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Please don't flame me, my DSs christmas list has made me see I've fucked up badly

(141 Posts)
naicehamandpombears Mon 16-Nov-15 14:01:06

I asked my ds for his christmas list last week, this morning he has given it to me.

For a bit of background his Dad is abusive, we lived in a refuge for a while, we are in our house now and life has settled nicely and has been for a while (I namechange regularly due to abusive ex)

Until about 20 minutes ago I didn't realise how much I have been relying on my ds and I feel like shit.

All he has asked for is various tools, I know it is all for jobs he wants to do around the house.

This isn't normal is it.

When I think back to how much I relied on him when we moved to help with decorating and various odd jobs I quite honestly feel like the worst mother in the world. He goes out a lot, has made friends etc, but he phones me to check on me a fair bit when he is out.

I've made him grow up well before his time, and I don't know how to fix it, please help.

Woodenheart101 Mon 16-Nov-15 14:03:17

He sounds absolutely fantastic how old is he OP? Tell him that's very nice that he's thinking of the house but you are getting that sorted and what would make your Xmas is getting him something he wants for himself.
What a sweetheart he is smile

JeffsanArsehole Mon 16-Nov-15 14:03:22

Well beating yourself up about it is just pointless

And you don't fucking deserve it after all you've been through flowersflowersflowers

How old is he?

He's clearly struggled too and really cares for you. I'm 100% sure you're doing your best.

MidnightVelvetthe4th Mon 16-Nov-15 14:03:50

Be kind to yourself.

He sounds like a lovely boy, why not just ask him to halve the list & put on the other half things he wants for himself?

ImperialBlether Mon 16-Nov-15 14:04:49

Oh he sounds very sweet. How old is he?

What sort of tools do you need? I was in Lidl yesterday and they had tons of tools there quite cheaply. I don't think you should get them for him, though.

What he needs is fun things for himself. Can you afford to do that?

MorrisZapp Mon 16-Nov-15 14:05:40

Hello. Look, I wouldn't worry about this. Your son clearly has a very practical streak, perhaps partly due to circumstances.

But him a power tool if he wants it, loads of people actually do love stuff like that. Ask what else he might like.

My own mum relied on me for emotional support when I was far too young to be subject to the awful details she told me. How I wish she'd asked me to put up shelves instead.

cookiefiend Mon 16-Nov-15 14:11:40

I thought you were going to post that e had listed loads of electronic gadgets and expensive clothes and he had no idea of the value of money was spoiled etc. he sounds wonderful and you must have done good job raising him.

No one has a perfect childhood and it sounds like his has turned him into a wonderful young man. Sit him down, tell him how proud you are if him and that it is lovely he wants to help, but that you wNt to spoil him this Christmas. Suggest a budget and let him choose. Stop beating yourself up- he wouldn't wsnt you to by the sounds of it.

Jftbo74 Mon 16-Nov-15 14:15:54

I think you've bought up a very thoughtful, caring, humble, considerate and kind child despite great hardship. Some kids I know are overly materialistic and think only of themselves. If they had everything it wouldn't be enough!

naicehamandpombears Mon 16-Nov-15 14:17:36

Oh wow thank you for your replies.

He is just 14, and if I'm honest, I think I have been treating him like a grown up, he is very practical, so when my tumble drier broke my first thought wasn't to get someone in to look at it, I thought 'I'll wait for ds to get in and see if he can fix it'

He is a really, really lovely lad, but his whole childhood has been so messed up, and now we are free I'm continuing to mess up more.

I did ask him what he wanted and he said nothing, just tools.

i can't afford a huge amount, but I have enough for the things on his list.

I've picked up some dvds and x box games over the last couple of months for him but I feel like he should be asking for a bike or a mobile or whatever else teenagers get these days.

I hope I don't rely on him for emotional support, but I think I do rely on him for company every now and then as I know nobody around here yet.

I need to change the mindset of both of us.

Dandelionandburdock1 Mon 16-Nov-15 14:19:17

It's never too late. focus on what you can do moving forwards and not on regrets or guilt.

You don't say how old he is but plan some mum/son things to do together and start having some happy times together (even if it's a regular stay in on a Friday and watch a movie night) and let him know that you really appreciated his support but youre the mum and he's the child and you're ok now.

..and keep showing him that. It is possible to regain the parent/child balance (I know from similar experience. We are there now.)

phoenix1973 Mon 16-Nov-15 14:22:29

i just wanted to say that with a fantastic mum like you, I am absolutely sure he will be FINE. You both sound absolutely fantastic despite (or maybe because of) what you have been through together.
Onwards and upwards. Hope you have a lovely Christmas in your home xxxx

CocktailQueen Mon 16-Nov-15 14:23:55

How about getting him some of the tools he's asked for and some other things not on his list, just for him? Or do an activity together - spend some time enjoying each other's company and having fun, where he doesn't feel like he has to be the 'man of the house'.

He sounds lovely, OP, though - kind, caring, compassionate - they're great qualities.

flowers

Witchend Mon 16-Nov-15 14:25:05

But does he enjoy doing the DIY?

Because I know my df got a lot of tools given to him at about that age, and he's a brilliant carpenter and that sort of thing. He gets a lot of pleasure out of it, and always had done. He'd have rather had them than toys. He can fix most things and that's because he had the freedom at that age to try and work out how to mend things.
He may want them because he wants to do it... and good tools do bring more pleasure because the job's easier and better.

ImperialBlether Mon 16-Nov-15 14:27:28

One thing you know is that your son is going to be a lovely husband to someone one day and the practical skills he's learning now will really stand him in good stead.

What sort of tools did he want?

girlandboy Mon 16-Nov-15 14:28:13

Your son sounds lovely, and you certainly haven't fucked up at all. He sounds like a giving and considerate person. It sounds like you're on the right track by already getting some other bits for him, but if he really would like a tool then ask him which one he'd like the most.

I on the other hand feel like I've royally fucked up with my 15 year old, because ALL he wants is xbox games and has NO thought for anyone else at all.

MilkTwoSugarsThanks Mon 16-Nov-15 14:33:52

DP is never happier than when he's got a new toy to play with. He got interested in fixing things and gardening/landscaping at about the age your DS is.

You don't sound like you've failed your DS at all. Now my DS, with his "PS4, iPhone6s, money" Christmas List - now that's failing.

Be proud of your DS - he'll do well in life and he's got you to thank for that smile

naicehamandpombears Mon 16-Nov-15 14:33:52

He does enjoy it, he loves tinkering about with a project, and he is really good at it. I'm not sure how much is because does feel like he has to be 'man of the house'.

We had a lot of talks when we left and he said he feels awful for not protecting me, and that he wished he could have done something, I think this is his way of 'making it up to me' even though it absolutely wasn't his fault. I feel awful for making him feel this way, I should have left a long time ago.

I do think we are more equals then parent/child at the moment and I do need to regain that, you're right, I don't know how though.

He isn't really into anything in particular, he has an xbox, but its an old one I picked up, so isn't on xbox live or anything and I bought a few games, but he doesn't really play it.

He likes parkour but since that is just jumping off stuff (as far as I can tell) there isn't anything I can get him associated with it.

Thank you all so much, you have cheered me up and set me off all at once.

ThatsNotMyRabbit Mon 16-Nov-15 14:35:23

He sounds wonderful.

If he really enjoys the DIY/odd jobs, how about looking on ebay etc for second hand/used tools and then spending what you save on extras that are just for him?

Isthiscorrect Mon 16-Nov-15 14:35:13

He sounds like a really lovely thoughtful young man, you should be very proud of both you and him. There are a number of points pp have mentioned, movie night, halve the list, might actually really want tools. Would you be able to show him this thread? To let him know how you feel and how other people, albeit with very little information see him? How you really want him to have what he wants, within your means? If he knows this it will build his confidence to become his own person and branch out and not your carer. Sorry that sounds bad and it isn't meant to at all. I'm not explaining myself well.
flowers

RainbowDashed Mon 16-Nov-15 14:35:29

You say you think he should be asking for mobile phones etc - does he have one? Would he use it if he did?

DH LOVES getting tools as presents, he's somewhat older than your ds (grin) but he's loved making things and fixing things since he was small, he should have been an engineer.

He sounds brilliant OP, rather than worrying that you've messed his life up, congratulate yourself on getting out of a shitty situation and bringing up a considerate son who doesn't expect everyone to run round after him.

Hope you have a great Christmas smile

MrsMolesworth Mon 16-Nov-15 14:36:48

I think you both sound lovely. You clearly care about his priorities and are very sensitive to not leaning on him too much. He sounds genuinely happy to help.

Have you ever watched that World's Strictest Parents programme? they take real entitled brats from Uk and drop them in other parts of the world. Often the people they stay with take them to visit teenagers of a similar age who have much tougher circumstances to contend with: raising whole families after parents' deaths, or primary carers for sick parents etc. All of the teenagers who have more responsibility are nicer people. not necessarily put upon. But they have matured as needed. they have learned to be resilient and reliable. these are qualities that any person can feel proud of having. they make you feel good about yourself. being able to mend and fix stuff is very therapeutic. It probably makes your DS feel good about himself - as it should.

You've bought him some stuff so that he can muck around, and you'll buy him some tools too. That's a great balance. the two of you sound like you supported each other out of a horrible time towards a happier one. celebrate that. Ditch the guilt.

cailindana Mon 16-Nov-15 14:36:53

I don't know why anyone would flame you. He clearly adores you and you were incredibly brave to get him out of such a horrible situation.

You do now need to sit down with him and tell him he can let go for a while and relax. He may need some counselling - he probably has some anxiety from what happened and his looking after you is a way of alleviating that. This can all be fixed. You are a fab team, obviously and this is just another challenge that you're entirely capable of completing.

Parsley1234 Mon 16-Nov-15 14:37:01

God he sounds great really caring lovely boy you've done a great job well done !

RainbowDashed Mon 16-Nov-15 14:37:54

X posted there OP. Could you do some research into parkour groups locally or something? Get him in touch with fellow nutters enthusiasts?

naicehamandpombears Mon 16-Nov-15 14:38:06

He would like an electric drill to make life easier, a soldering iron (not sure what for) and a jigsaw, as he wants to make a fancy shelving unit for the bathroom and some general screws, nails, tacks, wood glue etc.

I can get him all of these things, the cheaper versions are all within my budget. I just don't know if I should.

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