Jaime Primak Sullivan might call herself "the meanest mum ever," but this New Jersey parent is teaching her boys not to hide their emotions.
This mother-of-three isn't afraid to show her sons affection, especially when they are in pain, and after a stranger at a baseball game criticised her for comforting her 8-year-old son Max when he got hit in the face with a ball, Jamie decided to speak out. "I saw it happen like it was slow motion. I saw his eyes widen and then squint from the pain — he looked around trying to focus. I knew he was looking for me," Jamie wrote on Facebook. "My feet couldn't move fast enough. As soon as we connected, I got down on one knee."
Jamie wrapped her arms around Max and he sobbed into her shoulder at the pain. A stranger quickly interrupted this moment between mother and son when he approached and said, "You need to stop babying that kid."
Instead of getting upset, Jamie kept her attention on her child, cleaned his face, and sent him back to join his team once she knew that he was OK. However, as she climbed back up the bleachers, her hands started shaking with rage.
"This notion that boys can never hurt, that they can never feel, is so damaging to them long term. The belief that any signs or gestures of affection will somehow decrease their manhood — this pressure to always 'man up' follows them into adulthood where they struggle to fully experience the broad scope of love and affection. The only emotion they healthily learn to express is happiness and then we wonder why they are always chasing it.
They're taught that sadness is weakness, that talking about their fears or short comings makes them less than. They don't mourn properly. The struggle to grieve. They're afraid to cry. It all spills into the way they husband and father and I hate it.
Love is a verb. It is something you do. It is not the same as babying, coddling or spoiling. It is something my son deserves. I will always love him when he is hurting and my prayer for him is that he is always open to receiving love so he can love in return and keep that cycle going."