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do you have to like your kid?

Posted by on Oct. 14, 2010 at 3:48 PM
  • 8 Replies

Hi, I'm Bonnie, 52 and work part-time as an OR nurse.  My 28 y.o. daughter recently moved back home (boyfriend of 5 yrs kicked her out), and I definitely have mixed feelings.  I love her, but it's been so frustrating having her here.  It actually was my husband's idea (my daughter, his step-daughter).  At any rate, much of the time I feel like I have a teenager back in the house, complete with the 'drama queen' attitude.  We just had (another) argument about her housekeeping duties (long story, cleaning and cooking are her contribution since she is unemployed/unemployable).  She complains we don't appreciate what she does, and that 'it gets messed up as soon as you guys gt home from work'.  Can't wait unti the winter quarter starts at the comm. college so she'll be away for some of the time. 

Any tips on dealing with this from other moms?  As a litle backgroud, we did the 'tough love' when she was 19 due to drugs/alcohol abuse.  She's been clean for over 5 years now, the only reason we even considered having her move back home.  We've been happy empty-nesters for 9 years, so this has been a big adjustment for us.

Thanks for letting me rant a little, too.

Bonnie in WA

by on Oct. 14, 2010 at 3:48 PM
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by on Oct. 14, 2010 at 4:49 PM

To answer the question in your subject line ... I sure hope to heck NOT, because I'd be in trouble -- lol!

Yeah, I can imagine that's a HUGE adjustment for y'all having her move back in after 9 years of being empty-nesters. Not sure how I'd handle that either. I guess the most important thing is to force her to recognize that she is an adult and should be carrying her weight -- and not acting like a teenager. I'd say lay those rules down right away, and let her know the consequences (she will have to move out) if she can't handle it. Sounds harsh ... but sometimes it's just GOT to be stated to them harshly.

Good luck.

by on Oct. 15, 2010 at 12:18 AM

I'm a mother who has her 33 year old daughter and husband  and 6 grandchildren living with us. she knows she has to duty's around the house. if she doesn't her husband gets on her case being he fills they owe it to us. as for liking her i tell her look here i love you and the others but most of the time i don't like them. when the grandchildren hear that they know I'm upset and try to do something about it. but they all know i love them

by on Oct. 15, 2010 at 7:12 AM


I love my daughter dearly and have moved heaven and earth to help her but, I don't like her.  She is as different from me as night and day.  She is a night person and I am a morning person, I am a dog persona and she is a cat person.  We have generation differences too.  So I am accepting her as a close aquaintence and someone I care about.

by on Oct. 15, 2010 at 9:53 AM

My 20 year old DD is enough to drive any mother crazy...she continuely moves in with guys she meets on the internet. She married the first one and now they are divorcing and she is living with another one. I love her so much and worry about her but whenever she is around all we do is fight because I don't approve of her choices or think she is doing anything with her life. So even though I love her we really have nothing in common and don't like each other much.

by on Oct. 17, 2010 at 10:28 AM

A lot of times it helps if you read what you write.  Right now your daughter is hurting and needs verbal support. She feels worthless (She doesn't have a job),unloveable (BF threw her out after 5 yrs) and she wants you to appreciate her more. If she has been clean for 5 yrs, she deserves it. Please note the (2) 5yrs. I would be concerned about a return to drugs/, alcohol. And we all know how things get messed up when we come home. I have 2 dogs and I cannot believe how they can mess up my house. Slack up on the critizing. Just say "Please clean up ??? " , when you get home. Don't clean up what you asked her to.  Don't attack her personally.  Praise her when she does something good. Good Luck.

AH, the question. No, you do not have to like your child but it sure helps. I always told mine, I love you but I do not like your behavior, attitude, or mouth.

by on Oct. 19, 2010 at 1:11 PM

thanks for the replies.  For the most part, we have been supportive.  She basically has gone thru a divorce, without the legal hassles. And since I've been there, I can sympathize (luckily she doesn't have any kids).

She's very adamant about keeping clean/sober, so thankfully that's not a big worry. 

It does get frustrating when we get the 'teenager' attitude with the dramatic sighs, eye-rolling, etc.  She's always been a difficult child (ADHD, etc).  On the plus side, she is a good cook!

Bonnie in  WA

by on Oct. 28, 2010 at 5:25 PM

 Part of it is right here, "We've been happy empty-nesters for 9 years" and I'm sure you weren't planning on her coming back.  I gotta say though, why?  She was living with her boyfriend, not husband so I wouldn't say there was really a commitment there especially if they were living together for so long.  I had a brief taste of the empty nest myself when my daughter moved in with a friend from school...sad to say that didn't work out because the other girl figured my daughter was going to pay all the bills while she spent her paycheck on clothes and parties.  When my daughter called her on it she moved back to her parents leaving my daughter to pay the rent.  (This is what one gets when there is no rental contract).  Anyway I've learned to "appreciate" what my daughter does do around here.  She however works full time, I'm the one not working due to my health.  But when the tables were turned I learned to praise what little she did and found that doing so usually led to her doing more.  Things like "hey you did the dishes, thanks, now I won't have to."  or, "Oh you dusted and vacumned how great, thanks!"  Don't focus on what she doesn't accomplish, focus on what she does.  Makes life much easier. 

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by on Oct. 29, 2010 at 11:35 AM

I'll give that a try.  thanks for the insight.

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