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you know how relationships with teens deteriorate so you don't mind so much when they leave home...

(14 Posts)
brimfull Mon 17-Aug-09 20:29:24

which is as mother nature planned

well do you think the same thing happens with your relationship with elderly parents

to make the inevitable parting easier

it is certainly happening with me and mine,dh and his, and other friends have agreed.

I am 47 and have had a great relationship with my parents up until a few yrs ago and it is getting progressively worse..not helped by having to spending chunks of time together instead of a few hrs here and there.

any opinions

ADifferentMe Mon 17-Aug-09 21:38:34

Yes - I have a friend who was very close to her father. He's been ill for six months now, dementia, mini-strokes etc and she says she feels she's lost him already.

My mother has always been difficult so now the chunks of time are smaller and less frequent - I feel guilty about not feeling guilty, but have so much going on with two teens and a delinquent husband I don't feel I've got room in my brain for more aggro. So far, teens have been easier than mother.

Lost my dad 18 years ago, very suddenly, when he was only 68. Don't feel I will ever come to terms with it.

brimfull Mon 17-Aug-09 21:57:58

sorry about your dad

makes me feel guilty about the way I am feeling about them now

I used to dread the thought of them dying ,literally used to worry about it lying in bed at night.

Now it sadly isn't such a terrible worry-maybe that is normal in some way.

NanaNina Tue 18-Aug-09 00:40:38

yes I now exactly what you mean. I loved my parents very much but found as they got older and needed more support I just found it a duty really and felt very guilty about it. I think the thing is with older people their horizons narrow and it is difficult to communicate in the way that you did in the past. I think it's called the generation gap.

Maybe it is nature's way of preparing you for their eventual death. I am in my mid 60s now and realistically think that my kids will feel the same about me as I get older and older. I think it's just the way things are............sad but true.

ipiratethief Tue 18-Aug-09 00:45:21

with that in mind it is a wonder that any of us reached toddlerhood, as i distinctly remember getting very peed off with that baby of mine who is now 7!!

ADifferentMe Tue 18-Aug-09 08:56:23

I think maybe losing my dad early means that I only have rosy memories of him - we didn't go through the almost inevitable decline, so in some ways I've been lucky.

captainpeacock Tue 18-Aug-09 09:16:09

I think this is probably true, my parents are in their 80s, my dad has always been a very difficult character, but not my mum. I don't live near them but my mum is now pushing me and my sisters out of her life, making it clear that she doesn't want to see me and not phoning for months on end. In light of your post I'm wondering if this is normal progression. I find it very upsetting.

starinsky Tue 18-Aug-09 09:26:27

Lost my dad 2 years ago in his mid 60s to cancer so my mum is still young but needs such support it is like youve suddenly lost your parents and you have another child. Sometimes it feels like a duty and I feel guilty tho have brothers and sisters who are brilliant.
Never thought we wd cope with the loss of dad but you just have to. Dhs parents are in their 80s and can be quite difficult they have changed over the years and can be difficult more like disapproving really. I got 2 teens as well so feel pulled all ways sometimes.

potoftea Tue 18-Aug-09 09:27:30

I find this idea really interesting.
I'm living through the stage where your teens make you look forward to them heading off to uni grin.

But can identify with the idea of the older age group going through something similar.

My mother (who I always got on quiet well with, and felt very loving towards), now drives me insane every single time I phone, or visit. Her world is so very narrow, and even though she thinks she's interested in her dc and her grandchildren, she's not at all interested in the details of anything we do.

It makes my sister and I so sad.

OrmIrian Tue 18-Aug-09 09:37:02

"I used to dread the thought of them dying ,literally used to worry about it lying in bed at night.
"
That's where I am now. But I am finding it more and more difficult to actually spend time with them. Especially mum. More and more the only thing we have in common are the children - and even there it's hard work hmm Very sad.

ADifferentMe Tue 18-Aug-09 09:38:10

Perhaps we should start up Gransnet so they call all chat about their dreadful daughters grin

Starinsky - my mum was only 54 when my father died. It was before my DDs were born and looking after her was very heavy going, but was the only time I've ever felt close to her.

She recovered enough within two years to find a man ten years younger than her, but that's another story.

brimfull Tue 18-Aug-09 10:22:18

I am relieved to read your replies.Thanks

I agree with the point that their world gets narrower and they become less tolerant and come across as less caring and interested .

It is hard to come to terms with.
DD who is nearly 18 finds them difficult now as well,luckily dd and I still get on well but I am prepared for that relationship to change as well.

Weegle Tue 18-Aug-09 10:30:49

I agree - there seems to be something in the theory. I don't have a particularly fantastic relationship with my parents anyway (well my mother particularly) but I remember VERY frequently panicking about my grandmother dying when I was about 14-20 (I was extremely close to her). I would wake in the night having panics about it. Then in to my twenties although we remained very close the role shifted to me caring for her. I would have done (and did do) anything for her as her real old age set in. But gradually, over a long time, I started to find it draining and the relationship hardwork. I still loved her dearly but when she died last December (at the ripe old age of 95!) after a stroke, it felt right. It felt right to let her go without the fight I'd always thought I would put up. So I definitely think there's something in the theory.

ADifferentMe Tue 18-Aug-09 11:39:06

Ggirl - know what you mean about the relationship with teens changing and it really makes me sad

I've always had an amazing relationship with my two but the eldest is visibly trying to shake me off and I've had to take the hint and back off. Very difficult when we've always talked about everything but I know it's a natural process. Only consolation is friends with daughters in their twenties all say that they come back to you again after a few years.

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