• Nurture a man who does not need to prove his masculinity with his ego
Earlier this week, I realised that I am raising somebody’s husband. My son was going through some kind of tantrum and as I busied myself to calm him down, I imagined him as a grown man with his wife and kids.
For some reason, my mind imagined how disappointed I would be if his future spouse ever disrespected me yet I went through the grind of raising her husband.
In that moment, I really understood the significance of respecting your partner’s parents. Because I, for one, will not tolerate another woman stepping up to me after struggling to raise my son to a respectable young man.
I mention the disrespect from the spouse because I know how we are raising our son. Respect in our household is non-negotiable. We intend on bringing up a well-mannered, responsible young man into this world. However, I have seen many wives disrespecting their mothers-in-law and vice versa. I do not ever want to imagine myself in that situation because it is against my core values.
I realised that I also have a responsibility to raise my son as a potential partner and father. His rearing should not only focus on making him a great individual but also as a man among men.
My mother and mother-in-law are very much alike. They have both raised successful, independent and responsible children. As soon as their children married, however, they took a step back and let their partners take precedence. Neither of them meddle in their children’s lives, and they have mutual respect with their in-laws.
Just in case you imagined me planning to be the overbearing mother-in-law because I said I would not tolerate any disrespect from my daughter-in-law, you are mistaken. I aspire to be like my mother and my mother-in-law. In fact, my husband and I keep making plans for the day our son leaves the nest!
However, I have now understood that out there, somewhere is a young girl who will be my daughter-in-law, and right now, I have a responsibility towards her. The responsibility of raising a thoughtful, supportive partner who will respect her and cherish her as he does his parents. Even more so! A man who does not need to prove his masculinity with his ego. A man who understands that being sensitive is not being weak.
I have just started my work as a mother, a teacher and a guide to my child. I still have a long way to go, and sometimes drawing myself a picture of what I would like to see in 30 years’ time is what inspires me on my journey.
Not only do I teach myself what to do or not to do, I remind myself constantly of what is at stake. The way we raise our sons will shape how they raise their own families, because we are not just raising our own kids. We are raising somebody’s husband and somebody’s father.