I mentally prepare myself for trips out to the grocery store with all three boys. It isn’t because my boys are crazy monkeys that just jump from cart to cart and fling around cereal boxes like frisbees. I mean, yes, they are crazy. But 90% of the time they are just fine and totally manageable. I mentally prepare myself for the comments. I see something click in the stranger’s mind next to me. Her eyes widen and our conversation usually goes something like this..
stranger: wow…three boys!
stranger: you sure have your hands full!
me: *scrolls through list of canned responses in my mind* I do! But they are so much fun!
Now, this is how most of the comments go. But sometimes, when I am tired or cranky (I mean, I’m grocery shopping. With 3 kids. So I am usually both.), those comments eat away at me. And sometimes the comments are way worse. The other day at the store a lady complimented a bracelet I was wearing. Then she realized that all three boy blondies running around my feet were mine. Her eyes got wide and she said, “Three boys? Honey, you’re going to need a lot of bracelets to keep you happy.” Luckily, I was on my A-game that day, and I quickly responded “Oh, I don’t need bracelets. My boys are what keep me happy.”
I’ve been writing this post in my mind for the past year. Ever since I was in high school I knew I wanted to have a girl first. I don’t have any sisters, so I figured I would fill my own home with girls, and makeup, and drama, and periods. But here I am, a mom of three boys.
I was sure Bradley was a girl. I was sure Cash was a girl. I found out Eli was a boy when I was 13 weeks pregnant, and I couldn’t bring myself to tell anyone we were having a boy or announce it on my instagram until I was 20 weeks. I felt so many emotions. I felt sad that I wasn’t getting a girl again this time around. I felt overwhelming guilt for feeling any kind of sadness for being pregnant with a healthy baby. I never wanted to be perceived as feeling ungrateful, because I am so so grateful for my babies, regardless of their gender! They are the happiest part of my life, hands down.
Before my third boy was born I remember reading a funny list of things you shouldn’t say to people with three kids all the same gender, and I braced myself for all the comments I would get. During my pregnancy I got a lot of, “did you get your girl?” with a sincere look of sadness and disappointment when I told them it was a third boy. While I geared myself up with happy responses and smiles, those negative responses really messed with my head. Why was a negative reaction to a third boy such an automatic response? There were times I would go along with them, “yeah…my house is really going to be a circus!” or “I’m just going to have to be committed to a mental institute!” and try to laugh it off. Then I would walk away kicking myself for giving in and playing along when I really didn’t feel that way.
After Eli was born, my first trip out with all three boys was for a few things at Traders. I felt like a superhero conquering the isles with Eli wrapped to my chest and the older boys being so good and helpful. I turned a corner and saw a nice older lady who was being really sweet with my boys. She saw I had a new baby with me as well and kindly said, “oh how sweet! Did you get your girl?!” I felt myself tense up and quickly realized that the crazy comments weren’t going to stop now that I wasn’t pregnant anymore. I told her no, it was another boy, to which she responded, “oh…well keep trying!” It was said in a sweet sincere way, but those words stung me deeper than any other comment up until that point. As I turned down the next isle I burst into tears, feeling completely defeated. It was a whole new sting actually knowing the baby that had been inside me. I was completely obsessed with Eli, and so in love and grateful for him, and all of a sudden he was perceived as just another boy, and I needed to keep trying.
My house is full fledged Boytopia, and I have learned to embrace it with open arms. I say things like, “geez, I don’t know if I can draw the Autobot man on a birthday cake,” and “we don’t pee on our brother!” and “put the sword away in the weapons box.” Like…I have a weapons box. In my house. I may not get to wear matching dresses with them, but I can stick them all in the cutest little Payless kicks and get myself a pair to match (I’m especially dying over Eli’s little Kangaroo shoes).
But honestly…HONESTLY…we have a lot of fun. Those boys love me, and hug me, and tell me I’m beautiful. They compliment my pretty dresses, and ask me if I sewed my Tory Burch bag. They tell me they want to marry me and cried real tears when they found out that I was already married.
I may get my girl one day, and I may not. I never wanted to share with anyone that I was sad to have boys, but now I tell every mom-of-boys-to-be how lucky they are. Fashion, and style, and being girly is still part of me. But the most important part of who I am is that I get to be a mom to these three boys. It’s a dream come true that I never knew I had.
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