Friday, November 03, 2006


Fighting genetics...

Please please tell me I have a chance. Tell me that 'environment' (and choice, and being an educated child of my generation) can win out over genetics. Otherwise I'm doomed for my adult children to end up hating me.

It's a harsh word. Hate. Maybe I should soften it up a bit. "Can't stand." ?? (But that terrrible, terrible word keeps bursting into my head when I get the shits over yet one more thing that she has said... and it's feeling like the proverbial straw and camel's back scenario.)

My mother is turning into her mother with every year. (And she didn't feel anything for her mother, that much she has always made clear.) And I've come to the point where she pisses me off so much, I can't even think, let alone say, 'I love you' to her. Which is how you're supposed to feel about your mother isn't it?

She is so critical. So contrary. So.. unsupportive...

Last night, while we were packing, Alison had just brought to me her favourite t-shirt. "This is dirty." Me: And your point is? Did you wear it today? No. So, if I washed everything this morning, it means it wasn't in the wash. So.. too bad. "But I have no other shirts." Oh, I think you do. And even if you didn't, it's too bad. Have I or have I not been ranting quite a lot over the past week about you kids not putting your dirty clothes in the wash? Etc etc.

So, my mum rings just after this interchange. So, you'd think it was reasonably normal to be able to relate your exasperation over all this to your mum, and get a bit of sympathy, or shared rolling of eyes, or something.


I have a short memory, apparently. I was hopeless as a kid. And she still has to pick up after Dad.

I lightheartedly said 'oh, so, because you weren't able to have a whinge to your mother about that sort of stuff, you want it to be the same?'

Apparently so. (So, despite never wanting to end up like her mother, here she is striving to be like her mother, because that is the sort of thing her mother would have said.). And at the same time she managed to convey her impression that she thinks I should be packing for the kids anyway.. that I expect too much of them to be packing themselves. At this age. Seemingly.

Felt like telling her to f*@# off, really. I gritted my teeth through the rest of the conversation (about arrangements for this weekend.. Dad (and consequently she) are picking up our car from near the start of the Gong Ride, driving it to Wollongong for us, and catching a train back to Sydney.)

Marc said that she thinks we expect too much of our children in many other ways too, like taking them on long bike rides.. so don't worry about it.

I'm just sick of the lack of support. The assumption that everything she did was right with the way she brought us up, and there is no other way, no other variation... And even if she didn't agree, doesn't she know that it would be more.. motherly.. to just pretend. Or even just go 'ah kids, they drive you nuts don't they'.

In this particular example, I don't think I am a shining light of a child brought up to be tidy and self-sufficient. (I don't think I was particularly independent or organised when I left school).. and I don't think it's a DREADFUL thing to be teaching your kids to learn how to pack, to be responsible for their own stuff, and to not treat their mother like a servant!!!

In so many other ways, she lets it be known that she thinks we are too hard, or too odd, or something. With eating rules/guidelines. Whatever. I can't think of much that I do as a mum that she has ever been positive about, actually.

So.. that's it. Confessions of a very sad-about-it adult daughter.
(And seeing I had a lot to say to my kids last night about their behaviour, and in a VERY LOUD VOICE because it seems that otherwise nothing gets through... then I am quite possibly headed in the same direction. When I hear myself sometimes, I can't think why they'd love me.)

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Trace, hang in there. I don't think there's a single daughter out there that doesn't have "issues" with their mums. I certainly face very similar problems with mine so I can empathise with your frustration and disappointment in her.
I am constantly stopping myself to ask "is this what she wants or what I want?" and everytime I make myself say "bugger what she wants / thinks does" and go ahead and do whats right for me and my family.
Sounds like your doing a great job in parenting, I can only hope that I'm still holding it together once my 2 year old daughter enters her teens. You're bringing kids up in a totally different era to your mum, her rules don't and never will apply.
Love your blog, keep it up!

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