By NIKI D.
“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.