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Thread: Is your mothering repeating your mothering?

  1. #1

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    Default Is your mothering repeating your mothering?

    Do others feel, as they go about mothering (or fathering, for that matter) that they are merely repeating negative patterns which are instilled from childhood? I have noticed since having children that being a parent can bring up such fierce and unexpected emotions (in myself and in others who observe my parenting), and that if you scratch the surface, most people have unresolved issues with their own parents which can have a potentially negative influence on their children. Are you with me on this?


  2. #2

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    Definately!! I am not a mother yet but I see it all the time with others! Some people repeat the patterns in their family and other people are so concerned with not repeating the patterns that they go over the top doing the opposite. I think it happens with most people and is a pretty normal thing but it can be hard to recognise.

  3. #3

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    Rory,

    This is a subject very close to my heart.

    By the time Olivia was 6 months old I realised that there were a great many issues that lurked.

    Don't get me wrong, I had a very happy childhood, but there were some issues that came to light surrounding my mother/food that I knew I would have to deal with/eradicate, or risk repeating history again.

    I am a woman on a mission now to ensure that I am the generation that breaks the food=love & eating = approval pattern. It is NOT a belief or trait that I want my children to inherit.

    I have done a lot of work on myself to ensure that I do not repeat the well meaning doctrines of my mother and my grandmother...........so my girls particularly stand a chance of never connecting food with emotions........

  4. #4

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    Most definitely! I don't think we can avoid it really, at least to a certain degree. That doesn't mean we can't be aware of it and take steps to control it though (as lucy is doing).

    The number of things that come out of my mouth that sound like my mother is just scary. And I also notice since having two that I tend to approach alot of things relating to the relationship between our two kids in the same way my parents approached them with my brother and me. But that doesn't worry me too much because despite their general apathy (ie. allowing us to all but murder eachother most of the time) we are extremely close and well adjusted now I think.

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    I think the thing I try to avoid as well as some of the things I didn't agree with regards to how I was raised is to not go the whole other way and cause even more problems/damage. I've seen this happen more, with my generation, than that of repeating the same iykwim. Its something me and my MIL have discussed at great lengths, that so many people have deep seeded issues with the way they were parented that it in turn causes them to parent in a way that can be just as ineffective due to their own issues. So I try not to pass on my own anxieties or insecurities based on my own baggage. I am lucky enough to also see past all the negative of my own experiences, to be able to see that some parts of the parenting were effective and helpful. I just don't want to wind up a big bottle of guilt or nerves as a result of trying too hard not to follow in the same footsteps. Having said that there is a big list of no no's that I would never do to my kids, which involves violent forms of discipline, emotional abuse and fear based parenting. This is a topic I could talk forever on

  6. #6

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    Definitey yes and no. I am very aware of when I say or do something that is just like my parents and it's a catalyst for me to think about whether I am copying an ingrained pattern or whether I agree with the approach/reaction. Most of the time when I sound just like mum, I make a mental note to find a different way to approach the situation next time. And I try to plan ahead how to handle various things so that my subconcious is not just doing what I grew up with. Having said that though, inevitably I do some things just the same and find myself sounding just like my parents at times. I hope that I am doing a better job by virtue of questioning and seeking better alternatives, but who knows - maybe my parents thought exactly the same thing!

  7. #7

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    I too notice the anger that my parenting seems to raise in my parents. "Why do you give them choices"? "Why do you tell them when you do that I feel like this???" "It's wrong and only confuses them. "They need to know right and wrong and this is what I will do to you if you do the wrong thing"!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I have even had them comment on my son being "unnaturally close" to me. Simply because he is emotional and caring and shares his stuff with me...

    Like Lucy I want my children to not have to wade thru as much emotional debris as I have had to...

  8. #8

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    I'm told I'm "too soft". I let DS play with my things. They're my things, so who cares but me? My mother will tell him off though. I don't let DS run onto a road, I don't let him eat things that upset his tum (unlike my mother, who classes them as a treat for him, or my MiL who tells me that it's harmless as she watches DS put horsechestnuts in his mouth then DS is vomitting all night), I don't let him get hurt and expect him to respect me and do as I tell him.

    To that end, I am consistant and respect the fact he has needs too. That's not soft. That's my parenting. But it's very hard some days because I didn't have that sort of parenting, nor did DH. We're learning, but we do tell DS that we're all learning together when the three of us are screaming at each other! (Usually because I need to cook dinner for the three of us, nearly fall over DS who DH has let wander into the kitchen again and then it all kicks off... not that this is a regular thing LOL.)

    I'm expecting a lot more flack very soon. And I intend to laugh it off. It doesn't make other parenting wrong, it just makes it wrong for me. And aside from DH, DS and me, who really should care how I parent DS?

    I admit to going out of my way not to say the same things or do the same things as my parents. But they failed me when I needed them so that's not surprising. If it was something good that they did, I'll do it. But there are very few examples of behaviour I want to copy.

  9. #9

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    I guess I have been going through this as well. When DD1 was a baby I found myself mirroring things my Mother did to me. Like blaming my children for my mood, making a choice to live one way (say SAHM or PTSAHM) and then my children having to deal with my choice. Making unwise money decisions just because my children want something. Using my children's actions as reasons for my moods.

    Thats my biggest. My whole life my mum would have melt-downs (all which I understand so much better now...) and then we as children would feel like it was all our fault our mother didn't like life. It was our fault our mother was crying, and it was our fault we weren't better people for our mum.

    Rather than; me having a melt down moment, and then recovering & explaining what happened and why things piled up making her upset & explaining that we were good people no matter what....Its a work in progress.

  10. #10

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    Definitely. But I have to say that since becoming a parent, I really value the the job my parents did with me so am ok with it. I think I have evolved slightly with certain things but with the big issues we are very similar.

  11. #11

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    Thats awesome Krysalyss a lot of mothers struggle with that. Just as a lot of mothers struggle with their daughters as mothers because as soon as they do something different to how they were raised they see it as an attack on how they chose to bring up their daughters. Its so hard. I swear mothers & daughters should go have mandatory counselling when becoming mothers LOL!

  12. #12

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    I parent my children in the the complete opposite way to the way my mother was with me (which was far too casual), but completely different again to my father, who, courtesy of his army background was quite the discipinarian. I think I have found the happy medium though and I consider myself to be 'hard but fair'. My mum thinks I am far too strict with the kids, and therefore she indulges them far too much and a lot of the time just doesn't put thought into what she does with them. I suppose I can see what didn't work (allowing one of my brothers too much freedom to the point where he was on drugs, stealing, doing break and enters and was told at his last court appearance at 16 to 'bring your toothbrush'), but also what did work - like being our friend as well as our mum. I said in an earlier post today though that mum wasn't ever strict with us, which in turn came about from the way she was parented herself (nan was a single mum) which was too strict and bordering on extreme and I wished she was. I don't think it would have changed the way I was as a teenager - I never really rebelled because I had nothing to rebel against kwim? but it would have been nice to have a curfew instead of 'see you when you come home' - so that is something I don't want to repeat with my kids at all.

  13. #13

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    Great topic Rory... sorry its taken so long for me to find it! Tad chaotic round here ATM so in a nutshell: Hell yeah!!! Huge issues here So true about when you parent differently to your own mother they can often see it as a personal attack. All I can seem to do is chip around the edges of change. Little by little i will whittle away and make the changes that need to be made... you have to be so patient with yourself. Even after 13 years the process isn't getting any easier!

  14. #14

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    At the moment, I think I'm mothering DD in a very similar way - but she's only 10 months old!

    I think she mothered me in a very gentle way - lots of cuddles, lots of play. I can't ever remember her not having time for me.

    I think she was a FANTASTIC mother for me as a small child - probably up until about the age of six or so. Then I don't think she encouraged me as much as she could have to try new things or really instilled much confidence in me. So I intend to change that.

    It was spooky when mum visited me earlier this year (from the UK) because I'd been thinking what a great mum she had been when I was little but not so great when I was a little older and out of the blue, she said, "yep, I like kids until they're about five."

  15. #15

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    Like krysalyss, I appreciate the job my mum did so much more now that I am a mum (and she did it all by herself as a single working mum).

    Last year on my birthday my mum wrote in my card how proud she was with how I had turned out as a daughter, partner and parent - I don't think anything could ever top that sort of praise.

  16. #16

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    I have to say that I have no idea if I am the same type of mother as mine was to me...

    This is partly because I have NO memory of my childhood at all I cant even remember things that happened 10yrs ago and always having either BHL or my sibs say " How could you not remember that!!!" ( I cant even remember DS birth so I must have a few wires loses somewhere lol )

    But the bigest thing I do remember is mum not been around alot ( due to illness ) and Dad having to work really hard to get food on the table so out late, and just having my sibs around to look out for us, I know I aways felt lonely and like I didnt fit in so I am determened(sp?) not to let this happen with my children... I do find I lose my temper a bit and have been know to scream at the kids but sence been on BB I am learning to control this part of my personalty as it was always there but I used to keep it hidden from everyone and just let it out when I was by myself ( self harm when a teen )...

    One thing I do that my parents alway did is always tell my kid that I love them, so for this I thank my parents they still call all their 7 children once a week just to make sure we are all still ok and tell us that they love us so if I can give that to my kids I will be very happy...

  17. #17

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    I had a few issues i had from my childhood and did alot of hard work to become the best mum i think i am. But i now understand how it made my parents feel when i was doing stuff i was good at and making them happy. And i think my son does that and they are proud of me for over coming my problems and beign the person i am. So i am glad im in soem ways like my folks

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