Being a boy’s mom has its challenges as much as it does its rewards, and being a busy mom can sometimes make us lose sight of all the little things we should be taking in or keeping track of. As a mother, you always strive to do what is best for your kids and hope that you are setting an example for them—that they will take the lessons you’ve taught them and carry them into adulthood.
There are so many things you want them to know, things you want them to be prepared for, and if only you could spare a heartache or two. I wanted to have something to give to my boys when they get old enough to read it, something they can look back on and read over and over again when they can understand it a little more as they grow. Something they can appreciate one day.
Life doesn’t come with a manual, but wouldn’t it be nice if our parents had written down their advice so that once we quit being the smartest person in the world and knowing more than them, that we could look back and say, yep Mom and Dad knew what they were talking about.
– Start thinking about what you want to be when you grow up while you’re in high school because the choices you make in your teen years can affect the outcome of the rest of your life. This includes partying too hard, doing poorly in school, drinking, drugs, and hanging with the wrong crowd.
– Choose a career that allows you to grow as a person an make a difference to others, and allows you to experience things you otherwise would never have the chance to do.
– If you’re good at something, never stop doing it! You can only continue to get better.
– If you enjoy doing something, never stop doing it! You will need an outlet when the rest of the things in your life make you crazy.
– Never stop learning, the mind has plenty of space to store knowledge… it will never run out of room!
– Play sports, if you’re good at it then that is awesome. If you’re not, so what… as long as you can say you gave it a shot. And always remember, it’s not all about winning, it’s about learning and having fun.
– Above all else, always be a gentleman! Don’t let the bitterness of this world turn you heartless.
– When you learn to drive, always be responsible. You are not only putting your own life in danger when you get behind the wheel, but others as well. Don’t let a stupid mistake cost you your life or someone else’s. Be cautious, wear your seatbelt, don’t text while driving and never ever drink and drive or get in the car with someone who has been drinking. Call me! You will never be in trouble for calling. I’d rather it be you waking me up at 2 a.m. than a police officer who was at your accident scene.
– Don’t be a follower, you were born a leader. Make sure you are leading positively.
– Do not hide anything from me. I was a wild teen once too and I can promise you I know every trick in the book, I probably even wrote a few myself. I can be your friend when you need me to be, but I will always be your mom first; this means I will always love you unconditionally regardless of what you’ve done, and though I may be disappointed, talk to me… I don’t ever want you to feel scared to inform me of something that’s troubling in your life. I may not be able to fix everything but you will never have to go through something alone.
– Have respect for every single human being regardless of race, creed, or appearance. But don’t let people walk over you.
– Stand up for what you believe in, even if you stand alone. Sometimes the right decision is the hardest decision.
– Learn how to fight, but never throw the first punch.
– Never let emotions cloud your judgment, and do not make decisions without thinking them through first. This includes letting hurtful words fly out your mouth to someone you love because you are angry with them.
– If you find someone you care about, make sure you let them know how you feel. Don’t wait for her to make the first move, but be respectful and a gentleman when doing so.
– Before you make the grown-up choice to have sex, make sure you’re a grown-up first. One simple mistake can change the rest of your life and the path you had planned for yourself. You don’t want to regret that the person you want to spend the rest of your life with wasn’t your first, or your one and only. And there are way too many nasty things out there that you can catch; don’t believe me? Look up STDs on the Internet and see what graphic pictures come up.
– When you do find someone you love and want to spend the rest of your life with… do it right. Ask her father for his blessing before you pop the question. He will respect you for it, and she will admire you for it.
– Once you get married, take your vows seriously. The divorce rate is ridiculously high because people are lazy these days. If something’s wrong, fix it, don’t just throw it away. Sometimes things don’t work out, no matter how hard you try; it doesn’t make you a failure if you put in the effort. It’s going to hurt like hell, but you will be okay—I promise.
– Never have a screaming match with your wife… it’s like beating a dead horse and I can promise you that neither of you is getting your point across.
– Words are a powerful thing, so choose them wisely. Once they leave your mouth, you cannot take them back. Don’t let them end a good friendship, relationship, or opportunity.
– Never EVER raise your hand to a woman, or even make the threat that you would even consider it… because then you’ll have me to deal with.
– Treat and speak to women as you would want them to treat me or your daughter.
– Bring back chivalry. Open doors, hold doors, shake hands, help without expecting anything in return, say sir and ma’am, please and thank you.
– Be ambitious and work hard to achieve every goal you set, but do not let it overtake you where you miss out on life.
– When you have children, enjoy them! Spend time with them actively and consistently. Pay attention to them, laugh with them, have fun with them. They will look back when they are older and remember those times.
Make sure you are giving them memories worth reliving.
– Do not let the world of technology consume your life. Enjoy the simple things of the earth that God gave you, like the sunrise or sunset, playing in the rain, a quiet haven somewhere secluded by trees or water, and talk with Him, or even just sitting on a back porch in the evening surrounded by family and friends. Turn on a radio, light a fire, and enjoy.
– Always be considerate, unselfish, logical, and know what humility is and have it.
– Be self-sufficient, even in the little everyday things like knowing how to cook, clean, use a washing machine, balance a checkbook and pay bills on time. You will learn that people will not always be around to do things for you. You can only truly rely on yourself.
– Be a good listener and a good speaker, but know when to use which at the right time. Sometimes silence is exactly what someone needs to hear the most.
– Learn to cook—your wife will appreciate it, and sometimes I may not feel like cooking and want to come over for dinner.
– Don’t wait until Valentine’s Day or special occasions to be romantic… show your woman that you love her every day of the year. Consistency is what will keep her around for the long haul.
– Be the kind of father you want your child to be and that your child will aspire to be. Be the role model that your child can be proud of and thankful for when they become an adult.
– Remember when you are going for an interview for a job that you really want, sell yourself! You don’t want to be thinking of the things you could’ve said when you’re driving home. And if you happen to not get that job you really wanted, don’t be discouraged. Learn from this and there will be greater opportunities ahead, even though you may feel like it’s never going to happen.
– You will learn when you have children that it is no longer about you. You will do everything in your power to do what’s best for your children regardless of how much it costs you in pain, heartache, tears, time, or money.
– Each of you were morning babies… I can only hope you have the pleasure of having a few also… ones who wake up really early, and in the middle of the night too… payback. Seriously though, get up and feed your babies, enjoy morning snuggles, change diapers.
– Never EVER use your children as pawns. If you can’t get along with their mother then leave them out of it. Do not use your kids to hurt someone because you will only be hurting them.
– Learn to dance, play an instrument, or find some kind of hidden talent you have. You just might surprise yourself.
– Experience things like food, wine, places, cultures, history, theaters, symphonies, museums, etc. Do not become complacent.
– Be a good friend, one who is reliable, loyal, and honest, one who can be called on when someone needs you there.
– Love yourself, learn to enjoy solitude. Do not put your happiness in someone else’s hands.
– Do not jump into a relationship just because you are lonely… you will only attract the wrong people. Be happy single first, then adding someone to your already fulfilling life will just be extra happiness.
– Just be a good man. Stay true to your word. Be someone who people are glad to know.
– Never be with someone who makes you think you’re hard to love, someone who doesn’t add value to your life, who belittles you, or makes you question your worth. Love does not hurt, it does not make you sacrifice yourself, it is not supposed to be a war but a safe place from the world that can make you feel those things. Don’t ignore red flags when you start to see them.
My dear sweet boys, I hope that you will go far in life and do great things, but should you ever fall short, please don’t ever forget that I will love you always and unconditionally. If there is anything in this life that I can be sure of, it is that raising you into the men you will become will have been been the greatest honor of MY life.
Although you will go on to love many people in your lifetime, I hope that you never forget about the woman who loved you first. So when you read these words above, just remember you were my inspiration and my purpose behind every single one of them. To my fellow moms of boys who read this, when you feel like you’re failing or wondering if you’re doing it right… just sit awhile with your son. Let him tell you how beautiful you are as he picks flowers (or his nose) and hugs you and tells you he loves you ‘big big’ because I can promise you that in his eyes, you really are the best mommy in the world and he will grow up to be a man who thanks you for everything you’ve done for him.
by Ashley Richard