MamaSpeak: Sex and the Single Mom
I found the Sex and the Single Mom DVD while shopping on eBay a few years ago. I’ll admit that it was the title that caught my attention at first. And after reading the description, I decided it was worth the asking price.
The movie stars Gail O’Grady, who plays Jess Gladwell, a single mother who has to come to terms with her own hypocrisy when she carries on an out-of-wedlock affair while preaching celibacy to her teen daughter. It’s a realistic look at the natural desires and specific temptations faced by a divorced mother. The consequences are burdensome, and eventually cause a rift between Jess and her daughter.
By the end of the movie, Jess is pregnant with her married lover’s child, as he breaks off the relationship to return home to his wife for the sake of his children, with no knowledge of Jess’s pregnancy.
I watched the movie in awe that someone had taken what I thought was an original script of my life and transformed it into a beloved Lifetime movie. I had just ended a clandestine relationship with a married, but separated minister. And like Jess, I was alive, and my lover had done that. But, before long, I was questioning the double standard I was living, teaching my children one thing while living another. My message was loud and clear: Do as I say, not as I do. And the subliminal message was that it is okay to have sex and not be married as long as you don’t get caught.
There was no denying that I was a bible-toting, Jesus-loving, Christian woman who had abstained from any and all sexual activity for years. There was also no denying that I was a woman who craved the companionship and touch of a man, including sex. But while I was in my relationship, I asked myself what would I do if I got pregnant? How would I “spin it” for my children? How would I tweak my testimony for the church, and make it seem like God had ordained me to conceive a child with a married man of the cloth? Would my lover rush to a divorce court, get a docket number, and then hurry back to me for a shotgun wedding as a cover up?
I broke off the relationship when I realized there were more things wrong about it than right. I wanted to model a healthy, loving relationship before my children with a man who was all mine, because that’s the only way my parental advice would be effective.
A few years passed before I heard from my old flame again. He’d had a child, born during his marriage, with the mistress who followed me. While he explained to me how God revealed to him during our relationship that this woman would have his child, I lifted my hands towards heaven and thanked God that this Hagar testimony wasn’t mine; I’m glad I’m not part of the First-Lady’s Husband’s Baby Mama Club.
A few months ago I was hanging out in a forum on a popular social networking site when a woman asked for help on how to deal with her 14-year-old son. Apparently, he’d heard her and her boyfriend having sex and sent her a text message telling her so. My son is 19 now, and I don’t even want to imagine what he would think about me now if he had heard me having sex when he was 14. Her situation was a stark reminder of how single parents must exercise discretion while dating. Throwing caution to the wind may seem exciting in the heat of the moment with a mate. But it has its consequences when it comes to dealing with impressionable children. They are more discerning than we give them credit for, and can often see right through our hypocrisy.
WeParent family, what policies do you have in place when it comes to sex? Are you practicing what you’re teaching your children? Have you adopted a no sex in the home policy, or are you abstaining from sex altogether until you’re married? Are the rules different for single dads than they are for single moms?