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Relationship with my mum...

(37 Posts)
cakesandchocolate Tue 24-Oct-17 00:07:59

Brought up in the 70/80's
My mum never told me about facts of life or even periods.
Was this normal then?? She seems to think so.
We have a functional but not close relationship, though I think she'd be devastated to hear that's my opinion.
I told her about my pregnancy after 12 week scan and she threw a hissy fit that I hadn't told her sooner, wanted to know who I had told before her. (Only by best friend) I was really upset at her reaction.
I now have a daughter and am being much more open and hope we have a better relationship.
I am starting to ruminate on these things and wonder if I am too hard on her...

Twitchingdog Tue 24-Oct-17 00:44:25

My mum told me nothing learn about the facts of life lat school when 11 . Some of my freinds did know stuff . Knew nothing about sex till 1st time . Knew there different kinds of nipples and boobs from page 3. Born in 60s to 33 year mother . And 40 year old dad , hated being the daughter of older parents .

cakesandchocolate Tue 24-Oct-17 00:46:51

And what's your relationship like with your mum now? Does it bother you that she didn't speak to you about those things?

NordicNoirRocks Tue 24-Oct-17 07:22:54

I was born in ‘79, my mum was 30. She told me nothing about periods, sex or relationships. I bought myself my first bra aged 14. I needed a 34B! I grew up in Sweden so you’d think she’d be a bit more progressive.

I learnt everything about the facts of life from school, as a result I tell my DDs everything when they ask. “Old enough to ask, old enough to know”, is my motto. Age-appropriately, obviously!

Not seen my mum for five years, says it all really.

cakesandchocolate Tue 24-Oct-17 09:20:35

Not just me then!
Do you think your mum has any regrets?
I think that's the thing that gets to me now is that she just thinks that's the way it was. There's no regret, no reflection or thinking that she might have done things differently. If our upbringing is takked about my mum shuts it down quickly and becomes very offended at any suggestion things were not perfect.
My mum also was (unsurprisingly) told nothing to the degree that she thought she was dying when her period started. I find it impossible that this experience did not make her think to do things differently with her own girls.

Bekabeech Tue 24-Oct-17 10:02:56

BTW although others might not have been told anything by their mothers, that was not normal for the 70s 80s!
Admittedly my mother was told nothing by her mother back in the 40s - and when my Aunt tried to talk to her about childbirth she apparently said "they come out the same way they got in". (My Aunt was far more helpful to my Mum explaining the facts of life etc.)

cakesandchocolate Tue 24-Oct-17 10:13:49

"they come out the same way they got in".
And don't we know it😂
You know I think my mum just has retrospective filters on all of it.
She asked me, 3 hours after I'd given birth, what I needed painkillers for. Apparently there was no pain following childbirth in the 60's and 70's!!!

Kattymanners Tue 24-Oct-17 10:45:12

Hmmm... similar to me.

Didn't tell me much just gave me a Claire Rayner book to puberty and let me get in with it.

I've never announced my pregnancies to her and I'm quite secretive. Probably I'm emotionally detached really....

She came out with all sorts of clap trap about bringing up a baby, public shaving, stirrups, not lifting, not bf , adding broth to bottles grin farleys rusks / brandy to make them sleep - god it's amazing I've managed to raise 3 teenagers by following my own advice really !

Then they retired and went to live abroad for half the year. I made peace with myself that it was not my fault they were not involved with my kids growing up.

Then dad died and things are different. Mum can't seem to get that Ive made my own life and can't drop things for her.

Sounds hard I know but I think you reap what you sow...

Santawontbelong Tue 24-Oct-17 10:48:10

"the cat is going to tell vets to have an op so he can't make babies" (confused)
That was my sex ed.....
Have been nc for years and years with dm. She did write to me once to apologise for being a crap dm.
I didn't reply.

Kattymanners Tue 24-Oct-17 11:09:23

I think I would appreciate a note apologising for being a crap dm.

I honestly don't think she thinks she has been confused

On the plus side I think I have a good relationship with my kids and hope it continues going forward

Moussemoose Tue 24-Oct-17 11:16:29

Constant justification. Well in my day <insert some awful thing> was normal. No one knew and everyone did it.

I am now at the same age my mum was when she did x or y. It's bollocks you look at your child and you make a decision based on them. You know how you felt when you weren't told things so you break the cycle.

cakesandchocolate Tue 24-Oct-17 11:21:33

I can't figure out if an apology is appropriate - I mean maybe she was doing her best with what she had in terms of skills and knowledge from her own upbringing.
But some hindsight and an appreciation that things might have been done better, not so much an apology but some acknowledgment...
I too am trying to do better but I do find that sometimes I have to push past my own....repression - where relationships and sex are concerned.
And I also find myself being quite hard and judgy with the kids which comes from her too - I have to stop myself sometimes. Sometimes I forget.

NotCitrus Tue 24-Oct-17 12:06:23

My mum only told me about periods when I was 10 and I asked her, having realised on the second reading of "Are you there God? It's me, Margaret" that it didn't make much sense assuming period just meant a lesson.
The day I moved out age 17 she tried telling me about the birds and the bees but I was in too much laughter! Thankfully my secondary school was obsessed with sex education - had a whole year on contraception - so I was OK.

Rollforneed Tue 24-Oct-17 14:17:13

cakes I have often wondered the same things as you, especially after becoming a mum myself. Like you I was a 70s/80s child. My mother told me nothing and so when I had my first period at 12 I didn't really know what it was at first, then when figured it out I stole my mothers pads. Eventually she figured it out from my bloody laundry and made out like some big secret thing had happened.

I know my mother's mother died (committed suicide) when she was three, so perhaps she thought that just physically being around was being a good mum.

I don't if it was an 80's thing not to tell us or just my mum.

Justchillaxing Tue 24-Oct-17 14:24:13

I was born mid sixties. My parents didn't talk about periods or sex or anything like that. My mum has coy names for all bodily functions - think "tinkle" for wee ... hmm

I have a strained relationship with her. She'd think we're close but I can't bear to be around her for longer than a day blush I know that's awful but I resent the way she brought me up. I love her but I struggle with our relationship.

She gave me a book to read about how the girl's body changes in puberty but didn't talk about it with me. When I started my periods I didn't know what was happening.

I talk about everything with my daughters and hopefully have a completely different relationship. But I don't find it easy.

Lovestonap Tue 24-Oct-17 14:26:04

I was born in 1981 and My mum never had any conversations like that with us. Claire Rayner to the rescue!

Also we started sex ed in year 6 before most of us started our periods so we had a heads up.

I remember learning a bit about it from Judy Blume books (thanks Deenie and Margaret) but getting really stressed out one day as I saw a Bodyform ad on tv with a grown up featured. I thought periods just happened to teenagers and it hadn't really clicked that this was something I'd have to worry about forever!

Want to be more casual and open with my daughter. It helps that we only have one bathroom in the house and so far the door is rarely shut, she is already interested in whether I'm having a 'red wee' or not. confused

Rollforneed Tue 24-Oct-17 14:34:33

Just Did your mum talk to you about other things though?

I find that my mother basically told me very little about personal things. She had a brother and sister that had died that she did not tell me about until my teens and also I found out from my aunt years later that my grandmother had committed suicide. My aunt was astounded that my mum had never told me. My cousins seemed to know everything about family things and I was kept in the dark.

Pretty hard to have a relationship with someone who doesn't open up to you at all.

wowfudge Tue 24-Oct-17 14:38:10

Ime it isn't to do with when you were born, or your mother's age, but her attitude to discussing them with you. I was born in the early 70s. My mum started telling me about periods, etc when I was 8 and gave me a book aimed at young girls to read in my own time. I was encouraged to ask questions, etc. But I didn't because I found talking to my mum about it excruciatingly embarrassing! I was prepared though, that's the main thing.

Justchillaxing Tue 24-Oct-17 14:40:22

Roll no she didn't talk to me about anything really.

HiccupHaddockHorrendous Tue 24-Oct-17 14:54:06

My relationship with my mother has been strained since she and my dad divorced when I was 11.
Her reaction to my unplanned pregnancy was extreme and played on my mind (off and on) for years.
She never explained anything about periods or sex Ed or relationships.
I was a pretty vile teenager, possibly a reaction to her extreme bitterness towards my father.
I've recently gone through a very difficult experience with my father (a whole other long and boring story) but as a result, it's prompted a very open and honest conversation with her. We've both apologised for things that have happened over the years and it was a very cathartic process.
My step-father passed away 3 years ago and since then we have got closer and whilst she's not my first port of call when I have a problem, we do spend more time together and I'm a lot less teenagery around her now. grin
I'm a lot more open with my Ds about feelings and life in general and we are incredibly close.

Bluelonerose Tue 24-Oct-17 15:01:56

I was born in mid 80s my mom was 27 we have a terrible relationship.
She never told me anything we only talked to scream at each other.

My dm is a narcissist though and it was (and still is) really tough.
It HAS got better though. That's only because we had a MASSIVE row and I told her everything ide been holding onto for 30 years. She threw me out her house and I said fine cut me off I have to be myself and if that means you don't want a daughter loke me that's fine with me and I went home.
Sadly my nan died 2 weeks later so I started talking to her again. We've never mentioned it but I have seen a change in her attitude which is great. But we will never have the mother daughter relationship I crave.
It would break my heart if my dd thought those things about me.

cakesandchocolate Tue 24-Oct-17 21:45:14

*I have a strained relationship with her. She'd think we're close but I can't bear to be around her for longer than a day blush I know that's awful but I resent the way she brought me up. I love her but I struggle with our relationship*

This is also how I feel. But I feel awful for feeling it

wobblywonderwoman Tue 24-Oct-17 21:48:26

I really struggle with my mum. She had a terrible upbringing and it filtered through to us.

cakesandchocolate Tue 24-Oct-17 22:25:04

So have you all come to terms with it? How??
I've shut it out for a long time, wondering why I turn into a petulant teenager when I'm around her. She's still hypercritical, puts me right whenever she can and these days I react to it, badly!
Is the best just to try and alter my own behaviour in the hope that my kids won't be having these thoughts and conversations in years to come?

cakesandchocolate Tue 24-Oct-17 22:28:08

*Hiccup*I find it interesting that your blowout with your mum helped and cured some of the teenager in you!
I'm not sure I could face the fight. I don't think I'd get anywhere - just more defensiveness

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