This is a strange time to be a mom of boys.
In the past week alone, my sons (I don’t have any daughters) have come home from school to see news media stories talking about things like gang rape and devil’s triangle. They have seen me cry (more than usual) about things happening on the news or something I’ve read on the Internet. They have heard debates about whether we should believe him or her.
While the majority of stories being told are of the fears women face on a regular basis, there is a growing concern about our boys. What about our sons?, people say. I’m scared to be raising a boy right now.
And you know what?
As a mom of boys, I am scared. I am worried.
And let me tell you why.
Things I worry about as a mom of boys:
– Whether they actually washed their hands after going to the bathroom
– All the “wet spots” in the bathroom
– The weird smell coming from their bedroom
– The ways that our culture of toxic masculinity will make them feel like they need to “man up” or “stuff their emotions”
– That they won’t feel like they can be a sensitive and feeling person because they are male
– That I’ll get stuck in a long, never ending conversation about Fortnite, again
– All the money they are wasting on “V bucks” for said Fortnite games
– Whether they’ll remember to put on deodorant in the morning and again after gym class
– Whether they will ever truly realize the privilege they carry as (white) males in this society
– If they’ll use that privilege for good
– Whether they will get their heart broken one day
– Whether they will stand up to their friends when they tell an inappropriate joke or say something mean
– Whether they’ll drive safely and remember to use their turn signals
– If they’ll call home enough after they leave the house one day
– That despite all the conversations we have about consent and respect that the messages they are hearing from the President and other “leaders” will filter in, that they’ll see other boys and men not being held accountable for their mistakes, that they’ll become desensitized to the disgusting and amoral behavior being justified by some people right now and somehow, in some small way, all the things that I have tried to teach them will be minimized or erased
– Whether I’m doing everything I can to raise them to be good, kind, caring, generous, sensitive people
Things I DON’T worry about as a mom of boys:
– Whether they will be falsely accused of sexual assault one day.