There are a lot of things about being a DudeMom that I didn’t anticipate.
Like the amount of noise, and the never ending energy, and their desire to leap from things in a single bound. Their obsession with Axe Body Spray (seriously, I think they put some sort of pheromone inside that makes them feel like they need to spray it thickly all over their bodies), their aversion to tight underwear, the way they get all giggly when they smell a girl, or a fart, or a football field.
Most surprisingly I think are the things they’ve taught me about men. Particularly, the one I married.
If I could go back in time and take all of this knowledge with me, I swear I wouldn’t have been shocked when Floyd stole my number in the second grade and actually called me on it. I wouldn’t be confused about why Bradley Scott chased me up and down the playground every day in 4th grade, never allowing me a day’s rest to just, like, perfect my Double Dutch game. I’d understand why Todd Bogensburger teased me incessantly about my boobs in 6th grade, and why Bruce, despite being my BGF (best guy friend) in 11th grade, never spoke to me again after I declined his invite to homecoming.
Ugh, hindsight. You suck and I hate you.
At least I can use some of what I’m learning about Dudes to make my husband realize my awesome. Without having to straight up tell him with words every day of life. I’m sure he’s over the “Your Wife is AWESOME You Lucky Beast” napkins I’ve been sliding in his work bag since 2003.
Marriage Advice: 5 Things Raising Sons Teaches You About Your Husband
He’s not listening and he didn’t hear you.
Not because he’s being insensitive, or doesn’t care, just because he’s not really sensitive naturally to a bread crisis at 8 p.m. on Sunday when the game is on, and also, he kind of a little bit doesn’t care. Because, um, can’t you just send them pasta for lunch tomorrow? Add to all of that the fact that it is game watching time, not consoling your wife over moldy bread that doesn’t even really matter time. Dudes have this awesome ability to focus on one thing at a time and put the rest of the things (including your talking voice) easily outside of their minds. Sure, it makes multitasking a bit of a beast, but it also makes focusing on you (when it’s your turn) pretty spectacular.
Teaching Tip: When you require focus because you have something super important you want him to digest and respond to, start with, “I have something super important I need you to digest and respond to, so focus power.” They’ll know you mean business and give you what you need.
He really, really, really hates it when you cry.
My little dudes get all kinds of crazy when I get upset. Like I will end you with my fist through your guts if you make my mommy cry crazy. They have such an averse reaction to seeing me in pain with tears running down my face. And don’t let them have been the one to make me cry. The utter horror! DudeDad is sort of the same, he seems to think that when I start to cry he has failed in some way. Yep, that’s mostly accurate.
Teaching tip: Use your tears wisely. Like for shoes, and pretty things. Kidding!
He could use a hug.
I can count on zero fingers how many times the big Dude kid has said the words, “Mom, I need a hug,” this year. Fortunately for him, my mom senses get to tingling, Spidey style, when he’s in need of some mama lovin’ and I swoop in and tackle hug him from behind if necessary. Husband’s don’t always have such an apparent tell. They may be better at masking their need for huggin’, a useless skill they develop as they age, requiring you to be more perceptive and possibly less judgey (like he’s maybe being a jerk because he needs a hug, not because he’s actually a jerk). He may behave like hugging is the very last thing on the planet he wants or needs to do, but when he’s disappointed, hurt, lonely, discouraged or scared-but-acting-like-he’s-not-because-he-wants-you-to-think-he’s-manly, he needs a hug. And he needs YOU to be the one to give it to him.
He really just needs you to say what you mean and mean what you say.
Also, a list would be great. One that says exactly what to buy and where to buy it from. Because honestly, he can’t remember if you said, “Ugh, I hate the paste. We always get gel. Why did you get paste? Jeez!” Or, “Ugh, gel? GEL? G-E-L?! You know I hate this stuff.” He knows it as a thing, he’s just not sure exactly which thing about it was THE thing. So if you could just write it down, he won’t have to relive your freak out because you won’t have to have another freak out. Guys appreciate clarity, sincerity, authenticity and straight uppedness, something chicks say they appreciate but are lying usually, kinda don’t really.
Teaching tip: If you really want him to know something, don’t make him guess, just say it.
He wants you to notice his muscles.
And say they’re amazing. Like a lot.
Teaching Tip: Squeeze them when you say it. They dig that.