My husband and I had been dating for about a year and a half when he popped the question. He did it in the most perfect way possible, despite the fact I had been the biggest brat in the days leading up to his proposal. 

Early on in our relationship, he made it clear to me he was really only concerned with one person’s opinion of me . . . his mom’s. 

I had never really dated a mama’s boy before and I wasn’t quite sure what I had gotten myself into. However, I felt some slight relief knowing I only needed to impress one person. 

During our year and a half of dating, I had done my very best to impress her. I really liked her and I was sure she liked me as well. That was until after we were engaged and I heard these words escape her lips, “Well, I would rather him not get married, but if he has to, then I’m glad he’s marrying you.” 

I was a pretty reserved 24-year-old woman. I had recently graduated college and thought I knew a lot about life, but was beginning to find out, I knew a lot less than I had initially thought! 

The comment she made to me that day nearly knocked me off my feet. I was so confused. I thought this woman liked me, and there she was saying that to me! 

I guess she could tell I was a bit taken back. She later pulled me aside. I was afraid of what might come out of her mouth next. She said, “You’ll understand one day when you have children of your own.” 

I honestly didn’t believe her. I never thought in a million years I’d one day understand what she meant.

But a few years later, I found myself in the hospital delivery room holding my very own sweet baby boy. It was in those early morning, first moments with my son that I began to understand what she had been talking about those few years before. 

I now have two sons. Those boys, they have my heart. I married a mama’s boy, and I am glad I did. I can only hope I raise my boys to be mama’s boys too. I’ve realized what being a mama’s boy is all about. 

It means:

I’ll be the first hand he’ll ever hold.

But one day he will let go of mine to hold hers

I’ll be the first one he comes crying to when he’s hurt.

But one day it will be her he runs to instead. 

I’ll be the first to give him goodnight kisses before bed.

But sooner than later, it will be her turn to steal just one more. 

I’ll be the first to cheer him on from the sidelines.

But one day her voice will be the one he hears first. 

I’ll be the first to dress him up for family pictures.

But one day he will be dressing up for her. 

I’ll be the first to love him and care for him.

And one day it will be her turn to love him too.

I will hold on to all of those firsts because I know one day, it will be my turn to let go and her turn to be first. 

Yes, I married a mama’s boy. One thing I have learned is this: once a mama’s boy, always a mama’s boy. 

So, I’m raising mama’s boys. They will know, undoubtedly their mama loves them. But they will also know how to love and care for the women they will one day take as their wives. And when the time comes for my boys to take the hand of someone else, to be someone else’s first, I just might have to steal that line from my Mother-in-Law, “I’d rather him not get married, but if he has to, then I’m glad he’s marrying you.” 

Photo in story via Ashley Tracy Photography

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Shandyn Paul

Shandyn Paul is blogger and Christian writer who lives in a small town in Ohio. She is married to her best friend and biggest supporter, David. Together they have two boys, who keep life busy and interesting. She started writing her blog, because of a calling she felt from God during a 2am feeding session with her youngest son in 2015. She took a leap of faith and has been writing ever since. Her hope is to encourage and inspire others through God's Word.