I am a Mama’s boy.
I say that with the utmost pride and confidence, but that wasn’t always the case. For a good amount of time when I was growing up, I viewed that term, “Mama’s boy”, as an insult or sign of disrespect. This wasn’t just a fabrication in my own mind. Our society was pushing this certain narrative then, and it seems like it still has some momentum in today’s world, that any man who has a close relationship with his mother is often seen as weak, insecure, spoiled, or totally dependent on his Mother.
And to be honest, I bought into that narrative for many years, which is why I rarely talked about my relationship with my Mom or displayed it for everyone to see. Looking back, I was foolish for thinking this way. I allowed societal pressures to dictate how I lived my life and how I presented myself to the world. In some ways, I was being quite inauthentic and disingenuous because I led people to believe that I was living one way, when in actuality I wasn’t.
That’s not to say that anyone has to know the extent of my relationship with my Mom, but at the same time, there was absolutely no need for me to go out of my way to hide it or play it down. I had given more power to other people’s opinions, and to society as a whole, than how I truly felt. And by doing so, I was robbing myself, as well as my Mom, of truly enjoying our relationship as Mother and son.
But, you know what? I finally woke up. I finally recognized what I was doing was more to appease the masses. I finally realized I cared so much about being perceived as something that I shouldn’t give a sh*t about. I finally understood that that way of living didn’t align with my truest self, which made me feel fake and like I was living a lie. And, if you know me, I lived many lies throughout my life and I worked really hard to not go down that path ever again. So, one day, just like when I got clean, I decided I would no longer live the way I was living. I knew how exhausted I was trying to depict a person that was not me. I was so tired. Tired of that act. Tired of that façade that portrayed something that wasn’t real or entirely truthful.
I was done doing that. I decided then and there that I wouldn’t try to hide, to curb, to play down the relationship that my Mom and I had. Because, we had an amazing relationship then and we have an even more amazing relationship today. And I am not ashamed to say that. I actually embrace that with all of my heart and soul the amount of love and care I have for my Mom. I mean, why go out of my way to make it seem anything less than it really is? Why feel one way and act another? Why do anything that doesn’t feel right? Well, the answer is that no one should feel like they have to do anything they don’t want to do. And I certainly wasn’t going to anymore.
That’s because love I have for my Mom, the relationship we’ve created is something I’ve never been embarrassed about. It’s always been there, but today I can say that, feel that, and display that without a hint of hesitation that it may be perceived as weak, or “unmanly”, or strange. Because, it’s not. The unconditional love my mom gave me, the tough love my mom gave me, the guidance and support my mom gave me, allowed me to become the man I am today.
A man that has emotional maturity and intelligence, and isn’t afraid of his own emotions. A man that is emotionally secure overall, who didn’t feel like their masculinity was in question if they asked for help when they needed it. Understanding that it’s okay to show emotion, to be sensitive, to be brought to tears, to truly feel whatever it is that needs to be felt in the moment.
A man that has a deeper respect for woman. Being taught at a very young age that woman are strong, courageous, brave, independent, smart, kind, caring, loving, and the list goes on. That a woman is your equal in every aspect of life, and a lot of times superior, and they should be treated and respected as such.
A man that is healthier overall. Someone who doesn’t have to exhibit “hyper-masculine” behaviors to feel like a man. In other words, not having the need to act like a “tough guy” all of the time because that’s not how a real man acts to be a real man.
For all of this, I am eternally grateful to have the Mother I have in my life. She leads with love, this unconditional love that shines through in everything that she does. She approaches life with such zest, this powerful zest that leaves no one around you a choice but to smile and be happy. She exhibits this strength, this unwavering strength that inspires so many people, especially myself to never give up and always pursue my passions.
She taught me to be courageous, bold, and fearless. One of the most important things she’s taught me is: If you’re passionate about something, give it your all and never stop following your heart. She does exactly what makes her happy by living her life to the fullest each and every moment, and for that, she will always be an inspiration to me.
She’s an incredible human being and just having her in my life has made me a better man, friend, son, and brother; and for that, I’m eternally grateful. She’s always in my corner and it’s an honor and a privilege to be in hers, no matter what. To have someone in your life like that is a blessing, to be able to call you that someone your Mom is the greatest gift of all.
So today, on this Mother’s Day, I want the world to know, but most importantly, I want my Mom to know that I wouldn’t want to be called anything but a Mama’s boy! It’s something that I no longer associate as being an insult, disrespectful or a sign of weakness. Instead, it’s the exactly opposite. I wear that moniker with pride, with confidence, and with love because it implies strength that can’t be quantified, vulnerability that allows me to be true to myself, and kindness that provides me with a perspective that is unmatched.
I know it’s cliché to say that every day should be seen as Mother’s Day, but it’s true. I don’t need a day to show how much I love and care about my Mom and today is no different.
Having said that, Happy Mother’s Day Mom. Keep on being your amazing self! I love you.