Estelea's Blog

French Mum, humanitarian, restless explorer and doer on sabbatical in Cebu (Philippines): one Attila in each arm, I am exploring the “toddlers safe” corners of the region, while trying to keep some room for Me.

Raising a Non Macho boy


Ever heard about the cliché of the Jewish mother ? the overprotective, loving and overly proud mother who is highly defensive about her children in front of others?… Well, as much I would love to pretend I have nothing to do with her, the apple never falls far from the tree. I am a Jewish Italian kind of mother, minus the great cooking skills!

My son, just like his sister, is a star in Asia. He is blond, has “big eyes” and icing on the cake, can speak a few words of the local dialect. I always tend to be irritated by all those girls taking him for endless sessions of selfie, giggling at “how cuuuuute he is” and asking their friends to take pictures of them with the “lovely sexy (!!!) boy”.

This time was different, because no one asked for the picture. I was shopping with Mr Attila when we came across a little booth for Pink Ribbon. I got him a badge that he is wearing proudly (“Real Men wear Pink”), as a way to express moral support for women with breast cancer. And I set up the scene with the volunteers. I can’t tell how many women unsheathed their phone to immortalize the moment. We all loved it, and I guess his picture must be framed on their booth by now.

Of course Leandre does not know the meaning of it, but I do – as all the other women there. I love this picture, it represents much more than meets the eye:
It’s ok if my son does not become a lawyer or a doctor (sight..). Seriously, I’ll be the proudest Mum of the universe to know he is a happy man, a great friend to his sister, a loved and loving husband and a great Dad. I want him to respect and stand by the women of his life, for causes far beyond his Manittude. He won’t be able to really understand all those women (who would?) but at least he should stand by them in what really matters to them. It is easy to be a man, takes a bit more to become a Mentsch 😉



8 comments on “Raising a Non Macho boy

  1. luciledegodoy
    November 30, 2014

    Hello Jewish Italian mother! Loved it…But you made me curious of what would a French mother be…
    I have to admit that your boy is gorgeous, and it’s yours and husby’s fault …You’d better get used to the girls by now, as it will get even worse in the future. And you don’t want to be an Italian mother-in-law…
    Great cause, pic and story! Great start of my reading day. Thank you!

  2. estelea
    November 30, 2014

    😉 no worries, I fit more in the French cliché actually: no, I don’t stay with the kids when they are invited at Bday parties (would never miss a chance of having 3 hours just for myself !), yes they eat their veggies or else no snack and same meal at diner. They clean their room, help whenever needed .. And they know that a happy Mum needs a break from times to times for the sanity of the whole tribe!
    moreover, I know that my role is to give them roots and wings, very far from the cliché of the Jewish mama.
    The Jewish mother of my fam is my Dad’s Mum. I m quite the opposite. I want this kiddos to go out, experience the world, but always be respectful and empathic. Speak up their mind, and live a life they are proud of. I don’t care if they want to become a clown. As long as they are the best ones.
    Definitely don’t want to turn into the cliché of the j mother in law 😉 will just make sure that she knows that if she breaks his heart, I ll break her legs. Nothing more;) nah, to me, as long as they are happy, I m happy, and this time I do really mean it !
    Man.,, you got me talking here! Big topic 😉
    Have a lovely day, hope the jet lag is not too hard on you.
    And again, thanks so much for your kind words!

  3. desleyjane
    November 30, 2014

    Leandre is lovely and regardless of whether he knows or not, he is already helping to raise awareness for a great cause! You sound like a great mix of all the best types of mums 😊

    • estelea
      November 30, 2014

      Thank you so much for the lovely compliments ❤ all work in progress 😉

  4. D
    December 1, 2014

    When I read the first sentences I imagined Big Bang Theory series – one character with a Jewish mom who shout the loudest and squeakiest voice (RIP) and then I am wrong …

    I like the slogan – real men wear pink! and I share your thoughts about men joining in and supporting women with all their love and respect now and ever… good for you to start Leandre young at least when he sees this photo later he will know what you were thinking then and thank you for introducing him early into equal rights 🙂

    • estelea
      December 1, 2014

      Never too early 😉 men in my fam have equal opportunities when it comes to cooking and cleaning too 😉 My grand mother would nevet ever understand that a male in the fam could clean and iron.. But i see it as a favor to themselves too, will make their life easier. I can not pretend to have the loudest voice on the fam, my kids are faaar louder than me! But i have chocolate, a magic weapon to finally get heard in this tribe …

      • D
        December 1, 2014

        Aha! that’s the secret … stash of chocolates 🙂

        Same with my family, mom was never shy to tell us what to do especially in the kitchen so my two brothers are good cooks and good in housekeeping than me 😀 and I will pass that on the the next generations ha ha

      • estelea
        December 1, 2014

        Love that 😀

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This entry was posted on November 30, 2014 by in Family and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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