Did you mess your kids up?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
Did you mess your kids up?
29
Wed, 10-19-2011 - 2:26pm

I got this via email this morning and could totally relate!

First Lady On Her Girls: "Like Any Mother, I'm Just Hoping I Don't Mess Them Up!"
Michelle Obama may be the First Lady but she's like us in so many ways, fretting about TV time, Halloween candy and whether she's doing a good job as mom.

http://www.ivillage.com/first-lady-motherhood-like-any-mother-hoping-not-to-mess-up-her-girls/8-a-393690

I often feel like I'm messing my kids up. Just this morning I grew frustrated with DD (7) who was not putting forth any effort on her homework. After reacting harshly I wondered "Jeez, is she going to be talking about this in therapy one day?"

So for those of you who have "been there, done that"... Are you seeing the results (good or bad) of the parenting decisions you've made along the way?

Photobucket

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 10-19-2011 - 2:31pm

I think Mrs. Obama has a little different concerns than the rest of us, but it's nice to read that she is trying to make her kids' lives as normal as possible--and I'm glad that the media hasn't tried to really intrude into their lives either.

I'm sure we have all done things as parents that weren't the best, but I'm not generally worried about messing my kids up.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Wed, 10-19-2011 - 5:56pm

We've all had our moments of reacting first, and thinking afterward, but as long as the majority of the time you have a reasoned response, you'll be fine.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2000
Wed, 10-19-2011 - 6:19pm

Believe me I spend a lot of time beating myself up about what I could have done differently when the boys were young. I know it's pointless but I often wonder whether Jason wouldn't have developed an eating disorder if I would have done something differently. Or whether Justin would have made such incredibly stupid choices in 2009 that had lingering effects well into 2010.

Both boys are doing well now. Jason's in his first year of med school and seems to be handling the stress fine (although I still worry). Justin is working full time; although I wish he would have continued the college route at least he's doing something. So I guess I didn't 'mess them up' but there's still a lot of things I wish I would have done differently.

Pam
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Wed, 10-19-2011 - 6:30pm
Growing up means you stop blaming your parents for "messing you up" and start seeing your parents as human beings who made mistakes but did their best. Your parents blamed their parents, your grandparents blamed their parents.. It comes a time when one takes responsibility for your own behavior and decisions. It's normal for parents to worry that they have messed up their kids but as long as you tried to do your best, stop worrying and forgive yourself for being human. So, I am not worried that I have messed up my kids. I am not perfect. My kids are not perfect. And most importantlly our relationship is a work in process.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-19-2006
Thu, 10-20-2011 - 7:02am
Oh man I worry all the time about how I have done things wrong via my kids. It is totally ridiculous and at times I even make myself laugh at how absurd my worrying can be. For instance last night (I tend to worry a lot at night when I should be sleeping) I was thinking that if I had done things differently my son wouldn't be so short. If I had been a better cook and he had eaten more as an adolescent he would be taller. I know it is all my fault. Well actually it is all my fault, but not because I was a bad mom it is because I am a short mom...LOL. What do I expect when I am only 5 feet tall myself.

Being a parent is a crazy job.
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Thu, 10-20-2011 - 9:29am

So for those of you who have "been there, done that"... Are you seeing the results (good or bad) of the parenting decisions you've made along the way?

I've definitely worried at times, but I think for me the biggest turning point was realizing that there is no end date. Things with them, and with our relationship, don't have to be perfect by the time they hit high school, or graduate from college, or get married... up until the day I or they die, we have the opportunity to work with and improve our relationship.

My dad has his faults, but he always kept trying with his kids. He married this year for the third time (after two relatively short marriages, one to my mom that ended when I was a toddler, and one to my brother's mom that lasted a year and ended 30-some years ago). He is a smart guy whose emotional intelligence was not on par with his cognitive intelligence, but like I said, he always tried, he always stayed in touch, he never got mad at us about little things

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-19-2006
Thu, 10-20-2011 - 10:09am
I just went to a Yizkor service (Jewish service to memorialize the loved ones who have died) and I realized that this worrying goes both ways. Now that my parents are both gone I worry about whether I was a good enough daughter. I worried about it when they were alive too, at least when mom was alive since she outlived dad and became dependent on us, but now that they are gone it can be painful to think of the mistakes I made. It is not overwhelming guilt, but I wish I had done some things differently and now I can't change anything.

Robin
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-19-2006
Thu, 10-20-2011 - 10:17am
To answer your been there done that question, yes, I am seeing good results. I had a lot of "therapy" moments in my parenting experience. By therapy moments I mean moments when feared I left permanent psychological damage - LOL. But I think that I have come to realize that I wouldn't have those moments if I didn't love my kids so much. Now that my son is in college I realize that I think he knows that and I don't think he is going to be any worse for the wear. He seems to be a very happy, healthy, well adjusted, thoughtful young adult. That isn't to say that I don't worry about what he might do next or that he doesn't drive me crazy sometimes, but seems to have turned into a pretty decent person.

Robin
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2009
Thu, 10-20-2011 - 10:45am
Move over ... we can beat ourselves together. I am only 5ft 1. I thought that my kids would inherit the "tall genes" from their father. But alas, genetics likes to play tricks on us.
Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Thu, 10-20-2011 - 12:52pm

And even if BOTH parents have "tall" genes, you still don't know.

Pages