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Mama’s Boy

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Griffin and Mom (credit: Kristine Lazar)

Griffin and Mom (credit: Kristine Lazar)

My son is just a year old, but already I have been accused of making him into a “mama’s boy”.

First of all, I am not sure why that is a bad thing.  I know one of the reasons I was attracted to my husband is because he has such a close relationship with his mom.  I thought to myself, ‘if he treats her right, well then I guess he will always treat me right.’ So far, I have been correct!

It also turns out that being a “mama’s boy” is healthy and produces better adults.  A recent study involving nearly 6,000 children found that baby boys who do not form strong attachments to their mothers become more aggressive and destructive children.  And when young boys are separated prematurely from their moms, they have fears of intimacy when they grow up to be adults.

And yet, when I nursed my son past his first birthday, some of our friends snickered and made jokes that Griffin would have an unnatural attachment to me…the dreaded Oedipus Syndrome.

I am not even certain the Oedipus Syndrome exists outside of horror movies or Greek tragedies.  I have yet to meet a man who seems to be in love with his mother, a la Norman Bates.  Those men I have met who are close to their moms seem well adjusted and independent.  As I said, my husband is very close with his mom, calling her every week and sharing with her his thoughts and emotions.  He has never once put her needs before mine, and she has always respected my position in our family, aka The Boss :)
As a society, we applaud fathers who form strong bonds with their daughters. Being a “daddy’s girl” is regarded as sweet, and the fathers are applauded for being in touch with their softer side. How is one bond ok, and the other isn’t?

Look, I don’t want my son to want to cuddle with me when he is 16, and I hope when he is much older he finds a wife who puts him first, and he does the same for her. I will happily accept my position as the #2 lady in his life. Even now, I don’t smother him, hover over him, or coddle him when he is acting up (we are nearing the “terrible two’s”…another phrase I question because I am sure they start earlier).  But I will not apologize for loving that he is a mama’s boy…not now, and not when he is 5, 10 or 20. I believe, and now the research shows, that he will be a better man for it.

What do you think about the term “Mama’s boy” and the way society treats mother-son relationships?

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