“Congratulations!” the family member, who shall remain nameless, greeted me at my baby shower. “You’re having a girl, right?”
“No, actually, we found out after my mom mailed the invitations, we’re having a boy!”
“Oh,” she sniffed. “I’m so sorry.”
(And this was my first pregnancy. I’m sure my boy-hating relative reached for her smelling salts when she heard, two years later, that my husband and I were expecting a second boy.)
I think many mothers-of-all-boys have heard some variation of my relative’s comment. It stung then, and even now, it makes me a little upset. Nobody has been quite as tone deaf as this particular family member, but almost 10 years after my last pregnancy, she still asks, “Are you trying for a girl?”
Am I trying for a girl? My youngest son is 9 and a half. Does it look like I’m trying for a girl? After almost a decade, shouldn’t I have more to show for it if my husband and I were truly trying to have a girl?
It’s true that I am occasionally wistful for the daughters I don’t have, and the what-might-have-been of it all. But that’s, like, 1 percent of the time. The other 99 percent of the time I’m happy to belong to the “Moms of All Boys” club. Having only boys is awesome, and here are my top six reasons why:
1. I never have to worry about being the grossest person in the house.
It doesn’t matter if I lounge, unshowered, in my dirty running clothes all afternoon. I have two tween boys (and a male dog and cat). There’s a laundry basket full of socks that I’m afraid to go near because it smells like a morgue. I once found a rotten apple core in my younger son’s desk drawer. At any given moment, someone, somewhere in our house, is being more disgusting than I am.
2. They will soon be able to reach things I can’t.
As an aggressively short lady (term borrowed from an episode of Parks and Recreation), I came to terms early on with the fact that, sooner rather than later, my sons will surpass me in height. I mourned that eventuality for all of about two seconds before I realized that having tall(er) sons means an end to using an old kitchen chair as a step stool. Soon I’ll never have to take a running jump in the middle of a grocery store aisle just to grab the last box of granola bars from the back of the highest shelf. And the upper branches of the Christmas tree will finally get the decorations they deserve.
3. Nobody in my household cared when Zayn left One Direction.
In fact, I’m still not sure if my boys are aware that Zayn left One Direction. Or that there was a person named Zayn in One Direction.
4. I’ve never had to stand in a three-hour line to meet a Disney princess.
I mean, I would probably do that if my kids really wanted to, but they don’t. They saw Frozen, they even liked it, but when we went to Disney World a month later, they really didn’t want to meet any of the princesses. And that’s fine by me. If I had to spend three hours standing in line to meet Anna and Elsa, I would be silently seething and thinking about how many times I could have ridden Space Mountain in those three hours.
5. I’m exposed to things I never would have taken an interest in on my own.
My 11-year-old is a car enthusiast and is a big fan of good design (he loves Apple products). And even though my grandfather once owned a BMW 2002, I never would have appreciated that car’s beauty if my son hadn’t pointed it out to me. Now I subscribe to a few Instagram feeds that feature BMW’s iconic classics. I don’t fully get the car obsession, but it gives me a new way to connect with my sons. It’s also inspired a new goal: to someday own—or at least drive—a classic BMW.
6. We think the same things are funny.
The fact that my sense of humor falls somewhere between that of a 12-year-old boy and the gutter makes me the perfect person to raise boys. Bonding occurs over old SNL sketches about “love toilets,” and sticking objects into places objects should never be placed. All of the ridiculous, and sometimes vulgar, podcasts I listen to (U Talkin’ U2 to Me?) have prepared me for life with teenage boys. There’s going to be a lot of eye-rolling. And a lot of laughter.
In some parallel universe there is a version of me raising daughters and writing a story about why being a mom to girls is so cool. That alternate version of me probably gets eight hours of sleep a night and has a live-in cook. The me that lives in this universe has a laundry basket full of stinky socks, an Instagram feed full of beautiful cars, and a fart joke at the ready. And she loves every minute of it.