“Being the mother of a son is like someone breaking up with you really slowly.”
Those aren’t my words but they could be. I heard them in a movie recently called The Otherhood (Netflix) about three friends whose sons had grown up and moved out of home. It’s a comedy but a poignant one because at its heart, it examines what it means to be the mother of a son who is no longer a boy, your boy, but a man.
And in our Mamamia Out Loud show, when I’ve spoken about this topic and repeated that quote, you can hear an instant, primal wave of audible gasps and yelps of pain coming from the audience. Those are the mothers of boys. Some of them still babies. Babies and toddlers and boys who will grow up and grow away and break up with their mothers. Slowly. But surely. Because they need to.
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And if they do – when they do – it means we got it right. We parented them right. Whether you have sons or daughters, our role as parents is ultimately to make ourselves redundant and while I don’t know what it’s like to be the parent of an adult woman, I know what it’s like to stumble as my son became a man.
I’m still stumbling even though he just turned 22.