The thing you should never say to a mum of only boys

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock 

Recently an older woman I had never met before reduced me to tears.

We were having a lovely chat, then she asked me how many kids I had and I proudly replied that I had two sons. She said, "I have adult-aged children, two sons and a daughter and it's true what they say." I was waiting with anticipation for some lovely parenting pearls of wisdom from someone not of my generation and she said the thing I hate hearing more than anything: "a son is yours for life ... until they find a wife."

Now, this is my kryptonite. My most selfish fear about being a mother of only boys is that one day I will not be relevant, that they will become closer to their chosen partner's family than to mine.

So I said to her, "I just told you I had sons only, why would you say that to me?" And she replied, "because it's true dear, I see my grandkids who are my daughter's kids way more than I see my grandkids who are my son's."

Ouch, way to really stick the knife in and twist it, seemingly innocent old lady!

I'm not sure why we get these sayings thrown our way, us MOBs (mothers of boys). When I found out I was having a second boy these are the reactions (along with sympathetic eyes, like I had just told them I had two weeks to live): "ah well, at least you won't have to buy new clothes", "ah well, at least you are young enough to still try for a girl", and bizarrely "oh no, you're toilet is going to be very smelly."

Admittedly, this last one did turn out to be true but it doesn't take much to spray it down a couple of times a week. It's really not a cause for sympathy.

When women have multiple daughters they don't get sorrowful sentiments, only statements about girls becoming awful when they are teenagers - especially when their periods sync up. But neither gender is exactly a dreamboat when they are teenagers.


I can't think of any old fashioned, derogatory, rhyming saying directed at people with only daughters, so why is it okay to throw remarks our way? News flash, it isn't.

In a time when we should all be celebrating each other and building each other up, let's do just that. Let's throw out the scare mongering sayings of yesteryear. Let's celebrate any healthy pregnancy announcement and ditch the gender sympathy because the relationship you have with your children will be special and unique, regardless of their gender or yours.

As I was backing away, fighting back my tears, imagining a life being iced-out and segregated from my unborn grandchildren, the old lady shared her parting words of advice: "make sure you are nice to your daughters-in -law, that will really help" and to that I said: "with any luck I will have sons-in-law instead".

For more on relationships, motherhood and the sisterhood, catch PodcastOne series "The Queen Sesh Overshare" with Constance Hall and Annaliese Dent on or iTunes. You can hear more from Annaliese on FacebookInstagram and Sunday nights on The Queen Sesh with Constance Hall and Annaliese on The Hit Network.