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Mothers Raising Daughters

post #1 of 51
Thread Starter 
Mothers Raising Daughters
Welcome. Come in. So glad you are here. Make yourself a cup of tea or some coffee. Don't forget the chocolate! Pull up a comfy chair or some pillows and stay awhile. Chat. Laugh. Share. Cry. Ask and tell.

This is a community of womyn-mothers raising daughters, step-daughters, adopted and foster daughters ages 9-15. Mother and daughter relationships are very important and special. And they are also rollercoasters....puberty, friends, school, peer-pressure, self-esteem, drugs, body image and so much more. We need a place to go for support and in today's society it is extremely hard to find and have. It truely does take a village to raise a child.

[url]www.groups.yahoo.com/group/MothersRaisingDaughters
Please come and join.

Rebecca SAHM of 2 and Owner of MamaBear Cloths
post #2 of 51
Subscribing to this thread. 15 year old and 5 year old dds. I'm loving the teenage years so far................................
post #3 of 51

A great idea, and timely..

I just write a passal of stuff, which my login expired, and ended blowing it all away by accident.

Ok - well the gist of it was that I am an AP mom, trying to honor the light in both my completely different and beautiful girls. {I was told by a friend in private that one is just like Audrey Hepburn, the other just like Kathryn Hepburn.} Both totally marvelous in totally different ways. But the sibling rivalry is just horrible. My first born has never forgiven {she would be the Audray Hepburn} us for having the second {who is a spitfire like Kathryn Hepburn !} I think my first born hates my second born - truly. And I think my second born truly adores my first, but just acts totally bratty because underneath she is hurt by my older's coldness.

Rather than timeout my login telling you all the wonderful parenting I have attempted...{is there an emoticon for a snort here ?} I would love some advice from all you wise mamas on how to get some peace between these two totally different girls. There has been so much of the usual talk when the second was born, transitioning, about new babies, no one can ever take the place of being first born, and no one else can be the little sister etc. etc....for eons that I am at my wits end. I have been channelling Fred Rogers on this one, and just can't make it work.

What I think may have played a huge part in this is when my second was born, I had a really rough recovery that took me about eight weeks to get back on my feet, breastfeeding trouble {she ended up bf for four years, so I guess I solved that one!} and general really high needs for the first year, and this might have scarred the first born a bit, as we were also moving out of state from grandparents at the same time} And the second born ended up being a really strong personality. In other words, she pretty much bumped the first one out of the way for awhile, just by sheer need for those first few years. I really tried to be present with the older one while this was going on, but I knew it was a traumatic for her to seperate from me then so seemingly abrubtly.

I also have realized that my dh had a part to play in making this work, and it has been difficult bringing him on board that he just can't always go for the one who is the most outgoing, that he has to reach out to the one who is not as exuberant with her affections. This as been a long haul between my husband and I, but I think he is coming along slowly. As for me, I do work hard to try to recognize and honor them individually, but apparently, I haven't been very successful.

Help, I feel that both are not getting what they need from me !

Julia
post #4 of 51

Just read the Personal Growth Thread...

...and realize I did not state that mama rage was a factor when children were younger, which I now hope I have under control {had to give up wheat though!} but maybe the damage is done. I've talked to them about this and not wanting to be the "crazy mean mommy" , and I had apologized as well. I never hit them {not the oldest, and once the youngest - this I regret bitterly} but "out of control anger" from mama is scary.

I thought I had to put that in to maybe help with my story here...

Julia
post #5 of 51
mama!
I wish I could offer advice, but I can commiserate!
I could have written your post! Even now, when I have been able to get dd1 to admit, after a day apart from dd2, that she is glad to have a sister, she is so resentful - like you said, has never forgiven me for having more kids. And dd2 looks up to her, adores her, and wants to be with her all the time...and dd1 is soooo MEAN to her! It truly breaks my heart.
Like yours, my older two are total opposites. DD1 is introvert, bookworm, and has to have time alone - she also has NLD, a neurological processing disorder, which only adds to the trouble. DD2 is polar extrovert, loves to be active and play with others, talks constantly, and cannot understand why anyone would choose to be alone, ever!!
I am hoping as my little one gets big enough to play w/dd2, that things will work out a bit....
post #6 of 51

Thanks gingerstar...

for kind words and support. My first was born in '97, and the second in '00 - same age difference, same personality differences within birth order. Amazing!

The 1st is a total introvert, and needs quiet to rejuvinate {like me} and the second is a total extrovert - needs to be with people to get her batteries charged. And the funny thing is that I held off on conceiving second one so they would be at least three years apart, thinking that help with the sibling stuff. Oh well.

Sometimes when I am really reaching for some sanity on the situation, I tell myself it is karma/dharma stuff, and that they chose me and dh and eachother to be a family to work stuff out. Boy, that stuff is sure flying.

I won't allow them to name call, or hit , or meanly tease eachother, but I often wonder if that is the same as stuffing feelings - and they never really took to the explanation that they can feel that way, but not express it, if it is cruel. { FWIW, I can't really buy that either ! It is stuffed either way isnt't it?}

But I do think after reading some posts from all these wise folks that maybe I do have a part in this in my former anger phase, and maybe my older can't trust me emotionally because I was always so Jekyl and Hyde when dealing with them when they were younger. {Some hopefully great AP parenting days, studded with not so great and scary flipped out mama events} This hurts to acknowledge this. And I'm thinking that she is old enough that I can talk to her about this in order to heal some of the pain, and maybe in doing this, she will trust me when I say that I think she is the most marvelous little girl, and I feel blessed to have her in my life.
post #7 of 51
Subbing =)
post #8 of 51
subbing, as we enter into the "Lord I hope this is better than last year" school year!

I love having girls .... but I hate it when folks ask me how old she is ... then do the "tsk, tsk" thing ... telling me how awful the next 10 years are going to be. Doesn't anyone enjoy raising their teenage girls??
post #9 of 51

sorry - don't understand "subbing?"

Comment about "doesn't anyone just love their teen girls anymore" really wasn't appropriate since I didn't say anything about not loving her {the opposite actually} and she isn't a teen. She is ten.

Actually, no one has ever said that to me about teen girls and what I am "up for" The young women in my tribe are terrific - strong, authentic, not into the pop culture bs, know what they want. And my girls love them. But I want to know - was it always bliss for them and their mothers? Did they hate their sisters when they weren't teens?

Julia
post #10 of 51
Julia,
subbing means "subscribing to this thread" - when you post a reply, in the box below where you type, there is an option drop-down, which says "Thread Subscription - notification type" and you can choose to have posts emailed to you, so you can keep up with a thread that interests you. You can also click at the top right of a thread, where it says "thread tools" and do it somehow there too.

And yes, I am trying to teach sharing our feelings openly but respectfully.... sometimes it feels like banging my head against the wall...

I can relate to the shameful parenting behavior, when my DH was overseas and I was on my own, I lost it more than I should have, and wonder if that was part of it....like you, I hope to heal that too. Although I think any parent has things they regret like that.

My sister is 2 1/2 years younger than me, and we were such good friends....we even went to the same college, lived across the hall from each other by choice....I don't think it is parenting, so much as compatability, that allowed us to be friends. We only fought in High School, mostly over using the phone, and sharing clothes.
My mom and I though, we fought terribly.... My dad said it was because we were so alike.
My SIL has a wonderful relationship w/my niece, who turns 16 next month... I really admire it. I can only hope for something similar....
post #11 of 51
I have two daughters, ages 15 and 8.
post #12 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by DiannaK View Post
subbing, as we enter into the "Lord I hope this is better than last year" school year!

I love having girls .... but I hate it when folks ask me how old she is ... then do the "tsk, tsk" thing ... telling me how awful the next 10 years are going to be. Doesn't anyone enjoy raising their teenage girls??
lol I know. I hate to even say this...I do not want to attract the evil spirits. ;p;

I have 3 teens and we've not had any real 'issues'. (Not that each day is a picnic). My 15 yr old dd is very easy-going. My 13 yr old ds is a bit more emotional, but still, very sweet and together. My 18 yr old ds is away at college now, but is a very thinking, nice person who doesn't call his mother as much as she'd like. :
post #13 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenmamasan View Post
Comment about "doesn't anyone just love their teen girls anymore" really wasn't appropriate since I didn't say anything about not loving her {the opposite actually} and she isn't a teen. She is ten.

Actually, no one has ever said that to me about teen girls and what I am "up for" The young women in my tribe are terrific - strong, authentic, not into the pop culture bs, know what they want. And my girls love them. But I want to know - was it always bliss for them and their mothers? Did they hate their sisters when they weren't teens?

Julia
Actually .. what I said was .. doesn't anyone ENJOY their teenaged girls anymore?

Trust me ... I love my DD#1 to the depths of my soul, as I'm sure we all do. I have days where I'd love an extended vacation from her, and I have days where I hate NOT being with her. I have days that I cry to DH, and tell him I can't handle having any more children -- I also have days that I tell DH ..."this is EXACTLY how I want my life to be ..." I'm in my element, being a wife and mother.

Most of the major issues I have with my DD stem from the fact that her father and I are divorced. I'm the disciplinarian, the parent who makes her have reponsibilities,chores, etc. He's "fun dad". The rules I have at my hose go out the window when she walks out the door.

I don't have a lot of confidence in my parenting skills, since I don't think I have had very good role models. I'm probably a better mother now that I am remarried ---- DH does not parent DD#1 per se, but now, I have some back-up/support.

There are a lot of days that I just simply don't understand her ..She's such a bright, creative and talented child -- I get frustrated when she downplays her strengths, and tries to blend ....

I'm very thankful for her, and want a very close relationship with her .. one day at a time ..
post #14 of 51

Sorry to be so defensive about your post DianaH..

I was so defensive posting on this thread that I totally missed the definition on "subbing" which if I had gotten out of that place of fear, would have gotten it. {{{to all of you}}}

Dianna, I too don't have great confidence in my parenting skills - my role models were pretty sketchy, and I am trying to have something different {aren't we all?!} Sometimes I wonder growing up in the seventies, when feminism defined as anything a man can do, a woman can do. Anyone remember the Billy Jean King/some tennis guy tennis match? What kind of message was that? Certianly didn't nurture and honor the feminine, juxtaposed with doing the same for the masculine. I am still sorting that out, and i think it has affected my parenting of girls profoundly.

And I am having a tough time accepting my first daughters need to "blend in", even though I understand it from when I was a child. But I was a very insecure child, and somehow think that despite my best efforts, my firstborn is dealing with these same insecurities. She is so incredibly bright, and whimsical, and free spirited, and enchanted, but she is also unsure, uncomfortable with herself, and at once also totally un-selfconscious about hair, hygiene and geeky clothes choices [ I let her wear what she feels comofortable in. She isn't even "aware" of what I secretely call the "pole dancer clothes" currently being marketed to girls her age. Sometimes I'm thinking I should step in and tell her that plaids and flowers really don't match - but I don't. She can get away with this becasue we homeschool - most of the homeschoolers I've seen, up until mid teens, could care less about the clothes they wear, LOL.

But she wants to fit in, but she really doesn't know what to fit into - YKWIM? I'm not keen on taking the 'fitting in" part very far, as I'm no fan of popular culture, hmm..I'm sounding kinda rigid now aren't I??!} but am trying to find a path of her own individuality. When she is with certain friends {who...ahem...thankfully moved out of town...} she becomes a "follower", vapid, plays silly games like "MASH" and revels in excluding girls to make them feel bad - like her younger sister and her firend. What I secretly call stupid silly girl bullshit. But with some other friends, she is so alive and into herself, rapid fire talking, and so present with who she is, and revelling in it. As I do watching her.

One of these firends is/was a boy who she knew since she was four, and he was six, and they were like brother and sister {I actually think they were connected ina former life somhow - LOL} but then he turned 13, and his voice lowered, and this really threw Zoe into a tailspin, and brought the whole "weird boy/girl thing" home - and now she is not comfortable like she used to be. {They were never alone - so no fear of something else having gone on...} The boy is a real sweetie, but the friendship has cooled off, as Zoe backed off really fast then. But the boy has always adored Zoe, and now maybe he is dealing with those kind of feelings as well. He goes to another school, and they saw eachother only two or three times a year sually at community celebrations etc. His mother and I knew this would come sooner or later - sad to see it now. Maybe they will connect up later in life. It was a great friendship.

So this is a challenge finding children, that she can be free with. Before all this puberty stuff this year, she was comforatable with all her
homeschooling boy buddies, which are many from the ages of seven up to fifteeen, but the puberty stuff has now made her self-conscious. So she hangs with the younger ones now. That is OK with me if that is how she can keep her comfort zone and be less self conscious. I am trying to find situations where she can "forget herself" and be comfortable being a girl and not feeling that boy/girl thing that she says "makes everything weird now."

But I want so many things for my daughters - I want them to have confidence in who they are, and not rely on others to give it to her - I want her to eventually delight in the feminine and honor that kind of power in her. But this will take time I know, and I'm still trying to work that one out at 43.

By the way - highly recommend a book called Packaging Girlhood - by Sharon Lamb. It talks extensivley about pervasive and insiduous marketing to girl's feelings of insecurity around this age, and what you can watch out for.


Julia
post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenmamasan View Post
But I want so many things for my daughters - I want them to have confidence in who they are, and not rely on others to give it to her - I want her to eventually delight in the feminine and honor that kind of power in her. But this will take time I know, and I'm still trying to work that one out at 43.


Julia
tee hee ... you sound like me!
I was lamenting the whole "blending in, look like everyone else" thing to one of my best friends (who has 2 boys). I said almost the exact thing to her .. that I want Abby to be comfortable in her own skin, and confident, happy, etc.

My friend Angie reminded me that we (she and I ) have just gotten to this point in our 30s/40s!
post #16 of 51

wanting to figure it all out for them..

I just realized from your post [DianaK} how totally crazy it is for me to think its my job make a smooth path for her and iron the bumps out of her journey ! And I'm under the assumption that she feels the way she does because something I did.. {which might be true - see first post} BUT I guess it is really pointless for me to look into the past and try to figure out what I might - or might not have done. It is NOT about me {is there a "der" smiley?!?!} and my comfort zone of whether I was a good mommy or not - but just trying to give her the space, and opportunities, that allow her to sparkle. And work on my stuff another way rather than through her experience. And try to do the same on the sparkle thing.

Which means, icksnaying convertly and gently those relationships that are sparkle toxic? Or am I trying to still control the outcome?

Yikes, I need more yoga maybe. I'm so much in my head, and its my heart that needs the attention. :
post #17 of 51
I have one daughter who just turned 16. We have had our moments over the past few years, but I really enjoy her
post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenmamasan View Post
I just realized from your post [DianaK} how totally crazy it is for me to think its my job make a smooth path for her and iron the bumps out of her journey ! And I'm under the assumption that she feels the way she does because something I did.. {which might be true - see first post} BUT I guess it is really pointless for me to look into the past and try to figure out what I might - or might not have done. It is NOT about me {is there a "der" smiley?!?!} and my comfort zone of whether I was a good mommy or not - but just trying to give her the space, and opportunities, that allow her to sparkle. And work on my stuff another way rather than through her experience. And try to do the same on the sparkle thing.

Which means, icksnaying convertly and gently those relationships that are sparkle toxic? Or am I trying to still control the outcome?

Yikes, I need more yoga maybe. I'm so much in my head, and its my heart that needs the attention. :
OMG ... I love the sparkle toxic ... I may have to use it!

I make no bones about it ... I would definitely put the ki-bosh on people/ situations I deemed dangerous, or in direct contrast with our family values. Call me old-fashioned ... but a large portion of my job as Mom is to protect my girls. NOT lock them up in an ivory tower, but attempt to steer them away from things they aren't ready to handle.

I realize that I cannot spare them from every heartache, as much as I'd like to. I think/hope that by having a better relationship with me (than I did with my mother), they can make more informed decisions.
post #19 of 51
I have three daughter ( 20, 18 and 13) they are all VERY different.

DD1 is my true flowerchild, she now has her own dd and is this amazing AP mama. She is very open, loving and the caretaker of the three

DD2 is loving, brillant and she is the introvert of the two older girls. She has struggled with an eating disorder the past two years, is in recovery. She is now a peer counselor for younger girl with ED's

DD3......you know I thought it would be easier with her, I have been down this road before...NOPE, she is a 13, soon to be 14 year,spitfire. She is "Spit and Vinager" as my grandma always said. She will argue any point for hours, She does not take " no" for an answer. She wears me thin on many days. I speak to her with complete respect, she rolls her eyes and yells at me. She does not want me to even make eye contact with her in the carpool lane, if I could figure out how to pull up and let her jump out without even making a complete stop, she would be all for it. She is sullen with me but to the rest of the world she is a stand up comic. To get in trouble for talking in school everyday is nothing foreign. She will even argue with the teachers about the value of write offs, busy work and the like. They have been in school only a month and I am on first name basis with every teacher she has. I tired, I am old and she may be the end of me. I love her so much " my baby" who was completly attached to my hip unitl she was 10, now cringes at my very existance. The other day when I was getting ready for her Vollyball game she said to me, "Mom, wear a bra,don't talk politics and pretend like your baptist" WTF....

Glad to know this thread is here!!!!
post #20 of 51
...ok...
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