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lying, What to do when you catch a child lying, tween, mom, how to talk to your tween about sex, mother/daughter

Have you been struggling with how to talk to your tween about sex? Me, too. At what age did you have “the talk”? I mean we’ve talked about puberty. In fact, we’ve talked puberty to death. It’s old news. They both know so much about the inner workings of the female reproductive system that they could probably teach a class. But we’ve not quite made the leap to …you put the penis in the vagina and do that thang. I’ve been mulling this idea over for years, waiting for the right moment. I just haven’t been ready to see the innocence disappear from her eyes.

I told my tween that she and I would have “the talk” before she turns 12. In a culture where Teen Mom is a show that makes celebrities, I want my daughter to know babies are a lot or work and where those babies come from. She wants nothing to do with that conversation. Boys are not even on her radar yet. She is still pretty happy with unicorns, slumber parties and playing with dolls but I don’t want her getting misinformation about sex from other kids. I promised myself I’d talk to my tween about sex before she was 12 and now, I have less than a month, people.

Fool that I am, I made plans. The universe laughed at me and then life intervened. Now, I’m binge-reading all the articles on how to talk to your tween about sex because a teachable moment has arisen. No, before any of you have a stroke, it has nothing to do with her and sex. It’s more of a collateral damage situation.

But how to talk to your tween about sex is not an easy thing to figure out. It has to be the perfect balance of honesty, openness and availability.

The conversation has to be had with every child and no nervous giggling or embarrassment is allowed on the parents part. We have to be a source of information and comfort. They have to believe we know what we’re talking about and not be afraid to ask questions.

Last Tuesday was Valentine’s Day, I’m sure you know where this is going, and let’s just say the Big Guy and I were feeling particularly amorous. Him and all his damn romantic gestures. Anyways, apparently, we actually made some noise. We usually use our inside voices because, you know, KIDS! (TMI, I’m sorry.)

My 11-year-old had the misfortune of getting up to pee at the wrong time and now, we all need therapy. It’s all giving me flashbacks to the time when she was a toddler and she caught us “wrestling”. If these kids would JUST STAY IN THEIR BEDS. (Sidebar, just say no to co-sleeping this is what got us to where we are today. I jest, sorta.)

The thing is the tween is very mature in many ways but very immature in other ways. She’s at that age where she’s beginning to look like a young woman but her brain is not quite there yet. She’s caught somewhere between working her eye roll and still coming in for snuggles and mama cuddles on the regular.

Either way, you’ve got to figure out how to talk to your tween about sex sooner or later.

Anyways, to be clear, I was not howling at the moon or anything like that but when you are a kid and you hear anything coming from your parents’ bedroom other than snoring, you are instantly disgusted. We had no idea any of this took place until the following morning. We thought they were asleep.

All I know was that she got up on Wednesday morning particularly annoyed for no particular reason, as far as I was aware. I just took it for regular tween behavior. Honestly, one minute she’s being all tweeny and the next she is playing American Girl dolls with her little sister. I can’t keep up. She is a fantastic kid. She’s just a bit moody these days. I get it. I’ve been there. I am sympathetic.

But after school, I asked her point blank how her day was. Her answer was,

“It would have been fine if I had gotten more than 3 hours of sleep last night!”

I volleyed back with my standard,

“Well if you went to sleep at your bedtime instead of staying up messing around on your tablet or playing Barbies, you wouldn’t be so exhausted and grouchy.”

Big mistake.

To which she responded,

“No, mom I only got 3-hours of sleep because of you and dad!”

And with that, her lip curled and I could see the disgust. Suddenly, I felt like I was in that commercial back in the 70’s where the kid does the really shitty behavior, I think it was drugs or something, and says, “I learned it from you, dad!” It was that bam! You are to blame.

My next question, the one I wish I had never asked, “What is that supposed to mean? How is this our fault?” I was a little annoyed because I am not, in fact, to blame for everything.

The answer I didn’t want to hear,

“Well, I had to pee and when I got up I heard your “weird noises” coming from the bedroom AND my sleep pillow and FIFI were held hostage in there! How am I supposed to sleep without them and after hearing THAT!!!!!”

There it was. Firstly, I was a little embarrassed that she heard anything so I did what any sane mom would do, I told her that it was her dad. My second thought was, “Oh no, we traumatized her!” I finally did it. I irrevocably damaged my kid. I have to start saving for the therapy.

Then, I thought to myself, this “tween” who pushes me and pulls me back so much on a daily basis that I don’t know if I’m coming or going had purposely left her snuggle pillow and lovey in my room so that she could sneak in there in the middle of the night to sleep. Oh yeah, she still does that occasionally. I’m not complaining but she does bear some responsibility in all of this.I’m not going to lie. I was pretty embarrassed. I don’t get embarrassed but we were both red in the face. Then I sucked it up and said,

“Hey, I know it was uncomfortable to hear whatever you heard but we’re married and we love each other. This is what people who are married and in love do to share physical intimacy. It’s completely natural!”

Then I decided to add, “Besides, isn’t it better to hear “that” than your father and I screaming how much we hate each other behind those doors?”

To which she agreed. Then she looked at her little sister, her voice went down near a whisper and she said,

“But I didn’t want to hear you DOING.IT!”

Then, I threw up in my mouth a little bit.

My response, “Firstly, we never saying “doing it” ever again. It’s called “making love.””

Because hearing my 11-year-old say “doing it” in reference to her father and I, skeeved me out. Of course, hearing myself say, “making love” out loud was nearly as creepy. So we decided to just agree that when the bedroom door is shut, we’re probably together not sleeping. I told her if it really bothered her, I could buy her ear plugs. She was mortified but swiftly answered,

“Yes, please!”

Boundaries were set.

If the bedroom door is shut, stay out. I considered getting one of those old license plates that said, “If the bedroom’s a rockin, don’t bother knockin” and hanging it on our door but I thought it was probably still too soon for that joke.

We still have to have “the talk” but I’m pretty sure she knows what’s going on. I also feel like I need to add a disclaimer to our talk that when she has sex for the first time, what she heard will probably not be what will be happening because, you know, teenage boys are bumbling idiots.

But what am I going to do, tell her to sleep with older men if she wants it to be worth her time? Nope, I’ll just let her suffer through crappy first-time sex like the rest of us besides, after all that eye rolling shade she’s been throwing my way lately, an awkward first time when she’s at college is just what the doctor ordered. Shhh, don’t tell me otherwise. College is my story and I’m sticking to it.

Anyways, I’ve still got to have this talk but now, it feels super weird because I feel like she’s going to relate the entire thing to her father and me. And EWWWW!

What would you do? What’s your best advice on how to talk to your tween about sex?

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mom, daughter, my daughter loves me, tween years

It’s been a weird time over here, my daughter is growing up at an alarming rate ( both of them) and I feel like I’m physically, falling apart over the last few months. One has nothing to do with the other. But it just gives some background to my state of mind…vulnerable.

 

We’ve had growth spurts and growing pains and I’ve just waiting for my girls to hit that age where suddenly I am their least favorite person in the world and I’ve been dreading it because honestly, aside from the Big Guy, these two are my favorite people in the world. Have been since the moment they were born. Sure, I have moments when I don’t really like their behavior and I’m not particularly fond of the eye rolling and sarcastic tones that have been making an appearance at my house lately, but God, I adore these girls.

 

Lately between the bickering between the two of them and the moments of wondering if boarding school might be a better option for my sanity, I’ve been at the end of my parenting rope. I’ve been feeling overwhelmed and outnumbered and, worse, disrespected. It’s been hard trying to get my bearings in this new stage of parenthood. I’ve been solidly knocked off my axis. But suddenly, there’s been a shift.

 

Through it all, I’ve been sticking to my guns and no matter what transpires, my girls always know they are loved; no matter how unlovable they are behaving that day. My oldest, who is only 11, has been exerting her independence for the past couple of years trying to separate from me. I feel it. It’s natural but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t hurt. It does, like a son of a bitch and this is coming from a broad who has had unmedicated transition labor, a severely broken and shattered leg and relentless gallbladder attacks. My girls pulling away hurts more than any of that ever did. I was sure this was the beginning of the end.

 

I’m not so old that I don’t remember that phase in my life when I tried to separate from my mom; the teen years. I was awful and I didn’t even understand what it was about my mom that was so annoying. I just knew that every word she tried to tell me, annoyed me. I know now that it wasn’t her at all, it was me. I was growing up, and asserting my independence was just part of that. Being a complete asshole to my mom, that was just me taking it to the next level. Sorry, mom!

 

Anyways, my Bella, she’s been giving me the “ you don’t know anything” look. I know it well. I gave it. I could feel her pulling away. One day, she would barely speak to me then suddenly, the next she was trying to match me in outfits. I was so confused. Did she hate me or did she think I was “cool”? Was she messing with me? Adolescence is so confusing and puberty makes it all 1000x worse.

 

I’ve been holding my ground. No matter how awful she is to me, every night I go into her room and kiss her goodnight and tell her that I love her. Every morning when I drop her off at school, I kiss her goodbye and tell her (and her sister) that I love them. I’m relentless with this because I never want them to doubt that or themselves.

 

Over the last couple of months, I noticed that my daughter has been making a return to me. I know she’s only 11 and there is so much more of this pulling away to come but for now, she has become my biggest advocate. When her little sister starts to argue with me or talk back, my oldest has been intervening. I told her to stop because I don’t want it to cause a rift between her and her sister but I appreciate it. It was nice that she took the initiative to have my back. I appreciate that she cared enough to step in.

 

She’s been pointing out the similarities in our physical traits and wanting to emulate me. There’s been a shift from “leave me alone” to “can I spend some time with you, mommy” and I’m not ashamed to say that I love it. She loves me and she’s not afraid to show me. She’s stopped resisting the fact that I’ll never stop loving her.

 

I really think it has a lot to do with me being consistent. She knows my unconditional love means giving her what she needs of me, and that might not always be what she wants from me but she knows that she always has me on her side.

 

Anyways, with months upon months of crazy stuff going on lately (like seriously, I must have pissed someone off who gave me the evil eye or I accidentally came into possession of some tiki a la The Brady Bunch). All I know is that among broken legs, attacking gallbladder and too many other craptastic things to mention, it is awesome to feel the love from my daughters.

 

What’s the one time you really needed some love/kind word/smile/something good to happen and it did? Isn’t it amazing how it can change everything?

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mom, hallmark, Mother's Day, #PutYourHearttopaper, what my mom means to me

This is a compensated post written by me in partnership with Hallmark but my opinions and love expressed for my mom in this post are all mine.

Saying, “I love you” to my mom is second nature to me, like breathing, in the same way that I say it to my daughters, my husband and all the people who mean so very much to me. I don’t think about it. I feel it and I say it. But I’ve never stopped to think about what it means to “love” a parent. It’s just the way it has always been. They give us birth and we love them forever, the same way my daughters love me.

mom, hallmark, Mother's Day, #PutYourHearttopaper, what my mom means to me

So, I thought about it. Really thought about it. What does my mom mean to me? My mom gave birth to me. She chose to have me, when she was in a situation that she very well could have chosen not to. She chose the hard path because she loved me before she ever met me. I never understood that love until I had my own children. A mother’s love is like no other kind of love because it runs deep and it is never-ending, unwavering and truly unconditional. I get that now.

mom, hallmark, Mother's Day, #PutYourHearttopaper, what my mom means to me

My mom means everything to me. I take that for granted sometimes. I know that. She’s always been very quiet and humble and I’m loud and a little rough around the edges. When I was younger, I mistook her quiet demeanor for weakness but really; it was fierce strength because sometimes the hardest thing to do is to hold your tongue, especially when you want to shout at the world.

I was a difficult teen. I was angry at the world and my mother took the brunt of my anger. While I was raging and shutting her out, she was strong. She never made me feel small or unheard. She heard me. She may not have liked what I was saying or doing but I always knew that no matter what I did, she would be there when I needed her and she always has been. I was never afraid to go after what I wanted in life because I always knew that if things didn’t work out, she’d still be there to love me and support me.

mom, hallmark, Mother's Day, #PutYourHearttopaper, what my mom means to me

Because of her, I learned how to be me. We are complete opposites even still to this day but somewhere between my yelling and her silence, there is peace and finally, we are both being heard. She still calls me her little girl and that’s fine to me because to her I will always be that little girl. The same way she will always be “mommy” to me.

mom, hallmark, Mother's Day, #PutYourHearttopaper, what my mom means to me

What does my mom mean to me?

She means hope for better things. She is living proof that we can survive anything. She is unconditional and forever and without her, I wouldn’t be me. In my darkest moments, my mom has always known when to hold me and when to let me go and regardless if it was what she wanted, she always gave me what I needed because that’s what being a mother is all about.

My mom inspires me to be better, to push myself and always encourages me to follow my heart. She never loses faith in me and no matter how many times I stumble in life, she’s there, carefully watching and waiting while I pick myself back up. She may be quiet and reserved but she is the reason that I am bold. She gave me the strength and support to do that. My mom is everything to me.

mom, hallmark, Mother's Day, #PutYourHearttopaper, what my mom means to me

It’s ironic that in a world where people share every fleeting thought that comes into their head sometimes we have difficulty saying the most important things to the people who mean the most to us. Hallmark helps us truly connect with those who mean the most to us. Hallmark can help you put your heart to paper.

What does your mom mean to you?

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Motherhood, in the quiet, mom, wife, parenting

Embracing Motherhood in the Quiet Moments ~ Those few and far between moments of motherhood when I can drink in the love of my children and fully cherish my role as mom. In these quite moments of mothering, as I lie here between my two little girls in bed; both holding a hand, cuddled deep into me and making me the center of their universe. I inhale the sweet smells of their childhood and grip their tiny sticky hands more tightly than I should and exhale with a sigh of appreciation at the gift of these two creatures. How I want these moments to last forever. Before I had my girls, I never realized how dynamic the mother/child relationship actually was.

Embracing motherhood means finding bliss in the mundane.

I look at my 6 year old, lying to my right, and I see a 16-year-old looming. I can feel her childhood slipping through my fingers. As she lies there in her slumber, her angelic face relaxed, no sassing in sight, I can lose myself in that small face forever. She is so pleasing, imaginative and clever, the type of kid who simultaneously amazes and inspires you. She looks at the entire world with a child’s naïveté and wonder.

My sweet girl is the kind of child who leaves random sticky notes for me to find with  “I Love you Mome” written on them in the endearing handwriting of a child. I always seem to find them just when I need them the most. In many ways, she is my savior. How I wish I could protect her from the hurts of the world and from the cruel realities and injustices that exist beyond our doorstep.

Soon she will be taller than I am, but when I look at her, I always see the tiny newborn that they placed into my arms on the day that I became a mother. The day that my life changed forever. I may barely be able to carry her off to bed any more but I will always carry her in the space that she occupies in my heart. It was made for her. For as long as I take breath into my lungs, she will reside there.

Embracing motherhood is finding awe in the ordinary.

My 4-year-old, lying in bed to my left, with her night mask on, looking like the world’s sweetest sleep bandit. How I wish I could keep her small forever. She brings joy to my world on a daily basis and I am eternally grateful for being allowed to be her mother. She is so strong, sensitive, and loud. Yet, shy when meeting someone for the first time. She is refreshingly, near brutally honest. This is one of her most endearing qualities. She becomes more and more like me every day. When she was born she was so round and full and now before me lies a waif like angel. She was once dark and covered in curls, now she is ethereal and light. She is ever changing and ever surprising and certainly, keeps us on our toes but she is like the air that I breathe; she sustains me. She gives me hope and happiness just to see her smile. She makes the world a better place just by being in it.

In this moment, I realize that I need to be more present. These moments of motherhood are moving by quickly, years are passing like days and before I know it, I will not be able to lie here at night and watch them sleep; hear them breathe, know they are safe, fully employ this honor of being their mother. Motherhood has made me a better person in the world. I’m not afraid to say it out loud, my daughters are my greatest accomplishment and joy. I know that may sound antiquated but as I lie here looking at their tiny faces, so gentle, peaceful and perfect; I know that I have changed the world. I have made a difference. These girls are a gift to the world. They are the change that I want to see in the world.

These quiet moments of motherhood inspire me to embrace all that I have been given. How has motherhood changed you? How has motherhood inspired you to go after your own dreams?

Motherhood makes Ordinary women ExtraOrdinary

 

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I never knew what it was like to love a child, the way only a Mother can, until I had children. I never realized how hard it was to love them on days when everything in the world was on your shoulders and the baby was crying too. Not that you ever don’t love your children at all times ( because we all do) but sometimes its hard to find the energy to show them, when life is doing its best to solidly kick your ass. I never knew any of this, until I lived it.

My whole life I knew that I loved my Mom. I also was very aware and accepted that we are two very different people; two very different types of women. She has always been gentle and sweet; kind and patient. She is your very typical southern lady. Everything about her is syrupy; her voice, her walk, the way she carries herself into a room. I have always been strong,impatient; sorta like a bulldozer on speed. I don’t like to wait for others to create or destroy my happiness. I will fight hard to protect those I love and love them even harder. I am a doer. I am a fighter. I’m scrappy. I’m not gentle. To me, I always loved my Mom but I saw her gentleness, in situations where I thought she should be strong, as weakness. I never understood her circumstances. Her heart was walking around on its own outside of her body.I didn’t realize; I didn’t know.

Last week, my Mom went in for a routine procedure. It was to be a remedy to a longtime ailment that effected her heart.I was against it because I felt as long as medicine kept it in check, why risk surgery. Now, if it were me..I would have gotten the surgery , no question. But being that it was my Mom, I didn’t want to run the risk of a complication. A complication is exactly what happened. A very rare complication that she and only 3 % of the population share.

An outpatient procedure turned into a 3 day stay in the hospital, a chest tube, transfusions, and a whole gaggle of scared adult children. I wasn’t there when it happened because it was suppose to be “routine”. But when faced with the situation and the very real possibility that  something worse could happen, I hopped in my car and drove to my Mother.

When I walked into the cardiovascular intensive care unit and saw my mom pale lying on the bed, hooked up to machines, blood leaking from her neck catheter, a line dripping blood from her chest, and her barely able to speak..it humbled me. It scared me. For the first time ever, I was faced with my Mother’s mortality and I didn’t like that feeling. It took everything in me not to cry. It felt much like when your child gets hurt. Your instinct is to take hold of the situation as much as you can, and I did.

Your next instinct is to make the loved one feel at ease and you hide the hurt , fear and pain you feel yourself and you have to do it all with grace.I never knew how strong you had to be to be gentle. It made me realize that for all of these years, I had mistaken my Mother’s gentleness and quiet demeanor for weakness when, in reality, it is through her silence she is maintaining her strength.Sometimes words are too much and in speaking them, you run the risk of breaking down.

I have a new respect for my Mother; for all that she has gone through and all that she has done in her soft spoken life. I also think that her and I are more alike than either of us knew. I say this because I never knew.

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