All Boys?

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Photo by Queen of the Universe via Flickr
Photo by Queen of the Universe via Flickr

Moms of all boys face a special challenge beyond the fart jokes, the fashion issues and the flatulence. Every day, when we go out into the world with our sons, we face the preconception that a family is just not a family until it contains a mix of boys and girls.

Fellow “boy-moms,” how many times have you heard, “Wow, all boys? Are you going to keep trying for a girl?” The variations are many. I’ve heard everything from, “I bet you wish you had a girl,” to “What’s wrong with your husband’s genetics?” (That one from a complete and total stranger in the produce section of the grocery store.)

Moms of all boys are naturally offended by these remarks, which are so often made in the presence of our sons. Here we stand, surrrounded by beautiful, intelligent, creative children, and some idiot essentially implies– in front of our beautiful, intelligent, creative children! — that they somehow aren’t enough. It’s enough to make our mommy hackles stand on end.

Years ago, society valued sons. In the agricultural age, boy children were preferred for their muscles, strength and work capactiy. Prior to that, boys were valued because sons traditionally cared for their parents when their parents became old and infirm. Having one son was like having a long-term care policy and pension rolled into one. Having two sons was even better. Having three or more was a blessing.

Yet today, I can’t go anywhere without someone commenting on my four sons — and the comments are pitying far more often than complementary. No one congratulates me on my bounty; they bemoan my lack of a daughter.

Boys are no longer the preferred sex. Their messy energy, boundless enthusiasm and penchant for weapons is seen as less desirable in today’s sit-down-and-learn society. People see my four boys and somehow assume that I got the short end of the stick, sub-par children. They assume that I must be pining for a daughter, because, after all, who wouldn’t?

Well, guess what world? I’m not pining for a daughter. I’m very happy with my four sons, thank you very much. While I used to stammer when people commented on my all-boy family, I now proudly tell them that I specialize. I do — and many of you do too.

Boy-moms, what’s the most insensitive remark someone’s made to you about your all-boy family? How do you typically respond to these rude comments? Do they bother you or your boys?

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