Today’s lettersnatch’d is a bona fide adult, and is trying to have fun and explore her sexuality. But her mother feels entitled to know more about the people she’s spending the night with.
It’s really hard to get wet when you’re being bombarded with long-distance parental Snoop Rays and Fret Beams. So let’s fix this.
“I [22F] have been having some one night stands, and I recently decided it’d be best to keep my mother [56F] uninvolved in my love life. I let her know when I won’t be home, and will vaguely tell her I’m out on a date and staying over, but I won’t tell her who it is, where– A Redditor
he lives, how long I’ve known him, etc.
“She’s very upset that I’m having sex and staying over at guys’ houses. I feel like as an adult I can make my own decisions and she should be respecting that I want to keep my love life private. Apparently she’s been talking to my father about this as well and is super upset that she doesn’t have the details on who I’m with.
“What can I do to ease her mind while also not telling her who I’m with when I go out?”
The theme of this season of the podcast definitely seems to be “cling to your reasonable boundaries with the powerful fingers of a desperate lemur until you’re able to move out.”
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Episode transcript (click to reveal)
Theme Song 0:00
If you need some dough
You don’t know where to go
In this patriarchal capitalist hellscape
Well here’s the ‘sitch
We’re gonna help you, sis
Because bitches get riches
Bitches get riches
Bitches get riches
Bitches get riches
And so can you
If I were like super, super rich and could have like whatever kind of house I wanted, I would totally want one with like an interior courtyard or like a solarium or a conservatory. That’s one of those like, truly ridiculous things that I’m like, I would just kill to have because anytime I’m in one, that’s when I’m like, you know I think I should be a novelist and suddenly, I’m also lightly British like Keira Knightley and everything she’s ever been in.
Oh yes. Lightly British is the best British.
Yes because if you get too British…
If you get too British you have to deal with all that imperialism.
Have a biscuit!
No, I think that’s – I think that’s Southern. Unless- are those like crackers or something?
No – okay. So listen – so I have a Scottish friend.
And like her brogue is very light and I will never forgive her for it. But, so I have learned from her that the they have biscuits and their form of biscuits – they use the word biscuits for the following items: crackers, cookies, scones, not biscuits like not actually like they don’t actually have like, like fucking like buttery drop biscuits like they don’t have those in the UK apparently, so we made her biscuits and she was like blown away. She’s like, this is the best American food I’ve ever had. And I was just like, I know!
Biscuits and gravy ugh!
Biscuits and fucking gravy with like green chili.
That’s one of my real…I’m sorry What? What did you just..? Did you just like…
Listen, this is a Western thing okay! Like we put pork green chili on everything. Don’t knock it till you try it. Pork green chili on biscuits. Okay, just like
Yes, but not with gravy.
Okay, you terrified me because I thought you were putting something else on biscuits…
Oh no no, no, no, no…
…on biscuits and gravy…
Noooo no no no
…I was like, we’re already too many podcast episodes in to cancel at this point.
Girl – have some faith in me, okay, okay? So, no – biscuits with some pork green chili on top. Okay? Alright. Moving on!
Correct. That is fine. That is fine. Okay, I’m Kitty.
And I’m Piggy.
We are the bitches in Bitches Get Riches.
We are your rich internet aunties and we like you more than all your other cousins!
And we are here to shower you with our wealth of knowledge.
Our time on this planet is limited.
So, let’s get started.
Today’s letter comes to us from Reddit.
Reddit – sneakin on Reddit. It’s me!
Creepin on Reddit! Alright, my (22 year old woman) mother (56 year old woman) who I live with while finishing college feels entitled to know who I’m with and where I’m at each night. I’ve been having some one night stands (Ooh, La La) and I recently decided it’d be best to keep my mother uninvolved in my love life (Solid call). I let her know when I won’t be home and will vaguely tell her I’m out on a date and staying over, but I won’t tell her who it is, where he lives, how long I’ve known him etc. She’s VERY upset that I’m have sex and staying over at guys’ houses. I feel like as an adult, I can make my own decisions and she should be respecting that I want to keep my love life private. Apparently she’s been talking to my father about this as well and is super upset that she doesn’t have the details on who I’m with. What can I do to ease her mind while also not telling her who I’m with when I go out? Uyyy…
I wanted to throw sort of a straight feminist question at us and I think this is an interesting one because it’s a daughter living with her mother, and it sounds like her mother’s problem isn’t really that she’s sexually active..it’s that she…that the mother doesn’t love that these dudes are sort of faceless, you know?
One night stands, or at least guys that she doesn’t know very much about…
…which seems like a more nuanced question than just like “my parents want me to be a virgin until I have my fourth child!”
Which, like, I just want to sympathize with the mom a little bit right now…
…and then I will stop, which is that like, it’s scary out there for young women. It’s scary out there for sexually active women and I think her mom is right to have a little fear about her being sexually active with men because statistically speaking, like men are one of the leading causes of violence and danger to women like it’s, you know, it’s it is scary out there. And that’s not to paint (#NotAllMen)…It’s not to paint them with a broad brush that like, you know, every mother should be worried that her daughter is at this very moment getting raped and murdered by a random man that she’s gone out on a date with, but it is to say that like it can be dangerous. So mom’s worry. I’m not a mom, you’re not a mom, but like, mom’s fucking worried. I know moms. They worry.
Yeah. And I think we’ve talked in the past, in some of our articles about how – now that you and I are older than high school/college age we have…
Crones if you will.
We are withered and decaying. Old crones like us know that when you go back to your childhood home, and you’re like staying with your parents for a night but you’re, you know, 25/30 there’s something about being physically in that space, back in your childhood bedroom, in your childhood home, that kind of, it’s almost like a gravity that pulls you back into thinking and behaving and playing the same roles that you played when you were a child. And I think it’s probably the same way for parents – like you kind of fall into a rhythm of like, we’re going to follow the same patterns and fulfill the same roles that we always have in this house and 22 years, which is how old the daughter is, 22 years is a very long time to have established a pattern of having some say in your child’s autonomy, and then to suddenly feel like it’s being pulled away from you. There will be friction, whether it was this issue or some other issue, I think there will always be friction the first time a child really pushes back and says this is private, and I don’t want you involved in this part of my life.
That’s a fraught interaction.
It’s a step that every loving parent and child must go through, but I do fundamentally see this as – it’s not that her mom wants to know who these boys are, like be acquainted with every intimate detail of her sex life. It’s that she’s worried for her safety and so I think you know, the best thing, before the daughter moves out, which right now it sounds like she’s very wisely living at home while she finishes college, which is a great way to save money. You know, she’s going to move out eventually, but at the moment she needs to make some steps to relieve her mother’s worries while also maintaining her own privacy.
Yeah. And I think we’re probably giving them other than most charitable read here yet that it is an issue of being worried about safety.
Yeah. It could be that she’s a nosy motherfucker who just wants to be in her daughter’s business, which – can I deviate briefly into a personal
You know this and you’re just gonna have to giggle as you remember this. So, my parents are very Catholic and they, despite having my brother five months after their wedding (weird, very short pregnancy)
Wow – he was a preemie!
Very healthy, full size preemie. They really don’t believe in living together before marriage because – and this is a statistic from probably like the 80s – apparently people who live together before they get married are more likely to get divorced. Which I think the opposite is probably true at this point, but that’s what my parents believe and deeply Catholic blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. So my husband and I have been together since we were wee baby 18 year olds. And I know, I know #blessed. And I know you’ll be shocked by this so clutch your pearls. We’ve been sexually active for 99% of our relationship.
Do you say this is if I don’t have a clear memory of you punching your v-card? That’s a story for another time.
Yeah, sorry. Sorry, babe. We’re talking around this on the air, but ya no, thank you for remaining my friend after that. Steamrolling on by! Yeah, so we are from the same hometown. Our parents live less than a mile from each other. They have breakfast once a month, together, which is all very cute and gross and whatever, but when we first moved in together after college, we weren’t married yet, but we would go home together to visit for like Christmas and shit and my parents insisted, though we live together and slept in the same bed every night, they insisted that we stay in separate houses when we would visit for Christmas.
I do remember this and I remember very clearly like urging you to like, Girl you need to lay down the line with them like this is ridiculous.
It is ridiculous!
At the same time, it’s completely ridiculous. It’s very silly. At the same time, I think there is an aspect to your house your rules.
Yeah, totally. The moment we got engaged though, they were like “Oh, which house will you guys be staying in” and we were like “You fucking hypocrite.” Anyway…
I mean, it’s all kind of like, in the grand scheme of things, this is a fairly harmless problem. You know, your your mom’s not abusing you, she’s not shaming you. You’re not coming home from a date and she’s not like, I don’t know, like being all like Carrie’s mom at you, but this is like, this is a thing where, so you’re 22 years old, you’re finishing college, I think realistically, you will probably have friction on this point until you move out. It’s really – it’s difficult to transition from having a relationship between a child and a parent to two adults.
Like it’s a fundamentally different relationship and it’s really hard to do it when you’re still living together so letter writer has a pretty good – letter snatched – letter snatched has a pretty good sense of boundaries here about like, I decided it would be best to keep my mother uninvolved in my love life. Good decision. Very good decision.
Yeah. Which, again, like it’s a temporary situation, like you’re finishing college and living with her, you’re going to move out after you finish college or shortly thereafter, which – then issue is going to resolve itself because your mother’s not going to know where you are at any given time or who you’re associating with. I, honestly, like this is gonna sound – this like – this is gonna sound old lady-ish of me, but I honestly think that she can get herself a lot of leeway by just telling her mom, “hey, here’s what I’m willing to tell you so that you know that I’m safe. Here’s what you don’t need to know and you must respect that boundary.” And when she goes out like, I don’t know, show your mom your Tinder profile and be like this is the guy. This is where we’re going. I don’t expect to be home tonight and like, that’s it and that way the mom at least knows, like, you know, where her last known location was if she goes missing or something. Again just assuming that the mother is concerned about safety and not anything else.
Yeah, that’s basically the same level of information that you would give like a roommate – just you know, as a precaution like, “Oh I’m meeting with this guy and we are going to this place and I’ll be back tomorrow.”
And I think, you know, just being really upfront with the mom about like her motivations and you know, like, I know – to your parents is super uncomfortable, especially when it’s about sex, but just saying like, “Hey Mom, I’ve realized recently that your big concern is about my safety and you’re not trying to invade my privacy.” Like give your mom that credit because even if that’s not how she feels like that’ll kind of shame her into feeling that way.
A little compliment. I think leading with like, “You have raised me to be a self-assured woman who is good at weighing risks, and making the best possible decision for myself in pursuit of my own happiness. You have given me all of the sex education that I need. You have warned me about, you know the dangers of things like date rape. I’ve absorbed all those lessons that you’ve given me. I’m asking you to please stand back and trust my judgment. As long as we’re still living together, can we please have a ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy where I’m not going to give you information that’s going to stress you out or rile you up and you’re not going to go seeking that information or giving me commentary on it, which is just going to make me want to get out faster and to tell you less in the meantime, and that, you know, isn’t ideal.”
Totally, totally. And just having that conversation once is all it’s going to take because then like if your mom ever violates the rules that you laid out in that discussion – like Mom, you’re breaking the rules. Just – I need you to fuck off.
Mom – could you… Mumzy pretty, pretty sure it’s time for you to fuck off Mum!
There’s a certain amount of like your house your rules, you are an adult, you are past the age where your mom is legally required to let you be a freeloader at her house. Maybe if in the meantime, you want to do other things that will help kind of shift your relationship from child and parent to two adults who are related to each other, you can kind of start to change the way that you do things around the house. If you are still kind of having your mom do the cooking, do the laundry, help you out with stuff as part of just this long standing tradition of the way your relationship has always been, maybe start to like tiptoe away from that: buy your own groceries, cook your own food, do your own laundry, maybe talk to your mom about like, “Hey, if I start paying you rent can the trade off be that my room – we understand that it will be exclusively mine to access and that you won’t go in anymore?” There are kind of other things that you can do around the periphery that might help to help your mom out to move the relationship in a new direction where she doesn’t feel like really scared by you doing things that are outside of her control and maybe not the things that she values like we haven’t really talked about the the one night stand issue that is realistically, if you are going to stay at a long term boyfriend’s house every night. It sounds like she would probably be taking it differently. And you know, that’s…
That’s her thing.
Let’s be clear, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a one night stand – like, girl get it.
Yeah good for you.
Good for you.
Go figure out what you like and what you want and do it safely and have fun doing it.
Yeah – enjoy yourself and let him enjoy himself, but you know if you’re coming home and then your mom is washing the panties that you walked home in…
No no no
Oh you’re a genius oh you just devastated me. I have chills.
You’re welcome. But like the point there is – if you’re asking her to treat you like an adult, be adult in every sense of the word here and we don’t know enough from this letter, whether or not you know the letter writer – the letter snatched – is doing her own laundry, buying her own groceries, paying rent, like doing all of these adulty things, like we don’t know that so let’s just assume you know that it’s somewhere in the middle like if you want to be treated like an adult and have your mother respect the privacy of your adult sexuality, don’t expect her to treat you like a child in any other sense.
Word. Are you good with that?
I’m good with that.
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Hey, is there anything else they should know?
Yes. Cheddar cheese belongs on apple pie.
Cosigned and good to know.
Kitty & Piggy 19:38
Woohoo! Great job.
Huge thanks to Purple at A Purple Life for her help creating these transcripts!