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Clingy mothers.

(23 Posts)
Greatnan Tue 25-Sep-12 17:07:56

I watch Doctors and there is a mother in it who is distraught because her children are going to Newcastle and London to study - the family live in the Midlands. She even tried to get her daughter to stay at home instead of going to art college. Are there really mothers who are so clingy? It must be a real drag for their children. Surely we bring them up to be independent adults and when the time comes for them to spread their wings we send them on their way with a smile. I encouraged my daughter to emigrate to New Zealand because I thought it would be the best move for her whole family. I love her and her children very much, but they are not my possessions.

Mamie Tue 25-Sep-12 17:14:57

Given that the characters in Doctors have the most amazing range of accidents, murders, explosions, traumas, dangerous situations (at least one a week each) I suppose her mother might be a bit concerned.
I do love the Mumsnet thread on Doctors. grin
Why are that family so loud? I always have to turn the volume down so OH doesn't wake up from his siesta.

FlicketyB Tue 25-Sep-12 17:15:10

I think there have always been mothers who have invested their whole lives in their children and cannot bear a life without them. It is a recurrent theme in novels going back to the mid 19th century.

You keep your children by unlocking the door and throwing away the key. DH was an only child but if at 16 he had decided to go to Australia his mother would have packed his bag and seen him off with a smile - and kept her grief for when she was alone. The result was a son who spread his wings did all sorts of things but was always there when she needed help.

annodomini Tue 25-Sep-12 17:35:02

My mother tried very hard not to be clinging, but my leaving school for University coincided with my father's getting a new job the other side of Scotland from where she had lived all her life, my sisters went to a new school in Edinburgh and couldn't come home for lunch as we had always done. She didn't have a job, couldn't drive and was alone in the house in a new town. Combine those circumstances with the likelihood that she was also menopausal and you can understand that she became very depressed indeed. I don't think any of us understood her then, but I do now - sadly too late.

Sook Tue 25-Sep-12 17:50:27

I could have been a clingy mother. I was born to elderly parents, both of whom had passed away before I was 30. My sister had long emigrated to Tasmania and very little family left and mostly elderly and not close, so my sons were all I had apart from DH.

We were a close little family but from an early age both sons were encouraged to be outgoing and independent. Part of me never wanted to let either go but that is selfish and cruel and I loved them both enough to set them free. I remember reading these few lines

If you love something then let it go, if it has truly been yours then it will come back to you of it's own accord.

Over the years they did their own thing, often I didn't approve but kept my own counsel. As adults they have become lovely independent caring young men I am proud to call them friends as well as sons.

kittylester Tue 25-Sep-12 17:54:21

Sook that's the way to do it! flowers

absentgrana Tue 25-Sep-12 17:58:25

Absentdaughter went to New Zealand when she was 17 and buying the ticket/ allowing her to go/knowing that she would never return to the UK to live was probably the hardest thing I ever did. I smiled and waved cheerily as she went through the departure gate at the airport and then collapsed in tears for at least an hour afterwards. Other people (not Mr absent) thought I was mad to let her go, but my response was "I taught her to fly. Why would I clip her wings?"

Now it's our turn to fly to New Zealand. smile Can't wait. grin

JO4 Tue 25-Sep-12 17:58:37

I howled each time my three went off to uni. (When I was home again, of course)

glammanana Tue 25-Sep-12 18:34:54

My children have always been very independent in everything they have done as some have also said not everything was to my liking but you have got to let them try,both my boys are strong self sufficent men now but they always want to know where I am if they phone and I am not at home ? DD has come on leaps and bounds this past year after the end of her marriage and I think the fact that she has always coped with everything herself from an early age got her through the trauma,she also wants to know where I am during the day,what is wrong with my lot ??

tanith Tue 25-Sep-12 18:41:05

I've cried a few times since my son decided to work and live abroad , in my gut I knew it was forever although it was just a job at the time. Now he's met his forever girlfriend and they have bought an apartment out there but its big enough for us all to visit . I'm glad he's found his dream life but in private I really miss him, he's not the greatest at keeping in touch and probably had no idea how much he's missed. Maybe when he has children of his own he'll realise.

JO4 Tue 25-Sep-12 18:42:13

I don't think the idea that if you let them go, they come back, always works.

My DD1 couldn't wait to be off, and she's still very independent of me now. She makes a point of it. Unless something goes wrong with the children. Then she needs her mum.

DD2 is a different story. hmm

As for son, well, we won't even go there. hmm

JO4 Tue 25-Sep-12 18:42:56

tanith loads of hugs.

tanith Tue 25-Sep-12 18:50:28

You're right JO4 mine isn't coming back this I know, thanks for the hug, some days I just want to weep for what me his step-dad and his sisters miss. I know that's selfish but he's my youngest , his father my ex died recently and I feel like I'm not there for our son like I'd promised his father I would always be, even though I know he doesn't need me.. (till as someone else said he has a problem)
(((( hug )))))) for you too JO4

JO4 Tue 25-Sep-12 18:56:31

You are still there for him. I'll bet he knows that. They just don't always express things. smile

whenim64 Tue 25-Sep-12 18:59:11

I tried not to let my four children know how much I would miss them when they all went off to uni, and did my bit by ferrying them and their friends around the country to check out the various campuses. Then, blow me down, each of them decided to study locally and stayed at home! When my daughter said she was going to Australia on an open ticket, I encouraged her to spread her wings and said that if she wanted to live there I would look forward to visiting for weeks at a time, then she returned home three weeks later. When my other daughter left home to share with a friend, she was back within a few months.

In the end, I was ready to nail planks across the front door so they couldn't get back in! They all still live quite near, which is great for me, but I would have happily trailed to the other side of the world to spend time with them, if need be smile

Sook Tue 25-Sep-12 20:05:31

kitty thank you

nightowl Tue 25-Sep-12 20:45:45

Oh tanith I feel for you, but you have done a wonderful job to make him so independent. I have to admit that I am a clingy mum; I always said (not to them) that I would love them all to stay at home forever. I have tried very hard to never show them and have waved my two sons off to uni with a brave face. DD lives near me and is at uni locally so I'm lucky to see her all the time along with DGS. I don't know how I would cope if she moved away, but I know I would have to keep my feelings to myself. I think my younger son will be the one who flies far and wide and I am trying to prepare myself for the day.

harrigran Wed 26-Sep-12 12:37:15

Oh there are clingy mums like Karen in Doctors, I know people who encouraged their children to study locally and live at home. I brought my DC up to be independent, they travelled to the next city to school from 11 years old and then went off to Cambridge and London. DD lives abroad, and will never live in this country again, but I know she would come to me if I needed her. DS did his own thing in London for 10 years then came back north and settled close enough for us to help with childcare but not enough to live in each other's pockets. Our job as parents is to teach them to stand on their own feet not be tied to our apron strings.

annodomini Wed 26-Sep-12 13:14:50

I think it helped that I went away to University and later lived and worked in Africa. I loved to hear about my sons' travels and the work they were doing abroad. I was able to spend some lovely holidays in Europe when they worked in various resorts. It also helped that, at the time when they were ready to spread their wings, I was learning how to be myself, following my divorce, working in Further Ed and serving on the local council. I also had a grand-daughter living locally. In other words, I had life that had nothing to do with being a mother.

gracesmum Wed 26-Sep-12 14:03:02

grin when !!
Jingl I found myself nodding at everything you said (confused) - is this a first? Crying when they went to university - tick, independent DD1 - tick !!

JO4 Wed 26-Sep-12 14:50:46


Greatnan Wed 26-Sep-12 15:00:32

Has nobody had an awkward child whose absence was welcomed by the rest of the family? My eldest gs is a lovely young man now, and as he has a high salary he helps out his younger sister (who is at university in England) whenever her grant runs out. However, when he was a teenager he made her life a misery, picking on her all the time. When my daughter and her husband took him to Durham, they waited until they were round the corner, then punched the air and said 'YESSS' in unison. The atmosphere at home improved enormously and she blossomed without his constant criticism. They were recently at their brother's wedding and it was obvious that they love each other very much.

annodomini Wed 26-Sep-12 15:09:59

At the very least, I could call my car my own when DS2 departed for Uni. grin