Just like most milestones in people’s lives, having children tends to be a pretty big deal. Aside from literally changing the entire dynamic of one’s life, the thought of being a parent can take up a lot of brain power — especially when envisioning what kind of parent you’d be.
For Lauri Walker, whose post from her Momma Needs a Nap blog is included in “The Unofficial Guide to Surviving Life With Boys” anthology, it seems as if she used the majority of parental dreaming on what she’d be like as the mother of a little girl. According to Today, she wrote that she wanted to have “all girls”:
I knew in my heart I was a girl mom through and through. I was going to outfit my future daughters in sweet dresses with shiny shoes and pretty hair bows and they would grow up to be smart, independent, and beautiful women.
To Lauri’s surprise, however, life didn’t listen to her wish for all girls. Her firstborn was, in fact, a daughter, but after her came boy after boy after boy.
She then found herself raising three sons:
I became a boy mom. Ready or not.
Of course, like any good parent, she then couldn’t imagine her life without them. She wrote that her dreams of how she’d be as a “girl mom” shifted to catering to a loving trifecta of boys:
As each of my sons were born I had a purpose. I would raise them to be smart, strong, respectful boys. I believed it was up to me to teach them how to think for themselves. I would guide them to treat girls with respect and encourage them to choose their friends wisely and they would have a quiet confidence that only a mother’s love could instill.
They would be gentlemen. I would make sure of it.
She continued, writing that her dream of raising boys very much included who her sons would be:
My boys would be hard workers and would play equally hard. They would focus on their schoolwork and get the best grades that their best effort would earn. They would try every sport and never quit anything. My young men could decide what they enjoyed and they didn’t have to do something they didn’t like more than once, but once they started something they had to finish.
She said those descriptions of who she wanted her sons to become was a representation of how “good” she was going to raise them to be.
But then, she began feeling differently towards them. After experiencing raising her daughter, Lauri realized all her goals to raise boys wouldn’t matter in, say, 10 years.Mama Needs A Nap/Facebook
So, she stopped focusing on raising boys [emphasis added]:
I am no longer focused on raising my boys. I’ve looked at them, at what I believe their future holds, and decided that my original idea of raising my boys is short sighted. My boys are only going to be my boys for a very short time. It is a tiny, fleeting moment of their lives… I won’t take any of it for granted and I will do my very best to savor the joy and sweetness of their childhood, even as they run like hell straight on through, but I’m not raising my boys anymore.
Instead, she’s raising them as people other than just “boys”:
I’m raising someone’s husband.
I’m raising the fathers of my grandchildren.
She explained, writing that now she hopes to raise a future partner in life:
I have … to teach each of my sons what really matters in life: how to make his wife feel safe when her world feels upside down, how to make her feel like she is the only person in the entire world because she is the most important person in his world, to understand that it is his privilege and honor to partner with her in life rather than rule over her. I want each of my sons to understand how to love and cherish his wife above all others and second only to God.
And even someone’s dad:
I will have … to teach these young men how to be a father to their own children. How to love and discipline in patience and kindness. How to both succeed and fail as a parent because fail they will. I have to prepare them to know when and how to say “I’m sorry” to their children when they screw it up, this parenting gig because they will make mistakes.
No, she isn’t leaving her boys stranded somewhere with no mother — rather she’s raising her sons as the men they’ll soon become. Moreover, she’s not raising them to be the put-together boys who never misbehave and make their beds without being asked; she’s changing her mothering goals:
As I watch them grow into the men I know they are yearning to become, as I see the set in their shoulders mature, it is easy to imagine their babies riding up there one day. I can picture them standing side by side with a wife, a partner in life, and knowing how to honor her.
Of course, for now, she has to follow their lead — they’re still children today — but Lauri is better prepared for tomorrow:
They are still boys and they still need the guidance from their father and me, even as they fight against it, but every day I see the men they will be shining in their eyes and I am happy to have changed my course as a mom. Raising boys isn’t what I thought it would be. Oh, we’ve had our share of dead animals, bugs, dirt, and dump trucks…
She concluded, writing that despite being surprised by “boy” antics like dead bugs and fighting, she was much, much more surprised by her responsibility as a boy mom:
But I wasn’t quite prepared for the weight of the responsibility of preparing them to be the provider, the head of the household, the life partner, and each a man of God.
But, for better or for worse, she’s committed to doing the best she can at, well, not raising boys.
Watch Today’s video below: