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How do I word this message to my mum?(15 Posts)
This is such a petty issue and I'm sorry to post here but I really can't shake the knots in my stomach and need some advice.
DM has always been on/off with me. She's either gushing over how much she misses My DC and wishes she lived closer (she moved 2 hours away when DS1 was 4mo) or completely switches off and I don't hear from her for weeks.
Last time I visited was the last weekend in Feb and we arranged to meet halfway tomorrow and she was going to have DC to stay for a couple of nights and DH and I would travel there on Saturday evening and spend Easter with them there (we've stayed there for Easter for the last 2 years).
I haven't spoken to her since Mother's Day- she was very off with me as her card hadn't arrived yet ( I had posted it on Friday and thought it would be with her on Saturday). She has the ability to make me feel like a crap daughter even now I'm 30. She told me all of the wonderful things Dbro had done for her (he lives at home and rarely lifts a finger to help out) basically he'd taken the dogs for a walk and made her breakfast. I mentioned DS1 was poorly so we'd cancelled our plans for the day so she said she would FaceTime later that day to speak to the DC. She didn't FaceTime but I was so busy looking after DS that it didn't bother me.
Since then I've not heard a peep from her, apart from facebook posts about how wonderful my brother is.
So my question is do I contact her about tomorrow? Or leave it? It was doing us a huge favour - DC3 is due shortly and we were going to use the child free days to make a start on the baby's room. We can do it while they're here or I'm sure my dad would look after them so it's not like we are reliant on her having them. DC enjoy visiting too and as she was so excited to have them to stay I just thought it would be nice for all of us.
I can't believe the anxiety this has caused over the past week. I have been scared to call incase she makes me feel as awful as I felt the last time we spoke. I don't want her to think I'm using her for childcare either. I don't want to give her any reason to bitch about me like she does about her own DM and sister when they're not around. I'm hormonal and taking everything to heart at the moment!
I just want to find out what the plans are as I will make others if she's changed her mind.
There's no other way, you need to call her. I have a tricky relationship with my mum too, but in this scenario you just need to bite the bullet so you know what's going on.
I knew deep down that is the best thing to do. She's not openly nasty but I can tell within 10 seconds whether I'm in her good books or not. Sometimes I'm grateful for the 100 miles between us.
First off, this is not a petty issue at all. Power and control issues are at play here.
What actual boundaries do you have in place when it comes to your mother?.
You seem to have FOG in spades when it comes to your mother; fear, obligation and guilt. My guess is that your mother has always been "difficult" and "on/off" (she is probably more "on" towards you only when you are dancing to her tune) and has always favoured your brother at your overall expense. Sounds also like you are the scapegoat to your brother's golden child status; this often happens in families that are at their heart unhealthy and dysfunctional.
Would suggest you take yourself off FB entirely, you do not have to read her posts at all.
Re your comment:-
"I don't want to give her any reason to bitch about me like she does about her own DM and sister when they're not around"
Your mother is basically replicating the relationship she has with them with your own self now. I would think your mother is by nature a very negative and pithy person anyway. It is NOT your fault she is like this, you did not make her that way.
You do not mention much about your dad, what is he like?. Are they still together?.
How old are your children now roughly?. What attention does she really pay to your children here?. Her words and actions really do not add up. Do you think she is actually a good and kind grandmother to them given her behaviour towards you as their mother?. I would say not.
I would not go out of my way at all to contact her given her behaviour; bad behaviour from any relative should not be at all rewarded. Leave her to stew and use your time in other ways.
You may actually want to post on the "well we took you to Stately Homes" thread on this webpage as well as their counsel may also be helpful to you.
You need to put mental distance between you and your mother as well as physical distance.
Was she a "good" parent to you when growing up or was she all too critical and demanding of "perfection" from you letting your brother off the hook?. Were all your emotional needs met by her, I would argue not.
Wow Atilla. That is a lot to take in. You're right in a lot of what you said and I'm amazed that you picked up on all of that from my one post!
She's always been very dominant over me and when I was growing up I never disobeyed her or had any teenage tantrums as I was so scared of upsetting her. I left for uni at 18 and never went back, we weren't very close until DS1 came along and she became doting grandmother. To be fair she is a fantastic granny and my DC adore her and my stepdad. DC are 2 and 3.
Yes she is replicating her relationships with her DM and sister with me and it really upsets me. She has always found a reason to bitch about people but it's only recently I've realised she probably has her reasons for bitching about me too. She and my stepdad are NC with all of his family and also with her dad and stepfamily on his side. When I was younger she'd have periods of not having anything to do with her DM either. That's her way of punishing people for any wrongdoings and I can see her having no problem doing it to me too.
My relationship with my dad is great. They divorced years ago.
I feel sick just thinking about calling her. I want to make everything OK.
Nobody should make you worried about calling least of all your own Mother, I'm sorry it has to be this way. I don't think things will change, sadly from experience. I tend to ignore the digs and just be bright and breezy over them! Call her and say you're just calling to check the arrangements for her GC tomorrow and they're really looking forward to spending time with them as a lovely Easter treat! (Narcs love a bit of flattery!). I wonder how she would be if you did address her behaviour - probably sulky silent treatment and maybe now is not the time.
I would call and act like nothing has happened.
Ignore the tantrum, just like anyone else that acts like a toddler.
You could ignore, but that might give her more of a stick to beat you with. Which I don't think you are quite ready for yet.
My mum made me feel the same way. So I turned off the answering machine and most of the time I didn't pick up.
You could ignore,... By that I mean not go on the weekend.
Atila hasn't picked it up from your post so much as your mum is a classic narcissist. My MIL is and at first I was at how similar the things she does are to what others with narcissistic mothers/mils and now I recognise it's part of the pattern.
I have no idea how to word this one BUT in general don't put her in a position where she can control you like this. Because she will ALWAYS use it.
No offence to Atila btw who knows all tgere is to know about this.
Yep Atilla is right. She knows her stuff!! It's a hard realisation. Do some research on narcissistic mothers and here are some flowers
Atilla has nailed what I was going to say!
Your mother is loving this power game. It's no skin off her nose whether she sees you this weekend and will be enjoying waiting for your call so she can be cold and offended with you Meanwhile your anxiety is through the roof about whether you are in her 'good books' or not.
As you have other options - your dad for example - I would ask him to have the children for the day and get on with decorating the baby's room as planned.
If your mother rings and asks why you've not been in touch just be honest - she was off with you, she was rude, she's been ignoring you and you're sick of it. You have your own family now and you're not prepared to play games or take her crap. Stand up to her! She might actually start being nicer as I promise you that she has far more to lose than you do.
I don't think you can make everything okay. It takes two to want that to happen and she seems to enjoy making you suffer.
Sometimes people just aren't who you desperately want them or need them to be. It's upsetting. You need to think of yourself, what can you do to manage your relationship with your mother that helps your anxiety?
I ended up going NC with my parents after years and years of distress and it has been such a relief.
I haven't called her and she hasn't called me. We've decided to do our own thing this weekend. I was going to call earlier but ended up crying to DH instead, I'm sure it's more to do with the pregnancy hormones than anything but I'm so emotional at the moment.
All my life I've listened to her talk about how her own DM made her feel like crap compared to her sister and she's doing the same to me.
Thank you everyone for replying to me
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