Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Raising Boys, Part 1 (Giveaway)

Yesterday, I introduced to you my friend Shannon. If you missed out on her bio, go here. Today though...is the BIG day! Today you get to read the first official guest post on my bringing up boys series! I hope you enjoy!

Raising Boys



I grew up in a home that is the exact opposite of the one I live in now. In my home there was an abundance of estrogen and barely any testosterone. My family consisted of my mom, step-dad, myself, and my two sisters. Drama, drama, drama was the norm and hormones ruled! I now live in a home that consists of myself, my husband, and our two sons. Now activity, activity, activity is the norm and dirt and food rule!

I never knew much about boys or males growing up. I knew they were loud – I knew they liked sports – I knew they liked to pass a lot of gas and got a lot of humor out of it – gross! I also knew they were easier to get along with than girls. But, other than that they pretty much mystified me.

My dad died a few days before I turned 6 years old. My relationship with my step-dad was not good. Since those were the only males in my life it left me...wondering. I had plenty of boy cousins – but we didn't see them very often. When we did, though, I would always gravitate towards them. I enjoyed riding bikes with them and learning how to throw a ball – guy stuff! Everything with them just seemed simple. Not that they were simple – ha! Just there wasn't any of the constant drama of being with sisters and girl cousins. We could decide on an activity and DO it within minutes...and then do that activity for an extended period of time with everyone getting along and enjoying themselves! What a concept! In the neighborhood I grew up in all the kids my age were boys, too! I was never a die hard tomboy – too girly for that, but I was as much of a tomboy as I could be and still wear ribbons in my hair! But, even these interactions and relationships left me...wondering.

As I matured I didn't have much respect for males. Pretty soon my neighbor boyhood friends wanted to be more. These guys were great – but I just wasn't interested. I mean they were my pals – not dating material. I always felt they ruined everything by getting mushy. Plus, the last thing I wanted was to start dating a guy and deal with all the grief and drama I'd get at home about it. No thank-you. I hadn't yet met a guy worth going through that for. I thought guys were kind of weak and pitiful to be honest. I watched my mother control and manipulate my step-dad into doing anything she wanted. I also watched most of the women in my family do the same things with their husbands. Since people generally attract and hang out with people like themselves the other adults my mom befriended pretty much treated their husbands the same. Why did I want a guy around? So I could order him around and belittle him? It seemed like more of a liability than an advantage. This was my totally miscued vision of males.

I didn't start dating until after I moved out of my home. I moved out (escaped) at a very early age. I finished high school and graduated all on my own. This kept me too busy for “love.” Although I did date a few guys just to try it out. I still wasn't impressed with males and thankfully didn't fall for anyone. Then about a year after I graduated high school....I met my husband!

It was so completely different with him from the beginning. For one thing I noticed him – first! I was drawn to him. I don't know if you call it love at first sight. In fact it took me a really long time to say the “love” word to him. A really long time. But, it was definitely attraction. He just seemed larger than life but also gentle at the same time. I was very hesitant and usually uncomfortable around guys. But with him I was instantly comfortable. He fascinated me – and he was so easy to talk to. We'd talk for hours and never get bored or run out of things to say. I wanted to spend every minute with him and even then it was never enough. This was something different - something special. I'd never looked at a guy the way I looked at him. I actually respected him and trusted him. I didn't hesitate to say yes when he asked me to marry him! The best decision I ever made :)

A few years into our marriage I found out I was pregnant. I immediately wanted a boy. I'd always pictured having two kids – 1 boy, and 1 girl. Naturally I wanted the boy first. He would protect his little sister and she could date his friends – see how well I had that figured out? That is a nice scenario and probably works in someone else’s reality but mine is not so. I am the very blessed and happy mother of two incredible boys! They are 6 years apart and fill my heart – with love, joy, exhaustion, pride, worry,.... God's ways are not my ways – and He knows best!

I have learned so very much about guys through my wonderful husband and my two amazing boys. I have new and healthy respect and admiration for males. I understand them so much better. I no longer think they are pitiful. I think controlling and angry women are pitiful – oh, no! don't get me started on that. I also understand how tender the hearts of boys and men are. They are tough and macho and all of that “hoorah” stuff. But, seeing my boys and how they interact with me helps me understand how males view females. They want to protect us and care for us and they are also deeply wounded when their efforts aren't recognized and appreciated. They need our respect. Something I am more aware of and work towards showing them.

My guys are generally more even keeled than I am. My husband has more patience and is more easygoing when I am having a moment (or two, or three...). I appreciate my family so much. My life is healthier and richer because of them.

I never would have imagined in my wildest dreams that I would live most of my life surrounded by boys. I wouldn't change it for the world. In fact I treasure this time. Pretty soon my boys will grow to be men and they will leave me to start families of their own. I know that is the ultimate goal for me as a mother and everyday that goes by brings that time closer. So each day – I grab my boys and I hold them tight and tell them how much I love them (much to their chagrin, wink!). Then I thank God for His plan and His ways and that I get to be the mom of boys!
Wasn't that wonderful?! I just love Shannon's heart. I know when I read this for the first time, I was really hit hard with the sentence "I know that is the ultimate goal for me as a mother...". Just like how Shannon's first experiences with the men in her life lead her to many years of having to learn to trust men...I hope that the things I do as a mother and the women in my sons lives...doesn't lead them down a path that teaches them to distrust other women in their lives. We mothers/parents have such a huge job! We are molding little lives, and what we do does have an eternal difference!
In the fun of celebrating mothers, and with Mother's Day right around the corner, I wanted to celebrate a new beginning on my blog! I would like to do a giveaway geared towards pampering a mother! I am giving away a Mary Kay Satin Hands Fragrance Free set, and a Mint Bliss leg and foot lotion. Both of these products are AMAZING and will leave you feeling pampered! Especially if you can get someone else to give you the treatment!
To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment on this post. Would love to hear about what things you would like to hear from others about bringing up boys. For a second chance to win, please mention this giveaway on Twitter. You can leave a seperate comment stating that you did so. Be sure to include my twitter name (@jjxrmiller) in your tweet. (So, you can leave 2 comments in all for your chance to win!) Contest ends sometime on Friday, April 23rd, 2010 at 12:00 PM CST. Winner to be announced sometime after that.
*this giveaway is not sponsored by anyone, I paid for the products myself. The value of this giveaway is $44.00. This giveaway is only open to people in the USA.


  1. I enjoyed reading that post. I like hearing/reading about others' lives with boys to learn that "they are just like us"! My husband & I have 3 boys and are loving every minute of our wild, chaotic lives!

  2. Sorry I'm so behind on blog hopping. Yikes!!!

    What a great and helpful post!! As I think you know, I don't have any kids...yet! However, hearing from all of my friends that have both...I know that boys are completely different from raising girls, but they LOVE having the opportunity to do both!!

    I just LOVE that you LOVE having/raising boys!! What a blessing :)