the no sleepover rule

{I am relaxed in many ways as a parent but I am also fiercely protective}

We have a NO sleepover rule in our house.
Meaning: my children do NOT sleep over at a friends home.

We do not live near any family so my children have no experience or opportunities sleeping over at all. It is heartbreaking on many levels.

It has been a really, really hard rule to keep.
It also a rule that I personally hate having to deal with as a parent.

I want my children to have fun. I want them to hang out with friends and I want them to fit in and to feel like they are participating socially like everyone else.

The problem for me is that I don't feel a sleepover at someone else's home is safe. I know the chances of something happening to them is very small but it is not a risk I am prepared to take as a parent. I also know that most of my friends would be just as protective of my children as I am.

I have worked hard to overcome many fears and worries in relation to my children but I just can't overcome my fears in relation to them sleeping over at someone else's house.

It is also a personal trigger for me.
I was sexually abused during the night when I was in bed.

Most abuse happens to children from family members and friends that they already know.
You just never know who might be visiting a home and how quickly things could go wrong.

My kids push and push and push me on wanting to sleep over at a friends home.
They push and push and try to break me on letting go of the rule.

What they don't understand is that I am already broken.
It is because I am broken that I refuse to lighten up on the rule.

It is cemented in place. I will not budge or be moved on changing it.
I am on a personal mission to break the cycle of abuse in my family.

I do not want it passed on to the next generation - my own children.
It needs to stop with me.

If it means that my children are upset with me and won't talk to me for a short time, I will take it.

I will swallow the hurtful words they say, I will forgive the anger they feel towards me and I will stand alone as a parent in protecting them if that is what it takes.

They may feel that I am the meanest, strictest mother in the world right now and I can endure that. I can endure it because I have seen, felt and lived what it is like to be hurt, to be harmed and to be abused.

I know that feeling upset and angry or even hating your mother about missing out on a sleep over is nothing in comparison.

I know it is not fair on them that we need to have this rule.
They have done nothing wrong to deserve to miss out on having fun and spending time with friends.

At times when it is raised and I know it hurts them to miss out, I cry.
I cry big tears of sadness for them and for me.

Then I remember my commitment to keep them safe and I feel at peace.

I know they won't thank me or be grateful right now and it might take many years for them to feel that way but I know having this rule is important for our family.

I also know that I could let them go, I could let them sleepover and nothing would probably happen.

But for me, a survivor of childhood sexual abuse...a sleepover is much more complicated.
It involves risks that I am not prepared to take.

You can read my tips on protecting children from sexual abuse HERE.
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