I have a confession to make.
I am the mom whose goal was to raise mama’s boys. I loved how much they needed me. I loved doing things for them.
It was my twisted pleasure to find myself at 2AM 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 get me a snack? Can you pack my back pack? Can you can you can you…?”
‘Yes! Mommy can!’ was my war cry.
And mommy did.
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. I may as well have said, “Never leave me!” while tucking them in at night.
Was it dysfunctional and co-dependent? Yup. Would I do it again? Probably.
Because I was happy and my kids were happy. We were one happy needy bunch of love and it was good. But now my boys are 6, 9 and 12, and I see things a little differently.
In fact, I see them at 35…
They would be living at home of course because why would they leave?
There would be hair scruff in all the 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 hair gel or finishes the last bag of Doritos.
I might have to put a cot by the washing machine and just sleep there.
And I would never just sit and enjoy a cup of steaming coffee in the morning, since I’d be dragging them 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 a bit; giving them more independence and responsibility. My boys now get themselves dressed in the morning, wash up and tie their own shoes. They do their homework without my nagging. They do the recyclables and empty the dish washer. They put their clothes away. 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 you daily, visit at least once a week and only marry girls you deem appropriate.
I may no longer want mama boys, but mama’s men just might work.
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