5 things I know as a mummy of boys

Family life

I’ve read a few articles over the years detailing life as a parent of boys. The lists usually include references to dinosaurs, trucks, superheroes, smelly socks, farting and the like. I always find myself chuckling and nodding along because, yes, that is my life.

But – and this is a big but – I am always left with an empty feeling at the end because as a mum of two boys (and one daughter), an auntie to three nephews (and two nieces), and a sister to two brothers, not to mention all the other little boys (and girls) who are a part of my life, I always feel like these articles miss out a whole chunk of my boys’ personalities. My sons (and my daughter) are anything but one-dimensional. Yes, my house is full of cars, superheroes and Ninja Turtles, and I know I have a lifetime of the loo seat being left up – but my boys are so much more than that.

All children are different and should be given the chance to be who they want to be, and in the interests of not wanting to make the same sweeping generalisations I’ve just been criticising, I know not all parents of boys will relate. But, based on my own experiences, and from lengthy conversations with friends who have boys, here are five things I know as a mummy of boys.

Can you relate? Do let me know in the comment section below, on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page or by tweeting me on @cardiffmummy

And if you’re a parent to a girl or girls, you might also like this post: 7 things I know as a mummy of a girl.

  1. Boys love to play with baby dolls. They love to push them around in prams, stuff them up their jumpers and give birth to them, pretend to breast or bottle feed them, and put them to bed. I find it adorable when my boys do this, because it’s setting them up to become the hands-on, supportive dads of the future, just like their own daddy is. I did wonder whether my boys made a be-line for the toy babies and pushchairs because that’s what they see their big sister playing with. But even boys visiting our house who have no sisters make a bee-line for them too.


  1. Boys love to clip clop around the house in their mummy’s high heel shoes or toy plastic shoes. And why not? It’s so much fun to hear the noise they make and to become a little taller. Ditto fancy scarves and jangly bracelets.


  1. Boys love to help with the housework. Dusting, sweeping, loading the washing machine… They have so much enthusiasm for it, even though their efforts to assist might be more of a hindrance than a help when they start. These are the husbands of the future – of course we want them to know that housework is not just women’s work. And if they’re living on their own, we want them to be independent. We don’t want them living in squalor because they have no idea how to fend for themselves, or bringing round their washing for us to do.


  1. Boys might often be naturally tough and love rough and tumble, but they are so sensitive and loving too. When your little boy tells you that you are beautiful or that he loves you, or hands you a dandelion he has picked for you in the park, it will melt your heart.


  1. At some point your little man will be told, or will tell you, that he can’t possibly play with a certain toy, or watch a certain film, because “it’s for girls” and those words will break your heart. You’ll tell him that dolls, or toy kitchens, or the colour pink, or the film Frozen is for anyone who likes it, whether they are a boy or a girl. Maybe he’ll believe what you’re saying this time, maybe he won’t. At some point, maybe he will stop playing with those toys deemed girlie, and you’ll always wonder whether it was his instinctive choice, or whether it was conditioned by society. Either way, you’ll realise that sexism affects both genders and you’ll wish for a world where toys can be toys and kids can be kids.


Are you a parent of boys? Can you relate? Do let me know in the comment section below, on the Cardiff Mummy Says Facebook page or by tweeting me on @cardiffmummy

You might also like these posts: This little boy and the washing machine and So what if my son is wearing hair clips and a necklace?

And if you’re a parent to a girl or girls, you might also like this post: 7 things I know as a mummy of a girl.



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10 Comments to 5 things I know as a mummy of boys

  1. Sarah Pullen

    Oh my goodness. I completely relate to all of these. I have a 3yo boy and a 3 week old boy. The oldest has just discovered frozen as previously thought it was for girls, now dances around singing it. He will always help (!) with the washing and washing up. And since bringing the new baby home he is obsessed with trying to change him and feed him, wind him etc etc. Love this post xx

  2. I can totally relate. Both our boys enjoy (or have enjoyed) dressing up, getting their nails done, playing with dolls, the colour pink, baking and other food-related activities, Strictly and so many other sypposedly girly things. They’re still boys and always will be and if that means they’re not exuding machismo from every pore I really don’t care. They are what they are: individual people who happen to have a Y chromosome.

  3. I think we have a few of these to come, but helping with housework is definitely something Santi likes to do. He loves “sweeping” and washing the dishes, and he has a little play kitchen that he enjoys cooking in. I wouldn’t stay away from any toys because they’re traditionally for girls, but I expect we’ll come across the “you can’t play with that” soon enough. Lovely to read the other side of life with boys for a change x

  4. Feeling a bit emotional today, could explain the flood of tears I just shed reading this. It’s exactly what I wanted to say and I’ll be sharing this everywhere! I might even print it out as a handout haha! But seriously, this got me right in the heart. G is only 20 months but I already dread the day he thinks something is for girls! He LOVES Thomas the tank and I almost get embarrassed by it, only because I want to say that he loves so much more than trains, it’s just that he loves them best. He loves cwtching his penguin or doll and taking them for a walk or tucking them into bed.
    I’m so happy for this post! Xx

  5. This is lovely. And so true. I hate that people have expectations of what boys/girls should or shouldn’t play with!
    We bought our 10mo boy a doll for Christmas as he’d shown an interest in dolls at play groups. Some of my mummy friends were shocked and asked “what does his daddy think of that?” His daddy (and I) feel so much joy at him playing with anything he clearly enjoys!
    He plays with the doll because he likes it, he plays with cars because he likes them. I hope that we can encourage him to continue to play this way and he’s not influenced by closed-minded people who attach gender to toys.

  6. I love this and relate to it all. My little one stops to kiss all the baby dolls through their boxes in the aisle at the supermarket and it melts me. He had 2 for Christmas. When they say “I love you so much mummy” my heart stops for a second and I’m so grateful and all the other things you’ve said are spot on. A mummy to boys and I love it ☺

  7. My boys sound just like yours. They love dolls, Frozen and the like. They are both very huggy kids who like helping woth chores…sensitive little souls. One of them has a Barbie toothbrush…simply because it was on special offer when the spiderman one wasn’t. He doesn’t care.
    How long will this last in wonder?
    Lush post xx

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