Friday, June 21, 2013

Being The Mother Of A Son

Double Axe Wielding Smurf. Look closely, the kid is playing a paper jams guitar AND holding a toy axe. His own doing.

With the media and community's recent attention firmly (and rightly so, in my humble opinion) on the despicable, sexist and violent behaviour of people that should know better, I was invited by Lexi of Pottymouthama to join a very impressive bunch of bloggers to reflect on our roles as mothers of sons. 

Oh, golly, where do I start. When I first started thinking about this post I kept getting distracted by the steps up to my soapbox, where this week it features sexism, misogyny and being a footy fan and geez things are shit. 

But I think I'll leave that conversation for a time we're all together at the pub, beer in hand.

Although, when the topic of sexism comes up, I am, naively, surprised and disappointed that it still exists in the way displayed this week. I guess that's because I'm lucky. Not lucky, that shouldn't be the word I have to use. The men in my life are fabulous. Respectful, compassionate people with good values. They are fathers, brothers, sons. They are athletes, stay at home dads, artists, community workers and business people. Lovers of music, sport and reading. Some went to university and others worked hard through other paths to get where they are.

Sometimes footy requires pink shoes. 

The women are fabulous, too. Respectful, compassionate people with good values. They are mothers, sisters and daughters. They are also athletes, stay at home mums, artists, community workers and business people. Lovers of music, sport and reading. Some went to university and others worked hard through other paths to get where they are.

They are all role models. Role models in how to live and love. Of how to treat each other. Of how to exist successfully within a community. And that is so important to me, that the Smurf sees, everyday, in every way, that this is just how you live your life. It's his normal. It's normal to be respectful of each other. That we don't place value on someone's contribution, be that to our household or our nation's parliament, based on their gender. That women and men are different and that's OK but it doesn't mean that your gender assigns you to a limited number of roles. 

These role models and people that surround our family also support him and his choices - regardless of whether he wants to wear pink or blue. They are people that understand your favourite colour does not  define who you are and that the colour you choose is such an insignificant thing when compared with how you treat other people. 

The Smurf's colour choices for this year's scarf.

They are people that help him put his dress ups on whether that's a giraffe suit, a super hero costume or a princess dress. Because they understand that dress ups are just that, dress ups. 

They are people that will sit down with him and cuddle his baby doll or kick the footy, because that's what he chooses to play with. 

Smurf Puppet Theatre show for babies

There is no judgement, just honouring of the childhood of one awesome Smurf and helping him to work out who he is and what he likes.

Initially, I admit, I was surprised to have a boy. It wasn't that I wanted to have a girl necessarily. I truly didn't care, as long as my baby was healthy. But, I grew up surrounded by lots of women. Strong, independent women who were fabulous role models for me. I assumed that I could be a better mother of a girl, as I understood them. It wasn't rational nor was it scientifically justified in anyway, obviously.

Aways support your team, no matter how crap they are. 

I couldn't be happier to be the mother of a boy. My Smurf is a sensitive, kind, compassionate boy. He is funny and he makes me laugh. He is creative and curious and capable. His preferred mode of getting around the house is to slide on his tummy (yes it drives me bonkers) and he likes to run a lot when he's outside. He has taught me a lot about masculinity and being a boy. I see him being shaped every day by the role models in his life and it makes me feel happy and safe and that he has an amazing future ahead of him.

And at the end of the day, that's what it's all about, guiding our kids to their futures and hoping that the values we have given them help them find their way along their path.

If you haven't already, you can visit the other bloggers posting today on "Being the Mother of a Son" (a very impressive list!):

Meet Me At Mikes -
Kootoyoo -
Pigeon Pair -
Hugo and Elsa -
Checks and Spots -
PottyMouthMama -
Mrs Smith:


Kirsty said...


It's been an absolute joy for me to parent a son (that was the 'lucky' part eh?) and I look forward to watching him as the amazing man I know he will be.

One Flew Over said...

Lovely words Bianca.

Like Kirst I feel so privileged to have had a son. The mother son relationship is so very special, one I treasure a great deal x

Rachael @Mogantosh said...

Ah, tears, Bianca. Your boy sounds lovely and I am so loving this moment of stopping to think through and appreciate these boys. x

Lexi:: PottyMouthMama said...

I really, really loved reading this. And the wool shot. And the guitar shot. And the beanie shot. Slayed me.

An awesome little man with an awesome mama.

So awesome.

Thank you so much for being part of this. x

GourmetGirlfriend said...

Yes. I reckon you hit it on the head when you talk about living successfully within a community.
LOVE this and ALL of the others in this link-up.

Mrs Smith said...

It's all about love, community and great role models. Your boy sounds like he has these in spades.
We are lucky to be blessed with our boys.
Great post. I loved it.

Helen said...

I am the mother of two sons, they are 16 and 19. I've had this conversation with my friends too. And one thing we talk about is that the 'typical' boy generalisations that the world makes are not true. Not all boys love sport for instance. they are all individuals, as all this little collection of blog posts all say. and they are growing up, largely, in a world that's much more tolerant of that. With their gorgeous mothers to guide them of course.

Rose Red said...

I felt a bit the same when I found out I was having a boy, but I am so so glad I did, for a whole lot of reasons. And I am so glad he has a great dad who is a great role model. And I hope I am equally a good role model.

Cate said...

I've really enjoyed reading these posts. I'm happily married and child free but I sometimes think what a challenge it must be to raise kids. It's so wonderful to read people celebrating men and boys who are good and do good and lead by example-inspiring!