Ladies of the Round Table

March 13, 2008

Did I Grow Up in a Bubble?

Filed under: Uncategorized — vietnammomma @ 4:01 am

This is Kelly from Lucy in the Sky. Vietnammomma is my wordpress id. Just wanted to clear up any confusion before we got started. I think several of us are going to post on this topic and they might start getting close together, so be sure and read through all of the entries.

I feel a little guilty posting about my role as a daughter because it has been so easy and full of love, happiness, and fun. I know that this group is about different views, so I figured I should go ahead and write it. I hate that so often people are robbed of their childhood and forced into a role of an adult way before they are ready. We all need our time to just be little and childish. I am so sorry to anyone who has been through such a situation. I am amazed and proud to know women who have been through awful childhoods and STILL managed to become moms that I look up to. You rock! I find your strength inspirational.

A little background about me. I come from a family of six. I have three sisters and my parents are still happily married. So, all I have known until my sister had two boys was the role of being a daughter. Now, I am so blessed to have a daughter of my own. I am learning so much from her.

I come from the complete opposite end of the spectrum of someone who had a difficult role as a daughter. My mom is the best. She did such a wonderful job of mothering 4 girls and making each one of us feel so special and loved. So did my dad.

When I look back on my childhood and think about what I remember most, almost all of my memories are happy. I remember my dad playing the guitar and my sisters and I dancing around the room. I remember playing dress up, riding bikes, decorating for Christmas, going to church, and having friends spend the night. But most importantly, I remember both of my parents ALWAYS being there for us, all of the time. They were both at every basketball or volleyball game I played, every dance recital I performed in, and every piano recital I played in. I don’t ever remember being disappointed that one of them couldn’t make it. I am sure they missed a few, but I seriously am not positive about that. They always made each of us feel like what we had going on at that moment was the most important thing in their lives. When you think about how many activities they had to go to with there being 4 of us, it is super impressive that they were always there. I know the dance recitals were painful for my dad, but he still made it and never complained.

I love how my role as a daughter has changed and developed as I have gotten older, just as it should. When my sisters and I were kids, that is all we had to do – be a kid. We were encouraged to play and learn and have fun. And we did just that. We had responsibilities as kids, but they were minor and our job was really to just be a child. As I grew up, I tried really hard to push my parents away and be a rebellious teenager, but they stook around, knowing I would come back to them. Of course, I did. No matter how mean I got, how bratty I behaved, or how much I tried to act like I didn’t need them, they always stood by me. It worked because I didn’t have a very long rebellious stage. When I went to college, it was my time to be away from them and find myself. They supported me in anything I wanted to study. They stood back and let me have this time for myself. I ended up having the best time in college, but loved to go home and hang with my family. It became very important for me to make them proud. And now, as I have become a mother myself, I look to my mom for everything. She is my number one source of support and advice on how to be a good mother. She still loves to take care of all of us when we come home.

My mom did everything in her power, and still does, to make my role as her daughter the best role it can be. She is patient, entertaining, smart, and understanding. She was our biggest cheerleader and has always supported us in any endeavor we have taken on. She makes me feel beautiful, smart, unique, and individual all of the time. She always put our wants and needs over anything for herself. I can count on one hand the memories I have of her ever being REALLY mad at all of my sisters and me. She was supportive, but not overbearing, which is not an easy thing to do. She let each of us be our own person. She is a best friend. I tell her absolutely everything.

The only problem with having the world’s best mom is trying to live up to her with your own children. A small price to pay, I know. I find myself thinking a lot, “My mom would have been more patient in this situation” or “Why can’t I just be more calm like my mom.” Some days, I am really hard on myself because I just can’t seem to handle the pressure with the grace she does. I think I am getting to be more like my mom, but it is going to take a long time for me to find her patience and level of understanding! I am never going to be just like her, but I can strive. I REALLY pray that Lucy and I have the kind of relationship that my mom and I have. I also pray that she looks back some day on her role as a daughter and has such happy, lasting memories. That is my goal as a mother.



  1. Kelly – What a wonderful post! I would love to know where you are in the line up – oldest, youngest, somewhere in the middle…anyway I bet your mom had the same days you do – she just learned with time how to handle everything with the grace you know and love and so will you! Personally I think you are a great mother and when you post about needing to be more patient with Lucy I have a hard time believing that you are not pretty patient with her already! And nope – no bubble, I choose to believe that only a minority of children have been robbed of their childhoods and your post absolutely helps prove that! And each of those children can be amazing parents and so forth and so on! Your parents sound amazing not only in this post but in all of your writings on your usual blog, and you are shaping up to be just as an amazing parent. The fact that you are conscious of where you might need to change or could be even a tiny bit better proves that! Thanks for sharing!

    Comment by carissah — March 13, 2008 @ 4:24 am | Reply

  2. What a cute family Kell! Your dad sounds like such a trooper! And I think you’re exactly the the kind of mom yours is proud to have raised. I know what you mean about feeling like you’ll never live up to your own mom’s parenting…but you are still new at this. And it seems to me, you’re pretty darn good at it already.

    Comment by Laurie — March 13, 2008 @ 5:47 am | Reply

  3. Kelly-
    This is the post I want my kids to write in 25 years!
    Thank you for sharing your perspective. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever do this mommy thing “good enough” and reading your post helped me realize that there are mom’s who do it good enough(like your mom and you). Not that we ALL don’t make mistakes and screw up, but that our kids can take away from their life with us a childhood, and not a series of painful memories to unlock and dissect and try to understand….
    Like the other ladies already said, you are an awsome momma already!

    Comment by sheljena — March 13, 2008 @ 11:51 am | Reply

  4. Carissa – I am the second in line in birth order. I show many characteristics of the typical middle/second born child – competitive, independent, and negotiator.

    Thanks for the kind comments. I think now that I have actually published something on here, I won’t be so darn nervous about it in the future.

    Comment by Kelly — March 13, 2008 @ 1:18 pm | Reply

  5. Thanks Kelly! I just realized my response sounds like I don’t think you are already a great parent – I do already think that you are a great parent! I just think you will get better with time! And I agree with Jena – I want my kids to write this kind of post and really mean it in 25 years!

    Comment by carissah — March 13, 2008 @ 2:33 pm | Reply

  6. I enjoyed this post and what a diverse group of folks we have here. I definitely identify with your story. This is mostly how mine was as well. I also know how trying to live up to your mom feels. How did my mom ALWAYS have a clean house and never even a dirty sock in the laundry room with 5 kids? I can’t even do it with just one right now! I guess she didn’t spend a lot of time reading blogs during our nap time- oops! Oh well, there are some things I’m just not willing to give up in order to have laundry done! I’m sure if I asked my mom, she wouldn’t remember it the same way as I do. She probably felt less that capable much of the time, truth be known.
    Thanks for sharing your story. It gives the rest of us hope that it can be done.

    Comment by metaphase — March 13, 2008 @ 3:48 pm | Reply

  7. This was actually pretty painful for me to read! I think I had pacified myself by telling myself that Moms like yours are a fantasy! You are so very very blessed – does your Mom want a fifth daughter?! 🙂 That said I can imagine it would be really difficult to function in the shadow of greatness. Thinking Moms put enough pressure on themselves as it is without having perfection looming over your head! I bet the reality is your Mom didn’t feel that different than you do every day but it just goes to show how strongly our impressions alter our future!

    Comment by Nicki — March 13, 2008 @ 4:04 pm | Reply

  8. Thank you for sharing this, Kelly. It sounds like you had a great childhood. You’ve also made me more comfortable to post the piece I wrote. I too feel pressure to measure up to my mom; it’s all created by me, but it’s hard! You’re lucky to have great sisters, by the way. That’s my one complaint from my childhood – no sisters! 🙂

    Comment by Laura — March 13, 2008 @ 4:50 pm | Reply

  9. Kelly,
    I had a similar childhood. I remember when we were doing our home study they wanted to know about our childhood. They said they wanted to know all of the “bad”. I had nothing to write, so I wrote something similar to what you have written here. Great moms do exist, and now you are one too!

    Comment by norahs6 — March 13, 2008 @ 7:40 pm | Reply

  10. You do not live in a bubble. I just think childhoods like yours are becoming less common, sadly. You are extremely fortunate to have a mother who you can look up to and confide in. I hope to God my daughter looks at me the way you look at your mother. And I am sure Lucy will feel the same about you. I am positive you are doing your mother justice by the way your are raising Lucy. I love that your dad went to you dance recitals, too cute! Thanks for sharing your story. :0)

    Comment by Michelle — March 13, 2008 @ 11:56 pm | Reply

  11. Nicki, my mom would love to take on a fifth daughter! Bring it on. She especially would like to add another daughter who already comes with several really kind and well mannered, intelligent, happy, and cute kids for her spoiling and entertainment purposes. As far as she is concerned, the more grandkids the better, so not only you get a new role as daughter, but your kids become her grandkids. Sounds pretty good to me. So, you would be a perfect fit!!!

    And Carissa – You did not make it sound like you thought I was not already a great parent. I did not get that feeling at all. I thought your post was kind and supportive.

    Comment by Kelly — March 14, 2008 @ 5:04 am | Reply

  12. If your mom is accepting applications for a sixth/seventh/ etc… daughter I would like to put mine in – though the grandkids are not here now they will be before she know it!

    Comment by carissah — March 14, 2008 @ 5:08 am | Reply

  13. Um, yeah, please add me to the list as #7 or 8 or whatever the tally is now with your mom?!?

    Kelly, I’m so glad you posted about your role and family – it is so reassuring and inspirational to know that those kinds of mother/daughter relationships do exist. I’m like Carissa, I have some worries about the relationship I’ll have with my daughter because all I really remember is strife and stress between my mom and I. But I know it is not necessarily destined to be that way between my daughter and I and I have a lot of control over it in how I choose to parent and raise her. You are a good reminder that it CAN work out to fit that dream I’m sure we all have.

    I can imagine that it creates a huge challenge for you to try to live up to the model your mom set for you. But I agree, you are clearly doing an awesome job with Lucy and she’s in good hands with a dedicated, loving mama!

    Comment by Stacy — March 14, 2008 @ 5:44 am | Reply

  14. Kelly- I don’t think you have a thing to feel guilty about. It’s wonderful that you can celebrate your childhood and your parents. I’m especially relieved to know that some (maybe many?) adults leave their childhoods unscathed, feeling such warm, loving feelings–gratitude, even–toward both parents. Your post makes me feel hopeful! -Gina

    Comment by thebeequeen — March 14, 2008 @ 2:19 pm | Reply

  15. Despite having divorced parents, my childhood was fairly normal thanks to one strong Mom and two awesome Grandmothers. It is not anything to feel bad about, although I understand the feelings of inadequacy. My mother felt it when she compared herself to my grandmother and now I am feeling it when I compare myself to others.

    Comment by Jen — March 14, 2008 @ 2:43 pm | Reply

  16. I love that your mom was so caring and loving and such a great mom. I can see where you got your mommy skills from. 🙂 A lot of what she has taught you is what I want to teach my own daughter.

    Comment by craftymommy — March 15, 2008 @ 5:14 pm | Reply

  17. I don’t think you grew up in a bubble, Kelly. I, too, have felt guilty in my “idyllic” childhood, and continue to hesitate in publishing my post. It seems to me that we’ve collected a group of women here who hope to create for our own children experiences similar to those you had. Thank you for sharing your story.

    Comment by All That We Let In — March 21, 2008 @ 3:39 am | Reply

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