10 Ways Parenting Boys and Girls is the Same
There is no shortage of articles that will tell you how being a boy-mom leads to Legos and fart jokes and being a girl-mom leads to princesses and drama. But here is the thing – being a mom leads to a lot of those things. Period.
As a mama to boy/girl twins (plus one more) who defy and embrace gender stereotypes at random, I've seen it firsthand. And while it often happens that television and marketing , the influence of other children and adults alike, and innate desires and drives will lead to certain preferences that tend to fall along gender lines, the true joys (and pains) of parenting will happen for you regardless of the equipment your baby is carrying in his or her diaper.
I present to you 10 ways that raising boys and bringing up girls pretty much just evens out to being, well, parenting.
At some point you will likely find yourself covered in bodily waste, courtesy of that small human you seem to feed non-stop. While the boys have the interesting added complication of crazy aim that can mean pee anywhere from the ceiling to up your nose, girls are equally likely to select inopportune moments to soil themselves. Like mid-bath, mid-diaper change, or mid-huge event that has you wearing a fancy dress and a large brown stain on your lap.
At some point a stranger in a store is likely to comment on your cute little boy/girl when your child is actually a girl/boy. So feel free to make use of those pink receiving blankets for your son or the dump truck onesie for your daughter – for the first year at least nobody is really going to know the difference anyways (probably including your baby, really).
At some point you will be forced to sit through endless repeats of a television show seemingly designed to torment innocent parents. Dora, Diego, Caillou, and Max & Ruby are equal opportunity annoyances.
At some point your child will do something to completely humiliate you and make you question your parenting skills. Usually this will be in public, with plenty of witnesses to your total parenting fail.
At some point your child will do something so unbelievably amazing that you'll feel a little sad for other parents, who aren't lucky enough to have a child as obviously gifted and extraordinary as yours. Sometimes this item and the previous may even happen on the same day. Just to keep things interesting, you know?
At some point your child will want a toy that may surprise you, and doesn't fit with society's ideas about gender. My advice? Respect your child more than you do notions of what is “right.” So go ahead and get your son the Barbie doll or play kitchen or buy your daughter the train set or superhero costume. They'll learn that you love them no matter what – and isn't that what we all want?
At some point you'll bemoan clothing your little one. For boy mamas, this often happens due to the lack of fun options in the boy department (sports, superheroes, plaid can get old fast). For girl mamas, this can be due to the overwhelming options (“Do I get the dress and bloomers and leggings and matching hair accessories and shoes?”), the cost (“The total for that is how much?”), or the eventual realization that once you leave the baby department you are suddenly shopping in the juniors section (“Wait, where are the rest of these shorts?”). Either way, I feel you.
At some point worries about the future will overwhelm you. Will your daughter feel safe and confident in herself? Will your son feel free to express his feelings and pursue his dreams? We can't control the world around us. All we can do is raise kind, compassionate, loving humans and do our best to support other parents so that they can do the same.
At some point your little one will develop a special relationship with daddy. Whether it is because they are best pals or because he can't say no to his princess, they'll find a sweet spot where they connect in a way that only they can. It's a magical thing to behold.
At some point you'll find yourself smothered in affection and attention, because there is nothing like mommy. As kids grow and change their relationships with you will also change, but whether you have a little boy or a little girl, you will be mommy no matter what. The job comes with responsibility that can take your breath away and keep you up at night, but the benefits are better than any you could ever imagine.Read More