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Why do I crave my mother's approval?(11 Posts)
Sorry this is now really long !
I am 18 weeks pregnant. I told my mum, and subsequently dad, sisters and brother last weekend about the pregnancy (on the telephone ? we all live quite far apart, apart from brother who I was seeing the next day). Initially, my mum said that she was very pleased for us and that she knew it was long awaited and that it was essentially excellent news. I was completely surprised by this - I had a miscarriage last summer during which she was horrendous, saying that she was pleased I had miscarried, that it would have been no grandchild of hers, and other horrible things (she doesn?t like my partner ? not good enough, we are unmarried, etc).
It was really tough miscarriaging, and her hurtful words did make it worse. We have moved on from that, although it has obviously not been the same.
Therefore I waited to tell her. I wasn?t scared of telling her but I simply did not want the negativity and hurtful words (which I fully anticipated), so had no desire to tell her. I have been (and still am) nervous about this pregnancy (I actually had a second mc last year, but did not tell her this as I knew she would not be supportive). Therefore we had not really told anyone. I have started to properly show a bump in the last week or two, and I was meeting my brother so knew I needed to tell my family.
Anyway, this week she comes on the phone and tells me how upset she is that I didn?t tell her sooner, that she is so disappointed, etc. She said my OH was "not a man" as he should have told her when we saw her over xmas, and we are obviously not a strong couple if we felt we could not announce it at xmas time. She went on to give me grief about completely different subjects, insulted my OH, etc.
I explained that my decision not to tell her was completely based on her abhorrent/disgusting reaction last time. I explained that I did not want the same negativity (I envisaged wishes from her that the baby would die) during pregnancy. She does not accept this, saying she had thought we had moved on ? I said that we had as far as possible, but this was exactly the same topic/subject so why would I expect her reaction to be any different? Not good enough for her.
I had anticipated negativity and abuse and was so pleasantly surprised by her positive reaction last weekend. However now she has turned it around and got all this negativity in through the back door! This should be such a happy time for me, but it is completely greyed by my mother.
Why does she even need to know sooner? It is evidently not because she wants to support me.
I can understand that my sister/brother might be put out I waited to tell them. But I hope they can understand that I did not want to tell mum and that I couldn?t tell them and not her (and I wasn?t telling all my friends etc). In any event it was only 3 or 4 weeks after the scan at 13 weeks ? there are still 22 weeks of this pregnancy !!
She used to be so caring. Now I don?t think I even know her ? she tries to turn everything around to be about her, and says things which seem to have the sole intention of hurting me. It is really affecting me, I don?t know why I crave her approval so much.
Was it so bad for me to wait to tell her? It's not like I am having a baby next week!
I didn't want to read and run. There's a Stately Homes thread in relationships that might be helpful to you - it's a support thread for people who have toxic parents, and your mum sounds very much like she fits the bill!
I am so sorry your mum's being so horrible. You honestly don't deserve it, and you don't need to try and "win her approval" - she's obviously got some (pretty serious) issues of her own, that are not your fault. It must be quite miserable inside her head if this is the way she treats her own daughter! I know it's hard, and I know how much shit like this can get to you, as I'm struggling with toxic family bullshit too. The best thing to do is focus on your pregnancy, and your new family (you, OH and the baby).
Found the link to the Stately Homes thread for you here
Oh my heart goes out to you, I know exactly how you feel I have to tell my perents next week (they are away at the moment) that i am 16 weeks pregnant. I know they will not be able to hide their disapointment.I know my Mothers tounge and she's very hurtful. I had to tell my grown up daughters last week (25 & 22), they couldn't, although at least they tried! I'm 42, and a grandmother! I spent 4 days crying.
I gave myself a good talking too on tuesday and decided i'm not going to let their feelings spoil this special, precious time in my life and and have prepaired myself for the conversation, i'm determined not to appologise!!!
somethime it helps just to know your not the only one.
We waits until first scan before telling close friends and family. I think that's normal and it's about what you want not what others want.
My mum can be very selfish too. I think it's a control/insecurity thing. If it was a friend you'd walk away but as it's mum you can't. Perhaps you should consider telling your mum how she makes you feel and if it continues you will need to distance yourself from her.
My mum is visiting next week and I'm going to have a conversation with her about all the guilt tripping and anxiety she brings to me. Currently I am getting a hard time about not agreeing to confirm a visit date to them with a 2 yr old and 6 months after dd2 is born. They live over 200 miles away and I would need to travel on my own as DH works weekends.
Your mum is probably like mine. In any given situation they will always turn it so you're the bad guy or the one who worries and gets stressed out.
I say- big congratulations on your pregnancy. I hope that it goes really well and put you and your baby first. Distance yourself from unhelpful comments, no matter where they are coming from.
Hi, whilst I can't offer any advice you certainly have my sympathies!
My mother can switch from my best friend to the most toxic, aggressive person you could ever dread to meet in 5 minutes. She has also said horrific things about DH, infront of him. Of course she doesn't remember any of them now and I am obviously exaggerating.
I'm 31 weeks with PFB and dreaded having a daughter in case history repeated itself. As it happens, I am having a daughter and am very determined not to mirror her behaviour.
What I came to realize (with the help of wise MN posters!) is that the dynamics of our relationship will soon change, in that I will no longer be the child of the family, and she will no longer be the mum. Soon I will be the parent, making the decisions for my child and she will merely be a gran, a visitor. And as such, she will have to accept that her DD has grown up, and is the one making the decisions. If she cannot do that, well....I can guarantee my DD will have a bigger hold over me than she will, and I won't have the time or patience to to play into her hands anymore.
I guess I'm trying to say that you'll have bigger and better things going on soon enough. Congratulations .
You crave your mums approval because she is your mum. Unfortunately no matter how cruel and unkind our parents are to us we still have an inbuilt desire to please them, which is part of the reason their comments can be so hurtful.
Congratulations on your pregnancy. My advise would be to try to keep your distance from your mother if she makes you feel this bad. I know this is easier said than done (my own mother is awful) but it definately helps in the long run.
My MIL is lovely and I have a great relationship with her. To give a balanced picture, she would never complain about anything I chose to do with regard to pregnancy or parenting. She says it is my decision as an adult and none of her business. I have always found her very supportive and am lucky to have her.
So much that others have said on here that I agree with!!
And my heart goes out to you OP, I too crave my mother's approval and she can be horribly harsh and judgemental
and bitchy when she doesn't get her own way or feel she is being listened to.
I know in my own mother's case it's a matter of her actually having a personality disorder, she thrives on conflict and has NO boundaries, and loves to disapprove of anything she doesn't recognise.
I agree the Stately Homes thread is great, though it can make for uncomfortable reading...
Dannilion like you I absolutely DREADED having a girl as I was so scared about the idea of repeating history - I was inconsolable when we were told it was a girl at the scan. Fast-forward a few months and I, like you, have put aside all my fears and am just determined not to replicate the mistakes my mother made. Luckily I am a very different person from her, but still I feared a repeat. Now I am actively looking forward to being able to build a healthy relationship with a daughter, and i NEVER want her to be posting on MN in 30 years time with a story like the OP's!!
Not much advice to offer OP, sorry, just sympathy and understanding. And maybe a
Have a from me too.
Your Mum does sound a very twisted person and the things she has said to you especially over your miscarriage are unforgivable.
Mine can be extremely hurtful too then very innocent if I try to challenge her, if I ever snap I get the silent treatment until I back down, which like you I always do even though it grates, she had a very hard Mum and I assume it rubbed off on her.
All I can say is that your priorities will change, I'm 35 weeks pregnant with my first and feel like a lioness, I know I'll no longer take crap from her, I'm having a girl which is what I was desperate for and instead of dwelling on the things that my Mum did to me I'm using it as a positive and learning from it to make sure I never say or do the same to my own daughter
Thank you all for lovely messages. It's really reassuring. Rosiedays I hope your announcement goes well.
I am trying to understand and can't- it fills so much of my thoughts trying to work it out. I really want to focus on the pregnancy/baby/me, I just need to try forget her for just now. Hopefully shell come round, but no doubt it will be twisted again to be my fault...
I'll have a read of that post. Thanks all
told my parents last night, they were very shocked! mother then went on to tell me about all the things i would not be able to do in my life now!! (good job, nice holidays, sports car!) She then asked if MIL had any cultural worries!!! (OMG!!) this translates to OMG i'm going to have a Muslim grandchild!!!!
she ended the converation with 'oh well I supose we'll just have to deal with it. I'll call you next week'
I however did not appologise and am proud of myself for that.
slepted better knowing it done. x
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