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to be jealous of my DC?

(82 Posts)
NotEnoughTime Mon 05-Oct-15 14:16:58

Please be gentle with me. actually maybe I should have put this in chat

Can I start off by saying that I don't think that I am a great Mum by any stretch of the imagination, however I do try my very hardest most of the time

If my children want to go somewhere or do something then if I can possibly get them to it/afford it then I make sure that they can. They are grateful for this so this post is not about them being spoilt or anything.

I think because my own childhood was so different unhappy that I have a skewed version of a "normal" upbringing where children are treated as someone that matters and not as a nuisance.

I don't think I am explaining myself very well so I will give a few examples:

My DS wanted a new top for a party that he was going to so I took him shopping to get one (ie he wanted one NOT needed one) there is no way my Mum would have done this (to be fair she wouldn't have been able to afford any extra clothes in fact I never got new clothes only hand me down for elder siblings but even if she could have afforded it she wouldn't have brought anthing new as it would have been frivolous. In fact I doubt I would have been allowed to go to the party in the first place.

If my DC need new face stuff, deodorant, underwear, stationary etc I always make sure that they get it. Again I always had to make do/go without so feel strongly about my DC not missing out.

My DH and I go without holidays so that our DC can go away with the school as we can't afford us all to go as a family but can pay for them to go with their school seperately (obviously not ALL school trips just the ones they really want to go on)

I (like to think!) have a very good relationship with my DC-I love them to bits and tell them this on a daily basis (can't remember ever been told this by my parents sad) and am really pleased they can talk to me about many "tricky" subjects ie sex. I was never even told about periods thought I was bleeding to death when I got my first one

Does anyone understand what I mean? Maybe jealousy is not the right word? I guess I wish that I could have felt loved and respected by my own parents the way that I feel about my own DC. I take their feelings into consideration (where possible) and I think they know that they mean the world to me.

I don't want to be jealous of my own DC and also don't want them to know how crap life was for me as a child but I am envious of them that they are confident and have self esteem which obviously Iam sooo pleased that they have. as I wouldn't want them to feel about themselves the way that I feel about myself ie not good enough

Having just read this back it sound like a whining self pity fest so please feel free to ignore if you wish. I will stop rambling now and I'm sorry if this makes absolutely no sense to anyone.

LaContessaDiPlump Mon 05-Oct-15 14:19:30

You're not really jealous of them, op - you're upset because you didn't get treated anywhere near as well as you should have been by your own parents and this is how it's coming out, as the feeling of jealousy. It's not really that though.

I think maybe counselling would help thanks

Tyrannosaurus Mon 05-Oct-15 14:20:44

It makes perfect sense to me, and I think your feelings are completely understandable. It is not fair that you didn't have the things in life that your DC have. They are very lucky!

christinarossetti Mon 05-Oct-15 14:23:44

I sort of get this, although I'm much more in touch with the sadness and grief about my own childhood than feeling jealous of my dc.

Jealousy is usually a 'spoiling' type of emotion, but it doesn't sound like you want to spoil things for them, just the reverse in fact.

ChopsticksandChilliCrab Mon 05-Oct-15 14:27:18

OP I understand where you are coming from but I also don't think it is really jealousy? Just a sadness that you had a tough time.

I am thrilled that my DC aren't having the childhood I had. They do appreciate how fortunate they are and they find the stories I tell of my childhood quite upsetting so I don't talk about it much. I am not envious of them at all, just pleased for them and happy to bask in any reflected glory.

Duckdeamon Mon 05-Oct-15 14:31:52

Sounds like you're understandably angry and upset about your own upbringing.

Might you feel you are going too much the other way IYSWIM? Eg not having a holiday but DC going with the school? It's obviously good to do things and spend money for the DC but do you and DH do or buy some nice things for yourselves too?

claraschu Mon 05-Oct-15 14:32:18

You sound like such a lovely mum. From the way you write, I bet you get huge pleasure out of doing all these nice things for your children, making them feel loved and secure. It is particularly wonderful that you can do all of this even though you didn't have parents who did the same for you: you are doing better than paying forward; you are increasing the amount of joy in the world.

MinecraftWonder Mon 05-Oct-15 14:39:35

I think it is...'normal' look at your own dc and feel sadness or pity for the child you were.

I feel it at times. I was never abused, but my upbringing was one that I don't want to repeat for my own dc. Inconsequential things - no holidays, play dates, hobbies, days out. Poor clothing which I was made fun of for, being sent to school stinking of cigarettes, having parents who didn't work or make any effort to. Not being taken to the dentist meaning I missed the boat for needed braces, which hugely affected my confidence and self esteem in my teens and early 20's. A home that, whilst it wasn't quite filthy, was bad enough that I felt total embarrassment over taking friends there - overflowing bins, stinking of cigarettes, stained and sticky carpets. I got the basic 'I needs' but rarely the 'I wants'.

I've tried to 'fix' the things that I can that caused resentment for me. I got my own braces and now have beautiful teeth. My house is always visitor-ready, I always dress well. I built a career, we give our dc things and opportunities I (or dh who had a similar upbringing) never had.

In short, i'm determined to never become my parents. I still feel touches of resentment for my parents, but I look at my dc with pride, not just for them but for me too, for the upbringing they're having (and for dh obviously!)

Dionysuss Mon 05-Oct-15 14:40:32

I understand you op.

Dd2 never gets hand down clothes from her sister, I hated having to wear cast offs.
They are all able to do clubs and after school activities, I rarely was.

Even ridiculous things like having something to eat if we're out, or a sandwich in a coffee shop. When I was small we always had to eat before going anywhere or wait until we got home. My sister is the same and regularly eats out just because she can now.

Twindroops Mon 05-Oct-15 14:41:05

I think you are me OP! I don't think its jealousy, but I don't know exactly what emotion it is. But whatever, you sound lovely and are doing your best for your DC, and it sounds like you are doing a very good job at it too. Be kinder to yourself flowers

MissMarpleCat Mon 05-Oct-15 14:45:26

It sounds like your childhood experiences were the polar opposite of your dc's by comparison, and you're very much aware of it. I don't think yabu, it's completely understandable.

CookieDoughKid Mon 05-Oct-15 14:46:09

Op - It makes perfect sense to me. You're grieving for the childhood you never had. I totally get where you are coming from and sometimes,I feel the same too. But you need to just revel more and enjoy more in life because you CAN now and allow yourself to be happy. I'm quite similar to mimecraft. Compared to my parents - I am positively poles apart - happy, hollywood teeth,glossy hair and I LOVE playing the piano now. My parents refused piano lessons as they couldn't see the point when I was young.

Live life now. Wallow but do let yourself to remember it's the past.

sliceofsoup Mon 05-Oct-15 14:51:19

I get what you mean, because I feel similar. I wouldn't say its jealousy, but I do get what you mean.

My DCs aren't spoilt, but they do get a lot of what they want as well as what they need. When I buy them clothes or toys or we go on days out etc I get a buzz from it. I love doing it. I love treating them and spending time with them and making them feel special.

I never felt like that growing up. I was just a thing in my parents life, I was their child, I wasn't my own person. I was given the necessities, and that was it.

Just today, DC1s school was off, so we went shopping and I got her new clothes and boots and craft stuff. She is made up with it all, and keeps saying thank you. grin She got to choose her own stuff, rather than me making her get what I wanted. I find it so satisfying. I am so pleased that I can break the cycle and not repeat the mistakes of my parents.

Unreasonablebetty Mon 05-Oct-15 14:52:05

OP- I could have written this myself.
I think I understand what you mean, at times I feel devastated to know that the things we do, as parents, by instinct for our kids are almost always things that were never thought of by our parents when we were growing up.
It's definitely damaging growing up where your wants and often needs are of inconsequential value to the people who should be taking care of you.

Please try to remember that this isn't an issue with you, it's something that was wrong with your parents....please don't think I'm slagging them off, but I have had lots of reflection on my childhood and why I'm (just a bit) mental about things now.

Try to enjoy that you are a better parent to your kids than your parents were for you.
If you want to chat, feel free to inbox me.

Agree with some PP's that it comes across more as being jealous of some of the things, both emotional and material, that your DC have than really jealous of them? I try to give our DC the things they really want though obviously, especially as they get older, one can't do everything that could possibly be on offer in the big, wide world - some world expeditions for example cost ��� And a good trumpet doesn't come cheap either
This morning though I was taking some nice, freshly washed school blouses up for DD and thinking "I didn't always have that as a teen"
I think try to be proud of what you can give to your DC and the lovely young people they are becoming?
Also other things being equal it's perhaps natural to feel kind of jealous of youngsters with the world and all of life before them?
But I'm hoping to enjoy it all in a virtual way if that makes sense? (is that the right word?)

BrandNewAndImproved Mon 05-Oct-15 15:03:08

I really relate to this op.

I go without to make sure my dc have an amazing childhood. I was really upset the other night thinking about all the life chances I give to my dc that I never had.

Norest Mon 05-Oct-15 15:05:47

To me it sounds less like you are jealous and more that the contrasts between your upbringing and the way you are parenting your children is causing unresolved grief / loss etc issues to come up.

I think you sound lovely and caring and it is ok to be sad you didn't have what your children have. I would suggest some therapy to try and go through your feelings about your own childhood.


NotEnoughTime Mon 05-Oct-15 15:13:32

Thank you all very much. I am so relieved that you understand what I was trying to say. I think you are all right -jealousy is probably not the right word for how I feel.

Iam very proud of my DC and yes, I do get lots of pleasure from their happiness (though there is that tiny annoying voice inside my head that says why wasn't it like that for me-did I not count?)

Iam also reassured to know there are others who feel like I do (although it goes without saying that I'm not happy that they had an unhappy childhood too) because I feel quite isolated in my thinking. This is not something I would talk to people about as I think I sound spiteful and mean and petty.

Unreasonablebetty thank you for your kind offer but I wouldn't want to bore the pants off you grin

CookieDoughKid Unfortunately I haven't got the glossy hair and Hollywood smile but I'm working on it grin

Am off to do the school run now but will check later to see if there are any further replies.

Once again, thank you flowers

Gottagetmoving Mon 05-Oct-15 15:16:40

You should be proud of yourself for not repeating a negative pattern.
There is nothing wrong with feeling sad about your own childhood.

You are doing your best and your children must feel loved. That's being a good mum.

Ilikedmyoldusernamebetter Mon 05-Oct-15 15:21:38


I think that, while there are a lot of people who unthinkingly parent the way their parents did (the good and the bad) there are a lot of us who consciously or unconsciously try to do the opposite of what our parents did!

Some of it is generational (70s parents just almost all put themselves first and assumed children would fit in as long as they were fed, clothed and had a warm place to sleep the parents' wants came first, 00s parents often go the other way and can be almost "too" child centred in some contexts, going without in order to buy kids more toys/ clothes/ gadgets than they could ever reasonably use or waiting on their kids and never letting them learn to do things for themselves) but other things are more personal - as in your case.

As everyone says you aren't jealous exactly, because you don't resent your kids, you are more sad and wistful about the comparisons between your children's lives and yours as a child.

Scoobydoo8 Mon 05-Oct-15 15:21:46

You have my permission to play, join some class or other, take up an unusual hobby, call on friends, decide to run every evening - any of these, despite the fact that it clashes with some duty or other required by a DC.

You are entitled to fun too you know. It's good for the DCs to see their DM happy and fulfilled - sometimes we lose track of that.

Releaseasongbird Mon 05-Oct-15 15:37:13

I'm not sure about this one.

My mother had a very deprived upbringing in a home filled with domestic violence.

As a little girl I was given everything. Yet it was never what I wanted and always missed the point. I had beautiful clothes I got bullied about because they were flouncy and over the top. I had a pony bought for me but then she had to be sold as my mum had no idea how to look after her. I was sent to ballet despite not having a scrap of talent.

My teens were very difficult. I was a grungy teen, Nirvana T-shirt clad, ripped jeans - but my mother continued to control everything even though she must have seen (I think?) it was leading to troubles at school (having my hair in ROLLERS at night blush)

I am sure she thought she was giving me a fantastic childhood.

AnneElliott Mon 05-Oct-15 15:43:48

I get what you mean OP and I also overcompensate with DS. I don't think you're jealous though. My mother was/is jealous of the things I had but she didn't and it made for a terrible childhood for me. I really think there are people who shouldn't have kids.

BitOutOfPractice Mon 05-Oct-15 15:47:56

Oh OP you have actually made me fill up with tears

It doesn't sound like you're jealous. It sounds like you have a sort of wistful longing and wishing that your childhood had been more like theirs.

But you do not sound bitter or jealous. You sound, if I may say so, blummin' lovely

But you don't need to sacrifice everything for the kids. They sounds like the kind of kids that would love to see you treat yourself sometimes and be happy nd relaxed soing so

Liomsa Mon 05-Oct-15 15:49:04

I agree that this shouldn't topple over into always putting yourself last, so that your needs are invisible. I do understand what you mean, though.

My parents both came from deprived, dysfunctional backgrounds and unfortunately, also because they are both very withdrawn and solitary, they had no idea that children might need more than food, clothes, shelter - I mean they didn't seem to think that an indoor loo might be good, or a table somewhere quiet to do homework, or occasional help with said homework, or that a ten year old should not share a bed with an incontinent grandmother. Or praise or affection, or hobbies, or being taken to the library or taught to swim or ride a bike. Everything - including local free things - was either too much trouble or too expensive.

But the things my son (3) has that I never had that make me most wistful are not material - it's that he doesn't have to see me quail before the world, frightened or expect him to fail at learned very young not to tell my parents about bullying or other problems, because all it did was make them anxious. They would never act, in case they looked like trouble makers. If he is worried about something, I tell DS we'll figure out the solution together.

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