The Myth of the Mama’s Boy

Cirque du Today20 Comments

I am the mother of three little boys, who very much love, demand the attention of, and save the drama for their mama. One might even call them “Mama’s Boys,” a term I now use lovingly, though that wasn’t always the case. Mama’s Boys, that much maligned segment of the male population, have been accused for centuries of being wimpy, obedient, soft little pansies, whipped into submission by their mothers. I myself was guilty of avoiding Mama’s Boys like the plague in my twenties. “Who wants a wuss who, like, respects his mother? Soooo unattractive. I mean, he probably, like, even respects ALL women. Loser.” I’m speaking in my twenty-something voice. I know. It’s making me cringe too. But in my defense, I have a long history of not understanding boys in general, not just Mama’s Boys.

I was raised in a family of five girls and one very active boy, who I thought was the spawn of the Devil. Boys are just not normal. They do things like running around in circles, much like dogs chasing their own tails, with no end or purpose in sight. They tackle you, poke you, hit you over the head with their heaviest Fisher Price Little People play-sets, pull your hair, give you noogies, and dishtowel-snap you, just so you can’t possibly ignore their presence, which you are desperately striving to do. They don’t SIT and play with anything, so if you are babysitting them, you are actually SWEATING by the time your parents get home. My brother was a legitimate pain-in-the-ass alien as far as I was concerned.

When I began to date, at the tender age of 16, I found that not only brothers but boys absolutely sucked as a gender. I was 29 when I got married, so in my illustrious 13-year dating career, I kissed A LOT of frogs. I managed to emerge without a single wart (ew), but (and this is a big Sir Mix-a-Lot BUT), I did not emerge without my aches, bruises, and battle scars.  I dated men with anger issues, intimacy issues, cheating issues, drug and alcohol issues, as well as just your average I’m-a-Dumb-Ass issues. I dated one soldier, one stock broker, one seminarian, one mortician, and at least two drug dealers, and I would like to say that I was the one who said Goodbye to each of these undesirable Douche Lords, but nooooo. I got my heart broken by every single one of their arrogant-loser-bastard-asses! (Still working out some of my resentment. I’ve come a long way).

Anywho. Out of all these Dipshidiots, not one of them – not a single one – was a Mama’s Boy. Not a single one of them was close to their mother; they held her at arm’s length if they had any relationship with her at all. And back then, that was just fine with me. See, I was going to be the nurturing, loving woman in their lives, the one who was going to fix these fixer-uppers right up and turn them into nurturing, loving men. Sigh. I wish I could go back and tell the Old Me that these guys were already a lost cause, but I had to learn that lesson – over and over again – the hard way. After lots of heartbreak and lots of therapy, I finally wised up and actually ended up allowing myself to fall in love with and be loved by a Mama’s Boy. And now I know why God decided to give me three sons, who love me unconditionally, respect me, listen to me, laugh with me, snuggle with me, talk to me, and never want me out of their reach. I know they’re still young, and I have my work cut out for me, but I know I’m up to the task. I know that my destiny was never to “fix” men; it was to RAISE them.  And I know my daughters-in-law will someday thank me for raising Mama’s Boys.

The Myth of the Mama’s Boy

20 Comments on “The Myth of the Mama’s Boy”

  1. Lena

    This resonated with me…..very much. It’s funny because I actually nicknamed my son “mama’s boy” and damn proud of it 😉

  2. Uncle Wiggly

    “… boys absolutely sucked as a gender.” You have this fan HOOTING, which hoot can actually be tracked into the December sky this frosty morn! Your writing is KILLER. KILLER. Please add me to any and all lists for preorder of anything that emerges from that bright and brilliant brain of yerz!!! Tent be JUMPIN’!!

  3. Rachell S.

    Excellent use of your nurturing skills! And a great reminder of why I cringe at the thought of dating someone. I did semi-date for a month a short while back. Thought by a more “mature” age, men would not be so fixer-uppery. Ha! At least I know what I’m looking for now! If your boys inherited your sense of humor, they will be irresistible to their love interests. Manners, respect, and laughter, what more could someone ask for? What more could the world ask for?

    1. Ashley

      You are always so kind, Rachell. You deserve a man that is just as kind as you are! Don’t give up hope – your Mama’s Boy is out there!

  4. Jen

    Awesome! Love your writing and I can completely appreciate your dating history (I’m still doing it at the ripe age of 38…sigh) and I will not settle until I meet the right mama’s boy! I’ve had enough of the dipshidiots (so stealing this word!) and you should be proud to be raising loving boys… Who love their mama! My tag line when I was on was “how do you treat your mother?”… Got some interesting responses for sure! Needless to say… Good on ya!!! You’re writing is awesome!

    1. Ashley

      Good on YOU, Jen! I felt like giving some of my single friends a shout-out in this post, because I am not quite sure that they are over their Mama’s Boy prejudices. I’m glad that you get it – that was a smart question to ask on Good luck in your Mama’s Boy search – I know he is out there! And thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. 🙂

  5. Amanda

    Too funny! I love reading about women who have gone through the same ups and downs I have. Makes me feel a bit more…..normal?! Can’t wait to read the next blog entry!

    1. Ashley

      Amanda, it makes ME feel normal that it makes you feel normal!! 🙂 Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to comment!

  6. DynamicDbytheC

    Yes, we all have dated a bad-boy or three. Thankfully, you did not make it your vocation, after all. This should be required reading to all 8th grade girls.

    1. Ashley

      Girls will make their own mistakes with or without the likes of this. I learned that through trying to steer my little sisters from the bad boys. They’d nod and appear to be intently listening to all my School of Hard Knocks lessons, then go do the hell what they wanted to do! Sigh. Thanks for reading,DDC!

  7. Kathy Radigan

    I don’t think we can ever go wrong treating our boys with as much love, affection and kindness that we do our girls. I love this post and I totally think we have to re-think the whole, “mamma boy” label!

  8. Meredith

    I married a mama’s boy too. Best decision I ever made. He is the best husband and father. And, I have two little boys myself, and sometimes it hits me the importance of my job raising these little men to be good men. I hope they will be. 🙂 I pinned this for you from the Bloppy’s board.

    1. Ashley

      Hi, Meredith – I pinned your piece on girls and best friends too! I don’t have a girl but that is a wonderful perspective on girls and social dynamics. I am going to share it personally with a lot of my friends and sisters who have daughters. Thanks for reading and commenting and pinning the post!

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