When I found out I was pregnant, I was so sure it was a girl. I have three sisters, nieces and I always imagined myself having a daughter. After we found out that we were having a boy, I was in shock. I didn’t know the first thing about raising a little boy, and I was completely terrified.
Of course, now I can’t imagine my life any other way. Being a boy mom has changed my life in so many ways. I choose my outfits based on what will make it easier to chase after Gray, I don’t bat an eye when he runs to the backyard and starts throwing dirt everywhere, and it’s completely normal that he thinks poop is hilarious.
Gray is wild, energetic, messy, loving, hilarious and sweet. I think often about what kind of man he’ll be, and the types of values, skills and qualities I want to teach him. It’s a huge responsibility raising a little boy, and although his daddy will be teaching him all about “guy stuff” I know my role is just as important.
I’ve come up with a few things that are important for me to instill in Gray from a young age.
1. Be Kind
This is probably one of the most important things I want to teach Gray from a young age. For some reason, kids can be SO mean. I want to always make sure that I lead by example, and show Grayson daily that you have to be kind to everyone no matter who they are. My hope for Gray is that he becomes the type of child who sits with a kid who’s eating alone at lunch. I want Gray to lead with kindness in everything he does.
2. Be Well-Rounded
I’m not sure if this is normal, but I often think about the type of father and husband Gray will be when he grows up. I want him to be athletic, know how to cook (and bake), be able to fix things around the house and put together Ikea furniture. I want to make sure he watches classic movies (in addition to the action movies he’ll watch with the hubby) and loves reading. He loves helping my husband when he’s fixing things, and he equally loves helping me bake cookies. I try to make sure that he helps bring in the groceries, and puts away his toys to teach him to be helpful and clean up after himself.
3. Be Compassionate and Give Back.
At the young age of 3, Gray already has more than my husband and I could have ever dreamed of. I try to explain to him that there are children who don’t have any toys, or even a home. I have him give away his toys to children who have less than him, but I really want to start teaching him to give back and serve others. In trying to create the best life possible for him, I don’t want to forget how important it is to show him how others live. I hope that he’ll be an empathetic and compassionate young man.
4. Be Able to See What a Healthy Relationship is Like
I didn’t grow up with two parents in the same household, so I truly believe that having happily married parents is the best gift we can give Grayson. Whether we realize it or not, we’re teaching Gray how to love and how to treat your significant other every single day. Our roles as husband and wife became even more important once Gray came along because he is relying on us to be his example of what a marriage should look like. I recently read a quote that said “Based on how you treated your husband today, what did you teach your son to look for in a wife?” It really puts things in perspective, and has made me so much more mindful.
5. Be a gentleman/be respectful
Gallantry is not going to be dead in my household. Saying “please” and “thank you” are things Gray learned from a young age. Of course, it’s important for my husband to teach Gray to be respectful by his actions, but his relationship with me will shape the foundation for how he will treat the women in his life. I try to teach him to value, respect and treat me with love. It must be working because last night before bed he said “Mommy you’re the queen and I’m the prince!” lol
6. Be Independent
I think that as a boy mom it’s instinctual to want to do everything for Gray. When he asks me for something, it’s second nature to go get it for him. I literally have to stop, and remind myself that he needs to learn to do things on his own. I try to empower him to do things himself, and let him know that he’s strong enough or capable enough to do things himself. Sometimes that means something as small as getting himself a cup and pouring water, or cleaning up a mess he made. I want him to always be confident in himself, and not have to rely on anyone.
There are so many other things that I want to teach Gray, but these are just a few that stuck out to me as I sat down to write this. Being a parent can be overwhelming, scary and it definitely doesn’t come with a manual. Every little decision we make, and every small action is shaping Gray into the person he’ll be one day. I definitely fell like I’m screwing everything up most days, but I know Gray is so happy and loved and that’s what matters.
What are the most important things you want to teach your kids?