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Avatar for MomandNana1970
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-02-2012
New Here
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Sun, 12-02-2012 - 9:01am

I just found IVillage and it looks like a great parenting group.  I'm Connie, 42 year old divorced mom and grandma.  My kids are 3 girls 22, 15, and 11, my son is 17 and my grandaughter is 7.  I just wanted to introduce myself and to say hi to everyone!

Connie, Mom of 4 grandma of 1.

Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Sun, 12-30-2012 - 7:41pm
Welcome! Dh and I have been married over 22 years now and parents of two freshmen. Dd is away at school and ds is enjoying his first year of high school.

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

Avatar for cmlisab
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2011
Mon, 12-10-2012 - 12:54pm

Welcome, Connie! I'm Lisa, mom to two boys- ages 13 and 9.

VERY glad to have you with us!

Lisa 

Avatar for MomandNana1970
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-02-2012
Wed, 12-05-2012 - 8:30am

Kimmy all I can say is Wow and congratulations.  I wish I had taken your approach 8 years ago but I guess it's living and adapting as we go along.  I was one of those parents that didn't want my kids to make the same mistakes I did but I am now to the point in life where I realize that being open and supportive and understanding is the best way to raise healthy and happy kids.  As my counselor once told me, nobody wants to think or know that their teens are having sex but it's a natural part of an evolving relationship whether they are 15 or 55.  With my 15 and 17 year olds my talks now have focused on committment and love and safety. 

Connie, Mom of 4 grandma of 1.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Tue, 12-04-2012 - 10:16pm

Picking up where you left off, “Nobody ever said being a parent was easy, and nobody certainly was correct.” LOL Over the years, I have heard that type of illogical comment made about different things. It is somewhat correct and on point about much of life.

CHOP CHOP CHOP—incoming helicopter mom here—CHOP CHOP CHOP. What you did and we are doing for our teens is attempting to give them time to mature and build a life together and a happy home for the grands. I think that is a good investment of time, effort, and money. Your story is another confirmation of that approach and an inspiration to me. Thank you!

As you’ll see below, we didn’t get the double whammy of discovering our youngest daughter was both SA and preggers at the same time. We got whammed at separate times. Hubby and I cried when we found out that the girls were having sex because we feared that our girls were going down the path we had as teens. We were both promiscuous bed hoppers between 16 and 21 with lots of scars to show for it. For us the letters SA stood for “screwing around.” For our couples it was being “sexually active” with only one person—a person that they had a very long term relationship with. It took a while for us to realize that they were not about to start screwing around.

I don’t think it’s the parents’ fault when it happens. And of all the things that can happen to your kid, becoming SA and pregnant is not the worst. There is a cemetery a few blocks from our home. When we first moved here, I would see balloons floating over a grave stone. One day I took the time to go look at the stone. She was 17 and I have no clue as to why she died; maybe cancer, cystic fibroses, congenital heart defect, a car crash, drugs, suicide? I do know this; her family misses her greatly and would love to have had the burden of teen sex and pregnancy instead of a place to leave balloons.

Our daughters are best female friends, 14 months apart in age, and were in 7th and 8th grades when oldest SIL took a liking to our oldest daughter and asked her to the Halloween dance at school. He needed a place to park his best pal and he parked him with our youngest daughter. I think he and oldest daughter made the arrangements for the younger two—somewhat like an arranged date. We first met the guys when they picked up our daughters and had no clue that these were our future SILs. Who would have thunk that?

Younger couple was in the gifted and talented program, so they skipped into the same grade as the older two for HS. Youngest SIL guided all four into a long range educational plan which resulted in oldest SIL making this flippant comment to a HS guidance counselor who was being a bit demining to him, “Thank you for your concern and suggestions, but Butch (youngest SIL to be) and I have different areas of specialization. I select our wives, while he makes all class and carrier decisions. Would you like me to have him make an appointment with you to discuss your concerns and suggestions?” That comment was not well received, nor was it exactly correct, but as things turned out it was and is somewhat correct.

That remark should not have leaked out, but it did. Other students started asking if it was true that they were secretly married. Our couples just thought it was funny and still use “areas of specialization” as an “off the wall answer” sometimes when others ask questions. Somewhat like hubby sometimes answers the question of where we met with: “Oh, I found Kimmy on Craig’s List!” LOL Has Craig’s List even been around for 24 years?

Our couples were 15½ and 16½ when I came home from work early one afternoon and discovered they were having sex—an OMG moment for sure. I didn’t actually see anything, but I did hear enough, and it was obvious when they came out to the living area and found me there. Both girls had been on the pill for period regulation for a few years. As a friend of mine said about this type thing, “Kissing and holding hands only works for so long.”

Looking back, we should have known that it was about to occur or occurring because they had spent the past two and a half years merging every other part of their lives with these guys—mowing business, finances, school classes, every minute of free time, vacations with all three sets of parents. You spend that amount of time together and you greatly increase your chances of falling in love. And when you reach that point, you want to “sleep with each other” in every meaning of the term.

A year after this discovery, the mantra of both couples became, “We want to go all the way!” To them “going all the way” meant marriage. It took several months of consideration by the three sets of parents. We were planning the destination wedding with the other parents when youngest couple came up in a “family way” (That is polite southern for “knocked-up” or “oopsed-up” as I prefer to say it. LOL). Even though you know it’s a possibility, the news does—metaphorically speaking—suck the wind out of your lungs. LOL

(A caveat for SA teens and their parents: Our OBgyn thinks that in the real world, the pill is only about 90% effective over the period of a year. Our daughters were on the Nuva ring when youngest found hers in the sheets as she was removing them from the dryer. She had failed to do the daily yucky task of checking to make sure it was still in place. OOPSE!)

There is a date on the inside or each couples wedding bands. The dates are two and a half years before the wedding date. For each couple that is the date they made private vows to each other and they count time from those earlier dates.

We converted the garage into two more bedrooms, which gives each young couple two rooms to retreat into while hubby and I have the master area to retreat into. Each set of parents continues to contribute financially to the couples what they would if they were still single and living at home. Three of them work part time jobs and all four attend classes together four evenings a week, while both sets of grandparents spend time with the “big brother” and “little brother”—as Rose who posts here says, “BEST GIG IN TOWN!!!!”

I have found that much of life is about going where you can or must go and making adjustments as necessary. Sometimes our greatest fear becomes our greatest blessing.

Avatar for MomandNana1970
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-02-2012
Tue, 12-04-2012 - 8:13am

Hi Kimmy, I so agree with you, a baby does complicate life but so worth it, (although I'm not sure I would've said that 7 years ago.)  The one thing I found out from my daughter getting pregant was how my parenting style has changed over the years.  With my oldest I was the helicopter parent that tried to supervise everything she did and know everything she did. I never really talked to her about sex other than don't even think about it you're too young.  I did not want her doing the same things I did at that age.  But I did learn that where there is a will there is a way and her and her boyfriend became great little sneakers.  I found out that they'd been having sex for six months already when she told me she was pregnant and all I could think of is how I failed as a mom. 

I did eventually learn to embrace the fact that she was pregnant, and with alot of help from a counselor I realized that I was not a failure other than I should have been talking to her about bc and safe sex and been more open about accepting her budding sexuality instead of putting my head in the sand. 

Now that I have a 17 year old son and a 15 year old daughter at home, my entire philosphy as a mom has changed.  My talks to them have not been about don't do it but rather wait for someone you truly care about and come to me and I will make sure you are safe.  Plus they have learned a great lesson from their sister about how complicated life becomes when you have a baby.  Both my son and my 15 year old are in serious relationships and I have been much more open and accepting with them than I was with my oldest.  My son was with his gf for a year before they started having sex last Christmas break and my daughter was with her bf for six months and they became active last August.  But they are both being as safe as humanly possible and I now have two teenagers that don't have to lie and sneak. 

Nobody said raising teens would be easy but I have learned over the years that having open and honest relationships with them works much better than the approach I used with my oldest. 

And congratulations Kimmy on the grands and the way you have accepted it. 

Connie, Mom of 4 grandma of 1.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Mon, 12-03-2012 - 11:08pm

<p>[quote=MomandNana1970]Hi Pam, nice to meet you. My oldest had an ooops at 14 and had my grand at 15. Her and the dad stayed together, both finished high school and he graduated college this past June and has a really good job now. It's been a struggle for them but they've had alot of help and support and I'm so proud of both of them now. They live about 10 minutes away so we see them and my grand 4 or 5 times a week.[/quote] </p>

-------------------------------------

Love the above quoted words!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! They confirm everything I believe in and hope for.

Welcome to our corner of the village my kindred spirit.

DH and I are in our mid-thirties, married for 21 years last June. OK, we’re 45, but what are a little white lie, graying hair, and hot flashes. LOL

We live with our two daughters 19 and 20, and SILs their ages. All four are attending classes four evenings a week together.

We were planning the weddings when the youngest couple “oopsed” with the birth control and BLESSED us with a grandson two years ago last October and a second one last May. The second one is no oopse. LOL They truly complicate life, but are worth every bit of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My license plate holders say, “Grandmas my name, Spoilins my game!”

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
In reply to: mahopac
Mon, 12-03-2012 - 5:09pm

That's great, Connie.  We do get parents on this board, especially on the section for parents of sexually active teens, who need help from others whose kids have become teen parents.  Hope you'll stick around and share your advice with them.

Kelly

Avatar for MomandNana1970
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-02-2012
Mon, 12-03-2012 - 8:01am
Hi Pam, nice to meet you. My oldest had an ooops at 14 and had my grand at 15. Her and the dad stayed together, both finished high school and he graduated college this past June and has a really good job now. It's been a struggle for them but they've had alot of help and support and I'm so proud of both of them now. They live about 10 minutes away so we see them and my grand 4 or 5 times a week.

Connie, Mom of 4 grandma of 1.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Sun, 12-02-2012 - 5:14pm
Hi Connie! I'm Pam, married to dh for 19 1/2 years. We live in central IL. Our boys are 22 and 25. I no longer have teens but I started lurking here about 13 years ago when my oldest was 12 and have been here ever since. I was cl for several years. It's been really slow since the change to the new boards but hopefully they're getting the kinks worked out and it will pick up again. Does your grand daughter live with you or are she and her mom on their own?
Pam