your mother's, wife's, etc. apron strings

apron string(s)

That which binds a woman to her husband or child. The phrase likely alludes to "apron-string tenure," a 17th century law by which a husband could control his wife's property (and her family's) during her lifetime. Often used in the phrase "tied to (one's) apron string(s)." I can't believe how much Michael is tied to his mother's apron string! That's the only explanation for him still living at home at age 40! Can you make a decision on your own, or are you tied to your wife's apron strings? Sending kids to summer camps has been in decline in recent years, as parents have become less and less inclined to loosen the apron strings.
See also: apron
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

(tied to) your mother’s, wife’s, etc. ˈapron strings

(too much under) the influence and control of somebody, especially your mother, wife, etc: The British prime minister is too apt to cling to Washington’s apron strings.
See also: apron, string
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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