Resentment growing with DP after having child
onename · 06/11/2018 09:46
Has anyone experienced growing resentment with their parents after having their first child?
I always thought my childhood was pretty standard; apart from an affair that both my parents had that split them up for 3 years but they did get back together again (DM told me it was only because of me, which at the time, I was totally fine with at the age of 13).
However, I'm now starting to look back at all the times they have been neglectful at worst, and thinking to myself how I would never consider putting my DS through some of the things they put me through. An example of of things like:
- Shipping me off to stay with GP every weekend in their tiny flat. They were too old to do anything with me so we would spend all weekend in that flat.
- Disappearing for days on end without telling my GP, I still remember at the age of 11, petrified listening to my GP discuss whether it was worth calling the police or not.
- GP were too old to cook so would feed us McDonalds every day which resulted in some serious weight gain. I was relentlessly bullied by my parents about it, which they said they were doing it to 'encourage me to lose some weight' – I was 12.
- One Christmas, DP were too hungover to do anything with us, stayed in their room and left me to it. I think i managed to make some instant noodles for my lunch.
I know they spent a lot of time away from me during the time they had their affairs as I'm sure it was much more exciting to be with these new people in their lives. But this is something that I would never even consider doing to my DS and it hurts to think my parents were like that with me. They weren’t exactly young when they had me either so should have had some sort of maturity.
AIBU to start feeling this resentment now? Or should I put it down to how times have changed and it was totally normal back then?
DP are still pretty selfish in that they don't make too much of an effort to spend time with us which I just think is so sad. DS is 20 months now and the last time they saw him was when he was 7 months old.
Appreciate any comments on this. Please do tell me if i'm being waaaay too sensitive about this and if i should just move on.
BlueBug45 · 06/11/2018 09:53
YABU - as you are judging yesterday's parenting standards by today's. Lots of parents were neglectful and abusive by today's standards.
YANBU - No parent should use their child(ren) as an excuse to stay together and then say it to them, unless they want to risk fucking up their mental health and damaging their adult relationship with them.
MsHopey · 06/11/2018 10:00
You can't help your feelings.
I wouldn't say they were neglectful to a massive extent. I know you said they left you without dinner and you made yourself instant noodles, not the best but it means there was food in the house.
Staying at your grandparents was probably the best decision at the time if they weren't in a suitable emotional place to give you what you need.
It's not ideal, and there is no way I would treat my kids in a similar fashion. I could be biased as I think childhood was pretty bad, I haven't forgotten any of it but I am also aware that still alot more childhoods were worse than mine.
But you feel how you feel, you can't change that, you can't forgive and forget what happened if you're not ready to.
And sometimes low contact is probably better in these scenarios.
Mookatron · 06/11/2018 10:00
That behaviour was not acceptable then either. Your parents disregarded your emotional well being (and arguably your physical well being too).
It is worth remembering that it's never unreasonable to feel something - only to act unreasonably based on a feeling.
It's up to you whether telling your parents about your anger would be useful for you or not. Something tells me their reaction might upset you further. You say they are distant and disinterested in your son - dost you expect them to change?
Sorry about your shitty parents.
auberbene · 06/11/2018 10:02
I'm sorry that you're going through this. I, too, have felt resentment towards my parents after my DD was born.
I think the best way to ensure that you do things differently. Don't make the same mistakes. We're not perfect, any of us. The most important thing, though, is to be the best parent that we can possibly be.
onename · 06/11/2018 10:37
Thank you for your comments, all of which I take on board.
Sorry MsHopey for your shitty childhood, completely aware that others have had far worse childhoods than mine, it just surprised me after having DS that these memories and emotions come flooding back. Not something I was expecting at all.
Mookatron Strangely enough, I did think that after having DS, they would be different to what they were as parents. I just assumed they would become the doting GP I often see in other people. Not sure why, probably because they're no longer tempted by the vices they once had.
auberbene You're right, I have learnt a lot in that sense, I just hope I don't go too far the other way and become overbearing!
goodnessgrace · 06/11/2018 10:39
I do NOT agree with PPs who said it was more normal back then. And noodles were fine for dinner?! ON XMAS DAY.
I'm sorry your parents were like this. I'm not surprised you're resentful towards them now. It may help to talk out your issues if you can afford counselling.
It wasn't normal, or acceptable and you know this because it sounds as though you're doing the complete opposite and raising your DC well. ￼
Prefer · 06/11/2018 10:44
They sound terribly selfish OP, I’m surprised people are minimizing it - it sounds neglectful to me even by “yesterday’s” standards. My mother would never have done any of that and I definitely don’t think it was “normal” assuming you were born in the 80s? I’m not surprised you’re resentful. Not sure what you can though though other than ensure your DC get better parenting than you did. Try not to let it make you bitter - that’s wasted energy and their shitty behavior doesn’t deserve your energy
Mookatron · 06/11/2018 10:48
onename at least by being distant they are not exposing your child to the feelings of abandonment you must have experienced. And you know you won't do that to your son.
BiologyMatters · 06/11/2018 10:49
They were and still are terrible parents. Just because other people had it worse it doesn't mean you're not allowed to feel you also had a less than ideal childhood.
You don't owe them anything. I think it's probably a good thing they're not inflicting their dysfunction on your innocent little child.
Rixera · 06/11/2018 10:51
Wtaf that pp are trying to justify this.
I also thought my crappy childhood was normal until I had my DD and thought 'but I would never treat her that way...'
I'm sorry your childhood was so poor. It sounds lonely.
Snappedandfarted2018 · 06/11/2018 10:53
My df parents were shit as were my fil abusive affairs etc but they ensured that when they had children they focus on been a better parent than they had. They aren’t going to change op but you can ensure you’re a better parent to you’re children.
MsPavlichenko · 06/11/2018 10:53
Your parents were abusive. That's not acceptable now, nor was it previously.
Winterbella · 06/11/2018 10:56
You definitely got the shitty end of the stick OP parents wise, and GP too, I mean who is too old to cook! (unless your in a care home). I'm just surprised it took you this long to realise that your childhood wasn't normal.
Jackshouse · 06/11/2018 10:59
It is completely normal when you become a parent to review your own childhood and negatively judge your parenting. It is a big part the the process of deciding how you will parent. I remember being disgusted at some of my parents behaviour, specifically my Mum’s smoking. A lot of that reflection tend to be on what you will not do.
But your childhood was not acceptable at the time. There is definitely much more of a focus now on being a good parent where as the parenting I received in the 80s I think was much more of just plodding now and less reflective and less concerned with the potential impact on children. Again this does not justify their behaviour.
startingafresh1 · 06/11/2018 11:00
OP yanbu. I'm surprised that some posters are minimising your parents' behaviour.
FWIW a very similar thing happened to me. At 9 months pregnant I felt a surge of anger towards my mum for the violent temper that she had filed me with as a child, and for having alcohol issues that horribly affected by childhood.
Prior to being pregnant all this stuff was stored safety at the back of my mind. I was proud of myself for not letting it affect me very much as an adult.
Something about impending parenthood bought everything flooding back in Technicolor. As DS has grown up I've become more secure in the feeling that my mum made my life as a child very unpleasant and frightening at times.
Sending you a big unmumsnetty hug.
alizarincrimson · 06/11/2018 11:02
Can’t believe the first few responses! That’s properly shit parenting. YANBU at all.
NoDancingPolicy · 06/11/2018 11:02
I agree with you as I have been through the same process. And for me it got worse as the DC grew older and I realised more and more how unpleasant my DP were. What I hang onto is the idea that their crap parenting has made me a much better parent that I might have been - I take nothing for granted. My motto as a parent is 'be kind' - there was not much kindness in the house I grew up in.
startingafresh1 · 06/11/2018 11:07
I agree with posters saying that the positive effect of this is that it allows you to consciously parent in a different way.
Interesting to read the poster who was bought up without much kindness saying that her parenting motto is 'be kind' .
My overriding feeling was that had no one strong to lean on as a child, everyone was drunk, or busy or angry so I had to be the adult. As a result my parenting motto is 'be their rock'.
ConkerGame · 06/11/2018 11:07
Sorry OP, that does sound like neglect Most of my friends who have had children have found they have become much more grateful to their own parents since becoming parents themselves as they see how hard it can be and realise how much effort and sacrifice their parents made for them.
You’re having the opposite experience and it must be painful. As others have said, try not to dwell on it as it will be a waste of your energy. Better to try to accept the situation for what it is and ensure you don’t follow the pattern. You sound lovely so I’m sure you won’t and it’s probably better for your baby to have limited contact with your parents anyway.
startingafresh1 · 06/11/2018 11:08
Conker I tried not to dwell on this type of thing but it became very difficult to ignore.
Counselling helped immeasurably.
ClarabellaCTL · 06/11/2018 11:14
@BlueBug, I disagree! YABU - as you are judging yesterday's parenting standards by today's. Lots of parents were neglectful and abusive by today's standards.
Abandoning kid for days so that GP had to contemplate calling the police. Being too hungover to be with the kid on Christmas Day. That's not 'yesterday's parenting'. That's neglect.
OP, you have every right to be hurt by this, and I agree that once you have your own children you look back on things with a different perspective.
TurkeyBear · 06/11/2018 11:18
I feel like your GP were just as neglectful tbh. Unless they were 89 and couch bound I don't see how they would be 'too old' to cook
Mookatron · 06/11/2018 11:19
I agree with the counselling idea. Not dwelling on things (I.e. repressing them) tends not to work out well in the end.
I think it's quite normal to have these feelings OP but if you don't know what to do with the feelings counselling is a good route to take.
PyongyangKipperbang · 06/11/2018 11:19
Some people are just not cut out to be parents, they are too selfish and self absorbed to put their own wants second to their child's needs. Sadly, its not until they have had a child that his becomes clear.
YANBU to be pissed off with how they neglected you.
StoppinBy · 06/11/2018 11:20
As my children grow up I definitely find that I have less understanding for the poor behaviour they displayed to us children BUT you need to forgive (not forget) for your own sake and move forward from it.
It doesn't make it ok but it lets you live your life free of the resentment that you would have if you chose to hang on to the anger rather than forgive.
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