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Beware the mummy martyrs

(70 Posts)
poshsinglemum Wed 01-Jul-09 11:35:49

We all love to give of our ourselves to our kids. But how much is too much? What are the traits of a mummy martyr? I want to avoid this if I can.
A classic example-

Me: Did we throw our food on the floor when we were little like dd?

Mum; Well when you were little there was never enough food to throw.
hmm Sigh.

Well we are still alive and babies don't know how much food there is in the cupboard!They will throw regardless.

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 01-Jul-09 11:47:01


In a different vein my DP (the old fart) is like this with DD.

If she is not hungry and doesn't want to finish her dinner (I never force her due to having to eat everything on my plate to the point of torture as a child, but that's another thread!) DP always huffs and puffs and says 'I was one of 6 kids, if we weren't careful the food would get nicked off our plate and we went hungry' <deep, martyred sigh>.

Fgs he grew up in the 60s, not in a 30's mining village.

Me and DP just roll our eyes behind his back grin

Miggsie Wed 01-Jul-09 12:13:52

I hate food throwing, when they are very young it is par for the course.

I don't like children who treat my house as an a la carte restaurant either, but I've had DD's 5 yo friends tell me they are not eating my food (pasta, which I have seen her eat at her own house) which really pisses me off too. They clearly expect an alternative to be offered, but I just tell them there is no other food and they go home not having eaten. One child refused to drink the juice, the biscuits or the fruit offered, and it was all I had so she got nothing as well.

My friend has 4 kids, and the youngest eats at the speed of light, which I was stunned at when she was round...then I went to her house and saw a meal where the 3 older brothers fought over the food, took it all and she got nothing. (Until I interceded)...then I realised why she ate so fast.
This is 2 months ago, not the mists of time.

So don't take the piss out of your husband, if you are the youngest in a big family, getting your food nicked is not a joke.

PortAndLemon Wed 01-Jul-09 12:17:11

Yes, but it's not a reason why an only child needs to finish everything on her plate...

ABetaDad Wed 01-Jul-09 12:26:53

When DS2 complains he does not want to read to me after school because he is too tired (homework) I often give the example of my childhod where I came home from school to feed 200 pigs THEN did my homework.

DW and DSs all go hmm and say 'poor Daddy, such a hard life' in unison.

Its become a standing joke in our house. grin

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 01-Jul-09 12:33:24

Fair enough, Miggsie, but DP was the eldest of 6. I think it is a fair guess that it was he who did the food nicking.

He does need the piss taking sometimes, otherwise he is like a walking talking version of that Monty Python sketch 'when I were a lad...etc'

Flower3545 Wed 01-Jul-09 12:35:13

Dh always starts a telling off sentence with the immortal words

"In my day, let me tell you"

The Dc's do the eye rolling thing toosmile

I too was forced to clear my plate as a child, something I found incomprehensible then but now I realise my parents had grown up through the 2nd world war with rationing etc so I understand them better now.

I could never ever eat the rind from a pork chop though, still can'tsmile

PortAndLemon Wed 01-Jul-09 12:35:28

(which was actually an At Last The 1948 Show sketch that was later nicked (well, Cleese and Chapman presumably wrote it, so appropriated rather than nicked) by the Pythons for their live shows)

MIAonline Wed 01-Jul-09 12:47:14

Mum, oh we didn't have all the technology help you get these days. hmm

Me, no but you did have several sisters, aunts, friends all living very close and actually helping you

But, my mum is the queen of martyrs. grin

She can out martyr anyone.

edam Wed 01-Jul-09 12:53:36

My Gran used to try to make me eat up my food by saying 'there are starving children in Africa who would be grateful for that'. Even at the age of five or whatever, I could work out that me stuffing myself when I was already full wouldn't actually help the starving children...

Although I can see her point of view, she must have seen plenty of poverty around her in the 30s, and went through rationing etc. etc. etc.

Was always unhealthily interested in how often you'd done a poo as well. You should only have a spoonful of All Bran on top of your cereal, not a whole bowl!

Years later my mother explained that in the days before the NHS and central heating, good food, wrapping up warm and 'keeping regular' were the most important of the very few things you could do to try to keep your children healthy or fend off disease.

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 01-Jul-09 13:02:32

Agree with the rationing/eating everything link.

My gran raised me - she was born in 1935 and was one of 9 children, so would have experience some food hardship I am sure.

But bloody hell having to eat every cold, congealed thing on my plate...and have it for the next day's dinner if i didn't <shudder>

BalloonSlayer Wed 01-Jul-09 14:18:19

DH and I often bore the kids with tales of how we only had two channels on telly when we were kids (we couldn't get BBC2 on our tellies although it was around). Anyone else remember 'Channel 1 and Channel 9?' And they were black and white. And there was no telly in the mornings. And the telly had to warm up so it was very frustrating if you were in a hurry to watch anything because you couldn't just switch it on, Ohhhh No...

"Yeeeeeesss," say the DCs, then turn back hurriedly to the episode of Spongebob they Skyplussed because they couldn't miss it due to only having seen it twelve times.

GooseyLoosey Wed 01-Jul-09 14:27:48

I always used to be told as a child to "eat up as there were children starving in Africa". Eventually, I offered the whole of my pocket money to send the food to someone who would enjoy it rather than being force fed something I loathed.

My mother's favourite is declining all offers of domestic help and insisting on doing a task that no one wanted her to do and then sulking that no one helped her. It drives me nuts.

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 01-Jul-09 14:43:48

I am a martyr as well.

'No, I will do the dishes. Nobody does it as well as I do'

<sigh in a put-upon manner, bang dishes around loudly, slam cutlery draw shut, sit down on sofa afterwards with pursed lips>

ABetaDad Wed 01-Jul-09 15:44:27

GetOrfmiLand - oh I get that all the time - except its laundry with DW. grin

DW: "I just seem to spend all weekend washing" <put upon sigh>

Me: "Well let me do it then" <exasperated and through gritted teeth>

DW: "No, you never do it right" <getting a bit defensive>

Me: "Well you guard the washing machine like a dog with a bone so I dont know how you know!" <under my breath of course>

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 01-Jul-09 15:50:06

Oh yes laundry.

Me: oh fgs all laundry bins full to overflowing again, where does it all come from <grumble grumble>
DP: I will put a wash on
Me: No it's ok, (thinking you will put the wrong liquid in the wrong draw, all my bras will get put in the tumble drier, everything will end up pink or grey)

Then snatch laundry basket and stump out to the laundry room, champion level martyred sighs in my wake.

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 01-Jul-09 15:51:15

Drawer I mean of course (my standards are slipping grin)

ABetaDad Wed 01-Jul-09 15:59:13

grin grin grin

Thats it! Absolutley word for word. she even says those thoughts out loud.

I have a secret strategy though. In less than a month, we are getting new washer and dryer and then DW will be at a disadvantage. I DO like gadgets so I will know how they work before she does. Martyrdom will cease.

Still love her to bits though. smile

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 01-Jul-09 16:06:21

I foresee doom...

I hop you are not getting a combi washer /drier. They are awful as they only dry half of what they wash. And you don't think you can just automatically assume that everything washed can be tumbled, do you? Do you even begin to understand the byzantine levels of complexity involved.

And if you get seperate washers and drier, just because you will read the manual and will understand the mechanics of it, please don't think that you will begin to understand the whole laundry system that operates in your wife's head, the machines are only a very small part of that.


ABetaDad Wed 01-Jul-09 16:17:53

I admit that it is quite a suicidally risky strategy. Maybe I should just offer to do sheets and towels as they are all white. Nothing can go wrong then ... hopefully. hmm

<waves goodbye to several hundred Brownie points riding off over the horizon>

grammar Wed 01-Jul-09 16:20:23

Sorry to break the thread a minute, but having only just registered with Mumsnet, could someone please tell me what all the initails pertaining to loved ones stand for?
From burning martyr. aka Grammar

sweetnitanitro Wed 01-Jul-09 16:27:54

Hello grammar, there's a whole load of them here.

GetOrfMoiLand Wed 01-Jul-09 16:27:57

Betadad - you say that with confidence, however a black sock or red top will get caught amongst all those whites, you know. Plus do you know you will have to iron those sheets as well <evil laughter>

Grammar - welcome to MN. There is a acronym list somewhere (I have tried to look for it butdamned if I can find it), basically DP, DD, DS, MIL are Dear Partner/daughter/son and Mother in Law, pfb is precious first baby, aibu is Am I Being Unreasonable, the rest you will pick up!!

Can someone else find the acronym list for Grammar!

ABetaDad Wed 01-Jul-09 16:32:56

I do live in fear of the black sock among the underwear. I just know it would happen no matter how hard I looked. You are right. There will be no coming back after even a single catastrophic 'black sock event'.

I give up. sad

edam Wed 01-Jul-09 16:35:41

abetadad - you have to read every sodding label on every sodding item. Tedious in the extreme. Until you reach the heights of housewifery when you've washed the darn things so often you know what can be tumbled and what will shrivel if washed at any more than 30 degrees.

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