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Asking their son or daughter "What kind of a mum was I?"

(83 Posts)
Serendipity22 Mon 07-Sep-20 15:39:33

I've thought many a time I wonder what my childs answer would be ?

Obviously, if its asked, the true answer may not divulged, or not in the true context.

I know that I haven't been a bad mum, and that is certainly not in any way, shape or form, bragging.

I suppose its 1 of those discussions that arises when a parent has died, ohh my mum/dad was this or that and obviously then we will.never know.

Maybe some of us don't want to know, but me personally, I would just find it interesting to know my childs reflection of their childhood.

I certainly don't need signed, sealed and delivered affirmation that I was beyond, beyond the most wonderful mum that walked this planet, I am just curious I guess.

Is anyone else of the same thinking ? (((( Or maybe it's just me ! ))))hmm

Ilovecheese Mon 07-Sep-20 15:41:32

I suspect that I would get a different answer from each child.

TrendyNannie6 Mon 07-Sep-20 15:46:36

No, I don’t really feel the need to know to be honest, I’ve always done the best I could, what if it came back and the reply that I was a shocker 😂😂😂 I’d be mortified, but seriously I don’t really feel the need to ask, I tend to live more in the now and I’m carrying how I always did although obviously they are AC , also what could you do about it if you get an answer you don’t like, or one of my lot says you weren’t and the others say you were and are. You can’t change things

Sparklefizz Mon 07-Sep-20 16:14:54

Opening Pandora's Box !! shock

Calendargirl Mon 07-Sep-20 16:25:00

My DS is always telling his children what a hard childhood he and his sister had, no toys, getting smacked, made to do chores......

Not true of course, well, the smacks were😳, but in all seriousness, they didn’t have much spent on them compared to what they spend on their children, holidays, presents, meals out etc., so I do wonder what they really think to their rather more frugal upbringing.

We were much more careful, tried to save etc. not the same mindset.

geekesse Mon 07-Sep-20 16:43:48

I think the measure of one’s parenting is usually found in the relationship one has with the offspring as adults. That my kids actually choose to visit, go out for meals etc means they choose, as adults, to spend time with me. I take that as affirmation that, taking all things into account, they must think that my parenting was OK. And I look at them sometimes think ‘you know, I’d like you as a person even if you weren’t my child’.

kircubbin2000 Mon 07-Sep-20 16:49:41

I would be afraid to ask as I was ill after daughter and kids had a hard time with child minder. She didn't notice the younger ones being badly bullied.
Eldest son still complains about being neglected by his dad. Never played football, bought ice cream,never allowed on fairground rides etc. I tried to explain that in those days dads were mostly at work or out but he still resents this.

AGAA4 Mon 07-Sep-20 16:52:49

I am proud of all my children. They have all done well in their lives but mostly they are all kind-hearted and caring and I hope that maybe I was a good enough parent.

JenniferEccles Mon 07-Sep-20 16:59:17

I agree with geekesse
There is no such thing as a perfect parent- we all learn as we go along, but if we have a good relationship with our children once they are adults and if they seek us out, then we must have done something right.

Having said that I don’t think I would like to ask them outright !

fevertree Mon 07-Sep-20 17:07:14

Firstly, I think it was Maya Angelou who said When I knew better, I did better (I have quoted that to my children from time to time smile )

Secondly, there was a time when I would have been very critical of my mother who sadly died when I was 45. Now that I am 71, I realise how lucky I was and what a great mother she was despite the difficulties she faced as a single mother raising three children. The point I am making is that people see things differently over time - so there is no point in asking my children now - and I hope for the opposite of what Shakespeare said in that I hope for the good that (wo)men do lives after them, the bad is interred with their bones ...

kircubbin2000 Mon 07-Sep-20 17:10:35

I was told yesterday that at least all my children are 'normal'. All my friends seem to be dealing with single mum's, divorces, illness or problem grandchildren. Just when they thought they could retire in peace their lives are disrupted.

Toadinthehole Mon 07-Sep-20 17:19:01

That’s really weird Serendipity. Just today, I’ve had a lovely email from one of my daughters telling me what a lovely mum I was 🥰. It came about, because a few weeks ago we were talking, about gransnet actually. I was discussing how many grans plan to sit and do all sorts of things with their grandchildren, baking, making things etc. I have no interest in this, and couldn’t even remember doing it as a mum. My daughter reminded me of all the things I did do, and what a happy childhood she had. It brought tears to my eyes. All my children have said they had a great childhood, but never mentioned specifics. So this was prompted....unintentionally, by me saying I felt I wasn’t as good as I could have been. So maybe you could do the same, rather than ask them directly. A week had passed since our discussion, and her email. She’s obviously been pondering over it. My gut feeling is....you were just right, because your mindset is there now, so most likely was as a young mum. Hope you get your answers🤗

Toadinthehole Mon 07-Sep-20 17:20:52

Sorry, that should have read, there’s been a week between our discussions and her email, which came today.

sparklingsilver28 Mon 07-Sep-20 17:56:42

This is indeed a Pandora Box moment - Sparklefizz.

My D leaves me with no illusions. Awful childhood full of negatives. Like many, I did my best in very difficult circumstances. Coping with a difficult husband and the colourless featureless well home life became.

My late mother in the finally weeks of her life said "what would I have done without you - no one could have asked for a better daughter. I am so proud of you and I wish I was leaving you a rich woman".

She did leave me a rich woman perhaps not in the manner she meant. My life would have been nothing without her inspiring example that gave me strength and courage. When my D is so negative, I think of her and find solace.

You see Serendipity22 opening Pandora’s Box is perhaps not such a good idea. The illusion sometimes better than the reality.

Smileless2012 Mon 07-Sep-20 18:01:02

A very moving post sparklingsilverflowers.

mumofmadboys Mon 07-Sep-20 18:15:43

I wonder if your DD is finding life hard at the moment Sparklingsilver. It is so easy to blame current difficulties on our parents / upbringing. Try not to take it to heart

52bright Mon 07-Sep-20 18:34:41

fevertree ... I understand that one ...'when I knew better I did better'. I did the best I could in the context of what I knew at the time with the issues I was dealing with at the time. That is why I have been/am a better grandma that I was a mother. I think I was 'good enough' and I have to be content with that. Relationship with dd is excellent but she is a lovely kind and forgiving person.

Starblaze Mon 07-Sep-20 18:43:18

My mum was abusive and I remember her asking me this question and knowing what my answer had better be lol

I don't know if I would ask my kids this, they generally tell me what gets on their nerves. I sometimes don't feel appreciated (which is important for everyone) but I think that's mostly in my head and I do feel loved.

This has made me think that I haven't told my dad I love him and appreciate him for a while and I will do so

Scentia Mon 07-Sep-20 18:43:20

I would get a different answer from each child as your abilities as a mother are relatively personal to said child as their needs are different and unless you have recognised every need and addressed it you will probably have not been as good as they wanted! If your children love and respect you then be happy you have done your best.❤️

Serendipity22 Mon 07-Sep-20 18:43:32

Wow, thank you for your post Toadinthehole.

That is just so lovely, so there you are thinking totally opposite from your DD concept of you, her mum.

That was a really lovely, lovely message to read, I am absolutely sure. flowers

I suppose there is an element in my mindset, dwelling on the fact I need and have always needed, to not disappoint, type of thing !

Anyway, I can see that yes, it could be opening Pandoroa's Box as Sparklefizz has posted.

......and talking of Pandoras Box I am in the process of obtaining my results from Ancestry DNA to TRY and trace my natural father !!! BUT THAT'S ANOTHER TOPIC TO POST

Thank you everyone for your posts, appreciated.flowerswine

Toadinthehole Tue 08-Sep-20 08:33:55

Awww bless you. You sound lovely....I’m sure you would receive the answers you would love🤗

Froglady Tue 08-Sep-20 09:38:32

My Mum asked me once had she been a good mum? It's an awful question to be asked as it puts the person in such a difficult position - if she hasn't do you tell her or do you lie? I told her that she had done the best she could and she was not happy! There was such a lot that she could have done much better: there's 3 of us sisters and one thinks she must have been brought up in a different place to the other two as our memories are so different from hers.
At 67 years old I am still struggling with the after effects of my childhood as it has impinged on my life to a huge amount.

Coconut Tue 08-Sep-20 09:44:01

Altho far from perfect, I do now accept what others have said to me, that I was a really great mum to my 3. The fact I am still very close to them all speaks volumes. With having an extremely dominating mum myself, I always tried to strike a happy balance with boundaries, without squashing their spirits and interests. When we have get togethers my 3 always speak of their childhood with such love and happiness, and even tease me about the “mistakes” I made too. So altho I’ve had no success with the men in my life 🥴 I do feel I was a success as a mum.

Chewbacca Tue 08-Sep-20 09:45:57

I've just phoned and asked my DS, " DS, what kind of a mum was I when you were growing up?" His reply, "You were great mum, now bugger off, I'm working". That'll do for me! grin

Bbbface Tue 08-Sep-20 09:47:38

Has your child never given any indication OP?!

Mine have always told me “best mum in the world!”grin