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"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 England 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.

Gay40 Sat 13-Apr-13 21:21:15

It's not that I lack empathy or understanding, but can't you see how illogical the situation is?

And it's not because she's elderly - I know plenty of elderly people who do not need this reassurance about travelling. It's about putting it into perspective.

Gay40 Sat 13-Apr-13 21:22:05

I do feel though, the more you humour this, the worse it will get.

Bunbaker Sat 13-Apr-13 21:32:10

My elderly MIL's personality has changed a lot in the last year. She had a brain scan last week because her memory has deteriorated tremendously over the last few months. I think the doctors suspect some form of dementia.

Unfortunately dementia is not just about memory loss, but it can cause confusion, panic attacks and various other personality changes. I do not want to add to her problems by unnecessarily worrying her by not making a short phone call after driving home from visiting her.

Incidentally, we live a long way from my family as well and we always make contact to say that we have got home safely. In my sister's case a short text will suffice, but as MIL has no idea how to write a text message let alone remember how to use her mobile phone, a phone call on her landline is a quick reassurance. SIL lives 11 miles away from MIL and she always gives 3 rings on the phone when she gets home from visiting her mother.

It has nothing to do with being controlling, but reassuring a lonely and easily frightened and confused elderly lady.

Perhaps you might try to understand.

LaQueen Sat 13-Apr-13 21:33:13

"i honestly believe that the call to say we have arrived, the call to say what time we are leaving, etc, is more about being a way of making sure we are keeping her in mind than her really being worried about us. It sounds awful to say it - but it's true."

And, therein lies the rub fluffy.

This sort of controlling behaviour is actually very little to do with how the parent feels about their child, and very much to do with how they feel about themselves.

It is not necessarily a demonstation of genuine love and caring - it can be anything but...and can be far more murky, and less wholesome.

It's the elephant in the corner of the room, that some parents don't especially have their children's happiness and well-being at heart. And that some parents have never actually matured emotionally themslves, despite being 50/60/70...and so they are too selfish, and too self absored to know (or even care) how their behaviour can have such a negative impact on those close to them.

LaQueen Sat 13-Apr-13 21:36:18

I agree with Gay in that, very often, the more you try and help and reassure, the more they need.

The reassurance becomes like a drug, and they need a bigger and bigger dose as time goes on, in order to feel the same hit of reassurance/peace of mind.

TheCrackFox Sat 13-Apr-13 22:00:16

You have completely described my mum LaQueen - to a frightening degree.

A lot of it is about a need for control and not any real demonstration of love.

wonderstuff Sat 13-Apr-13 22:00:52

Glad you had a good time, YANBU! I did Wales over Easter, dutifully called mum when we got back "I've been worrying about you all weekend" " why?" "I was worried you'd be cold all weekend" hmm it was actually fairly warm!

I don't want her worrying about me, it's just daft! I'm having a nice time but she is worrying.. it isn't fair. Ironically she hates having to deal with her own mothers demands for reassurance and prides herself on being not like that. I find it often better to tell her about a trip after my return, she only worries if she knows I'm travelling.

Bunbaker, a quick call in your situation is different to a call in someone else's situation. I can see why you'd call, given the possible dementia aspect. Late FIL developed that and also had a period of wanting calls. No problem there, it helped for a while until he forgot who we were.

MIL, on the other hand, a lovely 84 yr old, has never asked us to call. We sometimes do, sometimes don't depending on what's happening and she doesn't worry.

Asking someone to call is not an age thing, it's a personality thing. I can certainly see why some people find it controlling, having met some people with toxic personalities.

Springforward Sat 13-Apr-13 22:27:56

LaQueen, you've just described my own mother, too.

LaQueen Sat 13-Apr-13 23:24:29

Deliberately pressuring your DC into making phone calls, texts, visits - knowing that they are reluctant to do so...and using emotional blackmail to make your DCs feel guilty for not conforming to your wishes...

No. That's not love. Not in any way that I understand love.

I want my DDs to be happy. I want them to feel happy. I can, and do, regularly put their happiness before my own, and it's no real sacrifice to do so, and I do it with a smile. Because I love them.

Sadly, not all parents feel, or act like this. And, it's disingenuous to pretend otherwise.

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