Parents have a lot to teach their children while they’re growing up, but that teaching doesn’t just end when their children turn eighteen.
But the kids may not always appreciate that, admitted the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor MomWithMorals angered her daughter when she asked the date to leave who she had snuck back into their house, and who she had just met.
When her daughter argued with her about the situation, the Original Poster (OP) second-guessed how she handled the situation.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for not allowing my college-aged daughter ‘sleepovers’ at our house with the opposite sex?”
The OP raised her children in a specific way.
“I (51 Female) and Daughter (19) ‘Joan’ recently got into a heated argument and we are turning to random strangers on the internet for guidance in determining who is right. (I say ‘we’, as this post is her suggestion.)”
“My kids were raised in a traditional, but non-religious, family.”
“My husband and I have been married for over 25 years. Although it was even admittedly rare back in the ’90s, we actually waited until we were officially married before we had sex for the first time.”
“Currently, Joan is attending college and lives with us in our developed basement with a separate entrance. Our two other kids have moved out for good. Although Joan is not in a relationship, she is socially active and dates on occasion.”
The OP recently felt disrespected by her daughter.
“The issue – Last night, Joan was out with friends, and as mothers are prone to do, I never fall completely asleep until I hear her come home.”
“So, last night, she was back around 1:00 AM and as I was still fully awake, I went downstairs to see how her night went.”
“I was, however, wholly unimpressed when I saw her on the couch with a guy she had just met that night. They weren’t engaged in anything (yet) however, it was evident where events were likely to lead.”
“Although I was polite, I commented to Joan that she really needed to get to sleep as we were planning an early morning walk, and I waited patiently as her ‘new friend’ got the hint and left.”
The OP’s daughter did not appreciate how this was handled.
“Afterwards, Joan was livid, and says that I thoroughly embarrassed her, and that, as she was an adult, she should be able to see whomever she wants, whenever she wants, and wherever she wants.”
“My position is that she is an adult, however, she has no right to bring a stranger into our house without my knowledge as:”
“1. It’s a pandemic. We’re all fully vaxxed. However, we have no idea of his health status. (She says that argument is a red-herring BECAUSE we are fully vaxxed and otherwise healthy.)”
“2. Our house belongs to her dad and me. I’m not comfortable with having a complete stranger spend the night. (Her argument is that she’s still a dependent as she’s going to college and it’s still her house too.)
“3. Although I don’t approve, I agree that as an adult, she can engage in whatever legal activity she chooses. However, Not in my house. She knows my views on pre-marital sex, and by engaging in the activity in my house, with me at home, is a massive sign of disrespect.”
“4. If she really wants to spend the night with a random stranger, that’s what hotels are for. (Her argument is that, although she’s working, she’s saving for her future, and that would be a stupid waste of money.)”
“So, AITA for making her friend leave, or should I just ignore my long-held belief system and accept her choices as an adult?”
“My husband’s position is that he’s taking the Switzerland position. Officially neutral. I’m not happy with his lack of support, but I’m not going to engage in a two-front war at the moment.”
After receiving questions, the OP offered a few clarifications.
“1. Joan does not pay rent. As with all our kids, she’s on the ‘Free room and board plan’ so long as she is attending school.”
“2. I recognize that I hold a minority position in society. However, there was nothing more glorious than sharing a special intimacy with the man I loved on my wedding night, knowing that it was a special gift that we each bestowed on the other, never having shared with another. I believe it has made our marriage stronger over the years. It is a special bond that we alone share with each other.”
“I attempted to impart that feeling and knowledge onto all my kids in the hopes that they would be able to have the same unique experience, however, I am also realistic enough to know that, in this day and age, with Tinder and the like, it would be a miracle if any of them abstained prior to marriage.”
“3. I have never been a ‘helicopter parent’ and the notion that not resting comfortably until my daughter gets home on a Saturday night is akin to ‘overparenting’ is absurd.”
“My husband is a retired Detective, and, as he always said to the kids, ‘rarely does anything good happen at 3 in the morning’.”
“4. No, we had never discussed ‘male sleepovers’ prior to last night, as the issue never came up. Would my feelings be different if Joan was in a long-term committed relationship? Honestly, I don’t know. I’ll have to cross that bridge when it happens.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the OP needed to evaluate what was the most important to her in this situation.
“Mom needs to decide which one is more important.”
“If she can’t sleep until her daughter comes home she’s going to be wanting to know when she’s out at hotels with guys or at the very least not coming home. At that point, it opens up for mom to give opinions on where and what her daughter is doing which I think is an overstep at this age.”
“I also don’t see OP being comfortable with her daughter doing that regularly and it could lead to problems of claiming she’s spending too many late nights not coming home.”
“The alternative is she brings her dates home, into this separate suite and mom respects her autonomy as long it is legal.”
“What is your priority? No sex in the house or knowing your daughter is coming home at night? I don’t think either answer is wrong. Just that only one can be the deciding factor in your relationship.”
“I would also argue that If the daughter is paying rent she should be able to have opposite (or same) sex encounters in her space. If she is not, it could be a compromise. A nominal rent fee = adult space, mom doesn’t check-in when daughter comes home. If she needs a check-in, she can send her daughter a text.”
“Or. Daughter goes to a hotel for hookups like most of us.”
“To the daughter. It is your mother’s home and ultimately you need to respect her decision. If you aren’t paying rent then no premarital sex in the house. Adult privileges come with adult prices.” – JustMissKacey
“At 19 I’d go back to people’s places for private activity from time to time, but that typically would not, on a first date, involve sex itself.”
“Being able to say ‘we can’t tonight, my parents will hear’ is a great safety net for her daughter if, once she gets to the couch or even the bed, she sees red flags or problematic signs., or just wants to wait till she’s seen the chap in daylight and be sure they’re equipped with appropriate protection and whatever to be sure she can have a safe and comfortable experience.”
“Mom’s prudishness means her daughter can only explore potential intimate relationships with new men on their terms and territory. She might be entitled to do this but OP it doesn’t mean you’re not YTA.” – Cardabella
“So you would rather your daughter go over to a stranger’s house for sex than having a stranger over for sex. I would definitely prefer my kid to be at my house with me as a backup if necessary then ending up go for bid drugged in a frat house with multiple guys halfway across the state!”
“Don’t get me wrong, I would love for my hypothetical daughter to use good judgment, but a total no guys band seems excessive.”
“There has to be a middle ground, she can have dates, men can come over to hang out or whatever else, but only after knowing him a month or only after the parents have met him! Compromise is key for any good relationship!” – Pawpackmom_wren17
Others agreed and thought the OP was too worried about her image.
“To claim (via her username) that she has morals implies that her daughter does not. Does her daughter steal? Does she murder? Does she con old people out of their life savings? No?”
“Sounds like her daughter actually does have morals but is Just. Horny. Oh! << clutches pearls!! >> the horror!!”
“I don’t think mom is TA for not wanting strangers in her home. But I do think she is for trying to police her adult daughter’s sex life.” – Opinion8Her
“There seems to be a lot of assuming happening on OP’s part about what was going to happen. I am very aware that bringing a guy home from a party is very possibly for sex, but I’m just saying lots of times I’ve gone to people’s houses and had people to my place and there was no sex happening and no intention of it.”
“If my mom had seen me *gasp* sitting on a couch with a guy at age 19 and immediately assumed this meant we were planning to have sex, she would’ve been wrong and I would’ve been embarrassed and very angry at her if she made him leave.”
“Plus OP was not impressed by this person who she knew nothing about… OP seems like a very tiresome judgemental AH to me. Yes, OP, YTA.” – Sleeping_Lizard
“Did you read point 4 in the OP? Mom said she would rather her daughter, at 19, stay at a hotel with a random stranger. It has everything to do with morals according to OP, it’s even in her username.”
“She is against pre-marital sex and doesn’t want it in her home, so she would rather her daughter go somewhere like a hotel (?!) to engage in it with a stranger.”
“As much as you don’t want a random stranger with your daughter at your house, you would rather your daughter go to a hotel with this random stranger? Something doesn’t add up there.” – disgruntled-pelicann
After receiving feedback, the OP shared a final update.
“Thank you, anonymous internet friends! Although my position ‘won’ with an NTA ruling, both my daughter and I gained some insight by reading through many of the comments.”
“Now that emotions have cooled off, Joan even made a comment that had both of us tear up with laughter… along the lines of my ‘intervention’ would be an instant entry into the ‘C**k-Block Hall of Fame.’ I had never heard that term before… kids these days!”
“(And yes, even though many of you claimed that I am some puritan 50’s ‘Handmaid Tale’ wannabe, that’s not the case at all. Our family has a solid sense of humor, and very little is off-limits.)”
“Joan acknowledges that bringing someone she just met back to our house was inappropriate for a few reasons.”
“In turn, I’ve left the door slightly open to the concept of a visit by a long-term partner that we knew and were comfortable with – however – it would need to be discussed and agreed on in advance.”
As frustrated as the OP was by the situation, the subReddit insisted this was about more than just morals.
The OP needed to think carefully about whether she was more interested in the possible reputation of having a daughter who had partners before getting married, or if she wanted to ensure her daughter was safe while active.