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how to deal with passive mum?

(21 Posts)
charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Mon 24-Mar-14 19:08:01

Firstly, my mum is the greatest

My partner, son and I have with her. It's of mutual benefit (rent wise and also she was lonely on her own, and she helps us with stuff to do with our baby)

She is incredibly passive, hates confrontation, and thus it is really difficult to read her

This weekend I have got a vibe from her, my partner has also noticed. We had the in laws staying this weekend so I can understand that she may feel overwhelmed. But we got the vibe before they came down so can't really blame them

I asked her yesterday if anything was the matter and she started crying. But she would not speak about anything, just repeating "I'm fine" over and over

I feel awful, we don't know if we've done something to upset her, or perhaps she feels like she's being pushed out or I don't know. I don't know why I'm posting really, just want to get it off my chest and hopefully someone will come along and give some advice on how to deal with someone who is so incredibly passive.

Maybe I should just leave her be

antimatter Mon 24-Mar-14 19:16:19

I think perhaps she is scared to tell you that she finds hard sharing her home with you and looking after the baby?

charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Mon 24-Mar-14 19:23:18

Hi antimatter

I thought that too. I feel awful about it. I have asked her about that but she always swears blind she loves having us. We make a conscious effort to not take the piss in regards to the baby. We cook all the meals and do the lions share of cleaning the house.

But I still fear she regrets having us sometimes. She was so lonely when I left home for uni and when I got pregnant she was genuinely over the moon and made plans to get us moved in. We've been here 2 years now.

We are stuck though. My mum can't afford this place without us and we can't really afford to move out.

I feel sick thinking about it. She's met a friend for coffee tonight. She never does this. I feel so sorry for her. And it upsets me that she can't talk to me. Although I completely understand why she wouldn't want to speak to me about this!

starfishmummy Mon 24-Mar-14 19:24:24

Perhaps she didn't like the visitors being there

capsium Mon 24-Mar-14 19:29:57

She could have felt out of sorts a bit, having been taken out of her normal routine. She wouldn't necessarily want things any other way and that is why she does not complain.

I sometimes feel like this concerning having guests, I enjoy their company but am apprehensive before they arrive and feel a kind of come down after they leave. I often feel like I've 'overdone it' and just crave quiet time afterwards. But I feel back to normal after a day or so.

antimatter Mon 24-Mar-14 19:30:29

I think that perhaps having guests for whole weekend just was too much for her.
She may be depressed and hiding it from you.
Does she work?

charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Mon 24-Mar-14 19:31:33

The in laws have stayed numerous times in the last 2 years and she's never had a problem with it (seemingly)

but this is what I mean about her being passive. I just never know what she's thinking. Wish she'd be more honest and then we could work towards making it better for her.

We are so so close in every other way. I tell her everything, she is my mum and also a friend.

but when I try and talk about this and she won't speak about it I am hurt and get annoyed, I can't help it. How do I handle it in a sensitive way?

capsium Mon 24-Mar-14 19:32:21

I don't think it is necessarily a sign of depression though, some people are just naturally more introverted.

charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Mon 24-Mar-14 19:34:02

Yes maybe the run up to the visit put her on edge. It did cross my mind about depression. She basically locked herself in her room all weekend and didn't sit with the visitors. She stayed in her pajamas all weekend which is so unlike her. She works full time but planning retirement next year.

capsium Mon 24-Mar-14 19:35:14

I also know if what I am feeling is just a bit unreasonable, I really do not want to vent or share. That would just magnify a negative emotion. The easiest way for me to get over something like this is just distraction.

capsium Mon 24-Mar-14 19:37:56

Oh the locking self in room and staying in pyjamas does sound a bit more serious though.

That does sound much more like she is a bit depressed or introversion is overwhelming her.

antimatter Mon 24-Mar-14 19:38:33

Even though you think of her as your friend she may not want to share her deepest worries she has. She doesn't want to become dependent on you, reverse roles.

There may be many, many reasons why she is not sharing that with you.
Staying all weekend in her pyjamas is a sign that she wasn't happy with guestes (IMHO).

How often do you go away so that she has a break?

capsium Mon 24-Mar-14 19:40:14

Maybe if you could talk there might be a way she would find the visits more manageable.

If you timetabled some alone time for her, you all could go out and leave her at home for example for a few hours.

AwfulMaureen Mon 24-Mar-14 19:44:08

OP in your shoes I would approach it differently...she won't admit that she's not happy sharing...so ask her if she's feeling ok health wise. Maybe do something out of the norm like go out for lunch with her...she might feel ok talking then.

charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Mon 24-Mar-14 19:53:08

Thank you all for replying. All very helpful comments. Sorry I'm on my phone so it's hard to reply to everyone.

I understand that she won't want to talk about anything that may worry me. But I really hate feeling that we may be making her unhappy

To be honest I think the visitors are the main reason for the vibes. When you compare them to my mum they are very overbearing. And she had to share her room with me.

We did all go out on Sunday and she stayed in bed watching judge Judy, her favourite person on the planet smile as I wanted to give her some space. I also get the feeling she may be not jealous, but regretful that her marriage didn't work out and my in laws are (seemingly) very happy.

We go up to visit the in laws as often as possible but funds are low so not as often as we would like. We have at least 3 visits planned between now and June. I think she needs these trips so that she can get some rest and head space.

charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Mon 24-Mar-14 20:02:43

She's just come in the door. Should I go say hi or just leave her be?

charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Mon 24-Mar-14 20:05:14

God sorry I sound like such an arse. Just feel awful feeling awkwardness

RiverTam Mon 24-Mar-14 20:07:12

say hi and make her a cup of tea? or some dinner? be around but not bombard her with questions or chat?

Could be a number of things coming to a head - visitors, retirement looming, perhaps a bit on top of each other, awareness that you're all a bit stuck?

I think all you can do is let her know you're there for her, and that you can take anything she has to say, positive or negative, and that together you can sort things out.

You say you tell her everything - might that be rather a burden on her?

firesidechat Mon 24-Mar-14 20:28:10

Is your mum a natural introvert? I don't mean shy, but does she need her own space and time alone to recharge the batteries.

Introverts cope less well in larger groups of people and this weekend may just have been too much for her. I love having visitors for a short time, but always have a slight feeling of relief when they leave. Perhaps she copes ok with having you there, but not the additional strain of extra relatives - your relatives, not hers, more to the point.

AwfulMaureen Mon 24-Mar-14 20:44:01

I bet it is to do with seeing an older couple together...when my DH was away with work abroad for ten months, I used to get unbearably sad when I saw other Dads with their kids. It could be that...perhaps she just needs cheering up generally.

charlietangoteakettlebarbeque Mon 24-Mar-14 21:07:43

I just made her a cuppa and had a general chit chat. She still seems off. She's going to have am early night.

Good advice about maybe burdening her with too much of what's going on in my life. I never thought of it like that. It must be so draining! I'll lay off.

She is a natural introvert and shy too. But gap always got involved with the in laws previously. That's why I was worried about her behaviour I guess. I have to admit they aren't the easiest house guests in the world but they mean well. Next time I'll make sure they book into a b and b. I think it was all too much for her this weekend

thanks again for replies. Any more insight or advice would be appreciated. I really don't know how to handle her sometimes as we are so different. I am extrovert and tend to speak my mind and find it difficult when I don't know what is bugging her X

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