Thursday, June 28, 2012

Is there a Peter Pan in Your Life?

Disclaimer: if you are not an enabling woman these comments are not directed at you. If you are not a man child, or a man child in the making, these comments are not directed at you. Those are my life observations and I am entitled to write about what I see and you are entitled to disagree.

If you want to date a man, then you have to raise a boy to be a man. Too often as women we allow the males in our lives to stay in a perpetual state of childhood, and then we wonder where all the good men are. Some of us need to look no further than the image in the mirror.

 I ran across this story recently and I had to shake my head as I read about the three men who fathered 78 children with 46 different women. How did that happen? What knocked me upside the head was the 46 women? How do you not know that you’re dealing with a man with other WOMEN and a boat load of kids? It reinforced for me a thought pattern that I’ve been running away from, but can’t escape: a lot of what’s wrong with men is women. Some of us are ruining men from the cradle to the grave.

As mothers, grandmothers, sisters, aunts, cousins, wives, baby mamas and whatever other roles we find ourselves in, it’s time for us take responsibility and stop coddling the boys and men in our lives; it’s time to cut the cord. How can we complain when we’re co-contributors to the madness that is men?

 We cook, clean and care for them when they can do it for themselves. We fill in the gaps again and again when they come up short—begging teachers for make-up work, cursing people out when they get in trouble, making up excuses for their shortcomings, co-signing for car loans, letting them live off us, giving them everything we can without asking for anything in return. And when this spoiled man child becomes an adult (in the legal sense), he still expects someone to cater, to him. And if he works his charms on the ladies just as he did on the women who raised him, he can pick up where he left off without missing a beat. Is there a man-child still holding your hand?

  •  He needs you to co-sign for a car loan, but only if he can get the car he wants.
  •  Her ran out of money because_______ (fill in the blank) and he needs you to help him out.
  •  Women keep getting pregnant by him, and it’s their fault. 
  •  He changes job frequently, if he has one at all.
  •  As long as someone else can help, they should help him.
  •  He thinks he’s the man of the house but doesn't contribute to the household. 
 Some of us rationalize that it’s hard out here for a man; it is. And it’s hard out here for a woman as well. We are natural nurturers, but we have to know when nurturing becomes smothering and we’re stunting male growth.

We have to let them grow up, even if it means watching them fall and get back up again. If we want good men, we have to raise good boys.


  1. Hi, Stephanie:

    I'm a new follower of your blog. I found you through Jennifer Brown Banks.

    Your topic is one that raises an interesting debate. While I'm sure you'd agree that even moms who did not over-coddle their sons can end up with an irresponsible man for a son, I know what you're describing because I grew up watching it in my male-heavy family.

    There is no need for specifics; I will simply say that nobody loves a Momma's boy but Momma. It never ends well when a well-intentioned female allows her son, grandson, etc. to shirk responsibility over and over again. That duty-shirking son or grandson may just grow up with a minimized sense of accountability. And how will that bode well for him at his job, in his marriage, or with his children? It won't.

    Because of this, I grew up thinking that the worst thing a man can have in his life is a coddling woman making excuses for him.

    I will say that there are responsible men out there--I married one. I think part of the reason I ended up with a responsible man is because I told myself before I was even young enough to date that I would never end up carrying a man on my back like the men you describe in your post. I had radar for those types of guys early on, I guess!

    Anyway, just adding my two cents. This is a very interesting topic! I look forward to getting to know you better.

    Be well...

  2. Hi Janette,

    It is a pleasure to meet you! Thank you for your "two cents". I have had this conversation with so many women, that I thought I needed to blog about how some women are part of the problem. I see it all the time, and have done it in my dating life.

    I hope that you'll have an opportunity to read some of my previous posts and consider writing a guest post. Let me know what you think?

    1. I'd be honored to guest post! Thank you for asking. Please take a peek at my blog when you have a moment and consider guest posting there as well or, as I call it, guest starring. ;-)

      I'll be in touch to discuss further, Stephanie. Enjoy your Sunday!

    2. I will definitely check out your blog. We will be in touch.

  3. I totally agree with this and have been in this position before. I even married what I found out to be a boy child and am now getting a divorce. I am glad that you are putting this topic out here because I felt the same way when I heard about the man with thirty-something kids. We as women do need to wake up and see Peter Pan through the fairy dust.

    1. Some of us are intoxicated by the dairy dust and we need to sober up. Thanks for weighing in.

  4. Jennifer Brown BanksJune 30, 2012 at 7:26 PM

    Great commentary Steph, with some valid issues illuminated.
    Keep shedding the "light".


    1. As always, thanks for your support:) Some of us need to come into the light, but we've been the dark so long, it will take a moment to adjust.

  5. I love this--can you believe that as a follower of your writings, I hoped and hoped you would tackle this.

    1. I'm glad to be of service to you! As humans we have the same issues, and somebody has to give a voice to our concerns so that we can continue to evolve.

  6. Well, you know I agree with you. However, I'm interested in how you feel about Janette's comment about the sons that were not raised that way but ended up that way. You mentioned women that cater to men. I believe some women see it when they grow up and its how they know to be I'm a relationship. (Not the carry him financially cater) I grew up in an household where there were roles. Husband worked, paid bills, did repairs needed on house and car and occasionally played with the kids. On return, Wife cooked, cleane and, tend to the children. I was taught to keep your husband healthy so that he can get up and work. What if catering to him is just her falling into the role she only knows of. I feel that it is our responsibility as mothers to educate our daughters as well. Telling them to "keep their legs closed" is not enough.
    Prepare our princesses for the peter pans so when they become queens they will recognize a king.

    1. Latrice,

      I didn't come away with the same idea that you did after reading Janette's reply. She said that the best way not to have to deal with a Mama's boy is not to contribute to his boyish ways. She said well-intentioned women allow men to shirk their responsibilities thus allowing them to be perpetual boys. As for the second part of your reply, many women "play" house and do all the things that a wife would do without being a wife. And I'm not judging because I think you should do what makes you happy. But in the instances that I've seen the women who "played" really wanted the real thing because they lied and said they were married when they weren't. Why do this if the situation works for you? In those cases, the man can still reap the benefits of a wife without the responsibility of a marriage.