By: Mia L. Hazlett
I ran into the store the other day and there was this woman who deserved to get smacked out of this world! Her son was maybe 4 or 5 years-old and she said, “This is my little man right here. He takes good care of his momma.” What in the damn?! I really hope I am not the only one that finds this comment disturbing. I say this because I have dated and know people who have dated momma’s boys. And maybe it was an “a-ha” moment for me when she said it. I obsessed over it throughout the rest of the day and since then, have tried to figure out how to keep my attitude out of this post. I instantly realized how momma’s boys came to be. Stupid-ass woman like in the store, telling their sons they are men who have to take care of the parent at the early age of 4.
This is not the first time I have heard this either. When I used to work in an elementary school, I would speak with kids and with parents. I would hear from single mothers many of times, “He’s the man of the house.” I’m thinking to myself, “You are a sad piece of nothing that you are letting your 4th grader be the ‘man’ of your house….mainly in part because he is not a man, he is nine.” When I worked at a college, you would have students working and when they got their paychecks, “I gotta send a little to ma dukes.” It wasn’t until my exposure in working in education and meeting these women that I began to understand, why there is a pool of men out there that don’t know how to support their families or live within their means.
Now I don’t have sons, but I do have daughters who will one day date. I’m concerned about the pool of men they will have to choose from, since I know there are women out there that think it’s okay to take from their children’s paycheck and allow 9 year-olds to run their house. Here is my reasoning as to why I feel these women are destroying our future men by allowing them to be the “man” of the house, taking from their paychecks, allowing them to take care of younger siblings, and many others I’m sure I’ve not heard or can’t think of right now. I will also state as I have in others, I speak from experience of dating momma’s boys and listening to those who have dated momma’s boys. I don’t have some doctorate or study to back me up, just real life. And I am not speaking of every single mother with a son, just those that I know who do some of these things.
I believe when any of us, regardless of age, are forced to do something we really aren’t mentally equipped to handle, we end up either hating the task or minimize our stress at all costs, even if it’s not the best approach to handling the situation. So you put a 4 or 9 year-old in the position to be the “man of the house,” for the next 10 years, then it’s time to get his first job (your hand is out to get a little bit of the paycheck), and then because of your poor decisions, a bill is put in their name. As time goes on, they even get to make some of the household decisions. By the time they have their own family, they are either sick of doing it or have been praised over the decade that they don’t see that their little pre-adolescent efforts don’t work for his girlfriend or wife and are not worthy of praise.
I sat with a BOY one time in my office. He had on his Jordans and designer wear. Can’t remember what he was down there for, but I do remember talking about cable. He was tired because he had stayed up past midnight watching his movie on HBO. I’m thinking designer clothes and HBO…interesting. I knew he qualified for free lunch. “Yeah, I told my mom if the bill was going to be in my name, I better get HBO.” Seriously?!? So here sat this 9 year-old with a bill, demanding HBO, wearing most likely $2-$300 worth of gear, who is supposed to grow into a productive MAN. One of the women I worked with told me she dated who that boy would become. A man who refused to have any bills put in his name, who had no problems asking any and everyone for money, and they would be struggling to eat, but damn if he didn’t look good starving to death.
I believe this happened because the man she dated probably hated doing it when he was young and now that he was out of his mother’s house, he vowed to never do it again. Think about kids that are raised properly with rules. They can’t wait to turn 18 because they want the freedom from all of those restrictions. Same here with this case. These boys are given adult responsibilities at a young age, but that is their normalcy. So by the time they become adults, they already hate the responsibilities that go along with being an adult.
Then there are parents that ask their kids for money. Cut the crap and live within your damn means. If you don’t have cable, Jordan’s, or cell phones, so be it. Teach your kids to live within their damn means. Because now you’ve created a man who doesn’t see a problem with borrowing money because you always had your hand out. The twisted thing is, they have their hand out for the wrong thing, because you twisted their priorities. Their wants are their requirements and they’ve learned to cope without their needs. Let me break it down. They can’t imagine not having the latest Jordans, but can tell you exactly how to boil up some hot water on a stove to take a hot bath when they cut off the gas or electricity. And then they end up with a woman who was raised with the mindset that the man should be able to take care of the household, but because momma always asked for money, he isn’t so quick to give it, cause in some cases that I know – momma still has her hand out.
Finally, I find this to be the most detrimental, the care-giving role for siblings placed on children. If you are a single mother – GET A VILLAGE OF ADULTS!!!! I couldn’t even tell you how many times I’ve heard of the older sibling taking care of the younger sibling/s. Not the junior high or high school sibling babysitting. I’m talking about kids under ten getting their sibling/s up and ready for school because the parent wants to sleep in a little or is too tired from working. Or cooking dinner for them because no one is home. Let me put it this way, would it be okay if this same child got someone pregnant? So if under ten is too young to become a parent, why allow them to take on the parental role for YOUR kids? I feel this is in large part the reason some of these men leave kids all over the place, because once again, they’ve been taking care of a kid since before they turned ten. Now that they are grown and out of the house, the last thing they want to do is take care of kids. Because there is a grave difference between providing for and caring for your children. They grew up watching you provide for them and their siblings, but they ultimately took care of them when you were at work or wherever. So now they feel like as long as they are paying child support (providing for), what does it matter if they are in their kid’s life (taking care of)?
Trust me, I know how difficult it is to be the sole provider and care-taker. I have two daughters and me and their father are separated. I had to give up all my material possessions and crash on my friend’s couch for a year, while my kids slept on blow-up mattresses. I’m now at my parents’ house. You need an ADULT support system. Do not lean on your children. You and your lack of their father or man in your life are not their crosses to bear. Stop raising your son to be your husband. They are you son, not your man!