My household is chaotic most of the time. One of the joys of boys is that the house is never quiet… sometimes even when they are asleep! I came across a meme the other day and it goes like this –
“Boys – Noise with dirt on it.”
Alas, it is soooooo true!
The other day I came inside to witness them engaged in a wrestling match, they had each other in a headlock. Both laughing, both trying to win. Not one of them was going to let go and not one of them was prepared to admit defeat. I walked up to them and told them to let go. My eldest gave me his cheekiest grin and said, “It’s all good Ma, he can still breath.” “Yeah, he not dead yet” came the muffled voice of the younger son as he pounded his older brother’s stomach. When I said nothing they both looked at me unashamed and unmoved by my command to stop. I glared at them and they let go of each other and fled to their separate rooms, hooting, and shouting at each other.
This morning I was needing my eldest to come to me in another room, I called with no response. The younger son said to me “I’ll go get him.” “Thanks,” I said. But just as he got almost out of earshot I heard him say, “I’m gonna smack him one!!” Before I could get out of the room, I heard my eldest yell in surprise and my youngest laugh and then run for his room. Mmmmm.. I should have done it myself!!
My youngest, one time, announced to me that he had “flogged his guts out” in a footy game. Not my words or words that would come from my mouth, but amusing and interesting way of talking. It certainly said a lot about the game he played.
The years that have been mine as a mum of boys, have been my pleasure. It has also been my frustration, my fear, my tears and my laughter. My children make me laugh and cry. Sometimes I have never been more frustrated then when trying to communicate with them when they are not listening and never more grateful when they communicate well and share their heart. I seem to spend my days protecting them from each other and the world. From the moment I held them in my arms, I was blessed. I love my two sons but they challenge me to be a better parent, to hold my tongue and not speak, to pray, and to have patience.
The cupboards are always empty, and my weekends are full of teenage boys and football… and I would have it no other way. From the time they open their eyes to the moment they close them, they are on the go. They are noisy and competitive, natural born risk takers, and they think their jokes are very funny – especially if their mum is on the end of it. I rarely have any moments as a person, let alone as a female.
About a year ago, I sat in a hospital x-ray waiting room. There was a line of boys and their mum’s sitting in the chairs. The blood and bandages said it all. We were soon joined by another lady in a hospital wheelchair… and without a child. Suddenly she turned to me, “what is your son here for?” I told her. A grin spread across her face. One by one she spoke to the other ladies in the room. Each one had a son that had just been injured doing some daring feat or “mad move” in a sports game. Soon the boys were all grinning at each other and the mum’s nodded their head at each other and compared the fright that they had just had. The commonness was the same – boys had been at it again.
I was sitting talking to a young friend of mine the other day. She, like myself, has two boys. I see a lot of my boys in hers. Her older one is very like my son at that age and the same with her younger one. If there was one thing that I could encourage her with was that her boys are normal. It was the same advice that I received from an older mum years ago.
Boys are different to girls, and while you cannot put any child into a box as say that this is what a “boy” is like. Most boys are the same but with the same varieties that come with all human beings. My boys are like chalk and cheese. This is good. They need to learn how to exist in a world made of different people.
Yet despite their difference I want my boys to learn and grow not only as they are designed to be but to have good character, good standards and good morals. I want them to love God…and others – especially each other. I want them to be faithful, dependable, caring, loving, kind with a good dash of humour. I am concerned for my young men. I see them grow up in a world that is changing fast, and not always for the good. I pray for them and I have asked God to develop in them a heart that is strong, that will weather the storms in life without failing. It is a world that condemns men for being men (and women for being women). The list that I would pray for them is very long indeed. Yet I have placed them in the hands of the One who knew them before I did and I know that He alone will guide them. Who they turn out to be will have very little to do with me and everything to do with the people they are and the mercy and love of their Creator.
I came across a scripture this morning when I was doing my bible reading – Isaiah 28:23-29 NIV (italics and highlights mine) –
Listen to me; listen, and pay close attention.
Does a farmer always plow and never sow? Is he forever cultivating the soil and never planting?
Does he not finally plant his seeds— black cumin, cumin, wheat, barley, and emmer wheat—
each in its proper way, and each in its proper place?
The farmer knows just what to do, for God has given him understanding.
A heavy sledge is never used to thresh black cumin; rather, it is beaten with a light stick.
A threshing wheel is never rolled on cumin; instead, it is beaten lightly with a flail.
Grain for bread is easily crushed, so he doesn’t keep on pounding it.
He threshes it under the wheels of a cart, but he doesn’t pulverize it.
The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is a wonderful teacher, and he gives the farmer great wisdom.
I highlight sections for you to think on. If God teaches the farmer, does He not teach the mother too? Does God also give us wisdom and understanding? Maybe we say this – “The mother knows just what to do, for God has given her understanding.” Or “The Lord is a wonderful teacher, and he gives the mother great wisdom.”
To you mums of boys, mothers of men, pray for your sons. Hand them over to their Maker. Ask God to give you wisdom in how to bring them up. I don’t know if I am doing the right thing with them, but I trust that the God who matures and grows me – will do the same for them.
I am not saying it is worse to have an all-boys household, or that it is easier to have girls. I am not saying that boys can sometimes be quiet and not outdoorsy. I am simply saying this – it is different. You mum’s who have all girl households, or those that have mixed household -you can speak from your experiences. I am speaking from a household of very “manly men”. It is sometimes exhausting being a woman in that atmosphere, but sometimes it is just being exhausting being a mum…or a maybe a man… or is it that it is exhausting being human?
Each one of us need to look at others with the understanding that each human is different. This is good. This is excellent. Different means that we will not be being the same. Different needs to be celebrated. My boys are like chalk and cheese in just about everything. They bring such diversity with their strengths and weaknesses. Sometimes that diversity causes fights and chaos. Yet even with their differences there are “same-nesses” and “likenesses”. The same with all of us.
Encouragement is a good thing. Knowing that others know what we go through helps us feel not so alone. Just as I shared in a story above, all the mums were sitting in their own little world in the hospital waiting room until someone comes along and helps us to see that we are not alone.
Be confident Child of God that you are not alone. It might be exhausting, but we can find others like ourselves and find others that are different. We have a God who cares and who will teach us.
You are not alone mums of boys and mums of girls. Just look around you. Be encouraged that your world is very like someone else. There is another very important thing to remember – God is with you and He will teach you. The joys of boys is that you will spend a lot of times on your knees – and that can only be a good thing.
Be confident and encouraged as you be the mum that only you can be. Trust that God will guide you and your children. Love your children, love your life, love God and be blessed.