To be fed up of my mum's constant whinging and moaning?

(68 Posts)
CiderBomb Mon 30-Sep-13 13:15:14

My mum has always had a tendency to nag, but I've noticed over the past couple of years she gotten worse, to the point that she literally never ever stops moaning and complaining.

I feel a bit mean saying this, but it's relentless and I find being around so bloody draining because she never seems to stop for air. I wouldn't even mind if she actually had something going on in her life to moan about but she doesn't. She is semi retired and only works three mornings a week, owns her home and is mortgage free, has several holidays a year (I'm not kidding, she is always on fucking holiday!) and is in pretty good health for her age but it's like it's not enough and she never bloody stops fucking whinging and I'm finding it so hard not to just tell her to STFU!

I'd be here all day if I posted everything she whinges about, but I can give a few examples. Her house is apparently a dump, but it's not and people are always complimenting her on it. My dad and brother don't help enough around the house, but I can cast some light on that. Whenever they do help out they do it wrong and it's not good enough ( no one can do it as well as her) and I once spent an afternoon listening to her whinge about how my dad had emptied the dishwasher and put things back in the wrong places. The can't win basically. She is always stressed apparently, and moaning that she "needs a holiday" but she has more than Judith Chalmers! Christ I've not been on holiday for four years because I can't afford it!

Now she has a cold and I know that I'm going to have to listen to her complain about terrible she feels, like she had the Black Death rather than a splutter. Honestly I know people with awful things going on in their lives (terminal illness, bereavement, financial hardship) and they don't ever moan like she does!

AIBU to just wished she'd shut the fuck up?!

Shellywelly1973 Mon 30-Sep-13 13:44:32


She sounds like hard work. Although it appears she doesn't want for anything, there is obviously a reason for her 'moaning'. If she was happy she wouldn't always be moaning.

CiderBomb Mon 30-Sep-13 13:53:27

I think she just likes moaning personally. I've suggested before that she takes up a hobby or does a course in something but she's just not interested.

CaptainSweatPants Mon 30-Sep-13 13:55:51

Do you talk to her everyday? I'd minimise contact if it's getting you down

Gerragrippe Mon 30-Sep-13 13:57:07

Maybe she is stressed and not happy...?

I cant stand this either.
im a get on with it person and cant feckin deal with whingers.
I have a couple of people like this in my life.

CiderBomb Mon 30-Sep-13 14:05:12

Captain, yes I do talk to her everyday. I just find her to be so negative, I can be in a great mood and then she'll drag me down with her moaning.

EldritchCleavage Mon 30-Sep-13 14:31:08

Have you ever asked her about it? In a gentle, but direct way?

These things shouldn't bother her so much. And constant negativity does suggest some underlying unhappiness or issue.

What does she say if you ever pull her up on it?

CaptainSweatPants Mon 30-Sep-13 14:34:22

Don't phone her every day
Life's too short

DesperatelySeekingSedatives Mon 30-Sep-13 14:40:48

She sounds deeply unhappy with her lot for some reason but yes it must be draining especially when her life is a lot easier than your own on paper at least. I'm quite ruthless and avoid people who moan all the time about sod all. I do talk to them (can only avoid my mother for so long!)

CiderBomb Mon 30-Sep-13 14:44:49

I don't ask about it because I know I'd only get my head bitten off if I did. If she is unhappy about something I've no idea why? I have noticed that she is prone to jealousy though, she has a chip on her shoulder about certain people she knows who apparently have "better houses" than her. Not quite sure what she means because as I've said, her house is very nice and more importantly it's her own house!

sonlypuppyfat Mon 30-Sep-13 14:48:32

I love my mum so very much, but, she hates and loathes Christmas I don't know why she only puts cash in a card for my 3 DCs and has to come round for her dinner but she goes on about it and I find that its all so negative when I've got young kids and we love it.

ExcuseTypos Mon 30-Sep-13 14:50:13

It sounds very draining for you she is either unhappy for a reason or just a bit of a 'everyone is better off than me and its not faaaaaair' type of person.

Could you gently ask her if she is ok as she quite often sounds unhappy with her life?

ivykaty44 Mon 30-Sep-13 15:54:09

I work with someone who is only happy if she has something to moan about, I think it must be awful for her family and she never mentions friends.

One day I offered her a solution to her particular moan that day and that stopped her in her tracks she was most upset!

I would take the Micky to your mums face and see if you can shame it out of her

ivykaty44 Mon 30-Sep-13 15:57:05

Some people strive to be happy even if a few thing go wrong they stay happy

Others are miserable if a few things go wrong and don't understand it happens to all of us to some degree

HopeClearwater Mon 30-Sep-13 16:24:12

YANBU. Sometimes people like this just get into a habit of moaning. Their brains run along the same lines all the time. Try being relentlessly cheerful and positive in answer to everything she says.

redexpat Mon 30-Sep-13 16:29:27

Or just tell her to say something positive or shut the fuck up.

ithaka Mon 30-Sep-13 16:31:22

My MIL is like this. Her life has been blessed, really, but she is a miserable old whingebag. I can't stand the woman and unsurprisingly, she has few friends and her family just tolerate her. I sometimes wonder why she exists, as it seems to bring her so little joy.

ithaka Mon 30-Sep-13 16:32:41

I should add, my MIL's existence brings herself and those around her little joy. She is a waste of oxygen. I am so sorry your mum is like this - I always pity my SIL having such a dreadful mum (SIL is lovely).

Lazysuzanne Mon 30-Sep-13 16:49:03

I think I'd try minimizing or limiting contact with her and when she gets into complaining mode try not to engage with the subject matter, just make a few non committal noises and then change the subject.

I appreciate it's not easy if you have gotten into a pattern of interaction where she starts moaning and then your blood starts to boil but if you can manage the way you respond you might be able to nudge her out of the rut?

woozlebear Mon 30-Sep-13 17:12:00

My mother is like this - she is a very unhappy person, but she has refused all offers of help for 30 years, and has NEVER done a single thing, or taken a single opportunity to change anything. I am now at a point of having absolutely zero sympathy.

She has 3 lovely holidays a year (about 7 weeks in total) and spends the rest of the time moaning about how she needs a rest. She doesn't work, and has a cleaner. She has no real hobbies or anything that takes up any time or energy, but is constantly moaning about how exhausted she is. She doesn't do a single thing other than garden and (with no discernable results) tidy the huge amounts of clutter in her house. Every time I ring her she spends 5 minutes telling me how she's been 'working' sooooo hard.

She has a large, beatiful house in a lovely location stuffed with beautiful things she loves but is always so jealous of what other people have and always wanting more. She has moaned about hating the house for 20 years but always finds excuses for not actually moving.

She wants for nothing, has lived an incredibly sheltered life but moans constantly about how awful the world and everyone in it is. She sees nothing but the negative in almost everything.

She spends about 23 hours a day criticising everything my father says and does. He either doesn't do what she wants, apparently, or does it wrong.

I know she's unhappy - she must be - but no one can do anything. It seems to go way beyond being unhappy - she seems to actively delight in being negative about everything.

fluffyraggies Mon 30-Sep-13 17:16:15

......... waiting for the first ''be glad you still have a mother'' post .........

Sympathies OP.

CiderBomb Mon 30-Sep-13 17:28:47

I know my dad thinks that she nags him, he's told me as much. So it's not just me who has to put up with it. My dad isn't perfect by any means, but he's hard working and a good husband and dad. She could have been married to a wife beating serial cheater FFS.

Finola1step Mon 30-Sep-13 17:32:42

Wow ithaka describing someone as "a waste of oxygen" is really quite cruel.

Cider it does sound like that your mother is a glass half empty kind of person. For some people, being in good health and being financially secure is not enough. Maybe she has a secret yearning for something that she never got to do. Maybe your mother's life didn't turn out as she had hoped. There are no end of possibilities for the frustration she may feel. But you can't change it or control it.

I suspect you will have to switch off more. I go through similar times with my sister. I am trying really hard to bounce back the moaning and tales of woe. I try cutting her off mid sentence with a question such as "so what are you going to do about it then?" Or "So why are you telling me?". It's slowly beginning to work, I think.

JustinBsMum Mon 30-Sep-13 17:40:36

I would sympathise very loudly and longly whenever you are with her in a very exaggerated way whenever she says anything, in the end she will probably get fed up listening to you and either keep away from you or stop moaning.

ithaka Mon 30-Sep-13 17:45:21

Wow ithaka describing someone as "a waste of oxygen" is really quite cruel.

Yes, it is. But when your own (ridiculously easy and prosperous life) brings you nothing but misery which you leach out to all unfortunate enough to be in your orbit like a dementor, you do have to question why someone even breathes when it brings us all, the person included, such woe.

Lazysuzanne Mon 30-Sep-13 17:46:34

or you could play moaning top trumps, just try and come up with a moan to outdo all her moans, sort of a game for your own amusement?

hillyhilly Mon 30-Sep-13 17:55:08

Think yourself lucky you can reduce contact, my dh is currently behaving much in this manner and it's really getting me down.

DragonsAreReal Mon 30-Sep-13 18:43:27

I moan, I actually quite like moaning. Thinking about it that's quite strange and I'm not an unhappy person just quite like a good moan to my mum now and again. Didn't realise it effected people.

cuppachai Mon 30-Sep-13 19:05:52

I feel like this could be my own Dm we are talking about here. She has always been a 'cup half empty' type of person, but recently I feel like it's just sooooo negative, bitchy, sometimes so mean in the way she criticises others, that it's becoming intolerable. If anyone tried to tell her this, even if they took the gentlest approach she would explode. She is so very critical of others yet cannot take criticism herself.

She too, does not work, has a lovely home, and plenty of holidays - although perhaps not as many as your Mum OP! - she has a cleaner, and a very comfortable life. She moans about wanting to be able to do more with her time, but rebuffs all my suggestions of things she could sign up for etc.

She seems to feed off negative energy, and only ever wants to talk about the negative aspect of a situation.

I once was discussing mothers with the other mums at DD's school, and interestingly a few of them mentioned the menopause and how it had changed their mother's temperament. I hadn't even considered this before, but now I'm wondering if that is actually the reason why she seems to be getting worse with her moods and negativity. I wish I could help her get out of it but I too am finding it exhausting.

I am also terrified of menopause now!

Lazysuzanne Mon 30-Sep-13 19:11:06

I'm approaching menopause and quite often find myself absorbing the gripes of my offspring, perhaps if I turn the tables and start complaining they will stop!

cuppachai Mon 30-Sep-13 19:31:35

grin to be fair, I may have moaned once or twice to my DM ;)

Moan about people who moan to much, it may lead to a little introspection.

CiderBomb Mon 30-Sep-13 19:55:37

Cuppachai, my mum also cannot take any criticism and gets very defensive when someone tells her she's wrong. She can't laugh at herself or take a joke either, but is always happy to dish it out herself funnily enough.

The bitterness is just eating her up.

Gerragrippe Mon 30-Sep-13 20:01:57

OP.. Yu yourself are moaning, I mean why are you taking your dads side..? It just sounds as if she irritates you, everyone is different. She may not be the mum you want or the ideal mum but I think you are being a little harsh.

Beechview Mon 30-Sep-13 20:13:21

Why don't you tell her?
Remind her that her life isn't actually bad yet she's always focussing on the negative side of things.

I just did that to a friend who always called me up for a moan. I don't mind people moaning from time to time but if that's all they want to do then I'd rather they didn't call me.
(My friend and I actually just laughed it off and she's promised not to moan so much)

CiderBomb Mon 30-Sep-13 20:15:30

Being harsh? In what way? I have to listen to her moaning about anything and everything day in day out, it's draining.

cuppachai Mon 30-Sep-13 20:26:59

It is draining sad I don't know if I'm imagining it either, but I've started to sense that other people, family members etc, are getting fed up with the griping and she is in danger of pushing people away because of it.

Sometimes she is directly rude to people and it's quite galling. If I point out 'that was really quite rude' she immediately takes massive offence and it causes an argument.

Gerragrippe Mon 30-Sep-13 20:43:11

Well ask her not to moan when you are there as its getting you down and ask if there is a problem that you can help her with.
She's your mum you talk about her as if she were a neighbour or something!

Pollywallywinkles Mon 30-Sep-13 21:02:02

I'm feeling a little sorry for her as she doesn't sound too happy for whatever reason. There could be stuff going on that you know nothing about which is making her feel out of sorts. You don't say how old she is, but she could be at a stage in her life that she thinks life has passed her by. Could she have health issues that you know nothing about, or is perhaps depressed. Getting old is often not all it is cracked up to be.

Just because she appears to have a good life, it doesn't mean that she is happy with it.

It may be easier to have shorter contacts with her as there will be less time for moans and groans. It's human nature to be defensive when you feel criticised, so if you have to pass comments about her behaviour, phrase it in a way that is not going to make her so defensive, or let those who she has been rude to deal with it.

cuppachai Mon 30-Sep-13 21:54:41

Yes, have tried to phrase in a non-confrontational way. She leaps to the defensive, so now I don't bother saying anything. Have also tried to be positive and supportive of her. I suspect that she is depressed. I have encouraged her to seek support from GP. I could say a whole lot more but that would be a whole other thread. One I have been thinking about starting for the last few years, but not knowing where to start with it. I saw this thread and felt for the OP as I know exactly her frustration. It gets wearing and I sympathise. Don't want to say anymore as am hijacking the original thread. Hope things improve cider.

CiderBomb Mon 30-Sep-13 22:01:16

No, your not hijacking the thread. It sounds like ours mothers are very similar.

I know my mum was made to leave school at sixteen, despite being bright and being at a grammar school, because her own parents didn't have much money and needed her to go out and work. I've suggested in the past that maybe she should consider doing an Open University course or something like that, but she just brushed it off.

Pollywallywinkles Mon 30-Sep-13 22:11:54

I do know how you feel as I've been there with my mother and after a particularly horrid, unwarranted outburst from her, have not had any contact for over 2 years. It doesn't sit easy with me, but it is so nice not to be worn down by everything being so negative.

cuppachai Mon 30-Sep-13 23:06:38

Sorry to hear that polly. I feel frightened that something similar will happen with us. Our relationship is becoming increasingly strained.

cider They do sound very similar. I've also tried to encourage things such as Open Uni, part time jobs, all kinds of other things that would really be excellent for her. She is incredibly intelligent and there is so much she could do to occupy her time but she knocks back every suggestion.

MistressDeeCee Mon 30-Sep-13 23:36:48

Your mum sounds unhappy and depressed. Maybe she feels unfulfilled, or maybe she's looking back over the years with regrets, feeling she could have done more with life, etc. I dont know what you can do if she just wants to wallow. Its quite sad, really. Maybe somebody else can speak to her. I know my mum went through a phase I couldnt seem to get through to her how her negativity was draining both for her, and others. My brother got through by foghorning her about how wasteful draining and boring her negativity was. I hope your mother does seek help from her GP, and can start to take up activities that will lift her spirit. Theres so much available for the elderly to do here, it would be a shame if she sat and let the rest of her life pass her by..

CiderBomb Tue 01-Oct-13 09:38:07

I think she may be feeling a little unfulfilled. She had a good job when she first got married, but gave it up when she had us kids which was the norm for most women in those days (early 80's). She then worked in the evenings stacking shelves in a supermarket for years until she went back to work full time when we were teenagers.

Does life ever turn out the way we hoped it would though?

Lazysuzanne Tue 01-Oct-13 10:58:55

Those with unfulfilled mothers, perhaps they can't help feeling a little, well not exactly resentful, but it can make you feel a bit sad when you see your own children doing well and although you're pleased for them you feel a failure by comparison?

Gerragrippe Tue 01-Oct-13 20:29:05

That's true Lazy... I feel sorry for her but I can't seem to explain why. OP she's your mum, have a heart.

Lazysuzanne Tue 01-Oct-13 20:46:38

I wouldnt like to think of my children feeling depressed by me..I want them to transcend me, not be dragged down by me, I dont feel they should have to absorb negativity from me.

Then again my kids are early 20's, maybe I'll feel differently and want to lean on them when we're all older?

Gerragrippe Tue 01-Oct-13 21:45:26

I agree, but also it's not very kind to judge our parents unless they have been heartless abusive or cruel etc..after all they ( we) have done so much for them that is probably forgotten about as they become adults that we should deserve some respect kindness and understanding...not to say no one can find fault but surely one can accept a few faults from ones parents?

Fairyliz Tue 01-Oct-13 22:06:55

Thats easy to say but the constant negativity wears you down, I know because my mum is just the same. Its such a shame because I want to spend time with her doing nice things, instead all she wants to do is moan. It makes me not want to visit.

Gerragrippe Tue 01-Oct-13 22:18:27

Again, ask her what's wrong . A common thing at this age is finding out you are in an unhappy marriage which was perhaps masked when the children were around... But it may not be financially viable to go it alone so people can feel quite powerless and stuck. Also just every ing is a bit more of an effort when you get older. All you can do is try to help but when all is said and done, parents in this age group don't tend to ask their children for help they would prefer to ask their peers for fear of upsetting them and because they may not wish to share it.

ithaka Tue 01-Oct-13 22:30:20

Gerragrippe I know you mean to be helpful, but you obviously have no real experience of overwhelmingly negative people of the type we are discussing on this thread.

They don't their children to help or make more of an effort. They want to moan.

They are soul destroying in their negativity and it is deeply unfair to those around them. Be very grateful that you do not have someone like this in your life.

Gerragrippe Tue 01-Oct-13 22:45:59

You don't actually know I'm meaning to be helpful... I'm sticking up for all the ageing parents out there who have done their bit and now want to be bloody miserable.

I appreciate its difficult to put up with and annoying I really do, as well as puzzling.

However, it won't be long before they age and die and then they will not be here at all, so don't lose sight of that fact in the midst of this.
I had a mother who I couldn't help, despite my best efforts, she wanted to destroy herself and she's not here any more. That's not to say put up with anything, but try to put the problem into perspective and start some changes such as less phone calls (after all they tend to be major opportunities to moan ) and mentally separating what you can and can't control in your parents' lives.

VodIsGod Tue 01-Oct-13 22:48:16

Your posts have been a revelation! This is my mother to a tee! I think you may have a point about being unfulfilled (my mum says exactly the same thing about not being allowed to do Alevels and having to start work too). And I think you're right about their unhappy marriage. My parents are still together after 47 yrs but for at least half of that time has been full of arguments and talk of divorce confused

Interesting that the menopause was suggested as being a factor. She has definitely got worse in the last 20 yrs. I would go far as to say that my mum is depressed about getting older, she hasn't got serious health issues but the aches and pains and gripes that being close to 70 bring. The minor things are easier to moan about.

We have got to the stage where we seem to have an annual blow-up, when I can't stand the way she behaves towards my family and father and I'm sick of all the moaning and tell her honestly that I've had enough. But it doesn't solve anything. She's a bit better for a couple of months and then starts up again. hmm

We're 'celebrating' her 70th birthday next weekend and I'm dreading it. We'll get it wrong, she won't get the right presents, the theatre trip won't be as good as she hopes, wherever we eat will be problematic <sigh>

And then there's Christmas coming...

YANBU, it IS draining. I have no advice to offer but do sympathise.

Lazysuzanne Tue 01-Oct-13 23:04:36

i guess if there's any kind of lesson in this thread it's live life to the full and sow wild oats lest you end up unfulfilled.

Now I'm just off to take the bull by the horns.... wink

Gerragrippe Tue 01-Oct-13 23:09:16

Lol @ be very grateful you don't have someone like this in your life .

CiderBomb Thu 03-Oct-13 12:44:07

Sorry I've been a bit late returning to this thread.

Gerragrip, you really have no idea what your going on about. I've tried to offer help and support, I've suggested she takes up hobbies or tries something new but she simply isn't interested and would rather sit around all day and night whinging and moaning about anything and everything instead. There's only so many times you can sit there listening to her whinge on and on about her friend has a bigger conservatory than her and how unfair that is before it seriously gets on your tits!

The thing is there's no reason why she should be feeling so " unfulfilled". She has enough free time to do a degree or take up a hobby, or volunteer and add a bit of meaning to her life. She has a dog and I've told her about the lovely walks in our area but no, not interested. There's only so much you can do with someone who doesn't want to help herself!

CoconutRing Thu 03-Oct-13 13:03:39

I'm with you OP. You just can't help people who don't want to be helped. I have a Great Aunt who loves to moan and seems to thrive on misery, death and misfortune. She has never been happy. She has a fantastic life IMO, but goes out of her way to find the misery and negative in everything. Everyone has a better home/husband/children. She lives in a listed property, has pots of money and a family who love her.

I just avoid contact with her, which is a shame.

friday16 Thu 03-Oct-13 13:03:48

However, it won't be long before they age and die

The OP says her mother is semi-retired, but works three mornings a week. She could easily be alive for another thirty years.

FallingOffALog Thu 03-Oct-13 13:11:56

Woozlebear do we have the same mother? wink

NoisyBrain Thu 03-Oct-13 14:01:27

I don't have the answer but I have a mum like this too! She doesn't bitch about other people but she is SO negative about everything. She also takes on other people's worries, which only makes her worse. For example her elderly widowed neighbour is quite frail and mum frets about how the neighbour will cope with the upkeep of her house as she gets older (she has children who come to help her). In the next breath she worries about who will move in when the neighbour eventually sells up or dies in case they are not nice!

I think she's very unhappy with her lot in life (and marriage probably) but lacks the self confidence to take steps to change it. To be fair in recent years she has had two major health issues which would bring anyone down, but she was like it well before those issues arose.

I do think she has general anxiety (which I have also so I know it's not easy) but in every situation she leaps straight to the worst case scenario as her predicted outcome and it is truly draining to listen to. I try to offer her positive alternative suggestions but it mostly falls on deaf ears.

My sister still lives at home and DM's anxieties and negativity are rubbing off on her more with every passing year. It's like they feed off each other.

I've come to the conclusion that I can't change her so I just have to try and tune out the negativity or it stresses me out too. I think she'd really benefit from some professional counseling but I wouldn't know how to broach that.

Akray Thu 03-Oct-13 14:15:40

YANBU. My mum has moaned my whole life, it is so draining. Unfortunately I could stand it no longer and now have no contact with her. Now she moans to whoever will listen about what a horrible daughter she hasgrin

Not suggesting you do the same OP but is like a weight has been lifted from me, not having to deal with her constant negativity. You can choose your friends...............

Gerragrippe Thu 03-Oct-13 20:04:08

Fine, have a whinge , cut her out of your life , whatever... What can anyone else do about moan about her to us, she can moan about you to her friends . Happy families all round!

Gerragrippe Thu 03-Oct-13 20:18:14

Also, where is your loyalty? This person has brought you into the world fed and cared for you throughout childhood and you haven't got a good word to say about her. Pay her some respect and be a bit more tolerant. Maybe she just finds you very irritating too.. Like mother like daughter perhaps.

Oh and YABVU and mean about your own mother so getagrip.

cuppachai Thu 03-Oct-13 21:50:11

Wow. That was a bit harsh. It's not that she 'hasn't got a good word to say about her' She's here because the bitterness and negativity has taken it's toll and she needed to vent. I completely sympathise, as do others, and it's not because we are all ungrateful and despicable. Relationships can be difficult and I'm sure cider began this post because she wants to make hers with her mother better.

Gerragrippe Thu 03-Oct-13 22:23:54

Not harsh at all.. This is AIBU not relationships and to quote OP " AIBU to wish she'd just shut the fuck up" . Charming!!

JustinBsMum Thu 03-Oct-13 22:30:34

I know people like the OP's DM. Always on about the most sordid / violent/ depressing/ hopeless or even titillating stories in the news or gossip about other local people.

I don't know why they have to be so negative and depressing to be with.

Avoid, avoid.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now