5 – It’s Really Okay If You Can’t Do This Alone.
I’m writing this post on Mother’s Day morning and I’m thinking about my incredible mom. Like all parents, she made her share of mistakes BUT the good she did outshines it all. She wasn’t meant to be perfect. She’s human! And so are you.
It wasn’t all that long ago when I was asked to meet a father at breakfast to talk about helping his son with anger. He was a dad trying his best with his preteen son but things were getting tough due to a pending divorce. As I drove to the meeting, I couldn’t help but think back to my mom and dad’s divorce. I asked myself, “What did mom get right? AND “Where did she go wrong?” because we can find nuggets of wisdom and learn from those before us as well. So, here’s what I came up with. Hopefully these things will help you bond even more with your son!
What Mom Got Right
1. Every morning I woke early, I would find mom at the kitchen table reading her Bible. Through everything, mom’s faith stayed strong. I learned a lifelong lesson, one that I often preach to myself and others: “When things get tough, we all run to something. The best place to run is into the arms of God. Everything else is just a substitute for what can bring us true joy!”
2. Although it could have served her well, my mom never shared the strange, sordid, and sad stories about my dad and his lifestyle into I had spent a year or two in college and asked. She protected me from the truths that I would not have been able to handle at a young age. She never, even to this day and after his death, bad mouthed my father. A woman of integrity and kindness.
What Mom Missed
Before you read on, I wan’t you to know that I have never held the next two things against my mom. She did the best she could. In hindsight, these are things that could have helped me BUT I am just fine. They are a part of my story and like I share often, “God wants to take our messy and turn it into something beautiful.”
1. I was an introvert and kept things to myself. I was a broken and hurting young man who was angry at God, disliked myself, and I kept it all inside. I wish momma would have asked me more questions, let me know it was okay to share, and had listened. She didn’t know. I’m sure she was proud of me and thought I was handling things so well. My mouth was silent but my heart was crying out.
2. I wish momma would have known that she didn’t have to do it alone. I don’t ever remember her asking for help. At times, she’d cry herself to sleep. Dear mom, please know that your son needs you but you won’t be able to do it all. Make sure there are others in place who can encourage, strengthen, and teach him along the way.
Looking back upon my adolescent years, I realized that I desperately needed another man in my life. I yearned for someone to believe in me and tell me. I quietly wished for someone to show me the way and sometimes walk beside me so I could see real life in action. I wanted to know that my masculinity and identity were both intact and that my life was headed in the right direction. I needed a mentor. I didn’t know it at the time and they didn’t see it.
They didn’t see it, maybe because they thought I had it all together. I had a wonderful mom and I was doing well in school. I was an introvert and so maybe they couldn’t read my heart but down deep inside it was screaming “love me,” “know me,” “believe in me.” I kept the hurt, self-hate, and frustrations deep inside.
What I truly desired was a personal role model. I longed for an older man to step into my life and breathe into me a fusion of beauty and strength, self-worth and sacrifice, laughter and tears. I needed a mentor.
The last three paragraphs came from the post below if you’d like to read more.
I’ve also included another that might be helpful for a few:
You are about to read a “bite sized” answer to one of the questions a mom sent my way.
“My son and I are close. We have an amazing relationship. I have many questions but the one that nags me the most would be the term ‘mama’s boy.’ For now, he sort-of shrugs it off when it is said because he’s twelve and he actually responds, ‘Yep! I am! I have an amazing mama!’ My concern is that as he gets older how will being a ‘mama’s boy’ or being told that he is a ‘mama’s boy’ impact him?”
Another great question. Thank you for sharing! While you have the chance and while he still embraces being called a “momma’s boy”, talk to him about it.
- Talk about why he may be called a momma’s boy. If it’s just because he loves you and others can see it – incredible! If it’s because he’s so attached that he’s not learning to do things on his own and become a well-rounded responsible young man, then work on this with him and maybe seek help from his dad or a mentor with these things.NOTE: Some people may use this term if they see something they see as “feminine” in your boy. I’ll be talking about these masculinity stereotypes and how to help your son in one of our upcoming lessons!
- Let him know that you understand that the term momma’s boy MAY one day hurt him deeply and that you’re okay with the day he doesn’t stand proudly and say, “You got that right!”.
- Teach him about bullying. Let him know how bullying happens and what to do or who to go to when he feels hurt. This is also why it’s important to teach him to find his identity in Christ. When he can understand it, also teach him that “hurt people hurt people” and how to even love the ones doing the bullying!
- Know that there will come a day when his affection for you may seem lost or hidden. Don’t take it personally if his public expressions change. Here’s an idea as well: Early on, suggest a secret signal that will allow you both to communicate your love in public! Help him avoid the embarrassing moments and he’ll love you even more.
Let me know HERE if this post was helpful OR feel free to ask another question!