Tied to Your Mother’s Apron Strings

It does cross my mind that responding to Daily Mail articles is rarely wise; often the inflammatory journalism warrants nothing more than a shrug and a bin.

But when this  crossed my time-line this morning I did feel the need to reply.

My first reaction to this piece from Kelly Rose took me back to this article I wrote about why we never hear about a father’s bond. It seems to me that it is almost taken as granted that a “mother’s bond” is stronger and more meaningful that dad’s bond. I question that very notion. Sit for one day in the OnlyDads office and you will get my point.

My second reaction was one of a sinking despair!

This despair has two parts:

  1. There are (to put it bluntly) too many children being  brought up in this country at the moment who seem tied to their mother’s apron strings. We seem to be raising a generation of namby pamby young men. I quote from an 11yo boy to his Dad (the dad in question is a mate of mine). “Dad…please get me away from Mum. The way she treats me is making me lose my bottle”. They are strong words and worth thinking about. I recently finished a book about “The Cardiff Pals”. A heart-breaking story about young lads from Cardiff who went off to fight in WW1. What came over so strongly though was the fact these young boys – many just 15 – had hearts of lions. God forbid we ever have another war like that again, but if we did, today’s recruiting officer from Cardiff would be choosing boys walking down Queen Street with foppish haircuts wearing One Direction clothes!
  2. Readers of this post will know that running OnlyDads brings me into contact with many single mums and I’m the first to take my hat off! But in reading Kelly’s article,it brought home to me just how many mums seem to feel the need to “protect” their sons (it’s often sons) from their own Dads. Can I say gently…that is not your job.

These “mother’s bonds” that society is so fond of talking about. Well there is one thought I have that I want to share with Kelly and those who nod in agreement at what she has written. These “bonds”, especially the strong ones, are incredibly elastic.




About onlydads

Single Dad living near Totnes in Devon. I founded www.onlydads.org in 2007 and live with my daughters Priya, 14 and Anya 11. I write about single parenting, work, overcoming trials and tribulations and sometimes not overcoming trials and tribulations.
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9 Responses to Tied to Your Mother’s Apron Strings

  1. David says:

    I read that article today after someone put it on Facebook, and was, and still am, appalled by it, in a kind of Daily Mail “what’s this country coming to” way !
    What a vile and destructive attitude this woman has. The good news is that if this father needs evidence of his ex’s unreasonable behaviour, it’s all there in print. You don’t get anymore unreasonable than a mother abusing her position to unduly influence how her ex partner fathers his own children. She clearly needs a therapist to help her overcome the power trip and insecure emotions she has. The father and son should not suffer due to her issues. I hope the father can find the strength to tell this woman to stuff her demands, and pursue what he feels is best for him and his son. This kind of woman would attempt many abusive tactics to punish a man who goes against her wishes, and he will need to protect his son from that potential backlash should he find the strength to save his son from the stranglehold of her apron strings.

  2. WOW! Very well written and something that is VERY close to my heart as I am actually going through just that… I’ve been fighting to have and preserve and this bond with my 7 month old son (as I have it wit my 2 older boys) since before he was born. Even though his mum tried to stop me from seeing him, moment I held him for the for the 1st time after 4 moths the bond was just there… as it we hed never been apart. I am still getting to know him and learning his habits and likes and dislikes that I didn’t get to learn on his 1st 4 months of life… and it is a lot harder than it was with the other 2… but moment I hold him against me all the doubt disappears…

    “There are (to put it bluntly) too many children being brought up in this country at the moment who seem tied to their mother’s apron strings. We seem to be raising a generation of namby pamby young men.?” <- Straight to the point… and couldn't be more true… unfortunately…

    Great article mate!

  3. Liz says:

    Oh dear… I think she has some serious issues, I’m not sure this should have been allowed in print! And what happens when she develops a new relationship with a new man, hmm? No mention of how Fathers may feel when their ex strikes up a new relationship. There is one thing being cautious quite another ‘banning’ your child from developing a healthy and loving relationship(s). However, not quite sure what you mean by namby pamby young men?

  4. Bonds are one thing, but this is sounding like an ownership and although our kids are our responsibilty, we don’t own the right to sway their decisions about their parents or step parents, one way or the other.
    If there was something seriously wrong, that a step parent was doing and it was harming our child, yes, cause for concern.
    Kids go to school, teachers (male & female) look after our kids when they are there. No person in their right mind would say to a teacher, if my child is falls over and hurts a knee, don’t pick him/her up and rub his/her knee better, wait until I get there and I’ll do it. Would they?

  5. Having read the article twice (because I had to break off the first time to stop myself from cursing the silly woman), I am desperately sorry for the poor child.

    Obviously, the woman has a certain mind-set; that would be barely ok if she was “sharing” a pet. But she isn’t and she’s too self-obsessed to understand that she is not only damaging her child, she is destroying her chance of ever having an adult relationship with him.

    For he will either always react towards her as an eight-year old, and an increasingly resentful one at that, or he will reject her. I’ve seen it happen. The pain on both sides is immense, made worse because the mother cannot understand that her son is not a toy.

    Not only that, but, because she is not allowing her son to develop a healthy relationship with other female role models, she is hampering his adult ability to create strong and lasting partnerships with the women in his life.

    By being so overly “protective”, she is teaching her child to be totally dependent on her. He will be teased and bullied throughout his life if she’s not careful.

    I’m appalled that she feels she’s a good mother by so doing. All children, whether boys or girls, need the freedom to learn to trust others, to argue with others and to stand up for what they believe in. She is stopping her son from doing that.

    Yes, it hurts – deeply – when your children call the new person in your ex’s life “mummy” or “daddy”. But you’re the adult in the relationship with your children, and if you still want to be the parent they trust and come to when they are adults, you need to find a way to cope.

    Restricting your child’s contact with the other parent, denigrating their choice of partner, behaving like a spoilt child who threatens to take your toy away – all these will destroy your relationship with them. They don’t stay children forever. To publish such sentiments is the height of irresponsibility, confirming to similar parents that their self-focused insanity is correct.

    It’s a pity the spoilt brat who wrote that article can’t see it.

    • onlydads says:

      As always – you mae your points with clarity and persuasion.

      I am guessing that many will agree with every word you say?

      Many thanks


  6. Anoop Singh-Best says:

    Excellent post. No, a mother’s bond is not stronger than a father’s. When I had my babies I didn’t feel anything like the rush of emotions I was told to expect. I felt hungry, that was all. My husband on the other hand was blinking away tears holding the newborn baby.

    That feeling came when my eldest was 2 1/2 and a parent at playgroup asked me “Whose Mum are you?” THAT brought tears to my eyes and I felt like a mother at last.

    This doesn’t make me a bad parent, and it doesn’t mean I love them any less. It just means I’m possibly less emotional than most people…

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