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to feel quite bitter at the way things have turned out?

(88 Posts)
cloudchasing Mon 27-Mar-17 10:15:27

Over the last couple of years, mine and dd's relationship has been very difficult. It's been heartbreaking to be honest.
Obviously along with that has been a lot of navel gazing and over analysing, and it's led me to thinking loads about how things could have been and what my expectations were, I suppose.

Do other people feel like this? I've spent so much of my life feeling like I was doing the right things, and it turns out I actually wasn't. I hate feeling bitter and I really don't want to be that person.

Morphene Mon 27-Mar-17 10:43:44

the thing is that you never have enough information to make solid good decisions when parenting. You are always winging it, because even the best of advice only pertains to the average person, not the child you actually have.

The idea that there are universally better ideas than others doesn't really hold water, but makes us think that we should have been able to do better.

Parenting is guilt.

But...back in reality, you did what you could with the information, time, circumstances life presented you with. Now all there is the whole world of the future to explore.

So leave the past behind (because you can't change it) and try to focus on where can we go from here?

Morphene Mon 27-Mar-17 10:44:42

sorry I left my grammar at home apparently...

KateMateDateFateLateBateGate Mon 27-Mar-17 10:50:04

HO old is your dd, what's going wrong in your relationship? What do you feel you are / have been doing right or wrong?

thanks

highinthesky Mon 27-Mar-17 10:50:49

What person do you want to be, OP?

I'm not being frivolous when I ask this. You've done enough reflection - by your own admission - so it's time to decide whether to take remedial any action or not.

As morphene alluded to, don't look back.

cloudchasing Mon 27-Mar-17 11:05:09

Oh honestly, to try and explain would take so long!

She's 19. I split up with her dad 15 years ago, we moved away and I've had 2 long term relationships since then, exh for 5 years and current dp for 6.

We were so close. Survived the dreaded early teens and then at 16/17 she sort of decided that she can't stand me, I'm a shit mother, and everything that goes wrong in her life is down to my bad parenting.

It's just so hard. We do speak. But it's sporadic, and I think her not calling me yesterday for a quick chat has brought it to the fore (she doesn't live here anymore).

I just miss her. And sometimes I wonder if it was worth it, it's so painful that I sort of wish that I hadn't bothered. I know that sounds awful.

cloudchasing Mon 27-Mar-17 11:06:49

I have a ds (11) too, and we are very close. But I find myself becoming a bit guarded with him because I worry that the same thing will happen once he reaches a certain age.

HecateAntaia Mon 27-Mar-17 11:12:43

I would worry that being guarded with him would make the very thing you fear, more likely to happen.

The sort of thing you describe happens quite often at that age.

Dont pull away from your son because that will damage him and your relationship with him.

Your daughter is young. It may be that as she matures she may view things differently. It may not. Thats impossible to predict.
But dont make that the reason you arent the best parent you can be to your son. He doesnt deserve you pulling away from him because you think one day he might not treat you as well as you would like.

Just continue to love your daughter. Maybe you could even listen to her feelings and her view of her childhood and try to understand why she has reached the conclusion she has

Ime our kids blame us for everything.Joys of parenting!

cloudchasing Mon 27-Mar-17 11:24:18

I have listened and listened. I have tried to explain reasons behind decisions I made over the years, and she has told me everything that I did wrong hmm

I do own some of the stuff. But I feel really unfairly judged, so there's lots of stuff that I won't take responsibility for, things beyond my control for example.

My relationship with my son is awesome. I am very open with him, but it's easier in a way because he is much more like me emotionally than she is, we relate easier. I suppose I'm just scared that one day this relationship will also go to shit, and I won't understand why!

BastardBloodAndSand Mon 27-Mar-17 11:29:32

What happened ?? Did you stop contact between her and her dad ?? Or did she have sporadic contact for good reasons or something ??

Sounds like counselling could be worth a try. It can't hurt.

cloudchasing Mon 27-Mar-17 11:35:35

She hasn't seen her dad since 2005. He messaged her on fb a couple of years ago but she refused to respond. I've always offered to help facilitate contact, but she's very angry with him, and rightly says that he's a stranger.

It was nothing in particular that I can remember. The usual struggles for alpha female etc, but no one event that caused it.

She will never understand how much she's hurt me. To be honest, she's not bothered anyway.

TheWitTank Mon 27-Mar-17 11:35:36

That's really sad, I feel for you. I think counselling would be worth a shot too if she would agree. It would certainly show that you are more than willing to mend your relationship and move on.
Will she meet up with you at all? Repairing relationships takes time and effort and weekly "dates" like lunches, cinema, a shared hobby etc would help bond you. Good luck.

MapMyMum Mon 27-Mar-17 11:38:16

I think the things is you need to own all of it. No some of it mughtnt have been ypur fault but you chose which way to react to the situations that arose, and its that you have to own. Accept and admit that maybe you werent/arent the perfect mother but know that it is ok to not be perfect. You did your best, and what you thought was best at the time. Apologise if she feels you steered her wrong or made bad decisions. You cannot change the past, but you can create a brighter future.
Stop pulling away from your son, thats a self fulfilling fallacy in the making. Dont push your dd to talk. Say your piece - apologise, try not to explain too much, she doesnt want to hear excuses. But be there for her when she wants you, invite her to things with no pressure to attend and no guilt if she doesnt. It'll take time, but hopefully things will pick up in the future

cloudchasing Mon 27-Mar-17 11:46:15

Ok Map can I ask you a question then? Why should I own things that aren't mine to own? Let me give you a quick example.
She did really well at school, but wanted to go to college rather than do A levels. I wasn't happy with this at the time, she's very clever and talented and I wanted her to go to uni. In the spirit of listening to her, I had to accept that it was her decision and she went to college to do another course instead. She dropped out a year later and got a part time job instead. So now a few years later, she says I should have pushed her harder to go to uni.

This is just one example of many many things that I have done wrong. Why should I take responsibility for those things?

Please don't think I'm being shitty, I'm not, it's just writing this doesn't give any expression!

KateMateDateFateLateBateGate Mon 27-Mar-17 11:46:38

Oh no OP, thanks chin up.

It seems like your dd has a belated teenage rebellion phase. She has to detach herself from you, it's part of a healthy development. She will come back to you.

My advice to would be to continue being supportive but a but more reserved. Go and organise your own life, look at your job, can you work on your career? can you volunteer? start a new hobby or join a local group?

You sound a little bit needy and that's understandable because sit was you and your dd against the rest of the world. I's time to cut those strings to let her develop into the mature adult she has to be. Be there for her but take a step back. You are mounting your old life where you were in charge of your dd and she was you primary raison d'être. Make the next step of parenthood and let her go. she'll come back to you that way but not so much if she feels pressured into maintaining a very close relationship.

KateMateDateFateLateBateGate Mon 27-Mar-17 11:47:56

mounting = mourning

bibliomania Mon 27-Mar-17 11:53:30

19 is still young - I don't think this is the final phase of your relationship, just a temporary difficult one. This too shall pass.

With regard to uni, it's certainly not too late for her to go now. She can sit around blaming you or she can do something about it. It sounds like fear is making her take the easier option of blaming you.

floraeasy Mon 27-Mar-17 11:56:34

You daughter is at a difficult age.

I think she is taking her anger at her father out on you because you are there and she knows you always will be.

Don't be too hard on yourself. You did your best.

flowers

GwenStaceyRocks Mon 27-Mar-17 11:56:57

^Why should I take responsibility?'
Because you are her parent. I don't think bitterness is helpful although I understand the temptation to slip into it. However, owning your bitterness rather than your decisions, isn't going to help you or your DD.
The university issue is a good example of the fine line we constantly walk as parents. I would tell your DD that. I would explain you were trying to support her to make the best decision for her but didn't want to force her. That you can understand her disappointment if she feels you should have made her go to university. Then I would offer to support her to go to university now. I'd chat about how she can still recapture whatever she perceives she has missed.

floraeasy Mon 27-Mar-17 11:59:28

I wasn't happy with this at the time, she's very clever and talented and I wanted her to go to uni. In the spirit of listening to her, I had to accept that it was her decision and she went to college to do another course instead. She dropped out a year later and got a part time job instead. So now a few years later, she says I should have pushed her harder to go to uni

You told her how you felt at the time.

She was an adult by then and insisted the decision was hers.

She made the decision, then later thought it was wrong.

How does she reckon that's your fault? Time she learned that playing the blame-game will get her nowhere in life.

Now she has to make another decision for her future. That's how life is. She can go to university or do OU at home. There are still lots of options open to a young girl. Does she even know what she wants to study and why?

upperlimit Mon 27-Mar-17 12:00:02

It sounds like she is blaming you for some of her own mistakes in amongst other thing that you were responsible for.

You need to distinguish the two and treat them differently. Where you are to blame apologise simply without a 'but' in the mix.
Where she is evading her own mistakes, just help her move forward. Can you follow her regret at not going to uni with reassurance that she is still as smart as she ever was and she can look to get a degree now, part-time if she needs to work now.

You are reacting to this idea that she hates you and taking it personally. If you don't over-react then she will come around in time. Don't give up.

cloudchasing Mon 27-Mar-17 12:00:33

She is going in September grin I'm very happy for her and think it's totally the right thing.

With regards to the 'getting a life' stuff, I have a full time job that I love. I've always worked, one of the reasons being that I wanted to give my dc a strong work ethic. It didn't work though! I had to nag her for a while before she would get a job at all.

She lives 150 miles away with my mum at the moment, so logistically it's hard to try and take her for coffee, to the cinema etc, but in fairness to her, she does WhatsApp me maybe once a week smile

MapMyMum Mon 27-Mar-17 12:01:13

Im not saying take responsibility for her decision, im saying you need to take responsibility for your actions pertaining to that decision. So 'Im sorry I didnt push you harder into going to uni, I was trying to respect your wishes, Im sorry this path didnt turn out the way you wanted it to. How can I help you now get to where you want to be?"

shovetheholly Mon 27-Mar-17 12:01:49

I think all babies should come with a warning notice about the years between 17 and 19!!

Please don't be downhearted. The reality is that she's probably feeling insecure and realising that she's made some wrong decisions - yet she's still immature enough to be seeking to lash out and blame others for this rather than sorting herself out. I think that kind of entitlement is quite common in the transition from teenage to adult years, and one of the markers of finally being an adult is realising that it wasn't your Mum's fault after all!

All that said, I think there are ways in which young people may need support, which aren't always met because hurt of this kind can obscure the way in which their identity and needs are becoming different. It sounds as though things have become very accusatory/defensive between you, and perhaps de-escalating that might help? It concerns me a little that you have this very close relationship with your DS - be careful that this doesn't become golden child/scapegoat!

upperlimit Mon 27-Mar-17 12:03:37

I had to nag her for a while before she would get a job at all

Well, yeah maybe her work ethic doesn't look brilliant now but she isn't her finished self yet, she's only 19. Not everyone hits the ground running.

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