How do your parenting philosophies affect your relationships with your parents?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 05-16-2003, 06:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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The "how do your parenting philosophies affect your friendships" link got me thinking . . . .

How does parenting affect your relationships with your own parents? Can you better relate to your parents now or do you resent them a little? Do any of them disagree with your parenting style bc they didn't choose the same?

Sometimes I find myself in the back of my mind upset that my mom raised us the way that she did, given what I know now. I try not to judge her, because she was single most of the time while she was raising the 5 of us and going to school when she wasn't working. I've always respected her so much for her strenght and her independence. But she was never around and we all kind of took care of each other. Mom had been very abused growing up and had an attitude that we were "fine as long as you have food and shelter." I suppose that it's especially hard for me to understand bc mom is a fantastic and compassionate nurse and has finally accoplished her dream of being a certified midwife. I feel like it just doesn't make sense that she is so warm and knowledgeable about children when it comes to other people, but never had the energy for any of us. She is extremely supportive of my parenting choices and encourages me all the way, but I can't help but feel bad bringing up that I will never do something with my kids that was standard with us. It's hard for me bc I don't ever want to seem condescending, as I said before I have the upmost respect for her. I really do think that she did the best that she could with the resources she had, and in the long run it really helped me strenghthen my choices as an adult. So I'm not here trying to bash her, just give you all my story and hoping you'll share yours with me.
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#2 of 15 Old 05-16-2003, 07:28 PM
 
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I havent had any problems with my parents in regards to my parenting style. And i raise my children differently than they did me. but just because i raise my kids differently, in no way means that my parents style was poor. i had a great life. your mom must have done something right for you to be the thoughtful caring parent you are today. and raising 5 kids alone, with little support seems overwhelming to me. i just couldnt imagine it. maybe you should give your mom a break, cut her some slack and let go of some of your anger or resentment. i am in no way trying to minimize your feelings. the way you were raised i can see why you might feel the way you do. but i believe in alot of cases our parents do the best that they can with what they have. i am so lucky, my mom is my best friend, and my dad and i were so very close. he died at the age of 54, about 4 years ago. i only hope that i can give my kids, the same things they gave me (and no, my mom didnt breastfeed, cosleep, sling, or GD) emotionally. a strong sense of self, unconditional love and self respect.

and sometimes when we forgive, i find i have to soemtimes do it on a daily basis, kwim?
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#3 of 15 Old 05-17-2003, 12:15 AM
 
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#4 of 15 Old 05-17-2003, 02:25 PM
 
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They are in awe of us.

Mind you, we have had it easy

a

The anti-Ezzo king
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#5 of 15 Old 05-17-2003, 02:34 PM
 
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My mom seems genuinely supportive of the decisions that dh and I make. EXCEPT, she is truly sad that I may not return to work. She went back to work when I was 4 months old because her career was important to her.
My father and step-mother are much less supportive about certain choices, mostly co-sleeping. My step-mother, too, is not very supportive of my wanting to stay home.
I hate feeling like I have to justify my decisions, so I try to avoid the topic if possible.
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#6 of 15 Old 05-17-2003, 02:56 PM
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My mom and I have had a strained relationship since I became a mom. She doesn't understand why I am not raising my dd the way we were raised, she feels a constant need to have her own parenting validated, is extremely negative about almost every decision I make (non vax, cosleeping, homebirth, etc) - it is exhausting talking to her because it really doesn't matter what I say, she is very negative about it. It is not that she was a bad mom, she wasn't - it is just that I choose to parent by instinct and she doesn't understand why I don't just do it how she did it.
I could have written word for word what JC Cat posted. My sister has a baby just two weeks younger than my dd and is doing *everything* my mom thinks is "normal" parenting-wise. My poor nephew was nursed for 6 weeks and started spending overnight weekends at my parents house since he was 8 weeks old. The typical detached style of parenting. My sister is due with baby #2 in 20 days -- scheduled elective c-section.
:

So, in comparison, my sister is doing *everything* right and I am the weirdo for AP-ing dd. It's a crazy-mixed-up-world, I tell you.
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#7 of 15 Old 05-18-2003, 02:49 PM
 
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My relationship with my Mom is definately strained when it comes to my parenting. She thinks I put way to much of myself into raising my kids. But I WANTED them, so I love doing it. I also think my mom didn't want to be a mom. She was never huggy and kissy, never emotionally there when I was a kid.
They smoked a lot of pot, and it makes me sad now. Because I think that she did it alot, to escape from her reality, which was me and my brother. I feel terrible about that. DH and just talked about it last night.
I want to be 100% present with my kids. Even on bad days I don't wish to escape.
I think I love being a mom, and she is angry about it.
It is sad!

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mama to 6 amazing children joy.gif married to my main man for 21 years love.gif and finally home FULL time dishes.gifhang.gifknit.gif

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#8 of 15 Old 05-19-2003, 12:48 AM
 
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This thread really struck a cord with me. I just finished talking to my mother a bit ago on the telephone. I haven't seen her since Ian was 2 weeks old. She came down from Michigan (I'm in Florida) to help out for the 1st two weeks. Anywhoo... I was relating to her that sometimes I just don't know WHAT to do with Ian... My cloudy memories of babies in the house (I was 12 when the last one was born), was them eating, sleeping, being changed & held. Then my mind skips to the 6-9 month age... So here I am walking Ian around the house because he doesn't want to be put down, doesn't want me to sit down, and doesn't want to go to sleep or nurse. We play airplane for HOURSSSS (okay, maybe one hour :LOL ), and wonder back & forth around the house.

I said this and my mom said, "well, I was never able to that, I would just put them down & they might cry for a couple minutes, but then they went to sleep."

My mother has always been my image of one of the world's best mother. Now I am just -- well, I'm not sure what to think. I am kinda worried -- I just had a vision of visiting this summer & leaving my baby with my mom & sibs for an hour or two, and coming home to find that, "he didn't want to sleep in the crib at first, but he settled down after 5 minutes of crying." My heart breaks at the very thought.

To respond to the OP, I think I have to say that my relationship is definitely changing from a child's "hero worship" of their parent, to one of two people with differing philosophies on child-rearing. Luckily, my mother isn't the sort to push her way or opinion. She will share what she did/thinks, but she doesn't push or ever say "you should..." I really hope this doesn't impair the closeness I've felt with her.

So I guess in my usual long-winded way, I'm saying that I'm not sure how it will change our relatively open relationship, I am relating to her less than I thought, though, and she would never dream of interfering with my parenting or marriage by telling me she disagreed with something I was doing -- unless I asked. I guess I'm pretty lucky.
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#9 of 15 Old 05-19-2003, 01:14 AM
 
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I think our style of parenting has opened up my relationship with my mom. She and my dad weren't the best parents - Dad had/has a drinking problem, both were abusive at times, fought with each other in front of us, etc. However, I always got the feeling that Mom loved me. It's better now, too, that she's gotten on antidepressants. It helps a lot.

Now that I'm a mom, I'm more curious about her experiences as a first-time mom with me. I ask questions, and the answers I get are sometimes tinged with remorse and guilt. But she also says that if she had more info like I do, she'd have done things very differently. She'd have coslept and made more of an effort to breastfeed longer than 4 months. I think she'd also have gotten treatment for her illness sooner had she known how profoundly it affected her parenting.

I think she's proud of me for following my instincts. She's a good grandma, and my DD loves her so much!

I don't know how my dad feels really. He was home briefly when we went for Easter (he's a trucker now) and looked at DD but didn't care to hold her. Called her "Jess's leech", which I was offended by. I know he was joking, but I think it's demeaning to call kids things like that. He did comment that she was very quiet at night. I told him that she just squirms around when she wants to eat & that wakes me up, so no crying needed. I do think he was surprised that DH wasn't sleeping in bed with me, though (small bed, not big enough for 2 bigs and a little). I guess Mom hadn't mentioned the cosleeping.
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#10 of 15 Old 05-19-2003, 01:15 AM
 
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My parents try very very hard to respect our decisions but they do not understand them. They never let on whether they feel judged by my choosing differently, but they might. I try to talk about it all in a way that shows I don't judge their choices. It is more strained with my 4 sisters, all of whom are WAY more mainstream than I - my oldest sis never breastfed either of her kids, not even colostrum. But we (none of us) didn't know anything about it back then and she was pretty young. they all think I am very strange but they don't really say anything to my face. i know for certain i get discussed regularly when we're not around. It's okay. i don't agree with them, they don't agree with me. We're even.

I have to admit there's this evil part of me just waiting for my kid to turn out way better than theirs. Actually, she already is.

Is that wrong?
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#11 of 15 Old 05-19-2003, 02:30 AM
 
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doulamoon: yes, it's wrong -- because MY kid is the best. Seriously, though, I think it's your duty as a mom to KNOW that your children are the best. If our parents aren't biased on our behalf, then who will be?!
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#12 of 15 Old 05-19-2003, 03:56 AM
 
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My birth mom supports me fully with all my "odd" ways of raising DS. It's so nice to hear it put into words that someone (besides DH and I) think co-sleeping, non-circ'in, restrained vax'ing and whatever are good things. She knows I think about things carefully before I decide and she trusts me.

My MIL is supportive... I think. She's never said anything contrary to what I've done. Actually, she's even surprised me. Tuesdays and Thursdays I go into the office to work for 4 hours and she watches DS. At first, I was going in for 2 hours, coming home to nurse, then going back for the other 2 hours. Lately, I've been going in for the whole 4 hours straight. DS is kinda eating ceral now and other foods. I didn't have any fresh EBM available, so I told her it was OK if she wants to give DS formula (please don't get angry; if he's getting other foods, two servings of formula a week I didn't think would make a huge difference). When I came home, she didn't do the formula like I expected and even "allowed," she thawed some milk I had expressed a while ago, before I realized I need to scald it, so it didn't taste too great but it was mom's milk. She knew I didn't *really* want DS to have formula, even though I said it was OK. She did things very differently than her mother did (thank goodness!) so she understands. I love this lady!

My step mom who raised me is a different story. "Is he sleeping in his crib yet?" No. I've made it clear that there's no way he'll start that until he's had his vax's. The link between vax and SIDS scares me, and the best defense for SIDS I know it cosleeping. Since I didn't start any vaxes until 6 months and I'm stretching the schedule this'll take some time. Besides, it's not like it affects how well she sleeps at night. "Is he on solid foods yet?" Well, we try, but he doesn't particularlly like it. He's 22lbs at 6.5mo... in the 97% for weight and length. He's obviously healthy and I'm certain he'll figure out solids before college so what's the rush? She's not a very affectionate person. I really think she has some self esteem issues of her own. Whenever I mention that I read this or that, she comes back with, "I never read any of the books. I figured every child's an individual and threw all the books out the window." This bugs me because I think we all would have been a bit happier if she *did* read some books. I don't feel that I was given a perfect example to follow so I needed more information. Since I do things differently that she did, she gets defensive. I've never told her that I felt she did things wrong. I just happen to like cosleeping and nursing beyond 6 months and having a baby boy with his genitals intact. If she didn't want to, whatever. It's done and can't be changed.

My step mom in law I've never met. We've talked on the phone a bit, but that's about all. She was so sweet though. She asked permission to be a grandma to my DS. She doesn't have any children of her own so this is as close as she's gonna get.

I have too many moms! Mother's day wasn't terribly relaxing because I was doing more pampering than I was being pampered. I think once I have more children than moms it'll even out. =) Well, at least as many kids as moms.
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#13 of 15 Old 05-19-2003, 01:50 PM
 
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This has been something that I have been thinking about a lot since dd was born. I have always been super close with my mother and she has been a poster-child of motherhood to me. It's always been very clear to both my brother and I that we were the most important people in her life. She sacrificed a lot for us and was always there for us. In terms of being an AP parent, she practiced many of the concepts, such as bf me for 9 months, co-sleeping for the first 2 years (same room but not the same bed, gentle discipline, etc. I think as we got older, however, and other stresses in her life took over (my dad is a recovering alcoholic), her patience wore out a lot. Nevertheless, she was always there for us.

However, after I had my dd, I started to feel really distant from her. Part of it was that I felt that she was pushing her views onto me. At the time she had me, she was very well-read and was really into parenting me. So, she had a lot of advice to dispense to me. But, she failed to realize that nearly 30 years had gone by and that some things had changed. I didn't agree with some of the stuff that she was telling me. She continued to push and I pulled away. It made me so incredibly sad because she was the one that I always turned to for advice and I felt that I couldn't and didn't want to turn to her for advice now She, in turn, felt rejected and defensive about her choices. I don't think I handled the situation very well either because I was too forceful in telling her why I wouldn't take her advice on certain things. This made her defend her choices. I realized finally, that she did the very best she could at the time. Afterall, who knows what my dd will be saying to me in 30 years when I explain the concept of AP to her. Different parenting trends emerge and different research is done. I'd like to think that we can all learn from advancement. That's the logical answer. But, when dealing with parents, you aren't always dealing with logic. I found that I was butting heads with my mom more and more. Now that dd is 15 months old, I think that I have relaxed a bit more and she has backed off. In between, however, are a lot of hurt feelings and resentment. I hope that we can work through these things.

I guess to answer te OP's original question, now that I'm a parent, I fully appreciate all of the sacrifices that my mom has made for us and I totally respect her for them. I also feel that she was a wonderful parent and that we are much better people because of it. At the same time, I kind of resent some things from my childhood which really bother me now (such as hearing my parents fight, getting spanked ocassionally, etc.) Being a parent makes me look at those things with different eyes and see how they impacted me. I'm trying not to be too hard on my parents, however, because they are only human. Like one of the other poster's said, the "hero-worship" that I had for my mom has turned into more of an understanding that we have different philosophies on some aspects of parenting. On other aspects of parenting, I still follow what she has done. Namely, being there for my dd, letting her know that she is the world to me and giving ALL of myself to her. That's one of the best and most valuable things that I learned from my mom. All the other little differences can be overcome. Sorry for the long post.....this thread just really struck a note with me!

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#14 of 15 Old 05-19-2003, 05:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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delighted.mama~ Thanks for your reply, that's exactly what I was trying to say.
Quote:
now that I'm a parent, I fully appreciate all of the sacrifices that my mom has made for us and I totally respect her for them. I also feel that she was a wonderful parent and that we are much better people because of it. At the same time, I kind of resent some things from my childhood which really bother me now (such as hearing my parents fight, getting spanked ocassionally, etc.) Being a parent makes me look at those things with different eyes and see how they impacted me. I'm trying not to be too hard on my parents, however, because they are only human.
I think sweetbaby3 misunderstood me and thought I was bashing her, as much as I tried to prevent it from looking that way. I know she's only human and I know no one is perfect. I understand her decisions a lot more than I used to, even though they woud not be my ideal, like when she married an abusive man she didn't love so that wouldn't have to be in daycare and so we'd have some sort of "family model" around. I cannot deny that I still harbor a resentment, especially when she admitted to me a couple of years ago that it wasn't my imagination that he hated me, singled me out for torment, and beat her when she wanted to do things for me (I reminded him of my dad). It has been hard for me to accept the fact that mom married a man that hated one of her children, and consequently abused both of us, just to have a "help."
But I also understand why she so sorely needed that help. My mom is one of the strongest and most wonderful women I know, and regardless of anything I would not have chosen I look up to her in ways that words cannot describe. I cannot fathom what it takes to raise 5 kids while working full-time, going to school part-time to earn her masters. We were flat broke and she refused to ever ask the government for money, no matter what it meant going without. She would maintain a huge garden through the summer and spending months canning and freezing veggies so that we got good food, she remodeled her own house and fixed her own car whenever it needed fixed. . . My mother is amazing and she has total Goddess/Hero status for me.
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#15 of 15 Old 05-19-2003, 06:13 PM
 
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I just want to add that after having dd, I appreciate my mom's conscious choice to have a second child - me! Knowing how challenging it is, and knowing that she had me on purpose - I am in awe.

Actually I am in awe of all of you who have more than one. I wish I could be one of you.
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