The Loneliness of "Boy Mom" Life

Growing up, my younger sister and I would spend our summer breaks living with my Grandma in New Jersey for three months. We’d help out around her family business, take frequent trips to the library, and eat out for nearly every meal. For one weekend of that summer, our aunt (who had two boys of her own) would scoop us up for some girl time. Our days were spent swimming and doing arts and crafts. She would spoil us with whatever junk food we wanted, drive-in movies and back-to-school shopping.

We lived for those weekends and in retrospect, I can’t believe how lucky we were to have an aunt who just genuinely loved hanging out with “the girls.” In hindsight I also see the situation differently as a mom of two boys myself. I think my aunt needed that time with the girls just as much as we did. Because I’ve been finding something as of late- #BoyMom life carries with it a unique sort of loneliness.

For months (maybe even years now?), Chuck and I have frequently gone back and forth about whether we want to have a third child. The window of time for us to decide is growing smaller and smaller if we don’t want an awkwardly large age gap between our hypothetical middle and youngest children. And yet, we legitimately cannot figure out what our family should look like. I’ve found myself frustrated by the conventional wisdom that says if you’re meant to have another child “you just know.” Or the cliche that asks you to picture what you want your family to look like in 5, 10, 20 years…The truth is, I have no idea!

We love the idea of Chuck being a “girl Daddy.” (He would be the best). However, it’s vastly outweighed by the cons of four more years of childcare expenses, the agony of pregnancy and childbirth, and pushing back the timeline on our career and financial goals. Not to mention, we feel like we’re barely keeping our heads above water with these two insane children- I can’t even imagine the stress of trying to juggle three!

Chuck and I were in tears discussing it for the zillionth time a couple evenings ago, because we’re so dang burnt out and exhausted right now. And I came to realize something. I don’t know that I actually want a third child. I think I just want a daughter.

Only having ever had a sister, boys are basically a new species. Everything about boys is new to me and I have found so much joy in the journey. My boys are the most kind, silly, tender-hearted, smart, inquisitive, and hilarious beings I’ve ever had the privilege to know and love. But some days the endless litany of wrestling and poop jokes overwhelms me and I question whether I’m cut out for this. "Tom boy” is not a term anyone has ever used to describe me. My childhood was spent playing Barbies with my sister or with my nose in a book. The sheer physicality of boyhood feels like too much sometimes and I wish I had a female in the house to balance out all of the testosterone.

I want a girl.

But I don’t know if I want a girl enough to take the chance of a house filled with three boys. International adoption is something I always thought I would do someday, and Chuck and I are leaving that door open for the future. But right now, I'm just trying to find peace in the occasional loneliness of being a boy Mama.

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