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Life with Boys {I have 8 sons…nothing scares me}

I have eight sons, nothing scares me. Hezekiah.

This post is sponsored by Mirum, but opinions expressed are my own.

I have eight sons. Nothing scares me. Thoughts on raising boys.

I always laugh when people talk about being a “boy mom” or someone comments on a mom who has THREE boys. I have eight boys…nothing scares me.

Parenting answers you won't find in parenting books

Judah with the dead mole he begged me to let him keep as a pet!

Truth be told? My wildest craziest child was a girl (hi, Adalia!) and one of my calmest, quietest children is a boy (I love you, Hezekiah). I have certainly not found raising eight sons to be any harder than my six daughters. Despite everything I heard from other moms, my boys didn’t potty train any later than my girls. They did not develop language slower or read later. In fact, my two children who were reading independently at age four? Both boys!

Is raising boys harder than raising girls? No.

Is it different? Yes.

Life with Boys {I have 8 sons...nothing scares me}

The day Enoch and Judah decided to have a war…with blackberries for realistic special effects.

When Adalia and Judah were four and five they loved to play with our collection of Playmobil and little plastic animals. They would play together for hours. Adalia’s figures were busy planning weddings, throwing parties, and having babies. Judah’s figures were constantly at war…At war with friends, with enemies, with monsters, defending justice and saving the world. I used to sit back and laugh as I watched the two of them play together. Adalia was the more hyper active (and LOUDER) of the two but they played (even the same games) very differently.

And let’s see…there was that time one of my sons (I won’t say who) was not quite three-years-old and was running around outside naked. I glanced over just in time to see him peeing in the grass…only, his stream was so strong the arc of urine went straight up…my puzzled son looked down and sprayed himself in the forehead. With his own pee.

You won’t see that with a daughter.

And speaking of pee. Did I ever tell you that when Judah was an about five he peed everywhere? In cups, in garbage cans, in our large stock pot, any container he could get his little hands on. And Chuck? He thought the hilarious. Me? Not so much. Oh, and as soon as Enoch was old enough Judah taught him this trick. And when they didn’t want to trek all the way to the bathroom at night? They just peed in their closet. Problem solved.

So, yeah, while I wouldn’t describe boys as harder, I will say they (even the calm ones) are different.

Life with Boys {I have 8 sons...nothing scares me}

You might remember the Puberty Sucks Hygiene Kit I put together for Avi last year. Well, I just made a boy version for Hezekiah. I headed to Walmart and bought this toiletry bag for less than ten bucks. We first started buying toiletry bags for our older kids when we brought our children home from Liberia. We needed a way to keep everyone’s supplies separate. Eleven years later and they are still using them. That was money well spent.

These bags are great for home use, camping, summer camp, sleepovers, etc. Much like my trick with everyone having their own beach towel, this keeps kids in charge of their own toiletries.

Life with Boys {I have 8 sons...nothing scares me} Hezekiah

Our kids are all active. We live on five acres, the kids love to camp, run, ride bikes, climb trees, swim, and hike. A few years ago Chuck started to buy men’s shampoo and the boys are now convinced that is the only kind they can use (thanks, Babe). Oh, and there was the time Chuck brought home AXE deodorant for four-year-old Apollo because it said, “Apollo” on it.


Anyway, I have found that AXE Gold products smell great, work well, and are affordable. The AXE Gold Antiperspirant is strong enough for even my most active sons. Hezekiah likes the AXE Gold Antiperspirant because it doesn’t make his armpits sticky like other deodorants. And we both love the smell.

The Axe hygiene kit I put together for my teenage son.

I stocked Hezekiah’s bag with:

Life with Boys {I have 8 sons...nothing scares me}

Everything fits perfectly into this toiletry bag.

Life with Boys {I have 8 sons...nothing scares me}

So, fellow boy moms, here are my tips for raising boys:

Laugh with your boys.

Love your boys.

Don’t take things too seriously.

Don’t judge fellow moms. We’ve had to resort to desperate measures to get one of our kids to shower.

Girls fight with words, boys fight with fists. Sometimes literally. But they are quick to forgive and go back to being friends.

Sometimes when your boys clean the bathroom you get more than you bargained for.

Always remind yourself it could be worse. I had a friend whose boys once filled up their water guns with urine. And then had a water gun fight.

If you’re feeling discouraged check out my puberty distribution chart. It does get better, I promise.

Boys are proud of being boys. Just go with it. One of my charming sons loved his plastic toy bulls. He loved them so much he chose his favorites according to the size of each bull’s equipment.

Teach your boys to work and work hard. It burns off energy, makes them tired, and prepares them for manhood.

Let your boys (and girls) fail. We all fail in life. It is how they take failure that matters. Help them learn and grow from failure.

And most of all…enjoy your boys. Someday (I know its hard to believe) they will be grown men. Accept those grimy hugs, hands full of dandelions, dead moles, and sloppy kisses now.






  1. thissquirrelsnest

    Jasper is such a typical boy in many ways, but bugs and dead animals upset him. His sister loves them. I showed her the mole picture and said it was cute. “If it’s dead you don’t have to feed it,” she says.

    She once begged to keep a dead bird. She’s still angry I threw away her cicada from her ample bug collection. It was rotting and stank. She was 5 and still gets sad about “cicada friend”.

    No one tells you how weird kids can be.

    • Renee

      No kidding, about how weird kids can be! There was the time Enoch bought a fish at Walmart and it died. We were told we could return it so I told him to grab the reciept and fish so we could head to the store. When we arrived I found he put the goldfish IN HIS WALLET. What the heck???

  2. kristin @ going country

    I have three boys. When I was expecting a fourth child, some (rude) people asked, “What if it’s another boy?” So what if it is? Besides the fact that I didn’t care in the slightest, I figured once you hit three boys, adding another to the pack isn’t going to change the fact that your life is loud and gross and physically contentious all the time. (Of course, they’re still all young. Maybe I’ll change my mind on this when I have three male teenagers? Don’t answer that.)

    The fourth ended up being a girl. I must admit, I’m looking forward to seeing how that dynamic plays out . . .

    • Renee

      I think I would be totally comfortable as a mom to boys only. I have a harder time understanding the make-up and nail polish…And people can be crazy rude!

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