Raising Boys And Creating A New Normal
Raising a boy in this generation is an overwhelming task. If you are like me, you are just hoping you don’t raise an asshole. It seems easy enough, right? With all of the outside influences and stigma around the male gender it can be a challenge to say the least.
My son is still in the extra cute, sometimes tornado-like toddler stage. So obviously I have yet to deal with the blunt force of it. Even at this young age I pray for him to be a good man, with a loving heart. Us mamas love these babies unconditionally, and never want to see them struggle.
He is from a broken home, by that I mean his parents are divorced. Add to that the hardships that come with being born after the sudden loss of his big sister. You can trust that I feel the guilt there. Not that the situation was actually avoidable. I guess the guilt rises from wanting so badly to give my child the best life possible, despite the past that may cause him bumps in the road ahead. You see so much about an individual’s childhood “trauma” (whatever that may be pertaining to) shapes who they become as an adult.
Like all mamas, I try to shield my child from anything that could possibly traumatize him. As we all know, life can be so unexpected, some changes are unavoidable. And of course, aren’t always negative. I have always said, I want to give Grayson a childhood he doesn’t have to recover from. I do my best every day to live by that and give him as many good experiences as I am able.
One thing I am inherently thankful for is the male role models I am able to have in his life. My father, has been a strong example for what a man should be since way before my son was even born. Gray is absolutely obsessed with his Papaw, I’m pretty sure he would pick him over me any day of the week. I love that he will grow up having that bond to help shape him into a man one day.
Arfan, my boyfriend, has been in my son’s life since he was just shy of nine months old. This man is the blessing I never saw coming. He and Grayson have had a connection from the start and it has grown into such an amazing love between the two of them. The example he sets for Gray as a Christian man makes me so proud to do this parenting thing with him. He has taken on a role that was not his responsibility, but he loves my son as his own and I hope that Grayson carries that kind of love into adulthood.
Platforms like his Brotherapy Podcast truly give me hope for the future. To sit down and expose your emotions and use your (maybe less than proudest) life choices and experiences to help others heal is a big deal. For this platform to come from two successful grown men, is so refreshing and raw. I’m am lucky enough to get a front row seat to this endeavor and expose my son to this amazing display of positive masculinity at a young age.
So many boys grow up hearing that they have to “suck it up” that boys don’t cry. They’re made to feel like they have to like the boy toys and it’s wrong to like the play things marketed for little girls. From an early age, they are taught to bottle up their emotions and not talk about the way they feel. That is why Brotherapy’s mission statement “create a new normal” is so powerful even within our family.
I don’t know about you mamas, but I’m not raising up my little guy to be scared of what he likes or of letting his feelings be known. As long as he does so in a respectful way. So yes, my son has a baby doll- he loves on it and rocks it to sleep. He also loves cars, dinosaurs, and playing in my make-up. When he cries he gets big snuggles from his mommy, and when he’s mad he gets patience and understanding.
We have a responsibility to raise up gentlemen to the best of our abilities. As much as it hurts my heart, I know that one day my tiny boy will grow up and marry someone’s daughter. I pray for his future wife and I pray that I can give him the guidance to lead his family and love them well. I hope to watch him thrive and become a thoughtful man with the influence of the Brotherapy platform, and the man who brought this dream to fruition.