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If you have a good relationship with your mother, WHY? What do you think made it so good?

(68 Posts)
WideWebWitch Tue 07-Jun-05 10:44:40

Because while I recognise that my mother was doing the best she could - which is all any of us can do, I guess - I don't have a great relationship with her and I'd like my children to have a better one with me.

So, those of you who get on brilliantly with your mothers:

why do you/did you get on so well?
What did she do right (now or when you were a child) that has resulted in a good healthy relationship between you now you're adult?

A friend of mine believes that those who knew absolutely without doubt that they were unconditionally loved are the secure people with enduring good relationships with their parents. I'm not sure if I think it's that simple but I can see her point. All and any opinions welcome!

expatinscotland Tue 07-Jun-05 10:45:16

B/c she is 5,000 miles away most of the year.

Chuffed Tue 07-Jun-05 10:48:36

I know that mine loved me unconditionally and all that stuff but I'm quite a different person to how she is personality wise and I think that causes us to clash at times.
I probably get on better with MIL than my own in some ways.
I'll be following this on as I would like to have a nice close relationship with my dd.

starlover Tue 07-Jun-05 10:52:19

i didn't get on with my mum for a long time. I hated her through my teenage years, and resented her for the time she spent with my brother when we were young (he was quite ill)...

things changed when i got older, had a couple of suicide attempts, finally talked through issues with her... moved out of home with DP... now feel that she is more of a friend, and i know she would do anything for me.

WE have never been particularly close, and didn't used to talk about anything... but after going through such a tough time, and seeing how it affected her, and the lengths she would go to for me... that changed things a lot

i have to say that until recently i did not know without doubt that i was unconditionally loved... quite the opposite in fact

tarantula Tue 07-Jun-05 10:52:51

Yes we have a good relationship Im in England and shes in Ireland, far but not too far . Not so sure on the unconditional love. I know my Mum loves me totally and unconditionally and would standby me regardless etc but doesnt mean that she aproves of everything I do and doesnt nag etc and isnt dissappointed in some of my life choices IYSWIM. eg Shed have liked me to have married before having dd and to baptise dd. Things like that inhibit our relationship to an extent

puddytats Tue 07-Jun-05 10:53:38

My mother is my closest friend. We did not have the easiest of childhoods but she has always put us first. She has let us make our own mistakes and never judged, she has always encouraged us to follow our own path and supported us not matter what.

She is my role model. If I could be half the woman and mother she is and was I will be proud.

Very slushy sorry but I cannot praise her enough.

Thomcat Tue 07-Jun-05 10:55:49

Becasue she lives locally, becasue she has always been a massive support while never, ever interferring. Becasue she loves DP. Becasue I love my step father. Becasue without her our lives would be 10 times more difficult. Becasuse she's always allowed me to be my own person, she gave me huge amounts of freedom but was still strict about certain things. Becasue i knew if I crossed the line her disappointment would crush me. It was the disappointment, not the anger, that stopped me doing things. She's kind, generous, supportive, non-interreffing, funny, and mu rock.

Having said all that we don't have an amazing relationship, it's good, but I could be better with her but I find it all a bit suffocating sometimes. She's so there for me and she has me on a pedalstool a little bit so I find myself wishing she would take a few steps back and then I'd want to take a few steps forward to her, don't know if that will make sense to anyone but me. Sometimes I wish she's didn't care and love me quite so much and then I might want her love but when it's there so on tap, so obvious I find myself ...taking it for granted, and always taking a step back to keep a more comfy distance. Oh i should stop as I'm just going to sound mad!

weesaidie Tue 07-Jun-05 10:56:27

Had a rocky start as she was quite depressed when I was younger but things are very good now and have been for a while.

A. She has been very supportive and helpful (I try to be so back!)
B. We get on very well, we have a good laugh, we bitch about the same people - usually her selfish sister! - and can talk about most things.
C. W have always communicated and been honest and open, think that is important.

Lizzylou Tue 07-Jun-05 10:56:30

My Mom has always loved myself and my brother unconditionally and showed this in (almost) all her actions...she has been (and still is, on occasions) too overprotective but has always shown us love and respect. She is an amazing woman and has been a constant source of strength and support.........

Listmaker Tue 07-Jun-05 10:58:19

I have an excellent relationship with my mother and I really can't fault her at all. She showered me with love and affection. She just used to look at me and say she could eat me because she loved so much and thought I was gorgeous. She always seemed to love being with us, loves kids in general, is kind, great fun and lovely. But she could be fierce when we needed it - I remember that when she shouted we really jumped because she didn't do it that often.

As I grew up she bit her tongue when I picked disastrous men and was always there to pick up the pieces. She let me go out and do my thing, was never clingy or needy. Now I've got kids I live round the corner from her and she has been an amazing help to me. I've been a single parent for 5 years and I couldn't have managed without her. She makes suggestions in her own funny way that means I should do what she says but she is usually right as she has great common sense and wisdom! She has had my dds while I work and still meets them from school every day and has them for an hour for me.

She hasn't been hugely keen on having them overnight or for days on end but I understand and hopefully am sensitive of putting too much on her.

I talk to her at least once a day probably more often. She is a wonderful grandmother to my dds and they absolutely adore her. She plays imaginative games with them for hours.

My Dad was a lot harder to please and was more keen on my academic achievements than how happy I was!! But we get on great now and I think he's proud of how I've coped in the last few years.

I think I am a very confident, well balanced, stable person with no chips on my shoulder and good self-esteem.

God I'm crying now writing this. Maybe I should print it out to show my Mum how I feel about her but I think she knows!!!

I try to be a Mum like her but am not as nice and shout more I'm sure!! But my dds know they are loved 100% all the time.

Does that help???!!

batters Tue 07-Jun-05 11:06:38

I think your friend has got it right www.

I love reading about Mumsnetters' good relationships with their mothers. Hope I have that with dd.

Donbean Tue 07-Jun-05 11:17:12

All of the above sounds great and sounds how i wish to convey myself to my child.
On the flip side all of the above does NOT relate to me and my mother as we have a difficult relationship that has improved over the years but is still not right.
I choose to learn from her.....in essence how not to be like her.
My relationship with my grandmother however mirrors all of the posts given.

ghosty Tue 07-Jun-05 11:21:42

I agree with your friend www ...
My mother didn't spend time playing with me when I was a child (she was a busy housewife with husband and 4 children to care for .... ) I don't remember her ever reading me a story.
And she was strict about food and behaviour ... we were smacked when it was 'needed' etc etc.
BUT ... she loved us UNCONDITIONALLY. She never ever put us down or said anything that would make us feel bad about ourselves or our achievements. She expected high standards from us socially but was proud of all of our achievements no matter how small.
I have always felt secure in my mother's love for me, no matter what. I know she has always been proud of things I have done even little things ... for example, in my first school musical at senior school I had a non speaking chorus part and my mum bought up rows of tickets for friends and family to come and watch ....
It is really hard to explain this ...
The only blip in our relationship was when I had DS and I had PND ... she found that really hard to cope with (she was worried about my having a record of mental illness and did the 'it didn't exist in my day' type thing) ... but as I got better she confessed about the terrible time she had when I was a baby and would probably have been diagnosed with PND had it 'existed' in those days.
I think the thing is that I heve never ever questioned her love for me and her pride in me. I haven't done anything amazing in my life but she thinks I am amazing.
If I am half a good a mother as she was then I will be doing a good job.

biglips Tue 07-Jun-05 11:24:13

coz we are both alike in personality and sense of humour and we can have a gud laugh too

suzywong Tue 07-Jun-05 11:25:36

I knew about the unconditional love thing, but my mother is not lkeable, I am like donbean and I try and learn how not to be like her.

My mum always let us know that she was doing us a favour and that we should be grateful and I HATE it if I hear myself doing that with my kids. She is supportive if something reflects her aspirations and ideas and she likes to get attention by creating tension and winding my dad up.

She was here in Australia for 3 weeks with my dad recently and while I was very very nervous about her coming and me sinking back in to old learned patterns of behaviour I was able to distance myself from her tricks and devices and it only took me a week to recover my equilbrium. I can see her for what she is now, as others have mentioned our mums are only human with human flaws and insecurities and I understand her better and feel comfortable with not having to like everything about her and not having to feel guilty or bad for not liking her 100%

Thanks, I shall get up off the couch now

WideWebWitch Tue 07-Jun-05 11:33:57

Bloody hell listmaker, I don't even know you and your post made me cry, wow, show your mum your post, definitely! This is all very interesting, I'm enjoying reading it, gotta go, dd climbing out of high chair!

albert Tue 07-Jun-05 11:42:03

I have a brilliant relationship with my Mum and it has improved as we've got older. She (and Dad) have always supported me in whatever I've done even if much of the time they didn't agree with it. And I'm so excited because this morning she and Dad have arrived in Venice and I'm about to rush out of my office and meet them in 20 minutes, haven't seen them since Christmas, can't wait, think I'll leave early and go and wait for them

Caligula Tue 07-Jun-05 11:50:51

Ghosty your post about your Mum probably having PND and still turning out to be a great mother is inspiring. Just shows the first few months aren't the be-all and end-all of motherhood.

MamaMaiasaura Tue 07-Jun-05 11:56:40

Having read some of these posts my eyes are all watery. I love my mum, she wasnt perfect in all she did but she did the best with what she knew.

We have a very honest relationship, esp since my PND and all that went with it. She has been a rock. She reflects with me some aspects of my childhood which are painful and she she wasnt aware of.

I trust my mum completely and love her uncoditionally. She isnt always right and that make me love her even more iykwim.

I remember how she smelled when i was a small child and used to cuddle her, i remember when my dad died that i slept in the bed with her and we used to talk till the small hours in the morning. I sadly remember what a complete bitch i was to her after dad died and that i made some pretty distraous choices in relationships and that i was generally an angry person for a while. I remember she still loved me, didnt always like how i was behaving but still loved me.

I feel fiercely protective and proud of my mum and love her very very much. x

beansmum Tue 07-Jun-05 12:00:40

I don't think showing unconditional love and support is enough, it just depends on your personality really. Some people will never be that close to their parents just because their personalities clash.

I love my mum and I know she always did what she thought was best for the me and my sister and put us first in most of her decisions, but we don't really get on that well.

Might be something to do with the fact that she's a total nutter and I'm not.

koalabear Tue 07-Jun-05 14:01:13

i am watching this with interest

i don't have a "healthy" relationship with my mother, but wont go into it here

i have an absolute fear of mothering my children the way my mother did, so i am really really really really interested is what aspects of mothering are the most important that lead to healthy relationships as adults

Rarrie Tue 07-Jun-05 18:07:09

I agree with all the others about being there und=conditionally, never judging or being interfering but just wanted to add...

I think the thing that has made me and my mum close is the time we spend together as friends.. going out clothes shopping; having a manicure; going out for lunch together. We've always had girlie days together and still do. Even as a stroppy teenager, at the depths of parent loathing - I'd still give in and agree to a day out shopping with mum! (After all, all those clothes made it worthwhile!)

In addition, mum shows an interest in my life.. she knows my friends, asks questions about them, enjoys joining in on the gossip but never judges.

I'm 30 now, but we still have our regular days out shopping together, only now, I buy her clothes!

littlerach Tue 07-Jun-05 18:34:45

My mum always had time for us, and always seemed to be there. We never watched TV or anything, we played and made stuff and went to friends' houses for tea and games! We were never made to feel that we were in the way, never put in situations that weren't right for us.

She was strict, but not unnecessarily so. Dad wasn't at home that much as he built up his own business, so mum was on her own with us a lot. I can't ever remember her getting wound up with either of us!!

When I was a teenager we didn't get on so well, but I always knew she loved me. As soon as I went to uni we got on better than the previous 3 or 4 years, and we now live about 1 hour away. W etalk a lot on the phone and see each other every fortnight or so. I usually ask her for advice first, well, after DH!!

Mum never got on that well with her mum, so I'm not sure if she made a conscious decision to be different to her.

I'd be quite happy if my DDs had the same relationship with me that I do with my mum.

triceratops Tue 07-Jun-05 18:39:14

I love my mum and I would do anything for her, and her for me. We don't spend too much time together though as we argue if we take it too far. She is by all accounts a bit of a "difficult woman" which is something we have in common. I think that she brings out the worst in me in that I become too child like if we spend too much time together, she is not good at giving up the "mother" role. I don't really expect her to be my friend but she is an excellent mum and grandma and my favorite choice as a birth partner.

Blossomhill Tue 07-Jun-05 18:41:33

I think the reason that we are so close is that as a parent she has never let me down. Always been there for me 100%
We speak at least 5 times a day and we always have loads to talk about.
She is kind, beautiful, caring, understanding and I just could not imagine my life without her.
She is a wonderful nan too.
My mum is my best friend and that's the only way I can sum up how I feel

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