Monday, 1 September 2014

10 Things You Should and Shouldn't Say To The Mother of Boys

Being the mother of four boys seems to make me open to the comments of strangers. In fact, pregnancy and motherhood itself seems to make other people feel entitled to pass comment on your child/belly size/situation. I'm sure I'm guilty of it too.  Sometimes you just can't help yourself and, while we mean well, some comments can cause offense.

I thought I'd take a moment of your time to enlighten you, should you find yourself in a situation where you feel you've got to comment. (Also 'cos I needed to get it off my chest).

The things you should NOT say to a mother of boys:

"You've got your hands full"
Not just applicable to mothers of multiple boys, this one I'm sure gets thrown at parents of twins too.  Yes, I do have my hands full. How incredibly lucky am I?

2. "Your house must be noisy"
My house is often noisy. We have lots and lots of fun together. I would like to hope my house would sound the same if it were full of girls too.


3. "Are you going to try again?"
Ah, the old faithful. I know you don't mean it, but this kind of implies that I have tried and subsequently failed at something. The fact is I have tried several times to make a baby and have, on the majority of those occasions, succeeded in bringing a healthy, happy, beautiful child into this world. I am so much luckier than many people in this world who dream of doing just that and don't get to.

4. "Are you going to have one more go for a girl?"
I feel that this is a question that should only be asked of a person you know well, and if you know that they would like to have a baby girl. There are a lot of mothers who are perfectly content with their tribe of little men and others- like me- who would very dearly love a daughter as well. It can, however, be a rather emotional subject. Tread carefully.

5. "Boys are so different to girls aren't they?"
Yes, I'm sure they are. They often look different. I've noticed they like to dress differently. But if you are implying different in terms of how to parent them, then I wouldn't really know would I? (See aforementioned "Tread Carefully: Emotional Subject" warning).

6. "Wouldn't it be nice to have someone to take care of you when you're older?"
This is based on the notion that only a girl child would be able to/required to care for elderly parents. I think this is very old fashioned. In this day and age it's about raising our children to be caring and compassionate individuals and cultivating a wonderful relationship with them. Regardless of gender. I hope that all of my boys will continue to be close to both of us as they grow and leave the nest.


But let's not make this a big list of negatives.  Here are some things you should say:

1. "You are a great mum."  
This goes for all mothers- especially the ones you see struggling to keep their kids entertained in a grocery store or sticking to their guns and saying no to that toy/chocolate bar and letting their kids cry it out come to terms with their decision. If you don't know them then "You're doing a great job" works well too.

2. "Your boys are delightful/polite/handsome/kind."
Look past the noise and find something positive to say. If it relates to a quality the mother has clearly instilled in her sons then that's even better. My heart soars when someone tells me my children have beautiful manners.
3. "What a wonderful family you have."
This one is great. I do have a wonderful family and I know how lucky I am. I honestly believe that these little souls have been delivered into my care for a reason and I take my job seriously.

4. "Your home must be filled with so much fun and laughter."This one is perfect. Yes, our home is filled to the brim with fun, laughter and so much love - and it's that which makes it all worthwhile.

So tell me, what else should be on this list? Any mothers of girls who can offer the other perspective?


  1. Hey Clever Cookie. I am glad to meet your blog! I have 4 children too - different mix (3 girls and a boy) but I can relate to much of this post! When people say "You have your hands full?!" I always answer with "You should see my heart" :D Yay to us lucky mummys. JTxo

    1. "You should see my heart"! Oh, Jenny, I love that and - with your permission - shall use it from now on! S x

  2. When I was pregnant with my son people would tell me that I was having a girl as I already had two daughters! What The?............
    My heart is full too, I feel blessed.
    Your boys are beautiful, :) Deb

    1. Thank you, Deb, I think they're pretty darn gorgeous too x

  3. Replies
    1. I'm not surprised to hear mums of girls get it too! S : )

  4. Love your post! Thank you for summing it all up so succinctly. I'm a mom to 5 boys (including a set of twins) and often feel I have to defend the gender of the family I was blessed with. I'm thankful for each of the wonderful wee people they are.

    1. Your heart and home must be so full of love. Thank you for taking the time to comment. Sarah : )


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