I’ve always rolled my eyes at the whole “Daddy’s girl” phenomenon — maybe it’s just because I didn’t have that kind of relationship with my father. But something about the idea of being “given away” at a wedding always rubbed me the wrong way a little. I get equally as uncomfortable with the idea that a mother is her son’s “first love.” I know most of these sentiments are made in jest, but they still just don’t sit right. To me, they perpetuate a lot of strange stereotypes that may actually end up stunting people.
I’m thinking about this today because of a new parenting video that’s circulating around the internet, called “Mama’s Boy.”
You’re never gonna love another woman like you love me, so please be gay, that’s what I say in your ear when you’re sleeping at night. You’re never gonna love another woman like you love me, so please be gay, because there’s no way that I’m ever gonna like your wife.
Clearly, it’s a joke. It should be taken as a joke. A very weird joke about hoping her son is gay because no way will his gay lover have a problem with her? Okay, this video is bizarre. But it reminds me how uncomfortable I am with the idea that there will ever be any “competition” for my son’s affections between me and his future partner. Or that my daughter will replace the love of her Daddy with that of her future partner. Ick.
One of my biggest wishes for my children is that one day, they will happily leave the nest and get on with their lives without me. Not without, without me — but that I will have set them up to have healthy relationships and be totally independent. That is my biggest goal as a parent; it’s not that I’ll be forever #1 in either of my children’s hearts. It’s not a competition. And in fact, if I’m the most important person to them forever, I’ll feel like a failed a bit.