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Aibu to feel a bit resentful re their childhood?

(125 Posts)
HamishMacTavish Fri 23-Oct-15 14:27:33

I was the only child of older parents (ivf baby) who were 45 and 47 when I was born - I'm 25 now.

They are good people and the benefit of their age was that I had a secure, comfortable childhood with nice things etc but was not spoilt... They are baby boomers and although pretty well-off due to some good decisions, were pretty traditional parents and v good bargain hunters! Charity shops all the way grin

Anyway, all good but I remember being jealous of my friends with their young, cool parents and fun days out during the holidays. My mum in particular was a big believer in kids having opportunities and signed me up for everything in sight: after school brass bands, karate, swimming practice, which was great in hindsight but there was pressure on me to agree to all of this and just do it; at 9, I would have loved a simple day out or a meal out with the family (waste of money!!) or eg a light-hearted friends day out.

At the risk of sounding ungrateful, I love them a lot but feel a bit jealous for the type of childhood I sometimes hear about on here or saw first hand with my school friends. Genuinely fun things to do, letting children be children.

My mum would lose her rag quite quickly when I was growing up and again was from a different era; when she got angry, she would lash out at me (not abusively but impulsively, so not ideal). There was pressure put on me when she was annoyed with my dad for some perceived slight to toe the party line and not "upset" either of them - I honestly think that that they had no idea kids could pick up on a bad atmosphere, but believe me I could!

Neither of them had close friends in our area due to moving around a lot for my dad's job in the early days, so weekends were spent inside the house reading with them doing odd jobs around me, taking me to activities that I secretly hated but my mum insisted I attend for confidence (!) or going on protracted family walks which were boring and a trial for everyone. Fun wasn't a thing!

I hope I'm not going to ge flamed for this. They were good parents and did their best but I hope I'm a bit less neurotic than my mum, a bit more calm and less inclined to taking my moods out on my children. Aib to think it's nice to plan things solely for the "fun" with your child, to relax before they grow up and life isn't as light-hearted anymore?!

HamishMacTavish Fri 23-Oct-15 14:28:48

Sorry for the essay <gives self a flaming>

Pootles2010 Fri 23-Oct-15 14:30:22

No of course you're not BU to think any of those things, because to be honest I doubt there's many of us that haven't thought those things.

No family or parents are perfect, mine were maybe a bit like yours in that they spent money on learning new stuff, rather than days out etc. But equally that's meant that I've now got a degree, so I guess can't complain too much!!

DamnBamboo Fri 23-Oct-15 14:33:22

OP, I know this will sound harsh but why don't you reflect on the things you had, rather than the things you didn't.
Sounds to me like your parents had your best interests at heart and tried to give you lots of opportunities.

Their age is (was) their age - nothing they could have done to change that.

I think YABU to be honest.

HamishMacTavish Fri 23-Oct-15 14:35:33

Pootles, yes same, you're right - I like to think they have helped and of course the key thing is that they had good intentions smile

Just a rant really; I guess the big thing i want to take onboard is that children should be treated with kindness!! Of course every parent loses it at least once and my mother was hardly abusive (far from it), but I do feel a little resentment that she treated me as an adult trying to wind her up when I was perhaps trying with my behaviour. I was definitely a good kid! Which she readily admits now (the teenage years are a different story grin), and I wish she had appreciated that more at the time

MrsJayy Fri 23-Oct-15 14:37:56

Hey my mum had me at 19 and i was jealous of my friends older and together parents mum wasnt a cool young mum and stressed a lot of my childhood.

my friend at primarys mum was the same age group as my nan so maybe mid 40s she was lovely and always had baking on the go and wore a pinny and was just lovely and mumsy friend was always moaning about her mum
dont get me wrong my chiodhood was great but bet we all thought other kids parents were better more fun and all that palava

MrsJayy Fri 23-Oct-15 14:40:54

Mum really didnt understand me as a teenager tbh she was really strict and i was quite a complacent teenager

catfordbetty Fri 23-Oct-15 14:42:29

I can understand why you feel resentful and I think it's important to acknowledge feelings like this. It sounds too as if these insights have been applied in a good way to your own parenting.

angemorange Fri 23-Oct-15 14:42:41

I was an only child too, and my parents were a bit older, although more laid back than yours perhaps.
I think essentially only children feel things a bit deeper because there are no siblings to share the experience with and all our reflections look inward.

It also means our parents only have one child to focus on - no wonder it can all seem a bit intense smile

mellowheart Fri 23-Oct-15 14:44:09

I think everyone has different expectations of how childhood should be. What some might see as a bad childhood(not saying yours was) others would see as marvellous. I have a friend who is very bitter about her childhood, she dwells on negative things and speaks badly about her parents, who really weren't that bad, (her childhood was far better than a lot I know of), she's just an unforgiving person I suppose. I think it's best to look for the positives. No parents are perfect.

HamishMacTavish Fri 23-Oct-15 14:45:00

Ok thanks everyone, prepared to admit I am being a bit u then (as indeed I suspected!) smile

That's interesting mrsjayy, my mum absolutely didn't get me as a teenager! A couple of time she "banned" me from going to sleepovers ffs with my friends at 16 as I had misbehaved hmm and memorably she stopped from going to a GCSE celebration party after I aced them...

Sorry to derail blush My point is, I had put that down to age but it's interesting to know your mum had a similar attitude despite being younger smilesmile

flanjabelle Fri 23-Oct-15 14:45:44

Sorry, but a gentle Yabu here too.

Your feelings are valid and real, but it feels as though you are looking for the negatives. you have parents who cared enough about you to try and give you good opportunities. No parents are perfect, but you are lucky to have had parents like that when many children have parents who don't care at all. No its not great that there was an atmospehere at times, but it's impossible to keep everything happy and cheery all the time.

Think about how much worse it could have been and try to see the positives. They weren't abusive, they cared enough to try and give you the best opportunities that they could.

By all means do things differently, that is your right as a parent, but don't keep hashing out where your parents failed you if they are good people who tried their best. it doesn't do any good.

nokidshere Fri 23-Oct-15 14:46:24

Of course you are BU although you are NBU to reflect on your childhood.

The highlight of my week as a child was feeling relief that the corner shop gave us food even though we had no money because mum had left home and dad was passed out drunk on the sofa.

Now yours seems quite good doesn't it? grin

HamishMacTavish Fri 23-Oct-15 14:47:22

Mellow - absolutely! My childhood was far from bad, just feeling a little ranty, but I agree that it would be awful to be bitter about it and I do intend to focus on the positives!

I moved back in with my parents after uni for a couple of months at the grand old age of 23 before starting work so they can't have been that bad grin

pocketsaviour Fri 23-Oct-15 14:48:21

Have a look at the Stately Homes thread in Relationships, OP. You might find it a bit of a revelation.

flanjabelle Fri 23-Oct-15 14:48:53

And it's never too late to have fun. If you feel you missed out as a child, have fun now!

Fizrim Fri 23-Oct-15 14:49:53

It does come across as you unfairly blaming the age of your parents - they would probably have been the same 20 years earlier too!

MultiShirking Fri 23-Oct-15 14:50:09

YABU, and sound quite immature and spoilt actually. You were offered so many opportunities a lot of people have never had. I think a little humility is needed for those of us who had stable and affluent childhoods, whatever other issues emerge from our families. A bit of generosity towards your parents might be in order.

HamishMacTavish Fri 23-Oct-15 14:50:49

Flanja and nokids - feeling v ashamed! Sorry to hear that flanja, that's terrible and I hope things got better for you xx flowers

Before anyone thinks I'm so bitter twisted maid, I really would not say this to anyone IRL. Just having a muse. I do accept they're good and my childhood was good on the whole. Just trying not to make the same "mistakes" with my pfb (doesn't everyone say that!) haha, the impulsive smacking isn't something I want to feature on my parenting Cv grin

HamishMacTavish Fri 23-Oct-15 14:52:56

Multi - bit harsh?!

I have admitted over and over that iabu! Just a rant. Perhaps this wasn't the best forum then?!

Yes I had a decent childhood but there was a fair bit of emotional and at times physical erm aggravation (?) used. Not abuse obviously.

MrsJayy Fri 23-Oct-15 14:53:00

I was an only child for 13 years it was a bit suffocating at times oh i can better the no sleepovers i was grounded at 17 for staying out till 1 am at a party i was working full time fgs. I didnt parent like my mum i was a bit less anxious and stressy although i was quite strict .pp are right though your parents really had your interests at heart

LaContessaDiPlump Fri 23-Oct-15 14:54:26

op there are a lot of parents on here who will be in the same situation as your parents - older parents of one much-wanted child, who believe that they can do the best for that child by arranging lots of activities for them.

Your post is probably going to piss quite a few of them off because it will seem like you're criticising them.

Having said that, you're allowed to feel how you feel! Maybe it's a bit of an insensitive post though, particularly in this forum.

flanjabelle Fri 23-Oct-15 14:56:07

I think you got the wrong name there. My childhood was quite a lot like yours. Not many days out, more extra curricula activities, mum who struggled with mental health problems, but who tried her best. yes there was an atmosphere, but I was loved and that's what is important.

flanjabelle Fri 23-Oct-15 14:58:05

Oh and op this is aibu, so no matter how many times you admit Yabu, it's never enough. grin

Booyaka Fri 23-Oct-15 14:59:08

YABU. Focus on the good things rather than the negatives.

I also think you are suffering from a case of 'the grass is always greener'. You're looking at other people and thinking 'Oh they had really cool young parents', but in all likelihood these people will also look back at their childhood and think that there are things they wish they had done differently.

Some of them might have had families who weren't careful with money and wished they'd had few days out but no baliffs coming round. Some of them might have wanted to do activities but weren't given the opportunity. Some of them might have felt that as their parents were young they were more focused on their social lives than spending time as a family or were inexperienced at parenting. Some might have felt that their childhoods lacked routine or stability. You really can't know. You're looking at snapshots of their lives and assuming it was wonderful.

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