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To wonder, how do you ensure a good mother/daughter realtionship

(31 Posts)
Londonmamabychance Mon 25-Feb-19 11:43:20

Admittedly, my DC's are still very young, 2 and 4. My oldest is a girl, second one boy. The reason I'm worried is that my own relationship to my mother isn't very good. We just don't et a long AT ALL, and haven't been since I was a pre-teen.

She is very overprotective, a bit controlling and constantly doling out unsolicited advice that comes across as criticism and meddling. She is also quite negative, never listens to other people, moans a lot and is quite selfish. This all sounds horribly unkind and ungrateful, and beleive me, I am constantly working on imporving my relationship with her, on being patient and kind and trying not to take to heart her behaviour. She is not the kind of person who listens to anybody and would never change at all, so there is no point in trying to work through things with her, I have resigned to how she is, and am just trying to make our relationship bearable.

But I am SO WORRIED this will affect my own relationship to especially my DD. My DH frequently makes jokes about me being similar to my mother, which really upsets me (and I've told him so) because I am so unhapy with the way she treats me - and most people around her. I am trying to work through my own personal issues and attempting to analyse my own charater traits to avoid becoming like her. But I just don't have a model for a positive mother-daughter realtionship.

At the same time, I feel that most of my friends are also quite critical of their parents, and often don't get on well with their mothers. Is it even possible?


AquaFaba Mon 25-Feb-19 13:34:58

Sounds like my DM too .....I’m currently preg with DC2 and am hoping for another son for this very reason.
I don’t feel I’ve had a good template to follow and am scared of creating the same unhappy upbringing.
I’m keen to hear any positive replies to the OP.

DramaAlpaca Mon 25-Feb-19 13:43:28

My DM is like yours, which is one of the many reasons I'm very glad I have sons. I think I'd have struggled with the mother/daughter relationship and I've never particularly wanted a daughter, but I have a wonderful relationship with my young adult sons.

Anyway, back to you OP. I reckon the fact that you are thinking carefully about it and are very aware of the effect your mother's behaviour has had on you is a very good sign that you'll do just fine. After all, you know what not to do.

VanCleefArpels Mon 25-Feb-19 13:46:24

I’d say don’t overthink this and use your relationship with your mum as a guide how NOT to be with your daughter. And communication is key - be open and available to your daughter and her friends and you probably won’t go wrong

Thesuzle Mon 25-Feb-19 13:50:32

Oh Lordy, were we separated at birth ?
I’m now the mother of one boy and one girl. Speaking from experience do not...
Treat the boy any better than the girl.
Do not attempt to tell the girl one thing and the boy the other.
do not try and set them against each other by feeding them different life and family “truths”
Do not participate in “the Patriarchy”
And millions more..
God. Made myself depressed again..

JourneyOfSelfImprovement Mon 25-Feb-19 13:55:15

I'm almost 30 and have a really good relationship with my DM (and my DF too). Don't get me wrong, we've had our moments (mostly during my teenage years and again when I moved back home after graduating).

She's always listened, even when what I've had to say wasn't really important. I felt like I had a voice in our home.
She'd make sure she was home when I got in from school (worked PT) and always took a genuine interest in how my day was and what I'd been up to.
She was friendly and welcoming to my friends, meaning I was never bothered about wandering the streets as I could always have friends over.
She would praise any achievement, no matter how big or small. Always told me I could be anything I wanted if I worked hard enough.
She encouraged me to move to Uni - I knew she found it hard but she knew I'd value the life experience.
She gave sound advice, but always understood if I chose not to take it (and was a shoulder to cry on if not taking her advice meant something went wrong).
And lots more things grin

Like I say they all apply to my DF too.
But I do have a wonderful relationship with my mother, and it's probably got better these last 10 months after I've had my daughter. I love how she looks at my DD and how much she dotes on her (my DP actually look after her 5 days a week as both me and DH work full time). And I also appreciate after having my own child how my mother feels about me, that strong, unconditional, would-jump-in-front-of-a-bus fierce love.

Londonmamabychance Tue 26-Feb-19 10:10:59

Thanks for all your responses! very helpful, sorry to hear some of you have had similar experiences.

I have to say my mum as always been very loving, it's jsut that everything always has to be on her terms and she always has to be the centre of attention. If she is not, she gets upset and complains nobody cares about her. She bosses everyone around. Sigh.

I guess I have to focus on what NOT to do with my DD, I guess I have a template for that! the thing is, I love my daughter so much, and I always wanted a girl - funnily enough - and I dote on her so much, so I hope this will all pan out in a good way. I have to just watch myself that I don't slip into unhealthy patterns.

It's also hard to be around my mother, and at the moment I have to be around her a lot, as we are temporarily living with my parents due to a move. It's exhausting to deal with her all day.

Just this morning, she comes down and immediately starts talking, I'm working remotely so am busy at my laptop but she just bursts in and starts to tell me how the nurse called her and told her she had a UTI, and how long she's had it, what medicine she needs to take, then starts to praise herself sainbg she's so tough because she didn't even complain about it and on and on. I commented that she should perhaps start drinking water (she doesnt ever drink water, only juice and crdial even though she has diabetes...and then complains she doesnt feel well - it really is an uphill struggle) and she freaked out and started shouting at me for not feeling sorry enough for her. And so goes the day, on an on. I try to look for positive traits in er but the longer I spend close with her I see less and less, she does nice things for my DC's, but only the kidn that she finds entertaining too. Like playing with them, buying them things etc. She has NEVER changed my DS' nappy, she calls me whenever he needs a nappy change, and flat out refuses to look after the kids at night, as she finds it too difficult to put them to sleep. She will not even try. SHE spends the whole day resting, socialising and volunterring and occassionally doing gardening or looking after the plants in the house, she does no housework whatsoever, I do it all since I've been living here, together with the occassional cleaner. The only thing she does is wash her and my father's clothes. My father or I cook. Yet she complains I don't do enough and criticise the work I do. She has recently had some tummy issues and need to eat more fibre, but she refuses to make her own kale salads, she tells my dad to do it because "she's too busy,2 and "you're so good at it." If he doesn't do it, she complains.

To top it all up, my sister is having a baby and I decided to throw her a baby shower. Since I've been living in another country for years, we are not so close anymore, and I see it as a good opportunity t do somethign special for her. I know she'd ove it if it was just her friends and me and my cosuin there, becasue whenever my mym is at a social event, she dominates everything. So I told my mum I was planning to do the baby shower only for friends, and if she'd be okay with that and she went into hysterics, saying that I was discriminating against her because of her age and that nobody cared about her and that we just see her as a helper and not as a person and she insisted that she should join. So I smoothed it over and said I didnt know you felt so strongly about it and she continued being in a huff for days, then cooled down but then she started telling me that I must also invite to aunts that my sister rarely sees and do not even want at the baby shower, she made such a fuss of it that they have now have to been invited to. I'm so sad, because I feel that after living with her, when we move out, I will not want to see her very often anymore at all. I don't know how to deal with her, it seems that no matter what we do , we miscommunicate and always end up in a fight.

HennyPennyHorror Tue 26-Feb-19 10:16:02

I think, aside from the negative personality traits your Mother has that it was quite odd to tell her about the shower and not invite her.

You're living with her so you must have SOME sort of regard for one another...but that was quite cruel of you. mention your Mother only "does the things she likes" with your "Playing and buying things"

I think that's most Grandparents.

Londonmamabychance Tue 26-Feb-19 11:32:50

Hmm I'm not sure, all my friends grandparents do help with babysitting, including the less fun bits like nappy changes? And they do occasionally help out with practical things like cooking or cleaning or putting children to bed...I know it is not to be expected, but I hope, when I'm a grandparent myself, that I will be able to offer hands-on help. Maybe all my friends have unusual parents.

BlueSlipperSocks Tue 26-Feb-19 11:46:46

It must be very difficult for your parents having you and your Dc's living with them. By the time a person reaches grandparent age they brought up their family and look forward to some me time.

I don't think it's dreadful of her to not want to change your baby's nappy. You are the parent, you change it. Also did you think your mother would be pleased that you excluded her from the baby shower?

You complain that you don't have a great relationship with your mother. I'm sure your relationship will improve when you move out and your mother doesn't have to pander to your needs and wants 24/7. Everyone needs their own space on occasions.

MirriVan Tue 26-Feb-19 11:50:42

Accept your daughter for who she is, even if she isn't like you.
I am very different to both my mother and my brother, and instead of being valued for my own traits I was treated like a faulty version of them both sad

MatildaTheCat Tue 26-Feb-19 11:56:56

Long story short you are currently a guest in her home so don’t really have the right to critique her daily routine. Ok she sounds like hard work but bite your tongue and go out and about as much as possible.

Learn from her traits what you find difficult and be sure to interact differently with your child.

Are you sure you’d be ok with being told your dd was throwing a party for women and you were excluded? To be honest there could well be two sides to this story.

Move out and then manage your contact carefully. Work towards improving your relationship, you will have to do it with your own dd. A few get along like a house on fire but having a tricky relationship is very, very common.

Londonmamabychance Tue 26-Feb-19 11:58:18

Mu mum never panders to any of m needs and wants. I am cooking and cleaning for her all the time, not the other way around, and I think that's fine, she's elderly and tired, it is just difficult to live together. I think it will get better for all of us when we move out. My parents have a lot of space to themselves as we are sleepig in the basement and spend a lot of time out of the house. They make it ver clear that we are gusts and have to abide by their rules, which is fair enough. We do everything by their rules, not the other way around. This is to be expected, absolutely, but I suppose it makes it the more difficult.

Londonmamabychance Tue 26-Feb-19 12:05:20

I'm intrgigued by the nappy thing. I suppose I just don't get it because I'm not elderly and tired, so for me it's a bit inconvenient to do napy changes but not a big deal. I suppose it must be for her. I just find it surprising that if I am busy cooking and my mum is playing with my child, she will call me and go 'he needs a nappy change" rather than ever do it herself. I mena, we are not talking about me doing my nails, I'm cleaning or doing family meals, and she consistently interrupts whatever I'm doing to tell me to do a nappy change. I suppose I will understand when I'm older myself. I guess it's harder for me too because my DP comes from a Eastern Europena background, where grandmothers almost always help out hands-on. His mother practically raised his sisters kids,a nd looks after them all the time, inclduing most of the school holidays. Contrsated to my mother who will not even change a napy, it comes across as surprising. My own grandmother (my mum's mum) always cooked and cleaned whenever she was at out home, something my mum hugely enjoyed and relied on. But she does not want to do the same thing for her own daughters. I just hope I'll remember this when I'm a grandmother , in fact this is my worry too, perhaps I'll become the same!

Londonmamabychance Tue 26-Feb-19 12:07:04

Disclaimer: I lived abroad for the last 10 years so in no way am used to realying on help from my parents. I suppose this is part of the conflict too, I was looking forward to returning home to some help, but find in reality that help is very scarce.

GregoryPeckingDuck Tue 26-Feb-19 12:08:29

I don’t really know. I had a terrible relationship with my mother. From what I have seen of other people’s relationships the key seems to be acting like a decent human being. It usually goes wrong when mothers feel like they have a right to dictate how their daughters behave or make demands/vent emotional stress at their daughters. More than anything girls take it particularly badly when mothers treat sons differently. Treat your children equally and treat them how you would like to be treated.

BlueSlipperSocks Tue 26-Feb-19 12:10:00

she's elderly and tired

There you go.. she doesn't need to be changing nappies, babysitting and having 2 young children around her 24/7. Give the woman a break! She should be allowed to do whatever she wants to in her own home, without being subjected to constant scrutiny and criticism.

If you object to cooking for her then don't. I'm sure she is able to cook for herself. Why should she be expected to cook for an extra 4 people every time she fancies a sandwich?

Make things easier for everyone and move out!

MondeoFan Tue 26-Feb-19 12:19:55

I'm in the same boat as you. My mum is very cold and unloving and I don't remember her ever cuddling me or my brother and never told us she loved us or put us to bed etc.
I'm doing the total opposite with my 2 DC. I tell them I love them everyday and we cuddle and are pretty close and one is a teenager now and confides in me a lot. The teenager can see that me and my mum are not close and she doesn't have a close relationship with her nan either. When we visit my parents my mum doesn't really talk to me DC or ask how they are, she will just make small talk with me. It's not great but like you we try and make the best of it.

Buddytheelf85 Tue 26-Feb-19 12:21:16

I don’t really have advice but I just wanted to say I understand. I have a poor relationship with my mum. I’m currently pregnant (don’t know whether it’s a boy or girl) and there’s this big part of me that doesn’t want a girl, while loads of my female friends are desperate for girls. And I think it’s because of my relationship with my mum. I think about having a girl and I just immediately think of the distance, the awkwardness, the rows, the traumatic shopping trips, the fractious teenage years. I have none of these nice memories of doing ‘girly’ things with mum that everyone else seems to have.

PlinkPlink Tue 26-Feb-19 12:22:48

Well OP, I think you can stop worrying as long as your keep your desired outcomes in mind.

My DM is wonderful and raised us so well but her relationship with DGM was not so.

To name a few things, my mum had to put up with:

- emotional blackmail. If my DGPs bought us clothes, she would always do it without askingbl but bring it up in arguments to make DM feel guilty.

- meddling. Our house had to be immaculate according to them. We wore the wrong clothes. We watched the wrong things on TV.

- controlling behaviour. DM wasn't allowed her best friend as her maid of honour because DGM didn't like her. She also wasn't allowed to wear an off white wedding dress as she wasn't a virgin anymore so DGM made her wear a salmon pink skirt suit thing. I've seen pics. It's hideous.

There are loads more exanples but thats just a handful. Awful. Just awful. I loved my DGM, she was more relaxed with us, but my Mum had to move away just to get away from her controlling behaviour. In response my DGM stopped talking to my mum for a good 5 years until she was pretty much on her deathbed.

I tell you this because my DM raised us so differently. We were told everyday we were loved. She encouraged us to talk at the table, to discuss our day (she had to sit in silence as a child). She allowed us to pick our clothes (unlike DMs clothes picked for her). She encouraged us to express ourselves in many ways. She didn't mind make up. She allowed us to make hideous decisions in our teens with clothes and such. She was alot more chilled out.

I think it's because she was determined for us to not experience the negative things she did in childhood. I am sure if you do the same, you will avoid those pitfalls.

MereDintofPandiculation Tue 26-Feb-19 12:25:46

Don't fall into the opposite trap and try to be your daughter's "best friend". That doesn't usually work well. As someone said above, try to be a decent person - children learn far more from the behaviour around them than from what they're told to do. Remember they need to be capable of being an independent adult by 18, so start giving more and more independence from age 10-12, and be prepared that also means allowing them to make bad decisions. That's hard - it's much harder watching your children make mistakes than it is coping with your own mistakes. Maybe that's partly why your mother is controlling.

Gazelda Tue 26-Feb-19 12:36:07

I have sympathy for both you and your DM. She sounds very difficult. On the other hand she (and your DF) are generously allowing you to stay with them and seem to help with the DC a little - but you think this is not enough.

My DM died when I was a tot and I had a very difficult relationship with my DSM. I was very worried when I had a DD that I wouldn't know how to build a healthy mother/daughter relationship with her.

But after post-natal counselling (a million thanks to the NHS) I realised that I could build my own relationship that wasn't modelled on other people.

I am the disciplinarian parent, but I'm also the one she comes to for advice, for comfort, for fun. She's only 9 at the moment, and I'm sure the teen years will be tricky, but I hope that she'll always see me as the person who will listen and have her back no matter what.

MondeoFan Tue 26-Feb-19 12:38:42


Some great advice there. And that's the best way try and take the things you didn't like and learn from it.
My parents didn't give me any freedom at all, my mum would always say "no" to everything, I try and say "yes" to most things within reason.
My mum didn't like my clothes when I got older and didn't like the music I used to listen to, I'm trying to teach my 2 DD to be their own person.

Hillarious Tue 26-Feb-19 13:22:41

Just remember you're there to be her mother and not her best friend. And there's no reason to treat daughters any differently to sons.

MachineBee Tue 26-Feb-19 14:41:53

Try not to judge no matter how shocking something they tell you is by your standards.

And don’t dwell on past mistakes. My DDs used to get cross that they told me so much more than their friends told their mums. But we always had good communications even if sometimes it was shouty and they were so used to opening up to me they never could keep stuff from me. Sometimes it was all TMI but I’m glad they felt they could talk to me and be listened to without criticism.

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