Ten minutes . . . 10 minutes! That’s all it took for both my boys to be covered in mud from head to toe. Not only that, there was mud on the brick walls, the cement path and all over the ground, not to mention the hose running full force making puddles all over the backyard.

My mouth dropped open as a look of disbelief washed over me.

“How? How!” I exclaimed, more to myself than anyone else. How can two little boys create such chaos?

I was shocked, impressed and angry all at the same time. So I did what any good mother would do. I took both of my boys by the hand, led them to the baby bath they so kindly dragged out of the house, sat them down on it and took a photo. After a thorough hose down, I quickly called my husband to share my discovery.

Two muddy boys sitting on an upturned bath tub
The photo Rebecca took of her boys

If you had told me 10 years ago I was going to be a mum of boys (now aged three, six and eight), I absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, would have ugly-cried right in front of you. I can actually remember telling my soon-to-be husband that I never wanted to have a family full of boys. I knew from working with kids that when given the opportunity to play together, boys morph into creatures that are filled with such a vigorous and tenacious spirit that it would render my heart to a complete standstill.

They are loud, playful and unconventional—I am the very opposite of that. By nature, I am introverted and a deep thinker. I am a very structured person who thrives on routine. And let’s be honest, boys leave little room for you to be those things. So obviously it was in my best interests to veer away from that family dynamic!

Of course, I’m now happily married but knee-deep in bottles, dirty nappies and suffering from sleep deprivation with three active boys in tow.

On the odd occasion, you would hear me yell things like, “Yes, we have to wear pants in public!” or “Don’t suck up that strawberry with the vacuum cleaner! It’s still in your brother’s mouth!”

Robot wars, Minecraft, Lego blocks and the all-time favourite, WrestleMania, encapsulate the very essence of our now robust home.

Yes, these kids now have us running on empty. From “son” up till “son” down, we are doing our best to keep up. Often I find myself admiring the fact that these kids have enough energy to sustain a small village, and perhaps they could share some of that as I learn to navigate the realm of motherhood.

But among the constant smell of sweat and my incessant need to clean the toilet bowl (and toilet floor, I might add), I absolutely would not trade it for the world. I am now at a place in my life where I am perfectly okay with being in a family where boys rule. I’m learning a lot about what my sons bring to the table. And if I’m honest, I find I’ve grown the most through the daily, mundane moments of motherhood. Here are just three examples how.

Relevant: 8 tips you never knew about raising boys

1. Displays of affection

These little guys are super affectionate—the daily nose kisses, the tight hugs and the compliments I receive about how my face looks, are great for my ego! I’ve also noticed that on days that I have been down and feeling vulnerable, any one of my boys will stop what they are doing, and walk over to me to give me a big bear hug. They show genuine concern when asking me if I’m okay. I know one day it will stop, but right now I’m embracing this stage where they shower me with affection. It’s these precious moments that teach me to be more empathetic to those around me.

2. Resilience

The days of rough-and-tumble play draw us closer together as a family. The squeals of laughter as hubby acts out his WWE [wrestling] moves are priceless. Yes, there are definitely times these daredevils have hurt each other but it only takes an encouraging word to get them up and at ’em again. These experiences motivate me to keep pushing forward and to be kinder to myself, especially during the harder seasons of life.

3. Perception of life

Having fun, being inquisitive, sharing a laugh and becoming friends with a new kid on the playground (pre-lockdown) is something I admire about them every single day. I need to impress it upon my mind more often than not that life is about seizing the moment and letting go of the things that stress me out. Bills come and go, but a good laugh with friends, appreciating my family and going on adventures together is what I’ll look back on and cherish.

Magele family photo
Rebecca and her (currently non-muddy) boys.

Yes, life with sons is very unpredictable, even on a good day. If you’re a mum of one boy or five, be encouraged. Learn to embrace the crazy, rest in their arms and count the ways in which you have grown since bringing these free-spirited humans into the world!


Submit a personal story on your parenting journey, thoughts or experience and if we use your story, we’ll send you a selection of children’s books! Write to us at [email protected].

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