As a mom to three sons, ages 9, 13, and 15, I’ve gained tons of experience on what my boys can do to challenge me, including my ability to be prepared for anything. A boy-mom needs to be ready at a moment’s notice to combat all types of situations, including injuries, hunger, and dirt. My must-have list of items will be sure to help you out as you raise your little men. Memorize it!
- Sneakers. I don’t care if your boys are jocks or musicians, you will need a good pair of sneakers, whether it’s for chasing them around the playground, playing a game of catch, or keeping up with them at the mall. When I lived in New York City, I used to meet up at the park with a stay-at-home mom who wore HIGH HEELS every day. I used to watch her try to navigate the sandbox or run after her two toddler boys in her Jimmy Choos and although I give her credit for refusing to give up her former work wardrobe, I snickered at her stupidity. I should have anonymously sent her a gift of Nikes.
- Anti-bacterial wipes. I’m not just talking about having these in your house. Keep these handy everywhere. You may as well have them velcroed to your hip. You will need these in the car after your son spills juice in one of the cup-holders. You will need these near or in your bathroom after your son pees all over the seat. You will need these in your purse because no matter where you are, your son will inevitably have dirty hands.
- Snacks. Boys like to eat, a lot. I’ve nicknamed my car the roving refrigerator. Just make sure you have snacks with you at all times or things could get ugly — and noisy — and whiny.
- Insurance Card. Forget the first-aid kit or band-aids. With boys, you’ll be headed to the Emergency Room eventually. And, it’s going to happen more than once.
- Ear-plugs. Boys are loud, pretty much all the time. They like to scream, fight, and sing really loud. And if they are teenagers, they will play their music on the highest volume possible. Have ear-plugs handy. You won’t be sorry.
- A camera. Boys do funny things. You don’t want to miss those moments, like when he’s on an airplane and wraps the blanket around his head like a turban or when he shampoos his wet and soapy hair into a Mohawk. Priceless photo ops, I promise!
- Other Moms-of-Boys. I know this doesn’t qualify as an “item” but you will definitely need the camaraderie and support of other moms raising boys. Whether you see them in person, talk to them on the phone or regularly text or email, make sure these moms are part of your life. They will be an indispensable component of your sanity.
- Wine. Boys will test your patience and your stamina. There’s no better way to end an exhausting day chasing a little boy or navigating the mood swings of a tween or teen boy than with a glass of wine. No matter what age boy or boys you are raising, you will need to relax and recharge… Oh, who are we kidding? This remedy applies to ALL parents! Whether you have boys or girls or both, I highly recommend a cold glass of chardonnay once your kids are in bed, or if you can’t wait that long, start pouring sooner and explain to your kids that mommy needs her special “juice” before bed too.
No one ever said raising boys was easy, but if you can at least be prepared to handle all types of boy behaviors, you will be in much better shape to tackle any parenting challenges – as well as to celebrate the joys of boys.