I didn’t think I was on a stalwart mission to raise a mama’s boy. It’s the sort of pursuit that evolved as my relationship with my son has developed and deepened over the years. We are tight, my son and I. He’s the sort who initiates luxuriant rounds of sweet cuddles and kisses. He has, in fact, dubbed himself my “kissy-bear.”
“I’m your kissy-bear, right mama?” he asked me, glowing with pride and a huge smile, immediately after coming up with the phrase all on his own.
It was inevitable, I suppose, since I’m a hands-on, affectionate person. I’m secretly relieved that it hasn’t blown up in my face yet and that my son still savors all of the physical touch, doting and love I shower upon him. When I think about our tender, close mother-son connection, I don’t think about whether this means I’m raising a mama’s boy.
I just think (and hope), that perhaps I’m raising a good human. A sweet and sensitive one, an emotionally-developed and confident one who will one day shower endless physical gestures of love down upon his own family and whomever else he so chooses to hold close to his heart.
And then I think about the young men or older boys — seemingly good boys, mama’s boys even, who love their mothers fiercely, who think that they respect their mothers (and they do by many counts) — who don’t know how to make themselves a sandwich or do their own laundry. It’s normal and expected for them to ask their moms to do it, to bring their laundry home from school or to call in their dinner order. Not to ask, but to demand. They’ve been taught this and I see quite a bit of it.
The old-school mama’s boy.
The mama’s boys who always remember their moms on Valentine’s Day, call when they are supposed to and could make your heart swoon with how they dote on and protect their mothers. The mama’s boys who have been taught that women are meant to take care of them and their every want and need. The mama’s boys who respect their mamas (yes?) but who also upload videos of drunk young girls on YouTube and engage in slut-shaming. These are probably the very same girl(s) they “picked up” over the weekend at night and wake up to kiss their sweet mamas on the cheek in the morning. While ordering their breakfast. Made by their moms, of course.
The business of raising boys into men freaks me out. I pray daily to be blessed with whatever it takes to not screw it up too badly.
So, I’m starting now. My son does chores, oh you bet he does. I’m going to be that mom who makes him do his own laundry (and maybe even his sister’s, his dad’s and mine, too!), right along with his sister. I’ll still pour his cups of orange juice, but he’ll make me cups of tea. I’ll always make him homemade pizza; he’ll make me green smoothies. He’s going to spend hours in the garden with me, and hopefully he’ll love it like I do. But if he doesn’t and thinks of it as a chore, it’ll be OK, because growing food is a big part of how we feed and nurture our family.
I’m going to talk about all of that “awkward stuff” about dating and respecting girls and the Internet and what’s funny and what isn’t. A LOT. Perhaps annoyingly so as the teen years set in. Oh, and please don’t think I’m doing anything special, making him do things that I won’t make his sister do, too. For now he’s learning how to make his own bed, put away his clean clothes, pick up after himself, help me in the yard and around the house as we see fit.
It’s all I’ve got. These are some of the most basic and consistent tools I can think of that will help me raise a new kind of mama’s boy. Otherwise known as a self-sufficient, good human.
More Babbles From Selena…
- This Is Not a Momfession: On Wanting, Needing (and Taking) Alone Time
- Toddler Cries Watching Parents’ Wedding [Video]
- You Can Do It! 4 Steps To a Successful Toddler Screen-Time Diet
- 3 Ways My Kids Have Helped Me Unlock My Own Potential
- 7 Tips For a Weekend That Your Toddlers Will Never Forget!
- Are We Overindulging Our Kids?
- 10 Things I Hope To Teach My Kids About Being Happy
Selena is a crafty, culinary mom. Regular writer here and on Disney Baby. Part-time mischief maker, all-time geek. Elsewhere on the Internets… via her humble beginnings, mastering in general mayhem: le petit rêve