Mama’s Boys

mama-boyLittle boy via Shutterstock

He’s barely awake, his lids still heavy with sleep, but his arms are already reaching for a hug. I happily embrace his warm body and his dreamy smile could melt the sun. “Come on, baby.” I coo. “Time to get up.”

He purrs like a kitten instead of an eleven-year-old boy, and when I untangle myself, he automatically protests, “Noo.”

“Uh uh, no more hugs for you,” I affectionately scold, but then relent and give him one more. “Okay, that’s it. Get up.” I shake him till he giggles, then play time is over and I turn to business. “Your clothes are on the floor. Brush your teeth and get downstairs.” I leave him and hope I don’t have to make a trip back up to wake him again.

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My six and nine-year-olds are already downstairs, dressed, finished with their breakfasts and playing Club Penguin on the computer when my oldest sleepwalks into the kitchen and immediately fastens himself to my side. “Mama.”

I love it, like the sick, needy mother I am, and take a moment to lean my head against his before ushering him into his morning routine.

Occasionally, some person has the nerve to say to me, “Oh you have three boys? You know what that means, right? They leave you.”  I always respond with a smug smile and say, “Not if you do it right.”

While I believe that, their flip comment still touches a nerve, because to some extent of course, it’s true. Boys love their mommies until they get a wife. Boys are so yummy, delicious and full of affection when they are young, but somewhere along the way, they seem to disconnect. No. That will not do at all.

That’s why I have focused on making my boys ‘mama’s boys,’ and they have pretty much towed the line, but the results do vary.

My little one is a wild child, full of love and energy. He plays the baby – even if he really isn’t one anymore – still preferring mommy’s company to any other. Score! My middle son has got the most spunk and fight in him, but he’s also a clingy little monkey around his mommy’s neck. Score!

But my oldest has by far exceeded my mama boy hopes and dreams. A sentimentalist at heart, wistful at six for who he was at five, he is openly expressive with his emotions and affections and really, really, really loves his mommy. Home run!

Sometimes I worry a little that I’m ruining my boys for all the girls, but, only a little. Because, we all know that the best men are the ones who love and respect their mothers. Eventually, poo poo (sorry it’s the future Jewish grandma in me) my mama’s boys will grow up and leave to have their families of their own.

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While I sort of dread the day when my reign comes to a close, I will quietly – although it will be hard to muffle all of my sobbing – step back and do my best to win over their significant others. Really, what else can I do?

Often at the end the day, my oldest son gets off the school bus and runs straight to me, wrapping his arms around me and says, “It’s been six hours since I hugged my mommy.”

My other boys, their competitive natures roused, jump in for the hug.

Oh these boys are going to break my heart.



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  1. Molly says

    Tears in my eyes after reading this. I have two “mama’s boys”, a 7 yr old and a 10 mo old. My older son is always asking me if he can snuggle. And if he wants something, I tell him it’ll cost him a kiss. He loves it-eats it up. Those are the moments, so precious and yummy, that melt my heart and fill it up too. As for the letting go part, I am not ready to think about that day. Not yet anyway.

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  2. Linouchka says

    It isn’t easy to be the significant other to a mama’s boy : he wil always, always, expect you to be like his mama. “Mama used to fold my socks this way, and she ironed them !” . “Mama used to make me some tea when I was sick !” . “It’s sunday, we have to go see Mama !” A girl just can’t achieve this. Please, mama, don’t do this to your boy’s future wife, it’s not fair.

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    • Kim says

      She mentions she is going to step back! There is a difference between being “first” and being THE first. She sounds like the kind of mom who is paving the way for her sons to be excellent husbands who respect and adore their wives!

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      • Linouchka says

        Being a loving son and being a loving husband are two very different things. Besides : loving their mom doesnt teach boys to love their wife, because children learn by example. They will be much more likely to be loving husbands if they have had one at home to teach them how to be one. “What would Daddy do ?” is the question, not “what would I do for Mom ?”

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  3. Kristen says

    Oh, this makes me want to cry because I only have one child–a son! At 3 1/2, he is definitely a mama’s boy and I wouldn’t have it any other way! I totally agree with Alisa, and I will do my best to win over the lady in his life when the time comes. But, if my son happens to e gay, guess what–then I’ll have TWO sons!!!

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  4. says

    Very poetic! My babies are older than this, bu they are too young to make me a grandma, so I don’t have a lot of snuggly charming kids in my life right now. I miss the type of parenting you describe (my teens won’t hug me. They mainly want rides and cash from me). I will have to wait awhile to revisit childhood as a grandparent. I feel nostalgia while reading about you interacting with your kids at these ages!

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  5. says

    I could’ve written this myself! I have 3 boys, with #4 on the way and mine are exactly how you described yours! While they love their dad and want to do many things with him, at the end of the day they all fight over who’s sitting in my lap for bedtime stories!

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  6. Kim says

    I couldn’t agree more! It’s how you raise them! Also worth noting, our culture is one of the few with this mentality that “boys leave”. Other cultures have the same mentality about daughters! So it certainly isn’t intrinsic!!!

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