5 Things I’ve Learned as a Boy Mom

things i learned by being a boy mom

I’ll never forget laying on the examining table as an ultrasound revealed that I was carrying four BOYS.  It seemed foreign, surreal, and overwhelming to process. I never imagined what a houseful of boys looked like. Hadn’t the rarity and shock of being pregnant with four at the same time been enough to wrap my head around?

Fast forward five years, as cliché and cheesy as it may sound, I wouldn’t have it any other way. These boys are living a life of brotherhood that makes grown men envious. They wake up to a day of uncharted adventures and go to sleep surrounded with their best buddies. I’m blessed everyday to be surrounded by their giggles, scheming, imaginations, and the unique ways they love me in return.

It may not always be pretty or clean or calm or what I expected, but it’s a life full of beauty. Everyday, I’m learning more about how they are wired, how they learn, and hopefully how they can thrive best.

Here are a few things being a boy mom has taught me thus far:

1. Boys need adventure. They need to be able to act out rescue missions, explore nature’s playground, get grass stained knees, and take some {supervised} risks. They learn so much through experience rather than just instruction.

exploring nature and having adventures with boys

2. Boys ruin stuff. Most of the time it’s completely unintentional.  They aren’t doing it to be destructive and unappreciative.  They are just the innately rougher gender. Although I want them to understand that things have value, I want them to grasp that their hearts are more important than just “stuff”.  Their attitudes and character should demand more of my attention than an unintentional spill on the the carpet or crayon on the wall.

3. Boys eat up your encouragement as much as the food in your pantry. There’s not much that lights them up more than a verbal assurance that they are brave, smart, handsome, kind, or responsible.

reading a bedtime story with daddy in bunk bed

4. Boys’ fun is loud. This wasn’t an easy adjustment for me. I grew up with a 9 year gap between myself and my closest in age brother.  Therefore, a lot of my childhood functioned almost like an only child. I was accustomed to parents who didn’t raise their voice and I played contently in quiet.  Sometimes I have to take breaks from the constant rumble, but there’s beauty in the noise if you listen.

5. Boys need boundaries. Their hearts need instruction, direction, and an understanding of what is expected. Our house could be pure chaos and disorder if we allowed them to rule the roost.  And while that may sound “easier” or more fun, it’s not where they thrive best. Boundaries as stale as it sounds,  give way to less stress, less disappointment, and  less commotion. Things go so much smoother when we communicate what our boys should anticipate, and what we expect from them in certain situations. It also gives them freedom to be wild and rowdy when appropriate. It simplifies things – and that’s where we flourish.

boundaries in raising boys

How about YOU – what has parenting boys/girls taught you?

71 thoughts on "5 Things I’ve Learned as a Boy Mom"

  1. Crystal says:

    I loved this post! I grew up the only girl with 3-5 brothers until 12, when we adopted my first sister. I LOVE boys and what they stand for, and am so grateful to have 2 boys now. If Nick and I have all boys, I’d be totally fine with that. I always joke we’re trying to even out the Bible college gender imbalance. :-)

    1. QuatroMama says:

      Love it, Crystal! Boys have definitely grown on me!

  2. Evie says:

    I love this, and totally agree. The one that made me think the most, that I wouldn’t have come up with, was the one about encouragement. What a good reminder. Our boys, for all their rough-and-tumble, need that emotional connection and kind, gentle words. Boys are really special, aren’t they… they love their mamas so much. They do break stuff and tear their pants and track in dirt, but it’s all part of the process of learning and growing. The other thing I would add is that boys are just like the rest of us: they’re all different. My 3 year old twins are so different. I have one who cried last night b/c I wouldn’t let him wash the dishes!! Thanks for this post!

    1. QuatroMama says:

      Evie, your words ring so true! And a big YES on the different aspect – all four of mine are so unique and I love them each for it!

  3. Katie says:

    Love it. Having a boy after 2 girls, it’s crazy to me the differences already (and he’s only 17mos old!!!). Every single one of your points is already true in our home. It’s good to hear that we’re not alone. :)

  4. Lene Kristin says:

    Well, for my sake, both our little blessings are girls. And I think I have commented earlier that they are both loud and rough, but we love this behaviour in them, and take pride in that they speak up for themselves and stand their ground.
    However, having boys – and FOUR of them – would likely have changed my mind. I suspect boys are rowdier and louder in general, and my preconsumptions about boys are all based on that I don’t have any :)

  5. You know, I’m most surprised by how much my boys really need that assurance, encouragement, and boundaries. Maybe especially after having a girl after all these boys it is more noticeable to me. I also treasure how much they NEED their mama. Even my 11-year-old had me lie next to him the other night until he fell asleep. There is just something that is hard to put into words but it’s special. And it’s so important, as with all children, to tap into each of their unique needs.

    Steph

  6. LOVE this post! Such great thoughts…especially as I continue as a boy mom. :) Never woulda thunk it. xoxo

  7. boys are SO different than girls, no doubt! Gage is freakishly loud, compared to the girls. And he’s just so rough as well!

    This post was very much encouragement to me tonight….

  8. Tara says:

    Just found your site via My Blessed Life. I love it! I am due very soon with our second boy, and I am so excited! I am one of all girls, so this has opened a whole new world to me…and I am loving every minute!

  9. Melanie says:

    Thanks for this post! I love reading your blog…thanks for the reminders about boys…I have 4 little boys and went through similar shock of four little boys in my belly…so comforting to know someone else has been there

  10. Johanna says:

    As a mom of two boys (and one girl), this completely rings true! I want to give a shout out to the giving encouragement and letting them have adventure. Yes! Love boys!

  11. I LOVE this…soooo perfect!!

  12. Rebecca T says:

    Also found your site via My Blessed Life. Mom of 3 boys ages 3, 5, & 7. Had 2 girls first, and boy, what a difference between the sexes! They are loud and as you said, unintentionally destructive, but boy, oh, boy, do I love them so!

  13. I’ll never forget the day I was at a garage sale that was full of awesome girl clothes. I mentioned that I wished she had boy clothes, too. The mom made a terrible face and said, “Ugh, that means I would’ve had boys.” It made me so mad, this notion that because boys are rougher, louder, and messier than (most) girls, they are less desirable. I love my daughter, and we share so many special mom-daughter moments that I treasure. But the sweetness and protective love a boy shares with his mother is equally as wonderful. I feel so blessed to experience both genders, and love that I get the chance to love on this boy and shape him into a caring man.

    1. HveHope says:

      YES! You nailed it when you said:

      “But the sweetness and protective love a boy shares with his mother is equally as wonderful. I feel so blessed to experience both genders, and love that I get the chance to love on this boy and shape him into a caring man.”

      With 2 girls, he is a lovely counterbalance. The ‘sane’ one when the rest of us are functioning off of hormones & emotional overload. He’s also a precious gift as I get to see the world through ‘boy’ eyes -fascinating!

  14. Oh yeah, all of that! The loudness, the intensity, the need for boundaries. I am very anxious to find out how similar Hal is to Clark. He is almost two now and so intense, it’s crazy! Alice is different. In many ways “easier” but her drama, as stereotypical as it sounds, is off the charts. :)

  15. Angela says:

    Long time reader, first time commenter. This post rings so true. I have 4 boys, 8, 2, 2, and 4 months. I absolutely adore them and love being a mom to boys, but I do have to continually remind myself, people are more important than things, because wow they are rough on stuff.

  16. Elisa says:

    I am blesses with two boys and two girls. The girls are my extra set of hands and my baby dolls I get to dress up. But my boys they hold my heart! Love this post. Children are such beautiful treasures. Thank you for Posting this and reminding me to take it all in before I miss it.

  17. steph says:

    well, my only boy is almost 11, so you would think i’d have this stuff figured out by now, but with three girls before him, i’ve been a slow learner :-)
    two things stuck out in this post. 1) boys ruin stuff. no joke. and i’m not the best at handing out mercy. i need to be better at that. and 2) they need encouragement, just as much as my daughters. i tend to forget that, too, especially now that he’s getting older.
    sigh. there is always room for growth and improvement, isn’t there? thank God He knows how to do this right, and walks alongside us every step of the way.
    thanks for sharing this!
    steph

  18. Monique says:

    As an only child who is now the parent of six boys, (and 4 girls) it is an amazing, confusing adventure. I don’t get that a game can’t be played for the joy of it or the companionship, that everything MUST be WON. But I am thankful for them and pray that they will grow to lead others to Christ and enable to the Church!

  19. Rebecca says:

    Beautiful. . .I wouldn’t change a thing!

  20. Tracey says:

    You have a beautiful family, thanks for sharing your story!

  21. Just found your blog today!! What an insightful post!! I will be a new mommy of a little boy this September- these are such awesome reminders! Thank you for sharing!

  22. Trudy says:

    First time finding you. The photo of your boys slew me! What darlings! My four boys are now 19,18,16 and 13! (They have 1 older sister) God gave them to us in rapid succession, but not as quads. (Quad boys–how wonderful!) Yesterday they were those little darlings running around getting into so much, but being so cute. Today they’re men!! And they take care of me sometimes! They are wonderfully funny, they are all each other’s positive peer pressure, and still have lots of fun together playing music and sports. Some of their fun frightens me (rip currents and sharks when they go to the beach) and my standard line to them as they’re leaving is “watch out for each other!”) Then I loudly thank God for “leading them in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake, and following them with his mercy and kindness wherever they go” according to Psalm 23. I LOVE praying the Word over them!! I love being their mom, and even enjoy all the massive amounts of cooking I do to keep them full for a couple of hours! :) God bless you and your wonderful family!

  23. Melissa says:

    This article is so right!!….I’m a mom to 5 boys ages 3-13. The noise level is unbelievable and there is always a ball flying through the air or being kicked across the floor! But I would’nt trade it for anything in the world!!

  24. Rachel says:

    This is so great! I am the mother of 3 boys (no girls). I was just reflecting this evening on how much fun it is to raise boys as my 3-year-old was running across the living room, yelling at me to throw the ball at him and try to hit him in the head as he ran past. My 7-year-old told me this morning that he wished that he and his two brothers were triplets. This is such a fun adventure.

  25. Cheri Fletcher says:

    Having both genders has taught me humility. There is no cookie cutter process or solution.
    Being a type A first born having to deal with teenage and tween age boys is a walk that requires constant communication with God :)
    All the points made above X20 as they go through puberty, finding their identity, wanting to be treated like a man and pulling a way from all things that could label them as “mama’s boys” are hard on a mom’s heart.
    Boys need specifics, you can not generalize, i.e. “Annie can you clean the kitchen” Kitchen is cleaned, sink rinsed, counters wiped and food on stove put a way and pots washed.
    “Charlie, can you clean the kitchen”… table cleared, dishes put in dishwasher…all the rest is left.
    They compartmentalize all things and can only be in one moment at a time.

    Boys are such a joy though :) I love them to death and so far they are very respectful, polite and Godly young boys…so I will take messy counters and dirty socks and towels on the floor!!

    1. HveHope says:

      Aha! What an insight you have given me…

      “They compartmentalize all things and can only be in one moment at a time.”

      … into my HUSBAND! Thank you!!!

  26. KatieK. says:

    Came via Life Your Way blog. Love your post there and here re: kids needs us to be 100% for them and they hear our hearts when we speak. My heart always hurts when I hear another parent say in earshot of their child something like: “I could never spend that much time with my kid, I’ld go crazy…” Ouch x 1000.
    I’m a mom of 2 older boys and I clicked over ‘cuz I just had to check out the fun you must have with 4! Nothing like the tenderness and hug from a boy followed by their loud laughter and belches. I’m happy everyday God blessed me to parent and learn from my boys.

  27. “Boys ruin stuff.” Oh my yes! Crack me up. My 4yo girl can sure keep up, though!

  28. This is a great post! Thanks for sharing it.

    I have felt that #1 was true for my boy, but it is something that I really have to work myself into making a priority, as he two older sisters are content to play dress-up, dolls, etc. There is a lot of room for me to grow into parenting boys.

  29. Rebecca Thompson says:

    Thank you for these encouraging tid-bits! May I have permission to reprint your 5 tips (not the photos) one time in our local homeschooling newsletter that is posted digiatally on our group’s private homeschool forum? Our group is CHEAV = Christian Homeschoolers of the Antelope Valley (CHEAV.com).

    1. QuatroMama says:

      Rebecca, thank you so much for your sweet comment! I am so honored and humbled that you would want to share it with your group. I have a policy that my writing can be curated (an excerpt of 100 words or less), but not copied in its entirety. I hope that’s understandable, and I could go into more detail, but it’s just a content protection generalization. Again, it blesses me so much that you want to share my words – thank you so much – and feel free to do an excerpt/link!

    2. Rebecca Thompson says:

      Thank you for your reply! :) RT

  30. Bertie B says:

    Oh this is wonderful wisdom. I am Mom to triplets – two boys, one girl – who are now 16 years old and the loves of my and my husband’s lives! Keep doing what you’re doing and love every moment. Time is flying…..I too had an ultrasound that revealed their genders and wondered how could I possibly know how to raise boys. God is so good!

  31. Lisa says:

    loved your article. It struck me that not much changes from a boy to a man,
    my husband still lights up at any appreciation of the same.

    “There’s not much that lights them up more than a verbal assurance that they are brave, smart, handsome, kind, or responsible.”

  32. Diana says:

    As the mom three sons, I sooo can relate to all you have written. As I was pregnant with my first child, I wanted a girl soooo badly…After my son was born, he was so sweet and such an easy baby and loved, loved, loved rocking and playing and just being a mom to him that when #2 and #3 came along, I was not disappointed in the least that I was given three sons… I am not sure about the comparisons with girls. I know that friiends that have girls had a LOT more drama in their households. Boys are quick to forgive and get right to the point. They definitely make messes and are a whirlwind of activity and mess and smells.. why do all boy sports stink..I’m just saying that hockey equipment is the worst smelling stuff in the world!! LOL.. Especially when hauling a van-full of it around!:-). .True that I felt I could never have nice things, but eventually you will. Now that they are all grown, I miss those chaotic, hectic, smelly, crazy, fun-filled days… and there is nothing like a boy wanting his momma and thinking we are the smartest people in the world!! You young mothers enjoy these days to the max, for they are gone so quickly. I remember people saying that to me and thinking.. sure… by then I will be deaf, crippled and living in a trash heap, but it really does go by fast!! My youngest “baby” lives WAY too far away and I haven’t seen him since Christmas and miss him so much, but must be an adult about it! Boo!! …Kind of rambling but had to put my two cents in! Love your beautiful family.. I can’t imaging 4 at once.. you have a special place in Mom heaven for sure!!!

    1. HveHope says:

      You spoke …

      .Boys are quick to forgive and get right to the point.
      .thinking we are the smartest people in the world!!

      some real Truths!! :)

  33. Carolyn says:

    I enjoyed your post and agree wholeheartedly. We are a boy family – 4 boys aged 9, 7, 5, & 2. It is so much crazy fun! We laugh a lot. Some of the stuff that they say and do is simply unbelievable. There truly never is a dull moment!

    Parenting boys has taught me to tolerate noise a little more than before (not a choice – ha!) Each of them are different and need their own TLC. One on one time is important to tune into each of them (even though it is hard to make this happen consistently).

    Boys are rough and tumble but oh oh oh so sweet and sensitive. Their hearts are like gold when you find your way past all the tough guy stuff. They need affection and compliments. They need to be given the opportunity to do right before they are told to do right (a little space for them to make the right choice on their own rather than to always be told what to do).

    And honestly, if you parent boys & want to survive you have to realize (sooner rather than later) that sometimes, maybe more times than not, they a) aren’t intentionally doing stuff to drive you crazy b) they truly didn’t hear most of the lecture you poured out before them – they tune out quick naturally :)

    Love boys. So thankful for each of mine.

  34. Donna H says:

    Loved reading this post! I just found your blog today, and it gave me a huge smile remembering raising my four boys (now 23, 21, 19 & 17). Before kids, I prayed to have all girls, thinking boys would be so much harder to raise. Now I thank the Lord for giving me my boys. Everything you wrote is true (and insightful!). A couple more random thoughts on boys:
    – They find great delight in body noises. For a long time. (sigh) I constantly had to help them learn when that is OK (outside with other guys), and when it’s not (at the dinner table, with or without guests.) I frequently told them “It’s my job to civilize you before I send you out into the world.”
    -Boys who are raised in an all-boy household need some extra training on how to treat girls. One of my goals was to raise them to be good husbands. I shared their bathroom for many years to teach them about being considerate, and so they would not be freaked out by girly stuff in the future.
    May God bless you as your raise yours. It looks you you are doing a wonderful job!

  35. Diane says:

    Something I learned very early on was to plan for at least 10 spills/messes a day, so when it was only 4 or 5, I was relieved instead of frustrated :) I have a 10 yr old boy, 3 5yr old boys and a 5 yr old girl. (surviving quints) and life in our home never ceases to amaze me.

    Your comment stating:
    “Their attitudes and character should demand more of my attention than an unintentional spill on the the carpet or crayon on the wall. ” moved my heart. You are so right!! I really appreciate your desire to focus on their hearts instead of what might be inconvenient for you.

    I love reading your blog. You totaly inspire me!!!
    PS…fyi I just told my husband the other day that I might need to go on a long vacation when my little guys turn 10. This was after witnessing my ten yr old boy live life to the fullest by simply being 10!! whew!!

  36. Jen, you are fabulous. What a beautiful post! Wish I had something insightful to add. I don’t –just learning from you! 😉

    a

  37. Julie says:

    So true about encouragement. I have two boys aged six and three, and a four year old girl. Nothing makes my six year old smile as much as when I praise him! I love seeing it :-)

  38. Kristen says:

    I just found this blog today and it gives me hope! Although I only have nearly 4-year old twins, I still find our lives extremely chaotic at times! Your advice is golden!

  39. Jenni Keller says:

    Great post! One of my girls broke her leg in Feb. and my mom commented at how we had done such a good job handling her trauma and aftercare. And to me, it seemed like a no-brainer, because we KNOW our kids so well. I knew exactly what she needed and how to handle her personality.

    I can see that in you. When you know your kids, you know their needs and how to meet them.

    I just had my first boy (after 3 girls) and sometimes feel intimidated. Will I know how to parent a boy?! But, this post reminds me that it’s about their hearts. Boy or girl, when we invest in our kids their hearts are revealed to us.

  40. girl. awesome post. you are dead on… and I needed that encouraging reminder about how God made my little guys!!

  41. I’m the mom of four boys ~ not all the same time (God bless you!)~ and everything you say is true! One experience I’ve learned…after adopting my two daughters after having my four sons, I spend more time in the emergency room with my girls. Go figure! Your boys are beautiful. Good luck! ~Linda

  42. Love reading about how daily life is for you…(& oh my how cute are those Boys all on their chairs) I have 16 mo old triplets- BGG- and have the joy of watching each individual blessing unfold into three very different little people. My son is golden and curious – such a rule follower with a tendency to beat & shake everything around him … I’ve had to learn to let his curiosity be just that … Not bad, just a boy and guide him into ways of merging his rule following and discovering. A boy just can’t be stifled! And my girls – they watch my every word and move – even at this early of an age – they imitate me (makeup,singing,dancing) … Time to make sure what Im showing is worth copying ! (PS – Jen, think we know mutual people…I’m in Central IN Triplets)

  43. Boys seek adventure, that’s for sure. I had to put a doorknob cover on our back door last year when my boy got out and started working in the garden before I was even awake in the morning. I woke up to the sight of dirt and marigolds in his little sister’s bed. LOL. So, while I had to put a boundary in place, I do try to get him outside as much as possible. Lately, we’ve made it a habit to join a group of moms and kids for forest Fridays where we hike and creek stomp and explore and just get dirty. My boy loves it and so does my girl as a matter of fact. :) By the way, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read of “Boys Should Be Boys” by Meg Meeker and “The Wonder of Boys” by Michael Gurian.

  44. Katrina says:

    Absolutely love this! My little boy is only 11 weeks old and I can already see some of these things! I also have a 3 yr old girl who likes to play in mud and is quite loud but she is still all girl too! Cries with booboos, wants to wear a dess everyday! I love being a mom of both!

  45. Jennifer says:

    SO funny; I followed the link from {darlene} on Facebook; I saw that it was from “Jennifer Murray” and I had to do a double take, because I’m Jennifer Murray and have all boys…haha. This is so spot on! Your boys are adorable!!

  46. I am finding these five facts to be true – more so every day! Having had a girl first, I am overwhelming aware of the differences between girls and boy. It’s a new adventure each and every day!

  47. peggy says:

    Just discovered your site thru post from Life without Pink fb page. I adore this post:) I have 2 boys, 12 & 14. I wish I could go back to when they were 2 & 4 and have a “re-do” of all the times that I forgot the “boy” part of parenting 2 children. I love being a mom of boys – it has allowed the tom-boy in me to stay alive! Can’t imagine having all 4 at one time – bless you all:) They are so cute.

  48. Carisa says:

    LOVE this! I only have 2 boys, and only 1 really WILD one. Sometimes I think he is quads all wrapped up into one!! ha ha! I was an only child, so the whole sibling thing and the BOY things throws me for a total loop! BUT, I LOVE it and wouldn’t have it any other way!!!

  49. Cindy Conner says:

    What a beautiful post. Everything is absolutely true! I have 2 boys that are “twins” born 4 years apart and watching and hearing them grow laugh and consistently showing me how to enjoy life more each day! You are one amazing woman for keeping it all together! Enjoy the roller coaster ride of having 4 wonderful boys!

  50. Another great post, Jen! It is SO interesting raising boy/girl twins plus another boy….to see how they each take on the world in their own way. It amazes me how alike out b/g twins are…yet just how different they are, too! talk about nature vs. nurture! Its like we’re living out a sociology experiement!

    Thanks for taking the time to share your insight!

  51. i am a mama of a new little baby boy!! i loved reading this to get an insight of what my future life will be like! 😀

  52. Jen says:

    All kids need boundaries! They may be mad about it, because they are not getting their way… But your the parent nd parents set boundaries ( and follow through).

  53. Jessie says:

    I am about to give birth to my 4th boy! I too have struggled with the loudness of their fun-having ways. I was always close to my sisters, so having all boys has certainly been an adjustment. But what I have learned is that their band of brotherhood is every bit as wonderful as my sisterly bonds, and when I realized that, I was able to more enjoy their boy-ness and brotherly-ness…if that makes sense. They’re pretty great!

  54. For me I experienced almost the opposite. Although I only had a sister growing up I was always a tom boy. When I had my first boy I breathed a sigh of relief. When I had the second I was thrilled. When the third came out a girl, I was a bit scared. Would she be a girly girl. Would she want me to do her nails and hair! (how does one do nails and hair) Would she grow to detest me because I wasn’t a girly girl mom. But so far things are working out just fine. I have learned to make a passable bun in her hair. So far my less than perfect nail polish application is okay and she doesn’t detest me yet!

  55. I agree with you completely! I learned a long time ago to not get attached to material items in our home. Even after 17 years and 5 boys, they still surprise me with the ways they can break or ruin things. I have also learned that boys are more sensitive than most people believe. They need to feel safe in expressing their feelings and be taught how to express them appropriately.

  56. Jael says:

    I loved all of this! I have 4 boy as well, ages 3-8. Each one of your observations rang so true! Sometimes I feel such a responsibility – I am raising 4 future husbands, 4 future fathers. Just as their dad carries the weight of being their primary role model, I need to model the characteristics they should look for in a wife. Moms of boys: allow your little men to shower you with affection and bring you gifts (no matter how sticky or gooey they are!) Encourage them to express their thoughts and listen to them as you someday hope their wives will. Treat your boys, and your husbands, like you hope their wives will someday treat them. And teach them to unload the dishwasher and clean bathrooms – I’m hoping my future 4 daughters-in-law will thank me for that one! “Sons are a heratige fromt he Lord!” “How pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!” These are some of our favorite verses. I know they mean girls too, but for us the older versions that only include the men are really fitting :)

  57. Emily Cook says:

    ” there’s beauty in the noise if you listen.”

    So very true.
    And today, I noticed it in the weirdest place: driving down the country road, drinking my morning coffee, listening to the boys make fart noises in the back of the van and laughing like crazy. :)

  58. Rachelle says:

    I love this post. And those four boys on the chairs is beyond adorable. I only have one boy — a big 14 now and he is still in need of adventure every day. Just wrote my own post on raising an adventurous child.

    http://utah.todaysmama.com/2012/05/04/raising-an-adventurous-child/

  59. Erika Shupe says:

    Oh – Love, love this. =) Love the photos. Our “littles” look like the photo of them all following dad in the grass…and I love how your husband is reading stories to the boys all in the top bunk! One thing I’ve been wanting to ask a mother of quadruplets is how do you read stories to them all!? LOL With our 4 youngest being all within 22 months, I desire to read to them all, but getting them all to sit with me has been pretty much impossible – and I wondered how a mother like you would do this. I’ve had two on either side of me with their arms in mine (pinned down pretty much ;), one in a booster seat in front of me (with our legs touching for closer-ness) and another one sitting beside a sibling trying to follow my verbal instructions to remain where she is. LOL But I think just corralling them all in to a play yard maybe while I read would be good! And I love your part about how they need boundaries to thrive and have freedom and some order. Having some boundaries is really critical isn’t it. Well I’m just so excited to keep reading and reading your blog… =) — LargeFamiliesOnPurpose.com

  60. cheryl says:

    I totally get it. have 4 between 13 and 2 and the adventure thing is on the money. Outdoors is our key to happiness.

  61. Jennifer says:

    On the other side of boys adventure and loudness is the knowing that lots of prayer got us throught the ruining stuff and the encouraging their hearts part!
    They are both men now and I am so grateful to be a mom of two young men!

  62. Heather says:

    I have a daughter and two sons (although the younger boy is only two months old) and I can say that most of these things I see in my daughter and my older son. My daughter needs adventure, craziness, and noisy play just as much as my son. She is as wild and fearless as any little boy or little girl I’ve ever seen, and my son has actually always been a tiny bit more cautious than her. I think what I’ve really learned is that it has less to do with your child’s gender and more to do with their personality.

  63. Lisa says:

    What a great article. It truly helps keep the important things in perspective.
    i still struggle with the noise and wonder how my house (the actual structure) is going to survive 4 boys. But, I think ahead to how quiet it will be when they are all gone and the noise and destruction somehow seem OK.

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