Why I’m not raising my boys to be great husbands

I’m not raising my boys to be great husbands.  That is not my role as a mother.  That is not the guidance I am giving them, but before you judge me please read on…

First of all we have to look at the “girl power” message, being a girl, or woman, or heck maybe even lady could apply (it couldn’t), I love all the girl power messages that are going out.  Girls rule the world ‘Kay?


As a mother of two boys, I take issue with the subtext that girls rule the world, because they don’t.  Not on their own anyway.

I want them to realise that the girls that they play with are strong, independent and intelligent.  I also want them to realise that the boys that they play with are strong, independent and intelligent.  That amongst the friends they make there will be future doctors, lawyers, plumbers, builders, nurses.  That they, and their friends, can be whatever they want to be.  Regardless of gender.

We’ve spent so long building up the girl power message, and rightly so given the imbalance in years gone by,  we seem to have gone too far the other way, we’ve forgotten that boys need building up too.  Inspiring you, helping you to build up belief in yourself isn’t gender specific.  It is something that all children need.  Regardless of gender.

Recently I came across an article written by a mum who was raising her boys to be great husbands.  This made me (and others) spit feathers.  If an article was written the other way round about raising girls to be great wives there would be uproar.  There would be cries of sexism.  The aforementioned girl power would rally against this horrific 1950s mindset.

But apparently it’s ok to raise boys to be great husbands.  Well I for one am not ok with it.  I am not ok with the double standards, and at the end of the day my parenting goals for my boys is not to raise them to be “great husbands”

I’m not raising my boys to be great husbands

use I have a brother I'll always have a friend



I will teach them how to clean, starting small with the dusting, the wiping up of crumbs.  The dishes washed and dried.  Moving onto the hoover when the Big One gets over his fear of the noise.  I will show them how to clean up after themselves and when they make a mess you can believe I will expect them to pick it up.

But that isn’t to make sure that one day they will make someone a great husband.  No, I expect them to clean and pick up after themselves for themselves.  To take pride in the home I hope they will own one day, to know that I won’t always be there to pick up after them, to have some independence.  To help out.  To earn pocket money.  All of those things.  Great husband?  Didn’t even cross my mind.


I will teach them how to cook.  Everything I know, just like my mum did for me.  How to scramble eggs, whip up an impressive pasta dish, make the perfect baked potato.  Moving up to full roast dinners, perfect chicken, crispy roasties (and here the husband is laughing at me because my recent roast potato efforts have been laughable). From cracking eggs to measuring out the right amounts of ingredients, I will teach my boys all I know and help them scour the internet to learn more. To indulge the passion that my eldest has for cooking, for baking, for chocolate if I’m completely honest.

But that isn’t to make sure that one day they will make someone a great husband. No. That’s to teach them the basic life skills they need to survive, to thrive. To have them eat more than takeaway and ready meals when their wings are ready to leave the nest. To enable them to make a full meal for friends, to entertain, to explore a love of food. All of this and more than I can ever imagine. Great husband? Doesn’t even come into it.



I will teach them how to wash. What goes with what, temperatures and how much washing powder you need to use.  I will teach them that you need to hang some items, some you chuck in the dryer.  The buttons you need to press and that the iron is an essential tool.

But that isn’t to make sure that one day they will make someone a great husband. No.  That’s to stop them stinking, to have them take pride in their appearance.  And to help me out too because I hate laundry days….Great husband?  Didn’t even cross my mind.

The Toilet

I will teach them how to clean the toilet.  They are boys, they pee standing up.  Not sure much more needs to be said on that,,,,

But that isn’t to make sure that one day they will make someone a great husband. No.  That’s because no one likes to stand in pee.  Or sit in it.  Great husband?  Didn’t even cross my mind.

use I have a brother I'll always have a friend


I will strive to show my boys how to deal when there are small children around, I dare say I will even encourage them to babysit when they big enough.  I have no doubt that I would entrust them with younger children.

But that isn’t to make sure that one day they will make someone a great husband. No.  First and foremost Dads don’t babysit, they parent.  Secondly, these are also skills they will need to know if they become a parent, things that they need not be afraid of, things I can teach them.  Great husband?  Wouldn’t even cross my mind.

There are many things I will strive to teach these boys.  Ways I will try to lead them, to show them by example.  To parent.  Not once will I do things with the thought in the back of my mind, oh well I’m raising my boys to be great husbands.

Because I’m not.

I’m raising my boys to be great people, great adults, great men.  And in doing these things I am sure that they will be great husbands one day, offering their future partners more than just the life skills I have strived to teach them.

But first and foremost, they will be great for themselves.

I'm raising my boys to be great people first and foremost

You can also find me over on Facebook lamenting all about life with two boys and a husband, would love you to come say hi!



  1. July 8, 2016 / 7:40 am

    I love this post! My little boy’s only 2 but I’m teaching him the same things you’re teaching your boys. Not because I want him to be a great husband but because they are vital life skills that he’ll need out in the big wide world.

    • Laura
      July 8, 2016 / 8:00 am

      Thank you Helen! Exactly – they need these skills regardless of whether t makes them husband material. Made my blood boil when I read the original article!

  2. July 8, 2016 / 8:39 am

    Totally agree Laura! Drives me made when people suggest men ‘babysit’ their kids! Also, totally think men should be able to ‘cater’ for themselves in life, I find that more attractive in a man for sure.

  3. July 8, 2016 / 8:42 am

    Love it and your so right. There a skills they need to learn that have nothing to do with being great husbands. And i really can’t stand when someone says oh its dad baby sitting. Um no hes with his children.

  4. July 8, 2016 / 10:32 am

    Great post, people really do go too far don’t they? I agree with you that whether we are raising boys are girls, our aim is to raise them as nice people. Nothing else matters does it?

  5. July 8, 2016 / 12:32 pm

    Love this post! You are so right about the double standards and how we’re also forgetting that little boys need support too 🙂

  6. July 8, 2016 / 10:47 pm

    Great post and wholeheartedly agree. I am very lucky that I am married to a very domesticated man. He hoovers without me telling him and put a the loo seat down without prompting. We work as total partnership. I couldn’t be married to someone who wanted a 50s housewife! As you say it’s about teaching our kids to be awesome, confident and independent individuals not fitting a stereotype x

  7. July 9, 2016 / 2:12 am

    A strong woman will naturally be a strong wife. We are all raising out kids for themselves, not for other people’s kids!

  8. July 9, 2016 / 11:08 am

    I have children of both genders, of course I hope if they choose to marry one day that they will be a good wife and a good husband, but that their partners will be good too, but good is a funny word really, I mean what does it mean to be a good husband or wife anyway? I guess that being a good partner would be different for everyone. I consider my husband good because he love me, respects me, makes me laugh, let’s me cry and a lot of other reasons. I consider myself a good wife because I cook, clean and greet him with his slippers, no just kidding, I am a good wife because I love him, because I allow him the freedom to be himself. Our marriage works because we respect each other as partners and as individuals. I am doing my best to raise great kids and hope they will be great adults and find loving partners if they want a partner. I agree I want them to be able to take care of themselves, at the end of the day I really just want them to be happy and love their lives. Very thought provoking

  9. September 2, 2016 / 7:35 am

    Yes, this. All of this. Raising our kids to be nice people who can function in society and thrive and be with others, and hopefully if they choose to get married then they’ll also be decent husbands and wives but basic life skills, interpersonal skills and all those things are needed regardless! Thank you!! Claps loudly!!

  10. September 2, 2016 / 7:43 am

    I remember reading this a little while ago. Regardless what gender our children are we should raise them to be independent and confident. Not reliant in another person doing the blue or pink jobs! #effitfriday

  11. September 2, 2016 / 11:27 am

    Mannn the whole gender equality / sexism thing has me massively perplexed. Short Rib is only one, but I intend on teaching him EVERYTHING I know. If that is the merits of a washer dryer versus a conventional washing machine, then so be it. He certainly won’t be learning how to change the oil in a car from me because I know nothing about it. I love this post – I love what it focuses on . Just teach your kids to be decent human beings… it’s not a difficult concept really! 🙂 #effitfriday

  12. September 2, 2016 / 3:43 pm

    I love this and can relate on so many levels. I have 3 boys and I’m raising them to be MEN. Good men who know how to respect women who deserve respect along with other people. I’ve got one in Army boot camp right now whose going to be a completely different man when he comes out and who still seems like just a little boy to me. Great post Laura! Thanks for the invite to #effitfridays and for hostessing. I’m trying to get back into joining some Linkys now that I have some time to write and get my linky under control with the kids back in school.

  13. September 3, 2016 / 4:52 pm

    I think is important to not get bogged down on gender and just focus on bringing.up kind and confident children X #effitfriday

  14. September 4, 2016 / 6:50 pm

    Raising my boys to be great husbands never crossed my mind! I agree with all of your points. Raising your kdis to be good people will hopefully help them to be good partners, friends & parents in the future. Thanks for letting me join in with #effitfriday this week even though my post wasn’t ranty at all lol You are a great friend! x

  15. September 4, 2016 / 11:52 pm

    I so agree with you. Its only since having a girl I’ve noticed just how far the other way the world has gone.
    Like you we are teaching the boys everyday life skills so that they can look after themselves when the time comes. Not so they can be someone’s husband.

    It grates me every time someone tells me how Little Miss OMG will have three big brothers to look out for her! That’s our job not theirs.

    Great post. Thanks for hosting.

  16. September 8, 2016 / 8:22 am

    Thanks for this. It’s about building children that can be self sufficient and able to take responsibility for the treadmill of keeping a home running.

    At university I had to teach my friends how to cook, use a washing machine and fill a fridge!

    You’ve prompted me to resurrect my Just a Man rant!


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