A while back, I shared my personal thoughts and techniques/experiences on nurturing the mother-daughter relationship during the early years of motherhood.
I also have a little boy at home. My beliefs are mighty surrounding the notion that nurturing the bond between mothers and sons when they are babies and toddlers is integral to what kind of person they’ll grow up to be. Aside from the obvious reasons as to why a mother might examine and be thoughtful about how she develops a deep emotional bond with her son — to provide a present-day quality of life, everyday joy, stability, and feeling of being loved/supported — I’m the type who often thinks to the future, many of us do.
Times are very different when it comes to how mothers are with their sons compared to that of older generations, and I’m glad we’re in this moment, in this time — where it is increasingly accepted that big boys and little boys do indeed cry. That raising mama’s boys does in fact result in strong, independent men…
This was No.1 on my list with both of my babies. I strongly believe that it is a personal choice that should be respected, and for me breastfeeding meant providing the best possible start I could to nourishing my tiny baby.
2. Close Contact
Whether carrying them in a wrap, co-sleeping, or engaging in physical play involving lots of praise, kisses, and cuddles — spending as much time as I could with my newborn baby boy was a privilege (maternity leave), that I didn’t take lightly. More about that in the next slide…
3. Maternity Leave
It’s something I didn’t have with my second and I still daydream about those days where it was just he and I, going for long walks, attending mommy and me fitness classes, grocery shopping at the farmers market together, having him play with wooden spoons and tupperware on the kitchen floor while I cooked (or having him wrapped in a snuggly on my back when he was brand new). Doing nothing but hanging out with him all day, exploring the world again through his eyes, showing him new places and things, providing new experiences for him. This is what my days were made up of and I truly yearned for not much else.
4. Being Gentle, Kind & Patient
As I would wish him to be while he’s growing and when he gets there. (Adulthood.)
5. One-on-One Time
This is when I plan outings geared around his particular interests. Where it’s just he and I, holding hands and taking our time together, unrushed by the hustle and bustle of two young toddlers to care for. He is older and out of the ‘invincible-I-can-leap-from-tall-buildings-stage’ that his sister is in right now. Being able to focus on him and our time together as opposed to being interrupted by having to tend to keeping his sister out of trouble is something he deserves every now and then.
6. Facilitating Adventure & Opportunity
Walks, nature and treasure hunts, soccer and swimming lessons, hitting the Pow Wow trail. From creating intriguing and naturally joyful environments at home to special outings designed just for our family.
7. Being Keen On His Interests
Whether he’s playing with matchbox cars or asking for a baby-doll stroller just like the one his little sister has, I hook it up for him. (Within reason.) Gender has no colour, has no theme, has no ‘type’. Letters and reading are huge obsessions for Wyndham and have been going for a steady couple of years now. Most of his ‘toys’ are books and puzzles and art materials wherein he gets to explore his love for letters and words and reading. Red is his favourite colour, so buy him red kicks and red sweaters and red coats. His favourite foods? I make those on the regular.
8. Cheering Him On & Giving Due Praise
As often as possible. Not in a cutesy, baby-talk way – but a straight up, YES MAN! sort of way.
9. Being Silly
As often as possible. Literally getting down to lay on the floor with him when he was little to play together. Now, I get down on his level when he’s speaking to me and I don’t push or prod him to hurry up with what he’s saying. He’s still developing his vocabulary and experimenting/learning on how to articulate his thoughts and express how he is feeling. I want to show him I respect that, and him. I’ve found this really helps build his confidence and self worth.
10. Teaching Him to Respect His Body & His Power & Those/That of Others
Even at this young age. To teach him that boys do cry, hug, kiss, and respect themselves, and girls, and other cultures. Introducing him to health and fitness through play and joining tiny tot team sports, gardening with him and living a healthy way of life. Nothing contrived, it’s just how we do.