There’s been a shift of chivalry and responsibility amongst men and women over the past decade or so. Men used to go to work, made sure their family had a roof over their head, a meal on the table, and overall served as the protective foundation for their family. Women assumed other essential roles. They took care of the children, kept the house in order, instilled and reinforced love, and nurtured the values within the household, and overall served as the social-emotional foundation for their family. Now, various factors such as the Women’s Rights Movement, led to an influx of women demanding equal rights and opportunities and more freedom, which was extremely heroic, especially during the 20th century when women were expected to accept societal norms, despite how powerless it made them feel. They fought to step out of their husband’s shadow in effort to find and define their own identity, while ensuring their children still felt loved, safe, and secure. These women mastered the craft of becoming providers and nurturers, which is empowering within itself. However, what I do not find empowering is watching the generational offspring of some of these courageous women, neglecting their parental duties and obligations of being a mother to take on the role of raising someone else’s grown ass son.
Yes, some women are out here babying and nurturing their boyfriends (not husbands) and neglecting their own children. Need more clarification? Let me go into detail. There are women calling around and sitting online all day looking for the PS5 game system to purchase for their boyfriend but don’t have time to sit with their child to assist them with homework. There are women standing in line for hours so they can purchase a pair of $350.00 Jordan’s for their boyfriend every time they drop yet complained about standing in line at their child’s school to receive a FREE laptop for their virtual learning. There are women, staying in dysfunctional and traumatic situationships, patiently waiting for their man to make a miraculous change for the better, but is short-tempered when their child makes the slightest mistake. They expect immediate results from their children but can sit in an uncommitted relationship with a lying, conniving, and cheating man for eternity. There are women getting down on their knee to propose to a man but has yet to get down on their knee to pray for their child. Spending their hard-earned income on lobster and steak dinner dates with “bae,” while the only hot meals their child eats is during lunchtime at school.
Now, let me say this. There’s nothing wrong with treating your man like a king if he possesses king qualities, however, don’t forget to keep the same energy with your little prince or princess. If you’re going to dedicate your time and effort in building someone up, it should be the child that you procreated because unlike your man, they didn’t make the choice to be in your life; you made if for them. Not to mention, the parent-child relationship heavily influences your child’s relationships with others. Indeed, how parents physically, emotionally, and socially interact with their children contributes to who they become later in life.
This brings us back to K. Michelle’s lyrics. “You can’t raise a man. He’s already grown, what you’re going to do… You wonder why he acts like a boy. It’s because he wasn’t raised right before you.” No, you can’t raise a man. Just like you can’t build one like a Build-A-Bear, especially after they reach a certain age. You can’t add a sprinkle of ambition, a drop of responsibility, a pinch of loyalty, and a dash of commitment because by the time a grown man finds his way into your life, chances are his characteristics, personality traits, and temperament are already marinated into his DNA. Attempting to reraise a man and assuming the role of his enabler will not make your life productive… If anything, it will make your household destructive, and your child that’s being neglected, will be at the butt of the eruption.
Some will happily handover their entire tax return to invest in their man’s legal or illegal endeavors but find it difficult to put $25 per paycheck away to invest in their child’s future. Will have a grown man laid up in their house unemployed and uninspired for as long as his heart desires, but is adamant about their child going half on rent and utilities as soon as they get their first paycheck. Pookie can live with them forever, but their child must go out and fend for themselves as soon as they turn eighteen years old. I think you get the picture, so I’ll digress for time’s sake.
In closing, watering a man with Peter Pan qualities and failing to nourish your own child will eventually lead to you sprouting an adult version of the person you’re attempting to reraise. So, cut that umbilical cord that stretches from your pockets to your man’s heart and breathe life into your kids. In other words, sis, be his significant other… Not his mother!
By Dr. Keisha Wizzart aka Author Keisha Starr