To think I'm not a shit mother?!

(48 Posts)

My dd(4) is sick and couldn't go to school yesterday.

I usually visit my mother and phoned to say I wouldn't be around as she's sick. She has a temperature and cough/cold.

My mum thinks every time they're sick I should take them straight to the doctor. I don't think she needs a doctor as my doctor is constantly doling out antibiotics whether he thinks people need them or not! (Eg: it's viral so there's nothing to do but wait it out. But I'll give you an antibiotic anyway?!)

Anyway when I phoned she was on about taking her straight to the doctor. I said fine I'll get her checked and made an appointment for 5pm. At 4pm dd fell asleep. I have a 6yo and 2yo. Her temperature had improved, I was making dinner etc and I forgot to go for the appointment.

Anyway, last night I had a night out with a friend. I never go out so this was a rare occurrence. Nothing mad, a load of few drinks and a gossip. I went out at 9.30 got back at 2.30. DH was home at 7.15 to take over.

This morning I phoned my mum. She had seen my friend at a dance class that dd and friend's dd go to (mum is involved in the group) and friend was in recovery! My dd didn't go to class as she's not well.

I mentioned that I hadn't taken dd to the doctor and my mum went off at me! She said "I can't believe you, as a mother, didn't bother to bring your sick child to the doctor because you were too worried about going out with your friends"!

I explained what had happened. How I wasn't out until hours later and I in no way abandoned dd, who isn't that sick anyway, but she was having none of it.

Now, my mum never approves of me doing stuff with friends anyway. If I say I'm going for coffee/lunch/drinks it's either silent treatment or disapproving hmphing!

But making out like I don't give a shit about my child because I went out after her bedtime, leaving her with daddy and having let her sleep instead of dragging her to a doctors appointment that I don't think she needed has made me feel like total crap!

Sorry it's so long! But; WIBU to go out and does that make me an awful parent? sad

Sugarice Sat 09-Feb-13 16:10:06

You're not a bad parent!

Stop letting your Mother browbeat and put you down.

Let her nagging go right over your head or better still don't tell her anything where she will criticise you in return.

Give her some silent treatment for a change.

mynewpassion Sat 09-Feb-13 16:12:21

I think I am more annoyed that you missed going to a doc appointment because it could have been given to another sick child.

mrsbunnylove Sat 09-Feb-13 16:13:45

take your mother with a pinch of salt. she probably can't/won't change and you need to not care so much what she says.

AgentZigzag Sat 09-Feb-13 16:13:53

What you do with your friends, and what you decide to do with your daughter, has nothing to do with your mum.

The only possible reason for intervening is if she thought your DD was at risk of harm, which in her distorted mind she may possibly think, but you're not at all!

I would take the silent treatment your mum doles out and run with it grin

Hope your DD feels better soon, and try to ignore the drama your mum's trying to stir up, don't let it make you feel insecure about the decisions you and your DH take.

Why anyone would want to undermine their own DDs parenting is beyond me.

PimpMyHippo Sat 09-Feb-13 16:15:08

Yes, like mynewpassion said, the only unreasonable thing you did was miss your appointment without phoning to cancel so they could give it to someone else. But certainly not bad mothering!

You're all right. If I was reading this I'd be telling me the same!

Tbh it's more about the fact that I went out in general! I'm studying from home at the moment and if I don't go to visit every day I either get one word answers for a few days after I've skipped it or I get a smart comment from a sibling because mum's obviously not happy with me.

Growing up she never really encouraged us to have friends. And it's only in recent years I've made an effort and thought I WANT friends! And I have a few really good ones but I'm actually afraid to tell her when I have plans with them!

It's so ridiculous. I know it is. But she's so lovely so I feel guilty when I get pissed off with her! And the fact that I went out for drinks when I have children, let alone a sick child, that will cost me for a while yet!!

mynewpassion I remembered about 10 minutes beforehand but dd was asleep so I did phone the surgery and say we wouldn't be down. It's a very rural town so they wouldn't have had problems with missed appointments. I picked five so I could do dinners etc early and then just completely forgot!

Greensleeves Sat 09-Feb-13 16:19:58

Some people think being an intolerable fusspot makes you a better parent.

Kicking up a huge song and dance every time your child coughs or grazes their knee is NOT good role modelling and is a waste of time and energy. So is listening to your mithering windbag of a mother grin

Does your mother discourage you from having friends because she wants you all to herself? Does she not like you getting ideas about being a normal adult and having a social life? If so, the you don't even owe her basic courtesy. Just tell her to butt out.

Oh dear, far too many "anyways" in my OP. sorry about that! smile

IneedAsockamnesty Sat 09-Feb-13 16:22:17

Is your mother always so melodramatic?

Antipag Sat 09-Feb-13 16:22:18

Have faith on yourself and your own abilities as a Mum. You know what is best for your children. Your mum sounds like she is still mothering you. If you don't start showing her now that whilst you appreciate her support in many ways, you make the decisions that count when it comes to your children, the problem will only get worse. My Dad is a fantastic Dad and amazing grandad but he has some pretty strict views about mealtimes that I think are damaging and dangerous. I had to tell him that eventually that he needed to respect my opinion on the matter or he would never sit down for another meal with my children again. He has not done it since. Be clear, be loving but above all be honest about the situation and leave the ball in her court to back off or face he consequences.

landofsoapandglory Sat 09-Feb-13 16:26:03

I think you need to stop visiting or phoning your mother everyday, she sounds far too controlling and it isn't good for you IMO.

In my mind, the fact that you forgot about your DD's appointment proves that she didn't need it in the first place.

You aren't a shit mother though.

greensleeves I don't think she wants me to herself as such. I have loads of siblings!

Growing up she wouldn't let us go out with our friends unless we took one of our sisters with us. Our friends were never allowed in our house. She said it was because our rooms weren't tidy but they were so I know that was bullshit!

Even when I was old enough for the pub etc she hated me going and always made me take a sister who didn't have any friends. But she didn't have friends because they got sick of her never being allowed to do anything!

And on the rare occasions that a friend would come in she would be so rude!! I had a couple of friends that she was lovely to but it came in waves.

And if one of them ever achieved anything at school etc she would dislike them afterwards! Just very strange and she honestly is such a lovely person. I love her to bits but I'm always afraid to tell her if I do something outside the family. And now that I've been out on the same day dd has a cold! Well I'm just the worst in the world!

I didn't even tell her I was going. But she bloody well saw my friend!

Sirzy Sat 09-Feb-13 16:29:10

Ignore her, children don't need to be taken to see a doctor at the first sign of illness most things can easily be treated at home.

I was in A and E with DS this morning and was amazed at some of the things which people were bringing children in with which could have easily been sorted at home!

StoicButStressed Sat 09-Feb-13 16:30:20

Don't think you were remotely U - do think your Ma sounds like maybe she is thoughconfused. Agree with all upthread about how you parent is your business and she was with her Dad FFS, you'd hardly abandoned her! Also agree with those above who suggest maybe firmer/clearer boundaries in place might help (but know that in any family relationship that is sometimes easier said than donesad). Most importantly, how is DD today?smile

Sugarice Sat 09-Feb-13 16:30:29

She's lovely when all goes according to what she wants, when you step out of [what she considers to be] line then she changes .

Growing up must have been hard if she was so mean to your friends.

AgentZigzag Sat 09-Feb-13 16:35:23

'if I don't go to visit every day I either get one word answers for a few days after I've skipped it or I get a smart comment from a sibling because mum's obviously not happy with me.'

That really makes me shudder, why do you let her manipulate you like that?

What's stopped you from making the decision to distance yourself from her before now?

I've had similar problems, so I know it's not so easy when you're on the inside of the situation, but really, you can't be happy living with this grinding you down constantly.

Lueji Sat 09-Feb-13 16:37:03

I was told by DS's paediatrician that I was a goo mother for not taking DS to the doctor before the 3 day mark. Often only on the 4th.

He usually gets better in the meantime as usual.

Even recently, I tried to follow the family's orthopedist (brother smile ) and wait out for DS's heel pain to go away. Eventually I got him to do some x rays to check (all clear) but the pain got better soon after anyway.

Don't pay attention to panicky grandmothers.

zwischenzug Sat 09-Feb-13 16:47:26

Your mum sounds like a bit of a nut. It always amazes me how people who have parents who treat them badly seem to be in constant contact with them. You wouldn't nurture a friendship with an aquaintence who went off at you all the time for no reason, so why bother involving your mum in your life so closely when she behaves like that?

HermioneE Sat 09-Feb-13 16:55:09

she honestly is such a lovely person

Um, really?

She's telling you what to do, criticising you for not taking her (bad) advice and doling out passive aggressive punishments when you don't visit every day.

Someone will be along shortly to direct you to the dysfunctional parent/family support threads I suspect. wine from me in the meantime.

DumSpiroSpero Sat 09-Feb-13 17:26:56

Yanbu, my mum is very similar - of the opinion that as a mother I should be joined at the hip to DD (8yo) 24/7. I texted her this week to tell her I was going to be a school governor and her first reply was ' How much time will that take up and how does DD feel about it?' (she did congratulate me eventually!)

I frequently get 'oh that poor child' if I have the temerity to go out with friends for the day, and a barrage of texts & digs if I don't phone every night.

I know there are issues there, and she is an absolute rock on a practical level, but emotionally very hard work. I try to cut her a fair bit of slack because she's my mum and I love her but it can still be extremely frustrating. We argued when I visited today, so am currently an email hmm sad.

sparklyjumper Sat 09-Feb-13 17:27:11

Of course you're not bu. The only thing you were u about was forgetting to cancel the appointment!

DumSpiroSpero Sat 09-Feb-13 17:28:22

Currently awaiting an email - her usual MO when I have really pissed her off.

pictish Sat 09-Feb-13 17:36:36

Yanbu. Your mother sounds very controlling.
Does she have any friends?

Mia4 Sat 09-Feb-13 17:50:01

YANBU, your mum sounds controlling-like she expects things done her way and when they aren't she punishes people.

Your GP sounds worryingly stupid giving antibiotics when not required. I think we've all felt frustration from GPS going the other ways and refusing antibiot prescription when needed until you're crawling to the surgery, but your GP handing them out like sweets is wrong. And taking a child in every time they have a sniffle as your mum wants will make our kids neurotic and paranoid over their own health-believe me, I've seen it firsthand.

Dum that sounds very familiar to me. It's all a bit shit isn't it!

I'm a bit shocked about what you're all saying but I can see that it makes sense. Just, when you grow up with it I suppose you get used to it?

I just don't think the GP is as selective as he could be when handing out prescriptions. I hate to admit that in the past I've gone against my instincts and taken them and they've been given medication that I genuinely don't think they'd needed! There's been times when I haven't even bothered filling then prescriptions and they've gotten better and mum just assumes they're better because of the meds!

The thing is; along with the bad there's so much good in her. I even fe guilty typing this stuff about her! And a couple of my sisters are the exact same way as her. They're exhausting sometimes!

She's never had much of a social life.
She has a couple of long time friends but since retirement age she's joined a local women's group and has taken up lots of new hobbies and made some new friends.

When she has stuff on she just goes and does it and it's such a relief because I can just stay home and study or play with DS or even just get some housework done!!

Whoknowswhocares Sat 09-Feb-13 18:33:54

You are an adult. You do not have to answer to your mother, or take her stupid advice
Stop telling her the ins and outs of your life in such minute detail. And ignore her whitterings when it suits you. You sound much more sensible than her anyway, so start trusting your own instincts

DumSpiroSpero Sat 09-Feb-13 18:44:21

Yes it is walter! And harder in a way when there is a lot of good there too.

I'm an only child & my mum will pop over & do housework for me, does on DD and has helped me out financially to an extent that is blush to even think about, let alone admit to. She has friends and was always encouraging about me making friends, having kids round etc.

She had a few very unpleasant things happen to her as a child which were then compounded by the sudden deaths of her parents, and combined with the fact that she & my DH don't get on, it makes for very fraught relationships at times.

minouminou Sat 09-Feb-13 18:49:25

It's daft to go running to the GP with every sniffle anyway, as you're just sharing it with everyone else in the waiting room.
Had this from MIL a couple of weeks ago when DS and I had that awful flu bug...well, I had it, he had a sore throat and a temp that cleared up v rapidly.
She was wondering why I didn't take him straight to the GP, so I explained why; because all I'd achieve was a suggestion of Calpol from the GP while we were busy spreading the bug to all and sundry.
Maybe this is something you could add to your armoury, OP.

I've taken DD in a few times with weird viral rashes, because they've looked quite alarming. She had parvovirus once! Which is entirely appropriate as she behaves as though raised by wolves......

Whenever someone trots out the "I can't believe..." line, I just say "Try harder, then..."

However, I am an epic cow, with a leaden tone that would stop your blood....

BeaWheesht Sat 09-Feb-13 18:56:16

Are you my sister?

Whenever someone trots out the "I can't believe..." line, I just say "Try harder, then...

I would love to use this!

Dum my mum was the same. Had some awful things happen to her in younger life. What's weird is she has sons and daughters. My brothers don't put nearly as much effort or time into visiting etc and they can do no wrong!

Her daughters though, are a different story! And her moods swing so drastically. If you disagree with her about anything (a news story for example) she'll just stop talking to you! And then the atmosphere is just horrendous.

Do you have a really big family Bea? I could be!

BeaWheesht Sat 09-Feb-13 19:00:42


My mums just the same. If I say I'm doing anything without the kids she says 'who will the kids be with?' As if I'm likely to leave them to fend for themselves (6&2)

If I went for a night out when either dc was at all unwell I probably would be told shed report me to social services.

She never went out when I was little even though I know she did

But despite all this she is lovely and caring and supportive in some ways, I don't live nearby though so it isn't as suffocating as it could be.

minouminou Sat 09-Feb-13 19:01:16

Don't dream about using it....bloody use it.

minouminou Sat 09-Feb-13 19:05:06

Oh yes..."who are the kids with?"

You can use my two faves:
A. They're chained to a radiator.
B. A known and trusted adult (delivered in a tone more appropriate to a siege negotiator).

Both show stoppers in their own way. B's more subtle, though, and is effective on hardcore neurotics.

Oh minou I think I need you in my life! grin

minouminou Sat 09-Feb-13 19:14:53

It's easier said than done, though, if you have a heavy table of family nonsense to overturn.
I've been argumentative since I could talk, and have always ploughed my own furrow. This stops people bugging me too much, as it's not worth the hassle. I rarely have had to use these lines.

However, your family won't drop you if you suddenly become more assertive....there may be a weird period in which everyone adjusts, but I reckon they need you more than you need them.

DumSpiroSpero Sat 09-Feb-13 19:34:28

How old is your mum Walter?

Mine is mid-seventies. Disastrous evacuation experience, abusive childminder & sudden death of her dad at the age of 12 have left her with horrendous separation anxiety basically. Of course by the time therapy for this kind of thing was commonplace it was too deeply ingrained to be effective.

I try hard to bear this in mind, and I love her dearly, but the constant second-hand anxiety & snarky comments when I do anything outside her comfort zone are really wearing, as is her tendency to blame DH for every decision I make that she doesn't approve of and label me a doormat for going along with it. 98% of the time DH has had no involvement in whatever I've done anyway, but I guys it's easier to blame him than accept yet more concrete proof that we are as different as chalk & cheese.

She's 70 Dum unfortunately her issues stem from abuse as a child by her grandfather.

And there were always question marks over the father of her older sister, it seems her grandfather also raped her mother so it wasn't an easy family to grow up in.

She has battled depression for years and in hindsight I'm sure she was very depressed at stages through my childhood.

She really does have a heart of gold and can be so fun to be around but the downs make it hard to enjoy the ups! My DH just despairs. He said today that everytime I do/have something that makes me happy and my family is not involved in some way, she finds a way to make me feel bad about it sad

minou they would definitely survive if I pulled back but the guilt would drive me mad!

DumSpiroSpero Sat 09-Feb-13 20:01:17

Your poor mum, that's horrible.

My mum had a breakdown after her mum died when I was 6 - anxiety, depression, phobias. It was not pleasant.

I suspect my DH feels the same as yours which is why his relationship with my parents has gone so far downhill over the years. His mum is hard work too although he'd never acknowledge it.

I know what you mean re the guilt. I texted my mum earlier as we parted on less than brilliant terms today. No reply & no email as yet and I'm already feeling guilty & fighting the urge to call her, but tbh I just don't have the energy or headspace for another verbal battle atm.

Same here. I want to phone even just to see if she's angry with me!

I can't be bothered right now though.

DumSpiroSpero Sat 09-Feb-13 22:05:53

I want to phone even just to see if she's angry with me!

Yup - that's the one! Ridiculous isn't it?

It is, it really is.

I can see that and just can't stop myself!

pictish Sat 09-Feb-13 23:10:08

I think the fact that you've posted about it says that you're starting to find this routine old.
You are in the right. Your mums advice is rubbish and you've pretty much got it sussed.
Don't phone her. It's a merry bloody dance that you can do without.

I haven't phoned her but I will see her tomorrow.

I hope she's in a good mood because her mood tends to effect everyone else's!

But then, if she is cheerful I'll feel guilty for even saying all of this!

DumSpiroSpero Sun 10-Feb-13 20:40:55

But then, if she is cheerful I'll feel guilty for even saying all of this!

DD has just Skyped my mum - the reason I didn't get a shirty email is that she has not got the hump with me after all confused blush.

Wonder if my Dad has had a word - he is a very mild-mannered chap that usually keeps out of things but does occasionally step up to the plate when we're really at loggerheads and invariably takes my side!

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