They’re terms we hear bandied about often in parenting (or non-parenting) conversations. “Oh yes, I’ve also married a Mommy’s boy. Can do no wrong – apple of her eye”. Or: “She’s a Daddy’s girl isn’t she? Seems to adore her father”. And as much as I think there is often truth in stereotypes, since I found out we’ll be having two daughters, I’ve begun to feel a bit left out.
So will both my daughters adore their father and tolerate me? At Rachel’s current age she seems to need us at different times. I am the one she wants when she first wakes up in the morning, if she’s feeling sick or wants to read a book (amongst other things). Dad is who she goes to when Mom says “No” (to turning the TV on or eating an extra chocolate), and is best for the more raucous stuff like chasing her around the garden, wrestling and kicking balls. And her father does ADORE her, but I’m sure the same would apply if she were a boy.
As for Mommy’s boys, I always knew I’d married one and could only see that as a positive thing. Mommy’s boys are often better communicators, more sensitive and relate well to women. They place great importance on the strength of the family unit and (if they’ve been brought up properly) tend to bring with them excellent manners and a healthy respect for the female sex. Of course, the downside is that many Mommy’s boys have never cooked a meal in their lives or picked up their own socks, because their mothers have always been trailing behind them, catering to every whim. But hey, you can’t have everything.
Perhaps both of these terms were invented because people assumed that the child would bond easier with the parent of the same gender. So when they seem to be close to the parent of the other gender too, we like to stick a label on it in order to make it easier to understand. I’m not sure it’s as simplistic as that though and I’m certainly no family psychologist. I suppose time will tell, although it will be difficult for me to judge as I’ll never bring up a Mommy’s boy as such. But I have a feeling at least one of my daughters will be a Mommy’s girl – and I’m okay with that.
Photo courtesy of Robyn Rose Photography.