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Old 07-15-2009, 06:18 PM
 
Location: somewhere
3,667 posts, read 5,312,496 times
Reputation: 2051

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hey teach View Post
I love my children. I do not regret having them, but there are some days that they just drive you to the brink of insanity. That being said I think sometimes we can be overwhelmed with how the presence of children affects our life. My children are grown; adults with lives of their own, but some of the steps they take, things they do, choices they make still have a drastic affect for us as their parents.

Do they ever grow up. Even for just a few days it would be nice to be a friend rather than a parent.

I can so relate to you in this. Sometimes some of the decisions the 2 older ones make just make me shake my head. My FIL gave me some very good advice when he told me they were adults and whether I agreed with their decisions or not they were their decisions to make not mine. I try to remember that and know that they have to make their own mistakes even though I could save them alot of grief. I always say the adult children are harder to deal with than the younger kids.

 
Old 07-15-2009, 06:20 PM
 
Location: Sierra Vista, AZ
15,952 posts, read 12,589,472 times
Reputation: 7754
I've often thought abortion should be legal until the 72nd trimester
 
Old 07-15-2009, 06:23 PM
 
Location: southern california
50,247 posts, read 47,579,412 times
Reputation: 41650
kids are like the bicycle hanging up in the garage--- when you got it you intended to be very involved, but it really isnt much part of your life is it? have you noticed 25 years later its still there?
 
Old 07-15-2009, 08:06 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
535 posts, read 1,072,472 times
Reputation: 568
I think it's a shame that your mom really made having kids sound like a fantasy without being truthful on the whole matter. Parenting is ROUGH! At the same time I'm surprised you believed it fully, even to the point you had 5 kids before realizing her spin on being a mom was just that: a spin.

Being a mom is one of the most stressful jobs you can do. There are no breaks. There are a lot of downs. But at the same time there is so much good that it is worthwhile, you just have to look for it. It's the little things that make mothering worth it. Sticky kisses, cuddles, utmost trust, watching your kids go from being completely dependant on you to becoming an independant person in their own right, and knowing YOU gave them the tools and ability to do that!

I'm selfish in that I also like to sleep in late or go off on a whim. But I also know there will come a time in my life when I can get to do that again. In the meantime I've got 3 kids who fill my life with a combination of joy and frustration, ups and downs, tantrums and sticky kisses. And while sometimes I need a break (heck who doesnt?) I wouldnt trade this time of my life for the world.
 
Old 07-15-2009, 09:08 PM
 
5,748 posts, read 7,321,265 times
Reputation: 4376
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelstress View Post
There's a book called "I'm Okay, You're a Brat", by Susan Jeffers. It's premise is the "conspiracy of silence" that exists about the truth about parenthood. It's about how it's "not nice", "immoral", "abnormal", etc., to tell the truth about the unpleasant parts of parenthood. One just didn't do that. To do that, would mean being vilified by society, whether it's family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, etc. This is what your mom did, and most likely experienced. I have recommended this book to young people before they take the plunge into parenthood. And it's written by a parent, who wishes she had known then what she knew now, so that she would have had a better idea of what she was getting into. She doesn't knock parenthood, just the veiled silenced for the argument for not reproducing. Parenthood, being the biggest decision and job one will ever take on, is something that needs to be looked at from both sides.

OP, I've had this discussion with my mom. Actually, all of us kids had this conversation with my mom, and we finally got her to admit that her life would have been better with fewer kids. At first, she felt guilty actually saying it, but not anymore. We're tougher than to feel "damaged." There's 7 of us, she would have been better off with no more than 3. And for those of you parents who think the OP may have "damaged" her kids for feeling this way, get over it. If you think your kids would be damaged, then your kids lack gumption. It's not to be taken personally, it's simply the truth.
For the most part I agree with you about the conspiracy of silence, but I don't think it's fair for a mother to burden her children with the idea that her life would have been better had they not been born. That's not something any child needs to hear from her mother. Whine to your friends, your spouse, or your shrink, but not to your kids.

Last edited by formercalifornian; 07-15-2009 at 09:20 PM..
 
Old 07-15-2009, 10:59 PM
 
5,987 posts, read 5,104,800 times
Reputation: 9301
Quote:
Originally Posted by formercalifornian View Post
For the most part I agree with you about the conspiracy of silence, but I don't think it's fair for a mother to burden her children with the idea that her life would have been better had they not been born. That's not something any child needs to hear from her mother. Whine to your friends, your spouse, or your shrink, but not to your kids.
Burden them? It's not a burden for them to carry. When it's a fact, it's just a truth. It doesn't mean mom loves the kids any less, it just means life would have been better/easier for a myriad of reasons. Economics, personal, etc. And who's talking about telling a child? Of course you don't do that to a young child, as they're so self-centered, of course they'd be hurt. But teens and adult kids, they won't be damaged, they could handle the reality of their own family. The key is not to frame it as the child's fault, but of the parent's own actions.

In my own case, it was me and my sibs that gave my mom the ok to say her life would have been better if she hadn't had so many kids. Of course she denied it at first, but we called her BS on it. And we all know it's true, but we all know it's not our fault. And we don't cry about it, and we're not "burdened" with it . I don't believe I've thought about this in years, until this thread. No damage here.

Honestly, it's no crime to say the cold hard truth to your teens and adult children. But the way a lot of parents these days are to afraid to do that, it's no wonder so many kids are... "soft."

Really, kids have to be told parenthood is not all Kodak moments and sticky kisses.
 
Old 07-15-2009, 11:23 PM
 
Location: Plano, Texas
8,640 posts, read 14,780,597 times
Reputation: 21135
Quote:
Originally Posted by steelstress View Post
Burden them? It's not a burden for them to carry. When it's a fact, it's just a truth. It doesn't mean mom loves the kids any less, it just means life would have been better/easier for a myriad of reasons. Economics, personal, etc. And who's talking about telling a child? Of course you don't do that to a young child, as they're so self-centered, of course they'd be hurt. But teens and adult kids, they won't be damaged, they could handle the reality of their own family. The key is not to frame it as the child's fault, but of the parent's own actions.

In my own case, it was me and my sibs that gave my mom the ok to say her life would have been better if she hadn't had so many kids. Of course she denied it at first, but we called her BS on it. And we all know it's true, but we all know it's not our fault. And we don't cry about it, and we're not "burdened" with it . I don't believe I've thought about this in years, until this thread. No damage here.

Honestly, it's no crime to say the cold hard truth to your teens and adult children. But the way a lot of parents these days are to afraid to do that, it's no wonder so many kids are... "soft."

Really, kids have to be told parenthood is not all Kodak moments and sticky kisses.
Well, all "truths" don't need to be said to all people. Even though it doesn't make logical sense, I think most people, even adults, deep-down would interpret this as "rejection" even though maybe it isn't personal. I don't think there is anything wrong with letting kids know that parenthood is hard work and not all roses, but when we insinuate to our kids that maybe we would have been happier had they never been born, I think a line is crossed.
 
Old 07-15-2009, 11:24 PM
 
5,748 posts, read 7,321,265 times
Reputation: 4376
Quote:
Burden them? It's not a burden for them to carry. When it's a fact, it's just a truth. It doesn't mean mom loves the kids any less, it just means life would have been better/easier for a myriad of reasons. Economics, personal, etc. And who's talking about telling a child? Of course you don't do that to a young child, as they're so self-centered, of course they'd be hurt. But teens and adult kids, they won't be damaged, they could handle the reality of their own family. The key is not to frame it as the child's fault, but of the parent's own actions.

In my own case, it was me and my sibs that gave my mom the ok to say her life would have been better if she hadn't had so many kids. Of course she denied it at first, but we called her BS on it. And we all know it's true, but we all know it's not our fault. And we don't cry about it, and we're not "burdened" with it . I don't believe I've thought about this in years, until this thread. No damage here.

Honestly, it's no crime to say the cold hard truth to your teens and adult children. But the way a lot of parents these days are to afraid to do that, it's no wonder so many kids are... "soft."

Really, kids have to be told parenthood is not all Kodak moments and sticky kisses.
I don't think any child grows up with the idea that family life is all sunshine and roses, unless there is ample Prozac involved. Living through your teenage years is proof enough that parent-child relationships can be very tense and difficult. Frankly, I do not understand why you needed to have such a discussion with your mother. What possible purpose could it have served for any of you?

Look, I am perfectly well-adjusted adult with a strong sense of self-worth, but I have no need to hear my mother confirm that her life would have been better had she remained childless. Similarly, I have no desire to hear about her marital difficulties with my father. There are some boundaries that I consider sacred and will not cross. Obviously, this is one of them.

As for my own children, I will simply tell them that, yes, we had some difficult years, but we all came through it intact.

Last edited by formercalifornian; 07-15-2009 at 11:57 PM.. Reason: Added quote for clarity
 
Old 07-15-2009, 11:30 PM
 
Location: North Durham
113 posts, read 168,188 times
Reputation: 100
I love kids ! I couldn't eat a whole though !
 
Old 07-16-2009, 01:40 AM
 
Location: Southside Corpus Christi
65 posts, read 183,850 times
Reputation: 77
No, I never ever for one minute have regretted having my kids. Obviously I want to strangle them sometimes, and I've speculated about where I would be right now without a husband and/or children, but I've never wished that my life did not include them.

I think it's reallly, really sad that it took five (and in the case of another poster, six) children to realize that parenthood isn't 100% pony rides and rainbows. Slow learner?

And regarding how "honest" to be with kids about regretting motherhood: Children have the right to feel unconditionally loved by their parents--and telling them "I love you since you're here, yeah, but if I had it to do over again I never would have had you" pretty much blows that deal. Sheesh.
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