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What mistakes did your parents make? - Page 3

post #41 of 133
Originally Posted by Peony View Post

As a parent I feel like I let my children do anything under sun to make up for all things that I desperately wanted to do but was never able to. 
post #42 of 133

i learned not to trust other adults, bc the few i did bother to go to and tell my secrets to would call my mom and tell her and then i'd get in trouble for "lying".

i know my mom had it way worse than me. i struggle everyday with these issues and it used to keep me up at night. i started self-harming at a terribly young age, i remember my brother wasn't born yet so i was younger than 5 and hiding in my closet hitting myself with the hairbrush and scratching my arms. there is alot of guilt for being angry, pity for how my mom was treated(both by her parents and then my abusive father), pity for the person she is now. i honestly hate being around her if my kids are around bc she does NOT like one of them and she shows it. i ran away at 17halfway across the country. i try really hard with my own kids, i guess my biggest issues is yelling and being too criticizing about how they do housework(because even at age 17 my oldest only half-assedly does anything) I believe I have been too lenient on them all but i just didn't want to be strict.

post #43 of 133

Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post


Possible triggers.......


There was all kinds of weird religious stuff mixed in with the abuse, and my parents started following Bill Gothard (the same preacher the Duggers follow) when I was a teen. It just made everything crazier.


That's really sad. The church we attended in KY until I was 12 supports Bill Gothard, my parents did a lot of his stuff too. They were never abusive or over the top with us. It really breaks my heart when ppl mix religion with abuse or other weird things. That's SO FAR away from the truth. I don't claim to be religious, however, I am a Christian and I am trying to grow in my relationship with Him. So sorry you went through that. I'm sure that was awful!



Originally Posted by CatsCradle View Post
One of the things I hear a lot (in web-based conversations and IRL) is that the way "the way that my parents raised me was uncomfortable and horrible, but I turned out okay, which must means it works...that it is right."  I totally disagree with this premise.  I turned out okay too but it wasn't because my parents' techniques worked, or that it was right, it was because deep down I had a values system unrelated to how my parents dolled out punishment, etc.  
I'd be curious  to know how others think about this.  I don't quite understand why I turned out the way I did, but it wasn't because I was taught to obey through punishment and physical force.  There was something else.  Haven't identified it yet.


I can't speak for anyone else, but in my life, anything my parents failed in, God really helped me to overcome. Not that I'm perfect, I try to do well, but I sure fail a lot. blush.gif  We're all born empty-headed, we learn based on who we're around and what we see. Thankfully, I was in a moral community and learned from there. Still learning. Sometimes I'm ashamed of how legalistic I was some years back. Still growing. Under Construction, Pardon the Mess. modifiedartist.gif

post #44 of 133

Obviously my parents didn't make any mistakes.  thumb.gif

post #45 of 133

My parents were both born in '49. My sisters were born in '69, '70, and '78. I was born in '88. So... all in all, I was technically an only child for a majority of my life.


My dad told me when I was around 17, that my mom cried for months after she found out she was pregnant with me; they were not happy tears either. Apparently, she was hoping for a miscarriage the whole time. greensad.gif That was really heartbreaking to hear... 


I remember when I was 2 and crying in my crib. I was crying out for my mom. I heard her but she never came. I eventually slept in exhaustion. That happened to be my first memory.


My oldest sister (who is 20 years older than me) raised me from when I was around 9 years old to 11 years while my parents settled in Korea for a little bit. She was a better parent than my mom could ever be but my mom couldn't take it that I was away from her so... my sister sent me back to my parents. I think my sister KNEW it was a bad idea.


My mom started being best friends with me until I was 18. We did everything together and she was actually my only best friend until a guy came into my life and...well, she became jealous that he was stealing me away from her. She suffered depression and was narcissistic but never got it treated. She stopped talking to me after she found out I was going to move out and marry this guy. Then, when she found out I was going to divorce him, she started talking to me again BUT it was mainly the discussion of "why did you marry him? Why did you get yourself involved with him? Why him? You know, my other daughters love me more..." faint.gifI kept  talking to her despite that.  Then, when I was dating DBF, she stopped talking to me again. shake.gif I pretty much give up...


My dad was a very devout Catholic and I always went to church with him. It was our only time we spent together and actually TALK. smile.gif I loved going to church because of that but that was when I was much older in my teens.


I remember he used to spank me when I did something wrong. And yelled. There were only two times where he whipped me with a belt. And potty training...oh gosh... I didn't potty train until I was 3.5 years old. My dad forced me on the potty in the middle of the living room and he watched me until I went. He also thought it was hilarious that he would put me on the big toilet and just let me go until my bottom went "kaplosh!" in the water. I screamed and remember being so scared. 


I also remember my parents went out on a date and left me with my 3rd oldest sister. She was 14 and I was 4. I told my parents that I was scared of her. "PLEASE, don't leave! She will hurt me!" My parents didn't believe me and left. My sister grabbed me by the ankles and spun me around, sometimes banging me on the wall.  I was screaming and crying franticly until I threw up. Her babysitting was scary. 


Despite those scary moments, I still love them.  Believe or not, we did have some good family times together. I kind of miss it because we all grew up, have our own families, and such.. we rarely see each other. 

post #46 of 133

I never really felt close to my mom, it always felt like she had better stuff to do than hang around with us, and when she did I can remember her being very moody. I remember being left home alone with only my older brother to "watch me", and he was 7yo and moderately autistic, because mom had to run errands or visit friends. I remember her being gone for hours every day and not knowing how to get ahold of her, I was I think about 5-6 at the time, my big brother was not much of a help since he refused to leave the couch and tv. I remember being screamed at for crying, belittled over grades.... I don't remember much of the positive. My dad died when I was 13 and after that my mom took a interest in me, I remember asking her why she all of a sudden cared and she told me "you're so much like your dad and someone needs to take his place"; so from then on I became the babysitter, helped with cooking and cleaning, and the person she vented everything on. As a teen I remember her forbidding me to see friends she didn't know, not letting me get a job because "someone needs to babysit your brother", not letting me get a driver's permit/education, refusing to allow me to go away to college because she would lose the money the state gave her for me. I cut off my relationship with her years ago for my sanity.


My dad was a completely different story. When he was alive I stuck to him like glue, I adored him. He was my best friend and confidante growing up, his death was severely devastating to me.

post #47 of 133

Wow, this turned out to be a hard thread to read.  Compared with all that, I'm embarrassed to complain about my folks at all.


And actually, when I think about it, things could have been a whole lot worse.  My mother was desperately trying to undo the damage her own mother made--the emotional distance, the perfectionism, the criticism, the busybody-ness.  My mother was a wreck.  Torn away from her dying father and the doting grandparents she adored, she was then raised by my grandmother and she became such an emotional child--forever selfish, manipulative and needy.  She married a handsome, verbally abusive narcissist and divorced with 3 kids in tow.  She met my dad (stepdad) and even though I am not religious Thank You God for that.


So, things could have been so much worse.  I could have been raised by my father as well, a mentally unstable, alcoholic womanizer.  In contrast, my "dad" was a saint.


My mother believed in independence in everything.  Her mother was a busybody and this was good for us!  But coupled with being a latchkey kid, I simply felt overwhelmed and abandoned.  We we on our own in everything nearly.  Maybe they were more involved than I knew, but if they were they were discreet about it.  This has been a lesson to me that forced independence in and of itself is not as great as it sounds.  But, again, she was trying to undo her own mother's mistakes and thought this was The Way.


She was a prude, but she just shut up about it.  Her way of dealing with these issues of sexuality was to simply ignore it.  And her permissiveness in the movies we watched and the books she handed me--good books with some incredibly graphic chapters--anyhow, it was an odd contrast.  Again, I think it was her own attempt to fix her own flaws.  She was screwed up and she knew it.  She tried.


The were verbally abusive when we made mistakes, especially concerning the way we kept our rooms.  This was particularly hard for me because I was not a naturally tidy kid.  


My mother played favorites and it was obvious and I still live with my sisters' resentment towards me.  


She gave up nothing.  My sisters stopped asking.  I kept asking and tuned her out and got what I needed, but I did always think twice before asking.  I think this was a holdover from being a single mother of 3 with no hope for child support.


They were unsupportive of our goals and put us girls into the pegs they had created for us mentally.  So when my sister said she wanted to study nursing, they said she wasn't cut out for college and it would be too hard.  Yet I was a scholar, of course, and college would be the right fit.


My dad wasn't perfect either.  He never understood a lot of things.  He was raised as the youngest child by far--parents in their 40's, practically an only child with a large supportive extended family and tight community, both parents established wage earners.  He grew up in the same small town until he left for college.  Made deep friendships, had generous parents (emotionally as well as materially), was constantly surrounded by loving family and friends.  He never understood how we girls could be so angry about moving every few years, eventually away from our beloved grandparents, never understood how his upbringing colored his own worldview.  That's about the worst I can say about him, except for when my room was "a pigsty".


DH and I discussed this next complaint--money.  Both of us were raised with tight incomes, but dh never noticed a lack of anything, even though they had to forgo some things because of their circumstances.  My parents made me feel every penny lost, complained about every expense (even underwear one year and 2 bras but like I said I just tuned her out by then and didn't say anything when she whined and whimpered and complained.)  I know we weren't any poorer than dh's family, yet because my parents always fretted it made for a climate of want.  Funny how different people can take similar circumstances and react differently.


Much longer post than I intended.  My parents were the last of the Silent Generation--born during the War.  My older sisters and I are GenX--I was born in '69

post #48 of 133

My parents were born during the Great Depression.  I am a Gen Xer. 


My parents were both somewhere on the narcissism spectrum.  My dad died four years ago.  He was in many ways an excellent father when I was little, but he had trouble dealing with children once they grew old enough to start having opinions and ideas that didn't line up with his.  I am grateful that he took us on trips and help me to develop a love of history and the arts, but not so grateful that I was disciplined by the belt and wooden spoon.  Once when I was a teenager he smacked me so hard in the head that I saw lights.  He actually smacked me outside the head once when I was 25 because I used profanity in his house (not directed at him:I had just broken off an engagement and was very distressed). I don't think he saw himself as being abusive, but he often spanked in anger and sometimes was very out of control.   


As he aged he became really obsessed with the traditionalist Catholic movement (think Mel Gibson).  He was really religious even when I was a kid, and I felt that if I ever expressed my true feelings about some of the church's teachings that he would reject me.  I had some behavior that OCD experts would describe as "scrupulous," and which I think derived from my fear of not measuring up morally. 


My mom reminds me a lot of a thirteen-year-old.  That's about where her maturity level is.  She had major depressive episodes from the time I was eleven until after I left the house for college.  These episodes included threatening suicide and confiding in me about all her problems with my father.  There was also some neglect; during her episodes I basically parented my little sister.


She can be quite passive aggressive, and I've had to set some boundaries regarding her behavior with my own kids.  For example, she would give my children presents and then threaten to take them back if they wouldn't do what she told them.  I stopped that maybe three years ago.  I've also had to repeatedly call her on voicing gender stereotypes and on bringing up totally inappropriate topics around the kids.  


She has some financial issues (limited income) but still spends way too much money (and time) helping out my older sister, who is in a terrible marriage with a financially irresponsible person.  They have become each other's surrogate spouses.


I came into adulthood terrified of becoming both my mother and my father, or a child abuser (which my mother once predicted I'd turn out to be!).  I became a full-fleged alcoholic at college (largely genetic, but some really bad decisions on my part), but I got sober at 23 and spent most of a decade in therapy.  My life with dh and the kids is now really happy and clear.  Dh came from a similarly dysfunctional home, and we've helped each other a lot.   

post #49 of 133

My parents were born in the early 50s; my siblings and I were born in the 80s.


My dad...

  • Was passive and uninterested in us; he is a writer and still puts it ahead of his family
  • Said 'no' quickly and without listening; it was final
  • Did not touch us, struggled when saying 'I love you', and never complimented us
  • Had a short fuse, and would yell at us (with spit)
  • Preferred silence at the dinner table
  • Complained about my mom to us
  • Only spent time with us when we were doing something HE wanted to do
  • Was a very negative person


My mom...

  • Was inconsistent with discipline; easy to manipulate
  • Made comments about our appearance (your hair is mousy, the bridge of your nose is too high, if only your nose pointed downward more)
  • Had many emotional breakdowns in front of us
  • Was very controlling about every aspect of our lives (over both the big things: who we could date, and the little things: what color underwear and nail polish we wore)
  • Hardly ever made us food; we fended for ourselves a lot (packaged oatmeal and grilled cheese, anyone?)
  • Was constantly concerned about "the house"...moving, packing, unpacking, cleaning, painting, looking for a new house, etc.
  • Spanked all of us, practiced CIO, and didn't bother to breastfeed us after rough goings with my older brother


I think the major issues with both of my parents was the fact that they did not listen to us (having an opinion was disobedient), did not practice what they preached, focused on the negative, and did not spend real, quality time with us. There was also a lot of anger in our home.


I love my parents, but at times I have considered taking them out of my lives because of the stress they put me through. I have been continually disappointed in them and unable to understand why they act the way they do. I am learning to lower my expectations and just accept them as flawed individuals. I'm not perfect either and at least they have shown me what NOT to do as a parent. It's worth mentioning that my sister is estranged, and my 30+ year old brother is co-dependent on my mom and talks to her every day. I, on the other hand, see them once every few months (they live a few hours away) and keep the conversation light when I'm with them. This is the only way I've managed to keep them in my life.


(edited for clarification)

post #50 of 133

Every year at school the teachers divided up teams for gym class by picking their favorites for team captain and then letting those kids take turns picking the rest of us until I was the last one standing. My fourth grade teacher hated me (the other kids even said so) and would make me cry in front of the whole class because I can't follow verbal instructions and she was convinced I just wasn't listening to her. (This was the same teacher who told us the kids in the remedial class couldn't read because they were "dumb") When other kids bullied me (bullying that included being punched in the back, tripped, shoved and locked in an empty classroom after school had been let out for the day) most of the teachers blamed me, because it must be my fault since I was the one no one else (including them) liked. My H.S. history teacher said in front of other kids that he wanted to have sex with me. My favorite year was 5th grade because there was a fat girl in my class named Debbie who was actually even more of an outcast then I was (Debbie attempted suicide a couple of yrs. later). I wish my mom had gone and blown every school I ever went to up with a bomb. What was funny was that when my mother dragged me to shrinks because of my "school phobia" they all just wanted to talk about my parents' divorce. I couldn't care less about my parents' divorce.


I was born in 1970. My mom had me when she was 28 (What year was that? After all those years at school I still can't do math). I forgive her for making me go sit there everyday but I still want to projectile vomit every time I see one of those stupid idiot bumper stickers that says If-you-can-read-this-thank-a-teacher.


ETA: In my mom's defense she said she believed that making kids go to school and learn to fight their own battles was what was best for them and that, that was the advice everyone gave then and no one had ever even heard of homeschooling at that time and that it was thought of as really politically incorrect then to criticize teachers.

post #51 of 133

podsnap hug.gif


This reminds me of another mistake my mother made:


I, too, was miserable at school…..and my mother did not realise it! 


I did not complain about school, as I did not think there was anything she could do about it (everyone went to school in those days and there were no other schools).  None-the-less,  when you send your child somewhere you have a duty to make sure they are safe and somewhat OK.  I was neither safe nor OK.


I am not mad at her for it, but I have tried hard (maybe even overly hard at some points) to make sure my kids are reasonably happy with were they are.  

Edited by purslaine - 7/2/12 at 1:26pm
post #52 of 133

I've been thinking about this thread for a week!  Dad born in 1923, Mom born in 1930, I was born in 1968. 


My mom shouldn't have married my dad.  That's not directly a parenting mistake, but of course it effects us kids fundamentally. 


My mom passed away and I'm my dad's caregiver twice a week, so it's been really interesting getting to know him as an adult, away from Mom's big personality. So I'm separating out those things that I used to blame Mom for, realizing that my anger should have been aimed at my dad.  He's an imperious, literal-minded pain in the ass.  He is unforgiving and impatient with other people's mistakes, which just doesn't mix well with childhood. He finds it very hard to see other people's point-of-view and doesn't feel the need to try to.  It's just better to be incredulous and incensed all the time when people do things differently from how he would. 


Example, he hired the 16 y.o. boy next door to do some yard work, and he was shocked and disgusted when the kid kind of mangled the rose bush.  Seriously Dad?  You're surprised and angry because a teenager doesn't know how to properly trim a rose bush?


I'd forgotten how klutzy I used to be. I grew up thinking I was inherently accident prone.  I didn't realize it when it happened, but all that klutziness gradually disappeared after I moved out on my own.  Go figure!  So now when I'm at Dad's house I find myself making klutzy mistakes again! Like I haven't in decades.  I guess it's because I rush when I'm doing chores for him.  I'm in a hurry to do it, because he might criticize me.


And I'm constantly trying to guess what he thinks/wants/expects, because it isn't the same, it's inconsistent and illogical, and he's rarely pleased with my results. 


It's crazy-making, and it explains soooo much about my feelings of inadequacy. 

post #53 of 133

oh man.  my early childhood was fantastic.  i was born in the late 70s. i was cloth diapered and breastfed into toddlerhood, i never cried myself to sleep, was never spanked.   we ate healthy food and i liked it.  my mom worked several jobs and lived without to send me to a small, artsy private school.  we went camping and to museums and to art shows.  when i entered high school i was given a lot of independence.  nobody every told me NOT to do anything.  nobody checked to see if i was doing my homework, being safe, taking drugs etc.  when i asked my mom about sex and drugs she gave me super vague answers about how she did stuff, but that was in the 60's and people just didnt do that anymore.  my dad was worse, he encouraged these shenanagins!  it is a wonder i survived being a teenager.  i tried everything, hung out with bad people way older than me, and was just wild.  i always loved my momma and was good to her but i was a crazy, bad kid.  the only thing i can figure is that since she left home at 15, she figured i was an adult at the same age.  i was not.


so far ive copied my mom for all of the early childhood stuff.  this is how babies are raised in my family.  but im determined to hold onto my kids somehow when they are older, and to give them more guidance than my parents gave me.

post #54 of 133
My parents are baby boomers, but my dad had a slightly different experience because he was born in Italy and his parents were/are very old school Italian...

Anyway, I was born in '82, not sure if I'm a genxer.

ETA mine got a little too long and oddly specific....the bottom line is there was a huge lack of involvement, or even presence, from both parents for different reasons. Both put their own and their significant others ahead of their kids' needs after divorce and were rarely with us, physically. There was always far too much moving, changing of schools even if we were doing well. My mother chose a very strict, authoritarian, punitive parenting style (and acted like she hated me, occasionally harming me physically, but verbally and emotionally treating me like crap every day) once I started wanting a normal teenaged social life and I responded with run of the mill rebellion which was treated like juvenile delinquency and left me labeled permanently as a bad seed. Predictably, I lived up to that label. Academic and personal achievement was expected to occur spontaneously and didn't, but no support was given whatsoever, not even, "Do your homework," even when I was failing and in danger of dropping out. My parents are both doctors. They did not seem to care if I failed high school simply from lack of guidance. I can't figure that out to this day. There was neglect... not the kind with no food in the house, but the kind where you don't notice that your preteen is being molested in the same hotel where you're staying because you don't have the sense to keep an eye out. Twice. I was shamed and directly blamed the few times I made the mistake of being honest about birth control, sex or relationship abuse. I worked to pay for my own car, etc, but was not provided with normal amount of clothing or hair cuts or whatever for a teen in a wealthy family, let alone a working class one. I am still ashamed of how my sister and I looked most of the time...unkempt, uncared for, after we were no longer small children we were on our own that way. There were a lot of weird plays for control when my mother realized how out of control things were- like she'd tell me to get a certain job, then force me to quit it because it was "too far away" or something nonsensical- like if she controlled something, sometime, she was doing her job? I don't know.

My father moved away and rarely calls me- we visit him once a year and he's very nice and helpful with the kids. My mom is here multiple times a week and does more with my kids than she EVER did with us, but I'm dreading when they become teenagers because that's when she seems to get ragey. I am still ragey from the unfairness of being treated like a horrible person when I was actually a pretty decent kid deep down. redface.gif

The best thing, maybe the only great thing they ever really did that was unselfish and good was to hire a nanny before I was born and let her mostly raise us from that time on. She was the mother in my heart and the only person who loved me unconditionally. She died in May and I have lost my real family. Without her, I would not know how to have a healthy relationship with my kids or even know what love is. She held me as a newborn and I held her hand as she passed away...I could never thank her enough for doing the job my parents should have done but doing it much better than they ever would have.
Edited by bri276 - 7/3/12 at 3:43pm
post #55 of 133

ETA: Potential trigger - minor physical abuse. I didn't realize I would get into as much detailed as I did.


My parents both made several mistakes; I am both terrified and determined to raise my children much, much differently.


My parents were terrible with money. My mom never wanted to be a mother (we've heard her say this on several occasions). In the early years of her marriage, I believe she saw it as a means to not have to work. Serious health problems for my father (and the fact that my mother had great potential to earn great income, and my father did not) sent her back to work. In all my years growing up, she quit every job she had, no matter how great it was, she would find a problem and quit it. Our bills were never paid, we were evicted from most houses we lived in, utilities were often cut off, our cupboards were always empty, etc. And my parents told me every single detail, would warn me about their overdue bills and ration food. From a very young age I was always terrified about what the next day would bring - if we would have food or heat or a home to come home to. And the frusterating part is that we had the potential to live a very comfortable life. Oftentimes my mother would choose to buy new curtains or get her hair done instead of buying food or paying essential bills. I began working at age 11, and my mother would wait for me to return home to collect my paycheck. I was very embarrassed by my homelife, and tried desperately to keep it a secret from friends. My parents also kept an insanely dirty home. Not just messy - unsanitary and filthy. I never had friends over, and was mortified if someone would show up unexpectedly. As a teenager, my mother had me co-sign a car loan, then defaulted on the loan, effectively ruining what little credit I had worked hard to establish for myself. She had no remorse for doing these things to her own child.


My parents were also physically and emotionally abusive. I remember my mother standing me on the arm of the couch to violently shake me, or telling me what position to get into to get hit (with object), so she wouldn't have to bend over or put much effort into it. She was always trying to make me and my siblings feel guilty, and if there was no drama around, she would create it so we would have to feel sorry for her. She is an incrediably manipulative and emotional abusive woman.


I could go on and on about my mother, there are plenty more mistakes she has made. But those are the ones that affect me the most.


I now struggle with a major fear of money. I am terrified of it. DH and I both work f/t and are middle-upper class, but I get intensely anxious whenever I need to look at the account balances or make a purchase.


I no longer have a relationship with her. I speak with my father, but our relationship is limited and strained, also.

post #56 of 133

Hugs, Ladies. hug.gif

post #57 of 133

My mom was born in the mid 50s, and my father was significantly older than her.  I was born when she was 21.


My father was abusive and eventually abandoned us (I have not seen or heard from him since his mothers funeral in 1987.  There were a couple of big mistakes in my life, te first was that my mom lied.  All the time.  we now joke about her "revisionist history,' but she still does it.  It taught me early to lie.  I could lie to an adults face so well, that they would never know and I never felt any remorse about it.  It really screwed my sisters and I up.


The second involved her remarriage (when I was 13).  She never acted as a mediator or tried to negotiate a relationship between her new husband and her kids.  My stepdad was an only child, went into the military at 18, and has never had kids of his own.  He really did not know what to do with girls.  we did not develop a relationship until my son was born, my son was the first infant he held (despite the fact that one of my other sisters already had 3 kids).  She always preached about how all guys wanted was sex, and you could never trust any of them since they all lied (Hello, Pot?)  It made my relationship with men difficult.  I was married 5 years before I believed that my DH would not just up and leave me one day (not because of anything he did).

post #58 of 133
Originally Posted by A&A View Post

I'm Gen X.  My parents were born in the Depression.  


Same here, although my parents were actually born before the Depression.


I don't know what mistakes my parents made at this point.  There are things they did that I didn't like.  They smoked around us constantly, I hated that.  My mother yelled a lot and had really angry outbursts, and my father was rather passive in the face of them.  He felt like you can't really change people, you just have to learn to deal with them.  My father was married to someone else before my mom, and apparently one of the issues was that his first wife was abusive, and he didn't really stop it.  But that was in the 40's and 50's, my father's first child is in his 70's, and his wife was mentally ill from what I've heard.  


My sisters and I have had a lot of issues with our mother over the years, but she died this past February, and she had dementia in the last couple of years, so people's feelings were different lately.  I remember the people in her care facility saying, "You know how she never complained, she was such a sweet lady."  And I was all, "Wait, you're talking about my mom?"  LOL.  My mom did have a nice side, actually, it was honestly like she was two different people at times. My dad wasn't particularly strict, he often would say that he didn't care what we did if we asked for something.  I've inherited that attitude from him, but I don't think it's great for my kids, I feel like I should probably have more requirements of them, and we did actually have more chores and boundaries just in general.


One of my complaints about both my parents are that they didn't know how to deal with having fat children.  Because I hit 103 pounds when I was 10 and a half, my mother took me to the doctor and got prescription diet pills for me.  My 13 year old weighed considerably more at 10 than I did at that age, but I didn't freak out.  I just continued my talk about health, and over the years she's paid attention to the things I've said, and she's grown into her weight.  My weight, on the other hand, really ballooned between 10 and 13 with all the diet attempts.  My mom would just yell at me for reading and tell me to go run around, but she didn't involve herself with my physical activity, whereas I will take my kids skating and I go on regular walks and encourage them to come with me, and I go swimming with them and all that.  Things were always put in terms of if I lost weight, I could have certain things.  

post #59 of 133

Viola, my experience with my mom's smoking is similar to what you describe. Mom was born in 1930.  She started smoking when she was 20. She made attempts to keep the smoke away from us, but I'm sure I smelled like cigarettes my entire childhood.  The worst was when I was trapped in the back seat of the car on long summer road trips.  She'd crack the window open to suck the smoke out, but it was minimally effective.  Gah!  I'd just have hot air and smoke whipping in my face.  To this day when I'm driving I have really angry, knee-jerk reactions when I've got the window down and someone else's smoke wafts into my car.


She did finally manage to permanently quit smoking, but she found out a few years later she had lung cancer. She died five years ago.  I think it's shameful how that whole generation of women was screwed over by the cigarette industry. 


Anyway, her last few months alive she had in-home hospice care, and we (siblings, Dad) took turns caring for Mom's needs along with the nurses. As horrible as it was to see my mom in mortal pain, and then drugged severely with morphine, it was actually kind of nice to be able to help her when she was so vulnerable.  She'd always been control. Lots of times kind of prickly. 

Edited by journeymom - 7/12/12 at 11:00am
post #60 of 133

Both my parents eventually quit smoking.  My father at some point in my teen years, my mother after I was grown.  She always said that if she knew she was dying, she'd have a cigarette, and yet after a certain while, she hated cigarette smoke with a passion, and apologized for all those years she smoked But growing up, yeah, the, "Oh, it's just going right out the window, you can't possibly smell it!"  Meanwhile we were sick as dogs.  I was always so carsick as a child.  I used to ride around breathing through my shirt.


My husband's mother had a child with cystic fibrosis and she smoked in the car as well, cracking the little fly window and proclaiming it was fine.  I don't know how they can't realize how obnoxious it is!

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