Please could you state one thing that your mother did with you that you will do/already do with your DD?(196 Posts)
I grew up without a mother so I feel like I have a giant gap where I haven't experienced a mother-daughter relationship.
As the mother of a daughter I now want to make sure I do all the things with DD that my mother might have done with me.
I would be grateful for suggestions based on your own positive experiences. What did your mother teach you about life, relationships, being a woman (and all the rest)?
My mum has always, unconditionally, thought I'm brilliant and told me so frequently. It's a lovely feeling to know your mum thinks you're great, although I've always known she's got massively rose tinted glasses on.
I'm not as full of unconditional praise for DD; I certainly give her loads of praise, but it tends to be when she really does do things well. I'll give her consructive criticism too and not just blanket say that everything she does is amazing because I think that it can become a bit meaningless.
I think parenting styles vary down the generations. My maternal grandmother was a critical, domineering woman so my mum wanted to give me all the praise and encouragement she never had growing up. I hope I strike the right balance with DD but I'm sure she'll parent totally differently if she has children! My mum was quite strict as well though, as am I.
You sound like a great mum and I'm sorry you didn't have a mum growing up. I'm sure you'll create wonderful memories and a strong relationship with your daughter. Give her your time, attention, a non-judgemental ear and firm boundaries and you can't go far wrong.
I took the attitude that mine would be doing chored for the rest of their lives once they left home, so they might as well enjoy childhood as the one time they didn't really need to worry about them
I really like this attitude and wish I could instil it a bit more. Trouble is, I then read a thread on MN about how many chores other dc are doing and then get all panicky mine aren't doing enough!
My mum used to brush my (very long) hair every evening. I still love having my hair brushed now. I suspect she would have done more, but sadly she died when I was 7.
Due to work, I can't always do the same things with DD during the week (but she does get at least 45 minutes of my undivided attention every day). We try to always get out and do something at the weekend though. And sunday afternoon is mummy and daughter going to the park time.
I'm sad there are so many who have lost mums on here. I can't imagine dd growing up without me
I don't have a daughter (yet - well possibly never) and my mum is not one of the warmest cuddly mums in the world but I love her loads.
Things with me
- instill in me a sense of women's struggle to be seen as equals - especially the importance of voting (women died for your right to vote) etc making me sign a petition against VAt on sanitary products at the age of 9 and explaining why it was important
- a love of history - visits to stately homes etc
- balancing being a loving mum and being good at her job - making work seem slightly glamorous
- dropping everything at a minutes notice if I really needed her and letting me know she always would (e.g. even in my 30's turning up when I was mc as dp was away)
- generally being strong and taking no nonsense
The thing I will do that my own mum did with me is simply taking time out to just talk. She would sit me down after school and we would chat, as she would with my brother, and we've always had a really open relationship because of that. My favourite line of hers is "I'm your mother and I will never ever judge you, so tell me what you've done now"
I was once slapped for touching some of my Mum's face cream. I now love it when my daughter wants to use my stuff and I encourage her to.
I never got any help with homework or even anyone checking I'd done it. I love to help my daughter complete hers and maybe offer suggestions or type it out nicely for her. I'm sure it encourages her to think a bit further and stretch herself more.
A lovely thread.
Baking and reading anything with me that I brought to her! DD brings me at least 3 books/hr and even the junk-mail and we 'read' that together, I get cheeky cuddles so it's fun for both of us!
Mum can do less now she is in her 80s but throughout my childhood we had a great time. Endless hours wasted just sitting drinking coffee and chatting, (coffee later became two gins and a bottle of tonic) clothes shopping, taught me to knit/sew/cook/waltz/jive/speak basic French/understand politics and to be curious about the world. Later I shared with her my love of books/history/make-up. I miss the fun we used to have. I have a DS but I still share lots of my passions with him including cake and coffee/apple juice on the way home from school on a Friday. The only time he keeps still!
Mine had bulimia (unsuspected until we were all in our late teens) and terrible body image/shape issues (not hidden at all, ever), so a big thing I did with my DDs was to never, ever, comment on their looks or mine. I also made a point of always praising the process by which an end product was achieved, but not the end product itself (mum was always more concerned about the end product and how everything looked, and what the teacher said about it).
She was also a very hippie-ish person in many ways and eschewed nail polish and makeup or spending much time doing her hair - maybe a throwback to her boarding school teen years in a strict Irish convent. So we all had to muddle through as best we could without any advice and sometimes in the teeth of outright discouragement -- according to her we were far too young for all that malarkey (at 16). Not helpful imo, and actually I believe girls need to have the support and encouragement of their mother or some female mentor figure (in my case an aunt) to shed childhood and enter womanhood with confidence in their appearance because that is a big part of being a woman.
So I have never restricted my own DDs from doing all the leg and armpit shaving and experimenting with makeup and hair that they wanted. Nor have I ever commented on any of the results except to remind them that Mrs X The Dragon Teacher will send them to the office if she sees the nail polish. They like going to get a manicure occasionally and I send them off with my blessing. They know how to ask for what they want and to leave a tip.
Weirdly enough mum was a great cook so I learned a lot from her, but refused point blank to get in involved in sewing and knitting, which she also did a lot of, so I couldn't sew or knit to save my life for many years until I was faced with the necessity to run up a halloween costume and realised it wasn't at all the complicated business mum had always implied it to be (she's a total perfectionist).
Being a total perfectionist put us all off from talking with her too, so if there was any problem we just dealt with it. She really couldn't deal with things not being hunky dory all the time and I think we all felt responsible to not rock her boat.
The perfectionist in her also meant we we didn't get to do much by way of chores (nothing could be done right except by her), and that is another way I have differed from her approach. The DCs all have their (what I see as) fair share of things to get done, that they are responsible for, and I am satisfied with an honest effort. There is such a thing as a clean enough house, a tidy enough bedroom, etc.
We do a good deal of chatting, and they know I am a shoulder for them to cry on. They mock me for my taste in music and fondness for reading, but in a funny way. After a few years of inflicting visits to museums and art galleries on them they have grown to enjoy those trips as much as I do. I think there's a good deal of give and take. There are also lots of hugs and pats on the back, which I feel the boarding school squashed out of mum.
Mum was always a really intelligent and in some ways very sensible person and I hope I inherited some of that in my dealings with the DCs. She talked with us about her childhood but overshared about unfairness she experienced (imo) -- there was always a gloss to it of How They Did Me Wrong. I don't confide at all in my DCs as a result, though I do chat about childhood back in the dark ages before computers, etc., and about my aunts and uncles and their extended family. They wouldn't really know these people any other way as they live elsewhere.
A lot of what I do is based on asking myself WWMD and doing the opposite
I wait in trepidation for DD1's first novel...
Have printed out one of the posts to pop in my mums handbag today.
It so eloquently summed up the love and support shown to me and my sister, and to our children now she's a gran. I was watching her in action with DS today and she is so skilled and attentive to a small child, played games and made him laugh all afternoon. Seeing their faces shining is a thing of great beauty.
I put in a note to say - look - this is just like you! and to thank her for being such a star all these years, especially after suddenly becoming a widow and single parent when we were both under 10.
My memories are of her always making soft boiled eggs when we were ill and tucking us up on the sofa. Gardening together and giving me my own first patch of earth. Made up stories. Reading and library trips. Singing in the car (Bear Neccessities of life...) Her unflagging enthusiasm for finding ball gowns for my sindy dolls at craft fairs. Going to the ballet in Manchester at Chritmastime to see Nutcracker. Pure magic. Dancing to her soul records and her teaching us to waltz (she loves ballroom and won medals in her youth). Her cooking pancakes with a determined look and doing made up swear words (oh blood and stomach pills!) when it all went smokily wrong. Having her own small hairdressing business and carting us round with her in the hols (we thought it normal). Going to great lengths to look after the straightness of our teeth and always buying us good quality shoes. Birthday cakes that were last minute and still hot so the icing melted - we didn't care one bit - things always taste best when made with love. Chocolate easter cake with fluffy chicks falling over getting chocolate coated bums. much hilarity. Going in the carnival together and her sitting up half the night making costumes for all of us including the sindy doll too. Sitting watching tv together, my sister, me and her all sharing licorice allsorts out of the same paper bag. Hot water bottles. Being hugged and her being all proud and tearful when I told her I had just got my first period.
She was quite strict but always loving, fun and made us feel secure and trusted in.
She was always honest, did a good turn where she could without making it a big deal, showed us we could be independent.
Marvellous thread. Made me cry and count my blessings. Very inspiring in terms of passing all these things onto our children.
Like others have said though, you don't need to have had a mum like this to be one. My dear friend had a mum who was an alcoholic and so she had to mother herself and siblings. After a lots of uphills she is now expecting and I know without doubt she is going to be a brilliant loving and imaginative mum who will share a lot of fun and laughter and be there, unconditionally.
I'm absolutely loving this thread Some truly heartwarming tributes to amazing mums along with some terribly sad stories of loss, both of mothers and daughters, or mothers that just weren't what they could have been for whatever reason.
What is clear is that everyone who has contributed has learned from whatever experience they've had and used that to determine what makes a good mother.
I know that I will keep coming back to this thread and take so much from it.
my mum would sit on the side of my bed when I couldn't sleep. she'd sing ne nursery rhymes, stroke my hair, tickle the back of my neck and let me put my head in her lap. She still does sometimes even now when I'm staying with her.
I hope my son takes the same comfort from this that I always have.
I also have fond memories of her cool dry hand on my forehead when I was poorly. The smell of her hand cream. It's these little, simple acts of nurture that I will always think of. That I will miss when, one day, she's gone.
Another one with a son rather than a daughter, but we read books and bake, both of which were things my mum used to do with me. I sing the same Gaelic songs to him that she sang to me, stroke his eyebrow when he's tired like she used to stroke mine (sounds weird, but it's really soothing) and teach him all the Scots, Gaelic and just plain nonsense words for things which my mum still uses with me.
Share books that you love like my mum did with me...Even if wholly inappropriate like lady chatterleys lover at age twelve. And visit Paris together at least once. The fact you asked this question means you're going to do a great job.
My daughter is now 18, and is soon to move 200 miles away to live with her dad. I will really miss the special little treats we allow ourselves; a bottle of wine and REALLY bad horror movies, a trip to the zoo, Retail outlet when our savings jar makes it possible to have blow out; chats on the patio in the middle of the night when we are both struggling to sleep; funny kittens on you tube... different to the things that you would do with young children and different to the things that my mum would have done; she is the best mum in the world, but we didn't have much in common when I was a teenage punk and she was a traditional housewife and mother!
Gosh all these posts are making my eyes sting. Although my mum showed me love I cant remember her doing many activities with me. I put this down to her being an 'older mum' - she was 35 when she had me (she seemed so old)! But as life turned out I was 35 when my only DD was born and was determined I wouldnt be the same. We make lots of memory books from birth until now (she's 10). DD loves them. I use the camcorder often - although she's not as keen as she is getting older! I always try and think of something different - when she was 4 we made our own book - based on her favourite book "The Tiger That Came to Tea" - just some A4 cardboard & a file - cut out our faces from some photos and stuck on material for our dresses, cut of pics from the Argos catelogue (just used our imagination). It will always be a special book! I try to vary activities we can do together, climbing, ice-skating. Lately we have been cuddling up and watching old episodes of Worzel Gummidge.... it is so good to hear her belly laugh at something I used to love watching..... She sometimes says I am so embarrassing when we dance and sing in the house and she says my clothes are not in fashion, but I think she would be even more embarrassed if I went to the shops in a crop top and little denim shorts - I accept that sometimes I just can't win but hope she enjoys my company as she goes through her teens
We used to watch a lot of movies together and go to the cinema as a family so I love doing that still. She always looked after me when I'm ill and is even coming to look after me after an operation next week, over 500 miles away.
She was the stricter one and my dad was the fun one but that doesn't change the fact that I love them both equally. The thing I love most is that they encouraged and pushed me to reach my potential, they supported my sports, education and personal life (loved the foreign school trips).
I am who I am because of them and think I've done alright! ;)
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.