Heatherlee shares stories about motherhood: the good the bad and the messy!

It is not our job to “make them tough..” A mom's Rant on raising boys into men

Today, I texted a fellow mom about how lucky we are to have such kind, empathetic, young boys. Yes, they have emotion, yes they are very sensitive. They are also wonderful, sweet brothers and sons. And I’m sick & tired of the world thinking that sensitivity is bad. The phrase “Be a man” ...Why do we tell a five year old BOY to be a MAN, that’s confusing isn't it?

No, a boy should be a boy. Life is hard enough as we age. When their hearts are so tender why do we feel the need to strip them of that as young as possible. To “prepare them for the ‘real' world?” 

Having our kids so in touch with their emotions will ultimately make them better communicators, collaborators and life parters. I for one believe whole-heartedly that any child who is sensitive is a gift. Especially young men, when they are so kind toward women so young in life, THAT’S WHAT WILL SAVE OUR WORLD! That is nothing to be ashamed of! They are truly living from their heart.

Never make your child feel not good enough, on some level they already lack confidence, we need to be their cheerleaders. I truly believe our jobs as parents is to help them keep their internal light bright. That certainly includes emotions, and LOVE, and acceptance, especially for self. Tough love is not always the answer.

It is not our job to “make them tough” because, it’s pretty clear, the world will do that for us! We are their moms, and we can make them feel safe and loved and positive and heard.

Besides I'm willing to guess that true learning/growing happens in positive settings. I think we need to reframe what the word "tough" really means as a child. I really don't think kids don't necessarily want to feel or be "tough" they just want TO BE. So let them be as they are, and that includes every silly emotion. And don't we as parents want them to have strong hearts and minds? Why so tough?

This quote really gets me.. "Only goal as a mother: Raise children that don't have to recover from their childhood."  I love that.

There are so many ugly, cruel things in this world. So let’s keep our kids kids while they still believe in utopia. Let’s vicariously live through them, and believe with them that it will all be okay. 

Stress to your kids that we are good enough as we are, whether we cry or laugh. Tell them it's okay to have feelings- Not to hide them but to channel them lightly and positively and to turn challenges into something constructive. They deserve the same respect as if it were our best friend crying to us. Listen, don't judge, and try to help. 

How would you feel if you were venting to one of your friends and they say, "Be a man/woman." I'm sure you'd wonder what they meant by that. This phrase has got to go!

Feminine energy has its place here

I’m sorry but war comes from a masculine energy. I don’t believe women start or partake in wars to the extent men have throughout the ages.. so raising a boy to me is a special job. A unique balancing act. And if you think my boy is somehow inferior because he prefers softness over violence, gentle play over rough play, than your're misunderstanding what raising a boy into a man means. 

To me, it means everything, what a crazy cool role! And its important to have other moms in my life with boys like mine to help me remember No, I’m not crazy. The world is. And the world and it’s dumb opinions do NOT own my child or our experiences.

SO- We will be here experiencing life through wonder.. through surprise, emotion.. and through play, and I’m no longer going to apologize for it. In reality, sensitivity = strength, kindness = love. 

And I want my kids to be strong and to live a life based on love. Don't you?

You won’t hear me say, “Be a man.” You won’t even hear me say “Suck it up.” I will not diminish my child’s feelings no matter how irrational or little.. because to them, it’s a big feeling they need to work through.. and I won’t let them work through it alone. This is why I’m a mom. 

This is why I’m your mom…

To our sweet, sensitive, compassionate little boys out there.. WE LOVE YOU and WE THANK YOU. We can’t wait to see you as men. Enjoy the journey :)

With LOVE <3


Heatherlee is a fearless mom, designer, artist and community maker in St. Paul, MN. She's a doula-in-training, apprentice energy worker and life long learner interested in wellness, social entrepreneurship and the intersection of culture, consciousness and creativity. More about Heatherlee's entry into women's health and birth work, and her career milestones so far.


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Note from the author: I strive to live in a way that empowers people and creates an open space for love and light. We are content being a little bit different, a little off-beat, and all the way happy :)

Mental and spiritual health is extremely important to me as a mom. I believe in preventative wellness and the healing power of meditation. I believe in informed decision making and listening to your body and heart.

I'm not perfect or certified in anything really. So, thanks for accepting me as I grow and learn and write from my perspective. I hope this blog brings me closer to finding and creating the things moms need. And above all that you're inspired to be yourself.

Now go mom like a boss!
(Whatever that means to you).

With love, Heatherlee