I wanted to freeze when she asked. Instead, I leaned in…

Talking to your kids about sex can be insanely uncomfortable. Period.

“Neen? How the hell do I talk to my kids about sex?”

Ugh. Makes you wanna barf, right? Look, I’m a Certified Sex Coach and I talk about this for a LIVING – and I still get sick to my stomach when my kids ask questions. I wrote a blog on this that you can find here https://www.realtalkwithnina.com/…/when-do-the-birds…/.

I’m also REALLY big on sharing REAL stories to connect and help others. So, here’s a true story that happened last night in my house…I had been preparing for my sex drive workshop for a few weeks. Well, the other night, my curious daughter saw the title of the workshop. I knew she saw it, and my first instinct was to avoid the conversation and quickly click off the tab. Instead, I leaned in. It went like this…(I used a teasing/sarcastic tone, because that tends to ease awkwardness in my life.)

“You don’t have to pretend you didn’t see the title of the workshop, Miss. Nosey!” (she smirked). “Well, yeah…I did see it. I can’t help looking at what you’re doing.”

“It’s totally ok. It’s not a bad word. The word sex doesn’t mean JUST what we talked about before (note: she knows what penetrative sex is). It means so many things to so many people. The bottom line is that it has to do with different types of affection in relationships – kissing, hugging, making out, etc. This is important in relationships to feel connected. Ya know how Mommy and Daddy smooch sometimes, and you get grossed out? (she laughed) Well, that’s one way that we love to connect. Sometimes, though, in relationships we can feel disconnected. We can be fighting over something, stressed over something, and overly busy, and we don’t WANT to be affectionate. What do you think happens when couples don’t WANT to be affectionate?”

She paused for a sec. “Well, I guess you guys would probably not be happy together, and not want to be around each other. That probably feels bad and can cause other problems.”

“EXACTLY!” I smiled. “So, Mommy is giving a workshop so people can understand what makes them WANT to be affectionate, and what makes them NOT want to be affectionate. If we know these things about ourselves, and can explain them to our partner, what do you think can happen?”

“You can get along better and be happier.” She seemed almost bored at this point (mission accomplished – LOL). “Yup! So, that’s what this is all about. So, when you see the word ‘sex’, understand it can mean a million things to a million different people.”

That was it. That was me. Talking to my kids about sex.

Sometimes (well…a lot of times…), the more fear and taboo vibes we instill around the subject, the more damage we do – and consequently, the more challenges we have later in life around the subject. Again, every child is different, and you know your child best. I just thought I’d share one way of handling these things, in case it helps 😊

Difficult Conversations with Our Kids…

I realized something today.

Well, I should say that I took ACTION on a realization today – I’ve had this realization long before today.

Despite the fact that my career is based on uncomfortable conversations, there are moments in my life when I do my best to avoid them. I’ve also noticed a pattern with my avoidance. I avoid difficult conversations with my kids. I know the impact that I have on their development as human beings, and frankly…it scares the shit out of me sometimes. Actually…all the time.

How do I explain, in the midst of an already unpredictable and emotionally chaotic time, that the Corona virus isn’t our biggest hurdle to jump right now as a country? As an entire world! So, I took my own advice this morning about the importance of HAVING the hard conversations.

I was eating lunch with the kids, and casually said, “I’m glad there’s a march happening downtown today,” as I scrolled through Facebook on my phone. To be honest, I set that up because I knew one of them would be curious and ask what the march was about. And they both did – almost simultaneously. So I began…

I asked if they knew what racism was. Their answer was, “Yeah, that’s when people say bad things for no reason about people who look different.” Mind you, they are 8 and 10, and I was content with their answer. However, I knew I couldn’t couldn’t chicken out and leave it there – and I didn’t.

I asked if they remembered learning about slavery. They said, “Yeah, that happened like…so long ago!”

“Yes,” I agreed, “…but unfortunately, people still believe that people with different colored skin are less than, or beneath people with white skin.” I waited…

“What?! Still?! But, I’m friends with (listed some of their friends who have different colored skin), and I don’t treat them bad!”

“Correct. You don’t. Unfortunately, there are still plenty of people who do.”

I started to get a knot in my stomach, because I knew damn well I was avoiding the event that sparked the most recent worldwide march. So, I leaned in and told them. I told them about George Floyd. I told them how there are bad police officers, just like there are bad people who aren’t police officers. I told them that even though we, as a family, just see human beings, the truth is, some of their friends will be treated differently SOLELY based on the color of their skin.

They stood there sort of blank faced – probably wondering what this had to do with them since they aren’t racist. Then, I remembered a post I saw about the difference between “not being racist”, and being actively “anti-racism”. Like most kids, they needed to know specifically how this impacts them.

I explained that it’s one thing not to be racist, and another to stand up AGAINST racism. I gave examples of how they can play their part in this world by speaking up if they hear someone make racist comments, or make assumptions about someone based on race.

The hard truth in all of this? I’m not sure who learned more from the conversation – my kids…or me…

I Guess I Wasn’t a Good Mom…

mom guilt wine crayons

I guess I wasn’t a good Mom.

Snow days on social media would wreck my soul. I would see parents doing arts and crafts, sleigh riding, and all of the other things that “good Moms” do. I couldn’t stand the thought of having to get all dressed up in a snow suit, only to come back in 5 minutes later. 

I guess I wasn’t a good Mom. 

Parents taking kids on vacations and day trips, and posting about how amazing it was. I would get stressed at the thought of even packing for a vacation, let alone actually enjoying one. I stressed about the possible car sickness, the fighting in the back seat, the 800th “Are we there yet?”. 

I guess I wasn’t a good Mom. 

Article after article about screen time and how “horrible” it was for brain development, yet that is how I was able to get work done, cook dinner, and frankly – exhale for a bit. 

I guess I wasn’t a good Mom. 

Kids going to the local beach every day in town, and I made up some ridiculous reason why we couldn’t. I didn’t want to deal with all that went along with the planning and execution of a beach trip with two young kids on my own (my husband was working). (side note – much easier now that they are older!)

I guess I wasn’t a good Mom. 

I was drowning in Mom guilt to the point where it was impacting my relationship with myself, my kids, and even my husband! I was a mess, and something needed to change. This couldn’t POSSIBLY be what was expected to be a “good Mom”. This is not how I grew up, yet I had fallen into society’s expectations of how I should Mom, and it wasn’t matching up with how I NATURALLY Mommed…you feel me?

So, I made a huge shift. I dug deep. I went to therapy. 

I. WOKE. UP. 

I woke up to how I wanted to Mom. I woke up to accepting how I showed up as a Mom, even though it may not look like anything I saw on social media. I woke up to the CRITICAL ways my own parents showed up for me, and saw that I am showing up exactly the same for my kids. And…I turned out pretty Ok.

Much love,

Nina