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For those of you who grew up with bad mothers

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Do you ever look at your kids and just really hope you are doing a better job than your mother did? This happens to me on occasion and then I tell myself, "Well, at least Im not crazy." And then I kind of have a Truman Show moment where I start to worry that maybe I am crazy and I suck as a mom but everyone is pretend that everything is fine. And then I think, "Thanks mom, for totally screwing with my head and self esteem when I was growing up."

Can anyone relate or am I totally off the deep end?
post #2 of 6

I didn't have a Mom growing up and usually I feel like I am flying by the seat of my pants as a parent.  I am trying to be what I did not have.  Unfortunately, I was raised by my Dad who was emotionally abusive.  I learned what NOT to do from him.


The fact that you are concerned whether or not you think you are crazy says a lot.  You are not crazy and I am sure that your parenting does not suck.  You are aware which means that you do indeed care.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

That's what I think the real tragedy is now that I am a parent. Not only can I not ask her for advice, but I don't have a sense of normal parenting or normal childhood. I feel lucky to have a good intuition and that has gotten me a long way but it kind of leaves me insecure in my decisions at times.


I have recently realized or been thinking about the fact that I don't really think of my mom as an abuser anymore or as mean or evil. I have come to realize that she is just a really broken person. So maybe that is some personal growth. Now I just don't know what to do with those feelings. I am wanting to meet with her for dinner or something and just ask her to be really real with me about why she is so broken. I just don't know if she would do it and I don't have the emotional fortitude to walk away that disappointed. And also, I don't know if these feelings of wanting to try to get something out of my mother is just my pregnancy hormones talking. I have been pretty introspective and emotional this pregnancy.

post #4 of 6

My Mom had lots of mental health issues growing up which was a huge struggle. She wasn't 'bad' but made a lot of bad choices and is now estranged from my brother due to that (it was worse for him including abuse). When I got pg (accidentally) with my DS I was absolutely terrified I was going to make a lot of the same choices just because that is what I knew. I will say I had a very stable Dad though growing up, so I wouldn't of been totally flying blind but as far as 'being a Mom' goes, all I had is what she did. My MIL was also an influence on me during my teen years (started dating DH at 17) so that helped some I think.


Basically I sort-of-kind-of knew of GP as a option and then when he was around 2 or so I really made the decision that I was going to practice gentle parenting, and it's lead us down (a cascade effect if you will!) to other decisions like Unschooling, etc.


So... I'm in a way 'grateful' (the last stage of change) for what happened because it led me to an amazing and happy place in how we parent our son.

post #5 of 6

I think you're totally normal and it's a sign of a good mother to actually worry about things like that. 


Both of my parents have serious issues and honestly, I just do the exact opposite of what they did with my kids to ensure I'm doing it "right".. 

I occasionally feel extremely guilty as a mom.. like when I've had an extra busy week and my son has been at his after-school care until closing time every day and then it's homework, dinner, bed without any real time to connect. I lose sleep over that and my friends who had more "normal" upbringings cannot understand my feelings. I never, ever want my kids to feel the way I did my entire childhood, not even for a minute. 

post #6 of 6

Bailey; I know exactly how you feel. I grew up with an emotionally and psychologically abusive, narcissistic alcoholic mother, and I sometimes worry about being like her. But her behaviour has shown me how not to treat children, so I know what to avoid and how to do things differently, which is a good thing! Sometimes I'll say something my mother would've said and immediately stop in fear of ending up like her.


But my upbringing makes me put in extra effort to be a good, positive parent to my children, and give the, all the attention I never had as a child.

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