We all need time to reflect
Got email from a teen confused about Mom’s reaction to the fact that the girl and her boyfriend were having sex. The confusion came from what probably seemed like a bipolar set of responses from Mom regarding the Sex Talk. Here… you read it:
Me and my bf have been together for over 10 months. My mom knows him well and loves him. A couple months ago me and him started having sex and I was like OK, I want birth control. So I told my mom I was “thinking about having sex” and that I didnt do it yet but wanted birth control just in case. And she was like “OK. I understand. That’s responsible.” And she got it for me.
A couple of days ago I told her that me and my bf did it for the first time. She seemed to take it alright. She said she knew it was coming and was glad I told her. Then later that day, out of nowhere she started being really weird towards me. Now she barely talks to me, hardly talks to my bf, wants to know where I am and what I’m doing all the time even if I’m just with a girlfriend (and she was never like that ever). She’s being mean towards me now. I can’t take it anymore. I’m so uncomfortable around her. I hate being home. I don’t know what to do. Please help.
This is so sad for Mom and daughter. And so unnecessary. Just in case you’re wondering, no, I’m not texting the Bad Mother Police to come cart this woman away just because she isn’t jumping for joy. But her hostility has overshadowed her previous reasonable response. Of course that was then (My daughter having sex some day = abstract idea which I can handle.) vs. now (My daughter’s having sex?!??!! For real?! OMG! What can I do? I feel freakin’ powerless!!)
If I could I’d have picked up the phone and talked to Mom. I’d have told her I understand that finding out your little girl is sexually active takes some getting used to. I would have said that her knee-jerk stress-response isn’t uncommon. But I’d also add that she needs to stop and think about what she’s doing because the silent-treatment and “meanness” is driving her daughter away. This woman doesn’t want that!
But Mom didn’t ask me for help, the teen did. So here’s what I told her:
You did the right thing telling your mom about your relationship and about needing birth control. Your mom did the right thing by helping you protect yourself. I think she is having a hard time dealing with the REALITY of the situation. You’re her daughter and up until now she’s thought of you in a certain way (that would include being a virgin). And even though she said she “knew it was coming” that can be different from actually having a new reality in your face.
Here’s what I suggest… Talk to her. Tell her that you told me. Tell her how you’re feeling about her barely talking to you and “being mean” to you. Tell her that you miss the trust and closeness the two of you have always had and you want to talk about that.
Then close your mouth and LISTEN to what she has to say.
Your mom loves you and she wants you to be safe and happy. She doesn’t want to lose this special relationship. She’s just not sure how she feels about this next phase of your life. She’s confused. If you’ve ever felt confused, then you probably understand.
She loves you. You love her. Talk.
Of course giving advice is a lot easier when it’s someone else’s kid. And you’ve got to expect this kind of conversation will be awkward on both sides, at least initially. But getting real with the people you love most in the world is sometimes the only way to nurture and strenghthen your connection. That’s gotta be worth whatever mumbling, stumbling embarrassment comes with it.