I'm Reclaiming The Title Of 'Boy Mom'

by Sa'iyda Shabazz
Originally Published: 
Nick David/Getty

If you ask me, boy moms get a bad rep. We love our sons in the face of a society who tell us having a girl is more ideal. And we love our sons fiercely, which some people believe to be a negative. Sometimes it absolutely is. There is a reason there’s a stereotype of the sniveling momma’s boy who is incapable of caring for himself. But there’s so much more to being a boy mom than raising a boy who will always be dependent on us.

It’s 2019, and moms of sons have a whole new agenda. And that’s why I want to reclaim the idea of the boy mom.

First, we have to move past the stereotypes. Yes, we boy moms love our sons. No one is going to debate that. Trying to describe the bond between a mother and son is hard. When they’re little, we’re their entire world. My son is still young and he literally thinks I’m a superhero in the flesh. He’ll look at me and tell me that I’m his best friend out of nowhere. And I believe it. This isn’t an uncommon narrative for moms of boys. Our sons are these squishy balls of love, even when they’re too embarrassed to be seen with us in public.

But we’re not infantilizing our sons simply by loving on them. Many people see boy moms as Marie Barone, the woman who would wipe her son’s ass for him if he asks. I can assure you that while there are women like that, most of us aren’t. We’re just women who are standing in front of a toilet asking a boy to remember where to aim. Moms of boys have enough going on — we work, we take care of our homes, and may have other kids. Who the hell has time to baby our boys? We want to make sure our boys are self-sufficient, it makes our lives easier.

Boy moms are well aware that one day our babies will leave. And we know it’s our job to make sure our boys are prepared.

I always say, “I don’t want someone to curse me one day because he’s irresponsible.” Because I know if he turns into a shitty partner, I’m going to be the one who faces the blame. And that’s a hard no from me, dawg. My son is in kindergarten, and I’m already starting to lay the groundwork for adulthood. He helps with laundry and will fight me to clean the toilet bowl. He’s also a pretty rad sous chef.

I know I’m not just raising him to be someone’s partner though; he has to be able to take care of himself. Because if he thinks he’s going to be a grown ass man having me take care of him, he’s gonna be in for a rude awakening.There are plenty of women out there bemoaning the fact they are married to an overgrown man-child. And yes, chances are, their mothers certainly enabled that behavior. But, society also enabled it.

Your modern day boy mom knows what she’s up against. We’re in a time where it’s glaringly obvious how previous generations of boy moms have failed their sons. And not just because they’re terrible partners. Men’s sense of entitlement is running rampant, and it’s time to nip it in the bud. Many adult men may be a lost cause, but there are the boys we’re raising. We, this new generation of boy moms who want our sons to leave the world better than they found it, are ready to rise to the occasion.

Our new generation of boy mom is committing herself to raising a better breed of man.

We’re making sure our boys eschew the traits of toxic masculinity. Teaching our sons that vulnerability is important — being in tune with their feelings and sharing those feelings is okay. We’re showing our boys that there is no one way to be masculine either, you can play with cars and like baby dolls. Or you can take ballet if that’s what you love. Want to wear pink, sparkly Paw Patrol sneakers? There’s no one that can stop you.

Boys now are learning that empathy and kindness can get you very far in this world. And who’s teaching them these things? Their moms. We’re nurturing our boys to take that same love we give them and spread it throughout the world. And even if they can’t understand someone else’s struggle, that doesn’t mean they’re not struggling. Nor should they only care about someone else’s feelings because of anything other than the fact that we’re all people. A woman doesn’t deserve autonomy because she’s someone’s daughter, but because she is an equal.

This new generation of boy mom knows that it’s our job to teach our boys consent. As we sit in horror watching men in power held accountable (or not) for their misconduct, we are committing to do better. We understand this has to happen early, which means we’re talking about it with our preschoolers. So when they’re teenagers, we can say with confidence that they know better.

And with all this relearning, we’re still afraid for our boys. But not because “what about the men” makes us think they’re under attack. Because of the world that doesn’t want to change to give our boys space. Our generation of boy moms worry about our peers who aren’t aligning themselves with us. For their boys will make our boys feel inferior. And we’re working too hard for that.

So please, before you point an accusatory finger at boy moms for perpetuating stereotypes, stop. Consider us the new crop of boy moms who love our boys fiercely, but are committed to making them stronger humans. Because in the end, all we want is to create a better generation of men than before.

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