This IWD2022, I’ve Reclaimed ‘Mama’s Boy’ For My Sons Whom I’m Raising To Be Sensitive And Caring Men!

I don't buy the theory that our bond would prevent my son from becoming a good partner. He was raised to be an incredibly good person to all the people he’s close to.

It’s that time of the year when every hoarding on the streets proclaims how important women are, when the newspapers are filled with inspiring articles about women achievers, when successful women are awarded on many platforms, when your WhatsApp doesn’t stop buzzing. Even though nothing changes in the routine of most women, everything that’s happening around you especially in this era of social media, makes you feel special.

This year the theme for International Women’s Day is #BreakTheBias. It’s high time we really break the many biases that women have to face on a daily basis.

While all of us are aware of what is happening and want to make the world a better place for women, I want to address a particular bias I face.

Shamed for not letting my boys grow up ‘macho’

I’m a mother of two boys. I was like any other mother till they were kids but as my elder one started growing, I get a lot of unsolicited advice. I hear it so often nowadays, that I can actually predict when the words will come out of people’s mouth.

They say, “Ultimately, you will lose your son to another. Save your heart from getting hurt, protect yourself, otherwise you will become another outmoded stereotype, the overbearing mother-in-law, who competes for attention and affection of her son with his wife”

I know that when the kids reach the age of adolescence, we should start letting them go for their own mental well being. I did not want to stand in the way of my kids healthy evolution towards independence. But people expect me to detach emotionally from my kid just because he is a grown man. Some even warned me that my son will be made fun of. He would be addressed as ‘Mama’s Boy’.

How can being emotionally open be bad?

What’s wrong in being a Mama’s boy? No one objects when a girl proudly says she is a daddy’s girl. Why this bias?

I hate the phrase “A daughter is always a daughter, and a son is a son only till he is married” that I’ve been told many times.

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At one point of time, I was really worried and I started reading up. My research revealed that boys who have a strong emotional bond with their mothers fare better in school, in the workplace, and in relationships with friends and significant others. They had lower rates of anxiety and depression.

I always believed that I had a lot to teach my son, life skills, work ethics, empathy towards others. My elder son (I will talk about him for now because he is an adult and I’ve been given all this advice first for him) and I have always been close. Our mother-son bond is very strong and is built on mutual respect, love, and most importantly trust. I don’t know what most adult sons text about with their moms, but my son and I exchange pictures of memes, basketball, books, and everything under the sun.

I believe this would actually make him a good partner!

I don’t buy the theory that our bond would prevent my son from becoming a good partner. He was raised to be an incredibly good person to all the people he’s close to.

So people back off, take you bias elsewhere, because if you find a guy who is more emotionally intelligent and sensitive without being less ‘manly’ please understand that he is the son of a woman who rejected the mama’s boy taboo.

And every mother has a right to raise her kids the way she wants irrespective of the gender, so lets #BreakTheBias

Image source: a still from the film Dil Chahta Hai

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