“A man loves his sweetheart the most, his wife the best, but his mother the longest.” -Irish Proverb

I remember sitting in the dark on my hospital bed the night my son Dutch was born. My husband had switched his work schedule to nights so that he could be with us during the day which allowed me the perfect time to be alone with my new baby boy. And to cry my freaking head off.

Before you start to get concerned, let me just say that no, I wasn’t slipping into the murkiness of postpardum depression. I wasn’t in tears because of the pain caused by the c-section I had just experienced a few hours before, and I wasn’t crying because I was overjoyed at being a new mother either. I was crying because I was feeling a sense of loss. All I could think of was that one day my son wouldn’t want to be around his mom much.

Strange, I know, but that’s just how my mind works. I can be a half-empty kinda girl at times.

My husband, already having a son and loaded with 20-something years of being male and all, was a little more experienced in the ways of how boys embrace their mamas. He told me soon after we learned we were having a boy, “For the first few years, it’s going to be all about you. He’s going to be a mama’s boy.”

I couldn’t help but wonder, and then what? Is Dutch just going to push me aside after he turns six or seven? Will I no longer be cool to him because I can’t toss a football as well as his daddy or big brother? Of course considering, even for a minute, that my role in my son’s life would be unimportant is absolutely ridiculous, but to be really real about it, there’s kind of a thin line that is drawn in the relationship between mothers and sons. Think about it, women can be considered “daddy’s little girl” well into adulthood, but boys, please, what man wants to be thought of as a mama’s boy? Or worse, what woman wants to be with a mama’s boy?

I have to admit that my husband was absolutely right about the early years being all about mommy. Dutch is three now and whenever he has a want or a need, he comes to me so much that I often have to remind him that his Daddy is good at pouring juice too. Literally, I’m like, “Dutch, Daddy can reach those fruit snacks in the cabinet. He’s tall enough!” But it doesn’t matter because he always seeks me out first and Daddy, well, he’s sorta the back-up guy right now.

Dutch often tells me I’m his best, best, best, best mommy (as if there’s another in the running), gives me kisses and hugs galore, and wraps his little arm around my neck while we’re watching television. Let me just say that it’s really uncomfortable when he slips that little bony arm under my neck, but what the heck, I let him do it anyway. And I’ll admit that I lap all that affection up like a dry-tongued puppy drinking good ol’ h2O because in ten years he’ll probably prefer to be holed up in his room chatting away with his friends than to be giving his mommy 23 kisses in a row and crowning me “best, best, best, best mommy” all throughout the evening.

It just doesn’t happen like that and well, that’s life. I’m cool with it.

I think back on that night in the hospital now and I realize how irrational my thinking was at the time. My hormones were straight trippin’ and the mommy thing was brand spanking new. All I could think of was, what if one day, he doesn’t like me that much anymore? It didn’t even occur to me at the time that my Pop’s relationship with my grandmother was a beautiful one and even after her death he speaks of her with such adoration, and that my husband has such an awesome relationship with my mother-in-law that they talk every day. I didn’t think about the love that my stepson has for his own mother. So now with a clear head and all those things considered, I’m feeling pretty good now about the future of my relationship with my son.

I’ll try my hardest not to be an overbearing mother. I’ll listen and keep an open communication going. I’ll instill good morals and values in him, give him the best life advice I can and raise him up to be a God fearing man. I won’t drag him to the mall with me (because I guess that’s kinda cruel to do to a boy) and I’ll reach deep beyond my fears to not say no when he tells me he wants to try out for football or boxing. But I can’t promise that when he starts dating I won’t stop little Suzie dead her in tracks and send her packing if she doesn’t come correct. Hey, if it’s good for daddies and daughters, it’s good for mamas and sons because between you and me, Dutch will always be mama’s boy.

About our MyBrownBaby contributor:
Blogstress of her very own domain at Mama’s Got Moxie, Niki D. enjoys entertaining family and friends with tales of her highly spirited three-year-old son Dutch, among other things. Her husband “put a ring on it” four years ago, and together they enjoy telling her 13-year-old stepson that skinny jeans on boys is really not cool.

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  1. Your hubby is right. My oldest son is 8 and likes to hang out with his dad or uncles. It’s not that he is cruel. Conversely, I don’t know I have been dumped until hours later. He is very sensitive to his mama’s histrionics that way. But he definitely prefers a testosterone-fueled Playstation3 marathon to hanging with his mommy. That is not a bad thing. He is a boy, after all. He still makes time for me. We just finished reading the Magician’s Nephew and are about to begin The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.

  2. So far, so good on this front. My little guy is seven, and, even though he did ask to start spending more time with his father, who doesn’t live with us, late last year, I’m still getting a whole lotta lovin’ from him. He’s stopped telling me that he’s going to marry me, though. And, to be honest, as he gets older, and I get more used to him being a little more independent, at least so far, I don’t mind not being the do-it-be-it-fix-it-all girl all the time anymore. Daddy deserves a little lovin’…and everything else, too.

  3. My fella is 10 now, and he STILL loves me best. (:-) ) He does go fishing and to hunting camp with his dad, but we still have am amazing relationship. When he’s not breaking all my shit.

  4. MBB Founder and Editor Denene Millner

    Vodka Mom: I’m. On. The. Floor. And high-fiving you, too. What IS it about boys and breaking shit? My son broke my cellphone (which he just ganked when he BROKE his, without my knowledge!) and my iPod (which he ganked when he LOST his) in the course of two days. The hell?!

  5. I still remember the day when our oldest son turned his main affection from me to my husband. Luckily for me, I have two other younger boys who still love me best! 🙂

    I know the time is coming though when they will grow up on me as well. And, even though it hurts because it means they are growing up way too dang fast, I know that connecting with their dad is the natural and right thing for them to do. That’s when I get to enjoy the times when they come to me to talk about serious things or to tell me about their day at school. Boy, do I love those boys!

  6. I’m not a mother, yet (emphasis on yet), but I’m a godmother and auntie to three beautiful lil’ boys and I can definitely attest to their love and undying admiration for their moms. These boys shower their mom’s with kisses and compliments galore every chance they get. And, even i, reap some of the benefits. Lil 5-year-old Josiah never misses an opportunity to tell me how beautiful I am and just how much he loves my hair:)

  7. What a sweet post and I love the Irish proverb. I have all girls, no boys, but I can relate to wanting a strong, fulfilling, and loving relationship with your child. I'm sure your son will grow to appreciate & love you more with each passing day. True, he will no doubt go through his "tween/teen" stage where parents are deemed "uncool" for a bit, but he'll come back around. Great post!

  8. the prisoner's wife

    i SO feel you. i look at my little guy (he’s 3) and wonder when he’ll start to prefer others to me. he’s pretty independent now, which is cool with me, but everytime he gets hurt or needs something he always screams, “MOMMY!!” i think it’s cute (most of the time lol)

  9. My husband is a mama’s boy (in a good way). I love their relationship and I don’t feel threatened at all as his wife. I also am blessed to have a really good relationship with her as well. I cringe at other people’s mother-in-law nightmares because I just don’t have them. Thank God!

  10. I feel your pain girl. I rue the day that my 8-year-old son decides I am not the center of his universe–I love having a mama’s boy around. But I know it’s inevitable that he will one day cut the umbilical cord, probably with a chisel. In the meantime, I am enjoying the love.

  11. Your scaring me!! I have a 5 month old boy and my husband told me the same thing. He told me this is my time to have him, but when he turns two he’s all mine. I think I made up in my head during the pregnancy that I’m just housing the baby and the child is really my husband’s and my older son. Oh the joy of being a mom.

  12. Awww, I can relate to the endless hugs and kisses and I love yous and you’re the best evers. Aren’t they great!

    Thinking back to what you said about it being acceptable for girls to always be “daddy’s little girl” but not acceptable for boys to always be “mama’s boys”. I know “why” that is, but I still find it interesting that we still think that way. To me, for a boy to be a mama’s boy means nothing except the fact that he really loves and appreciates his mother, and that perhaps a strong love ethic and appreciation for women in general would be instilled by the early relationship that he built with his mother.

    Just a thought.

  13. When I was pregnant, I was kind of disappointed when I found out I was having a boy. I was all psyched up for a girl. My boy is 2 now and I couldn’t ask for anything more. And he does love me like nobody else! It’s a head trip.

    A mother is a man’s first love and all his relationships with women in the future will be influenced by his relationship with mom. That’s pretty powerful stuff.

    Until then, it’s just mommy hugs and kisses all day long!

  14. Chocolate Covered Daydreams

    I don’t have a son but I was married to a mama’s boy and it was hell! When he’d come down with a cold, she’d high tail it to our house, 50 miles away with soup, medicine, water bottle….at 10:00 at night. There’s certain mama’s boys that are sweet but then there are those mamas that make their men turn into boys that don’t grow up.

    I hope that Dutch always stays a mama’s boy.

  15. I love this post. I look at my little guy and think “One day that smooth childlike skin is going to be all pimply, and then it will be all stubbly.” It makes me sad to dwell on it – put that is how life goes. We only have one chance at raising them. Thanks for the reminder that Momma’s always hold a special place!

  16. Oh my I love that quote about a mother’s love and her son..that is just great and I hope that is always true too!!!
    -sandy toe

  17. Renée aka Mekhismom

    I too know about the Momma Boy phenomenon, however in my household my son has become Daddy’s little man. At 19 months! I am heartbroken. Maybe this is just a phase, I sure hope so because I was so looking forward to having a Momma’s boy for a little while at least.

  18. Well,my little brown baby is actually a “Big Brown Baby,” lol…he is 25 now and attending USC in Southern California. My son has and will always be a Mama’s boy.

    He is closer to his dad now in adulthood then he was when he was younnger, but he is still Mama’s baby

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