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To be ashamed of my family

(38 Posts)
Litchick Mon 15-Sep-08 14:44:57

I am from a disadvantaged mining town and was brought up on a sink estate where most of my extended family still live.
They are very rough around the edges - smoke around children, get drunk until they are falling down etc - but I have always put that to one side because they are my family.
But this weekend I took the DCs back for a party and realised I am ahsamed of them. They are racsist, homophobic, covered in tatoos, uninterested in anything except watching the telly or going to the pub.
They love me and my DCs which is why I still go back but I do wonder if I'm doing the right thing - I spend half my time explaining to my DCs why it's wrong to lay about all day/call people spear chuckers/think all muslims are terrorists/ think school is a waste of time...

DrNortherner Mon 15-Sep-08 14:47:28

It's a tough one.

I too grew up on a sink council estate, and have had bouts of feeling embarrassed of my family which I feel terrible about.

We only get 1 family, and that is them. They love you and your kids and that is all you can wish for I guess. It is more than some people get.

MarkStretch Mon 15-Sep-08 14:48:43

You can choose your friends but you can't choose your family.

I say you don't have to feel bad, do the niceties (is that a word?) and then leave.

nametaken Mon 15-Sep-08 14:50:19

Litchick you must be my sister coz your family is exactly the same as mine. LOL.

Litchick Mon 15-Sep-08 14:53:00

DrNortherner - I know oyu're right. They are my family which is better then no family - it's just that everyhting I'm trying to do with my life and DCs is so contrary to their way of living.

anyfucker Mon 15-Sep-08 14:54:48

add another one here

we are trying to do better than what I came from

its not easy is it

Annya Mon 15-Sep-08 14:54:50

My Xhs family were like this. It got so virtually every remark made me appalled and propelled me into hector/lecture mode. I guess if you set your DCs a non racist etc. example, no harm will be done, altho I can see it must be tricky. In the long run your children will see outside their usual social circle, which is no bad thing. YANBU

charlotte121 Mon 15-Sep-08 14:58:07

Im in a similar situation but slightly different. Me and my sisters were all brought up well. Had very good private educations. One of my sisters dropped out of school... the other is in a dead end job a monkey could do. Neither have morals.... they sleep around and dont seem to have any self respect. One of them has absolutely no pride what so ever in her appearance and looks a total state doesnt wash properly or brush her teeth. the other shoplifts all the time.
We were all out together a few weeks back and my mum and I were so enbaressed to be out with them because they speak so commonly and are rude to people. They dont seem to care what peoples opinions of them are and it really bothers me. Im not a snob but I do hope that I portray a hard working woman who has repect for herself and those around her. I dont know what peoplemust think of my sisters.

charlotte121 Mon 15-Sep-08 14:59:48

I should have name changed to write that, I hope neither of my sisters come on here.

AmIWhatAndWhy Mon 15-Sep-08 15:06:56

I come from a very similar background, and left as soon as possible for uni in London (still here now with two DC)

I am often surprised by some people in my family who are racist, and have a fairly limited world view. However I love them all dearly and understand it is their circumstances that have made them like that. You cannot expect everyone to live life by the same philosophies.

I would never say I'm ashamed of them, they all work hard and always have , it's just a different way of life.

My granddad recently passed, he was a miner all his life and worked very hour he could to support his 7 children. He was well respected in the community, so much so that at his funeral people had to stand in the entrance as the church was so packed.

peenutt Mon 15-Sep-08 15:07:13

Charlotte i think you should of namechanged cos i think you've made yourself look like a twat.

You go on about self respect but didnt you post the other week about some bloke coming round but you couldnt sleep with him coz you were on your period and the week before you were talking about another bloke. hmm

Oh yeah and i sound common when i talk!!!!!!

BitOfFun Mon 15-Sep-08 15:10:49

I sense a bunfight brewing...

peenutt Mon 15-Sep-08 15:12:02

I'm only saying the truth.

LittleMyDancing Mon 15-Sep-08 15:12:28

I've never seen charlotte121 post anything except stuff that makes me think well of her peenutt?

are you sure you have the right person?

peenutt Mon 15-Sep-08 15:13:27

yes i am sure.

poppy34 Mon 15-Sep-08 15:16:01


litchick - think just have to learn to take the nice bits (ie that they love you/your dc) and remember that tis you/dp that your dc will follow.Also does them no harm at all to see that other people have different way of life etc and learn to judge for themselves

jawjawnotwarwar Mon 15-Sep-08 15:16:04

Racism and homophobia is riddled throughout society, not just contained within sink estates.

anorak Mon 15-Sep-08 15:19:20

Litchick I agree with Northerner. They are your family and they love you, that's a wonderful valuable thing.

I have a lot of, shall I say, characters in my family but I know one thing, my family are there for me when I need them, in a way that very few friends are.

Sometimes when people are racist I think perhaps they don't know any better, they haven't ever lived in a situation where they've needed to learn something better and they are spouting their lines without really even thinking about what they're saying.

Be glad that you've been able to learn better and stick around being a good influence on your family. Tell your children that nobody's perfect including your family but that you love them and most of all, they are yours.

AmIWhatAndWhy Mon 15-Sep-08 15:22:24

anorak I very much agree, as I said in my post earlier.

In fact recently I went out for dinner with some cousins and when we got out of the taxi one said 'bloody pakis' and all laughed. I was stunned and challenged them all about it, in an adult way over dinner and they all admitted it's just 'usual' to have that sort of attitude where they live and they actually don't believe the racist drivel they spout.

Litchick Mon 15-Sep-08 15:25:35

I know you're right, guys.
DH, to his credit, never turns up his nose and just says that DCs points of reference are ours. He says we can be honest and just say x talks rubbish.
anorak - not sure my family want to learn a fat lot, especially from someone who has 'gone all posh'. wink

PinkTulips Mon 15-Sep-08 15:35:04

dp's family is from a council estate too and their way of life is so diametrically opposed to how we're raising our kids it makes it tough.

but at the end of the day they love our kids, support us even if they don't agree with us and if they say things we don't agree with, well, our kids know better because we're teaching them better so although it can be fairly strained visiting it could be alot worse.

(btw, on a personal note... not sure why you've included 'tatooed' in their list of faults, i'd like to think i'm still a good mother despite a bit of body art smile)

Litchick Mon 15-Sep-08 15:38:43

Think I included it because everyone seems to have one. And not well thought out stuff just bull dogs and footie teams and england flags...

mayorquimby Mon 15-Sep-08 15:44:53

yanbu i don't think i could put up with spending time with racist/homophobes even if they were family.
luckily i don't which i know makes it a lot easier for me to be all principled on the matter so i feel sympathetic towards your plight as the truth is i don't know how i'd react.

random Mon 15-Sep-08 15:58:04

<< hides thread>> hope that didn't sound too common hmm

nooka Mon 15-Sep-08 16:16:04

dh's wider family are a little like this, and I do find it difficult because I stand out like a sore thumb and I am very uncomfortable with their attitudes to their children (smoking and drinking around them, language used towards them etc). However as they all think dh is a total layabout because he went to university we don't see them very much. I would not be at all surprised if they held other views that I wasn't keen on. But I do think it a little sad that my children have not met their great grandmother or great uncles and aunts on that side (dh decided he didn't want the children to go to any family events, and we have now stopped being invited).

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