kids

This is the hardest thing about being a mum of young boys.

I always had a feeling I would have boys. I grew up with two brothers and my hubby (singer Guy Sebastian) is one of four boys with not a sister in sight between us.

So when my sons Hudson, 5, and Archer, 3, bounded into the world I wasn’t surprised. I thought I was prepared and had the “boy thing” figured out, but I was wrong. Whilst I was braced to trip over Lego, listen to endless toilet talk and regularly referee playfights, what I was not expecting was how much sheer energy they would exude and how much that would sap my own strength and test my patience.

They literally never stop going. For a chilled-out person like myself, it continues to shock me to this day.

Hudson especially is like some kind of miniature action man. He was born ready and literally does not have an off button. During the day I work as a stylist, blogger and have my own YouTube show Tea with Jules, so by school pick up time I sometimes feel a little pooped.

However that’s often the time when Hudson revs up. The other day I picked him up from school and he was immediately chirping, “Mum, where are we going? Can we do something? Can we see friends? Can we go to the park?” Even in that short window between school end and dinner time sitting still is not an option for him, and Archer’s much the same.

I regularly read articles usually penned by other weary mums about how little boys often need to expel more energy than little girls. Generally, the advice is something along the lines of, “Just let them blow off steam and keep them moving”. Okay … I’m trying!

A typical weekend often involves a parade of activities. We’ve done outdoor playgrounds, indoor playgrounds, the beach, trampoline centres, bowling, fishing, boating, parks. Basically, anything involving running, climbing or jumping is where we’re at.

A typical day consists of the boys usually wrestling and jumping on each other amongst shouting and fists flying. When they were younger my instinct was to discipline them and prevent them hurting each other but now I’m like, “Nah, get it out of your system!”

Hudson and Archer Sebastian. Image supplied.
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Little boys are silly and fun and crazy. However, it can be hard to distinguish sometimes what’s normal boy behaviour. Like many mums of sons, I wondered if Hudson would be mature enough to start school this year. It was a subject I wrestled with a lot last year as I knew if he started this year he’d be four on the first school day and would only turn five a month later, making him one of the younger ones in the year.

I’d ask Guy - How exactly do you know if your son is “mature”? Is talking about poo, undies, farting and jumping on top of your brother mature?!

Because it was such a big decision as to whether we needed to hold Hudson back a year, I put a lot of thought into it. I talked to everyone I could think of - friends who were teachers, other parents and his preschool teacher. I even had him do a psych assessment.

The opinion of his preschool teacher was very helpful. She said he was a bright spark, who’s confident and friendly. She worried that if he was held back he may struggle if he became bored. She advised me to closely monitor him in the last six months of the year.

And so whilst the tearing around continued, I also noticed what Hudson did well – handling himself very well in social situations, participating well in groups and following instructions.

I also encouraged him to develop his skills – particularly in reading. We read to the boys a lot. Guy was so funny, he’d even get creative in the delivery making up additional stories about the characters and would throw in a song now and then!

"Reading Eggs has strengthened his communication and reading skills which was really helpful." Image supplied.
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I also discovered a great app called ABC Reading Eggs – an online learn to read program. I loved it so much that I’m now an ambassador for it. It’s an easy to follow program that helps kids prepare for school. Hudson was soon getting chuffed about recognising words. He’s was motivated to go through the online books and all the activities and likes the competitive nature of going up levels and getting rewards.

It was good to pre-empt some of the things taught at school by Hudson getting a bit of a head start with the program. It’s strengthened his communication and reading skills which was really helpful.

By the end of last year it was clear to us that Hudson was intellectually and emotionally ready for big school this year. It was the right decision – he’s doing so well and loves his friends and teachers. Happily he also gets to use up some of his boundless energy reserves there during the day as well!

I realise my boys energy levels will calm down more as they get older, so I know they won’t be running rings around me forever. By that time I’ll be onto new challenges with them – how to guide them to become kind, respectful, compassionate men.

However it’s a challenge that I’m up for. As much as having boys can be draining, it’s also amazing. I love the Mummy hugs and funny things they say such a “Up shut” instead of “Shut up” as it’s more polite!

People often ask me whether I mind being in an all-male household. As I’m used to it, it really doesn’t bother me. But whilst I like the idea of having a girl one day, I think this shop is pretty much shut.

If I got pregnant again, the chances are I might end up with twin boys!

The best parenting tips and tricks, courtesy of This Glorious Mess.

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