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Parenting - where I went wrong

(147 Posts)
jeanrobinson Thu 03-Sep-20 22:54:29

I often look back at parenting my two children, and wish I could do it over again, knowing what I know now. I would love to rear my second child again. After a difficult caesarean and heavy blood loss, I was not well enough to bond. That she turned out well is to her credit, not mine But there was something I did right with the first. From early on he was clearly mathematical, like his father, so at bedtime after our story, I would talk about what we did during the day, using words for emotions, like "you were cross and upset when your ice lolly fell off the stick before you had finished it". Now middle aged and a father, he thanks me for this, as he is emotionally literate. Alas many men are not.

maddyone Thu 03-Sep-20 23:07:51

I think most of us look back and think that we could have done things better, especially with child rearing. I certainly do. I think I’d write on my report ‘Could do better.’

crazyH Thu 03-Sep-20 23:09:55

There's no right or wrong way.......If I think about it, I'm sure I could have done better as a parent. But I choose not to overthink. So should you.
At the end of the day, the Nature vs Nurture debate has gone on forever, with no winner in sight.

TrendyNannie6 Thu 03-Sep-20 23:18:56

Parenting doesn’t come with a manual, it’s something you learn as you go along, I’m sure most of us did our best, I think it’s natural to look back and think, I could have done this, or I shouldn’t have done that, I don’t believe the perfect parent exists, I’m there for all my AC and that’s what matters, they know they are all loved dearly,

Maggiemaybe Thu 03-Sep-20 23:20:50

I’d guess that most of us could think of things we could have done better. We could probably also have done a lot worse. smile And no doubt we did the best we could at the time.

MissAdventure Thu 03-Sep-20 23:23:14

Well, I am doing it all over again, and making more of a pig's ear of it than I did the first time around.
I'm more tired, more irritable and a million times less patient than I ever was. and i wasn't very patient the first time round

Lucca Fri 04-Sep-20 04:42:26

Weirdly comforting MissA to hear somebody else was irritable and impatient.! I wasn’t happy in my marriage and I try to blame that. However my boys seem to think I was a fine mother in spite of that. Ithink my DIL is the most marvellous mother, so patient.

downtoearth Fri 04-Sep-20 05:21:15

MissA.... we are doing our best,but like you less energy and the strain and worry of doing it alone,its harder second time around ,thats without the emotional side of it,theirs and ours,we just jog along and do our best,its alll we can doflowers
From one nan to another

grandMattie Fri 04-Sep-20 05:42:48

I can’t imagine any parent saying they were perfect. Of course, we all make mistakes but one hopes that they are do not damage the children. Often, one finds the last child most well in their skin as the parent relaxes, etc.
I think the worst thing is criticism from GPS and trying to keep up with the Jones’s. Facebook has a lot to answer for - the yummy mummy, the perfect child who learns the violin at 2, passes GCSE physics at 3 and is fluent in Mandarin at 4...

absent Fri 04-Sep-20 07:03:57

It seems to me that if you have an adult son or daughter who is leading a happy life, has friends, has hobbies and/or interests, has a job she/he values or finds interesting and is good at, has children who are loved and valued, has children who love and value their grandparents and so on and so on, then you have done pretty damn well!

HolyHannah Fri 04-Sep-20 07:12:35

I have to offer a different view...

Children mimic and react to the emotional state of their care-givers.

If you are impatient/quick to temper etc. how is a child likely to react? Children do not possess adult emotional coping skills and will react with the behaviors/emotions demonstrated to them by the adults around them.

So, if you want an angry/impatient/irritable child under your care, the way to accomplish 'that' is to be that kind of parent/grand-parent/care-giver... But please, do not blame the CHILD for their reactions/responses.

MissAdventure -- "I'm more tired, more irritable and a million times less patient than I ever was. and i wasn't very patient the first time round"

Children will stress you less if you make your own/adult situation(s) easier. Minor children in your care have ZERO ability to change the family/home/adult dynamic but YOU DO.

MissAdventure -- I'd offer more concise/blunt/honest feedback/advice but there would be "objections" due to the truth/reality of what I would say.

Jane10 Fri 04-Sep-20 07:20:09

HolyHannah Well duh. We know!!

Lucca Fri 04-Sep-20 07:46:51

Holyhannah. Nobody sets out to get things wrong do they ?
Are you a perfect parent ?

Poppyred Fri 04-Sep-20 07:59:37

The all knowing HolyHannah wow!

BlueBelle Fri 04-Sep-20 08:10:18

Holyhannah you picked the right name there

Yes I too wish I d done lots of things differently and definitely would now but the situations different I m not with an emotionally draining man who was never around to give any support either physically, emotionally, or financially i can see things clearer now but as MissA has pointed out when you in the middle of the juggling game you are forced to act very differently to when you are on the outside looking in or back

GagaJo Fri 04-Sep-20 08:18:13

I was not a good parent. I loved my child but struggled as a mother for many reasons. I used to think I was just not maternal, but I’m a lovely granny, and cared for GC full time for 2 years. So now wonder if I was just too young and without the emotional skills, following a poor upbringing myself and being married to an alcoholic.

Pantglas2 Fri 04-Sep-20 08:27:40

A wise person once told me ‘it’s easy to bring up other people’s children - it’s your own you struggle with’!

There’s always one person in RL/online who knows exactly where you went wrong, what you should’ve done, what they know better than you et cetera, blah blah!

What a miserable existence and how lonely to be the only perfect parent around!

midgey Fri 04-Sep-20 08:31:21

MissA you are doing your best in a nightmare situation. I admire you. flowers

DanniRae Fri 04-Sep-20 08:39:28

I hesitate to put my 'not perfect' mother post - I don't want to be judged by Holyhannah
My goodness how proud she must be to even give herself that name...........and I would also say how brave she must be too! hmm

Urmstongran Fri 04-Sep-20 08:40:40

I was the ‘soft’ parent and my husband more the disciplinarian. Good cop/bad cop I suppose. Now I look back and think as long as one of the parents has the reins, so to speak, things work out fine. Our daughters are close to us and we all chat away like friends.

Could we have done better? For sure. We made some wrong decisions along the way. Did we love them? Most definitely. Good enough just has to be good enough with parenting I think.

Chewbacca Fri 04-Sep-20 08:41:07

I'm full of admiration for those grans amongst us who, for various reasons, are on the parenting roundabout one more time. It has its challenges the first time around, when we're young, inexperienced and don't know what we're doing. Doing it again in our later years, with all the additional challenges that brings, is a whole new ball game. I take my hat off to you.

As for HolyHannah's post I'd offer more concise/blunt/honest feedback/advice but there would be "objections" due to the truth/reality of what I would say. wink

Lucca Fri 04-Sep-20 08:41:17

* MissAdventure -- I'd offer more concise/blunt/honest feedback/advice but there would be "objections" due to the truth/reality of what I would say.*. Well holyhannah I’m not sure missA needs your feedback/advice

travelsafar Fri 04-Sep-20 08:42:38

Oh yes i would love to turn the clock back and be starting my family all over again and not making the mistakes i did first time. Sadly that is not possible. MY kids are all ok and turned out well but i still feel that i could have done so much better than i did. Would be love to be a parent nowadays, so much help, support and guidance out there for those who are struggling.

Urmstongran Fri 04-Sep-20 08:45:34

Let’s not be mean to each other on here.

MissA does a fantastic job under heartbreaking circumstances (and older too while she’s at it which can’t be easy) and I very much admire her.

I gather that HH had a very unhappy childhood so it’s quite understandable she has personal knowledge about what harm can be done to a child through bad parenting and puts a lot of effort and thought into doing it better herself.

Both I’m sure are good people.

Luckygirl Fri 04-Sep-20 08:45:46

We are none of us perfect, so never perfect parents. Some of the things I look back on and feel I did not do well by them I have discovered that they do not even remember!

During my career I had reason to meet many really really bad parents, so I had the consolation of being able to tell myself that I was not as bad as that!

When it comes to parenting, good enough is good enough.