12 Realities Of All-Boy Moms

by Melissa L. Fenton & Rita Templeton
Originally Published: 
boys only
Alena Ozerova / Shutterstock

We’re a different breed, we moms of all boys. It could be from years of raising humans who do so many things differently than us, like pee standing up, or refuse showers one year and take five per day the next. An average day in testosterone central includes plenty of incomprehensible caveman-like grunts, scraped and bruised body parts, broken home decor, and refrigerators and pantries that empty quicker than you can say “Hot Pocket.” It’s riding a wild rollercoaster of macho proportions, where we’re generally running on fumes, and the last thing we really want to hear are questions like, “Are they all yours?” and comments like, “Don’t you want a daughter?”

It’s chaos, but we don’t mind—because the realities of being an all-boy mom are what we’re used to. For example…

1. People actually feel sorry for us, and it sucks.

Those heavy, sorrowful sighs and dropped jaws you give us when we tell you we have all boys does little to make us feel special or boost our mothering confidence. Mostly, it perpetuates the idea that boys are the less fun gender to raise, which I can confidently tell you is completely untrue. Oh, and it makes you look petty. So stop.

2. Yes, sometimes we’re bummed that we’ll never go wedding dress shopping, but we’re also relieved.

I can’t make it through an episode of Say Yes to the Dress without thinking two things: I will miss sharing that special moment with a daughter, and I’m so glad I never have to go through that nonsense. If my future daughter-in-law lets me go with her to try on dresses, I promise you I will be 100% supportive of whatever sweetheart neckline or mermaid bottom she chooses. Heck, I may just buy the damn thing—I’ve got a lot of dress money saved up that I’ve been dying to spend.

3. We are committed to raising domesticated men.

I’m making sure my sons can change a tire, fix a leaky sink, and use a weed eater. I’m also making sure they know how to properly sear a filet, wash delicates, and bathe an infant. To their future partners in domesticity: You’re welcome.

4. Everything is our house is broken or stained. Be nice.

Boy homes are inevitably dilapidated and totally trashed. Ever seen a 2-year-old boy roughly push and pull a toy dump truck? They do that same thing later with sofas. And every single thing in our home that is longer than 5 inches and can be swung becomes a weapon or an apparatus for projecting heavy sharp objects. I’m thinking about starting a business helping all-boy moms become general contractors. Lord knows I’ve patched up my share of drywall.

5. We instantly know what requires stitches and what doesn’t.

I have exactly zero background in health care, but I’m fairly certain I could convincingly masquerade as a triage nurse. I can tell you within seconds what needs immediate attention and what you can let go. And to whomever invented liquid stitches, second skin, and other at-home wound care kits, I owe you about $2,000 in ER co-pays I’ve managed to avoid.

6. The people at the Poison Control Center are super helpful and understanding.

Listen mamas, don’t ever be embarrassed or hesitant to call these kind folks. Just when I thought I had seen it all—er, seen a kid swallow it all—I was wrong. I am now well-educated on what can easily pass through that last kink in your lower bowel and what totally can’t. Bonus: They don’t judge, which is a plus when you’re sobbing into the phone about how your son swallowed a cigarette butt at the park.

7. We can turn two pounds of ground beef into a gourmet meal in 15 minutes flat.

Hungry teenage boys make Quasimodo look like Cinderella, so you learn pretty quickly how to prepare large portions lightning-fast before tables get flipped. Hamburger Helper can’t hold a candle to the mad dinner-preparing skills boy moms possess.

8. We have no idea what it’s like to be on our period at the same time as another person we live with.

And we are forever grateful about that. I’ve got enough estrogen and PMS for the whole block most months, so it’s probably a good thing that I’m the only one menstruating around here.

9. Nobody borrows our perfumes and lotions.

Considering how often I got into (and OK, used the last of) my mom’s toiletries, there ought to be some karma at work. But luckily, in the absence of a daughter, I’ve never had to wonder who used the last of my “Enchanted Garden” scented shea butter or my mango magnolia refreshing body spray—unless you count that time they were toddlers and smeared it all over the place, but toddlers of any gender are assholes.

10. Sure, we wonder what life would be like with a daughter…

…just as I’m sure moms of all girls wonder what life would be like with sons, or people in general wonder what life would be like as the opposite sex, or as a celebrity, or a homeless person. It’s only natural, and we’re allowed the occasional what-if thoughts and girl daydreams once in a while. But let’s be clear: It doesn’t mean we love our sons any less or feel somehow unfulfilled without a daughter. (And if you imply that we’re missing out, we will want to throat-punch you.)

11. No, we don’t want to raise a mama’s boy.

Rather, we want to raise a strong, independent man who will become a good husband—someone their future spouse will want to come take off our hands because we’re, like, really, really tired. Please take them, all of them. And no, they can’t move back in, like, ever. See you when you bring the grandkids over!

12. We can diffuse boy drama at the drop of a hat.

People often tell us that we’re lucky because “boys aren’t dramatic,” which isn’t at all accurate. But the good thing about male drama? It’s easily mitigated. Boys drop arguments, fights, and grudges the second you distract them with a plate of food or the TV remote. Yes, it might sound overly simple, but it’s true. And we love them for it.

We love our boys and all that raising them entails. But that doesn’t mean we don’t need a little girl time, so don’t think that just because we live in a locker room, we’re not interested in feminine pursuits. That friend of yours who has all boys? Invite her to go do something over-the-top girly. Brighten her day with a bouquet. Or maybe just take her out to buy a new bathroom rug, because chances are, she can’t get the pee smell out of her old one.

This article was originally published on