"Ring me when you've arrived or i shall sit here and worry ... and ring me when you know what time you'll be on your way home" AIBU

(210 Posts)
fluffyraggies Wed 10-Apr-13 15:12:48

... to think NO mother, I wont! FGS

Please, i'm old enough to have a 20 year old daughter and i just want this break away from everything with my DH for our 1st anniversary, in Wales, and not worry about ringing people up every 10 minutes.

It's only 2 hours away. We're only there for 2 bloody nights - we're under heaps of stress right now, and it will all still be here waiting for us when we get back again. We just want to drive away tomorrow and forget about everything for a short time.

Do you all still ring your mothers when you arrive somewhere? Do they do the guilt trip thing if you don't? Am i just being a cow here?

Venting.

ConferencePear Thu 11-Apr-13 11:31:30

In my family we all do the three rings thing. Is a text or quick call really such a chore ?

FryOneFatYoni Thu 11-Apr-13 11:32:38

It is definitely silly to ask someone to let you know they've arrived safely, etc, on a normal journey.

I used to do a 60 mile round trip to get to and from work everyday. I never called my mum at either end. In fact I used to leave at 7am for a 50 min journey, so if I called then she'd have been really pissed of to be woken so early (for her, she's a night owl).

And I don't call when arriving at a holiday destination. I only have a quick chat once home again, and even then I don't call immediately we walk through the door. I want to get settled first.

DumSpiroSpero Thu 11-Apr-13 11:37:58

Sorry about your dad LaQueen.

I know what you mean about not helping themselves, in our case it's not that Mum hasn't tried. Tbh there are times I think she should have tried harder and it drives me up the wall, particularly as it has affected my dad being able to do things in the past (his health has buggered that up now), but I know she's tried and there's nothing else to be done now and no point getting frustrated with her. Spent the first few months of the year doing that (over various issues) and we've only recently made our peace so I guess it's a bit raw atm.

Again, sorry about your Dad.

Bunbaker Thu 11-Apr-13 11:53:10

MIL is 84 and worries about us travelling. When we stay with her we always ring her to let her know when we get home. We always drop SIL a text when we land at our destination when we go on holiday and I always let her now when OH (who is frequent flyer for work) arrives at his destination.

She worries far more now than she used to. I think it is because she has totally lost her self confidence about getting about and thinks that we are like her, which we are not.

Gerrof Thu 11-Apr-13 12:07:59

I do agree with you lequeen, you have articulated it very well.

I would very much hope that I wouldn't be like this with dd. yes I do worry about her, I am not a heartless cow, and have had moments of 'where the fuck is she' shrieking in my head. And getting from A to B does make me think because she had a moped for year and has just passed her driving test so drives all over the place. But if I texted her frantically every journey she made I would drive her mad and she would probably think that I didn't trust her driving, or thought she was old enough to be safe. It's cutting the umbilical cord to some extent, and it is painful, but for the sake of our relationship I don't want to faff and fuss. She is nearly an adult. I cannot know where she is every minute of the day. It wouldn't be healthy anyway.

harryhausen Thu 11-Apr-13 12:40:51

My MIL makes us to the '3 rings thing'. I wish she would actually learn to text on the mobile that DH bought her. She lives 2 hours away. When we visit with the dcs, if we're 5 minutes later than when she thinks we should arrive she starts phoning mobiles. Normally we're driving. It's drives me insane. Mind she has never been abroad because she's too scared. Thinks trains are dangerous. Driving in the rain in dangerous. Driving at night is dangerous.
She rang in a total f**k the day after we'd brought home our youngest dc from hospital because she'd rung the house we WERE'NT IN!! We'd taken the baby for a short walk and she went mental saying how crazy we were.

My parents live 6 hours away from me. They ring when they get home and I ring them. For some reason I don't mind this. They hardly ever phone me, happy to do a quick FB message, and are often away themselves.

My dsis's dd whose 18 went on a month long school trip where there was no phone contact. Dsis said it was VERY hard but she tried to keep busy and keep her stresses to herself. I know it will be hard to cut the apron strings when I get there.

DoctorRobert Thu 11-Apr-13 12:52:02

In my family it's the "done thing" to contact each other after a journey to confirm you've arrived there and back safely. We're all fairly anxious types & therefore sensitive to how the other would worry.

I don't see how dropping your mum a text is that much of a big deal. She sounds like she may suffer from anxiety and I think YABU.

LaQueen Thu 11-Apr-13 13:44:04

GOML I feel your pain.

When DD1 goes to grammar school next year, she'll have to catch a bus, and walk through a market town, and everything...and I can promise you my heart will be in my mouth, and I will hate it.

But, as she gets older I know she will hate it more, that I constantly check up on her, and insist she texts me, and basically make her feel that my peace of mind is her responsibility to encumber.

So, because I love her, and because her happiness and peace of mind is far more important than my own, I will bite my lip, stifle my (quite natural) anxieties, and wave her off with a smile, every time she leaves.

LaQueen Thu 11-Apr-13 13:48:47

Harry my MIL sounds very similar to your MIL.

She thinks the world is a very terrifying and dangerous place. Driving at night is dangerous. Catching buses and trains is potentially highly dangerous. DDs going to a PGL weekend is met with a flurry of worried comments.

I refuse to be sucked into a her small scared world, and I refuse to allow her to taint our DDs, either.

flowers123 Thu 11-Apr-13 13:51:00

I am just like that, I visably cringe when I read this. I tell my children that I only do it because I care, just a quick text, it could be a blank just to let me your okay x

Gerrof Thu 11-Apr-13 15:25:32

Leq it's normal to fret, I remember when dd started senior school and I worried sbout the roads she would have to cross grin

And someone reminded me of a thread on here which I started when she was 14, she wanted to go to Bath for the day and it meant changing trains at Swindon, and I was all of a lather about how busy swindon station would be, was it safe? Bloody Swindon! I laughed when someone reminded me.

EldritchCleavage Thu 11-Apr-13 15:46:22

Please read the thread: OP has said her mother refuses to text, doesn't email, and is not satisfied with 3 rings or even a very short 'Hello, we're back' conversation: she demands a full conversation when OP rings to confirm they've left/arrived. That's the real issue, not a quick text to let her know where they are.

ItsYonliMe Thu 11-Apr-13 16:03:48

My mother does this after we've been up for dinner. DH walk (after a few sherries). It only takes 20 minutes to walk and it's a vair naice area.

If I have a strop and don't phone she gets all huffy and the next time I see her she says "oh I was worried about you when I didn't hear from you"

exoticfruits Thu 11-Apr-13 16:21:38

I'm sure that 'no news is good news' isn't always so glossyflower but since you can't expect everyone to let their mother know if they got to work OK , arrived home from a night out etc I think that you can refuse and just give them that phrase.

EggsEggSplat Thu 11-Apr-13 22:24:18

I think most of these overly anxious mothers get worse with age. I am hoping I don't turn out that way - but I am pretty sure I don't heavily the family genes for neuroticism (my sister does instead).

Also I am sure mobiles, cheap phone calls etc have made it much worse because it is normal to be in touch all the time. At 15 I went off youth-hosteling for a week with a friend; I think I may have called my parents once from a pay phone along the way, but they had no way of contacting me (I'm ancient, so this was well before mobiles).

And when I was 17 I moved to Germany by myself for six months, to a bedsit with no phone. I used to call my parents once a week from a pay phone, if I had remembered to save up enough coins.

My mother managed perfectly well not knowing where I was at every given moment then, because there was no way to check up on me. Now I am a responsible 45-year-old with my own home phone and mobile, living in the same city as her and not doing anything remotely dangerous, she worries if she don't speak to me every day...

landrover Thu 11-Apr-13 23:31:16

Tell her that you ail text her. She has a mobile phone, if she refuses to check it then she wont find out that u got there, simple as that xxxxx

LaQueen Fri 12-Apr-13 13:55:51

Eldritch yes - with the OP's Mum it has clearly gone waaaaay beyond just wanting a swift reassurance text.

Her Mum clearly has issues - one of which I strongly suspect is a very strong (and unhealthy desire) to be a far bigger part of her DD's life than is either right, or good.

I think this often happens, when the parent has overly invested in their child's life from early on, and never bothered to maintain a life independent of their child i.e. keep up hobbies, retain friendships, a job...whatever.

So, when their child finally escapes leaves home, the parent is left with a huge hole in their lives to fill.

Some do manage to fill it...but many don't. So, they try and live vicariously through their children, still.

Sad. Very, very sad.

I adore our DDs, and they know it. But, once they're adults and have left home - they will be safe in the knowledge that Mum and Dad still have busy, fulfilling lives to lead, themselves smile

EldritchCleavage Fri 12-Apr-13 15:18:47

I think there are people on here responding in good faith but who have never truly experienced the difficulty of having a parent who expects placating their anxiety to govern how their children live their lives. It is a crushing burden and can lead to huge resentment.

I am so glad my mother and I sorted it out. And in doing so, we helped her as much as me. She has got out of the obsessive worrying pattern now we children have stopped pandering to it and is much more balanced in outlook.

Loa Fri 12-Apr-13 16:29:15

I get this- but I'm not so sure it's anxiety - well not completely.

I have noticed the more mum disapprove of a trip or some aspect of a trip the more likely I get this request and if I comply - they'll be another request for further calls. Other times it's not asked for.

Last trip they didn't like I didn't comply - DH got loads of passive aggressive texts which he ignored and told me about after the trip.

It's quiet amazing how MIL and my Mum have used phones in passive aggressive ways especially since we had DC - I suspect LaQueen is right neither was happy how different our lives became.

Fluffy I hope you're off enjoying your time away!

When you call her, and she allows you 3 seconds to talk about your time away before launching into a woe-is-me guilt trip, play her at her own game. Completely ignore everything she says, interrupt her and talk about yourself. Keep doing it and see if she notices. Its fun, try it.

Pandemoniaa Fri 12-Apr-13 17:10:30

YANBU. I think this tends to be a family thing. We didn't do it in our family but my ed-h's family did. We only lived an hour or so away on the M25 but we still had to report safe arrivals.

Me, I didn't even text DP when I got to the USA the other year - if I hadn't arrived safely I worked on the basis that he'd know soon enough - although I did let him know that I'd arrived back in England. Mainly because he needed to know whether I'd be home by teatime because he needed to shop and cook.

So far as my adult dcs are concerned and given the fact that one of them is regularly travelling between here and the USA, I'd drive them doolally if I insisted on all this reporting in.

If I were you, OP, I'd get around the issue by texting one of your dds. Prepare her for the inevitable phone call and then she can tell your dm that you are now out of phone coverage.

LaQueen Fri 12-Apr-13 19:15:25

You're right Eldritch - I had a dose of this, after my Mum retired, and suddenly she had a lot of time on her hands. I found it incredibly suffocating, and I became increasingly resentful.

I had to nip it in the bud, before it started to cause some real anger/anguish.

Currently, I am watching the effetcs on a friend, whose Mum expects her to visit most days, and to speak to her on the phone every day without fail. My friend has just booked a week in Venice...and her Mum put the phone down on her when she was told sad

It is tearing my friend apart. She loves her Mum, but can't bear the guilt trips, and feeling like she is her Mum's only source of comfort/solace.

LaQueen Fri 12-Apr-13 19:21:13

Oh, and another thing...both I, and my friend, discovered that more is never quite enough, in these situations.

Because by colluding in their anxiety, and pandering to them, our Mums then needed more contact in order to give them the same level of comfort/reassurance.

It's almost like a drug, to them. The more they get, the more they need.

Springforward Fri 12-Apr-13 19:24:55

YANBU to be annoyed. I think it's quite a control thing, potentially (certainly was with my own mother).

lydiamama Fri 12-Apr-13 19:29:12

YANBU, we only do this for long journeys, not for a two hour drive! But I would send her a little text, a mother just lives worrying about her children all day long, that I have learnt since I am onw

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