Mother-son relationship, the challenges of such a special bond

” I love you mom. “ The little hearts are placed without ostentation on Natacha’s desk. But modesty does not veil her pride as a mother: “I wanted to have a boy, at least for the first child, confides this 46-year-old Parisian, proofreader and mother of an only 10-year-old son. With a girl, I would undoubtedly have been in the comparison. A son rescued me from these identification problems. “

Having a boy is a unique adventure. By giving birth to a being of the different sex, the mother experiences a particular happiness, a joy tinged with narcissism at having succeeded in bringing the male into the world. “It’s a relationship of complementarity, so that with a girl is first of all in a relationship of identity, where the other is the same ”, analysis Alain Braconnier, psychologist and psychoanalyst (1).

→ MAINTENANCE. “It is mothers who instill the codes of the feminine and the masculine”

Thus, the son completes the mother and, moreover, confers on her a unique status, without rival. She is the first woman of his life and his first great love. If a girl turns to her father at the time of Oedipus, the boy remains faithful to Mother. “I feel admiration in my son’s gaze, confesses Natacha. However, I dare not speak of “pride in having a boy”, that would go against my feminist convictions ”, she says.

“A powerful link”

This pride is not what Corinne puts forward either. 50, mother of a 20-year-old boy and two teenage girls. “This feeling, in the sense that it refers to the place of men in society, has not crossed my mind, she assures,but I was very happy to have a boy . As a teenager, I had not had a good relationship with my mother and I told myself that if I had a daughter, I would not have complicity or affection with her. ” This Ile-de-France teacher says, however, that she feels “Very proud of the personality” of her son, to whom she finds“All the qualities”

. But it is also valid for his daughters, she wishes to clarify.“The mother-son relationship is a powerful bond, characterized by early sexualization due to the difference in sex , observes Véronique Moraldi, psychopractor and author (2).

It is not about realized incest, but about unconscious sexual attraction. The father’s role is to separate them so that the boy can also access his masculine identity. ” “In love” with their sons, some women sometimes express this love excessively, like Romain Gary’s mother, who described the strength and weight of this bond so well: “It is not good to be loved so much, so young, so early. It gives you bad habits. We believe it happened. We believe that it exists elsewhere, that it can be found. We are counting on it. We look, we hope, we wait. With maternal love, life gives you at dawn a promise that it never keeps ”, he writes in

The promise of dawn.

Difficult to “let go of their sons” “There are castrating mothers, like Gary’s, who symbolically make their son their phallus, synonymous with power in psychoanalysis, so that they realize what they could not do, observes Jean-Claude Liaudet, psychoanalysis and psychosociologist (3).

It’s a discourse that is no longer so fashionable, but this phallic claim still has meaning for women who have scores to settle with men. ” If we are to believe the “shrinks”, we sometimes have the impression that the responsibility of mothers of boys is immense. Alain Braconnier himself recognizes that some of his colleagues “Have too often criticized them and deemed them overprotective with their son.”Today ,he said, many feel guilty for loving their boy too much, for showing them tenderness . “They are afraid to strengthen the Oedipus and make them fragile men or unable to live their sexuality with women. ” And to add: “This fear is even stronger inf single-parent families, when mothers raise their boys on their own. ” Conversely, other moms fear that their son will move too far away from them, especially in adolescence where they may “reject” them to successfully separate. So, at 15, Corinne’s son didn’t “No longer wanted” let her make him“Kisses or hugs” . “Overnight, she says,

I no longer had the right to go to his room to wish him good night. And I was unsettled that this ritual suddenly stopped. “

→ READ. How to become a mother… in her own way? Moms sometimes have a hard time “Let go of their sons”,confirms Véronique Moraldi , “But we have to free them so that they can go to other women. ” Jean-Claude Liaudet adds: “The mother must allow the boy to put a cross on her. That’s what

Julia Kristeva symbolically calls a matricide. “

Make your son a man when you’re a womanAnd here is all the complexity of the maternal task: to make her son a man, whereas she is a woman, and to help him to separate from her so that he loves others. To this mission that looks like“Initiatory test”

, according to Véronique Moraldi, a third is added today: raising him with respect for women, or even making him a feminist.

→ TESTIMONIALS. What sons say about their mother“I don’t know if this is possible , recognizes Aurélia Blanc, journalist and author of a book on the subject (4). But one thing is certain, mothers are not solely responsible. While they may be reluctant to encourage boys to go to so-called feminine terrains, such as wearing pink or playing with dolls, the attachment to gender norms is even more marked in many fathers. “

The latter have a role to play in the anti-sexist education of boys and must also be mediators in the mother-son relationship so that maternal love remains a force.

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A girl or a boy ? Near 9 out of 10 French future parents want to know the sex of their child

before his birth. This proportion is lower in other countries, such as the United States, the Netherlands or Denmark. For their first child,60% of parents say they don’t have a preference

. When they have one, it is balanced among mothers (20% want a girl and 21% a boy), while fathers prefer boys (25.5% prefer a boy and 15% a girl).

For the second child, the proportion of parents who have no preference decreases. And when it does, it depends heavily on the sex of the senior.

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