Raising a Momma’s Boy

mother and side embracing
Me and my momma’s boy, 7 years ago, Shenandoah Mountains, Virginia

My son is 12 years old, and by no fault of his own, he is a momma’s boy. I didn’t raise him that way on purpose; we simply have this connection that is like no other.  

I feel very fortunate that I have a girl and a boy—one of each. My husband often teases that we have “replaced” ourselves on this earth. My relationships with my kids are completely different. For me, it has more to do with the fact that my son is a mini-me. He has the same sense of humor, deep caring and concern for others, seeks creative outlets, thrives in organization, has a passion for education, and an overwhelming appreciation for family.  

I went back to work after having both of my children, so they never had me as a stay at home mom until we moved from Arizona to Virginia. At the time, my son was three. It was at that time that I decided to stay home and help the family adjust to life in a new state.

While daddy was at work and sister was in kindergarten, we soon found ourselves with the gift of time with each other. Just him and me. Our days began filling up with adventures—new parks and playgrounds, new playgroups, and a SAHM group in which I quickly found myself hosting themed playdates at our home.  That time was something I will always cherish.

The time came for him to go off to preschool, and of course, it was harder on me than him. Although, he did cry when I left him the first time. But he got a sense of independence that day that he still seeks.  Fortunately for me, he also still seeks time with mom. Cuddling on the couch (even through 5th grade) has been replaced with constant phone calls and text messages (even when we are in the same house, but he is up in his room). He will think of something and call me to share it.

I went back to work when he was six and when he had developed an affinity for his teacher at the time.  I knew I wasn’t being replaced, but that he had to develop relationships with other nurturing women who could help him develop into the incredible young man he is today.

Even at twelve, he still gives me random hugs—not in public though! Heaven forbid. I get told on many occasions when we are in public that I shouldn’t hug, talk, or look at him, but he is the first one to want to sit next to me in a restaurant or walk next to me.

He may be a momma’s boy, but more importantly, he is empathetic. I know the day will come when he will leave our home. I will cry, but I know he will never stop calling or texting me. I often think of the book Love You Forever when I think of my son. “I’ll love you forever, I’ll like you for always, As long as I’m living, my baby you’ll be.”


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Tracy is the Director of Programming and Partnerships for Darkness to Light, a child sexual abuse prevention organization. She grew up in northeast Ohio, and has lived in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Arizona, and Northern Virginia and has worked in the arts, in education, in non-profits and in ed tech. Her husband's job brought them to the Bay Area and there's no looking back! Tracy is mom to two trans teens who are just beginning their journey. Self-care includes pedicures, reading, cooking, crafting, and just being with her family. She also serves as Chair of the Board for the Attachment and Trauma Network, a national non-profit.


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