When you were pregnant, everyone asked you, “confidentially", what you really wanted. “We don't care", was your standard response, “as long as the baby's healthy. " And, sure, that was technically true… But deep down, you harbored a secret hope for a girl.
Girls are easier, you heard from all the “experts" around you. They're not as physically manic, or destructive, or emotionally difficult as boys. And, besides, you'd understand a girl's developmental stages-you've never understood men of any age.
But, here you are-with a son. And he's perfect and wonderful and you couldn't possibly love him any more than you do. When he was an infant, he really needed you. As a toddler, he clung to you. But now that he's growing and developing his own, independent-and definitely male-personality, he's turning into this…boy…who you don't always understand.
When he's faced with an obstacle, why does he automatically try to destroy it, instead of finding a way around it? Why does he grimace and moan, when Grandmother fixes her famous “Lima Bean Surprise", when he knows his gyrations will hurt her feelings? Why can't he even carry on a simple conversation, while he buttons his shirt? Why does he think that sitting still, for ten minutes, is cruel and inhuman punishment? Your husband just chuckles and seems to get it: “He's a boy!"
But, the older your son gets, the more you feel, sometimes, like a third wheel in your own home. Will you ever really relate to him?
Take heart, Mom. Look around. See all those grown men? They all had mothers who felt just like you, at times. And most of them love and respect their fathers-but they worship their mothers, to this day.
As a woman, you'll never completely decipher the male mind. Science has never satisfactorily proven if the reason men and women seem so different is more nature or nurture, but one thing we do know: Whatever confusion you may experience, raising a child of the opposite sex, there is no substitute in a child's healthy development for the presence of unconditional parental love. And that old saw (your husband might still believe it)-the one about too much mothering being unhealthy-is just a myth.
According to Dr. William Pollock, a Harvard Medical School psychologist, boys “just can't have too much mother. Research shows that men who had strong connections to their mothers growing up are more successful at work, emotionally healthy, and live longer. "
As hard as it is to believe at times, boys respond to love, like you, even if they sometimes have difficulty showing it. They process emotional feelings and responses at a slower rate than girls do. And they tend to express love through action more than words. Your son may fold his clothes or clean his room, suddenly, without being asked; it's one way of saying, “I love you, Mom. "
Your son will frustrate you, at times. There will be days that you think he's deliberately trying to drive you mad. He's not, really. Like his dad says, he's just being a boy.
Try to remember-there's a quiet, peaceful room in heaven, reserved especially for mothers of boys. It's a reward you'll deserve.
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