#Boymom. Not so fast!
A love "note" written on rose petals and left on my desk as a surprise from my beloved daughter, Catherine.
For those of you not familiar with the term boymom, quite simply it means a mom who has boys. It can be one boy or many boys. I think the only criteria is that you have boys, but don't quote me on that. I read online that there is some woman (in Texas, I believe), who trademarked the term and takes issue with anyone and everyone who tries to use it without permission (hopefully she won't sue me for including it, or making mention of her in this in this blog).
What was not clear from my scant research was whether you could also be the mom of a girl and still be considered a boymom? With three boys and just one girl in my house, the boy energy far outweighs the girl energy so I have always considered myself a boymom, even if not in the purest form.
You may ask why any of this matters? I'll get to that shortly.
Even before I became pregnant with first child, I always envisioned that I would have boys, for no apparent reason. I had nothing against girls, never longed to have girls. So when I found out I was pregnant with my oldest son, I could not have been happier.
Very early on in my second pregnancy I learned I was carrying twins. Before I could ponder what gender they were I had to get used to the idea that I was having twins. Luckily I warmed up to the idea rather quickly and soon focused on their gender, which turned out to be a boy and a girl. I recall feeling excited about the news. I was relieved that I wasn't having two girls (no offense to any moms of twin girls). I would have been quite content if I had been carrying two boys, solidifying my status as a boymom, but the idea of having a little girl intrigued me.
When my twins were not yet two, I got the good news that I was pregnant again, this time with another boy. I was officially a boymom, from my perspective, with a. wonderful daughter too!
Whether it was my own bias toward boys coloring my experience or just that I felt I was better at being a mom to boys, being a boymom seemed to come more naturally to me.. It was not that Catherine was not difficult (at least once she got past the stage of crying much of the night as an infant or running away from me at every opportunity once she was a toddler), it was just how I felt.
I recall having many talks with my mom about this very subject. As a proud, card-carrying member of the the girlmom's club (not that such a ridiculous term existed when she had her two daughters), she couldn't fathom my identifying more as a boymom. Even more difficult for her to understand were any challenges I might be feeling, raising a daughter. She was as satisfied as anyone could be raising two daughters and never once intimated, in her 85 years, that she had ever had any desire to have a boy. As baffled as she was by my feelings, she was usually fairly understanding of my inner-struggle and tried to be as supportive as she could.
Then slowly (and quite mysteriously) I started to notice a shift in myself. I started to feel more comfortable in my skin as a girlmom.. I started to appreciate that Catherine was a girl and had none of the boy qualities that, quite honestly, would wear on me at times (the boundless energy, the highly physical brawling on the floor, the loudness, the constant penis jokes and comments [except for my twin son Graham who would never stoop so low], the burps and farts [again, except for Graham], the constant nagging to get their chores done, the selective hearing [which did not include my voice] when they were watching TV or reading a book, etc.. Catherine was none of these things and what a breath of fresh air (literally) that started to become for me.
I am not throwing my boys under the bus here (especially after professing myself to be a boymom), so please don't misunderstand. However, having a girl, in contrast, is like escaping from Alcatraz, on certain days. Catherine runs errands with me and enjoys it. She offers to help with everything. I rarely have to remind her to do her chores, much less badger her to get them done, as I do with the boys. She rarely burps or farts and if she does, she exhibits the appropriate level of embarrassment and apologizes rather than doing it again and making a scene over it. I don't have to listen about her private parts, ever. She leaves me love notes frequently and everywhere. She wants to please me and to be with me (probably to escape her farting brothers) which is understandable. She is neat, considerate and thoughtful. She is the most loving person I know.
I wish my mom was here so I could let her tell me, I told you so. I told you daughters are the best, Jana. I told you that you'd be grateful to have a little girl. I told you....
My mother and my daughter have the same initials, CL. I didn't even realize it when I named Catherine what special meaning that would have for me, especially now that my mom is gone. My mother adored Catherine (as she did all of my children), but particularly now that she is no longer here, I feel especially blessed to have a daughter with whom I share a deep and abiding bond, much like the one I shared with my own mother.
So am a boymom, as I professed to be for so many years? No offense to my boys, but I'm thinking of hanging up my boymom hat and just calling myself a mom. I'm not one for fads or trends anyway and especially ones that start with a hashtag.
I am a grateful mom of four great kids, who is lucky enough to experience motherhood from both perspectives. #Blessedmom. Now that's a hashtag I can get behind.