I’ll admit that as the mom of 2 male children and no female ones, I sometimes feel invalidated in my motherhood. Am I being overly sensitive or is there a bias against moms with sons?

Relationships between Moms and Daughters are celebrated as are Fathers and Daughters, and the glorious ties between Fathers and Sons are legendary; but relationships between Moms and Sons seem to be considered unhealthy. If a woman is her father’s daughter, she’s lauded; if a man is his mom’s son, he’s not a man at all.

Where I live, there are: 

  • Father / Daughter Dances
  • Mother / Daughter Teas

but never a Mother / Son special event.

The most recent assault on my mother-worthiness comes from a women’s athletic group that has teamed with a women’s community service organization and the women’s health education division of a major healthcare organization in my area to provide a girls-only running club, held at my son’s school though not sponsored by the school, dodging Title IX violations. There is no boys-only equivalent, which seems to bother noone but me.

It does seem odd to me that I, who lettered in high school track (my older, pre-Title IV sisters weren’t eligible), competed in summer league and AAU swim meets, have run 5Ks and 10Ks, and now participate in charity bicycle rides ranging from 25 to 200+ miles, am not invited to help nurture the next generation of (female) athletes. From my perspective, they might as well put up a sign that says “No Girls (Who Have Sons) Allowed.”

I take solace in Boy Scout / Parent outings of which I am allowed to partake (though, admittedly, I often send my husband for father-son bonding). Maybe all Cub Scout Packs and Boy Scout Troops have designated “parents” rather than “fathers” to accompany their sons on camping trips but I’ll mention that an Assistant Scoutmaster in my son’s troop is a female leading her sons (and only children) along side one other female and a group of men.

Though I can see the value in men guiding young men, women nurturing their daughters, and men encouraging their daughters, it is affirming to know that someone feels that I am not completely unworthy of helping my children mature.

Still, it seems unusual that the organization that supports moms as competent and valued parents is a boys’ group whereas the one that shuts out moms (of boys) is headed by females. Perhaps gender discrimination, in my very humble opinion, has come full circle.