When I first found out I was going to have a boy, I was nervous. Scared even. I knew girls—after all, I had been one—but boys? I wondered if I had what it takes to be mom to a son. What about the mom and son relationship? Would it be harder to navigate? But now that I have two sons (no daughters), I can say with one-thousand percent certainty that being a "boy mom" is exactly what I was meant to be. There is something magical about the mom and son relationship: the bond is both tender and unbreakable. 

Sure, boys are wild and loud and joke about farting way more than I’d like. But there is a softness and an uncomplicated gentleness to the mother-son relationship—something that has only grown stronger the older my sons have grown. Because they love their mama with the same wild and loud abandon that they live their lives.

Being a mom to boys changes you. It changes you in the ways that motherhood changes all of us, but it changes us in other ways too. 

My oldest son, who is now several inches taller than me, will sometimes hug me for no reason, even though he generally hates hugging. He’ll tell me he loves me for no reason—often times in front of his friends. My younger son talks to me about his feelings and will make sure to tell me “good night” even if he goes to bed later than me. He still falls asleep on my shoulder sometimes.

Sure, I sometimes marvel at their wildness and cringe at their loudness. But mostly, I am profoundly grateful that I get to be their mom. 

Related: I’m not just raising little boys, I’m raising great men 

I used to worry that we wouldn’t have similar interests or that I wouldn’t be able to understand them. But being a mom to boys changes you. It changes you in all the ways that motherhood changes all of us, but it changes us in other ways too. 

There is a softness and an uncomplicated gentleness to the mother-son relationship—something that has only grown stronger the older my sons have grown. 

You learn to hold your breath, close your eyes, and pray that they won’t get hurt. You learn to love things like Star Wars and Fantasy Football. You get used to fart jokes and roughhousing (even if you still don’t understand the appeal of either). You become very aware of the profound responsibility you have fight the stereotypes of toxic masculinity. You realize just how wrong the stereotypes are, how sensitive and emotional boys really are. And you learn how to nurture that sensitivity and emotional vulnerability, while also giving them the space to be who they are, in all their loud and wild glory.

Related: ‘Boys do cry’: How I’m working to raise sensitive and emotionally aware sons 

I’ll admit, many of my fears about raising sons were unfounded. I’ve heard all the stereotypes about how the mother-daughter bond is so strong. I've seen the studies that suggest, throughout a lifetime, the mother-daughter connection remains stronger than other intergenerational family relationships. I know several grown women who still talk to their moms almost every day. You don’t hear about grown men talking to their moms on a daily basis, at least not without some cliched joke about him being a “mama’s boy.

But just because the mother-son relationship might be different, that doesn’t make it any less strong, any less meaningful, or any less beautiful. 

There is a magic to the mother-son relationship that I never could have imagined before I became a mom to boys. The mom and son bond is tender and unbreakable, gentle and strong, soft and loud all at the same time. Being a mom to boys might be nothing like I imagined, but the mom and son relationship is even better than I could have hoped.