Fathers and Mothers of Sons, I Need You.

Last night I lay awake in bed thinking about having a son. I knew all along it was a boy, just had that feeling. But now that there is no doubt, it’s as if I decided to fill that area once reserved for anticipation with worry. I would have done this over having a baby girl as well, probably worse so given I know how hard life can be for a girl. But last night, in true Michele fashion, I worried about everything I could get my head around. With each phase of my pregnancy I have greeted it with a new phase of worry. What do I need to know about a boy? I’m not a boy. I don’t know much about boys. I can’t remember even babysitting boys before. I know they have wieners. I know they tend to be more aggressive. I am told they also tend to gravitate toward their mommas. I want to learn everything there is to know about raising a little boy. Where to start? Where to stop?

Forgive my language, I don’t normally do this, but holy shit I’m going to have a son.


  1. Don’t worry! Everything will be fine.

    There really isn’t much of a difference til the potty training comes in. and baby boys diaper changes are easier to clean up – no hoohaa to worry about the crap getting into. Just keep it covered – ya never know when it is going to go off.


  2. You might consider the book Raising Cain
    which is all about raising boys, and the cultural and social pressures that complicate that.


  3. Thank you! I will pick that up. I love you people.

    diedre, I think someone suggested we get these wiener hoods for that exact situation. :] Not remembering their name.


  4. Congratulations!

    I am not an expert – but I grew up in a family with all girls and managed to raise a happy, healthy son in spite of everything. He is 19 and away for his first year of college.

    I think parenting is instinctual. I think raising boys or girls is very much the same proposition – just with different plumbing.


  5. Pee Pee Tee Pees for those unexpected sprinkles and they are the first thing I bought after finding out we were having a son. Oh and check out these cool diapers. They are kind of a cross between the convenience of disposable and durability of cloth, but they are biodegradable.


  6. Loose String: Amazing. You must be so super duper proud of your boy! That’s awesome news. I am so happy for you.


  7. Yay! Congrats on having a little TJ in your tummy.
    I’ve heard by word of mouth that the pee pee teepees shoot off with the spray, kind of like those sprinklers they had in the 80’s for kids to play with. Anyone remember?

    I would just say, make those diaper changes as quick as you can, and you avoid most fountains! Although I get sprayed probably once every 2 weeks, which is not bad considering I change about 8 diapers per day, so thats over 100 in two weeks.

    I wanted a girl at first, as I grew up with only sisters.
    But I don’t think the gender of the baby matters so much as their personality. I don’t treat my son like a “boy” as much as I treat him like like a child who is loved. Does it really make any difference? And there are some really cute boys clothes out there too!


  8. Wendy, thanks for sharing that information. I had written a post recently about whether parents to be were/are let down when they find out what they’re having, that it seems inevitable for some people after they get their hopes up. If I were sitting in front of most of you, I would have brought it up for discussion, but then I thought better about it because I didn’t want the sometimes cruel internet to think I am anything less than ecstatic about whatever sex the baby ended up being. Sometimes people take ideas/posts and run with them.

    Someone I know well admitted to not wanting a boy at all and being super happy to discover that he was having a girl.

    But I bet that happens a lot to mothers and fathers, they wish, hope for one sex and discover a different one. You know what I mean? Is it that they’re going to be (for lack of a better term) let down either way? The wondering is over? Or do folks REALLY want one or the other? I know that was the case in the past for many nations as boys seemed to be what many families yearned for, but in this day and age? Do folks really pray for one over the other? And why?


  9. Whenever I hear that parents-to-be would prefer a baby of one sex over the other, it always makes me nervous because what if their little girl doesn’t want to take dance classes or their little boy doesn’t want to play football? It seems like preference has less to do with “sex” than with “gender,” but, you know, the gender thing is a lot trickier than that.


  10. Leah, what an interesting, thought-provoking comment. I hadn’t ever thought of it that way before.

    Again, you people rule.


  11. Wow. I think that may have been my husband who told you that. I think many inclinations toward wanting to have a boy or a girl are directly related to your experiences and your relationship with your parents. If you had a strained relationship with your father, you may afraid that you are going to repeat that pattern with your son. (same thing applies to moms and daughters). I think Wendy put it best, I do not raise Grace as a girl but rather as a person. She is going to have a hard enough time as it is. I started potty training her and she stood at the potty because that is what daddy does.


  12. congrats on the news!


  13. Actually, Rachel, it was not. Totally don’t remember him even saying as much.


  14. We have two of each flavor.

    I’d agree with what everyone else said. It’s all pretty much the same until potty training. And you do have to be pretty careful about “the fountain of yellow” with the man-children. At some point you’ll swear he does it on purpose.

    We noticed that our boys are a bit more crazy physically and more willing to take risks with their wee bodies, but that’s about it. They are all crazy mentally, but that’s our (well, my genes) speaking.

    Though strangely we’ve been to the E.R. more times with our youngest daughter (now 4), then with both boys combined.

    You’ll adore him, I’m sure. That’s the important bit.



  15. You sound like you have your hands full, Jon!


  16. i’ve got three boys and one girl. in the beginning, when i thought it was my job to teach them how to behave, no matter how hard i tried to coerce them into acting ‘appropriately’ they were just themselves, thank god. they taught me around the time my third child was born that it doesn’t matter, girl or boy, your job as the parent is just to create a safe, loving environment for them to thrive and be themselves, without judgment on whether they are ‘good’ or ‘smart’ ‘naughty’ or any of the other labels we put on them. if you want a book list, i’d be happy to send some reccs.

    and the worrying? i know it well. there is always more and more stuff to worry about. i would suggest finding a meditation technique that works for you even when you are laying flat (like trying to go to sleep) to help calm your heart beat and soothe your mind.


  17. I find for the toddler years that red wine works wonders and yoga too.


  18. One of the nice things about boys is that you can pretty much hand them a pair of pants and a shirt and say here, put this on and they will, girls…not so much.

    And the hair is much easier to manage w/boys, you just keep it cut short, no tangles, no hair accessories.

    That’s a big bonus w/boys…very few accessories…


  19. i think you’ll be a very good mother of a boy. not that you wouldn’t be a good mother to a girl, just saying that i see you as a mother of a boy……it just makes sense to me…..feels natural……don’t ask why?, i just do. : )


  20. Greg, you just made me cry. Seriously. I guess because I know you and I know how you said (or thought it) and that made me feel very proud. You’re the best, sweetheart.


  21. Until I met my husband, I couldn’t fathom having a boy. I was so all-emcompassingly raised by my mother, even though I have a great father. And whether by nature or nurture, I was and remain SUCH a girls’ girl. Boys? I figured all they did was run into knives and jump off buildings.

    But my husband is more of the tinker-like-McGyver sort of boy. And I’m a strong believer in genetics – it’s true in my AND his families that we are both products of our parents, to a T.

    So with that logic, I will either have a gay or an engineer. Both of those options thrill and delight me. I’m less afraid of boys now.


  22. Congratulations!

    We went the adoption route and did not request gender. There was only one factor that ever made me think about gender: I’m an only child with a very strong bond with my mother and I wasn’t sure I could imagine having that same bond with a boy. I didn’t lean toward a girl, really. I think I just had my relationship with my mom in the back of my head during the waiting.

    When we found out it was a boy, I didn’t even blink. I simply began crying the tears of happiness.

    He just turned three and I can say that we have our own special bond of closeness. It’s different than the one I had with my mom as a girl. But it’s the same in that it’s strong and loving and wonderful. We snuggle together, talk about our days together, cook together, take walks together, and eat big bowls of ice cream together. I wouldn’t have it any other way!


  23. Lori, I thank you so much for sharing that story. :] Warms my heart.

    Thank you.

    Oh, and now I must eat ice cream. Thanks for that too!


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