I cringe and want to ask, what does that even mean?
I can maybe accept that to be “a boy” means they are a little messy, enjoy wrestling at any chance they get, perhaps play rough with their friends, leave underwear hanging from unthinkable places, and the word “fart” is a favorite in their vocabulary.
On the other hand, at times the context of the expression could come across as meaning they are tougher and stronger, messier, braver, or more masculine and with that, I couldn’t disagree more.
Yes, they are brave but also emotional, sweet, talented, caring, loving, shy, smart, funny, curious, and…most importantly, good humans. In a society where gender equality is still a work in progress, it is important for me, as a mother of two boys to educate them and make sure they grow up with an open mind and understand that girls can also do the things they do. That girls are also powerful, strong, and intelligent.
In our house, my boys understand mommy has a career and many goals. That she is well educated, independent, and outspoken. Of course, they have their “boy” time with daddy and some serious Nerf gun war zone situations. I’m not always going to be invited to the party (sometimes that’s best — I’ve learned to respect those Nerf darts…) but I do try to participate in activities and learn about their interests as much as I can.
I get down and play in the dirt, we play sports together, and I’m interested in learning about Pokémon, Minecraft, and baseball. On the other hand, we also cry together, cook together, dance together, and we read books about amazing girls and women in history.
I want them to understand how lucky they are and know that in other countries girls are not even allowed to receive an education. I teach them to groom and also feel good about themselves, to be confident. My goal is to raise good men that will see women as equals while at the same time being charming and gentlemanly.
I want them to be proud of me and my accomplishments not just because I’m their mommy but also as a woman. I wish for them to want to be like mommy when they grow up as well and see me as a role model. I want them to step up if someone is being unkind to them or others. To be accepting and welcoming, without judgment because someone may look or act different than them.
Nothing is more truthful than saying “It starts at home.” I do believe some behaviors are learned. How would they know the reality of the world out there if we don’t teach them and guide them through it? It is our responsibility as moms to be the example.
So, I’m changing that quote to say boys will be…amazing, confident, and respectful men that will empower girls while becoming good men.