Raising All Boys is Like Football Season Every Day

Raising all boys

Football season is officially here, but when raising all boys, every day is like football season in our house.

Tackling. Refereeing. Coaching. Not hearing the coach because the crowd is too loud.

Broken plays. Broken bones. Smelly, sweaty people. Victory dances (mostly Orange Justice). Grass stains. Cleats. Timeouts. High-fives.

Boy Mom

I’ll never forget the moment we heard the doctor say, “It’s a boy!”

We heard those same words 2.5 years later.

And then 2.5 years later again.

My then 5-year-old actually said, “How are you going to handle three boys, mom?”

Good question!

I didn’t dream as a little girl of raising all boys. I have one sister and didn’t know a thing about brothers. We cradled dolls, dressed up Barbies and played school.

My dad always yearned for a son though. And so my sister and I also collected sports cards, attended more baseball games than you can imagine and became pros at getting major-league player autographs.

I knew a little about what young boys might enjoy, but nothing prepared me for raising three of my own.

How Raising Boys Compares to Football Season

 

Tackling
You can call it what you’d like…tackling, wrestling, fighting, but the number of times I’ve said (okay, yelled), “Keep your hands to yourself!” is more than I care to count.

What is it with boys and the constant need to wrestle each other? We were at my husband’s company picnic the other day, and I look over to see two of the boys battling it out. At least have the decency to keep the tackling at home please.

Refereeing
Becoming a mom has given me several “job” titles, and unfortunately, referee is one of them. Like most siblings, my kids bicker with each other. Maybe it’s because they can let their guard down at home easier than with friends, but the boys can love each other one minute and really dislike each other the next.

They also have the idea that everything has to be fair.  I remember my sister and I fighting when we were younger and my mom always saying, “Life isn’t fair.” I didn’t particularly like that answer then, but I hear myself saying those EXACT words to my kids now!

Coaching
I have the privilege and responsibility of teaching these little humans how to become strong, independent, faith-filled young men. Thinking about this makes my heart beat a little faster.

Who am I to think I can do this job? And do it well?

Yet, I know God gave me these boys for a reason. He knew what he was doing. In our personalized book, God Whispered Your Name, my husband wrote, “God had a plan at the very beginning… He had you in mind, when He set the world spinning.”

Yes, indeed.

Not hearing the Coach
Ever feel like you’ve literally said something a dozen times and they still don’t hear you? There have been days when I have been sure my kids have been conspiring against me.

I’ll imagine they’ve gathered together at the beginning of the day whispering, “Okay, here’s what we’re gonna do. When mom asks you to do something, act like you don’t hear her. After a while, she’ll give up and we’ll get out of doing any chores.”

Or maybe it’s because the noise level is so loud in the house they actually don’t hear me (I’m going with this one.)

Broken bones
We are going on four broken bones in our family. My oldest son, who is almost 13, accounts for three of the four.

It’s ironic to me that none of the breaks occurred while playing organized sports. He’s a very active kid and the fractures all happened from random accidents. He should wear a football helmet at all times.

Smelly, sweaty people
Since my boys were little, I’ve told my husband after they’ve been playing outside that they have that “boy smell.” Ewww. He doesn’t seem to notice it, probably because he’s a boy!

It’s definitely a thing. Any other mamas out there agree? And I’ve learned as they get older, it only gets worse. Way, way worse. The area of the house where the kids’ shoes congregate should say “enter at your own risk.”

Victory dances
They like to do funny dances, most of them from a video game I know nothing about–Fortnite.

In the last six months I’ve learned several new dance moves from them: the Floss, Hype, Orange Justice, Fresh, Wiggle. On the upside, at least they’re up and moving, right?

Grass stains
Do you know that feeling of satisfaction when the laundry is washed, folded and put away? I feel like I could conquer the world…for a minute.

Then one of the boys will come in from outdoors with grass stains all over his clothes. He was playing football in the yard with the neighbors and I’ll have to try reaaalllly hard not to say something about it.

They are boys. They are supposed to play and get dirty. But sometimes I just wish they’d give me a few more minutes of bliss.

Cleats
We have cleats coming out of our ears. Football cleats, soccer cleats, baseball cleats. You name ‘em, we’ve got ‘em.

I trip over them each time I come in from the garage. Because, of course, they kick them off and don’t give another thought to wear they land. I’m sure I didn’t care much either when I was a kid.

Timeouts
The kids sat in ‘timeout’ when they were toddlers. Afterwards, we’d talk about why they had a ‘timeout’ and hopefully they learned a lesson.

Timeouts are still needed at ages 12, 9 and 7. I don’t mean they sit in a corner for a “timeout,” but I will say they need to go to their rooms to cool off a bit. Afterwards, we’ll talk about what happened and our conversation will be calmer, more rational.

Let’s be honest, I need the timeout just as much as they did!  

High-fives
Cheering, high-fiving, fist bumping, whatever they do to show their support of one another is a great thing to witness.

I want the boys to not be just siblings, but friends. And friends have each other’s back. They are there to share in your excitement when you win the race or get that A+, and are there for you to lean on when you don’t.

Huddle Up

Football season comes once a year, but if your home is anything like ours, the season is never-ending.

And I love (almost) every minute of it. Even the minutes where I’m pulling my hair out and am about ready to lose it.

Because someday I’ll miss these smelly, sweaty people. I’ll miss the noise that is ever-present in our home. I’ll miss seeing them fall and get back up again. I’ll miss it all.

In the meantime, I’ll be the mom in the stands cheering the loudest of them all.

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