Mothers are divine beings, and share special bonds with their sons, sometimes engulfing the personalities of these human beings they have created by the act of giving birth. Most mothers have a practical take on their son’s upbringing and know that in order to give a wholesome character to their children, they have to empower and enable independent and critical thinking in their children. These very mothers have different opinions on how their daughters must think and behave, and base their duality on how she was forced to think and behave as a woman.
Sometimes, they help them be warriors in a patriarchal society while some mothers raise clumsy daughters who are as conditioned and fearful as they were. The mothers who dominate their sons are really doing a disservice to them and their wives. In this article I shall highlight several mothers who couldn’t let go off their sons.
When mothers can’t let go
Years ago, I asked my landlady, a pleasant and charming 34-year-old woman. She was very confident that her 2 boys would not dream of finding their own wives. When I asked her how she could be so sure she said, she would knock their brains out if they disobeyed now, thus conditioning them never ever to think differently in future. Right enough her eldest boy is getting into a much-arranged marriage next month.
Laxmiamma had 4 sons and one daughter, and it was apparent that her sons came before anyone else. Each son had to face the tug-of-war as he got married. The societal notion that mothers must be taken care of by their sons is one reason for this obsession with sons. None of the wives were good enough for the mother-in-law (MIL). It was a genuine concern on the part of the mother, but it never occurred to her that she had to let things be and that her sons would learn to build a life with his new wife. If she had it her way she would have led the boot camp training for her daughters-in-law to focus on cooking and cleaning.
Read more: My wife made me abandon my mother
Mr. and Mrs. Gopalan had 2 sons – both were excellent at studies, and were working as software engineers. The younger of the two, escaped the nest and flew away to the US, and swore never to return to their oppressive home again. The older son Uday was trapped. He had a stunning wife in Sree who also worked and earned good money. Life could’ve been very peaceful and cordial, but for Mrs Gopalan. She did not share the bed with her now retired husband and instead focused entirely on her son. She did not like it for Sree and Uday to share time alone, or have a simple chai and chat time alone. The breaking point was when they caught her looking through the keyhole into their bedroom one night. They got a rented house on the other side of the city. And yet, his mother would plead Uday to come home and walk around in the porch. That’s all she wanted.
Then there was the neighbour Minu aunty, who insisted that her daughter-in-law have a joint account with her son. And all the gold jewellery she wore for the wedding is sealed in Minu aunty’s own locker. She needed to oversee all the finances and her son could never be right on any count. Minu aunty ruled the roost. She even needed to know when her daughter-in-law had her periods, and how they used contraception. Her trip to power was to put her son down and thus ensure harmony by way of dictatorship. The other son in Canada went through the same treatment over the phone. I used to wonder why he couldn’t break the spell his mother had on him, even though he was physically so far away.
Cutting the umbilical cord
When mothers do not have a career or when motherhood is a full-time job, it becomes easy to fall prey to being an obsessive-compulsive mother monster. Every mother must develop a good hobby and past-time, meditate, and consciously spend energy towards personal growth.
As your son grows, teach him to be his own person, to take decisions after critically analysing all the possibilities present. It is a mother’s crowning moment when her son can see her weaknesses and still love her unconditionally. It is a moment of supreme glory when he does stand up for her when she needs it without being swayed by drama, emotional blackmail or power tactics. For a mother to let go of her son, she must cut that invisible umbilical cord, and build a much stronger and lasting bond of love.