The Mama’s Boy Myth
Yes, my son is what society would refer to as a “Mama’s Boy.” He’s only 2.5 years old and I am a stay-at-home mom (SAHM) so he’s with me practically 24/7….even when I go to the bathroom. If he could climb back inside of me, I swear he would. But I wouldn’t change a thing about our relationship. And after reading The Mama’s Boy Myth by Kate Stone Lombardi, I feel like I don’t have to.
Oh Freud would have a field day with this. Yes, she covers the Oedipus/Electra Complex in Chapter 2. She also discusses “car talk” in Chapter 5.
“For at least a century, the common wisdom about mothers and sons has been something like this: a mother who stays emotionally close to her son after he reaches, say, the tender age of five, is acting inappropriately. She’s that smothering mother destined to prevent her boy from growing up to be a strong, independent man. The mother is needy and controlling and refuses to cut the apron strings. She is on track to create the archetypal ‘mama’s boy,’ an unappealing wimp who will never be able to form a mature adult relationship with women.” (page 15)
I found this point to be extremely interesting: “A ‘mama’s boy’ might be a reviled creature, but everyone looks tolerantly on ‘daddy’s little girl.'” She has been singled out for an elevated status.” (page 19)
“Look, mothers through the ages have wanted the same things for their sons-we want to protect them and we want them to be ready to face the world. But the world our sons are entering is a very different place from the one their fathers and grandfathers navigated.” (page 27)
“Our mothers’ and grandmothers’ generations might have idealized a man who was the ‘strong silent type,’ but today that guy is no longer considered a desirable catch. Stoic and restrained men are seen as frustrating and irritating precisely because they are so uncommunicative. It can be difficult to create emotional intimacy with them. We don’t want our sons to retreat behind a similar wall of silence. And just because they are sometimes difficult to reach and reluctant to talk doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to connect with our sons.” (page 149)
“Yet being the mother of a son requires a balancing act. We do want to support our boys’ emotional growth and develop their sensitive side, but rejecting some of the worst elements of the boy culture doesn’t mean throwing out all of it. We do not want to isolate our sons from their peers or set them up for torment.” (page 167)
Since I minored in sociology (human sexuality and gender studies to be exact), reading this book made me feel like I was back in college. Admittedly, reading this book for pleasure for insight on raising my son, I did find parts of it very dense and textbook like and I did skip over certain paragraphs and pages.
I wonder what kind of relationship I will have with my son when he is older, the type of man he will grow up to be and how he will describe me. I think it’s usually true that the way a guy treats his mother is very indicative of how he will treat his girlfriends and ultimately his wife.