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Adult daughter issues

(159 Posts)
violetflowers Thu 13-Sep-18 15:47:30

Posting for the first time because I'm wondering if any other parents feel like this about their adult child.

My adult daughter, my only child, isn't really what I imagined her to be, and I struggle with it more as she gets older.

In many ways, she is rather successful at a considerably young age (24). She is a very glamorous young woman, and worked hard to achieve a career in fashion (which I understand is a notoriously difficult industry to crack). In comparison to my friends' similarly aged children, she is undoubtedly the most driven and successful so far - all my friends wish she was theirs!

But she's not really the daughter I would've wanted. At this age, I imagined we'd be chatting about marriage/grandkids, she'd live near us, maybe have/or be studying for a more meaningful job like being a vet or a doctor, as she was always an outstanding student and very clever.

Instead she's rather cold and absent, lives far away from us in the city, and is constantly dripping in obscenely expensive designer clothing and accessories, something I don't really understand. It just seems shallow and materialistic to me. She's not really interested in having kids, although she has an (equally ambitious) long-term partner.

It makes me sad and depressed every day. Wondering if anyone else experiences this but doesn't admit to it?

Hellosunshine Thu 13-Sep-18 15:54:01

She is what she is, and living her life her way.
Just be proud of her, not all women dream of domesticity and babies .

Hellosunshine Thu 13-Sep-18 15:55:52

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Auntieflo Thu 13-Sep-18 16:00:30

Just that I agree with Hellosunshine. I used to have a neighbour who couldn't wait for her girls to grow up, have boyfriends, marry have babies, etc. She was wishing their lives away. Luckily the eldest grew up a lovely girl, everything a mum could wish for. The youngest was a handful in more ways than one and caused the family a lot of heartache.
Just love her and her talents, if you keep critising her, one day she may reject you altogether, and you won't like that either.

Auntieflo Thu 13-Sep-18 16:01:31

Oh I hope not Hellosunshine. I can be gullible and take things at face value. blush

BlueBelle Thu 13-Sep-18 16:07:49

violetflowers. first of all welcome to the site and your first post
Oh dear the tragedy of expectations, you had in your mind mapped out her whole life her career as a doctor or vet her marriage her children playing at your knee while you stir the pot of homemade soup in the warm kitchen and you share a cuppa together before you go shopping and what she has chosen hasn’t fitted in with your mental image and is if anything the exact opposite
I would imagine half the people posting on here have children that have turned out completely differently to what they dreamed of but you accept that it’s their life their choices She’s your flesh and blood you made her, she is what she is .
Maybe she’s cold because she feels your disapproval
Enjoy your daughters success she sounds a daughter to be proud of albeit different to your dreams
violet life is rarely what you expect it to be enjoy what you have been given

agnurse Thu 13-Sep-18 16:08:37

Your daughter is who she is. You can't dictate how another adult should live her life. All you can do is accept her as she is.

My FIL essentially feels that Hubby and I don't measure up to his "expectations". He basically told Hubby that he didn't know why Hubby was with me - this after Hubby was treated dreadfully by his ex wife. FIL has since turned into Granddad Who We Don't See.

SpringyChicken Thu 13-Sep-18 18:23:10

Having children isn’t the be all and end all and a lot of people would probably have had happier lives without them. If she chooses not to have them, we’ll, it’s her life. How miserable if we lived our lives according to parents wishes.

Eglantine21 Thu 13-Sep-18 18:52:41

You seem to be wanting her to live over again the life you either had or maybe the life you wanted?

Or maybe fill up the empty space in your own life.

She’s only 24. She’s having a great time. The kind of life a twenty-four year old wants.

Perhaps she knows you are disappointed in her and that’s why she stays away.

Perhaps she’s disappointed in you. Maybe you’re not the kind of mother she wishes she had.

If you find that thought hurtful then I expect that’s how she feels too.

Situpstraight1 Thu 13-Sep-18 19:13:52

Poor girl, she has worked hard to get where she is and you are disappointed in her.

I hope you don’t let her see it.

Nanabilly Thu 13-Sep-18 19:21:42

I don't think it is your daughter you are disappointed with but I think you are sad about the relationship you would like to have with her not being there. I hope that you are proud of what she has achieved as well.
As for the expensive clothes and bags I'm afraid if she is in the fashion industry she must wear them in order to get where she is and beyond.
I bet you any amount of money she hates having to look the part every day and would love to just slob around in her scruffy and chill out.

oldbatty Thu 13-Sep-18 19:23:39

is she well? If so, that'll do nicely.

sodapop Thu 13-Sep-18 19:46:40

You can't live life vicariously through your daughter violetflowers, she is her own person and you should be proud.
Shallow and materialistic are terms you think are true but your daughter is equally ambitious, clever, successful and hard working, that should be your focus.

petra Thu 13-Sep-18 19:54:02

I won't say what I think *re these posts^ on the relationship threads. If I did, it would be another slapped wrist grin

notanan2 Thu 13-Sep-18 19:58:50

If you can't let go of your fantasy daughter in order to get to know the daughter you have, then when/if she does decide to turn her back on city life and "settle down" she may have learnt by then to do without you

notanan2 Thu 13-Sep-18 20:01:14

Nobody calls paintings "shallow and materialistic" and fashion is as much an artistic expression as paint and canvas.

Im not into fashion AL ALL myself but you don't have to be to appreciate the creativity and craft do you?

luluaugust Thu 13-Sep-18 20:28:07

What you want are your dreams not hers, at 24 she is so young, many many women now don't start a family till well past 30 there is no point in you holding your breath, please enjoy her as she is you must have helped her along to being so independent. What fun and how interesting to have a daughter in the fashion industry.

notanan2 Thu 13-Sep-18 20:31:46

In a way it is lucky that you didnt get your "dream daughter"

Imagine if you had had a "homebody" girl, but she struggled to conceive or her partner left her high and dry? YOUR disappointment on top of her own would be devastating for her. So in that way perhaps you got the daughter you deserve? One who can function completely independently of you

kathsue Thu 13-Sep-18 21:01:01

You should be grateful for what you've got, violet. My DD died aged 24. She broke my heart but I never stopped loving her and would have supported her whatever lifestyle she chose.

crazyH Thu 13-Sep-18 22:36:32

So sorry Kathsue....
Good grief should be proud of your daughter's success. She is an only child ... there lies the explanation. You put all your hopes and dreams in her. Well, the hope that she would cling to your apron strings all her life. She has developed and grown into an independent girl. My daughter is successful as well. I hardly see her ...she is divorced with 2 teenage children. I am proud of her achievements ...I support her. Right now I have her children with me, while she is working in Paris.
You have to be proud of your children, whatever field they are in and support. Your daughter obviously earns a lot of money. Let her spend it the way she wants as long as she doesn't get into debt. Wish my daughter could afford to wear designer clothes ....but she looks lovely anyway.
Be happy Violet !

Cherrytree59 Thu 13-Sep-18 22:43:34


Melanieeastanglia Fri 14-Sep-18 00:38:25

If your daughter is well and happy, I think you should be content. It sounds as if she has done very well.

Things may change in the future anyway. She's only 24. Give it a few years and perhaps she will settle down and have children. Time will tell.

Children do not always turn out as we expect. After all, if you have two children, they will not have the same faces so why should they have the same personalities?

grannyactivist Fri 14-Sep-18 01:28:34

violetflowers hello and welcome to Gransnet. When we have children I think most of us anticipate the future through rose tinted spectacles and imagine the great friendships we'll have with our daughters and the closeness we'll have with our sons. Then our children are born and lo and behold they come with a personality all of their own!

I kind of get where you're coming from as one of my children is almost the polar opposite of me in terms of personality and character traits and so I have struggled sometimes to find connection, which is what I think you're saying. Your dreams of closeness may yet come to pass, but whilst they are yet unfulfilled can I urge you to
admire what you can and overlook the differences between you - as our children sometimes have to do with us. smile

Diana54 Fri 14-Sep-18 07:06:38

You should be pleased that your daughter is successful and happy, our children often do not have the lives that we hoped and imagined they would. You are very lucky that she has done well and realized her dreams, so many have their dreams denied time and again.
If it was me I'd be delighted how she turned out and get her to send me some of those gorgeous designer outfits that would suit me. 24 is very early in her career, maybe she will climb the ladder, maybe she will get moved sideways who knows but it is far too early to predict.

TerriBull Fri 14-Sep-18 07:55:39

24 is very young, too young for some women to be thinking about babies, I clearly remember not being interested in starting a family in my 20s, it was only when I got past 30 that kicked in and I had my first child at 32 there's a hell of a lot of time left for your daughter. I'm sorry you feel as you do, but people do change as they get older and you may find that her focus will alter in time. Having set expectations of one's children is likely to disappoint, they are their own person and not a carbon copy of a parent and accordingly it follows that their interests and lifestyle won't necessarily resonate with you. I'd just look at the positives of her life, it's not as if she's on some awful downward spiral.