I have to trust other people about this whole business of mothering boys, because after two girls, it’s a little…different. My friend Wendy sent these tips to me as a way to help me when she found out our third baby (born at the end of November) was a boy. She generously gave me permission to share them with the rest of the world.

I’ll take anything you want to add in the comments and put it with my dog-eared copy of How Do You Tuck in a Superhero? (which I read before I knew I was having a boy).

Aside from the obvious differences in plumbing the actual mothering of boys is not really all that different from mothering girls. There are however, some things that I wish I didn’t have to learn through “experiential learning” such as:

~No matter what “studies” say, babies feel pain. This is why it is a good idea to make sure that in the event that you choose to have your brand-new bundle of boy circumcised, it is best to make sure it is done before your discharge day. At the hospital where I had both of my boys, the minimum wait between circumcision and discharge is two hours. We discovered this after the birth of our second son who was (you guessed it!) circumcised two hours before we were discharged. Fresh circumcision + car seat strap = very unhappy howling infant.

~ Unless you like doing LOTS of laundry, make sure the little fella’s external plumbing is pointed downward into his diaper. Otherwise, you will notice a phenomenon similar to the eruption of Old Faithful pouring forth from the top of the little guy’s diaper (all over his clothes, your clothes and/or the bedding) every time he wets.

~ Aside from the obvious accomplishment of eventually having completed toilet training, what’s the other huge benefit to having to go through the process with a boy? It teaches a brand-new level of patience. Many people told me that my son would likely not toilet train until he could stand to “point and shoot.” I thought they were crazy. It turns out that they weren’t.

~ Also related to potty-training, you’ll find that your young man will become easily distracted while standing to go potty. To keep him entertained and give him something to aim at, Cheerios floating in the bowl fit the bill nicely. As do Fruit Loops and fish crackers. If When he still sprays everywhere, original Lysol cleaner is the only product that I’ve found that will eliminate that public bathroom urinal smell.

~ Boys show their love in very physical ways. A child who won’t oblige a simple cuddle or hug is more than happy to run across the room into your outstretched arms to “tackle” you. Repeatedly.

If you are still reading and haven’t written me off as some kind of crazy lady who’s overly-focused on bathroom habits, the biggest point that I’d like to make about mothering boys is something that applies to mothering of all children: love. Unconditional, pure-hearted, Jesus-reflecting love.

These children will test you until you are hanging onto the end of your rope by a mere thread. But even as they test you, they are trusting that nothing in this world can pull your love from their lives.

Although moms typically do most of the day-to-day child-rearing, be aware that these boys are watching and wanting to be just like their daddies. Generally speaking, Dad is their first example of how to be a godly man. Indeed, the relationship that children have with their own fathers often shapes their view of God. If you ask me, that’s a darn tall order; likely the biggest duty any of us could ever shoulder. Thank goodness we all have the best of examples to look at in our Heavenly Father.

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