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I taught myself to ride a bike

(18 Posts)
LadyRainicorn Mon 22-Jun-15 19:50:57

It was my daughter's birthday on the weekend and we gave her a bike (no stabilisers). DH and I were talking over how we would get her riding and I mentioned that I had had to teach myself. He said it was one of the saddest things he'd heard.

He's never been particularly complimentary about my childhood or how my parents, either of them, treat me. I tend to excuse a lot of what my mother does in recent years as she a) suffers from ddepression and b) is now terminally ill, but I always just brushed off what DH said about my childhood.

It's not normal though is it? You get a kid a bike and you help them learn to ride don't you? Mum worked shifts all week at the time I think but dad worked Mon-Fri but he was always 'too worn out' to do much with me (beyond let me know when my behaviour fell short of expectations). I have only just thought this is silly because DH and I work and we go out places all the freaking time.

I feel stupid.

LadyRainicorn Mon 22-Jun-15 19:53:25

We don't just go out we do home based things with both our daughters too. Just that my dad would never go anywhere

barnet Mon 22-Jun-15 19:56:32

Don't feel stupid! You are ace, despite the parenting you received.

LadyRainicorn Mon 22-Jun-15 20:12:07

Thanks barnet. I guess I feel really odd about my relationship with them and about my parenting because I don't have a baseline to go from. Thinking there are things I have done because I didn't get them but I don't recall consciously thinking that. And I am still very strict in comparison to dh.

MilliVanilliTinyWilly Mon 22-Jun-15 20:18:56

I never learnt to ride a bike. Would love to. My folks were great though, I'm just nervous going downhill, so it's not necessarily a proof of bad parenting. Not sure DD will ever learn either. She too is nervy on hills.

TwelveLeggedWalk Mon 22-Jun-15 20:24:27

I think the girl I played with next door taught me, she was about 18mo older, with teen brothers. It involved a lot of whizzing down hills towards a brick wall, but hey, I learnt!

My parents were admittedly hands on and involved with other things though, but don't let it upset you. To be honest, I don't think it takes long, once you've got it you've got it.

LadyRainicorn Mon 22-Jun-15 20:37:00

Oh the actual bike riding went really well I'm so proud of her for sticking it out because I know she found it hard. She can wobble along on a straight path and stop all by herself now.

For me it was symptomatic of a general lack of care and thought in me. My achievements were theirs because they were working hard to bring me up, when I did something wrong I had fucked up beyond the pale and it was all my fault andI would never get any where in life. They never seem proud of me for me, only for tjings that make them look better.

KatieKatie1980 Mon 22-Jun-15 20:41:22

You sound like me! My next door neighbours' daughter taught me! I remember my Dad taking me once, getting angry because I couldn't do it... and giving up on me! I don't remember my Mum doing anything with me actually. My Mum was a SAHM and my Dad worked. They never took me swimming either and I'm hoping to take lessons this year at 34!

I really got into horse riding at primary school through a friend. Apart from the rare lift home, neither of them ever came to see me ride. Sad isn't it.

I don't want the same for my children and I'm pretty hands on with this stuff as a result.

Don't feel stupid. x

alongcamespiders Mon 22-Jun-15 23:40:27

I learned to ride in my mid thirties, learned to swim in my late twenties. My mum never taught me anything, I have come a long way from my childhood and am super proud of my achievements which may be small in others' eyes. Still can't feckin drive though...

alongcamespiders Mon 22-Jun-15 23:41:42

And I taught my five year old daughter to ride a bike.we are superheroes and giving pour children the lives we dreamed of for ourselves. Not perpetuating the absences and neglect. Well done you.

alongcamespiders Mon 22-Jun-15 23:42:00

*our children...

LadyRainicorn Tue 23-Jun-15 09:52:43

Thanks everyone.

I feel stupid because I have real difficulty admitting that they did anything wrong, even though individual instances seem hurtful, I can't get my head around the sum of the whole being 'this was an inappropriate way of treating anyone'.

I do get my mum a bit more because her childhood was absolutely horrific (I know now, anyway). So I can place her actions in a context that makes sense even if it annoys me.

flowers for everyone loving our children the best we can, checking back the impluse to say 'no, don't do that, can't do that, be better, why can't you do this' because they are themselves and that is enough to be loved and celebrated. And to have fun!

Isetan Tue 23-Jun-15 13:21:55

Well done! I'm taking bike lessons right now, got another lesson tomorrow in fact.

I live in the Netherlands where nearly everyone rides (DD learnt by osmosis) and I have just purchased my first bike, a folding one so that I can leave it in the hallway and take it on the train for free.

The saddest thing is your H wasn't more supportive, was it too much work for him to temper his surprise with a 'well done', arse.

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Tue 23-Jun-15 16:42:24

Hi OP. Well done to you and DD!
It's going to be a continuous process dealing with your upbringing, but this place is very good at helping. The vipers have been very kind since I posted about being unable to shed a tear over my own DM.

LadyRainicorn Tue 23-Jun-15 18:23:29

I dunno Isetan in the context a well done may have come off as patronising. He did say it in an empathetic way. With a sad voice. I was a kid at the time.

Thanks Disgrace. I probably will shed a tear as dm is a very damaged woman who never got any kind of help for that but she loves me the best she can within the limitations of her mental health (some diagnosed, some I suspect). She isn't a very good parent but then she married df,
who has revealed his colours over the years to be a complete and utter self-obsessed tosspot. I have no idea what his problem is, and he has never tried to meet me on a adult level, I'm not sure I care.

it was hard to write that.

brassbrass Tue 23-Jun-15 18:52:12

I had older brothers who could all ride but I wasn't even bought a bike.It just wasn't an option for me. So I grew up thinking this - it's for other people not me. When we bought my eldest his first bike age 3 or 4 I suddenly realised I needed to learn to ride. So I taught myself in our side return going back and forth until I could balance.

The sense of liberation was awesome. It's not the only thing that I was made to feel like wasn't an option for me but I've been working through that long list eg also learned to swim as an adult.

Each triumph has been two fingers to their neglect.

UniS Tue 23-Jun-15 18:57:57

Parents teach young children to ride, but older children can pick it up and work it out for them self. Older children learn faster and can process, reliably repeat and self reflect on their actions in a way a typical 3 yr old can't.

TheWintersmith Tue 23-Jun-15 19:06:51

Gosh, it is a bit sad that they Cba to teach you. No reflection on you though, just that they are a bit crap.

I am throwing myself into teaching my DC things. We lost my beloved dad a few months ago. Someone asked recently if I'd visited the grave often, and I said no, I remember him every time I use a skill he taught me - he taught me to ride a bike, use a bow and arrow, drive a car, do calculus, use a computer, and do basic home and vehicle repairs - all things I do on a weekly basis at least as an adult. I have very happy memories of learning these skills from him and have a happy thought about him whenever I get on a bike or jump in my car.

So rather selfishly I want my do to feel the same way when I'm gone!

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