Do you LIKE your kid(s)?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 04-14-2010, 12:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi All,

I haven't posted here in probably a couple of years! LOL But I am really struggling here, and don't know who to talk to. Lately I have come to realize, that right NOW, I am not sure that I like my child. Yes, I love her because she is my daughter. But I am finding that I don't really enjoy her company. Lots of stuff going on for me that probably influences my feelings here. First of all, I am in the middle of a divorce. My husband left me for another woman last year. It got reeeally ugly. He lied to me and treated me with absolute disrespect. And now I have caught my daughter lying to me about simple things like saying yes when I ask her if she flossed her teeth when in fact she hadn't. Because of the lies that soon-to-be-ex told me, I am overly sensitive to being lied to. It is now yet another of my triggers and believe me I already had enough to begin with. I am now living in this big house that I don't want to be in any more, but of course it is left to me to get the place ready to put on the market because the soon-to-be ex is now living in another state. And... I already have a boyfriend. Yes, I know, I shouldn't at this stage, but well, ya know, life happens. There were sparks flying the day that I met him, and we are emotionally and spiritually very well matched, something that I never had with my husband. So... gosh, I want to spend the nights with him but I can't because, you guessed it, soon-to-be ex is sleeping with his girlfriend in another state and I am left as the "custodial" parent to my 9 year old. Can't exactly set the example of letting my boyfriend of 3 months sleep over, now can I? So my resent my husband for being able to sleep with his lover but I can't sleep with mine, and that resentment is spilling over to my daughter. And I am resentful simply because she is a happy-go-lucky kid and I am fighting depression. But underneath all of that, she is just sooo different from me. I am struggling with the desire to want her to be her own person vs. what I want her to be. I just don't like all the girly stuff and the fascination with Taylor Swift, etc. She is sooo distractable, and I get frustrated when at 9 years old, I still have to walk down the hall every 2 minutes to make sure that she stays on task to get ready for school. Am I an awful Mom for even asking the question, "Is it Ok to not like my own kid?!?"

Whew. Thanks for listening. I feel a little better, but responses would be appreciated.

Shakti
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#2 of 15 Old 04-14-2010, 01:28 AM
 
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Hi All,

I haven't posted here in probably a couple of years! LOL But I am really struggling here, and don't know who to talk to. Lately I have come to realize, that right NOW, I am not sure that I like my child. Yes, I love her because she is my daughter. But I am finding that I don't really enjoy her company. Lots of stuff going on for me that probably influences my feelings here. First of all, I am in the middle of a divorce. My husband left me for another woman last year. It got reeeally ugly. He lied to me and treated me with absolute disrespect. And now I have caught my daughter lying to me about simple things like saying yes when I ask her if she flossed her teeth when in fact she hadn't. Because of the lies that soon-to-be-ex told me, I am overly sensitive to being lied to. It is now yet another of my triggers and believe me I already had enough to begin with. I am now living in this big house that I don't want to be in any more, but of course it is left to me to get the place ready to put on the market because the soon-to-be ex is now living in another state. And... I already have a boyfriend. Yes, I know, I shouldn't at this stage, but well, ya know, life happens. There were sparks flying the day that I met him, and we are emotionally and spiritually very well matched, something that I never had with my husband. So... gosh, I want to spend the nights with him but I can't because, you guessed it, soon-to-be ex is sleeping with his girlfriend in another state and I am left as the "custodial" parent to my 9 year old. Can't exactly set the example of letting my boyfriend of 3 months sleep over, now can I? So my resent my husband for being able to sleep with his lover but I can't sleep with mine, and that resentment is spilling over to my daughter. And I am resentful simply because she is a happy-go-lucky kid and I am fighting depression. But underneath all of that, she is just sooo different from me. I am struggling with the desire to want her to be her own person vs. what I want her to be. I just don't like all the girly stuff and the fascination with Taylor Swift, etc. She is sooo distractable, and I get frustrated when at 9 years old, I still have to walk down the hall every 2 minutes to make sure that she stays on task to get ready for school. Am I an awful Mom for even asking the question, "Is it Ok to not like my own kid?!?"

Whew. Thanks for listening. I feel a little better, but responses would be appreciated.

Shakti
That is a WHOLE lot to be dealing with right now!! I'm sorry about your ex being such a UAV.

Let's see, you gave a lot of information, which I think is so cool that you are able to be so forthright about your feelings. Since you asked just the one question, I'll answer....

IMHO, no, it's not okay to NOT like your own dc. BUT, it's certainly okay to not like their BEHAVIOR or something they DO. I totally relate to your dd being very different than you. My dd is obsessed (or so it seems sometimes) with the pop flavor of the month( I usually end up listening to Christian rock/pop or 80's music), has plans to move to Los Angeles right after high school (no offense to ya CA girls, but I peronally loathe LA-too much pavement, too much everything), thinks my crunchy or old fashioned ways are embarrassing, etc...

However, the older she gets, I see how we are seeming to be more and more alike. I try to look past our differences, as I really do think it's a combo of both generational issues and her age. I try to see what we have in common. She loves to shop. I hate to shop-unless it's at a thrift store. I feel lost walking into a big store-but I am in awe of how she can enter a store, scan it and start putting outfits together so uickly! I am learning to appreciate this talent! She loves to get manicures, but the stink inside the nail places gives me a horribole headache, so I buy her new polish and we do our nails together(and I wait next door at the coffee house when she does get her nails done). I am learning to fake it when it comes to her taste in music and clothes-I try to find something I like about the song she is listening to, or the person singing it. She is a girly-girl, and I seem to be destined to a forever state of tomboy. She goes for the glitz and I go for the comfort and quality. I compliment her everyday, even if it's just the color of eye shadow she wears.

I could go on and on, but you get it. Your issue with your dd requires a lot of work on your behalf-and that really is your job-not hers. I am having issues with my dd, and I woke up today resolved to keep my eyes on the big picture-I WANT and DESIRE a strong adult child/mom relationship. My own mom emotionally abandoned me when I was about 12-13, and while I REALLY needed her present in my life then, I also need her now. However, it is unsafe for me emotionally to have her in my life, as a result of her decision to put other things before me when I was a young teen and growing up. It had a profound effect on the longevity of our relationship-something she is really regretting and I am still left dealing with-especially when it impacts my relatuionship with my own dd.

Have you received any counseling? I ask, as my bff was recently divorced and she has described it to me as post traumatic stress. She is soon to start counseling (seeing my therapist! ) and until then she is putting all major decisions on hold.

hth

Me-The sad thing about truth, is that it has the ability to repel people.
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#3 of 15 Old 04-14-2010, 06:48 AM
 
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To answer your question, yes, I like my kids. DS isn't exactly what I would have ordered out of a catalogue - he's a punk rocker who wears ripped up clothes, colours his hair and styles it into spikes and listens to screamo music that drives me a little crazy. However, the clothes are clean, he styles his hair because at my request he doesn't tattoo or pierce, and he listens to my music that drives him a little crazy too. We respect each other's differences, and that is exactly what I wanted/worked for. In fact, one of the things I like/admire/love most about him is his independence and his respect for differences - even if his fashion and music tastes differ from mine. I don't like that I still have to remind him to pick up a dustcloth or vacuum once in a while, but overall we're good - he doesn't backchat, he does his homework, he listens to my advice whether he always accepts it or not.

This must be a heart-breakingly difficult time for your dd. Not only has she lost one parent who is no longer physically present, she's watching the other one become involved in an entirely different relationship. To bear the additional burden of being resented simply because she exists and limits your fun must be excruciating for her. It probably feels like she's been emotionally abandoned by both her parents - on top of the huge breakdown of her family life.

FWIW, this is my 2 cent psychological analysis of the situation - what's possible over the internet from a brief description (so you are entitled to ignore). If her behaviour has changed or if she is now focusing on things that you don't approve/appreciate, it may be because she is trying to send you a message. After all, if she has picked up that you resent her presence, it isn't surprising that she will translate that into a rejection. That makes it very possible that her preference for things you don't like is really a mirror of your rejection - she is now rejecting you, in a safe way. On some level, she must be terrified of being further abandoned.

You don't describe much about what you dislike. You listed:

-You resent her for being happy-go-lucky, which in the circumstances (broken family) is an amazing achievement for her.

-You don't like all the fascination with girly stuff and Taylor Swift etc., which is pretty normal and developmentally appropriate for a young adolescent girl. From what I can tell (I'm not too familiar with her music) Taylor Swift is a fairly good role model (as much as a celebrity role model can be). Since my kid's role models are Sid Vicious and his ilk, this one doesn't seem too extreme or unlikeable to me, but that's a personal preference.

-She is distractable and needs reminders to get ready for school - again, pretty normal for a young preteen/adolescent. Perhaps she is seeking a little extra attention from you and this is one way of getting it. I imagine with all of the family disruptions she needs some extra attention right now.

It's typical for an adolescent to assert their independence/otherness by separating from their parent's identity and exploring different tastes in music, clothes, and other interests. Then she has an added need for extra attention and emotional care in the middle of a family breakdown, with the bewildering feelings of betrayal and loss that she must be experiencing.

Even if you aren't getting counselling for your misplaced resentment, I hope you will get her help to handle the disruption and emotional upheaval in her life.

I would try to focus on the amazing things that you love and like about your dd. Every day, find something positive she is doing and recognize it. I think she sounds like a wonderful girl and I am so sad thinking about how hard her life must be right now.

Good luck with your situation.
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#4 of 15 Old 04-14-2010, 08:11 AM
 
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There are some days when I do have to remind myself, but yes, on the whole I do really like, and respect my kids, not to mention love them more than I could ever say. And you know what? I'm guessing you do too. Just posting here says that this is a relationship that's important to you.

I would strongly suggest that your dd needs you in the most profound way right now. There is major crisis in her life, and she needs strong parenting. Definitely it's important to have good self care and positive relationships in your life. But, your dd really needs you, and you might need to reach out for some help in order to be able to be there for her now. This is truly a time like no other in your child's life. Good luck.
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#5 of 15 Old 04-14-2010, 09:42 AM
 
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My son is exactly like me, and my daughter is the polar opposite. I like both of them, and always have. One keeps me kind of grounded, while the other keeps me on my toes - they keep my life interesting.

I agree that this is something for you to deal with, not her. I would seriously suggest some counseling to help you learn how to get to a better place.
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#6 of 15 Old 04-14-2010, 10:14 AM
 
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Yes, I like my kids. Some days it's harder than others, but yes, they delight me, even when they are very very very different from me.

It sounds like your 9 year old daughter needs some room to be 9 and to grieve the ripping apart of her home. She's there and stbx is not, so she's getting the brunt of your resentment and anger and budding depression.

Getting another grounded adult or therapist to talk to regularly might really help. For you, or if you don't want to do that, for her.
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#7 of 15 Old 04-14-2010, 05:22 PM
 
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It sounds like your 9 year old daughter needs some room to be 9 and to grieve the ripping apart of her home. She's there and stbx is not, so she's getting the brunt of your resentment and anger and budding depression.

Getting another grounded adult or therapist to talk to regularly might really help. For you, or if you don't want to do that, for her.
Yes, I urge you discuss this with a family therapist. Someone who can help you separate your feelings about your stbx from your dd. This could get very painful and damaging for your dd.

Think of it as an investment in your future with her. Fix this now, save both of you a whole lot of heart ache later.

Edited to add, my parents never divorced. They'd been married for 56 years when Mom died. But my mom did not respect my dad. I think she loathed him sometimes. Let me warn you, Shakti, I absorbed that loathing and disdain. I am quite a bit like my dad and though she never said anything directly I picked up the message from her loud and clear, "You are deficient, you are a disappointment, in every way that you are like your father I am disappointed." It ruined our relationship forever.

Edited again, Am I an awful Mom for even asking the question, "Is it Ok to not like my own kid?" NO, not awful at all! I think it's a great start. What would be awful is if you acknowledged to yourself that you feel this way but then chose not to do anything to fix it.

IMO you can't always help what you feel. But don't kid yourself, she's already picking up on your resentment. Put yourself in her shoes, how would you feel if your mom's attitude towards you was that of a custodian?

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#8 of 15 Old 04-14-2010, 05:39 PM
 
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Like any other long term relationship.. some years are better than others. My son age 13, gave me fits last year. This year, he's much milder and easier to take. My dd is 16, doesn't have any serious issues with either of her parents but won't work as hard with her schoolwork as we'd like. The trick is to keep a routine, keep your expectations clear and keep on loving them.
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#9 of 15 Old 04-15-2010, 02:35 AM
 
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Just a thought, have you ever thought of having your dd go to a sleep over at a friends house? Maybe trade with another family, you take my kid Friday nights and I take yours Sunday kinda thing or you could hire a sitter for the night and go to his place. You also have the option of having him come over after she's asleep and leave before she wakes up. Quickie on your lunch break? I mean come on, there's lots of ways, ask any other single mom, its quite possible to be a single mom and have a sex life without your child knowing.

So what if you don't like each others music, ear phones are a wonderful invention that leaves everyone happy

As for the lying and needing to constantly hound her about getting ready, she's 9, its normal, deal with it. My dd is the same, drives me insane and its one of my hot buttons ( I mean really, should it take 1 HOUR to put on jeans, t-shirt, socks and shoes? ugh! She can do it in 2 minutes flat if its for something SHE wants to do like go play with friends but heaven forbid we have an appt somewhere!) but its normal and to think its only going to get worse so you might as well try to find some common ground even if it seems like something stupid but its at least something you agree on and can connect over

Seriously?
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#10 of 15 Old 04-15-2010, 03:19 AM
 
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why cant you have the bf over? if you guys are in a committed relationship i dont see any issue. if you feel it is wrong maybe the relationship can be put on hold? either way it shouldn't matter what your stbx is doing with his gf. you need to focus on you and your dd at this time. take the time and really get on her level and think about what she is going through. really taylor swift is not a bad role model and i know plenty of women who like her and her love songs (not my style either but i digress..)

mama to one '07 and one '09
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#11 of 15 Old 04-15-2010, 05:48 PM
 
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I definitely think it's normal to feel this way considering the stress you've been under. However, if you let it continue to fester, you're only going to damage your daughter and your relationship with your daughter. IMO, it is too soon to bring your BF around your DD. It would be one thing if she wasn't just abandoned by her father...but since she was, her emotional well-being is top priority right now. My advice to you is to step back from the relationship because your preoccupation with your new BF is threatening your first priority---your relationship with your daughter and your own depression. It's a distraction from the real issues. Otherwise, you wouldn't be posting this....listen to your gut instincts!

Consciously mothering 3 girls and 2 boys
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#12 of 15 Old 04-15-2010, 07:36 PM
 
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I definitely think it's normal to feel this way considering the stress you've been under. However, if you let it continue to fester, you're only going to damage your daughter and your relationship with your daughter. IMO, it is too soon to bring your BF around your DD. It would be one thing if she wasn't just abandoned by her father...but since she was, her emotional well-being is top priority right now. My advice to you is to step back from the relationship because your preoccupation with your new BF is threatening your first priority---your relationship with your daughter and your own depression. It's a distraction from the real issues. Otherwise, you wouldn't be posting this....listen to your gut instincts!

Someone moved my effing cheese.
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#13 of 15 Old 04-15-2010, 11:06 PM
 
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I definitely think it's normal to feel this way considering the stress you've been under. However, if you let it continue to fester, you're only going to damage your daughter and your relationship with your daughter. IMO, it is too soon to bring your BF around your DD. It would be one thing if she wasn't just abandoned by her father...but since she was, her emotional well-being is top priority right now. My advice to you is to step back from the relationship because your preoccupation with your new BF is threatening your first priority---your relationship with your daughter and your own depression. It's a distraction from the real issues. Otherwise, you wouldn't be posting this....listen to your gut instincts!
SOOOO well said!!

Me-The sad thing about truth, is that it has the ability to repel people.
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#14 of 15 Old 04-21-2010, 05:23 PM
 
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Shakti, THANK YOU for posting this!! It is with tears in my eyes that I respond to you. Because we are sharing similar emotional shit right now.

I don't have any answers, but I have support for you.

I feel horrible to say that I am having feelings of not wanting to be around my son, who is 11. It's a hard struggle, but our differences, and his lack of focus/desire to do ANYTHING make me want to turn him over to his father to parent for a while. What's worse is that I have a 9 year old son who I adore, we just "click".

Frustration. Again, I thank you for posting this. It's confirmation that we are still *people*, not just parents. We have emotions, and we have needs. While the love for our children is there, this "job" of parenting is exhausting, and LOOOOOONG.

I hope by the time this message finds you, you're in a "better" mental space. Every day is so different, is it not?

Warmth and love to you,
Em

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#15 of 15 Old 04-21-2010, 09:02 PM
 
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I think it is good that you can verbalize these feelings.

It sounds like your negative feelings have nothing to do with your child's behavior. She sounds like a typical 9 year old, as you said, she is happy-go-lucky. The fact that you can see you resent her just for being carefree is one example of what I mean by these feelings having nothing to do with your child. This isn't really even about disliking her behavior vs. her...this just is not about her at all.

It sounds like what you resent right now is parenting, period. Just the daily work of parenting, the sacrifice, the priority it (rightly) takes in your life, all made harder by the choices of your ex.

I don't know what, beyond counseling, could help you get back on track and enjoy parenting again, and help you sort out these feelings.

I will say, having been close to families that divorce--that the single biggest source of negative energy I have seen is the consuming emotions going towards a new lover. They result in feelings of disliking parenting, of even resenting it--not just in you--but in many parents I have known. Suddenly, the work of parenting, which they were prepared to do up to that point, and which they found ways to manage as a single parent, become a resented burden as they try to justify or explain their situation to a new person who wants their time and attention, without sharing a deep commitment to your child. I'm not saying you don't feel these things sometimes as a parent no matter what your situation--I am saying that I see it come out worst when a recently separated parent finds a new lover. It is almost like having a new baby, except that it isn't.

Because you can articulate your feelings so well I would suggest counseling, because I think a counselor could help you work through these big changes.

I think if you just focus on enjoying moments with your dd, and relax and trust that if your boyfriend is serious about you, he will be there when life settles down for you a bit, it will take some of the pressure off your sense of dislike of your dd. Trust that it will work out. You have been through a lot of betrayal and upheaval. And so has your daughter.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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