Would you throw your toys out of the pram? Would you be cool? Would you forbid it?
This is one of things I’ve been dreading as my son got older – the inevitable arrival of a girlfriend. Many of my friends have joked that I would not be cool… and I knew they were right.
Interestingly I was not remotely stressed about my daughter having her first serious boyfriend. It just felt like the natural order of things. But my son…well we all know the old clichés about mothers and sons!
For years I have had an extremely close relationship with my son. But things definitely shifted after he turned 16 as I discussed in a post last year, “The Anti Oedipus complex”.
As a mother, I suppose my main worry when it comes to girlfriends and boyfriends is that my children pick someone who isn’t ultimately good for them.
Relationships may come with an element of drama – especially teenage ones – but I believe any relationship, especially a romantic one, should be positive and the happy times outweigh the bad or sad.
There’s no need to change yourself to please someone else and above all you should both have each other’s back.
I knew I would have to deal with reality of a girlfriend sooner or later – and as with so many things in the lives of our teenagers there would be very little I could do about it.
So…. she arrived in the autumn. The exact timing is vague, as any parent with teenagers knows – details of any sort are kept secret and rarely shared with parents.
In addition to the vagueness, I have noticed teenagers these days aren’t overly keen on labels – but given the frequency with which they see each other – they are definitely going out.
What has been quite surprising to me, and those around me, is I have been calm and cool – supportive even.
Theoretically I have played many scenarios and reactions out in my head but ultimately my kids being happy overrides everything for me. And as is true in so many areas of life, especially parenting – there is a big difference between the hypothetical and the reality.
I have to trust that the way I have brought them up, loved them and nurtured my kids is enough – so they make the right decisions for them.
Caring for someone, maybe falling in love is one of the best feelings I know. So I have to trust. After all, life is precious and worth living to the full and one thing that I have learned as a parent is it is their life not mine.
Luckily – so far – my kids have chosen nice boyfriends/girlfriends. And I am privately very proud of myself that I haven’t turned into a crazy banshee.
The girlfriend is lovely and my son seems happy. And like every mother I know if my kids are happy, I’m happy.