Mom Says She's Raising Her Boys To Be 'Obsessed' With Her So They'll Never Spend The Holidays With Their Future In-Laws

Strictly-gendered parenting can be incredibly divisive.

mom hugging two young boys on couch shurkin_son / Shutterstock

There's nothing wrong with being a proud mom of boys — in fact, boys, like all kids, thrive with a loving parent in their lives. But there may be a line beyond which a mother's love for her sons goes too far.

The exact parameters of that line is being debated across the internet, with many people questioning what role mothers may inadvertently be playing in breeding toxic masculinity. One mom found herself at the center of it all.


A mom said she's raising her boys to be so 'obsessed' with her that they'll never want to leave, sparking debate among parents.

Isabel Thomas, a mother of three, made a video featuring her two young sons hugging her as she entered the room. She captioned the video “Mommy’s boys,” with the overlay saying she’s raising her boys to be “obsessed” with her “so their future wife can’t say they are going to her side for the holidays.”



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While the video was less than 10 seconds long, it immediately created a discussion about the toxic mindset this mother is putting herself, as well as her sons, in.

Anette Baumeister stitched Thomas's clip, making a response video explaining why that narrative could be harmful to her sons and herself. 



“​No shade on this creator, just offering a different perspective... I don’t want to criticize this creator; I get her point and what she’s trying to say,” Baumeister began.


She then went on to say that she raised her son in a shared custody situation for the first 18 years of his life, explaining, “I don’t ever want him or any of my kids to feel that feeling of being torn between where they should be for the holidays, or anything ever again.”

She offered personal context to her opinion, noting that her son married a woman from the East Coast, while she lives in Idaho. When her son said they wanted to live halfway in between both of their families, Baumeister told him not to; rather, she advised him to live where his wife’s family is.

“I’m going to support that and if I have to take a backseat on holidays, I’ll take a backseat, for all my kids,” she concluded. She noted that she wants to have a good relationship with her kids, but also wants them to be independent of her, which is a healthy boundary to set as a parent.

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Many parents agreed that it's essential to set boundaries with kids and allow them to be independent.

A creator and mother named Lisa Pontius posted her own stitch video in which she warned moms, “Don’t be the reason your son’s marriage has problems.” She cautioned against what Thomas was doing in raising her sons to be “obsessed” with their mom, adding that moms shouldn't “have a competition between you and your son’s spouse in your mind."



“It’s a fight you will lose, and your son will resent you for,” Pontius continued. “Putting your son in a position where he has to be the go-between between his mother and his wife is never a position you should be willing to put your child in.”

Pontius also pointed out that putting a child in that position could cause strife with his partner, which could lead to divorce or separation, an “arguably painful and traumatic process nobody wants for their child.”


Pontius then addressed Thomas directly, stating, "I love that your son is obsessed with you, that’s wonderful. As little children, they need that sense of love and safety. But as they get older, let them know that it’s okay for them to move on," before offering advice to "try and be welcoming and kind to your daughter-in-law, and maybe you’ll get most of the holidays anyway."

Mom Raising Her Boys To Be Obsessed With Her So They Never Spend Holidays With Their Future In-LawsPhoto: Jessica Rockowitz / Unsplash

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There's nothing wrong with being a 'boy mom', but this problematic attitude can be troublesome for boys who will grow up into men.

"Too many women have this sense of ownership over their sons when, in actuality, we’re supposed to be raising them to go out into the world and be on their own," Jalmec Carter-Holifield explained. “Why would you want your son to be a selfish husband?”



The debate surrounding the rigid gendering of parenthood isn’t new, but it is something that can cause issues in the relationships kids choose to create outside of their biological families.

Should Thomas choose to maintain this mindset as her children grow up and move on with their lives, even starting their own families, it can create a wedge in the relationship — both between mother and son, and son and his future partner.


Creating a camaraderie with her future daughters- or sons-in-law isn't healthy for anyone. As Pontius pointed out, mothers shouldn't create a competition between themselves and their son's spouse, as it will only create tension.

It's hardly the first time "toxic boy moms" have stirred controversy. Whether it's forming harmful attachments to their sons, favoring their boys over their daughters, or even referring to their sons as their "boyfriends," it's time moms like this take a step back.

Being a boy mom is a beautiful, wonderful thing, of course, but not when it involves overstepping boundaries.

RELATED: The One Thing Most Toxic Boy Moms Have In Common — And It Has Nothing To Do With Their Sons


Alexandra Blogier is a writer on YourTango's news and entertainment team. She covers social issues, celebrities and pop culture, relationships and self-help, along with parenting and career.