Why Boymoms Unite?

[This was originally posted on my Instagram account, 1/8/19.]

calling all boymoms!

When I started @Boymoms_Unite, my 3rd baby was an infant and I was still settling into the idea of having all boys. This wasn't super hard for me — I LOVE being a boymom, as I hope you can tell here — but it still took a little getting used to. After all, I'm an indoor girl; I'm really close to my mom & hoped to experience that mother-daughter bond with my own child; AND I've had a bit of a learning curve getting used to all the energy (& potty talk) that comes with raising boys.

At the same time, I've always been a social media fan. I've loved sharing my life and connecting with others online since the days of LiveJournal and MySpace (anyone else??). But over the past few years I'd noticed a strangled feeling coming over the internet — like everyone was fighting, selfie-ing, bragging, comparing.

So, I started Boymoms Unite. I wanted my corner of the internet to be a happy place of support — a collection of quick & easy tips to help me & my fellow moms be more intentional about our parenting without adding more to our already-full plates. While a lot of what I post can apply to girlmoms too, I focused on raising boys because (besides my obvious bias) I think we boymoms have a serious mission to help our boys become good men. There are so many conflicting messages these days for boys, and in a lot of areas they're getting left behind. Strong mothers are SO needed to help these boys grow into strong, honorable, responsible, hard-working men.

And, if you're going to be on social media, you shouldn't waste your time following crap. 😉 I only post here about things that are important to me: suggestions for connecting with your boys, book recommendations, life hacks, Disneyland tips, ideas for dealing with screen time and sibling rivalry and all the issues we moms face every day.
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I’m not a parenting expert, I'm not super crafty, I don't take awesome photos...but I really hope that by coming here you can find ideas (and share your own!) that make you feel like a better mom. We’re all in this together — thanks for sharing this crazy ride with me. 💙💙💙

Boymoms Unite

24 Super Easy Service Ideas for Kids

Today on Instagram I shared about our family’s advent calendar, made by my mom when I was a kid. From December 1st till Christmas, my boys get to pull out a different piece to add to the full manger scene — finishing on December 24 with a tiny, felt Baby Jesus.  I love this tradition SO much!

24 Super Easy Service Ideas for kids

We do a little something extra, too. I also like to add a tiny slip of paper in each pocket with some type of service they can do that day (another idea from my mom). I use the same slips of paper every year with the same service ideas to keep it simple — this isn't about doing something big and complicated, just something small to daily drive home our family’s goal to celebrate Christmas by trying to do good like Jesus did. We’re also participating in the Light the World campaign where you do something kind every week in December, so these little activities keep us on track there too!

Our service ideas are SUPER simple — some take a bit more effort than others, but all can be completed that day with little to no preparation. And the boys LOVE doing their good deeds.

If you’d like to try some of these activities with your family, here’s our list of all 24 super easy service ideas for kids:

  •  Help Mom with dinner

  • Read a Christmas book to your brother

  • Sit by someone new at school

  • Take hot chocolate to the school crossing guards

  • Read a scripture about Jesus (Luke 2 is a great place to start!)

  • Give a toy to someone who needs one

  • Set the table without being asked

  • Watch a video about Jesus (we love these short ones!)

  • Do a good deed for a neighbor

  • Wave at every car you see

  • Pick up any trash you see today

  • Write a thank you note for the mailman

  • Draw a picture for Dad

  • Pay for the car behind you at the drive-thru (this one is our favorite!)

  • Give mom & dad an extra hug and kiss

  • Tell God why you’re thankful for Jesus

  • Make your sibling’s bed

  • Clean up your toys

  • Draw a picture for a friend

  • Play with a sibling

  • Call Grandma & Grandpa to say hello

  • Find a house in your neighborhood with great Christmas lights and leave them a note

  • Put change in a Salvation Army bucket

  • Mail a Christmas note to a cousin or long-distance friend

This tradition has made our holiday season so much more meaningful, and our whole family looks forward to it every year. If you’ve got ideas for other easy service ideas, leave them in the comments! We’re always looking for new ones. xo

Raising a gentleman in a #metoo world

[This was originally posted on my Instagram account, 10/25/18.]

brothers

Lately, I've had a few conversations with fellow moms about the challenge of raising boys in our current social climate. There are so many conflicting messages about the professional, sexual, and stereotypical roles of men — how do you navigate all that and raise a healthy, courteous, well-rounded boy?! I'm still trying to work this out, but I wanted to share 3 things that have really helped me understand my job as a boymom today.

HOW TO RAISE A GENTLEMAN IN A #METOO WORLD

1. Embrace boyishness. Boys need to run, jump, climb trees, build things, destroy things. We can't expect them to sit still or play inside all day. Being active is a pressure release for them — and a great opportunity for YOU to guide them to channel this into constructive outlets...and teach respect, body awareness and fairness from an early age.

2. Model good behavior. Boys need role models — men and women. They need to see healthy marriages, selfless teachers, courteous coaches, older boys who are respectful and kind. We can actively seek these people out, in church or community organizations or extracurriculars, and point them out to our boys. Make sure they see and notice qualities of good men, and help them aspire to be like that.

3. Teach courtesy. Teach them to respect their own amazing bodies, and others' too. A couple weeks ago my boys were really into sneaking up behind each other to tickle until the other screamed. Eventually I sat them down and explained that it's not okay do something that makes another person uncomfortable. We need to be respectful of everyone — boy or girl. They know this is important in our house.

Moms, WE can make such an impact on the next generation! These boys need us to pay attention and help them see what it really means to be a good man. 💙