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DD wishes my sister was her mum

(26 Posts)
feartyfeet Thu 13-Apr-17 21:47:47

I am really struggling with DD1 (6yo). She can be very feisty and grumpy and it takes a huge amount of energy and patience to parent her. We don't always succeed in staying patient and things can descend into shouting. We have been struggling lately in general (moving house, FIL died suddenly 2 years ago - DP struggling to cope, new job) and both of us are wafer thin with our confidence as parents. When she spends time with her cousins and my sister she often comes back saying she wishes she lived with them. I am very careful to not react strongly but tell her how much i love her and that her family is here and she lives here​ and i am so glad she does. But inside I feel sick and so so hurt. I know she is little and doesn't fully understand it is hurtful. She can say it in anger (like i used to threaten to run away from home i remember!) but then when she calms down and we talk more carefully, it is more a fact for her - "sometimes i want to live with them and sometimes i want to live as we are". Has anyone else experienced this? It hurts so much and takes me to all my dark thoughts of being a crap mum. I don't know how to keep it perspective. Or should i be really worried that my relationship with her is damaged? I feel so sad. Thank you for your thoughts. I am too ashamed to talk to anyone in real life about it.

Wolfiefan Thu 13-Apr-17 21:51:19

You're not a crap mum. She goes over there and has fun. No one has to nag her about homework or tidying her room or eating her sprouts. Your sister isn't her parent so she's only doing the fun bit. So it's lovely. If she moved in it would be a whole different story!
Have you had any support with parenting? Suggested strategies and ways to avoid the shouting?
I have a feisty one! She's 7 now and much easier but it can be tough.

thethoughtfox Thu 13-Apr-17 21:55:47

If she's an only child, it will be more about her cousins. Try to think of this as a positive that she has somewhere she feels so happy.

feartyfeet Thu 13-Apr-17 21:57:05

Thank you so much Wolfie. It's what i know logically but it's very nice to hear it. smile I read the " how to talk so kids will listen" book and went on a course. Thing is I'm a feisty one too! But also I fear immature as I will let situations escalate until I'm arguing with her instead of being the grown up. I know it's worse when I'm tired/feeling low. My patience just goes and all the good stuff goes out the window!

OsMalleytheCat Thu 13-Apr-17 22:00:38

My DS does this sometimes, he spends a lot of time with my DSis and her three DCs and he has a lot more fun there - more sweets, more TV, better company, fewer rules etc
But if they did live with the fun aunts the fun would have to stop and rules would have to be implemented like they are at home.
Don't be disheartened smile it will get better and she's very lucky to have two homes/two people who love her so much

Wolfiefan Thu 13-Apr-17 22:01:47

Haha. I'm feisty too. Can't say I don't know where she got it from! grin
I allow take up time for mine. Make a request and then move away and allow her to do it. Offer a choice. "Do you want to put the books away whilst I tidy the toys or would you prefer to put the toys away?" Clear consequence. Would you like to go to the park? You get a yes. Then you need to put your shoes on. You've already had a yes so the next yes is easier!
Don't argue. Repeat the initial request and issue consequences for bad behaviour or refusal to comply.
Focus on what you want. The outcome.
It gets easier and for now there is gin

feartyfeet Thu 13-Apr-17 22:03:05

Thank​ you fox smile you're right it is rooted in a really lovely cousin friendship. If i am totally honest i have some "issues" with feeling i don't quite match up to my sister's motherly skills! She has a way to make things fun that i just can't match. DAD isn't an only - she has a little sibling who is coming up 3. Thy have a burgeoning nice relationship (as well as the usual fights and squabbles). I actually went through a period of limiting the cousin contact - or more protecting our family unit time - as it got a bit overwhelming for a while. We live close by and see a lot of each other.

leccybill Thu 13-Apr-17 22:07:05

My mum has 3 younger sisters, my aunts, who I always thought were much more 'cool' than my mum. They were relaxed and laid back whereas mum was uptight and strict. I now realise it was for my own good and my mum has mellowed as I've grown up. Try not to worry.

feartyfeet Thu 13-Apr-17 22:07:44

Malleythecat I'm so glad you shared that. Thank you smile And thank you for the tips Wolfie. Karma for the feisty ones! blush there is definitely things i can use there.

histinyhandsarefrozen Thu 13-Apr-17 22:07:56

Ds used to call me 'mum' and my sister 'the mum'.
It was v strange- I think he kind of copied his cousins.
Please don't feel bad, it's wonderful that your daughter has another happy place in her life, if your sister is a good person and is willing to support your parenting - even if it's just giving you some time off - then use this!

flapjackfairy Thu 13-Apr-17 22:10:54

I think lots of kids go through this and say they would like to live elsewhere? I certainly wanted to live with my aunt who was way cooler than my mum!
But as i got older i realised that is the grass is greener mentality and as others have said it is always more fun when no expectations and rules.
You are her mum and no one can replace you so laugh it off . It will pass and you are no doubt a lovely mum so dont compare yourself.
You only get one mum and that is a special relationship no one else can take away from you and dd will know that soon enough .x

feartyfeet Thu 13-Apr-17 22:11:47

That is really interesting leccy. I do so hope for a time in the future when she realises how very much i struggled for her! (I'm bloody knackered!). Probably when she gets a feisty one of her own! grin I feel a whole load better already. You are a wonderful bunch. I am so glad I posted. And tomorrow is another day, right?!

feartyfeet Thu 13-Apr-17 22:14:10

Thank you so much tinyhands and flapjack. Your words are so reassuring. Thank you for letting me know x

Funnyonion17 Thu 13-Apr-17 22:19:23

It's most certainly nothing to worry about. She just doesn't see if she lived there etc that her Auntie would still make her eat her veg, clean her teeth and moan about noise and being too silly etc etc.

As others have said it's the company of her cousins too, she's only 6. In the next couple of years she will develop friendship groups and be able to have sleep overs and friends round. I bet it all ends then!

feartyfeet Thu 13-Apr-17 22:25:19

Thank you funnysmile I do need to remember how little she is. She sometimes seems so big next to the littler one. And she can be very articulate (when she's being mean!)so I think i sometimes expect more of her in a way. And I suppose I should be grateful it's my sister she wants to live with...Soon it could be a random playground mum I don't even know!

Sweets101 Thu 13-Apr-17 22:33:31

I honestly think the fact that when she is calm she feels happy and comfortable to honestly tell you that without fear of disapproval/disappointment etc suggests you have a very good relationship and that she feels very secure in her relationship with you

feartyfeet Thu 13-Apr-17 22:38:37

Thank you for that thought sweets x In my dark thoughts i think that even when she's calm she wants to live there! But I see it can also mean she feels safe to share this. That's a really reassuring perspective.

Sweets101 Thu 13-Apr-17 22:41:12

I think it means she hasn't thought it through beyond being able to share stuff with you, she hasn't considered it might hurt your feelings only that she'd like to share it with you. Which is just lovely for a child her age.

NotCitrus Thu 13-Apr-17 22:43:24

That's really normal. Ds and his friends spent a couple years round that age debating who had the meanest parents. Apparently I'm equally mean as mum2 but she shouts more. Mum3 is nicer but buys less stuff...

saffronwblue Thu 13-Apr-17 22:49:32

Agree she sounds very secure to be able to explore this idea. It is hurtful but you are her mum and that is the deepest most special relationship. At that age I thought I wanted to live at my friend's place because they were allowed lemonade and we just had water. You are doing really well not reacting to her. She sounds gorgeous. Feisty is good!

feartyfeet Thu 13-Apr-17 23:14:37

Haha! Thank you everyone smile it is so helpful to hear your stories and insight. I'll feel encouraged by the thought that it is good she can share. I do love her feistiness (when it's directed away from me!) Off to bed now. Will definitely sleep better. Thank you so much halostar mumsnet angels

Mamabear12 Fri 14-Apr-17 10:11:09

My DD has said this before, but I do not really take offence, she obviously loves me very very much, but also loves my sister and I am very happy about that. She always loves going to her house and of course she gets lots of attention etc. Its just different, like with grandparents...they get extra attention, gifts etc. But as parents, we are the ones who must discipline etc and I understand children will not always like that. I do not get upset when she says this, bc I understand to a young child sometimes they want to be where its the most fun, but what they don't understand yet is that it would not always be like that if they lived there permanently. But anyway, I am happy my dd has a close relationship with my sister and her cousin. Warms my heart.

Astro55 Fri 14-Apr-17 10:18:52

My dd says this sometimes - I just reply 'me too'

You really don't need to chat through it though! It's just a hoot place she enjoys going to and hasn't fully copped on to their rules which will be similar to yours anyway - they still have to brush their teeth and is homework!

chipmonkey Fri 14-Apr-17 10:22:46

I used to wish my aunt was my Mum. Now I'm an adult, I can see that my Mum is actually a much nicer, more stable person than my aunt ever was. When you're a child staying with extended family, you only get to see the fun side of their lives!

Littlepond Fri 14-Apr-17 10:27:45

My kids want to live at Grandma's. They regularly tell me so. They always get pudding there and don't get food they don't like put on their plate. Grandma gives them 100% attention when they are there (once a week after school) and bows to their every whim.

"Grandma's house is tidy and smells nice" grin

But if they actually lived there it would be a different story and they'd beg to come home...

I just go with it. "I want to live at Grandma's" "ooh, what's in her biscuit tin these days? Maybe I'll move in there too!"

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