Mamas’ Boys and Daddies’ Girls: How Close is too Close?

Posted: March 15, 2012 in Parental Relationships
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As I have already pointed out in a previous post, I have a great appreciation for maintaining close relationships with one’s parents. We started out as sperm from our fathers. We grow inside our mother’s womb and bond with her for nine months. We carry both of their DNA. They are a part of us and we are a product of them. Even if a person is adopted, they have still been cared for and nurtured by their adopted parents growing up. So it’s understandable that we would be close to them…but is there such thing as being too close?

Ladies, we have all come across that mama’s boy. I personally dated a guy who was such a mama’s boy that he actually used to help his mother bathe – as an adult! And no, she was not old or handicapped. She was a full able bodied person. He thought it was the most normal thing in the world. Guys, I know you’ve probably come across that daddy’s girl that just won’t shut up about her father. She’s in a rush for you to meet him and, in some cases, even tries to turn you into him.

I see nothing wrong with talking to your mother or father often, being there for them when they need you, spending time with them, or seeking their help in times of great need for their wisdom and advice. However, there comes the time when the umbilical cord should be cut.

Most relationships whether romantic, platonic, familial, or whatever change at some point. Adapting to change is a constant part of life. Therefore, we should expect our relationships with our parents to change a little once we become adults and are out on our own. How can we expect to function as an independent, responsible adult if we run to Mommy and Daddy every time we run into tough times?

I see it all the time. Young adults, in particular, run into financial binds but don’t give it a second thought because they know they automatically have their parents to fall back on to bail them out. I’m not talking about getting laid off or situations where one may really fall on hard times for whatever reason. Although we have the option to be responsible and plan for a rainy day, no one can really plan for those types of occurrences. I’m talking about the repeat offenders who carelessly squander their money away knowing that they can just call Mommy or Daddy to help them out. I’m talking about that young lady who chose to buy a closet full of Gucci bags instead of paying the rent on time. She doesn’t have to fear eviction because she knows Daddy will either pay the back rent or let her move right back home.

I’m talking about that young man living with his girlfriend. Every time they have a fight, the first person he calls is Mama. Each time they’re having problems in the relationship, Mama knows about it all because he’s on the phone with her for hours telling all their business. He’s so used to being babied by his mother that he’s looking for his girlfriend to pick up where she left off. He expects her to be just like her.

I too have to catch myself sometimes. Being so close to my mom, she comes up in my conversations often. I have to stop and remind myself, “Jewel this man don’t wanna keep listening to you talking ‘bout my mom this and my mom that”. He’s going to start wondering is he dating me or me and my mama :)!

Parents should realize that they could be hindering more than helping their children with these types of unhealthy, overly close relationships. I say this because how can we seriously expect these Mama’s boys and Daddy’s girls to move on to become successful matriarchs and patriarchs of their own families if they were never allowed that transition period? When I speak of the transition period, I’m talking about the time during which we stand on our own two feet, solve our own problems, learn from our mistakes, and become responsible pillars of the community. Okay maybe “pillars of the community” was a bit of overkill but you get where I’m going. How can a man be a man, a husband to his wife, a father to his own children if he can’t pop his mama’s titty out his mouth long enough to tend to his own family? How can a woman be a wife to her husband if she never hopped off her daddy’s lap in the first place?

It goes both ways too. I’ve seen those who drop everything they’re doing every time their parent has a so-called “crisis”. I see this more with mothers, especially those with no significant other. I would never suggest a person not be there for their mother, but it becomes a thin line between being there for her and taking the place of her significant other. If he’s taking his mother out on more dates than his own wife, I’d say that’s an issue. If you can’t get through a movie without his mom calling three times, that may be a sign of being too close. If she invites her dad on the romantic getaway you planned, that might be a sign too.

In conclusion, being a Mama’s boy or Daddy’s girl might’ve been cute when you were ten but as an adult you may want to reevaluate just how cute it still is.

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