Those whose mums died young - having a mother-daughter relationship

(14 Posts)
FimbleHobbs Tue 05-May-09 16:15:41

My mum died nearly 30 years ago, when I was 3 years old. I do have a wonderful stepmother, but obviously I never had a typical mother/daughter relationship. Still it was overall a happy childhood for me.

When I had my first child, a boy, I felt sad not to have my mum around like everyone else seems to. But recently it feels a bit worse - DC2 is a girl, and she is now the age that I was when my mum was diagnosed. I keep wondering how it must have felt for my mum, to see this little girl running around with her big brother, and knowing that she wouldn't be around much longer.

I know it is daft and I know I am not my mum and the same thing is not going to happen to me, but I feel so sorry for my mum, and I think a bit of me looks at my daughter and sees me, iykwim.

OP’s posts: |
Sycamoretree Tue 05-May-09 16:30:28

I really feel for you. This is quite a big moment in your life. It has been a long time coming but you are now finally able to put yourself in the shoes of your beloved mum and feel her pain as well as your own at having lost her.

I don't have experience to share, but I just wanted to post and say I really get that this is quite big for you. It's a signficant milestone and I just thought it should be acknowledged.

Try and look at it as a way of feeling close to your mother again. In a way, you can get to know more of her through this wisdom of being a mother to a little girl yourself. It will be painful, but imagine how proud she would be of you now.

Take care smile

liahgen Thu 07-May-09 21:02:20

my mum died when she was 40, I was 12. She's been gone over 30 yrs now.

When I was 40, my dd was 12.

I have never had a stepmother, a year or 2 after my mum died, I became friendly with a local girl and her mum took me under her wing a bit. She died of cancer a year after that. sad

Never had another woman in my life since, and I have wished so many times that my mum had seem me as a mother, and been there to share times with.

It tears me apart to think my children would ever have to live without me in their childhoods. I do think about it, but try not to let it take over.

I feel for you Fimble, I really understand wwhere you're coming from. Take care.

PortoPandemico Thu 07-May-09 21:35:28

I know exactly how you feel. My mum died when i was nearly 5, 36 years ago in July. My sister was nearly 3. I was brought up by my maternal grandparents, and had a relatively happy time of it. I missed my mum dreadfully as a teenager, though maybe there was a element of being "different" there too, IFYSWIM.

When I had dd, aged 35, I really, really regretted the fact she wasn't there, probably partly for me, but also because she never got to know her beautiful granddaughter.

My dd turned 5 in March. It really does bring home to you how tragic it is. The thought of getting ill, and knowing that I would have to leave my dd at such a tender age really breaks my heart. How did my Mum cope? And she was only 21 when she died - at least at 41 I have had a LIFE!

Thinking about this makes me cry sad. It is a bit pants isn't it. Maybe the upside of all this is that it makes us appreciate our blessings a bit more? I tell my dd how much I love her everyday, and how beautiful she is. God forbid anything happens to me, but hopefully she will grow up being sure of that.

Manly hugs Fimble and Liaghen. We are strong!

hairtwiddler Thu 07-May-09 21:59:15

Coming at this from a slightly different perspective - my mum lost her mum at a very young age, and never really had a mother figure after that. In fact, spent the rest of her childhood keeping house and looking after people older than herself.
I think she always felt the lack of a mother figure for herself when bringing me up and has quite a low opinion of herself.
I tell her now (and wish I'd been wise enough to tell her earlier) that she has always been a great mum. We're closer now I have a daughter myself - seems to have created an unspoken bond between us. She was also quite ill with cancer a few years ago, and the threat of losing her made me appreciate her so much more.
I'm always so sad for her that she never had what I had and what DD has now...

FimbleHobbs Sat 09-May-09 23:34:48

Thank you all for the replies. While its nice to be understood, I am really sorry that for one reason and another you all can see where I am coming from and what I am feeling.

I definately agree that it makes you count your blessings. I tell them I love them every day, and I'm a great one for keeping special things for memory boxes for both my children and taking millions of photos... so if anything did happen they would know how special they are to me.

I do feel like I know my mum a little bit better now and that is a good thing to come out of this too.

Big hugs to everyone, and thanks again.

OP’s posts: |
PortoPandemico Sat 09-May-09 23:48:30

Fimble, big hugs to you. I know it is not MN etiquette but hey!

I have very vague memories of my mum. Mostly of hospitals. And god I hate them to this day <shudders>. I know that my sister, who was a similar age to you, seems to have had more issues about it than I do. She remeembers nothing at all, may be that is why....

ruddynorah Sat 09-May-09 23:55:24

same here. my mum died when i was 9, she was 36 and had had cancer for years.

i now have dd and another on the way. i do wonder how those last years were for her, knowing she wouldn't see me and my sister grow up.

FimbleHobbs Sat 09-May-09 23:59:45

PortoPandemico, I don't remember my mum at all, although I can remember the house we lived in (as we stayed there until I was a little bit older) - I can imagine how your sister might feel. My elder brother was 6 and seems to be a lot better adjusted!

OP’s posts: |
InsomniacMumontheRun Sun 10-May-09 00:10:19

FimbleHobbs - I could've written your post myself.

My mum passed away almost 30 years ago when I was 5 from leukaemia. She was 29 years old.

I now have a 2 year old son and am due any day now with a baby girl. When I had my son I struggled to 'know' how to be a mother. I felt isolated and lost. I felt that somehow, because I lost my mum that I didn't have those instincts instilled in me.

I've struggled my whole life with people who try to 'mother' me. My MIL was the closest I got to letting anyone in but she too passed away 5 years ago.

The thought of what my mum went through knowing she wouldn't see me and my younger brother grow up rips me to shreds. How does anyone cope with that? I fear everyday that my children will lose me. I tell my DS I love him all the time and will be doing the same when my baby girl arrives.

I think the very fact that we question our ability to 'mother' can only make us do a better job in the long run. Ironically I have been called a 'natural mother' whatever that means.

I'm sure all our mums would be proud of the women we've become.

nickschick Sun 10-May-09 00:24:41

I lost my mum when I was 11 she was 38 sad it is 24 years ago this year - I miss my mum more than anything - the thing is I never really knew her she was ill for a time so I miss the 'brady bunch mum' who makes me dinners ,does my ironing and stuff.

I never really knew a 'mum' and so I just imagined what a mum would do and did that with my own - hence im a bit Enid Blytony,,,,blush

I dont have a dd just 3 fab ds but I live in fear that just maybe I will die so young.

PortoPandemico Sun 10-May-09 00:25:43

Hmmm I have no clue how it is supposed to work (if there are any MN psychologists on hand)...

To me, if I think about it, I had my mum, then she got sick, and died, so I probably realised at a young age that I just had to get on with it. And that life is precious. You don't waste it on fuckwits like my exH.

My sister on the other hand, remembers nothing (like you Fimble) and has grown up feeling positively cheated! She has in fact sought counselling for this.

liahgen Sun 10-May-09 12:22:05

My sister and I were left with our step dad when my mum passed away, (I say stap dad, he'd been with us since I was 11 mths old, so almost 11 yrs).

My mum had been ill for as long as I can remember and so my dad didn't work, he stayed home and looked after us all. We had a dialysis machine portakabin installed at the bottom of our garden and my mum had to have dialysis 3 times a week.

Once she'd gone, dad went back to work full time, he was so taken over by grief that her name was almost never mentioned again. sad My 13 yr old sister, and myself, (almost 12) were kind of left to it, tbh. My sis never went to school if she could get away with it, dad left for work at 5am so wasn't around to make sure.

We became very self sufficient, housework, cooking, laundry etc. Every weekend, my dad would sweep the whole house, and every night he would cook a big meal, meat and potatoes, with roasts and yorkshires. Every night when we'd gone to bed, he went to the pub. It was his way of coping.

A result of this is that i'm very impatient with people who i consider to not have much common sense. I don't mean to be, but I just think, " oh for heavens sake," I left the village at 17 on a coach to Switzerland, and apart from a few trips back to sleep with most of the men in the village, blush never lived there again.

I'm a better mum than my mum was, (she attempted suicide in the pub once when we were with her) but with hindsight, maybe that ws when she found out how ill she was, who knows. She was quite happy to leave me with a relative when she met my dad, it was him that insisted they take me. However, I was the mummys girl, and i hope she's pleased with how i've turned out.

My life would have turned out very differently if my mum hadn't died, I wouldn't have made so many mistakes, I know that, as the mistakes i've made have been copies of hers, (so i've been told by relatives since) and I know she would have stopped me. My dad is still a distant character now, he has never got over my mums death, even though he's remarried to a nasty little leprachaun irish woman now who doesn't look after him.

He'll be glad when he can be back with my mum I know he will.

Sorry for ramble, don't know what happened there. blush

Cosmosis Thu 21-May-09 17:05:55

Thank you to Fimblehobbs for pointing me in the direction of this thread.

I lost my mum suddenly when I was 7 (so I know I am very lucky that I do not have to deal with memories of her being ill) and we are ttc at the moment.

I can relate to so much of what you have all said about not knowing how to be a mother, I have a lot of concerns about this myself, so thank you for sharing that. I am just coming to the age she was when I was born, and it makes me realise even more how young she was when she died.

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