To be fairly pissed off with my mother?(103 Posts)
Ok, maybe I am. Feel free to tell me I'm a bad tempered cow.
Ma and Pa, healthy, retired, comfortably off, seem to think that DH and I have lots of lovely time on our hands. And we could do all sorts of little jobs for them - far too frequently. Every couple of weeks Ma will ring and say, 'Oh - could you ask DH if he could pop down this weekend and do x,y,z for us?'
We have 5 DCs and both work full time. I'm a teacher - out the house from 7.45 am- 6.00pm and then marking/planning in evening. DH is up at 5.00am - 2 hour drive, 10 hours on building site, 2 hour drive home - gets in at 7.00pm, absolutely fucked. He has worked the last 3 Saturdays and is working tomorrow. So only has Sunday off. I meanwhile, have the joy of knowing that I haven't shoved a hoover round all week, bathrooms need cleaning, there is a week's worth of dirty washing (for 7) and that I need to do a bloody Tesco shop for practically everything.
Ma rang this evening to say could we pop round this weekend and put together 2 flat pack bookcases they bought today - oh, and could DH bring his drill and put up a curtain pole, and I could return a lamp they'd bought from Argos when I did my shopping, couldn't I?
Well yeah - I could. But I don't fucking want to. Ma will expect me to drive 6 miles in one direction to her house to collect the lamp. Tesco is on the edge of town 20 miles away in the opposite direction. Argos is right in the middle of town - so it means driving in, finding somewhere to park, walking there, queueing, etc, etc. A lot more fucking hassle. And I don't want to spend 3 hours putting book cases together. And I really don't want DH to spend his only day off doing jobs for my mother.
If the bugger's going to spend his day off doing jobs I've got a bloody long list - starting with things I've been waiting about 18 months for; like the leaking shower, the broken cupboard door, the wall in DDs room that needs re-plastering, the entire skirting board in the hallway that has been leaning against the wall for 4 years now waiting to be fixed onto it...
I know that DH will say, 'Aye, nae bother,' and go down and do it for them. And I will trail sulkily along as his helper. And if I moan he will say, 'Och well, it's no' a problem'. Well it is for me. I fucking, fucking resent the fact that my mother makes these frequent requests and expects it done that weekend - which means it is yet another weekend that we don't get the stuff done that we need to.
Being a gobby cow I have frequently told her I'm pissed off that she asks DH to do stuff - that she knows he is obliging and will say yes - and that she also knows what long hours he works, and that we have loads of stuff that needs doing. She just gives a merry laugh and says, 'Oh dear - men always do things for other people, don't they?' and then will be on the fucking phone about a fortnight later wanting something else.
(Dad, BTW, couldn't replace a lightbulb. Highly academic, completely impractical man)
. Thank you all! The thing is, I'm very good at saying 'No' and even 'Fuck off' to everyone else.
And no, 50 shades she doesn't ever return the favour. It would be far too much for her to babysit. DH and I have just had a conversation about how many times Ma has babysat for us in the last 14 years. He reckons about 6. I reckon 4. She claims her 'child raising days are over!' To be fair to the woman I have 7 siblings - but we pretty much raised ourselves/each other in feral style. None of us remember her doing anything other than stirring something on the stove whilst reading a paperback book in the other hand...
I was brought up in a huge family where everyone just mucked in and did what needed doing, so it's become automatic that when a family member says, 'give us a hand with this, will you?' I say, 'Go on then'.
I suspect Ma misses her army of helpers and I'm the nearest left!
aaaaaaaaagh....blood pressure spiralling just reading how much you have to do in your own lives. 'I'm afraid that won't be possible' and crucially, a FULL STOP at the end of that sentence. Please my arteries can't take it...
Well obviously you have plenty time and energy as you're a teacher. You work 9am to 3pm so you'll be home by half three and can get all the housework done and the dinner on for DH coming in, so there's nothing left for him to do therefore his weekends are free. You get loads of holidays so you can't be tired.
Does your DM maybe view your lives this way? Does she have any idea of the hours you both put in?
But Euphemia Mother was a teacher - and was always too busy to have anything much to do with all of her own offspring!
Oh Jeez. Is she viewing the past through rose-tinted specs; she coped with a career and umpteen kids so anyone else should be able to?
DM: My child rearing days are over so I aren't babysitting for you. Oh by the way, I need you to stop your child rearing to do eleventy million jobs for me.
I really hate this attitude. My DM also asks me/DH to help out with DIY and lifts to places, but the difference is that she also helps me out too with babysitting for my 3dc and the odd bit of ironing/cleaning etc.
Ha! I am convinced. I'll probably go and put the fucking book cases together for her because I said I would, but I'm not getting DH to do it on Sunday, or her curtain pole and I'm not going to take the damn lamp back. She trotted off and bought it today - so she can trot off and take it back next week whilst I'm working.
And I shall be telling her 'Right, this is the last sodding thing I do for a very long time, Ma. Get a handyman in future - or one of the other offspring'. (We learnt a long time ago it's every man for himself in our family).
I'd respond to every with request by saying 'no problem, as long as you can babysit while I do it'. Or invoice them for your DH's time Could you find them a local recommended tradesman to help with DIY stuff?
They are taking the piss and you need to either say no, or make it easier to do it themselves -- or find some other mug--.
'I'll add that to my to do list' might work. Stop doing everything so quickly, drag it out for a few weeks.
Or just say 'No, DH wants to spend his one day off with his 5 DC'.
You are really not getting this assertiveness thing at all.
1. You pick up the phone and dial your mum. At this juncture, you can take a deep breath
2. 'Mum, you know those bookcases. I said yes because i have been conditioned to say yes. But actually I do not want to do it. I have a full-time job and 5 children and no spare time. You are well able to put a book case together. If you are truly incapable of doing it, then you can find someone handy to do it'.
3. 'And Mum, the lamp exchange is not happening. You seem not to listen when I am complaining that I have too much to do and too many people to care for. So listen to me now. The lamp thing IS NOT HAPPENING
4. And finally Mum, I do love you but you are taking advantage and I AM SAYING NO. DH IS SAYING NO AS WELL>
I'm so irritated that I am prepared to make the call for you, if you like.
O.M.G! How's the mirror practice going? No, No, No, I'm busy, we are busy. No.
Not that it really matters, but did I miss where you said how old they are? They probably have some money, introduce them to the adage 'get someone in'
Especially with taking the lamp back . Do they drive?
YANBU. Get a local handyman round next time she asks for jobs to be done and they can pay for him. And she can return her own tat to Argos the lazy cow!
me too! New MN call service, at your service
YADNBU I'd be fuming if my parents did this to me. Luckily they hav the common sense to get a handy man out for whenever they have bit and bobs like that which need doing.
Out of curiosity how far away do they live from. Although to me it wouldn't make any difference if they lived 2 hours or 5mins away, Just that the further away they live the more of a cheek they have.
You have 5 kids? The eldest of which is 14? Surely you are busy taxiing them around everywhere on a Sunday anyway. In which case your answer is:-
"yes - that's fine - although while we are doing it we'll need you to drop Susie at ballet, the pick David up from swimming, then drop Peter off at Karate, then it's just Susie from swimming (have to admit that one is a teeny tad tight for time but it's fine as long as you drive at 97 m.p.h and ignore the silly red traffic lights), then Peter from Karate. Don't worry about Fred - he's at cub camp. Although he will need picking up. At 5pm. It's in Wiltshire. But don't worry - I'll give you some old bin bags for the back seat - and you get used to the smell after a while."
Then barricade yourself in with the flat pack and spend the entire day reading books / drinking wine / bonking each other silly.
I'd ignore the advice about bonking one another silly. If you still have so much enthusiasm after so many years and so many children, I'd suggest you bonk one another sensible and use a condom. After all, you don't have time for another child. You have bookcases to put together and lamps to return.
You call that assertive?
I really don't understand how you've managed to get into a habit of doing this regularly. It's hugely hugely selfish of them. They have all this free time - why aren't they doing more for themselves? What do they do while you and your DH are running ragged after them? For some reason I picture them relaxing in a garden.
1 They are 74 and 76
2 They are very healthy - Dad still plays golf and Ma goes line dancing, keep fit, anything else she feels like. They walk miles.
3 They are comfortably enough off to have 2 or 3 foreign holidays a year. And do.
4 They live about 6 miles away, which admittedly is only 10 mins drive for me as we're rural.
I've Skyped one of my sisters to moan about Ma and she agreed with you lot and said, 'Serves you right for being a fucking prat, kid. Ring the old trout tomorrow morning and say 'Actually, on further thought I've realised I can't this weekend. I'm up to my neck in it. And next weekend. If you want to wait a month or so I can probably get round to it at some point'.
She knows my Ma very well. Ma will not wait. Ma will say briskly, 'Oh that's not good enough - I need it done before then,' and will promptly find someone else.
I will ring her and say I'm not doing anything for her this weekend.
Ask them to do stuff for you. I never heard the likes of it. I really haven't
PMSL at your sis, I'll make her right. Don't know how you and your dh can't see it for yourselves
Oops. Nope, sorry. DH and I have been together 14 years. 3 DCs from first marriage. DCs are aged 21 - 7, so I don't really need babysitters. But yes, lots of weekend is often ferrying one teenager or another about. (Only 1 drives and can't afford car insurance - uni student).
Fuck it - I'm not putting bookcases together. I might even manage sex. I probably have time for it without the fucking flat pack .
Okay, good, that's a step in the right direction
But only a very small step and not very much improvement. You see, you said I will ring her and say I'm not doing anything for her this weekend.
That is not setting boundaries. That is simply opening yourself up for next weekend. And the weekend after and the weekend after that.
On my next attempt, I am going to post a photo of a spine to help you out
Another volunteer here - I'll make the call for you!
Your post made me feel tired on your behalf.
My DH's parents used to do this. It was a way of getting to spend time with him.
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