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Should your children be your world??

(34 Posts)
cheekymonk Thu 27-Sep-12 13:02:54

Following on from a previous thread I started I am genuinely interested to hear how others view parenthood. I was brought up along with my sis that we were the centre of everything, I knew we were my Mum's world. My Dad was at work most of the time and usually knackered when we saw him so I had that feeling less from him but I still loved our precious time together. my Nan doted on us too and did make us feel so important and loved.we had sweets every day and I remember my nan giving me half her dinner which i selfishly ate on top of my own!!! When i was older and when i look in photos I notice how unhappy my Mum looks and she admits she was often tired and stressed. Now, she lives alone and does exactly what she wants to do, on her terms and feels she has earned that.
Is that how it works??? Since having my own children my Mum has impressed upon me that I should love every minute of it (coz she she did although dad tells me different ha ha!) i should put kids first 100% of time and that I am here to serve them really until they leave home!!! of course i have fought against that but i do put them first and do forget about me sometimes. i thought that was what being a Mum was all about? How do you achieve a balance?? i am realising the importance of being an example and role model. i don't want ds to treat future girlfriends and wives as doormats or for my dd to think she has to be one...

Puddlet Thu 27-Sep-12 13:12:06

No. It benefits the whole family when you have some time for yourself. I have an agreement with my hard working dh that once a week he gets home early (for 6) and I go out to Zumba. The children like seeing him and I really enjoy having something that I do for me. I think a better model for a family is a team who work together and have fun together rather than one person doing everything for everyone else. Even 2-3 year olds can be encouraged to help with jobs at home and it helps to build their confidence.

MichaelFinnegansWhiskers Thu 27-Sep-12 13:12:54

From reading your post, I think you already know the answer to this.

Looking after our kids, in an age-appropriate way, is very different to 'serving' them. As they grow, it gets more and more important for them to know that other people - including their parents - have needs and wants too.

but don't ask me how to actually get the balance right, I have no idea!

cheekymonk Thu 27-Sep-12 13:16:04

Made me smile Michaelfinneganswhiskers thanks!! Yes Puddlet, definitely agree with family working together. I am increasing my hours from 16 to 30 so have warned them that they will need to do more!

newmum001 Thu 27-Sep-12 13:21:23

I'm somewhere in the middle. My daughter is my world i abslutely adore her and admit i do spoil her sometimes. But mil has her one day a week and i love that time myself. She also sleeps out at mil's or my mums sometimes and i love having a night to myself to let my hair down. We all need time to ourselves and shouldn't have to wait x amount of years until they leave home. My dd is 2yo and as much as i love her i am bloody exhausted most of the time and we both benefit from a bit of time apart.

I agree with whoever said up thread that you treat them in an age appropriate way. I do everything for dd because of her age but i am teaching her how to tidy up after herself a bit and as she gets older some responsibilty will be put on her (washing up etc) thats how i was brought up and thats how i intend to bring dd up.

Brycie Thu 27-Sep-12 13:25:08

I think obviously they are the centre of your world but that doesn't mean being their slave until they leave home. Everyone needs "alone" time don't they? and they come back to their family more able to enjoy and to give afterwards.

cheekymonk Thu 27-Sep-12 13:31:28

On my previous thread there was a bit of well young children and babies are boring etc and of course when i go on holiday i make sure there is a kids club. it just made me question how i do things, i guess.

Brycie Thu 27-Sep-12 13:36:26

I must admit when I see how hard my children work at school and on their activites I let them off jobs and chores. I'm happy to do all that for them generally but when it's being totally disrespectful I let them know about it, which is a lot of stomping around and hissing usually. Also I think we do a favour to our girls if we work to earn money, I have been a stay at home mother but I'm glad now that I have the chance to "set the example" of earning money myself. I don't mean to denigrate mothers who don't work because everyone does their best, my sister stays at home and she does her best for the children in a different way.

JemimaPuddle Thu 27-Sep-12 13:49:42

It was very very clear to me I was the centre on my mum's world. It was not a nice feeling and the older I for the worse it was/is.
I know she loves me very much which is lovely but it feels like a lot of pressure to be someone's whole world.
I would hate to make my DDs feel that.

JemimaPuddle Thu 27-Sep-12 13:50:10

Older I got

mumblechum1 Thu 27-Sep-12 13:52:56

Not healthy imo. Of course your children, especially when they're little, are a hugely important part of your life, but they have a habit of growing up and moving out, and DH and I have always been very conscious of the need to nurture our own relationship, friends, work, hobbies etc, in balance.

FunnysInLaJardin Thu 27-Sep-12 13:56:35

my children are the centre of my world and any free time is spent with them, but that is not to say that they are the only thing in my world. I work FT and have other interests, but when it comes down to it my children are the most important thing in my life. If there is a choice to be made it will always be in their favour.

My mum was like this too.

becstargazeypie Thu 27-Sep-12 14:03:37

I think kids need to know that if it came to it, if they really properly needed you, you'd drop everything for them - just that your love for them is reliable. But not all-consuming, and not so much that it makes them helpless. They also need to be self-sufficient and know that when you're not with them you're fulfilled and happy and not a martyr. Definitely a balance. Sure, DS is the centre of my world - but I do HAVE a world of my own - friends, work, hobbies, my relationship with DH. When I work from home DS knows that he needs to do his homework quietly after school and play for a bit and then he helps me make tea. I think kids get a lot of self esteem from acts of kindness ie from them being kind to others. DS loves helping me out, he loves it when he does something for me and seeing that I'm really grateful to him.

rhetorician Thu 27-Sep-12 14:36:34

I think that children need to feel that they are the centre of your world, certainly when they are very small, and that when they start to explore and become more independent that you will be there for them. But the feeling of security that you try to give to them doesn't mean that you have to devote yourself 100% to them - time to yourself or doing something else preserves sanity, gives them a good model (e.g. not good for them to think that they are the centre of the universe and that everyone else's needs are subordinate to theirs), stops you investing all your emotional energy in them (bad for all concerned) and allows you to imagine your life continuing and developing once they are grown

cheekymonk Thu 27-Sep-12 16:27:54

hmmm, interesting responses. Thank you to those so far!

lola88 Thu 27-Sep-12 18:50:33

My gran always told me make sure DP always comes a very close second to your children when they grow up and leave he is what you have. Ds is about 70% of my world i still have my own things.

WofflingOn Thu 27-Sep-12 18:56:12

Mine are, and I love them beyond reason. Because I love them, I also appreciate that they need room to grow and to live their lives without being damaged by my parenting.
So we share jobs and responsibilities, I am their mother not their slave, and for anyone to grow up feeling that entitled is harmful.
I am also honest about what is and isn't possible, compromise is an important life-skill, and they know about saving and shuffling money around to afford something.
But they are my world, I wouldn't want a life without them.

exoticfruits Thu 27-Sep-12 19:28:00

Of course mine are the centre, but you have to have a life yourself-a needy mother is a millstone to them, especially as they get older. They need benign neglect, time away from you and to see you as a role model for getting out and having your own interests.' It takes a village to raise a child' is very true.
Whenever I hear a woman say 'I am devoted to my children' it makes me cringe and you think 'poor children'-it is the sort of mother who sees the fact that she hasn't had an evening out for 5 years as a virtue!
Parenting is about giving them roots and giving them wings.

exoticfruits Thu 27-Sep-12 19:32:30

This is why some MIL are hellish-they cling on still making their DCs the centre of their life and DCs are resentful.

cheekymonk Thu 27-Sep-12 19:46:27

very true words here. lots of sense! Yes the not had a night out in years scenario does seem to be highly regarded by many and the whole martyr mother in general. i have been it to a certain extent with ds and I don't think it has done him much good. he definitely has a huge sense of entitlement. its a fine line...

VickyandAlistair Thu 27-Sep-12 20:39:25

God no.. My ds is the best thing in my world that is true, but he isn't my world. I still work. I still socialise with my friends. I still go out with dh. I still have lie ins, and go out on my own if I wish. Me and dh are very joint in the parenting of ds - one Sunday I get up with ds while dh lies in, next Sunday is my turn. We are lucky to have a massive family who adores ds as much as he adores them, and they babysit often for us. My dad even has him overnight every other Saturday. On average.. I work 35 hrs a week, on Tues I do a cookery course in the evening, and I might see a friend 1 night a week, sometimes 2. My dh probably goes out once a week. We spend lot of quality time with our ds too, but it is important to both me and dh to maintain our life before him, and we help eachother do this.

cheekymonk Fri 28-Sep-12 20:44:09

any more thoughts?

Growlithe Fri 28-Sep-12 20:58:59

My DDs are 8 and 4, and they are the centre of my and my DHs world. No doubt about it. They know they are too. But we are not the centre of their worlds - and they know that too.

DD2 has just started in reception, and I pride myself on the way she confidently strides in every morning, by herself, with hardly a backward glance to me. Other mums are fussing to meet up with friends in case their DCs are upset walking through the school door alone.

I want them to be happy to be without us at school (and whatever comes afterwards) and have their own lives, but know that there is an everlasting big load of love back at home whenever they need it.

halloweeneyqueeney Fri 28-Sep-12 21:00:37

CENTRE of our world, yes of course, our ENTIRE world! no, and its not fair on DCs when they are that to their parents

notcitrus Fri 28-Sep-12 21:01:44

No. I'm probably the centre of their world along with MrNC, but how can I introduce them to the wonder of the whole wide world if I can't see beyond them?

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