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Do you think your children love you?Or,- do you love your mother?

(94 Posts)
Fengshui Sun 10-Jun-18 14:45:05

This is just a rather depressed musing really.

I don't love my mother. I don't like her much either. She had untreated depression when I was growing up and was abusive-physically and emotionally. I tolerate her at best. I am 45.

I can't imagine what it is like to love your mother. I am closely involved with her, but this is mostly motivated by guilt and obligation.

I have two children, the eldest is nearly 9 and today when we were arguing (I would not buy him something) he said the most truly awful things to me.I realised that although I love my children desperately, completely and utterly, I do not actually expect them to love me back. Some of it is because I can't imagine anyone loving me but also I can't quite understand the idea of loving your mother.

I know my son knows I love him completely. I don't actually expect that back. I surround them in a bubble of love and concern and attention. I'm not expecting them to validate me in any way- but I wonder if it is even possible to be a mother who is genuinely loved by her children. Uncomplicated , non-guilt-based love.

I know that sounds rambling,but does any of it make sense?

DorotheaHomeAlone Sun 10-Jun-18 14:48:31

This sounds like a really useful moment of insight for you and probably something that would benefit from further exploration either alone or with a counsellor.

Yes, I love my mother. But she is easy to love and to like. I can forgive her failings because she’s a decent person who did her best. Not every mother is like that. I’m sorry yours wasn’t. It sounds like you’re doing a good job with your own children. smile

ScreamingValenta Sun 10-Jun-18 14:49:14

I don't have children, but I do love my mother. There are things in the past over which I still hold deep resentment - I expect that's so for many people - but it serves no purpose to dwell on them. It helps me to think of the age she would have been at the time of these events; often, younger than I am now. I think she did the best she could, and there were many things she got right and many very loving things she did for me.

MsForestier Sun 10-Jun-18 14:51:35

I feel the same way about my mother OP. Father is not much better.

I think your son is still very young at the moment. I think it's likely that he loves you deeply. Today was probably a one off. As he grows and matures he'll appreciate the great mum you are. X

LesserofTwoWeevils Sun 10-Jun-18 14:58:27

My situation with my mother is exactly the same as yours. She blighted my life, basically, by being emotionally abusive and/or neglectful the whole time I was growing up. That was my fault for being difficult from the moment I was born, apparently.
Up to now I feel baffled and very sad and guilty when people talk about how they love their mothers and couldn't manage without them.
In my case it's complicated by the fact that the rest of the world sees her not as a shrieking harpy but a very meek and mild person, especially now she's old and ill. Her stubbornness, and absolute refusal to do anything to make her and other people's lives easier (move into a ground-floor flat, wear an alarm in case she falls, which is happening more often) are seen as signs of her admirable independence of spirit, not narcissism and selfishness and insistence on having her own way in everything and refusing to consider other people's feelings or convenience. But she expects them to be around and come running when she does have a fall or is ill.

Fenwickdream Sun 10-Jun-18 15:03:57

Are you sure you don't live your Mum? Is it possible you just can't match that word to who you think she is? Why still be involved with her? Why be so hurt by her actions if you don't love her? Parents can really fuck children up, it's horrible but I think parents ( especially Mothers) are almost tied to us with an invisible string and that thing is called Love. You can't fight it. You often see children or adults who have been abused still visiting said patents, it's like they can't let go. They say hate is close to love. Maybe love is just that - no matter what you've done , I'm still here, you're in my mind. In a good way or a bad way, they are ever present. Just pondering, not disputing your feelings.

Fengshui Sun 10-Jun-18 15:04:05

Thanks everyone.I had counselling after DS1 was born as it hit me hard suddenly that I would never dream of putting DS through what i went through. It had felt kind of normal before I had children.

I took the Dcs to a local huge adventure playground and bought them lunch, ice cream, rides etc. DS1 wanted to buy a plastic crystal thing but I'd already bought him something else. He looked at me and said' 'You are a child abuser'.

I am just floored. It's like he pulled out of the hat the one most terrible thing to try and manipulate me with. He's autistic, I know. But I had dreadful PND when he was born and one of the things my PND rested on was the idea that he would be taken away from me by social services because I was depressed.

I can't quite keep it together today. I am MNetting and avoiding everyone.

BrownTurkey Sun 10-Jun-18 15:04:10

I have always felt loved by her, I am finding i am more loving towards her in recent years (getting over the selfishness of youth). I felt v loved by my pre teens, its harder now, the most I get is a ‘thanks for dinner’ or yesterday ‘thanks for not being a pushy parent’. They hang on their father’s every word hmm . But I love them to bits and hope we can stay connected - but I think a lot of parenting is giving more than receiving and that’s ok.

MsForestier Sun 10-Jun-18 15:04:59

lesser mine's similar. To the point where her mother, my gran, pulled me aside when I was 16 and said 'make sure you get away from your mother - I don't know what's wrong with her'. My gran was truly lovely, a real sweetheart. My mother is cold and aloof and emotionally abusive. Many years later I did escape but not having a loving mother leaves a real scar.

OP I really feel for you but your kids will appreciate you. You're giving them all the love that you didn't get.

BrownTurkey Sun 10-Jun-18 15:05:49

Sorry for what he said, clearly not true and not meant though - look after yourself.

MsForestier Sun 10-Jun-18 15:06:13

I didn't speak with my mother for two years after my first child was born. I was so horrified by her treatment of me - the penny finally dropped.

WilburIsSomePig Sun 10-Jun-18 15:06:18

I adored my mum. She was amazing and I felt very loved by both her and my dad. Lost them both almost 10 years ago now and will never stop missing them.

I do think my kids love me, we're pretty close. I hope they do anyway.

MsForestier Sun 10-Jun-18 15:09:30

OP you're not a child abuser for failing to buy him something extra. He's pushing buttons. Don't think ill of yourself.

Fengshui Sun 10-Jun-18 15:13:32

Thing is is,in school this term they have been doing work on how to stay safe, not to speak to strangers, child abuse etc. And DS is quite developmentally delayed and gets fixated on stuff. So I know that he has pulled the child abuse phrase out of that. But it was so shocking to me and goes to the very core of my soul. But the hurt is very great.

Fengshui Sun 10-Jun-18 15:14:25

Thanks MsForestier. He certainly got the most sensitive button!

French2019 Sun 10-Jun-18 15:18:17

Yes, I do really love my mum. She wasn't perfect by any means - still isn't - but she has always loved me unconditionally and I feel so lucky to have had a mum like her.

I also know without a shadow of a doubt that my 13yo daughter loves me. I hope that it will always stay that way, as I love her more than I love life itself.

French2019 Sun 10-Jun-18 15:19:54

BTW, kids say all sorts of things they don't actually mean, so don't read too much into their silly comments.

I'm sorry that you don't have a good relationship with your mum. flowers

mostdays Sun 10-Jun-18 15:20:48

I love my mum. It's not uncomplicated, though- love rarely is. She irritates me beyond belief. But I am loved by her and I love her. I love my children and know they love me- again though, not uncomplicated. Life and feelings are messy.

mostdays Sun 10-Jun-18 15:22:18

Oh and op- both my elder sons have said I am abusive over things like not being allowed out late, not being bought a blue ice lolly, etc. Dc do say those things. It doesn't mean they are true.

Fengshui Sun 10-Jun-18 15:22:29

Thanks.smile

I am glad I posted. You are all helping immensely.

DontDribbleOnTheCarpet Sun 10-Jun-18 15:23:12

My children love me. I am absolutely certain of this. We have a very close and loving relationship and they often show that they trust me. I would walk through fire for every one of them.

I think I love my mother, but not much. I certainly don't like her. In fact, one of the reasons for this is the number of times she has told me that she loves me, but doesn't like me. She said the same to one of my kids once, and I shut her right down. I couldn't stop her when I was a child but I bloody well can now!

WizardOfToss Sun 10-Jun-18 15:32:53

I don’t love mine, no. She was neglectful at best, abusive at worst. Like a pp, I simply don’t recognise the relationship other people seem to have with their mothers - the one person they can always rely on, trust and love etc. It is simply not my experience.

Also, I’m sorry but this ‘mother’s are tied to us with an invisible string called love’ stuff is simply nonsense for some of us. Can you imagine how it feels to read that and believe that your mum does love you really and you are somehow mistaken about your own experience and feelings? Really thoughtless comment.

On a much brighter note, OP, I am a mother and I know without a doubt that my (adult) child truly loves me. I did worry before having them as to whether I could be a good mum myself, but it turned out to be quite straightforward. I just loved them. I was able to, just as you are, because I don’t have a personality disorder!

Those hurtful remarks will pass. Your DS loves you flowers

Fengshui Sun 10-Jun-18 15:36:33

I wonder if the 'I love you but don't like you' was some sort of accepted parenting technique in the 80s. I got that too, and found it very damaging.

Thank you everyone....I have to go out to pick up DH from work, so will be back later but thank you everyone. xxx

user1483390742 Sun 10-Jun-18 15:40:08

Last time i had a barny with my 11 year old, he said he was going to ring Childline. I told him to go ahead, and ask them on my behalf if there was a Parentline number i could have for when i was fed up!
We both ended up laughing about it!

Don't get upset by silly things your kids say. They will have forgotten about it by tomorrow, and you should try to do the same.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 10-Jun-18 15:43:13

It is not your fault your mother is the ways she is and you did not make her that way. You were but a child and this is all on her. She took out all her stuff on you. You are like many adult children of such toxic parents mired in their own fear, obligation and guilt. You are not your mother, you are separate from her entirely and your son does not view you the ways you view your mother.

Where is your dad in all this, I ask only as he is not at all mentioned.

It may be an idea for you to read the "well we took you to Stately Homes" thread on these Relationship pages and read the resources at the start of that thread. This also talks about FOG at length.

(On a much wider level does your son have anything in place at school like an EHCP?. If not it is something I would look into very seriously and apply for this on his behalf)

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