our little individuals

It makes my heart stupidly happy
to get to parent a boy and a girl.
I love that my husband and I have the opportunity
to learn about raising boys and raising girls.
But it is already clear to me
that however much I might want to try to be fair and equal,
we will not be raising our children the same.

We won't treat them in the same way
and we already don't.
I'll honestly put my hands up and say
I'm not sure how much of that is their personalities
and how much of that is down to their genders.
But my children are so incredibly different
and we so desperately want to raise them as individuals
and not just as another part of our family as a whole.

My experience of raising a boy has been as easy as breathing.
What you see is what you get with boys
and it makes parenting them so easy,
but I think they also don't let you in as easily as they grow up.
My experience of raising a girl has been shorter but has already taught me so much.
Maybe it's the nature of girls in general
that they are more highly strung,
and I sense parenting a girl will continue to be a more complicated journey.

It is difficult for me to admit, but in honesty, 
I am a far more confident boy mama than a girl one.
It's not just that I've been mummy to a boy for longer,
I've always found boys easier through life,
as friends,
in the classroom.
Maybe it's because I grew up with a brother.

But I feel like boys get a bad rap.
The general bashing of boys makes me cross,
daughters are so often held up on pedestals
as something that every single mother would and should want.
Don't get me wrong, I love having a daughter
I love that we might get to share girlier pursuits together
and I love the possibility of having a real friendship when she's grown up.
But I think this sells boys short,
why wouldn't I enjoy doing these things with him too?

It goes without saying that I love my son to pieces
but I genuinely find him so amazing
that he makes me think that every person on the planet should want a son
just to be in with a chance of having a soul just like his in their life.

He's simply amazing.
He's confident in every situation we throw at him,
and yet somehow manages to still be a really sensitive soul.
He's inherited my big gentle heart I suspect
and he seems to feel really deeply,
but at the same time he is brave and very little scares him.
He is so incredibly affectionate
and loves cuddles and kisses and human contact.
He's a real free spirit
who loves to run in fresh air and to watch the rain.
But mostly he is so easy, so chilled, so simple.
His pleasures in life are simple,
he's uncomplicated.

Being a girl mama is a totally different thing,
not a better thing, or a worse thing,
but a totally different thing nevertheless.
And as a reflection of that,
my relationship with my daughter is so different to the one with my son.

She needs me more,
and not just because she is a younger baby,
it's something about her and the way she is
and she has incredible powers for drawing me to her.
And it isn't just me,
she has a far greater need for people in general,
she is happiest when she is wherever the rest of us are,
she craves social interactions.
And even at her young age
she already has ways of making sure we know
that things are on her terms.
She might be the youngest,
but it already feels like she's trying to assert her authority
and tell us that she is the boss.

My husband is absolutely fascinated by watching us together
and he will smile and say "You're already best friends, aren't you?"
I hope to the core of my being that he is right
and that we can be best friends as she grows.
Because I worry about how complicated girls are,
how fragile and complex and emotional they are,
and I worry about how easy it could be
to get it wrong and to knock her confidence.
I feel like I owe it to her
to make up for all the one-to-one time that she doesn't get
simply because she has a big brother stealing the limelight.
I feel like the fact she needs me so much already
is just a sign of things to come
and I really hope I don't let her down.

I don't want to let either of them down.
We don't want to let either of them down.
We want to get it right.
The worries with parenting boys and girls are different,
but the reasons are always the same;
wanting the absolute best for our children.

We would love for our beautiful babies to think of us as a friend;
someone they can talk to, turn to and confide in.
But their daddy and me will always always be their parents first,
and that will mean we will have to make decisions that they don't like sometimes.
We might treat them differently
and they might not think it's fair.
We might have one rule for one and another for the other.
But being a good parent isn't always about being fair
and treating your children the exact same way.

I just hope they'll understand us enough to know
that those difficult decisions come from a place of love.
And that by making those decisions
we will be raising them as individuals,
nurturing their differences,
and loving them for exactly who they are.


  1. Lovely post and photos! I have 2 boys and they couldn't be more different. I think often second children are just so different too. I completely agree that boys can be just as sensitive and emotional as girls and I hope I never forget that. At 7 months my baby is already trying to win so much more attention than my eldest (nearly 3) ever did. I guess I was different with my first too. It's certainly not easy this parenting lark! xx

  2. I think you have hit it spot on to just treat them as little individuals. As a parent I know I tend to over think things but all we can really do is give them our best.

  3. Great photos, and I love your open way of discussing your feelings. I feel very much a "boy mum" but can't wait to embrace being a girl mum.
    My biggest dream is to have a little girl. I fear that with Aaron being nearly 3 I have already left it too late but hopefully not.
    Hopefully I can get things on track enough with the other half to be in a position to try

  4. Great post love hearing your thoughts now you are a mum to a boy and a girl. I do agree with you about boys getting a bad rep I absolutely adore my son and I'm actually looking forward to doing lots of "boys" stuff and these days boys can do anything girls can like playing with toy kitchens and dolls ect which at one time it wasn't the done thing

  5. I completely agree with you that girls are put up on a pedestal, and that people expect mums to want or need a girl to make their families complete. Yet I have at least three friends who have said they can't imagine having girls and that they believe they were ,sent to be boy mums. I always imagined having two little girls, but I don't know if that is because of having a sister. But I would have enjoyed being a boy mum too I am sure. X

  6. Lovely post and a beautiful family! I am a mum of boy/girl twins so I know exactly what you mean by trying to bring them up as their own little individuals that there are. It is very difficult, especially for twins as one always wants what the other has! Sharing and dividing my love 50/50 for them equally has to be the hardest - but they are a blessing, and therefore, I really cannot complain! :-)

  7. We have the opposite of you and yet I'm the same. My relationship with my boy is much more straightforward, my girl needs more of me and takes more of me. I love her as much but in such a different way that sometimes they both feel that I prefer one over the other. It's difficult to get it right! But whatever happens this blog will tell them how much they are loved, even if they have the odd off day with you :)

  8. I know exactly what you mean! and I have boy/girl twins!

    Beautiful pics as always x

  9. I have two little boys but already I can see such differences in their personalities and I hope I can raise them as individuals rather than as 'the boys'. Brilliantly written x

  10. Ahh this is such a lovely post and really interesting for me to read as obviously I have just had a boy after having a girl. It will be really interesting to compare parenting them. I had no idea what to expect with having a boy and I have only had him for five days but already I love him so much I could cry and I can't wait to see what kind of person he grows up into. I think parenting your child based on them is a great way to do it though, because every child really is different and things that suit one might not work with another xx

  11. This is a beautiful post.
    I agree though. Boys definitely seem to be seen in a different light to girls.
    I can see some real differences between my two and I can't work out if it is just personalities or if it's a "second child" thing. Or if maybe without realising if I do treat Harry differently to Charles because he can't talk so well yet. Harry is also trying to assert himself as boss.
    I know exactly what you mean about being a boy mama. I can't imagine myself with a girl. I know if I had one I would still be a good mummy but I think I'm just more suited to boys, even though I am a girly girl.

  12. This is so interesting and I completely agree, I only have a boy but I already feel like a boy Mama. I would love to have one of each but another boy would suit me just fine. My mum is absolutely my best friend but I know girls are so much more complex and I would worry about our relationship, it's so straight forward with my son. You've written a lovely and honest post and it looks like you have two very happy children xx

  13. They are the coolest kids ever, and has the best outfits. I love the vibrant colours in these photo’s.


Back to Top