I always imagined I’d mother girls. I guess because I’m one of three girls and have a close resemblance to my own mother. I just figured I’d have girls too. And then I had Henry. And that was great. I’d always wished for an older brother. When I was pregnant the second time around, almost everyone thought I was having a girl until we had a scan to reveal, Dexter, another boy.
And I was OK with that. I’m perfectly happy being a mama of boys. In fact I love it. There’s so much to love about two boys.
And now I’m at a full year of mothering two boys. Dexter just turning one years old, to be honest I think this had been the fastest year of my life. A full rotation of the Earth around the Sun, and I’ve had the honour of watching my two boys grow up and start creating a wonderful bond together.
It’s a never-ending job, though I know that has nothing to do with their genders. But they both have so much energy, and I know Henry particularly is a fountain of energy, and seems to never stop. I assure you, at home, he can actually be incredibly chill. But when we’re out and about, or seeing friends, both of them are constantly moving, usually in opposite directions. I’ve had to learn to split myself in two, and that isn’t always easy. Know who needs me most at any given time is hard, much harder than I ever thought it would be. Sometimes I get it right, and sometimes I end up with two crying boys.
Knowing whom to comfort, and planning activities they can both enjoy is hard work. But when you get it right, it feels oh so worth it. When you come home from a day out, with two smiling boys, it makes every scream and tantrum completely worth it.
I’m not sure I’ve ever known tiredness like this. We’ve not been blessed with sleeping kids at night, but I know it will pass. But OMG I do wish they would sleep, in their own beds, all night.
I’ve also never know so much love. I did worry, as I think every parent does, about how much more love they can actually give to subsequent children. But you find it. I feel like our world was built to have both boys, and my heart made big enough to love them both equally.
I cherish my cuddles with Dexter in the quiet of his room when I put him down for a nap, and the independence Henry shows whilst I do this.
I cherish my table activities with Henry, whilst Dexter naps. Even if I sit and work, Henry is happy to play beside me.
I love their joint baths which we use as a bonding exercise, but also to you know, get them clean. But they’re at their most amicable when it’s bath time. It’s amazing how quick and strong a baby can get, and the toddler has to learn fast. But I’m also kind of glad that the playing fields are starting to level out. Dexter feels less fragile and breakable. Henry feels more restrained and less excitable. They’ve gotten use to each other.
And what about me?
I feel like I’ve, for the most part, found my groove. I definitely care less about what other people think of my parenting. I’m far less anxious. I’m much more relaxed as a mother. We have our schedules, and we have our home comforts, but a day out with both of them on my own doesn’t scare me so much.
But I do also feel the pressure of having two boys. In the back of my mind I know I have to teach my boys to become decent, good men. I have that responsibility as their mother. I know a lot of it will come from their father who is a very decent man, but we have a battle against society and stereotypes too. And sometimes that feels overwhelming. But I will do my best, because the world needs good men.
Luckily, I think I’m doing OK so far.
For now, I’m going to teach them that loving freely is important. That the outside world is beautiful and freeing and needs our protection. That nothing beats a hug from their mama.
I’m a mother of boys, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
Also how absolutely amazing is this video that Heather and her partner Billy made for us from this photoshoot.
Photos complimentary of Heather Lerryn Photography