"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?


LyingWitchInTheWardrobe Wed 10-Apr-13 15:18:01

Ohhh... Do we have the same mother? shock

I'm away from home, traveling for at least three days a week and am expected to report in when I leave home, when I get there, when I leave, when I arrive home... arrrggghh.

You are most definitely, definitely, absolutely NOT being unreasonable.

bionic77 Wed 10-Apr-13 15:20:20

Alternatively you could have a mother like mine who says "If I don't hear from you I know you're alright". Not sure how that works!!

aderynlas Wed 10-Apr-13 15:21:10

How about call really quickly say youve arrived but there is simply no signal where you are so you will call again when you are home. Hope you and your dh have a lovely time.

zipzap Wed 10-Apr-13 15:23:07

If she was babysitting young dc then I probably would but that would also be so that I could say good night to the dc or reassure them that we were all going to be having a lovely time.

And likewise if we were picking up dc from her then I probably would call when setting out so they had an idea of what sort of time we would be there...

However - as your dd is 20 I am assuming that she is not being babysat by her gran! - then no, I wouldn't! She is DBU.

I wouldn't normally ring my mum to say that we were off on a trip or starting our journey back if we were away, but if we were going on a holiday and were waiting at the ferry or airport etc then I might call for a chat to kill time if needed or to remind her about something or ask about something I'd forgotten.

If she is doing a journey from me and it's dark/snowy/I know she is tired, then I might get her to call me to let me know she is back safe after a couple of 'mis'adventures she has had getting lost on the journey home after thinking she knew a better way to go than official diversion routes hmmgrin

I might also call her up after having been at her house for a visit - but it wouldn't be as soon as I got back, more to say thank you and let her know that we got back safe, got the dc into bed OK etc.

Hope you get to have a lovely relaxing anniversary break by the way! Have some thanks and wine for the break!

BellaVita Wed 10-Apr-13 15:24:16

Oh god OP thank The Lord it isn't just me with a mother like this!

I have been married 26 flaming years and she still treats me like a fucking child.

Bejeena Wed 10-Apr-13 15:27:19

My inlaws are like this and it drives me mad sometimes. FIL will text my husband when we are driving somewhere and if he doesn't respond will then text me and I just feel like we are being invaded. I don't feel the need to tell them where we are, where we stopped, what time we will arrive etc. If it was just calling to say we arrived I might be able to cope with it.

5madthings Wed 10-Apr-13 15:30:27

Mil is like this.

I work on the premises that if something bad happens they will hear about is from the police as we have emergency contact numbers in our phones.


Tee2072 Wed 10-Apr-13 15:32:58

My mother just flew home from here to Florida. I only knew she arrived safely because she responded to a group email I sent about something or other while she was travelling.

BistoBear Wed 10-Apr-13 15:34:46

My parents used to be like this and I always obliged with a quick call when we arrived at our holiday destination. Then they went to California for 3 weeks and didn't call until the 19th to say they'd got there OK! The voicemail said something about them having far too much fun to find the time to call hmm

fluffyraggies Wed 10-Apr-13 15:35:32

Thank you.

We live about 3 minutes walk apart. My DCs are 20, 18 and 15. They are looking after the house for us and are going to be keeping an eye on mum for me. She doesn't drive and often needs someone to 'pop' somewhere and do or get something.

This will be our only break this year. We really do have loads on our plate right now one way or another, and DH and i have been coping fine. Few spats, few tears, but we're working though it all (no choice really!)

And now for some reason i've thrown a wobbly over this! I'm over reacting, i know i am. It's ridiculous.

I'm an only child and my relationship with her is .... strained sometimes.

I really just honestly wondered if IWBU to think she shouldn't be telling me she'll be sat worrying.

fluffyraggies Wed 10-Apr-13 15:37:29

Oh x posted loads there!

It's not just me then. Thank goodness.

Thank you. You've made me smile

Booboostoo Wed 10-Apr-13 15:40:31

My mum's the same! We have to be in constant phone contact every time someone in the family travels! The first time we traveled back home with one month old DD we were late calling her because the plane had been delayed and of course she could not get hold of us because mobiles were off during the flight, so first thing she says as soon as we called was "I thought you had died!!!". Yes sure, that's the most likely explanation for an hour's delay!

C4ro Wed 10-Apr-13 15:41:32

My family have never done this but my DH family nearly always do, especially when going to or leaving the parents and grandparents. He will sometimes even ring his brother that we've got home OK... (a whole 45 minutes drive, gee, hope he didn't gnaw his fingers to the bone worrying...)

I think it's a bit ridiculous but it's very alien to me- if it was your normal baseline though, wouldn't you just be totally used to doing it by now? It's starting not to register with me after 6 years with him.

Wales can be very dangerous you know.

Thank goodness my parents aren't like this. They appreciate a quick call to say we're home and I often visit them over the next day or so and chat over coffee about the holiday, etc. That's it, and they would nag about the call either.

You have my sympathies. I wouldn't be able to bite my tongue if my mum asked for me to keep calling her.

OrangeFootedScrubfowl Wed 10-Apr-13 15:45:34

Haha! You have my mother too!

But I've gone the same way. hmm

WildlingPrincess Wed 10-Apr-13 15:47:43

My Mother doesn't give a shit what I do. She hasn't rang me in 4 months even though she knows I'm having problems. I wish she did care sad Though YANBU. You're an adult!

OHforDUCKScake Wed 10-Apr-13 15:50:33

I have a mother who, in her own words says "no news is good news" with regards to me.

I dont think she means it badly though.

And Id prefer one who doesnt ask than one that expects to be told daily.

FayeKorgasm Wed 10-Apr-13 15:51:21

It must be a nightmare OP. Would a compromise work? Perhaps you could text your DC when you arrive and they could let her know?

PregnantPain Wed 10-Apr-13 15:53:03

YY to Wales being dangerous, sheep can give chase at the drop of a hat and no one told me about that, oh no

fluffyraggies Wed 10-Apr-13 15:53:42

if it was your normal baseline though, wouldn't you just be totally used to doing it by now?

Well ... she goes through phases of asking for a call. If we're getting on a plane she doesn't expect a call as we go, but wants one as we land. In the main i just 'forget' tbh. It's all so unnecessary. It's all wrapped up in the fact that she always tries to make me feel guilty about going away on holidays at all if we're going to get to the nitty gritty.

I just want some peace. I'm just a bit strung out. And my mum doesn't bring out the best in me.

I'm so glad i started this thread though. I needed to! It's released a valve somewhere grin

As usual when you ask something here ... you find you're never the only one.

flossieraptor Wed 10-Apr-13 15:54:52

My dad always tells me to give him a call to let him know I got home safe. He doesn't ask my brother to do any such thing so on principle I have always forgotten. THey have now stopped bothering to ask.

Don't do what a friend of mine did, never called his parents and got stopped by Interpol on his way home through the airport as he had been reported as a missing person shock

lisaro Wed 10-Apr-13 15:56:18

Oh dear. I AM that mother. Disclaimer - only if going abroad or long journey, travelling in bad weather or maybe the very odd occasion otherwise. I'll even accept a quick ring of the phone, blank text, doesn't have to be a full on call.
I may sound bitter, but like a lot here, my mother isn't like that, and it's not nice. It may be a pain but just be grateful she cares, and sorry if that sounds like I'm moralising, I'm really not, it's said with a smile, but types out as sounding bitter.

fluffyraggies Wed 10-Apr-13 15:57:45

Y to texting the DCs. I will.

I can already envisage the call to our house ... on the answer machine ...
''Hallooooo is there anyone theeeeere??? Humph. Will one of you girls ring me - i've not heard from your mother!''

<feels evil>

Feminine Wed 10-Apr-13 15:58:45

Some people just worry. a bit

I like to be told if someone has arrived.

Many people in my family ask the same of me.

My Mum is a real worrier , really panics. I just let the panic drift over my head...and away!

I always call. YANBU to wish she didn't add that last bit on, but, its very common.

Airwalk79 Wed 10-Apr-13 15:58:58

Don't do it! Just don't start getting into this one!
My mum has to ring my nan all the time and its painful!
If I go and see her she wants me to ring to say I'm home, its a ten min drive. I make a excuse about going shopping/ friends/ anywhere on my way and don't know what time il be home.
I think she proberbly thinks I'm forgetful but I refuse to get into this!

Disclaimer... I love my old nana to absolute bits, and do most things she asks, but I can't drive her paranoia by going along with this silly game.

EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 10-Apr-13 16:00:34

I've been chased by a sheep in Wales. I had to fend it off with a flowmeter.

My mum does this, sometimes, but she's gotten better. Now it's only really if we've had a car journey of several hours.

I'd go with calling her for about 15 seconds "Hello? Mum? Can you hear me? Hello? For goodness sake, I just wanted to call to say we're here ok, but the signal is so bad I can't hear a thing! Hello?" then hang up and turn your phone off, and sit down with a chilled glass of wine, and have a good giggle about your DM at the other end. "Hello???" grin

UtterflyButterfly Wed 10-Apr-13 16:04:36

My DD and I have an unspoken arrangement that we text after a long journey. Sadly, we have had a family tragedy where somebody didn't arrive safely, and, although it's never discussed between us I know she's happy if I let her know I'm home and vice versa.

In OP's situation though, the DCs will know if anything's amiss and can let Grandmother know.

RandallPinkFloyd Wed 10-Apr-13 16:07:13

My mother is exactly the same. It drives me bonkers.

Her main area of concern is ditches. It's always assumed I could potentially "end up in a ditch".

It's ridiculous and tbh now I'm 33 I've lost patience. She's a massive drama llama and I refuse to be drawn into it. Harsh as it sounds, the fact that she loves the drama of worrying is her problem not mine

fluffyraggies Wed 10-Apr-13 16:07:50

Just remembered I was almost butted into a lake by a sheep a couple of summers ago smile

So .. those who have been asked to ring, but don't ring ... do you say you're not going to ring? Or do you 'forget' and it all just simmers on?

I'll be speaking to her again before we leave tomorrow - i'm not sure i can face being honest and say i wont ring. I cant bare the 'poor me' stuff that will follow.

I'm a jelly aren't i?

purrpurr Wed 10-Apr-13 16:08:18

OP, don't do it. This is a nice trip for you, an oasis of calm in what sounds like rocky seas right now, you are well and truly past the age of needing to be parented, and as you are not going into Outer Space or somewhere similarly far flung, she cannot expect you to parent up a level at her, either, by reassuring (and enabling) her hand-wringing and panicking. Don't do it. Say you forgot. Don't even let it enter your radar.

I have no idea where my mother is at any time. She has no idea where I am at any time.

We both have mobile phones, and generally communicate by text.

Suits me fine. I would hate hate to have to ring someone to confirm my arrival. The only time I do is if I am travelling back late, and then I text whoever I was visiting to let them know I'm back (am a single parent).

fluffyraggies Wed 10-Apr-13 16:11:25

I think the adult thing to do is exactly what mrsmango and others have suggested. Quick ring - bad signal - job done.


Dolallytats Wed 10-Apr-13 16:12:36

Oh dear, I AM your mother!! I do this to my almost 20yr old daughter blush. She calls when she leaves for work and when she gets home (she has lived in her own place for just over a year) and if she goes out for the evening she texts when she's home. I'm really trying not to be a paranoid wreck......but I don't think it's working!! blush

snice Wed 10-Apr-13 16:12:43

This is what texting is for surely?' Just arrived see you on xday' then 'just leaving see you later'
It only takes 20 seconds

fluffyraggies Wed 10-Apr-13 16:13:29

purrpurr you're right! I wont ring.

It is ridiculous. I've managed to get myself and my family half way round the world before now.

It's only Wales!


HeathRobinson Wed 10-Apr-13 16:13:42

Wales can be very dangerous you know.

It's the dragons...

Arcticwaffle Wed 10-Apr-13 16:13:47

I'd turn my phone off and say "We're having a digital free holiday" (all the rage apparently, you can pay £3000 to stay on a Carribean Island without your phone or wifi).

But I only phone my mother about once a month, she'd prefer weekly but certainly not all the time. It seems really bizarre to me to be so intense with other adults.

WilsonFrickett Wed 10-Apr-13 16:14:27

My SIL is like this. I love her dearly but if she can't get hold of my (extremely independent, in full control of all her faculties) MIL she starts a telephone tree round the family thinking she's popped her clogs. Last time she'd just gone to Waitrose lucky cah

fluffyraggies Wed 10-Apr-13 16:16:16

snice she wont ''do'' texts. Her mobile is in the bread bin, turned off, and that's where it stays. She wont leave a proper message on an answer machine either.

WHAT is that all about?? ''Hellllloooooooooooo''???? Phone goes down.



They just won't let us grow up, will they?

My MIL insisted my dh ring him at 11pm to make sure he was ok, or to tell her he was on the way home, EVERY TIME he was out with his friends, and was doing it right til he met me. He was 22 at the time. And a MAN blush shock

BellaVita Wed 10-Apr-13 16:16:56

I would ring her now for a bit of a catchup and say right then, I will give you a call over the weekend and I can tell you all about our lovely hotel etc.

If she complains just say it will be the weekend or not at all.

Giraffeski Wed 10-Apr-13 16:19:12

I used to wait half an hour before I rang my mum when I got home, or else she would accuse me of driving too fast wink

digerd Wed 10-Apr-13 16:27:01

I know somebody who did die in a ditch. Not driving a car but walking drunk on new year's day in the early hours. The ditch had water in it and he passed out fell into it face down and drowned.

There are 2 wise sayings
1. A woman is born to worry about her children
2. Small children small worries, big children big worries.

If they didn't care about you, they wouldn't worry - but they do.
Wait until you are as old as your DMs - you will be just the same. <smile face>.

EggsEggSplat Wed 10-Apr-13 16:29:03

My mother does this, not just when I'm travelling. She calls me every night, and if I don't answer (out, on the loo, on the other phone...) starts worrying until I call her back.

The thing is, for about 15 years I was on the other side of the world and only spoke to her once every week or so and most of the time she had no idea where I was - I once called after we had been in quite a bad earthquake, and she had no idea we'd been anywhere near it. But since I moved back to the UK, she expects to know where I am and what I am doing all the time (and tells me not to go out by myself after dark - ffs I'm a big strong ugly 45 year old, I can take care of myself).

There was a great quote about all this in a book I read recently (Capital, John Lanchester) something along the lines of how to the person doing the worrying/fussing, it feels like love; to the person being worried about, it feels like control. Exactly. I try not to do it to my children...

Op I am not you but may be your sister smile

My MIL used to be like that.
Until she was told to naff off. I don't even call MY mother when I'm away.
She's fine now grin

CrystalQueen Wed 10-Apr-13 16:33:51

My mother likes me to phone when I get home if I have been visiting them (an hour's drive away). It drives my DH mental, so that now I have to phone from the car before I go in. I can't figure out who is treating me more like a child, my mother for wanting me to phone, or my husband for forbidding me from phoning.

badguider Wed 10-Apr-13 16:36:16

I have always thought it's a bit daft, I don't worry about my parents when they drive somewhere... and I'm pretty sure they don't worry about me either. I mean, you're just as likely (probably more) to have an accident going to work or asda than driving for a weekend away somewhere.
I speak to my parents about once a week and if I'm going abroad I warn them so they don't call my mobile but that's all, same the other way round.

I guess I might do the 'phone when you're home safe' if either I or they set out on the roads in a terrible blizzard or something but that would be a rare thing.

badguider Wed 10-Apr-13 16:38:40

fluffy - tell her they don't have phone reception in wales and there won't be any payphones grin

EldritchCleavage Wed 10-Apr-13 16:42:28

If you're like me it isn't just the having to ring your mother, it is bearing the constant burden of her state of anxiety and the negative thinking she brings to everything.

If I'm happy about a trip away, I don't want to hear about how it is all a source of worry to her and I rese3nt the assumption that I have to make my priority not having a good time but giving her reassurance.

It only took years of therapy (not just for this, kidding) but I stopped either acting on her anxiety or reacting to it. I did tell her that I didn't want to know about her worrying all the time and it was a bit oppressive. My mother did snap 'Should I just stop caring at all then?' And I said 'Is that the only alternative?'

She has been much much better in recent years, though she does ring constantly when the children are ill and is always wanting me to take them to the doctor.

starsandunicorns Wed 10-Apr-13 16:42:41

In the days when i had a reatlionship with the mother if either of is was travling to or from each other (3-4 hour car journey) we would always ring to say back safe plus when leaving our home as then the other would know we were one the road.

My mum would always call like this when we left my dads parents so i have bern brought up with it.

When i was in the miltary and flew home or back to base i would call to say leaving or arrived as using miltary planes they had no way of tracking them and i was in other country

When I became married my the husband family never ever did this and I used to think it was very odd not to want to know someone arrived safely when we did forgein hoildays with dc I would give plane details to my parnets so they can see we landed safe

My dp family dp it too though even though we dont speak to them we get a round robin text to say arrived safely.

If my DM asks me to call, I call, unless I really do forget. As I said, she doesn't ask much anymore, and only for longer journeys. If it makes her happy, I'm more than happy to give up a minute of my time. We don't have long chats on these calls, but you always have the perfect get out "got to go Mum, we still have to unload the car"

I think if she asked me to call for a 10 minute journey (she wouldn't), I'd laugh and ask her if she'd like me to call as we leave and keep her on the line for a blow by blow commentary.

shrimponastick Wed 10-Apr-13 16:50:22

Your DM is BVVVVU.

But you know that you have to call her, to put her mind at rest. just keep it short.

my DM never asks me to phone her when she arrives anywhere. I don't expect her to phone me either. We do tend to text/call from our hols abroad just to brag though grin

Even when I was a teenager on wild boozy holidays, and trekking around India, she didn't expect me to phone. I possibly sent a postcard??

DH has to phone his DPs when we go away on holiday. They worry - particularly his DM - as she hasn't left the UK. Forrin and planes are dangerous. However DH drives hundreds of miles each week on UK motorways, which is no doubt far more dangerous than a quick flight to Spain now and again.

M25Meltdown Wed 10-Apr-13 16:52:50

Just text:

Arrived alive, but only just. Will fill in the gaps when I see you. <<evil>>

amothersplaceisinthewrong Wed 10-Apr-13 16:57:17

I onluy ring my DM up when we get back from visiting her as it is 250 miles away. I left home at 18 and wrote weekly letters home from university, no mobiles back then.

limitedperiodonly Wed 10-Apr-13 16:57:41


My mum doesn't insist on it at all but I know she loves me. I love her too and though she's old and decrepit wink I haven't microchipped her so I can keep track of her travels yet either.

I did used to call when I lived at home and was staying out, but that was reasonable, even though I'm old enough to have had to find a payphone and a 10p. My mum never complained once about pissed phone calls at 2am grin

CoffeeShoppe Wed 10-Apr-13 16:57:58

Aaah bless, she is only worried for your safety. As no doubt we shall be with ours whatever age they are. At least you can just send a text. Arrived safely. Funnily enough my parents are now late 70's and are off gallivanting all over the place. I make sure they text me when they arrive, so it saves all the angst when you see on the news there has been a pile up on the M whatever.. And my DC the same. A 3 second thing to send a text won't harm your weekend.

recall Wed 10-Apr-13 17:03:00

In means a lot to your DM, and will make her feel relaxed, would it hurt to phone her ? It would be a kind thing to do. It is nice to have a Mum who cares so much about you.

myBOYSareBONKERS Wed 10-Apr-13 17:09:12

We just text "home" and thats it. It used to REALLY annoy me as I saw it as yet another "control thing" with my parents but now I just do it to get it out of the way. Also means I don't have to wait for the inevitable "are you home safe?" phone call

badguider Wed 10-Apr-13 17:51:20

OPs mum won't accept texts or use a mobile phone - I agree a text is easy but engaging in a phonecall is not so easy, particularly if you know it's going to be made to feel guilty if you hangup without a whole conversation.

willyoulistentome Wed 10-Apr-13 17:58:06

Not my mum, but MIL does this. Have to call her after journeys. She also gives us a hard time if she calls while we are and she was expecting us to be in. "You didn't tell you were going out". We are 54 and 46 FFS.

ChocolateCoins Wed 10-Apr-13 18:00:46

Not exactly the same but My mum rings me all the time and suspects the worst if I don't pick up.

A few weeks ago I went food shopping and left my phone at home. My mum rang me while I was out and obviously o didn't answer. She then rang DPs phone but as we were in asda, didn't have any signal.

She then rang DPs grandparents (looking up their number in the phone book) to ask where I was because I wasn't answering my phone, and asked them to go to my house (they live on the same street as me)

When I eventually rang her back, she went crazy at me for worrying her!

EggsEggSplat Wed 10-Apr-13 18:04:30

Texts don't work here as 76yo mother keeps mobile phone switched off in a drawer 'in case of emergencies'... hmm

Fast Wed 10-Apr-13 18:14:38

No one else do "Three bells"? grin it can't be just us because I'm sure Peter Kay did it in one of his shows.

MousyMouse Wed 10-Apr-13 18:16:45

my mother is like that.
I usually wait a bit with calling her. if I don't she will ring up a storm when I have just fallen asleep we least need it.
she also calls every week to get a nosey to catch up on things.
only good thing is that our phone bill is very low as we never call her...

My Mum was like that - drove me MAD. Weirdly, now she's gone I miss it...

tigerlilygrr Wed 10-Apr-13 18:29:38

There was a great quote about all this in a book I read recently (Capital, John Lanchester) something along the lines of how to the person doing the worrying/fussing, it feels like love; to the person being worried about, it feels like control. Exactly. I try not to do it to my children...

eggs I was just about to post thus quotation too!

EndoplasmicReticulum Wed 10-Apr-13 18:39:48

Fast - yes, my mum and granny used to do this. Meant you didn't have to pay for the phone call! But as they lived next door to each other they could have equally well bashed on the wall or looked out of the window and waved.

Fast our family used to do "two rings"!

It was when phone calls cost a significant amt of money, and usually to let someone know you were on your way there, so that they knew when to expect you (my parents used to have to travel 15 miles across the city to see each set of GP's, and wrangle 3 children while doing so, and the "two rings" used to mean that the GP's could time the roast dinner properly!)

Although I think they also used to do "two rings" when they got back home to let the GP's know we were all still alive.

2rebecca Wed 10-Apr-13 18:48:47

I don't ring people unless they need to know eg I'm meeting them. Why should my dad need to know I've arrived on holiday? It's nothing to do with him. I'd tell your parents to stop being so silly about travelling and that you don't phone them every time you drive to work etc and that they're being silly and need to stop fussing.
I wouldn't say I'd phone and not phone, I'd just refuse to phone.
I think phoning every time you drive or travel is complying with the myth that travel is scary and dangerous.
"No, it's just a car journey/ holiday, I'll phone you next week/ send you a postcard...." If you keep behaving like a child you can't complain when your parents treat you like one. Adults don't check in every time they go somewhere.

fluffyraggies Wed 10-Apr-13 19:01:10

I do ''two rings'' when i'm leaving to go pick her up for shopping.

Thank you MN.

If you're like me it isn't just the having to ring your mother, it is bearing the constant burden of her state of anxiety and the negative thinking she brings to everything.

This ^^, and

I agree a text is easy but engaging in a phone call is not so easy, particularly if you know it's going to be made to feel guilty if you hangup without a whole conversation.

This ^ hit the nail on the head for me. A text would be fine to do. Or if it could just be a ^quick call.

Been chatting to DH about parents and calling. His mum and dad never expect a call unless something bad has gone on. We go on holls and ring them about a week after we get back. They go away to Cyprus for literally weeks on end and they call maybe once in the middle to say hi.

I do hate the fact that every single time we go away, be it a weekend or two weeks, when i get home i get given a huge guilt trip about how ill she was while i was away, and the disasters that befell her, coupled with a great moan about none of my DCs ''picked up the phone to see if she was alive'' sort of lectures hmm Every time. I get about 3 seconds air time to talk about the holiday and then she cuts me down with the above for half an hour. I'm not sure she's even aware of the fact that i sometimes dont even bother to start telling her about my trip these days sad

fluffyraggies Wed 10-Apr-13 19:03:51

2rebecca - i know! I mean, we'll probably spend more hours driving around Wales than it will take to drive to Wales. Why would it only be the 'to' or 'from' bit that disaster could strike on!??! grin

DumSpiroSpero Wed 10-Apr-13 19:11:07

I'm 37 & my mum's the same.

There are issues there tbf so I just go along with it.

We have a system where I just text 'AP&C' (All Present & Correct) when I get anywhere, and then text when I'm leaving/due back with another AP&C when I get back.

It keeps her happy & nanas I don't have to get into long winded conversations I don't have the time or inclinaition for when I'm in the middle of doing things.

DumSpiroSpero Wed 10-Apr-13 19:12:18

means not nanas confused

Crappy predictive text.

macreturnofthe Wed 10-Apr-13 21:06:45

my family insist on - call when you get back and let it ring for 4 rings then hang up so we will know your back (don't pick up coz that will cost money!)

I refuse to partake, but find it hugely entertaining to watch- especially when it rings for more than 4 rings and there is a sprint to answer it before the answer phone kicks in!

Or the classic - not hanging up promptly after 4 rings leaving confusion over who it was that called, requiring a 1471 (costs money) and then if it was a failed 4 ring attempt....this could mean there's a disaster and said person is in trouble!

b4bunnies Wed 10-Apr-13 21:12:09

if i walk home from my daughter's house (five minutes away from mine) i have to phone her when i get in. and if she walked home from my house, i'd expect her to do the same.

CaptainSweatPants Wed 10-Apr-13 21:13:30

why? What do yuo think might happen? do you mean late at night?

b4bunnies Wed 10-Apr-13 21:17:08

no. just. we don't like people flapping around the world unaccounted for.

2rebecca Wed 10-Apr-13 21:22:51

My dad often comes back from impromptu holidays and just tells me he's been away and he's in his 70s! I don't get these families who live in each others pockets and can't go for a 5 minute walk or 2 hour drive without checking in. I can't remember if I've even told my dad if I'm going away in a fortnight, he knows I'm going away next weekend because he's meeting us there so we'll phone each other then.
I'd hate to be part of a nosy family with no freedom or sense of travel as routine and enjoyable not a fearful ordeal.

PicaK Wed 10-Apr-13 22:26:36

We have to do the ring not text thing. It does get irritating. But it means a lot to them - I guess it's an old people thing and we go along with it.

We also drink red bull on the journey and have to stop and dispose of the evidence before we get to our relative's house as she hates the stuff.

As someone says above - it's a foible we'd miss.

ImagineJL Wed 10-Apr-13 22:36:44

I don't understand the problem. She's your Mum, she'll worry, so just ring her. It only needs to take a couple of minutes, and it'll mean a lot to her.

I think YABVU.

tigerlilygrr Wed 10-Apr-13 22:54:14

Someone I know (name redacted as honestly I think this is embarrassing) used to ring his mum to say he was going into the cinema now and would not be contactable for the next two hours... Every time. A fully grown adult male. Then ring when he got out. It's not just the mums being unreasonable it's the family who pander to it, OP YANBU!

2rebecca Wed 10-Apr-13 23:02:41

Why should a mother worry because their very adult child is going on a 1 hour car journey though? If it was a trip to Oz I could understand wanting some sort of call to say you have arrived but I travel for an hour in the car regularly. If my dad wanted a phonecall each time I'd tell him to stop being so silly. It isn't cute and loving and endearing, it's OTT and smothering.
Why is it OK to behave in a controlling neurotic way just because you are a parent?
Being a good parent includes giving your adult children their freedom and not sweating the small stuff and a 1 hour car journey is definitely the small stuff.
It isn't an old people thing, and if you refuse to do it then they stop expecting it.
I wouldn't tell my dad I was going anywhere if he wanted phone calls every time I got in the car. It really is none of his business.

LaQueen Wed 10-Apr-13 23:08:03

Well, it could be seen as being caring...but, if your Mum really cared about you she would ascertain that her attitude really irritates you, and she would bite her lip and not ask you to always phone her.

My MIL is like this with my SIL - and it drives my SIL up the wall, and my MIL knows this. But, she refuses to stop, because she chooses to put her own feelings, before those of her DD.

glossyflower Wed 10-Apr-13 23:27:47

What's the big deal honestly? Just a quick text would do, "hi mum got here safe thanks". Even if you do begrudge doing it I don't see why you should stress over it.
My mum is the same although isn't as bad as she used to be. However at 32 years old I do object to her trying to hold my hand when we cross the road grin

DontSHOUTTTTTT Wed 10-Apr-13 23:58:40

My DS 20 uses our joint iTunes account and we worked out we could all share a FindIPhone account in case any of us loose our iPhones.......

Basically, this means we can all track where each other are at all times. I think this is the ultimate App for worrying Mums.
(Not that I am wink )

onetoomanytoo Thu 11-Apr-13 00:03:31

i am currantly being driven mad by my dad, this weekend i am driving to london from cornwall, but according to him i should really book a coach as the drive will be too much for me, am a a newly passed driver?, am i 19, ?, no, i am 45, have had my driving licence for the last 20 years, never had an accident, and have spent the last 3 years driving up and down the motorways in the 4x4 bus towing a horse trailer.

the whole thing is made far worse by the fact i am flying out to a country that has had a bit of trouble of late, but is all quiet at the mement, as i pointed out to him, from what is being said, london is going to be far worse next wednesday!!

on the other hand, my 20 yr old dd, often travels the bredth of the country, mostly for uni, she texts me when she gets there, but more to let me know she didn't miss or get on the wrong coach ( she has form!), but i don't panic if i don't here from her for weeks on end.

erowid Thu 11-Apr-13 00:18:49

My mum always asks for a 'check-in' text if I've been visiting and I drive back home late at night but not so much if I leave during the day. Although I do remember the time when DH an I took a last min holiday to Amsterdam and she called whilst we were away so I told her I wouldn't talk long so not to rack up the phone charges and she freaked "You haven't been on a plane have you? you should have told me!... anything could happen!!" ..... "yes mum, sorry mum" grin

whokilleddannylatimer Thu 11-Apr-13 00:25:30

Ha my mum once rang me on a winter night, on hearing traffic she gave me a lecture on why I was out in the dark.

It was 7pm, I was on my way home from work and 30!!

Yes also to the if I dont hear from you by eight I will know your home ok??? confused

And "your dad will pick you up, im not having dc on buses with the drunks who will be about on a Friday night at five pm?

SingingSands Thu 11-Apr-13 00:38:47

When we go on holiday, MIL phones every fucking day to ask what our plans are, if we're going out for dinner, where we've been...it's so intrusive!

I have no idea why. Normally we only speak on the phone once or twice a week.

whokilleddannylatimer Thu 11-Apr-13 00:43:56

my mum is quite savvy in regards to technology.

I woke up the other day to 2 missed calls, 2 answer messages, a Facebook message and a missed Skype. This was half past 6am.

I rang back in a panic to be told she had seen something about an attempted abduction miles from where I live...

Jux Thu 11-Apr-13 00:47:06

Never with my parents, but dh's mum is dreadful for this; she is known to indulge massively in emotional blackmail.

Gay40 Thu 11-Apr-13 00:54:18

I drive a lot for work, sometimes overnights. The only person who needs to know where I am is DP, and that's only a text to say I've arrived and my room number in case she wants to have flowers delivered which never happens

Similarly a text to say I'm leaving because the roads I travel on are prone to fatal pile-ups

I have no idea where my parents are most of the time, but they do tell me when they are going on holiday etc. I couldn't stand constant monitoring. My grandmother finds it incredible that we don't report our locations every five minutes to each other. Fuck that (I quote my mum)

Gay40 Thu 11-Apr-13 00:56:39

Do people have nothing better to do than sit and worry about other people's travelling arrangements??

MidniteScribbler Thu 11-Apr-13 04:48:16

I'm afraid I'm someone who likes a call. I never was, until my father passed away. I had tried calling him all night and he didn't answer and I thought he might have gone to the neighbours for a drink, so didn't worry, but then he didn't answer at 6am the next morning (he was an early bird and I would frequently chat to him on speakerphone while driving to work). He had passed away the night before. It's led me to being a bit paranoid when my only other living relative (apart from DS) doesn't answer when she normally would, and at 79, I worry that she may have fallen or be ill. I'm trying to stress less about it, but it's taking time to work through it. Fortunately, she understands my paranoia and gives me a call to let me know if she's going to be out when she normally wouldn't. My friends also understand the "send me a quick text to let me know you got home ok" if they are leaving late at night. It only takes a few seconds and it saves me a lot of stress.

fluffyraggies Thu 11-Apr-13 07:11:45

For those asking how hard can a text be - can i just say again that mum wont use a mobile. So i can't text. If i'm going to comply with her requests it will have to be a proper phone call (probably peppered with subtle comments designed to make me feel guilty for going away) or me having to call her and fudge a bad line. Which leaves me feeling shitty because i know it's ridiculous.

She's asked for a second call also, don't forget, once we know what time we will be leaving to come home again on Saturday.

For goodness sake.

I've left provision for her. She is perfectly safe at home. My DCs are a 3 minute walk away from her and have the house phone and mobiles and we would text them if there was a problem. To be honest if there was a god almightly problem at some point - telling my mum would be the last thing i'd do anyway!

Me ringing to say we have successfully crossed the border from England to Wales, have the hotel in our sights and are all still breathing doesn't mean anything with regards to whether i'm going to survive the next 2 days does it??

I think on the whole i take from this IANB all that U. It's a silly thing that just feels like a big thing at the mo. I need to wake DH up soon and do some packing. Oh, and ring mum before we leave ''so i know what time you're going'' .... hmm


You are my sister. grin

I made the mistake of saying, in reply to a text (she's just learnt to text on an old brick)

"Just on my way home will ring you when I get a chance"

Of course, I hadn't TOLD her I was going an hour down the road to visit my friend. And it was a SATURDAY.
Which allegedly makes a difference.

exoticfruits Thu 11-Apr-13 07:27:54

Just say 'no news is good news'.

CosmicWanker Thu 11-Apr-13 07:29:37

I totally agrre OP that this must be so frustrating.

My mother couldn't care less what I do, in fact we no longer have a relationship, but I still wouldn't want this kind of overbearing needy mother. It's a form of control imo.

People who worry and faff needlessly are really annoying.

mydoorisalwaysopen Thu 11-Apr-13 07:39:28

I have to phone my mum - just let the phone ring three times then hang up. It's a pre-arranged signal that I've arrived/am OK but we don't actually have to speak! My mum doesn't do texting BTW.

everlong Thu 11-Apr-13 07:41:22

I always ask dh and ds3 to text me after travelling somewhere just to tell me they are ok but that's all I want to know.

Highlander Thu 11-Apr-13 07:49:57

DH has to phone his mum whenever we/he goes anywhere.

The first thing he did on honeymoon was ring her.


glossyflower Thu 11-Apr-13 08:23:30

just say no news is good news ... I'm sure Claudia Lawrence's family don't think so hmm

kungfupannda Thu 11-Apr-13 08:36:49

I used to have this with my late grandmother (my grandparents brought me up from the age of 12).

The problem was that it wasn't consistent - sometimes she wouldn't be bothered about me ringing. Other times she would go absolutely mad because I hadn't rung after driving the 20 minutes or so home from visiting her in broad daylight - when she'd never asked me to. I'd get the full on "I thought you were dead in a ditch. You're so selfish. I don't ask much."

It made things rather fraught over the last few years of her life.

I also have a bit of a telephone issue with my father - I was estranged from him forover 20 years and made contact after DS1 was born. He's a decent, long-distance grandfather, but our relationship is cordial, rather than close. He's mellowed a lot in his old age and I suspect he's worried about losing contact again, but he drives me bonkers sometimes. He'll ring and leave a voicemail in a worried voice. "I was just a bit worried because I hadn't heard from you recently. Can you let me know if everything is alright."

If I don't reply pretty much immediately, I'll get another worried-voice message "Oh, KFP, I'm getting quite worried now. Can you call me."

Aaaargh! You didn't bother for over 2 decades and suddenly if you don't hear within 5 minutes you assume there's been some massive catastrophe.

It makes me not want to speak to him at all. I have now insisted on him getting an email address which makes things a bit better - he gives me at least half a day before sending a repeat message - and I can't hear the exaggerated worried voice!

purplewithred Thu 11-Apr-13 08:46:07

As a daughter (mum is 93 today! Happy Birthday Mum!) I found my mum's need for me to tell her I was home safely very irritating and unreasonable.

As the mother of a driving daughter I think it is perfectly reasonable for her to send me a quick text to reassure me she has not been squashed under a lorry/mugged at a service station/abducted for the white slave trade. What it will be like when she is in charge of my grandchildren I really can't imagine. Not to call me is inconsiderate and selfish as I will only be sitting here imagining the worst.

Please, one quick phone call, put your mum out of her misery.

2monkeybums Thu 11-Apr-13 08:54:14

I live 45 minutes away from my Mum and she insists I call/text to let her know I got home safely. I am in my mid 30's. She drives me insane but if I say I wont call/text she tells me that I am selfish and that she will be sick with worry.

2rebecca Thu 11-Apr-13 09:09:35

Why do women (and it does sound as though it is the women) have to catastrophise and panic like this though? It's unnecessary and silly. Why should any woman fear that a relative may die on a short car journey just because they started the car journey at their house rather than anywhere else?
I think it's selfish to impose your own neuroses on your relatives.
If you panic every time your relatives get in a car after visiting you then see a psychologist, emotionally blackmailing them into phoning you IS being selfish, the person wanting unnecessary phonecalls is the unreasonable one. What if you get home and the phone lines are down and the mobile has ran out of batteries? You then have to traipse around looking for a callbox just to make an unnecessary call.

CooEeeEldridge Thu 11-Apr-13 10:35:49

I do think it's ridiculous. I can sort of accept it for long distance flights, but to check in after a car journey? Bizarre! My partners parents are like this though, it's definitely a control thing. It's intrusive if nothing else.

EldritchCleavage Thu 11-Apr-13 10:39:57

Don't give in. If you do all this calling, you lock yourself into something that will spoil your weekend.
I would tell your mother that you will only ring her when you get back. The more you reassure her, the more reassurance she will demand/need. And feeding the anxiety is not really doing your mother any favours.

purplewithred Thu 11-Apr-13 10:45:00

2rebecca, thanks for describing me as a catastrophiser, panicker, silly, selfish, neurotic, in need of a psychologist, an emotional blackmailer, selfish again, and unreasonable. I stand chastised.

2rebecca Thu 11-Apr-13 10:51:31

You said that if your daughter didn't call you she would be inconsiderate and selfish.
I think it is selfish, controlling and manipulative to tell other people that unelss THEY behave in x way then YOU will be very upset, especially when there is no sensible reason for you to get upset.
I travel quite alot though so do find all this hyperventilating angst over fairly short car journeys silly, especially when it often only applies to car journeys that start at the fusspot's house as though that is the centre of death or something.
I can't imagine saying to my kids "you MUST do this or I will be upset". Why should I make my neuroses their problem?

CosmicWanker Thu 11-Apr-13 10:54:48

I agree with 2Rebecca. It's completely neurotic.

GladbagsGold Thu 11-Apr-13 10:57:54

My parents and I do 3 rings, whoever has been visiting who(m?).

DH and I text a quick 'safe n sound' to each other when one has cycled somewhere.

I think it's nice to know loved ones are are alright - we are a bit of a busy here there and everywhere family - however (a) we have had traffic-bereavements so that experience is at back of your mind and (b) there is no guilt tripping involved.

Fluffy, can you phone her just as you are heading out the door to a spa appointment/the bar/the restaurant/anywhere really, and tell her
"Hi Mum, I can't stay on the phone long, DH and I are heading out right now but as you wanted me to phone you to let you know we've arrived, well, we've arrived. I'm sorry I can't stay on the phone now so I'll have to go. When I get back home, I'll phone you again, BYE". Do that without taking a breath (if you can) and don't let her get a word in. That should just about do it, don't you think? smile

LaQueen Thu 11-Apr-13 11:00:21

"I can't imagine saying to my kids "you MUST do this or I will be upset". Why should I make my neuroses their problem?"

Must say I totally agree with this. Why would any parent want to irritate their child, and put them under pressure/make them feel guilty like this?

Why would you want them to feel obligated, and that your peace of mind is their responsibility?

Pretty damned selfish, I think.

If you're anxious about them, then frankly that is your problem, not theirs.

My MIL is like this with my SIL, and makes it very, very clear that she won't rest/sleep a wink until SIL gets home (she works shifts, and has to drive at night).

All my MIL truly cares about is her own peace of mind...she doesn't care that she makes her DD feel under pressure, or obligated, or just downright annoyed.

She doesn't care about her DD's peace of mind, at all.

DumSpiroSpero Thu 11-Apr-13 11:14:20

2Rebecca I think you need to appreciate that people have different circumstances and that counselling etc doesn't always work.

My mum had a couple of horrific experiences as a child when separated from her parents (she was a war baby). She then lost her dad suddenly aged 12, and her mum suddenly as an adult. My DD & I are he only child and grandchild.

She has seen psychologists, had group therapy, CBT & medication. She's conquered agrophobia & claustrophobia to the extent that she can live a normal life, although she doesn't travel anymore. Separation anxiety is her remaining neurosis - she's done her best and at 74 years of age with various health issues I'm not going to villify her for wanting to hear from me to put her mind at rest.

She mostly only does it when I go out of town, and she does text, Skype & email which admittedly makes it easier though.

Gay40 Thu 11-Apr-13 11:15:06

Everything that 2rebecca said. And LeQ.
As for long plane journeys, even sillier. You are much more at risk in a car.
Actually, come to think of it, statistically you are more likely to be killed by your partner than anything else, so should we all be ringing home every time our partners arrive home??
My grandmother cannot get her head round the fact that I drive at night. But cannot explain what she thinks the danger is (because it is completely illogical)

DumSpiroSpero Thu 11-Apr-13 11:17:37

Anxiety can be an illness, LaQueen.

If one of your parents was diagnosed with cancer would you say 'That's your problem'? hmm

ComposHat Thu 11-Apr-13 11:20:34

I try to explain that rail and plane crashes are well reported and if there's no newsflash, please assume I've got yo my destination safely.

monkeymamma Thu 11-Apr-13 11:20:43

OP, YANBU. I think everyone here can see this from a parents perspective(worried!) but it sounds to me like you need to put yourself first at least for this break. Can you take a deep breath and say, "Mum, you know I love you but we really need to take it easy while we're in Wales. We don't know yet what our plans are for while we're there, and I think mobile signal will be poor. We are setting off at x time on x day and back by bedtime on y day. I'll call you the next morning and we can chat then! The DC will be here if you need anything."

Also, your DC sound old enough to give you a little help with this. Do they know their mum and dad desperately need a break? Can then call in quickly on their Grandma, maybe make her a cup of tea and have a chat? It would be a small thing to do for them but I suspect would make a big difference to your mum and to your enjoyment of your holiday. Apologies if there are complications that make this unfeasible.

Please promise yourself you will enjoy the time in Wales - hope you have a lovely holiday.

TheCatIsUpTheDuff Thu 11-Apr-13 11:23:03

DH and I both let our mothers know when we arrive somewhere - it only takes a minute and makes them happy and reassured. DH has clearly internalised that that's what you do, though - if I drive anywhere for work other than my usual office, which I do at least once a week, he worries if I don't text when I arrive and when I leave. I'm not so keen - I feel checked up on, and I don't always go straight back when I leave, I might pop into the office/Tesco's/ get a coffee on the way, so knowing when I've set off doesn't tell him when I should be home.

LaQueen Thu 11-Apr-13 11:24:21

Spiro my Dad was diagnosed with cancer, and he died from it.

I supported him, and helped nurse him at home.

But, if he'd refused to seek any medical help himself, or treatment, and refused his medication, and ignored all advice from HCPs...but still insisted that I support him, and help nurse him, and collude in his refusal to take any responsibility for himself...then yes, I would have been very unsympathetic.

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

Springforward Fri 12-Apr-13 19:30:08

Oh God, memories flooding back now. Years ago my mother put the phone down on me and later sent me a snotogram by post when I wouldn't tell her my new landline number, she would not believe that it was because I didn't have one set up for the new house yet. That was the moment I decided she'd laid her last successful guilt trip on me....

chocoluvva Fri 12-Apr-13 19:37:29

I'm probably going to come over as moralising too, but this reminds me of my mum and how I used to think she was so annoying when she did the same thing. However I did always ring her as it's such a small thing to do to keep her happy. DH or I ring his mum when we've arrived back home from staying with her.

OhDearNigel Fri 12-Apr-13 19:38:37

I always phone my mum. She is a real worry-guts and if I've been doing something where I know she will be worrying I always let's her know I'm safe. We have a code that means I am ok - I ring 3 times then ring off. I even rang her a couple of times when I had to make a longish journey in all the snow as she was very anxious about me

If it makes your mum feel better why on earth wouldn't you call her ?

foreverondiet Fri 12-Apr-13 19:40:46

Just send a text. Takes 5 seconds why not. My mum is the same.

chocoluvva Fri 12-Apr-13 19:53:57

She doesn't have a mobile.

Perhaps you could get her a mobile for this very purpose OP.

thermalsinapril Fri 12-Apr-13 19:56:59

Send her a text message to her landline so it phones her up and says "Hi Mum I've arrived" in a metallic voice.

LaQueen Fri 12-Apr-13 20:45:29

Nigel I think perhaps because in the OP's case, a quick 10 second conversation simply isn't enough for her Mum?

These things grow by milimetres...firstly they say they just want a quick call/text...then they want a longer call...and then they don't see why you can't call them a few times while you're on holiday, anyway...and then suddenly they want calling every day.

More doesn't ever seem to be enough.

Regardless of what my private feelings are, I would hate for my DDs to know that I worried about them, constantly, to the point that it made me unhappy/stressed.

What an awful, dreadful responsibilty to place upon your child - whether they are 7, or 37.

Itsjustapuppet Fri 12-Apr-13 20:46:31

My dad is also of the "give me 3 rings when you're home" variety. Usually when I get home from work. At five in the afternoon. Then he always answers after the first ring. I like to think DH would notice if I didn't come home and raise the alarm. <sigh>

LaQueen Fri 12-Apr-13 20:53:13

I think much of it comes down to temprement. Everyone in my family is quite independent, and we've always travelled a lot. Many of us have lived in other countries - so going on an hour, or two's drive just doesn't even register.

Similarly, with DH - I don't feel the need to keep him updated with my daily movements, even when I might drive 2-3 hours to visit family/friends. Same with him - if he's away for the weekend, he might well phone, then again, he might not.

Pandemoniaa Fri 12-Apr-13 20:55:56

a mother just lives worrying about her children all day long, that I have learnt since I am onw

I fear that I must be lacking in maternal concern then. Admittedly mine are grown up but I really don't worry about them all day long. I'm always here for them when needed but constant worrying isn't healthy.

nannyof3 Fri 12-Apr-13 20:57:06

Its only a quick phone call -

Your lucky.

My mum died 2 years ago, i wish i could phone her!!!

5madthings Fri 12-Apr-13 21:02:45

But its not just a quick phone call nanny the op has explained that. And don't try and give her a guilt trip. The op sees and and speaks to her mother lots, she wants ONE weekend where she doesn't have to!!

I agree with laqueen

LaQueen Fri 12-Apr-13 21:05:17

I agree with you Pan, and mine are still quite young. But, no, I actually don't worry about them all day long, I really don't.

Yes, I was worried when DD1 had a cough that just wouldn't clear up (she was 100% fine, in the end). And, yes I was worried when DD2 was bullied a bit in Yr2...but, day to day when life is running pretty smoothly, why exactly am I meant to be worrying about them constantly hmm

DD1 is off to a PGL weekend very soon. A friend's DD is going on the same trip - and has confessed that she won't be able to sleep properly, and will be worrying about her DD the whole weekend hmm

Conversely, I am thrilled for DD1, and will be smiling to myself imagining what a fabulous time she is having smile

pointythings Fri 12-Apr-13 21:06:43

My mother doesn't do this - I called her last week when we got back from visiting her in Holland, but that is very much not normal routine.

My cousin on the other hand has this with her mother, who is a total narcissist and very controlling - she's having a battle to break free. YADNBU.

FannyBazaar Fri 12-Apr-13 21:09:29

Never had that sort of relationship with my Mum. Many many years ago when I was 21 and travelling the world aimlessly on my own, I may have made a promise to let my parents know which country I was in or if I left the country. Over a couple of weeks I left several messages with my brother 'tell them I'm leaving Japan and going to Singapore', 'tell them I'm in Singapore, I don't have a number and don't know how long I'll stay', 'tell them I'm in Indonesia now', 'tell them I'm back in Singapore', 'tell them I'm going to London today'. They had no way of contacting me as we didn't have mobiles and I was of no fixed abode.

My brother always took the messages without comment and showed no interest in my travels, I guess he passed the messages on. No one ever said thanks for telling us!

chocoluvva Quote from OP "she wont ''do'' texts. Her mobile is in the bread bin, turned off, and that's where it stays. She wont leave a proper message on an answer machine either."

Chandon Fri 12-Apr-13 21:12:10

oh, my MIL does this.

And I always oblige

She explained to me once that one of the curses of getting older is that you start worrying terribly about the people you love. I have noticed that now I am older, and have a bit more experience in life, and am beginning to understand quite how fragile we all are ( sad ) and having been to a few funerals....I get it, really.

It is not controlling, but general anxiety. I usually send a txt.

could you not text your mum?! Or was that mentioned earlier and did I miss it? she does not do it to annoy you, she loves you and worries about you.

Chandon Fri 12-Apr-13 21:13:24

ok, so she does not do txts.

Then have partner call, he can keep it short and say you are busy but just wanted to let you know they arrived o.k.

Pollykitten Fri 12-Apr-13 21:19:35

I read your mad mother stories and raise you not being allowed to leave my mum on her own in the restaurant for two minutes whilst I fetched some lip salve from my hotel room shock angry angry grrrrrrrr! I am 37, or 6 depending on your POV

She explained to me once that one of the curses of getting older is that you start worrying terribly about the people you love.

Mmm, not my mum, no. She's okay if I call when I get home, or the next day, or maybe not at all. She's one of the "no news is good news" sort.

On the other hand, I have a friend who's mum is toxic and the call on arrival, call on getting home, etc, is definitely a form of controlling behaviour from her mum. I've met the mum, and frankly am glad she's not my mum. (She tried to be nice, but the toxic stuff did seep through when she thought I wasn't paying attention.)

Pandemoniaa Fri 12-Apr-13 21:26:29

I sympathise with anyone who has lost their mother, nanny. Mine died 3 years ago and yes, I'd love to be able to talk to her again.

But let's not guilt trip everyone on this thread who would be driven potty by being required to report in constantly every time they have the temerity to leave their own (adult) homes. Something I would have found intolerable.

chocoluvva Fri 12-Apr-13 21:31:20

Hmmm 5madthings. I do kind of take your point about the OP wanting to completely get away from it all for one weekend.

On the other hand though, just as it's easy to criticise posters who no longer have their mums for giving the OP a guilt trip, it is often the case that you regret not being nicer to close relations after they've died. It's only when you no longer have your mum that you see things in a different light. Nobody wants to hear the sort of advice that nanny is giving, but that doesn't make her advice unreasonable.

LaQueen Fri 12-Apr-13 21:35:18

The thing is - there is a very, very big difference between want and need (as I'm always telling my DDs).

The OP's Mum doesn't need the OP to contact her while she's away...she merely wants her to.

And, unfortunately we can't always get what we want in life, can we now hmm

The OP should be allowed to spend her weekend away, feeling free of guilt.

The Mum who merrily guilt trips her child into doing things which makes them uncomfortable/obilgated/under pressure...really isn't much of a Mum, in my book.

Bunbaker Fri 12-Apr-13 21:42:34

"She explained to me once that one of the curses of getting older is that you start worrying terribly about the people you love."

That is certainly true of MIL. I think it is due to her lack of confidence about travelling, so she transfers her fears to our trips. She is not controlling in the slightest, she just panics if she doesn't hear from us.

chocoluvva Fri 12-Apr-13 21:44:27

Well, we don't know the extent of the OP's mum's anxiety; whether it's anxiety or a desire to be controlling. Neither will stem from her being happy though.

Why get het up about making a 5 minute phone call? It's such a small thing to do.

thebody Fri 12-Apr-13 21:52:26

Ok deep breath I am like your mother.

My older 2 who are grown up have to endure a daily phone call from me or texts just to tell me they are alive.

Younger teen dds are texted at least every hour when out if the house.

None of them minds. Disclaimer dd was badly hurt in a fatal crash aged 12.

If any of my children are on a motorway I cannot relax.

Perhaps your mum feels as anxious. It's vile. Just call her aye.

LaQueen Fri 12-Apr-13 21:55:48

Because choc it doesn't stop at being a quick phone call.

The behaviour of the OP's Mum is insiduous, and starts to infiltrate every aspect of your life.

I don't think people (who haven't been in the OP's shoes) can truly appreciate how frustrating and pressured it can make you feel.

If it was genuinely just a quick 2 minute phone call, then fine...but, it's not, the quick phone call is just the tip of the iceberg.

thebody Fri 12-Apr-13 22:08:51

Yes 2 minutes to day' I am alive 'should alley anxieties, any more is controlling.

EggsEggSplat Fri 12-Apr-13 22:09:09

thebody - have you ever had help for your anxiety? It sounds like it must really be affecting your life. Were you the same before the crash, or do you think that was the cause?

The thing is, your DDs may appear not to mind, they may even say they don't mind being checked up on, but there is a strong chance that they actually do mind and are trying not to upset you. That's how it works with me and my mother. I avoid telling her about some of my plans, because I know they will make her anxious. My heart sinks when I get the daily 'just checking you are OK' phone call.

I would much rather have a mother I can be honest with about everything I am doing, and one I could happily call for a nice, friendly chat once a week, instead of a daily brief call which makes me feel controlled, and the need to self-censor about my anxiety-provoking plans, eg going out for a drink with friends and walking home by myself after dark (I'm 45 and live in a perfectly safe area).

EggsEggSplat Fri 12-Apr-13 22:11:08

Sorry, meant to add - my mother is 76, and is getting worse about this. I know she is too old to change. But if you could get help with your anxieties now, it might prevent damaging your relationship with your children later on.

chocoluvva Fri 12-Apr-13 22:19:26

My mum was pretty anxious - I had a terrific job persuading her that going to London (from rural Scotland) to stay with my BF's very respectable great aunt for a week when I was nearly 18 and he was newly 18 would be safe. She insisted on phone calls upon my safe return from any journey once I had children too. I'm quite an anxious person too. So I think I do know what it's like - sometimes it's a pain in the neck. But it's not difficult to make a short call.

And it's not nice for the anxious/narcissistic/whatever person either. It's difficult to tell whether the OP's mum is being overly demanding or not IMO. Possibly she is, given that the OP thinks she's going to try to guilt trip her about going away. Nevertheless a 5 min call isn't much to ask IMO.

It's a tricky one.

LaQueen Fri 12-Apr-13 22:24:40

Choc do you think your Mum conditioned you to feel anxious yourself, because she treated the world as though it was one, big, scarey place all the time?

aquashiv Fri 12-Apr-13 22:31:52

I left home and never looked back for this reason. I never phoned when I hsould I was always late. When I travelled alot and forgot to let her know I was ok.
I think she just one day gave up worrying knowing I would not be dead in a ditch and if I was what could she do.
Poor woman I know I will be her too one day. Worried sick about my babies.
There are some killer in sheep in Wales you know. They come at you when you least expect them.

badguider Fri 12-Apr-13 22:41:23

Those who check in after every journey - how does your mother know every journey you make?
My mum and I catch up about once or twice a week and tell each other what we've been doing but I don't tell her my diary for each week in advance!

chocoluvva Fri 12-Apr-13 22:50:42


It's the sheep! Loads of sheep where I grew up.

LaQueen - my mum and I discussed this when I was in my thirties. We reckoned it was genetic AND conditioning. The thing about anxiety is - it's as if your brain's default setting is to worry. It's not a rational thing. You can know any amount of statistics, but still worry. It's like a reflex. It's a pain for everybody involved.

BUT, in many other ways I feel privileged to have had her for a mum. She was a fantastic person dearly loved by her family and dozens and dozens of friends, a fantastic listener and thoughtful, wise woman. I tried to take the view that nobody's perfect, so I would phone her even though I felt it was unreasonable of her to expect a call.

We don't have enough info from the OP to judge the extent of her mum's worry/narcissim. I can see that it would spoil the weekend having your mum guilt trip you about going away! On the other hand, it's just a quick call.

thebody Fri 12-Apr-13 23:12:16

Eggs yes we all have had counselling and we are where we are.

The kids are further through than me but getting there.

You are right but I honestly know my Dcs are fine with it.

I never discourage them from doing anything and keep lots of this to myself.

2rebecca Fri 12-Apr-13 23:37:37

My mum is dead, but the fact that she gave me so much freedom is one of the things that makes me look back on her with affection. She never made me feel that I must do stuff for her benefit, admittedly when I was younger mobiles weren't around and even phoning from a land line from a foreign country was a palaver, I lived in NZ for over a year and just phoned once and sent lots of letters.
If my dad wanted a phone call every time I was on a motorway he'd be having at least a couple of phonecalls a day, the motorways are the safest part of my journeys anyway as despite the speed people drive more predictably on them and you're less likely to have a head on collision from someone overtaking. Thankfully his only interest in my wherabouts is to check I'm enjoying myself and keeping healthy.
Car journeys just aren't a big deal in my family but a handy way of getting around (although I prefer trains).

chocoluvva Fri 12-Apr-13 23:38:43

Ah blush - have now read a page I'd missed - OP's mum often tries to do the guilt trip thing.

Very difficult. (My mum NEVER did that!)

No wonder the OP doesn't feel like calling her. OP's mum is not a happy person. I don't really know what to suggest.

Gay40 Sat 13-Apr-13 12:10:03

My mum was utterly stifled by all this constant monitoring and vowed she'd never do the same with her children. I think we have a much better relationship than she has with her own mother. I ring her because I want to (sometimes need to!) now that might be once in a fortnight, 3 weeks, or twice in a week. And the same with her. She wouldn't dream of enforcing this three rings nonsense. It is a form of control, whatever spin the worriers put on it. Stressing about travel arrangements and the like is just a way of saying "Youa re not in my control and you should be." As LeQ says, why should you force your anxieties onto your children. Totally selfish. It's not concern at all, it's overbearing control.

Bunbaker Sat 13-Apr-13 16:21:54

"Those who check in after every journey - how does your mother know every journey you make?"

We only ring her when we have been visiting her. She lives 150 miles away so I don't think it is an unreasonable request. I always ring her when OH goes on his travels because she does worry (he visits the far east a lot)

Gay40 Sat 13-Apr-13 16:39:36

But that seems even stranger. Surely you drive around when you aren't visiting her? What about the journeying in between visits?
This makes no sense to me.
So you got home OK, well yeah nice good etc. Following day, off you pop to work. And home again.

LaQueen Sat 13-Apr-13 16:42:02

I think possibly the greatest gift you can give your child, is the sure knowledge that you adore them, and will always be there for them...

And, once they're grown, the sure knowledge that you are happy and fulfilled living your own life smile

I would hate my DDs to ever worry that maybe I was lonely, or overly anxious about them...I would hate them to feel obliged to spend time with me, or obliged to phone me sad

My Aunt & Uncle are over 70 now - but my cousins love the fact, that their parents lead their own busy lives (you'll rarely catch them home on a Saturday night).

LaQueen Sat 13-Apr-13 16:45:58

Gay I agree with you. When my MUm retired, and started down the slippery path of wanting lots of daily contact from me - yes, I obliged her by visiting, and phoning a lot more...but, did I enjoy it? No, not really.

Infact, I used to resent it, if I'm honest. We saw each other far too much, quickly exhausted all topics of conversation, and familiarity began to breed contempt.

Luckily, nowadays my Mum has sorted out a new life for herself, and we meet up once a week, and perhaps chat on the phone once a week. This means I actually enjoy her company again, and look forward to seeing her.

Surely, surely, surely that's a far better, more healthy way of conducting affairs?

chocoluvva Sat 13-Apr-13 17:08:44

Some families are more close knit than others, I think. My cousins still live in the same village as their parents and see them several days a week. So do all 3 of my DH's siblings, all of whom are well travelled and have/had successful careers. It's lovely for the children and a practical support for the adults. I saw a lot of my grandparents and loved it.

I'm sometimes quite envious - but not of all the unwanted advice they get from the GPs.

Bunbaker Sat 13-Apr-13 17:14:16

"But that seems even stranger"

To not ring someone after 150 miles of motorway driving? I think it odd not to contact family once home. MIL is 84 and worries about things she doesn't know or understand. I think it is supremely selfish not to put an old lady's mind at rest.

Gay40 Sat 13-Apr-13 18:12:23

But that's my point. So she can stop worrying, once you're home. But what about every other time you set foot in the car? Do you ring her?
It's the ludicrous lack of logic I don't get.
Surely she understands that you do actually travel on the road, outside of visiting her, and that most car accidents are within a mile or so of your home. Does she sit and worry 24/7?

Plus: lots of contact does not automatically equal close knit. I'm very close to my mum. But as two adults, I fail to see why we would need to speak every day. We have a life, each.

Bunbaker Sat 13-Apr-13 18:28:15

"But what about every other time you set foot in the car? Do you ring her?"

No, only after we have been staying with her. She doesn't stress about our day to day travels because she doesn't demand to know the minutiae of our daily life as it is completely alien to her own life. There is no point in adding to her worries.

I'm afraid you seem to lack empathy and understanding when it comes to the worries of much older people.

fluffyraggies Sat 13-Apr-13 18:29:06

We survived Wales grin and we had a lovely time, thank you to those who wished me well flowers Very sweet of you.

Very surprised to find my thread still alive actually. 'To ring or not to ring' is obviously one of those funny, seemingly trivial subjects which for some can actually be the tip of an emotional 'ice-burg'.

I've been nodding and laughing along catching up on the posts. Want to agree with so much that's been said that i cant write it all down!

I can absolutely see why some posters are saying 'just ring her, FGS'. But it's just so loaded. If you haven't got the 'ice-burg' then there is no 'tip' and so it is indeed just a simple phone call, and there wouldn't be a problem.

lequeen you've hit the nail on the head allot here. As have others.

2 things jump out for me to say -
firstly, yes, my eldest drives, and yes i worry about her. BUT i really don't want to burden her with my (mostly unfounded) worries. Plus, i find that getting into a routine of contacting to say you're safe actually breeds worry.

Quick examle: Before we lived together it was romantic for DH and i to text each other when we woke up, and he would also text me again when he had a few moments as he arrived at work. etc, etc. Once we lived together he would still text me as he got to work. (45 min drive) Well it came to pass that it became such a concrete routine that i started to become twitchy if he was late texting. Then the day his phone played up and wouldn't send or receive calls or texts i spent a morning seriously worried sick he'd been in an accident. Ridiculous and unnecessary state of affairs.

We agreed on random texts only after that. Much much more sensible.

The other thing i wanted to say was, as other posters have mentioned, 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.

The thing about 'the less she approves of the trip the more grief you get' is dead true with me also. The first time DH and i got on - horror of decadent horrors A PLANE (4 years ago) - she caused the most temendous uproar while we were away, telling everyone she was dying, and getting a neighbour to drive her to A&E. She made me feel utterly dreadful when i called to say we were home, for leaving her 'at a time like this', and brought the mood down as low as it could go. It turned out though - after me probing at length later about the outcome - that it had been a mild case of cystitis, cured within 24 hours by a few classes of Cysteme.

sigh hmm

chocoluvva Sat 13-Apr-13 20:08:11

I'm glad you had a lovely weekend.

Just thought of a solution to your little problem.......take her with you grin

nannynick Sat 13-Apr-13 20:57:37

I resolved the issue using technology... I use my mobile phone as satnav, so it was easy enough to also run a gps tracker. My mum can log on to the tracker and see the last known point. She has not got used to the fact that sometimes it won't update for a while, due to no signal (or because I've switched it off).
Only use it when travelling to/from her home - 530 miles, so a day (or usually two as I split it with an overnight stay) travel.

No need now to call her to say when I have arrived somewhere.

Not ideal but could you use technology in some way to give her some reassurance - or it would make her worry more?

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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