To be really upset with my Mum and her rubbish apology

(93 Posts)
whatwhatinthewhatnow Fri 18-Jan-13 12:32:46

My mum has my son one day a week while I temp. I can choose my day at this particular place so its usually pretty flexible. I was asked to go in on Thursday, Mum said no she would prefer Tuesday so I swapped. Monday night she said actually she would prefer Thursday so I swapped back.

Thursday morning comes and I waited for her to arrive at the time she said but she didn't come. I called her and turns out she is still asleep. So I just calmly asked her to hurry, put the phone down, ruminated on the possibility of going to her house (but I had already taken the car seat out of my car to put in hers so that would have taken me longer... etc) Anyway in that time she calls me back and said she cant come at all because she has lost her keys. Time was getting on now.

I spoke to my husband and he said by the time I get to her house I will have missed my train and it will be around 10 (I have a hour's commute) and basically with this job on this particular day I HAD to be there by 9 or there was no point going in (I would have been in the office on my own after that time with no training or instruction) so I may as well just not go. It turned out I was able to call in and get some work to do at home so not all bad on the work front.

Mum called back later in the day - Its ok! She found her keys! Great huh! And she's sorry but these things happen and I have to understand. There was no real sense of apology, no sense of urgency, no acknowledgment that I or my work had been inconvenienced and when I said she had cost me the days wage and potential chances of going back to this place she just said "Dont make me feel bad" and put the phone down. Now I do understand that these things happen, but honestly she has been saying this to me ever since I was small and I'm just fed up of being let down all the time. I spent the morning in tears at this. I just feel she didn't take any of it seriously and then got angry at me for being angry (which she always does, everything is someone else's fault. She even blamed my younger brother for 'taking' her keys which he didn't)

Am I in the wrong here? Am I being harsh by being upset? My work could just get another temp who turns up on time with no hassle....

Anniegetyourgun Sat 19-Jan-13 11:47:17

I think posters saying YABU may have missed the bit that mother looks after DS because she said she wanted to and would get upset if the OP made other arrangements.

Unfortunately, she's just going to have to get upset. (And then there'll be a chorus of "you prefer to pay someone to look after your son when his GM would love to spend the time with him, what kind of monster are you!".)

EggRules Sat 19-Jan-13 11:48:05

Actually Edam and others are right. whatwhatinthewhatnow why didn't you DH step in on thet day? What sort of practical help does he provide in childcare arrangements for his son?

MadBusLady Sat 19-Jan-13 11:48:28

My mum was the same. If she did something to upset or annoy me, she simply would not own it. The problem would be that I was overreacting and volatile and being unfair to her and making a fuss over nothing.

Oh GOD yes. Apparently my mum sometimes feels she has to "walk on eggshells" around me. Funny how the rest of the world thinks I'm exceptionally easy-going and reasonable. hmm

Viviennemary Sat 19-Jan-13 11:54:47

Well you are right to be annoyed that your Mum let you down when you were relying on her. But she is doing you a favour by taking care of your DC when it would cost you a lot for a nursery or childminder. But she shouldn't have said she would do it in the first place. Do you think she is being unreliable because she would rather not do it.

diddl Sat 19-Jan-13 11:56:36

I think a reason some are missing the point (self included) is that OPs mum sounds so flakey I´m thinking-why in God´s name would you rely on her-just to appease her when cc is just too important??

Can´t imagine how awful it must be to have a mother who let´s you down over something important at the last minute & seemingly without a care.

Perhaps she has never learnt as there have never been consequences?

pictish Sat 19-Jan-13 12:02:49

madbuslady - YES!! Ditto!!

The rest of the world think of me as being chilled out and easy going. My mother is the only person who has ever desribed me as volatile.
She used to say 'you're so touchy...going off at the deep end at nothing'

Nope. Not true. She just would not accept that she had done something to annoy me. It had to be me at fault. Because I'm so 'touchy'.

Fuck off mum.

pictish Sat 19-Jan-13 12:17:21

For example...she doted on my ds1, which was all great and lovely.

If he wanted another biscuit and I said no, she'd hold her arms out with a big awwwww, cuddle him, then give him one. If I dared to show displeasure at her undermining me, in even the mildest form, it would be 'oh here we go...going off the deep end as usual....you're so volatile!'
If I persued it, perhaps by teling her the decision was mine to make, she would cry and tell me I was horrible and had anger problems. hmm

My mum died seven years ago, and I miss her every day - we were close - but I do not miss that element of our relationship. She was, in her own way, controlling and dismissive of my validity as an adult.
If she were alive today, I'd be having none of it.

pictish Sat 19-Jan-13 12:23:30

My point being...I was never allowed to express any upset or displeasure with her, even if it was justified and expressed calmly.
I was to accept that my feelings were of no consequence, and that she knew better.

The OP's mum has done the same in a roundabout way. She let her daughter down, but sees no need to admit fault, leaving the op feeling frustrated and full of redundant ire. To push for an apology will create upset and dischord, so the OP is pretty much forced to swallow being majorly inconvenienced for the sake of keeping the peace.

My mother was a master at that.

Peevish Sat 19-Jan-13 13:00:56

YANBU, OP. Like pictish and MadBus, I have a not-dissimilar mother, who can't 'own' her own failings, and turns it into me 'twisting things again' and 'seeing the bad side of everyone'. (Having said that, I doubt she'd land me in the position the OP's mother put her in.)

OP, might part of the problem be that your mother thinks that if you are prepared to be as flexible as you are when she changed her mind about the days twice, that it somehow doesn't matter whether you actually go to work at all? Ie. if they can do without you on Monday and Tuesday, they can somehow do without you at short notice on Thursday too?

My parents, who both had clock-in-clock out 9 to five jobs, both had massive difficulty grasping the fact that while my job was ferociously demanding, which sixty hours a week was very negotiable.

MadBusLady Sat 19-Jan-13 13:22:06

I wonder if it's some kind of partial hangover from our teenage years. While in some ways I was a model teen (in the sense of no drugs no pregnancies no flunked exams!) I'm sure I was also bloody unreasonable and selfish at times. Perhaps they get it into their heads that if there is a conflict consisting of subjective feelings they MUST be right because daughter's feelings are "always" unreasonable.

Or it could be an insecurity thing, where they think you being annoyed with them for five minutes means you'll hate them forever, therefore they can't admit they're in the wrong. Sometimes in the past my mum has been unreasonable and graciously apologised, and five minutes later of course I've forgotten all about it.

It's only when she tries to step in to my life in some way we have this conflict by the way; she wouldn't ever be flakey like this.

Sorry to use your thread as therapy OP. grin

pictish Sat 19-Jan-13 13:31:22

Yes...my mum would say I was 'twisting things' and 'looking for things to be upset about'.

What rubbish. If anything the opposite is true. I can't bear needless aggro!

I think that you have hit the nail on the head madbuslady. I don't think my mum ever allowed me to mature beyond 14 in her head. I don't think she wanted to. If I was an unreasonable child, then she couldn't be held to account...which suited her no end.

pictish Sat 19-Jan-13 13:35:38

Sorry OP - I've gone off on a slight tangent, thrown up by your own situation.

I just always remember the occasions I was rightfully annoyed by my mum's obstinance, yet was never permitted a voice.

I can honestly say that I never ever in the whole of my life, knew my mother to back down or apologise to anyone, even when she needed to.

She was always right, and whoever else was involved (particularly me, because I loved her and was malleable) was wrong.

CabbageLeaves Sat 19-Jan-13 14:01:42

Still off tangent... I think that all parents have to 'let go' and recognise their offspring as adults. Some still treat them like a small naughty child they can boss around and lack any respect for them. They don't change their relationship to acknowledge the adult status of their once was child. It's that which causes relationship difficulties.

If OP was describing
-a childminder who did this - unreasonable...sack them
-a friend .... unhelpful and unthoughtful... don't use her
-but a mum who is supposed to love and support you? It's beyond thoughtless

HelenLynn Sat 19-Jan-13 14:43:52

If someone (family or otherwise) asks you for a favour (looking after their child or something else) so that they can do something important (such as going to work), you have two options:

1) Say no.
2) Say yes, and follow through if reasonably possible, in recognition of the fact that once you've said yes you've effectively removed their opportunity to make alternative arrangements.

It's not ungrateful to be annoyed with someone who commits to something and then opts out at the last minute. It's not the same as not appreciating their willingness to do it in the first place, or on previous or future occasions. Someone fairly recently asked me to do them a favour, and I said yes, but it turned out not to be feasible and I ended up letting them down. I was in the wrong - I should have predicted I wasn't going to be able to do it, and said no in the first place - and the other person would definitely be entirely reasonable to be annoyed with me!

whatwhatinthewhatnow Sat 19-Jan-13 15:24:43

Update : She called me last night at 11pm to talk about something else, and when the convo came round to it she said was work ok? I said well yeah this time. She said perhaps you can do 2 days next week. I said perhaps they may not have me back at all, we will just have to see.

She said it couldnt be helped, to which I said it could have been. She could have been up on time and not lost her keys.

THEN (I cant believe this part) she said it was MY fault she didnt wake up because I didn't drop the car seat off the night before. I fail to see how this is related at ALL. I then ended the conversation because she was wailing 'Oh Im soooooo terrible, Im sooooooo bad'

Thanks all for the support. I think I will just never bring this up with her again and seek my very lovely and reliable friends help. We will probably do the swap thing so I will have her DC's too, which will be lovely.

MadBusLady Sat 19-Jan-13 15:50:07

Good plan.

It's all very all-or-nothing isn't it - toddlerlike almost, seeking reassurance from you that she's not a TERRIBLE person two minutes after unfairly blaming you for something. I guess it must reflect massive insecurities.

whatwhatinthewhatnow Sat 19-Jan-13 15:51:05

Pictish and Madbuslady, what you have said rings so true for me. Both of you have said things I will think hard on, and if you or anyone else wants to use this thread as therapy, go right on ahead! We should all be there for each other where perhaps our mothers were not.

rainrainandmorerain Sat 19-Jan-13 16:19:56

I couldn't help laughing at your mum's response, whatwhat - not to make light of your problems with her, sorry, but just because of the HUGE swing from 'I take no responsibility for what I did' to 'I'm soooo terrible....' etc. I hope you didn't choke on the whiff of burning martyr!

There is a lot of mum stuff I recognise on this thread here, too.

And a few plain wrongheaded comments from those who clearly think that if you agree to do a thing voluntarily (even one which benefits you too, like getting to spend time with a loved child) then you can vary the arrangements/cancel/do what the hell you feel like on the day, and the other party just has to lump it - to the extent of not being allowed to care if they lose money, or even their job. What extraordinary, selfish, entitled behaviour!

Be warned - when I turned down the offer of childcare help from my mother (as nicely and sensitively as I could) precisely because I had learned that I just couldn't rely on it taking place as agreed, and I NEEDED to be able to plan so i could work....then her reaction was to accuse me of being precious and melodramatic. Hey ho. This was after I had asked her to tell me what would work FOR HER - what day was easiest, what hours she was happy to do etc. (I am self employed, so have some flexibility, and could work round her to some degree, as long as it was agreed in advance!). She just wouldn't come up with any answers that helped. She had some things of her own that she wanted to work round - fine, that was why I was asking - but then if we agreed a day that was 'good' for her to come and look after ds, she would throw in something like 'oh but if the weather is nice then I will want to take the dogs down the beach so probably wouldn't get there til after lunch.'

It's either just not understanding/believing that my work is important (she knows I am the main breadwinner btw) - or it's a control thing, whether or not she is aware of it.

Anyway - whatever is is, not something I can fix.

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