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Move Over Mom…Everything is Fine!

I have a good relationship with my 20 year-old son.

But I have heard about it.

Listened with a tiny bit of dread. “You know, boys just don’t stay close to their moms when they settle down. They are closer to their wives’ family, not to you anymore”.

Move Over, Mom

Makes you feel like you are headed straight into the dumpster with heavy weights tied to your shoes.  Trash. No use. Old news. Hope you have lots of pictures from the good old days because you are done.

Not just done. DUN.

Author Kate Lombardi talks about the many positive aspects of an appropriately close mother-son relationship. The boys tend to do better in school. Are less likely to buy into a hyper-masculine image or get involved in drugs. They show a wider range of emotion. To mention a few.

All good things.

As a mom, this dire prediction of no contact is not something I am going to lose sleep over. I pretty much trust that what is there will stay put.

The psychologist in me however? Certainly I have seen families where tension between mother or father-in-law and wife or husband causes terrible problems.

I don’t want to come near those problems.

Whatever I can offer that is valuable as a mom, I will always want to offer.

As I have considered the above dilemma – my mom side and my psychologist side feuding a bit – I have decided to try to prevent any issue from forming that might cause my son to feel that he had to choose between me and someone else. What is that old saying? Prevention is worth a pound of cure.

I look for what I can control to help with life’s little transitions. What action I can take, if any, in the present, to do something helpful. (There’s not much you can control, as we are all aware).

Way before we get to walking down any aisles, “I-do’s” or babies, I have started my own MOM Movement.

It’s a concept I keep in my head. I look for opportunities to whisper it quietly to myself. Especially when I enter his world.

What is it?

“Move Over Mom”.

Move over and watch him make that decision. Move over and enjoy seeing what other women appreciate in him. Move over and see who he chooses. Move over and give advice when asked. If asked. Not detach. Just move.

If we moms stay out of the process, then perhaps we won’t create a problem.

After all, it’s his life.

I smile as I enlist in my own campaign. Engage in what I trust will build a solid future. As I continue to deeply love, emotionally invest and let go all at the same time.

Kind of crazy.

But much better than the risk of one day… being kindly asked to move out.



Cathy Chester

Thursday 19th of March 2015

I have one child, a son. Now a senior in college, I know this is a "someday" thing. But I also know that I will have to draw back when the time comes because yes, it is his life. And that's what I want for him. Yet I hope that he will choose a girl I will be close to while watching him in his happiness. My husband, son and I are very close - like a team - so I hope this will help toward remaining close when the time comes. Life will enfold itself and what will be will be. I only hope what will be is a healthy relationship with all. I adore my in-laws so I hope I have the same.

Dr. Margaret Rutherford

Thursday 19th of March 2015

From my perspective Cathy, the fact that you have maintained a close relationship with both your son and your husband is a good predictor that your family will be able to welcome the inclusion of another. It's typically when the closeness between mother and son might be a replacement for the lack of a relationship with a husband that trouble could be brewing. Thanks so much for writing.

Doreen McGettigan

Wednesday 18th of March 2015

I have 3 daughters and 2 sons. I will say there was a big difference between when my daughter in law was pregnant and when my daughter's were pregnant. My girls called me obsessively (I loved every minute) but my daughter in law never called. She had her own mom. I felt really left out but decided to just move over. There is no difference in my relationship with the grandkids, I am very close with my sons kids and my daughter in law. My relationship with my son is still very close.

I don't think you have anything to worry about.

My other son is a stepson. We are close and I do worry what will happen when he marries. He has a mother and even though we are friends I still wonder how far I will have to move over when the time comes...

Dr. Margaret Rutherford

Wednesday 18th of March 2015

Your story is wonderful to read Doreen. And you make a really interesting point about stepchildren - how does moving over translate with them? So many diverse relationships. And lots of contextual things to consider. I will continue to approach with hope. And look for what I can do today. Thanks so much for commenting!

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