Enraging any mother is pretty easy. Just say something rotten about her kids and you’ll wish you were being gored by a bull or clawed by a bear – the pain would be less.
This fierce protection starts in the womb and increases to a point of touchiness that would put a snowflake’s sensitivity to shame.
For some of us, sanity prevails (usually when the kids are teenagers) and we eventually realize our kids are human and therefore come with a few eensy-weensy faults.
All the same, we mothers NEVER like to hear negative stuff about our kids.
MOBS (mothers of boys) have their own special sensitivity points, added to the general ones all mums share.
This is a practical guide on what NOT to say to a MOB – whether you are a friend, loved one or stranger.
I always imagined I’d have at least one boy and girl when I thought about creating a family.
However, if I could have just one I wanted that child to be a boy – no question. Perhaps it was because I had no brothers.
So when my firstborn son arrived I was overjoyed.
When son number two came along I was just as happy.
WHY BEING A MOB IS GRAND
By the time I was pregnant for the third time, funds were short and I had a MOB flow going so another boy, who wouldn’t require a complete overhaul of gender suited baby toys and clothes, not to mention a whole new group of mothering skills, was actually welcome.
I remember discussing with the older two whether they wanted a sister or brother. They weren’t sure at first but then we all agreed a boy would be best as a girl would ruin the song I used to sing to them all the time – “I’ve got two boys, and they’re my great big joys”.
“I’ve got two boys and a girl”, just wasn’t going to cut it.
You can tell by this silliness I really wasn’t invested in having to have a daughter.
I’ll be honest. There were times I would have loved a daughter. Regrets? Absolutely not! I even rejoice in the wisdom of a universe that knew my parenting skills were best utilized as a MOB.
One thing I was sure about, I wanted three kids – no more, no less. I would happily have stuck pins in my eyes before going for a girl with a fourth pregnancy.
However, the comments of others and their reaction to my ‘girless’ life often made me feel like I was missing out – even when I knew I had the absolutely best and most delightful, perfect children on the planet. 🙂
Their reaction was often one of sadness and pity like I had missed out on some vital ingredient of life, like I had somehow failed. I’ve seen how many daughters treat their mums and I rejoice that I missed the thrills of a teenage daughter.
The stress of wedding planning for a daughter may have tipped me over the edge – mine was a comparatively simple affair.
These days I reap the rewards of loving relationships with my DILS (daughters in law). They are the daughters we never had and treat us with love and respect, better in fact than many adult daughters I know treat their mums.
Having missed out on the talent to see into the future and realize how complete my life would be with DILS and four Goddess granddaughters, I did at times, buy into the negative remarks on my lack of female company.
WHAT NOT TO SAY TO A MOB
- Another boy? You must have a mould in there – yes it was said to me.
- You are like an island, do you get lonely? – for the record, boys are GREAT company.
- Aren’t you sorry you didn’t have a girl? – sorry to whom? Did I screw up somehow?
- Oh wow, three boys – you sure have your hands full – as Grandy to four girls I can tell you they are just as much work as boys.
- Your house must be so noisy – guess what? Girls, with their little high-pitched giggles and screams, can be worse. Just ask Grandad who works from home while I babysit.
- You have a special bond with a daughter – hello, I’m a girl and therefore a daughter, so I know and guess what? You have a special bond with your son.
- Boys will be boys – why don’t people ever say ‘girls will be girls’?
- Are you going to try for a girl? – kind of makes me want to ask “are you going to grow a brain?”.
Then there’s that golden little rhyme “a daughter is a daughter all her life, a son is a son until he takes a wife”. Was that created to incite jealousy among women? I think even my laid back sons would take offence to think they had to give up their son title when they became husbands.
I’m way past the point of caring about these things for me, but say them to a young MOB who may end up doubting herself and watch my Mumma Bear emerge.
Wishing you thoughtful words and a gleeful week, Tamuria.