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AIBU to ask if you enjoy spending time with your parents socially, what was your childhood like?

(60 Posts)
Sleepthiefismyfavourite Sun 24-Feb-19 12:02:05

I am really envious of friends who enjoy spending time with their parents socially/going on holiday with them/ going to pubs/restaurants etc.

I find seeing my mum quite stressful, and my dad is dead.

For those of you who enjoy being with your parents, what was your childhood like?

Were your parents strict, or just let you do pretty much what you wanted? Did you have to do chores? Homework?

I have 4 children, and really want them to have lovely relationships with me when I'm older, but it really worries me that they wont. I'm quite strict about doing school work, and my eldest does chores for pocket money.

My mum is quite toxic, and often says really hurtful things. I worry so much about ending up like her, and my children only seeing me out of duty.

Kismetjayn Sun 24-Feb-19 12:07:58

I think there's little to be gained in comparison. I love spending time with my parents- they are witty, funny people, we have hobbies in common, we could spend hours together and not get bored, we have recreational activities that I really miss engaging in together.

However, they were horrifically abusive and the fact that they are charming is how they got away with it. I wish I didn't miss them, but no one is wholly good or wholly bad and the fact my dad in particular can make me laugh like a drain doesn't undo all the pain and suffering he has caused. The fact that he is creatively brilliant just meant he was able to orchestrate my entire childhood the way he wanted to, with me his willing victim.

I love being around them but the emotional conflict & aftermath is too difficult. And it's not safe for DD. So while I can't bear NC, we are LC.

Merryoldgoat Sun 24-Feb-19 12:10:50

We see you PIL socially frequently. I don’t have parents anymore and didn’t as an adult so can’t comment for me.

However my DH had a very happy childhood. Both parents worked, neither were strict, they have a very happy harmonious relationship and always have done by all accounts. Fairly unflashy but regular family holidays, normal chores around the house. Lots of support both emotionally and financially.

I think they key was his parents were very happy together and had a full life separate to their children.

His parents are lovely people and I spend time with his mother on my own frequently.

Popfan Sun 24-Feb-19 12:13:03

I love being with my parents. I had a lovely childhood. They were pretty laid back in that they weren't pushy but very supportive and interested in our hobbies / school / friends. I felt they trusted me and because of that I never betrayed it. There were definitely boundaries but these were fair.

TheQueef Sun 24-Feb-19 12:13:55

My DM was borderline abusive (would certainly be considered so these days) so my Ddad was my saviour.
I still see him every day, we call several times a day and I'm trying to lure him to move in with us.
He's my best friend.

Youmadorwhat Sun 24-Feb-19 12:15:23

Mine we’re firm but fair, I spent a lot of time with them each separately as a child (dad would take me off on adventures, shopping with Mum etc)my Mum was very loving and I grew up being able to talk to her about ANYTHING. Dad was fun, he was better at doing hair too 😂. They were strict but somewhat realistic too. But then again I was an easy going teenager. I never wanted for anything but I wasn’t spoilt. I could spend all day, every day with them and of course they have annoying traits but don’t we all!

PurplePepperEater Sun 24-Feb-19 12:15:45

My mum is my best friend and is always at any parties/gatherings/dinner parties etc we have, same with my brother, we’re all very close, she is just as close to my friends and I’m close to hers etc I don’t have separate circles really
My childhood was in some ways very easy going, door was always open, house always full, friends and family everywhere, lots of parties and happy times
There were moments of stress and abusive relationships littered in between but I think that’s possibly why we’re so close now, it made us lean on each other and become tighter and more protective of each other
I’ve never really thought of whether my DC will be the same when they’re older, it’s just kind of a given in our family in every generation really, I hope they’re not the exception that can’t get away quick enough grin

Sleepthiefismyfavourite Sun 24-Feb-19 12:21:27

Really interesting that it seems like it's the easy going parents that seem the best. I'm worried I'm too uptight with my eldest and place too much focus on school work etc.

Sockmonster23 Sun 24-Feb-19 12:22:06

Beautiful relationship. They were not strict but I was a child in the late 70's and early 80's so smacked bottoms yes we're common place and yes I did get some and my fair share lol in front of friend and that was common I saw friends being smacked too. But my God we had freedom to play outdoors and on the close we lived on with other kids and holidays to amazing places like South of France and Sardinia! I love them now and we have a great bond and still holiday together for 1-2 weeks. Thry are great with Grandkids. So all in all a normal childhood for my time growing up anyway.

MereDintofPandiculation Sun 24-Feb-19 12:22:30

My parents made mistakes, they always do, and you will too. I like spending time with mine because they're decent people, with consideration for other people, and they are both interested in life and learning, so we were able to enjoy stuff together.

Arowana Sun 24-Feb-19 12:30:20

I have a great relationship with my parents.

They were not very strict with me and my brother and we didn't have to do many chores around the house, even though both my parents worked full time. Homework was important though, as my parents valued academic success.

Money wasn't a big issue - we had enough but not loads. None of my family are materialistic so it always came naturally to me to save my pocket money rather than spend it.

The big thing is love. I always knew that my parents adored me and would do anything for me (and they still would). That's what a child needs most IMO.

EustaciaPieface Sun 24-Feb-19 12:31:10

My parents were older (in their 40s when they had me, unusual in the 70s) and they were very strict compared to my friends. But I love them very much now and can chat to them forever.

Dolly2007 Sun 24-Feb-19 12:31:56

My Dad died young (drink) and my mother was just an awful mother to her daughter I felt slut shamed at11. She was an uptight catholic and extremely judgmental. She favoured her son who emotionally and physically abused her. As a daughter you always look out for your mother or others and as an adult she in turn supported me enough to more than make up for her shortcomings. However, we were so close holidays together etc, I now realise six years after she died it was co dependant. I needed to live my own live. It stopped me having a partner as no one was good enough they were all criticised. So you need a healthy balance if your children live their own life it's probably quite healthy.

anitagreen Sun 24-Feb-19 12:34:53

I don't really enjoy spending time with mine think that's the first time I've ever admitted that, I think I do sometimes but not really? My mum is quite rude and bitter about everyone and drinks too much, my dad is more insterested in his phone and weird stuff drinks heavily too, I didn't ever feel wanted as a child and instead me and my Nan have a very close strong bond I'm currently downstairs of my nans place with my children and we're all having a nice time.

Girlicorne Sun 24-Feb-19 12:44:14

NC with my dad, LC with my mum, she is quite toxic and picks on my DS horribly when we are together. She was very very manipulative as I was growing up, made ne feel incredibly guilty for spending time with my dad and his new wife. I have had some terrible mh issues from teen to adult years and I blame my toxic childhood. Soon the DC are going to say they don't want to spend time with my mum because of how she is with them, she really is quite nasty, more to DS than DD. I hope me, DH and DC spend lots of time together when the DC are grown up, I am doing my best to give them a great childhood!

DannyWallace Sun 24-Feb-19 12:51:15

I have a fantastic relationship with my parents.

The biggest thing I remember growing up is how loved I was. I was cuddled constantly, told I was loved, told I could do anything I wanted, so long as I worked hard. They told me they would always support me.

They weren't overly strict, but made it clear they expected me to work hard (I had a part time job as soon as I turned 16 while still at school)

foreverderbyshire Sun 24-Feb-19 12:55:01

My father (who's long dead) was horribly abusive, and my mother facilitated it whilst being a victim herself. On the surface of it, my mum is a nice person who is easy to spend time with. She's lovely to my DC's and would do anything asked of her to help me out, if able. But, I hate spending time with her, dread even having to phone her, and only do so because I think I should. Clearly there is such an ingrained bitterness at what I went through that it inflicts every interaction I have with her and I cannot change that. I have no idea how I will when she dies.

I see people out with their parents having a great time and I am so so envious. My mother is alive and ostensibly nice. But our relationship is fucked up and that will never change.

berrybubbles Sun 24-Feb-19 12:56:07

I can only enjoy my mother’s company when we are both intoxicated. She is a massive narc, was neglectful and borderline abusive. Very traumatic childhood. Never had a bond with my Dad so it’s very forced and taxing to spend time with him. Wish it could be differentsad

PotolBabu Sun 24-Feb-19 12:56:13

I had relatively strict parents who emphasised that I had to work hard and behave well. But I had lots of love, lots of books, a nice atmosphere at home. We have had a good relationship growing up.

crumpetsandacuppa Sun 24-Feb-19 12:56:40

Those giving your kids a fantastic childhood, What do you feel you are doing?

QuirkyQuark Sun 24-Feb-19 12:56:51

I had a similar childhood to You, my parents were firm but fair, never wanted for anything but my dad taught me the value of money and not to keep asking. I never had to do chores but I was expected to do all homework, read etc. We holidayed abroad but I really appreciated that I had more than others at school (my parents flatly refused to send me to private school and there were no grammars near us).

I still have a great relationship with them despite me being a nightmare teen and I happily socialise but we live 150 miles from them so usually it's daily contact via messenger and occasional chats on the phone that last over an hour.

Livpool Sun 24-Feb-19 12:57:03

I had a great childhood and love spending time with my parents as an adult. Same with with DH and PIL.

I have always been quite laidback so my parents were kind and loving. They told me off when it was needed but nothing over the top x

Blessthekids Sun 24-Feb-19 13:00:34

My mum is a lovely human being, very kind, loves her gc and very warm but we have very little in common so I don't spend as much time with her as some of the other pp. We both have friends so probably don't notice that too much but now I think about it, it does make me sad a bit. I love my df but he was a difficult man growing up so although he has mellowed out with age, our relationship is not one of friendship but more of warm duty.

I very much hope I will have a good relationship/friendship when my dc fully become adults. I think they currently enjoy spending time with both me and dh so fingers crossed. We certainly have more in common and I hope they feel they can confide in me and dh.

WoollyMummoth Sun 24-Feb-19 13:25:09

Op I could have written your post almost word for word. I feel exactly the same except by mother was massively suffocating when I was growing up. She had to be involved in everything I did. I couldn’t shake her off. Then was made to feel guilty for not including her.The turning point was when she started doing the same to my dd. I wasn’t having that so have learnt to say no without the guilt. It’s such a shame to not really want to be in her company. 🙁

Tinkerbelltower Sun 24-Feb-19 13:27:33

My family has had its fair share of ups and downs and there have been some really awful times. What unites us in the end are the following factors:

Always being there for each other through thick and thin, knowing we would all do anything to help each other

Lots of laughing including at ourselves

Willingness to forgive and forget (though that's been hard at times)

Generally a supportive and positive outlook and being grateful for what we have

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