I wish my mother had taught me about sex
Posted On April 2, 2021
When I was 14 years old, I traveled to Yaoundé, the capital of Cameroon, to visit my Aunt Grace and her family. A few weeks after my vacation, I felt some cramps in my lower stomach and then I discovered a hint of blood in my panties. I told my cousins and I remember having this subtle fear that I had done something wrong. I also feared that I had completely come out of my childhood.
My cousins told me to tell their mom. Aunt Grace called me into the bedroom, and while she was preparing a makeshift sanitary napkin, she gave me the only advice I’ve ever received about sex from a mother: “If you have sex with a boy, you will get pregnant.”
At that point I didn’t have to worry about getting pregnant because I didn’t have a boyfriend and I had no intention of having one. Better yet, the blood did not reappear for the next four months. However, three years later, at 17, I started living alone on the college campus and soon had a boyfriend. Still, my entire sex education consisted of that line from Aunt Grace.
To date, I have never had a genuine, candid talk about sex with a competent female authority.
I appreciate my mother for the thousands of things she did wonderfully, but I wish sex had been one of the more things she had brought me up on.
I know that she, as a mother of five girls and a boy, has received at least some education about sex, even if it is just from school of hard knocks and lessons learned.
Why are parents afraid to open up and talk to their children about sex?
I wish my mother had told me that I could get an STD or get pregnant from having unprotected sex, and that being in an isolated place with a member of the opposite sex can tempt me to have sex.
I wish you had told me how my menstrual cycle works.
I wish she had explained to me that those kids that I used to envy because they had boyfriends at a young age weren’t the ones to look up to.
I wish he had told me that if I choose to have sex it should be with someone who respects me. Or just waiting to have sex with my husband when I get married.
I wish I had explained what it looks like when a man respects a woman.
I wish she had told me that I am beautiful and validated myself not to seek validation from guys who may be misinformed about sex and under the control of raging hormones.
I wish, for the sake of my self-preservation, she had taught me about birth control, including abstinence, and its advantages and disadvantages.
But she didn’t. Instead, I learned this information in chunks over the years and through the consequences of my actions.
I think if my mother (or whatever mother figure I looked up to) had shown me the right path through puberty, rather than letting me stumble in the dark, I would have made different choices in my teens and youth.
He was impressionable at the age of 14; his words would have guided me. Such a conversation would have encouraged me to boldly approach my mother with any concerns about sex, and this could have made our relationship a thousand times richer at the time.
I’m not saying that I could have been a better woman than I am now, but I could have had a more virtuous past. I don’t totally blame my actions on the lack of sexual orientation, but with it I could have been more proud of myself and my parents could have enjoyed the benefits of their daughter making decisions with sexual power.
Instead, with my lack of knowledge, I repeatedly strayed down the dark path, causing my mother more than a few sleepless nights and the kind of heartache that only a mother can feel.
I once left home when I was about 21 years old, I graduated without a job and I was angry at the world. I left with just my phone and some cash and went to live at my boyfriend’s house. I turned off my phone to avoid calls from home. I thought my boyfriend was my savior. He promised to improve my life in exactly every way I wanted, but his promises yielded zero results and many tears. My mother had members of her church perform chain prayers for me until I returned home.
I’m not proud of many of the decisions I made then, but I know better now, so I do better.
I am not yet a mother, but when I am I plan to be a light for my children. I will teach you what I have learned about what is right in life so you don’t have to learn it the hard way as I did, through experience.
I’m also on a mission to empower tweens and teens, especially girls, with sexual information to help them make better decisions about sex. I make sure to talk to every teenager I know because most of them still don’t know about sex, just like I do.
I am currently writing an online teen self-assessment questionnaire designed to give them advice on sex and other topics based on the answers they provide. I plan to complete this questionnaire next month and release it shortly thereafter.
Also, I blog about my views and experiences on my website to reach out to parents with children ages 9-14. I encourage you to genuinely talk to your children about sex.
Finally, I am working on an e-book for teens that conveys knowledge about sex from a godly, older sister-like perspective.
These are initiatives that I am passionate about, because I know that a one-off change of direction today is worth a great bow of change in the future.