According to a recent survey, baby boys are harder work for their mums than baby girls. In the past, mums who had boys died earlier than mums who had girls. The reasons for this aren’t quite known, but it seems that mums put more effort into raising their sons than their daughters, and that boys are on average bigger than girls too. As the mum of two sons and a daughter, my initial thoughts are that this is a load of old rubbish, but there are certain challenges that mothers of boys have to master that mothers of girls don’t.
Take a look in any toy store and you’ll see just how stereotyped the toys are. If you’re the mum to a son, prepare to spend hours playing with tractors, fire engines and pirates. Of course, that might be more your cup of tea than playing with dolls and glitter anyway but even if you try your hardest to steer your son towards gender neutral toys, well-meaning relatives might not be able to break away from the pre-defined gender roles.
Muck and Mess
Boys seem to love nothing better than poking around in the garden with sticks, and will often come inside looking as if they have been dragged through the hedge backwards. The best friend of most mums is therefore a stain remover bar, and don’t expect to have many clothes left to hand down to siblings because putting the knees through on jeans seems almost compulsory. If however you send your son into the garden in old clothes with instructions to build a den, chances are you will be able to have a free afternoon and he will play happily for hours, unlike girls who often demand more attention.
Boys and sports such as rugby or football seem to go hand in hand, and if your son develops a talent for it, expect to spend hours in the freezing cold on the touchline cheering him on, along with lots of other hardy parents. Rugby thermals are often part of the essential kit list for the boys, but sensible parents will buy an extra set for themselves too and come equipped with a flask of coffee too. Girls generally don’t play these sorts of sports, but if you have daughters you may run the risk of being expected to sit for hours through dancing performances, and pay heftily through the nose for the privilege.
Fighting and Friends
Boys have the reputation for being naughty and quick to resolve disputes with their fists, but in my experience a quick dispute in the playground which is over and done with in 5 seconds is far better than the cattiness and nastiness which girls seem to prefer when they fall out. Boy friendships are far less fickle and they don’t seem as fixated on having a best friend as girls do. Boys flit between different friendship groups seemingly more easily than girls do, and having friends back to tea doesn’t involve NATO style diplomacy either.
Morag Peers is a keen blogger and parent currently writing on behalf of Cardiff Sportsgear who provided her kid’s latest thermals!