I have no one to blame but myself.
I mean, raising mama’s boys was almost a goal. I loved how much they needed me. I loved doing things for them. It was my twisted pleasure to find myself at 2 am sleepwalking between nursing a baby to comforting a boy who woke with a nightmare to helping another boy to the bathroom. I took pride in refusing help; taking all my boys with me to doctor appointments or errands, snubbing carpools to drive myself crazy instead. I catered three different meals at night, picked up their toys because it was easier, zipped my son’s jacket at five years-old and tied shoes at 10.
They asked and I answered. “Can you pack my back pack? Can you get me a snack? Can you can you can you…?”
‘Yes! Mommy can!’ was my war cry.
And mommy did. Again and Again.
See honey, no one else will cut off those crusts, make you a perfect scrambled egg or wash your Spiderman shirt so you could wear it every day like I can.
Was it dysfunctional and co-dependent? Yup. Would I do it again? Probably.
Because back then, we were all one happy needy bunch of love and it was good.
But now that my boys are 6, 9 and 12, I see things a little differently.
In fact, I see them at 30…
They would of course still be living at home because why would they leave free room, board, a stocked fridge and complimentary housekeeping?
There would be hair scruff in all my bathroom sinks, dirty underwear and socks on the floor and loud snoring from every bedroom.
I probably would suffocate from all the gas inhalation.
Or die from embarrassment when they run in on me in the bathroom to demand justice when one of them uses the others deodorant or finishes the last bag of chips.
I may as well just put a cot by the washing machine and sleep there.
And I could never just sit and enjoy a cup of wonderful, steaming coffee in the morning since I’d be dragging their asses out of bed for work – if they had jobs – and making them eggs, three different ways.
All of a sudden, raising mama boys didn’t look as appealing.
So lately I’ve been loosening those ties, and giving my boys more independence and responsibility. They now get themselves dressed in the morning, wash up and tie their own shoes. They do the recyclables and empty the dish washer. They put their clothes away and make their own snacks. They know what they have to do and do it.
It’s a process.
But we’ll get there. Because now I see that you don’t mess with the natural order of things. Children grow, you lovingly guide them on the road to being responsible and then you gently shove them out to greener pastures.
Of course they must still call daily, visit at least once a week and marry girls you deem appropriate.
I may no longer want mama’s boys, but mama’s men just might work.
I could live with “mamma men” too! Why does it go by too fast!!!!! My oldest is going to be 16 in a few weeks!!!! And my baby boy is 9! Yikes! Totally agree, no to mamma boys, yes to mamma men!! Brilliant!
everything right? too fast!!!
I love my “Mamma Man” because at 21 he is independent yet at times still asks me for my opinion. He is confident yet still asks if he’s doing the right thing (sometimes..) and we are close yet he likes to have his privacy. We sure do love our boys, and I am proud of the man mine has become.
That sounds like the perfect balance! You did a good job, mom!!
Good for giving them some independence. My brother didn’t know how to operate a washing machine or do much else because my mother (or I) did it all for him. It’s all about finding that balance between spoiling them within reason but helping them for their future.
yup. it’s a tough line to walk, especially when you want to help so bad and sometimes it’s just easier but much better when they do things themselves.
I’ve got curl envy right now! I once read a quote that was attributed to a president’s wife. I’ve looked it up, but never found it again. Supposedly this woman was asked about raising children. Her response was I didn’t raise children, I raised adults. It’s something that really stuck with me, which is not to say I didn’t carry my youngest around on my hip until his legs were so long I was tripping over his feet.
ha! yup – he’s got good curl! and i don’t know about raising adults – i remember that quote too – i want them to be babies and kids… plenty of time to be adults right? i love the image of you tripping over his feet!
I can tell you from experience that this is a good thing for you to do. My youngest brother still wants and asks my mom to do things for him.
I know i know! it’s the right thing! blah blah blah 😉
Yes to our boys marrying girls that we like! LOL
Definitely!! No mean girls allowed! 🙂
beautiful. I love my boys 4/3 and my 8 month old daughter. I hope to have mama’s boys so that they still come back to see me when they are older!!
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me too!! they need to be independent with just enough mama boy to always come home. 🙂
You are so speaking to me! I know what I need to do, and sometimes I follow suit. But I really just want my babies to stay babies and it’s hard not to indulge their sweet smiles and cutely said, “please!” I suppose I can get them to start doing some things for themselves, as long as they keep snuggling with me everyday! Mama to a 12 year old boy and 8 year old girl. My babies!
we’re peas in a pod. i am really trying to help them help themselves. but it is hard with their sweet faces and just knowing that before i know it, they’ll be grown… i mean all good but still… you know…
Sometimes you just have to cut those apron strings! Friends would question me as to why I did so much for my son. My answer -“Because I can.” I feared he would go off to college and fall completely apart with out me constantly ‘doing’ for him. He really surprised me and so will yours when the time comes. 😉
Ahhhhh! Cutting the strings! Maybe that’s why i don’t have any aprons!! Haha. And you’ve given me hope. 🙂
Boy do I love this! I swear you read my mind!! Fantastic Essay❤️
Thank you!! And yeah, i do, and it’s totally okay to have ice cream right now. go do it. 😉