Dear Dr. G.,
You might think that this is a weird question, but it has been bothering me for over two years since I started high school. By the way, I am a 16-year-old girl in my junior year of high school.
My problem is my mother. Usually I can confide in my mom about my problems, but this is about her, so I don't feel comfortable talking to her about this. You see, my mom is really pretty and very outgoing and all of my male friends like her. They call her a MILF -- Mother I'd Like To F*ck. That really embarrasses me and makes me mad at the boys and at my mother. Why does she have to be so friendly? Shouldn't my male friends find me attractive and sexy not my mother?
As if that is not bad enough, my girlfriends all seem to like my mother better than me. I just think that because when they come over, they always talk to my mother and I have nothing to contribute. I mean, I have plenty to talk about with my friends, but when my mom is around my friends, I get tongue-tied. Dr. G., have you ever heard of this problem before or am I a jealous lunatic? I love my mother but this is driving me crazy. Please help and don't judge me.
An Upset Teenager
I am so happy that you wrote to me. I want to reassure you that your feelings about this situation do NOT mean that you are a jealous lunatic. In fact, you are in good company. Over the years I have spoken to many teenage girls who have the same sort of feelings that you describe.
I am sure that you feel that your mother should sort of step into the background and be a mother and not a friend to your friends. You want to be the focus of your friends' attention and I understand that. Perhaps your mother is attractive and is very friendly. Even though it may be natural for her to be extroverted and outgoing, it is understandable that this bothers you.
I suggest that you talk to your mother about your feelings. It sounds like you have a good relationship with her. It would be really sad if you don't address this issue with your mom and it ends up ruining your relationship with her. Tell your mom that you appreciate her warmth and friendliness, but that you would appreciate it even more if she would take more of a back seat when your male and female friends are around. Explain to your mom that you do not want to be in competition with her, but that you just want your friends to pay attention to you. My guess is that your mother does not realize how you are feeling and the impact of her friendliness. My hope is that she will honor and respect your feelings. This doesn't mean that she can't talk to your friends. It means instead that she lets you be the center of attention. How does that sound to you? Please get back to me.