How being a Boy Mama Changed Me
Girls! Girls is what I knew, I am one of three girls, majority of my cousins and extended family, girls! So what did I know about raising boys… ? I had no idea what was to come.
When I first feel pregnant, we decided to keep the first child a surprise which proved tougher than I first thought. In those first few days I was inundated with visitors after he was born, safe to say we weren’t too popular with the nurses and the other new parents …. I surprisingly had a lot of people sharing their commiserations with me and constantly asking me if I was disappointed it wasn’t a girl. Really? What was to be disappointed about? I was blessed with a healthy little boy and excited to start this new journey together as a family… What a journey it has been!
There are certain things people warn you of, however nothing you can really prepare for when raising boys – how do you prepare for being confronted with the fountain pee when changing nappies, lack of aim power when they are finally ready for the toilet, the “pull the finger” fart games they learn from dad, burpring the alphabet on cue… (apparently this is considered a skill?). These surprises in hindsight always made for a laugh at the end of the day no matter what else had gone wrong.
I was definitely thrown by how loud and boisterous they can be. How dirty they can get when outside for 5 seconds (nothing that a bit of napisan can’t get out) and how much LEGO can hide in one of the Lego heads once it’s all tipped out. On the flipside of this I have learnt how deeply they can love. Whilst rumbles with dad are a highlight any day of the week, those moment when my son will come and give me a hug just because… will always melt my heart and I will continue to treasure until one day he stops.
My eldest boy is now 9 (catching up to me quicker than I’d like – I’m feeling pretty short around him these days). In his first year we shared together before I went back to my corporate job was unforgettable. Picnics in the backyard, baby chino dates, playdoh marathons, Lego tower building competitions… everyday was a new adventure together.
Once my daughter came, he really showed no other emotion apart from disappointment those early days - why did she only sleep, cry and poop? Why was she eating his Duplo, hiding his cars in her food, throwing his puzzle pieces like sprinkles across the room?
But it wasn’t long before he assumed the bodyguard/best friend/play buddy role to her. Recently I watched on as he simply took her hand and together they walked through the school gate on her very first day of kindergarten. Moments like these I will forever remember and cherish.
Having just had my second little guy, now almost 1year old, I can already see glimpses of his cheeky personality coming through. Those unexpected giggles and smiles, those moments where he catches my finger and doesn’t let go. The way his face lights up when he hears his brother talk to him about his day, the goal he scored at soccer and the flying spaceship he made with Lego.
My family come first, always. My children were the reason I stepped away from the corporate world that had once welcomed me with open arms, but slowly closed the door with the birth of my son. The flexibility of working from home and the freedom to take them to school and pick them up, help with school projects, practice for spelling tests, assume photo skills when accepting awards… it still has its challenges, however the only way I find balance is to take things as they come. Be patient. Accept that I can’t control or plan everything… (this is a tough one for me still)
This business has fuelled a long-time passion of mine. I initially found it pretty tough to style my little guy in the beginning. I found myself surrounded by boys character shirts, so was often going to 6 stores to pull together one outfit! However, I loved sourcing different pieces and styling them together. I would get other boy mamas asking me where did I get those pants from, what brand is that shirt, what should I match this with. Got me thinking and I decided to take the plunge to making this a full-time thing to help other mamas like me by pulling all the brands and pieces I love into one store! Which is where Little Gents Store was born, my boys clothing and accessory style destination.
I get a thrill each and every time I get an order through to see which pieces people have bought, the emails I get about functions they have coming up, what I suggest and how to mix and match different items together. The boys fashion world has moved in leaps and bounds since having my first son, I am excited to be a part of it and continue this journey.