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You're not very maternal...

(78 Posts)
LookAtTheFlowersKerry Tue 14-Mar-17 23:15:53

My mother has told me this THREE TIMES in the last week.

Wtf does that even mean? I have three dc. I breastfed two of them into toddlerhood. I still cosleep with the five year old. I am a SAHM. We cuddle, spend time together and are generally very affectionate and loving. Even the teenagers.

I'm not sure how much more maternal I'm expected to be? I think it's because I dont do crafts. Or iron. I'm clearly severely lacking in maternal skills.

What am I missing? What does one have to do to be 'maternal'? And should I be doing better?

DJBaggySmalls Tue 14-Mar-17 23:20:07

I'm pretty sure between us we can come up with a list of ways to test her. Mine is; Leave out a tiny, half darned sock.
Try that and report back grin

Obsidian77 Tue 14-Mar-17 23:22:37

Very bizarre and not obviously grounded in reality. Shake your head sadly and tell her you just didn't get the maternal gene. grin

LookAtTheFlowersKerry Tue 14-Mar-17 23:25:09

Funnily enough Obsidian that's what she said. That the maternal gene obviously missed me.


I did just laugh at her each time she said it. Bonkers as conkers.

LookAtTheFlowersKerry Tue 14-Mar-17 23:26:02

I love the idea of testing her.

I might leave a half eaten kid's lunchbox out with half a slice of pizza and a can of Shandy Bass.

WanderingTrolley1 Tue 14-Mar-17 23:26:05

Ignore it.

Obsidian77 Tue 14-Mar-17 23:29:21

Oh god, sorry! I thought that was such a silly thing to say, it would obviously be a joke.
I hope she never meets me, she would be horrified. I fall waaaay short of your standards!

LookAtTheFlowersKerry Tue 14-Mar-17 23:35:10

Oh god no don't apologise.

I was gobsmacked really. I'd love to think it was a joke but it wasn't.

dodobookends Tue 14-Mar-17 23:41:38

Next time she says it, look her straight in the eye and say:

"In what way, exactly?"

SusanTrinder Tue 14-Mar-17 23:42:49

Mine said this too!

She also shook her head sadly when I told her I was pregnant, and said that she always thought my sister would provide her with GC, not me. hmm

Some people have no filter!

LookAtTheFlowersKerry Wed 15-Mar-17 06:49:59

shock Susan. <fist bump of solidarity>

Out of all my siblings I was the first to have children (it was seven years until my eldest had cousins). And I have the most.

But apparently I 'don't have a maternal bone in my body'.

My poor children.

PastysPrincess Wed 15-Mar-17 06:52:52

Next time she says it tell her "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree"wink

MrsTwix Wed 15-Mar-17 06:57:31

I'd say to her, "if you were maternal, you wouldn't say that to the mother of your grandchildren."

SaucyJack Wed 15-Mar-17 07:00:28

Look her straight in the eye and point out that everything you learnt about motherhood, you learnt from her.

ShotsFired Wed 15-Mar-17 07:27:33

My mum told me that she wasn't maternal.
I am in no way maternal whatsoever too. But I never bothered testing it by having kids grin

I don't think it's particularly an insult though? More fact of the matter? Like "you're not very good at chess" or "your sewing is rubbish". Both quite true!

LookAtTheFlowersKerry Wed 15-Mar-17 07:33:55

Oh it was an insult.

And I'd like to think it's not true. But it has made me wonder just what it takes to be deemed maternal.

AliceByTheMoon Wed 15-Mar-17 07:37:18

Does your mother often try to undermine you?

If so, next time she says something as stupid as that I would ask; 'I often wonder why you feel you have to undermine my self confidence and self worth. Is there something lacking in you that it makes you feel better about yourself? '

KateDaniels2 Wed 15-Mar-17 07:38:00

My mum says the same to me.

Mum has mental healtg issues and the way she showed us she was maternal was to control us (literally could not go into room as a teenager witout telling her exactly what i was doing in there, that type of thing ), put a huge amount of pressure on us because we were 'the only thing worth living for'.

Everyone heard about how everything she did was for us and always put us first, not true.

So she thinks i am not maternal because i dont declare my adoration of my kids on facebook or at family gatherings, i give my kids some space and freedom appropriate for their age, i dont out pressure on them to make me happy, i give them choices where i can. Sometimes, if i need to, i put myself first or dh. Not often, but there are times its better for everyone if i dont put the kids first.

Mum gets nothing from me when she says shit like this.

tinypop4 Wed 15-Mar-17 07:39:20

In the world of my mil it is because I am crap at sewing and unenthusiastic about baking cakes. Oh and I chose o stop breastfeeding when both dc were 6 months old.
I think for that generation sometimes if we didn't do it like them, then you're not maternal enoigh!!

OccasionalNachos Wed 15-Mar-17 07:43:08

Wear a pinny & next time you see her, have smallest child propped on your hip & be stirring a cake mixture with the other hand? ironing something with your third arm too, my mum would be

TheMasterNotMargarita Wed 15-Mar-17 07:44:40

They are funny though.
My mum often says I'm no good at housework when she spies a cobweb in the corner. I've never been tidy apparently hmm.
Perhaps because I work ft as well as having the children.
Internally I'm shouting my house is cleaner than yours and you are retired and at home all day even though you're only 61!

Andromache77 Wed 15-Mar-17 07:47:31

I think what you're missing is a better mother. Ignore her.

When my DD was born, my dad said to me that he never thought I would become a mother but that was different, he said it with an amazed air as if he couldn't quite believe it yet. I don't like children and he knew it, everybody knew it, so that was it. I'm still not too hot on children in general, but DD is not "children" IYKWIM.

KateDaniels2 Wed 15-Mar-17 07:50:29

Its definitely an insult. I think my mum believes in some level that only women who are maternal have worth.

She has her own view of what maternal is and i dont fit it. Therefore i dont have value as a woman.

She cant answer what she maternal means. When she tries and i point out she doesnt fit that either, she hates it.

I have been a sahm and a working mum. I actually think mum is a bit jealous that i have kids and a career. The kids arent impacted like she predicted, the house isnt a showhome but it isnt a mess either like she predicted. The kids do well at school and arent delinquents like she predicated.

Her calling me 'not maternal' is her way of her making her feel better about her life.

I am not saying all sahms are jealous of wohm, i know they arent, i am talking about my mum.

Nishky Wed 15-Mar-17 07:51:33

My mother told me once she was proud of me because I had turned out to be a loving mum to my children- WTAF did she think I would be?

MsVestibule Wed 15-Mar-17 07:51:47

I've started pulling my mum up when she says something bizarre/insulting. I'll ask 'what does that mean?' in an enquiring (rather than aggressive) tone but she'll just respond 'hmm hmm hmm' in a sing song way. Utterly bizarre.

Have you actually asked your mum what she means? If she refuses to answer, just tell her that if she can't give you specific advice to improve your maternalism (is that a word?!), just STFU about it.

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