I have a confession. I made a mistake. I let a boy have a sleepover with my daughter. I was uncomfortable with the idea but agreed to it anyway. The second I did, I felt something tug at my gut. Moms, you know what I’m talking about.
I have another confession. This story isn’t about how I let a boy spend the night. There’s not much to tell. My daughter and her friend Noah are both five. They played with stuffed animals, jumped on the trampoline, scarfed down slices of cheese pizza and stayed up way too late. I made chocolate pancakes in the morning and sent Noah home with a full belly and a smile on his face.
“Best sleepover ever. — Thanks, Mom.”
This story is about deciding to go against that gut feeling. And how it made me question myself as a mother, who likes to think she mostly has her shit together.
It’s okay if you judged me a little by now. I did when Noah’s mom first mentioned how she allowed her oldest son, who is ten, to have co-ed sleepovers. I quietly wondered how that worked out for them.
Where did they sleep? Was the bedroom door open or closed?
Weren’t they the least bit curious by that age?
Can we keep all the penises in one room and vaginas in the other?
I wouldn’t be okay with it. But every mom mothers differently, and who the hell am I to judge what works for their family? Shortly after our first play-date, she asked if I was up for a sleepover. My defenses immediately went up. It caught me off guard. Again, I ignored that tug.
Couldn’t she tell how uncomfortable I was with the idea when she first mentioned it?
Then I thought, it’s only a big deal if I make it a big deal. She was okay with it; I could be okay with it too.
Besides, they’re five.
The last confession, I swear. I’ve had one hell of a time keeping friends lately. Making genuine connections and maintaining friendships after 30 seems nearly impossible. It’s somewhat of a joke to me at this point. I have my reasons why I stay guarded. I am learning, the hard way, how to not wear my heart on my damn sleeve.
I’ve lost friends. But I would like some more. I can only assume Noah’s mom picked up on that scent. The sleepover scenario was more a test for me to set appropriate boundaries from the get-go than anything else.
FYI — I bombed the exam.
I was against the idea. It never crossed my mind to allow my kids to have sleepovers with the opposite sex. It’s not something I was allowed to do as a kid. I felt it in my core; it wasn’t the right message to teach my five-year-old daughter.
Why did I end up doing the opposite of what my gut was telling me to do? Is it because I’ve had a hard time keeping friends lately?
Is setting healthy boundaries in relationships backfiring on me again?
I’m going to go with, yes.
Talk about a life lesson. — It was a test.
Noah’s mom recently offered for the sleepover to be at her house this time. I politely declined and was upfront about why. I’m sure she wondered why I said yes to a sleepover in the first place. Frankly, I had wondered the same thing.
I keep reading how life will continue to throw the same situations at you until you learn what the Universe is trying to teach you. True story. This was another test for me to set healthy boundaries, stand up for what I believe in (my gut), and also to teach my children about listening to their own voice.
“Always trust your gut. It will never steer you wrong.” — my mom
Thank you for listening ❤ Have a beautiful weekend!