Show me a mother with a son and I will show you woman trying very hard to raise a man who treats women well, is responsible, hard working and a person who will make a fine husband and father one day. Not in all cases, but my experience is that this is what we want most for our sons – to be a good man.
We often take the weaknesses of our husbands or own fathers and, perhaps subconsciously, vow to ensure those qualities will not repeat in our sons. Come on, admit that you have said, “my son will never treat a woman that way.” Guilty as charged, I’m afraid – and worse. I’m pretty sure I actually told my son a time or two that he better never act like his father. I know. Not cool.
Why do we do this? Why are we mothers bound and determined that our sons will be better than their fathers (or our own fathers)? I mean, if the point is for them to be better men to their wives, what has that got to do with us anyway? Let’s just be honest. We aren’t raising them to be better men for some future bride – we are raising them to be better men to fill a void in our own lives. We are raising them to take care of us. And because of their nature, our sons want to be whatever we need them to be. They want to be our heroes. Boys adore their mothers. We take that adoration and twist it – sometimes unknowingly – for our own selfish benefit. Now, that’s some truth right there.
So, if you raise your son to be your emotional (or financial) crutch – what happens when he does settle down and start a family? I have seen many jealous mothers-in-law that detest their daughters-in-law. Drama between a mother-in-law and their son’s wife is all about controlling the man – fighting to be #1 in his life. And, guess what moms? You will lose that fight – you should lose that fight.
It’s one thing to want our children to be more successful, more fulfilled, and happier in their lives than maybe we are – that is absolutely reasonable. It’s not okay to want them to be all these things so that we can reap the benefits. Our goal should be to raise our boys in to men that can live happy and fulfilled lives. Nothing more. Nothing less. This is a welcome lesson and a gift to my future daughter-in-law.