Is this considered a healthy maternal attitude now?

Angelina Jolie Named Esquire’s Sexiest Woman
Esquire has named Angelina Jolie as the “sexiest woman alive” in it’s latest issue. In talking about her 3-year old son, by ex-husband Billy Bob Thornton, Jolie said,

Now I’ll readily admit that I was raised in a different generation, and with a more conservative set of values than is popular right now, but this quote really surprised me. Is this a typical attitude among single mothers these days, or is this just another Hollywood airhead spouting off?

This IS fairly typical amongst the single mothers I know. They have sex, get their rocks off, and mostly the man leaves before the kiddie ever wakes up, or maybe doesn’t even stay the night. Rarely does the kid know what his mother is up to - or so she thinks. Some kids are very observant.

I prefer this to a constant stream of men going in and out of the kid’s life I guess. But kids do need stability.

Teensy nitpick: Maddox (Angelina’s son) was adopted by Billy Bob and her from Cambodia. I’m always up for an adoption plug!

As for the question, while I never had a revolving door of lovers, I was very careful not to introduce my son to men too soon. This was after he got really attached to a man I dated for about a year, only to have him (the man) start hitting me. When I had to say goodbye, it was very difficult on WhyKid. (Of course, it also gave us a great opportunity to talk about how mom needed to stand up for herself and no one has the right to hit their friends, even when they seem like really nice people, so YMMV.)

I think mothers who hide their boyfriends from their kids are trying to maintain that stability of which Elenia speaks. The separation of mom’s personal life from mom and kid family life is important until mom can determine if this guy has good potential. At some point though, I want to see how a guy interacts with the kids, as that’s a huge factor in whether or not this will “go anywhere.”

Since Angelina’s not looking for another husband, I don’t see anything wrong with it. I certainly don’t think single mothers should have to be celibate.

A nice idea, but the notion that this can be effective with a kid of normal intelligence and perception seems remarkably naive. I would extend Elenia28’s observation to say that most kids are quite a bit more observant than parents’ wishful thinking tends to assume.

Maybe. It’s not a perfect system. In a perfect system, I wouldn’t have been looking for a lifemate after I had a son. (Of course, that means that no one would ever be widowed, either.)

But I do have a hard time fathoming how he’d find out Mommy went on a date while he was baking cookies with Grandma. Or how Angelina’s son knows she knockin’ boots when he’s with his nanny.

Well, I know you think you can hide things from kids, but if ever I belived in intuition/a mild form of ESP it would be between kids and parents.

Kids have an uncanny ability to pick up on emotional vibes from their parents. Not to mention that a kid’s world is so much different, that the smallest changes seem to rock the boat.

I was a singularly unobservant child but even I know when my parents were fighting, even though they hid it well. I couldn’t explain how I knew, it was just a vibe coming from them. I see my cousins, most of whom are much more canny than I ever was, and I know they know all kinds of things.

But on the other hand, I don’t really expect people to become monks after they have a child. It would be nice, but it’s just not human nature. As long as every effort is made to not disturb the child’s life, I can’t see what the harm is in him just *knowing * - if the home life is secure.

There is no harm in their knowing - but there is harm in their getting attached to a man only to have him leave. Again. As WhyKid got older and I was still unattached, he did know that Mommy was “going to the movies with a friend,” but he still wouldn’t meet the guy. I have plenty of male friends who are great “uncles,” but I only want him to attach “Daddy” to one man: my husband.

The man who is now my husband and I dated for about 6 months and he proposed to me before I introduced him to my son. He knew I had a son, saw pictures, heard stories, but agreed not to push to meet him until I was ready. I didn’t agree to his proposal, but I did introduce him to my son and they hit it off wonderfully. A few months later (after talking it over with me first), boyfriend “proposed” to my son and I together: that we become a family.

It was awful sweet. :smiley:

Perhaps because of something Grandma said. Or didn’t say. Or the tone of voice that mommy uses when he asks where she was.

Kids are remarkably perceptive. Adults tend not to understand just how perceptive in part because kids are different from adults in the ways they verbalize what they perceive.

Where can I sign up to be Angelina Jolie’s lover?

Kids are indeed very perceptive. They also tend to block out any evidence of their parents’ sexuality. If I were single, I’d try to be discreet, but I doubt I’d be celibate. I suspect my children (who are much older, though) would be more than happy to assume I was out seeing a movie or having a long dinner or playing chess, or anything besides having sex.

I must have been much more clueless than average kid, because I never had the least clue what shenanigans my parents were up to.

The fighting, now, that was pretty obvious. But the sexual escapades were completely under my radar.

Hmm, I’m a single mother, and I keep my personal life pretty well apart from my child too. Remember that children go to bed earlier than adults, right? So he’s not even aware when I’m talking with a potential suitor usually, and I schedule my infrequent date nights to go along with his sleepovers to friends, or Grandma’s, or Dad’s house. Once I get serious with someone, my son will meet them but in a ‘friend’ capacity not a ‘mom’s special someone’ role. What Mom and friend do after the boy goes to sleep is Mom’s business. We are blessed with lots of friends so he doesn’t spark to anything different about the situation.

As to how observant he is, InternetLegend nailed it. A few months ago we moved all the LR furniture about during spring cleaning in order to vacuum thouroughly. Amidst the juice box straw wrappers and pennies and general trash hiding beneath the couch was a wrapped condom. The (almost 12) boy finds it, recognizes it and confronts me about it. But, his take was that since I don’t own a penis I must have bought it for him and he wanted to know just who I thought he’d be having the sex with! The possibility that Mom had been having sex never even entered his head.

[QUOTE=Queen Tonya]
Hmm, I’m a single mother, and I keep my personal life pretty well apart from my child too. Remember that children go to bed earlier than adults, right? So he’s not even aware when I’m talking with a potential suitor usually, and I schedule my infrequent date nights to go along with his sleepovers to friends, or Grandma’s, or Dad’s house. Once I get serious with someone, my son will meet them but in a ‘friend’ capacity not a ‘mom’s special someone’ role. What Mom and friend do after the boy goes to sleep is Mom’s business. We are blessed with lots of friends so he doesn’t spark to anything different about the situation.

Exactly. Especially the part about the “Mom’s business”. Some single mothers tend to lose sight of the fact that they are a separate entity from their children, that they are adult women with emotional and sexual needs. I’ve always tried to teach my children that what I (or anyone else, for that matter) do that doesn’t concern them is not their business. We are separate individuals, and as much as I seriously adore my kids, we are not attached at the hip.
They’ve never expressed concern about my outside activities, they respect my privacy, and they don’t seem to be developing any neuroses about it.

Nitpick on your Nitpick: Maddox was adopted by Jolie alone; Thornton was not involved.

As for the question of the OP, I will admit to being extraordinarily old-fashioned, and find Jolie’s entire lackadaisical attitude about who she’s partnering with to be distressing, moreso for what it means for her (emotionally, spiritually and physically) but also because she seems to be lacking a discretion filter.

I believe that most single parents in this situation do try to maintain a strong separation between their romantic activities and their childrens’ lives, but is Jolie really doing that? Can she? If she’s saying things like this to whatever media dude scored an interview with her this week, what’s she saying to Maddox about her “lovers?” Is she really keeping them out of his life? I really hope that she gets a grip on this before Maddox is in school and has to deal with other kids whose parents may be avid readers of Us and People and viewers of ET, Extra and E!

You CAN hide things from kids if that is a priority. Elenia28 I think you are right if you mean parents who are trying to hide tension, arguments etc. When children are around a situation they will pick up on any changes but if you choose to keep something from your child you can easily. Did you know how much your parents earned? What annoyed them about their job? Their fav sexual position? :smiley:

I agree with Angelina. I have been a widow since 1993. The child was born in 1991. I have NO intention of marrying again and since 1993 I have only had one “serious” relationship. That relationship lasted about 18 mths and I did introduce the child to him. To me it was obvious from the get-go that the child and him were not destined to be best mates. He also had a child (a 16 yr old, who stills rings me for “mum” type conversations) and it was very apparent we did not share parenting ideas. It was a relationship going nowhere but a developing relationship so I called it quits. That relationship had an affect on the child. Not an emotional effect…just a “there is a man who keeps showing up and it’s annoying” effect. (for the record I can’t tell affect from effect so I choose them at random). I don’t believe in pandering to children but when it bacame obvious that the child was irritated by weekends being taken up with this bloke and I knew it wasn’t going anywhere I ended it.

I don’t want to give up sex though. For many years I have lived by Angelina’s “rules”. I bonk when the child is nowhere near. I have ZERO intention of introducing the bonkee to the child. It is just mummy fun. The child has no reason to pick up on anything. He was either staying at a mate’s place (in which case I may hastily arrange something) or staying at Grandmas (if I had something planned). If he is at a mates he is not giving a single thought to what I am doing because he is having too much fun. If he is at grandma’s he knows it is because mum is going out. Grandma has had him overnight since he was a baby. He has no reason to believe it is for anything other then “mum is going out”.

I think Angelina has a very sensible attitude. I loathe women who introduce their kids to a series of blokes.

When I dated as a single parent, I made sure that the man was going to stick around for a long time before he spent any time with my son. As it was, only two boyfriends and my now-husband met him more than one time in the 7+ years before I married.

I think Angelina Jolie should learn to be a little more discreet before her kid becomes media aware. But, even if she isn’t, come on, when he is twelve, his mom is Angelina Jolie - the woman is sex on a stick and his classmates will inform him of that even if she is the paragon of virtue in public and private from here on out.

As to taking lovers, I don’t see anything wrong with that. I have sex with my husband, my kids aren’t aware. Since I see no great sin in non-marital sex, I can’t see any great sin in what Angelina Jolie does - and find her “I’d like to protect my son from inconsistant relationships with adults” to make a lot of sense. I’d rather a single mom boink in private than get so horny she marries a guy that won’t be a good fit long term for the family.

Finally, there is a lot of adult behavior children don’t need to know about. “Sweety, Mommy’s menstrating” doesn’t come up. While I want my kids to be aware of bills and money, they don’t need to know the details. As an adult, I occationally go to a bar with my girlfriends or coworkers when grandma or Daddy have them - kids don’t need to know. There is a lot of gossip I wouldn’t do around them. They didn’t realize their new cousin was in intensive care - (he’s out now, no big deal, jaundice) because there was no reason to worry them. Why is sex so different? Yes, kids are sensative and know they are being “left out” of something. But they don’t really need to know the details of what. And there is a LOT in life I leave my kids out of.