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are you the only female child of a single mum? or single mum to only daughter??

(13 Posts)
racetobed Wed 12-Oct-11 10:00:09

and if so, what is your relationship with your mother/daughter like now?

am interested in hearing experiences of these households during turbulent teens, and also adult single mum/only female child relationships.

i imagine that such a relationship would be definitely intense, just wondered if it can become over-reliant or too intense...

RabbitPie Wed 12-Oct-11 10:17:13

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mummytime Wed 12-Oct-11 10:56:39

I'm the only daughter of a single mum, we had a great relationship. Very volatile during teenage years, but no worse than with my teenage DC. Sadly she died when I was in my 20s.

lolaflores Wed 12-Oct-11 11:23:41

My daughter is now 18 and gone to uni last week. There have been very stormy times, many tears and tantrums, but in the main, I have a solid relationship with her. My own mother raised us on her own as my father died when we were kids. That is a different story. for many years I thought we were close, but have come to view it as her being very controlling. She has attempted similar with my daughter and that let me tell you was very damaging.

DD and I were alone for about 4 years before I met my now husband. We have a daughter together. DD1 and DD2 love each other hugely, despite a great age difference. I love my eldest to the point of distraction and she does take the piss sometimes, but that is directly linked to my guilt and feeling that I have not been a good mother, though evidence points to the contrary. I have found difficult the seperation process of the teenage years and this physical move. Every morning I wake, my first thought is of her. I have sat in her bedroom and done big snotty crying sessions and feel so incredibly bereft. Her father is an unspeakable arsehole. He has let her down so many times and I have felt powerless at the pain he has inflictied. that is the hardest bit.

Rosmarin Wed 12-Oct-11 13:14:12

I am the only daughter (though have a brother) and both my parents were 'single parents' inasmuch as they were divorced and both had custody.

When I was 12 we moved away suddenly and secretly (away from my mum). At 14 I was sent my the courts to visit her for Christmas. I ran away from her house and the first and last time I saw her since then was when she was one life support succumbing to terminal cancer, when I was 18. She passed away only 6 weeks after diagnosis, but was not open with this information and had everyone believe she had over a year to live. Her passing was the worst thing I have ever experienced and the guilt haunts me every day. It can only be described as tragic and it was a very harsh lesson to learn in 'burning bridges'.

I feel immensely guilty for having acted like many teenagers act, and running away and not maintaining contact with her. In reality, I wasn't a volatile teenager and I wasn't particularly naughty or trying. For her part she was unable to cope with being a single parent throughout my younger years and was very volatile and aggressive. Everything about our relationship makes me sad. I wish I had been able to repair things with her.

LisasCat Wed 12-Oct-11 13:31:18

My mother and I have a very difficult relationship, but I think the damage was done when she and my dad were still together. His alcoholism drove her to despair, but she turned her anger and frustration on me (because he'd be hiding in the garage, drinking), so I learnt to rise to the challenge, and become as argumentative as her, which meant that, during my teenage years, our house was a maelstrom of female war. After she left my dad when I was 16, the damage to our relationship was irreparable, and I think I now tolerate her because she is the grandmother of my daughters, but I feel no warmth or bond.

I once told my uncle (her brother) that she never made me feel like she was proud of me or even really wanted me around. His reply was "your mother loves you very much but she doesn't know how to show it. She isn't very maternal, but it was the 70s, she was married, having a child was the obvious thing to do." I think that explanation is the only thing that has helped me have empathy towards her during our worst times. I think she was a victim of her time, and if she was born today, wouldn't feel pressured into being a mother.

I hate being an only child because of the enormous feeling of obligation. If I had a sibling to tell "you deal with mum this time, I don't have the energy" I think I'd be a lot more relaxed about our relationship. It made me determined to have 2 children.

I worry frequently about being the only person in the world to look after my mother as her health deteriorates. I won't be doing it out of a sense of love, but because I'm all she has. I feel guilty admitting that but this seems like quite a candid group here!

lolaflores Wed 12-Oct-11 16:01:14

With my mother lisascat it was the same. All the aggression and anger got channeld into us. But there did seem to be a particular focus on me. It was the 70s, there was no help for families in trouble. Hey ho. I can lay her off to sisters who tend not to let her push their buttons. Her constant criticism still hurts even now and I have gone in the other direction with my daughters to tell them how proud I am and so on and so forth.

piratecaaaaaaaaaghhht Wed 12-Oct-11 16:06:27

I am a single mum to a daughter, and with the onus on me for everything, i do wonder what her teens will be like for both of us.
We are very close, and she takes all her info and learning from me so I do feel terribly responsible at times.

Her dad is a terrible father who she has learnt nothing but pain from, so I feel I have to compensate for him. I want her to like men, but she hasn't any role model.

HairyGrotter Wed 12-Oct-11 16:25:40

I am a lone parent to a daughter, she is only 3. The responsibility and obligation is crushing sometimes, but our bond is extremely strong. I am grateful I had a girl, we have a wonderful relationship thus far, but I am not naive to believe that this may change dramatically come teenager time.

Her father has never met her, and has no intention of doing so. I haven't yet introduced her to any men as I want to ensure I pick the best for both of us, another pressure. She has my brother as a male role model, and he's a good man. I want her to have a balanced view on relationships, so will continue as I am to ensure I can give her that balance.

Tough call sometimes, really fucking tough

racetobed Thu 13-Oct-11 08:20:56

gosh thank you for sharing your stories. i'm very sorry to hear of some of your losses and pain sad
rosmarin i hope you forgive yourself some day, have you ever talked about this with a counsellor? it seems an awful lot of grief to carry alone sad

my instinct is that unless i have another child, or form a relationship with a man (which seems unlikely, given my catastrophic case histories) there is potential for me to be too consumed with my relationship with my daughter. i obviously don't want to be controlling and possessive, but i think it will be very difficult to let go, given that she is my entire focus. i really don't want to suffocate her. i feel so worried about this, i'm actually considering having another child. but i wonder if this is really a legitimate reason (i would like another one, but obv as a lone parent it's a massive decision)

as you said hairy, it's a tough fucking call.

piratecaaaaaaaaaghhht Thu 13-Oct-11 10:38:50

have to add that age too comes into it. my dd is 9 and we have such a laugh together, we have lots of friends who care for her. It evens out. At three your dd is so so dependent on you in so many ways, but that individuality she will develop will bring much to you too.

My dd teaches me so much. I think up until she was 6 i was worried I wasn't enough, but you know what things are just fine!!

LisasCat Thu 13-Oct-11 10:42:39

Just make sure you have other things in your life, be they hobbies, friends, work...anything that shows her your life doesn't completely revolve around her. That's not to say she's not the most important thing in your world, just that she doesn't need to feel any pressure to look after you, when you're the adult in this relationship.

Oh and don't forget to let her know that her life is down to her decisions. You won't live vicariously through her.

I think some single mums with a daughter can have an amazingly strong bond, but the child has to always remember they are the child, because they find comfort from that dynamic.

brianmayshair Thu 13-Oct-11 10:44:38

Yes i am the only daughter to a single mum. It's been very hard in lots of ways. She is my BF but i sort of wish she wasn't, it's an incredible burden at times and the boundaries are very blurred. It doesn't help that she is still single, she expects alot of support that really should come from a partner. She made me her bf, confided in me far too much as a very young child.

Teen years were a nightmare and even into my 20s. Marrying a very stable DH and moving away is my saving grace but the guilt can be terrible.

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