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Dreading my mum coming back from holiday

(47 Posts)
Lulu1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 11:29:57

I've posted about my mum before. She really turned on me after DD was born and I got married (over 2 years ago now) and things have gone from bad to worse. I have been advised on here before to distance myself from her which I try to do but is hard as I work for her and she looks after my DD twice a week.

My parents have been on holiday for 2 weeks, due back this weekend and its been bliss. I feel guilty admitting to it but things are so much easier and calmer. We've been able to take DD to see my nan and grandad and other family without being made to feel guilty that we havent seen her. I can work without feeling like i'm walking on egg shells. They'll be back in a few says and its all going to go back to the tense crap it was before.

My mum hasnt been right for a while, and takes it all out on me. She has been on ADs but decided before she went away to stop taking them, i think my dad has also encouraged this. I have tried talking to them both saying I think she needs more help for her depression and they have both turned round and said shes fine and i'm the reason shes upset, if we came round to see them for meals etc everything would be fine! The reason we stopped seeing them as much was because they ignore my DH, undermine our parenting and even when we did make effect they still bitched and moaned.

I feel soo bad but i just don't want them to come back from their holiday, All they do is make me feel guilty and I feel isolated from the rest of the family as my parents play the victim to them so they stay away from us. I can't handle this anymore, they just make me out to be unreasonable and can't see it from any other view.

brass Thu 11-Oct-12 11:33:12

I'm sorry but your drama will continue!

You work for her and you let her provide childcare - she has you over a barrel.

The only answer is to extricate yourselves. Be independent.

If you are unwilling to do that nothing is going to change.

Hopeforever Thu 11-Oct-12 11:35:34

Afraid I agree with brass, you need to find another job and alternative child are.

It will be difficult, but you only live once, don't let your parents rule you any longer

StrangeGlue Thu 11-Oct-12 11:41:39

Hey, that's really tough. To be honest I would be looking to put your DD in childcare (cm/nursery/etc) and then you won't be beholden to them. You're not responsible for your mum's moods or making her better.

You might find this book helpful if you think they're controlling ( here ) or there's one about toxic parents by susan forward.

Just remember you aren't responsible for them. Stop kow towing, say when the hurt you and ignore the bitching. Maybe if you stop giving in when they bitch about you they'll stop doing if (if they're only doing it to manipulate you.) and start telling the truth "we're not coming to tea because you ignore DH", "DD is going to a child kinder because you undermine our parenting", "it's interesting that mum told you that is it's not what happened at all".

Lulu1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 11:42:26

I know thats what I need to do, we are working on it, our DD will get her 15 hrs childcare soon so that will solve that part of the issue. I'm still studying in the work I do so will struggle working somewhere else so i'm hoping to get my final year done and then can make more of a break. Hopefuly all this will be sorted by the summer. If I could have done it sooner I would have done.

Even when we have done that i'm still going to get my dad phoning me up saying how upset mum is, how stressed its getting him and how selfish I am for not going to see them for a few hours every weekend etc etc etc.

If I cut them out I wont get to see the rest of my family as they seem to side with mum for an easy life, I just don't know what to do. I dont want to lose everyone.

Walking on eggshells to me is code for living in fear.

How much of this is actually due to her really being a toxic parent?. Why d'you think you cop all her rubbish, you are not her emotional punchbag. Taking it all out on you primarily is emotionally abusive and these two as well keep upping the ante. I would read Toxic Parents written by Susan Forward; it may well help you.

I would not think your DD gets much if anything from the relationship either and you certainly do not. You need alternative childcare as of now. Your mother is patently not the person to look after her.

Does her GP know that she has stopped taking the ADs?. I would speak to her GP as a matter of course.

You are not and have never been responsible for her and her depressive state; that probably all started within her a long time ago. She also has a willing enabler in your Dad to back her up (such weak men usually act as bystanders out of self preservation and want of a quiet life).

You cannot change them but you can change how you react to them. Problem you have too is that process is going to take time, you seem like you are well in the FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) state with regards to both your parents.

I would also suggest you have counselling for your own self solely re your relationship with your dysfunctional parents. BACP are good and do not charge the earth.

"If I cut them out I wont get to see the rest of my family as they seem to side with mum for an easy life"

But would you want such weak mninded souls in your life anyway if that was to happen?. You need life affirming people in your lives.

mampam Thu 11-Oct-12 11:50:22

I used to be the same as you and I used to love it when my mother went on holiday, I felt like it was my holiday too. I had a jobshare with my mum and she was also my main childcare provider (she used to drop off DS when she used to come into work. My first step was to change my job, I started working evenings so that I wouldn't need to rely on her for childcare.

A couple of year down the line I don't have any contact with her at all but that's quite a drastic step but was necessary for me.

I would say you need to take action now as it will only get worse and believe me it will drag you down until you can barely cling on anymore. I know it's hard to break away but little steps at a time could be the key. Could you halve the amount of time your mum is looking after you DD? Perhaps put her into nursery or a childminder for the other half of the time?

Lulu1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 12:19:47

We just can't afford to put her in childcare yet. We're going to after christmas as she will be 3 so cheaper but doesnt qualify for 15 hrs till after easter and this will be a strech for us, i will have to work an extra day to do this so in effect I get my DD away from her but expose myself to her more.

I know I need to distance myself more its just I also have to be practical in what we can afford.

Attila my DH says the same about my family, he says they haven't bothered to see how I am or ask my side so why should I care about them but I still do. I used to be so close to my family and my granparents adore DD. My mum isnt violent just never know how she takes things. She took a day off work 'sick' the day after i told her DD was going to start nursery after xmas. I don't know if she has told GP if she has stopped taking ADs, I am tempted to contact her GP as I really don't know where to turn

mampam does your mum call you and try to guilt you into seeing her?

Before their holiday my dad was trying to make me feel guilty by saying they could die in an accident/illness etc at any time so basically just stop being silly and do as we say.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Oct-12 13:56:23

I think you have to look at this differently. It's clear you either can't or don't want to be more independent for whatever reason. So distancing is not an option and you're stuck with the status quo. You can't change them.... but you can change yourself. All of this guilty stuff, the cowering, the wondering what to say for the best and treading on eggshells stops. What you replace it with is some assertiveness. Shout if you have to. Swear ffs! When you are being bullied.... let's not pull punches... that's the behaviour you're describing, you have to stand up to the bully, not run away.

i'm still going to get my dad phoning me up saying how upset mum is, how stressed its getting him and how selfish I am for not going to see them for a few hours every weekend etc etc etc.

"Well if that's how you really feel you can fuck off to the far side of fuck Dad.... bye" Yes?

BessieMcBean Thu 11-Oct-12 14:27:46

Haha (to Cogito's advice), some good advice here, standing up to them is the answer.

However, if you can't face that, you need to decide if you can last out until next summer when you can give up working with 'D'M.

If you start changing your life now (starting new interests and making new friends), book the childcare for next year, and never run to DPs at their command, the change next summer when you stop the work and your DM child minding for you, might not seem so drastic.

Any chance of you moving further away so constant visits can't be expected by them?

Is the depression just a manipulative tool? Not saying DM isn't depressed but ime she and her GP need to fix it, not someone else.

Lulu1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 14:44:18

I do need to be more assertive, its def not a strong point of mine and they always seem to have a way of turning round what I say. cognito thats what DH thinks I should say to them I just haven't got the guts yet.

We have stopped seeing them outside the times I work and they have DD. And I make sure I dont go running to them for anything, to be honest thats what annoys them the most, we are independent and dont need them to bail us out. We have other friends and do a lot so thats not a problem.

We have considered moving, even emigrating, but then feel all our family, DH side as well are here as well as a lot of friends so why should we lose everyone because of how my mum behaves.

I don't know if her depression is a manipulative tool or not. They have told me if we had done x y and z in the 1st year we got married my mum wouldnt have any problems which is all bollocks but thats what they believe. My mum doesn't think she has a problem anymore and my dad is saying the same! ahh!!

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Oct-12 14:50:54

"I just haven't got the guts yet"

It would save you emigrating, losing your friends and give you peace of mind if you stood up. They're claiming to be 'upset', 'stressed' and blah-di-blah now and you've done nothing whatsoever. Might as well give them something to genuinely carp on about and get your self-respect back, than this current cowardly business where you plan your escape but stick around being all upset and resentful.

Lulu1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 15:19:06

I haven't had the guts to tell them to fuck off but I have talked to them and made them aware of how i'm feeling, though this always gets minimised or ignored as obviously my mums feelings are much more important.

What would you do then cogito? I know stupidly I rely on them as employment and childcare so if I just tell them to fuck off and I never want to see them I will then have no work, no childcare and we wont be able to afford our home. I cant get a new job as no childcare and cant afford to pay it. We aren't entitled to any benefits so I really don't know what to do.

I don't want to be in this situation but i feel i need to plan a way out so i can still feed and have a home for DD.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Oct-12 16:04:00

You're not getting it. Stay employed and use them for childcare but don't tolerate any whining and guilt-tripping. You need them for the first two - you haven't any choice in that - but you can say a big firm 'ENOUGH' to the latter. They won't be used to hearing you say it because so far you haven't had the guts... too busy making excuses for them and flapping about getting upset and resentful. But you should listen to your DH and, rephrased in your own words obviously, tell them where to get off when they overstep the mark.

Lulu1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 16:47:38

Ok I see what you're saying but I have been standing up to them and that pisses them off more than anything. And they also think because I've not stood up to them before its all my DH's doing and he's trying to stop me seeing them.

My problem is they don't stop and even though I am making a huge effort to stand up to them and tell them when they say something that upsets me I still can't help feeling guily, doubting myself and getting stressed out by the whole situation.

I thought you were saying just tell them to fuck off and not see them

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Oct-12 16:54:27

Do you say 'that upsets me' 'that makes me feel bad? Or do you go for a more general 'ffs give it a rest' or similar?

The trouble with bullies... and I'm getting 'emotional bullying' from the way you describe them.... is that if you admit their actions are upsetting or making you feel bad, they perversely see that as validation and a reason to plough on. They can see how you're feeling because that's precisely how they want you to feel. They want you on the back foot so that you are running around after them, trying to keep them happy. If you cut them dead, they can get annoyed but that's about all.

I think you and DH have to present a united front and be far more assertive... bordering on aggressive... than you have been up to now. I think your DH has been waiting for permission to act and will welcome the opportunity. You have to ditch all the guilty feelings, doubt and stress, sharpen your elbows and stick your chin out.

Well it would pee them off because they do not like seeing their conditioned soul i.e you rebelling. They want you back in your box and things to remain as they always have been. Also standing up to them after a lifetime of such conditioning is very hard to do.

I would think about how much her behaviour is actually due to depression and how much is actually due to her being an inadequate parent who likes to take out all her crap on you. Sometimes depression can be as encuse to further abuse others. BTW you did not make her this way, her own family did that damage.

These people will never be reasonable because they are only hearing one voice - theirs. They will never apologise nor take any responsibility for their actions. FOG - fear. obligation, guilt is a side product of such toxic people and you seem to have FOG in spades.

This is all about power and control really, your mother is the driving force behind all this whilst your dad is her willing enabler. Such women always but always need a willing enabler to help them.

You cannot change them but you can change how you react to them.
Counselling would help you with regards to this dysfunctional relationship you have with your parents.

Lulu1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 17:05:18

Whenever I say anythin about how I feel they dismiss it or make out I'm being silly or overly sensitive or twist it round. I do think my mum enjoys plaing the victim.

My DH hasn't seen them for a few months now, which again they've taken as him being petty and childish rather than because he can't stand how they act and won't tolerate it.

I'm working on being assertive and trying not to let it get to me but I'm finding its easier said than done

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Oct-12 17:08:41

Like I say, if you mention your feelings, it's another bit of soft underbelly for them to needle. Your DH sounds terrific and, if I were you, I'd follow his lead, think of a few good put downs, and go for it. They already think he's a bad influence and you're a silly little girl.... might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb.

Lulu1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 17:15:36

A lot of what you say sounds right atillia, they aren't used to me standing up for myself.

I really don't know how much my mum plays on it and how much is depression. In the past she has cried to my dad who will then guilt me into doing what she wants. We lost my grandmother earlier in the year (dads mum) and my mum was revelling in the attentiom from everyone, it was so cringeworthy and embarassing. She also feels we should centre our lives around her. Even telling me she was the most important person at our wedding!

What I don't get is why she's like it, she had a happy childhood. Her parents are the loveliest people ever, they are very close so don't think there's any issues I don't know about.

Counselling prob would be useful to help me learn to deal with them and not let it get to me, just no idea how to afford it and when I'd have the time

Lulu1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 17:15:36

A lot of what you say sounds right atillia, they aren't used to me standing up for myself.

I really don't know how much my mum plays on it and how much is depression. In the past she has cried to my dad who will then guilt me into doing what she wants. We lost my grandmother earlier in the year (dads mum) and my mum was revelling in the attentiom from everyone, it was so cringeworthy and embarassing. She also feels we should centre our lives around her. Even telling me she was the most important person at our wedding!

What I don't get is why she's like it, she had a happy childhood. Her parents are the loveliest people ever, they are very close so don't think there's any issues I don't know about.

Counselling prob would be useful to help me learn to deal with them and not let it get to me, just no idea how to afford it and when I'd have the time

Lulu1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 17:21:41

DH is amazing and has helped me so much. He doesn't care what they think of him anymore, I just wish I could be like that. I feel so bad he has to deal with this rubbish from my parents. His are great, there for us if we need it, never hassle so we are both comfortable around them so see them more.

Lulu1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 17:21:41

DH is amazing and has helped me so much. He doesn't care what they think of him anymore, I just wish I could be like that. I feel so bad he has to deal with this rubbish from my parents. His are great, there for us if we need it, never hassle so we are both comfortable around them so see them more.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Oct-12 17:31:13

"What I don't get is why she's like it,"

Because it works. It gets her what she wants.

AnneElliott Thu 11-Oct-12 17:31:40

I feel for you as my mum is the same. Counselling helped me to see that her issues were nothing to do with me. I now take a bright and breezy attitude to everything she says and have a number of stock phrases such as " it all comes out in the wash" when she starts moaning. The secret is to never engage and move the conversation along.

Lulu1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 17:40:20

I guess you're right and when she doesn't get what she wants she throws a tantrum until she does.

Thinking about it do you think she's jealous of me a bit as well. The year I had DD and got married was when this all started. I don't like being the centre of attention much anyway but she's made a big deal and made these occassions all about her and what she wanted rather than me DD and DH.

I will have to try the breezy attitude anneelliott that might work well on her. She can't take offense and I wouldn't have insulted her but it would annoy her!

Lulu1984 Tue 16-Oct-12 10:24:33

Well shes back from holiday! She wants to meet up and talk about our relationship, just the two of us in a neutral place so we'll see what happens. I've decided this is the last time I'm doing this. We've had lots of talks between, me, mum, dad DH and they get no where.

I am going to make sure I stand up to her, get my views across and if she doesnt listen to me and just bitches about my DH i'm leaving. I'm not going to let her use emotional blackmail on me and i'm not going to make any agreements to do anything on any regular basis.

Any advice to offer. I'm really not good at getting my views across so this is going to be challenging for me.

Miggsie Tue 16-Oct-12 10:33:28

Talking to your mum will make no difference to her behaviour, she wants you obedient and fearful - all her life she has wanted this, nothing will change now.

You do need to read Susan Forward's book and understand your mother will never change, all she wants to do is control you and all your father wants to do is get you to shut up so he doesn't get ;picked on by your mum.
She is a bully - if you stop being her victim she'll pick on someon else - your dad. How pleased he must have been when her children came along and she could victimise them instead of him.
Your mother is a bully, your father is weak and spineless.

A website that is good is:

FOG which will help you understand you cannot do anything to please your mum, she will always require total obedience. Another one is narcisstic mums which may help you identify what is wrong with your mother.

Unhappily, the only way to deal with parents like this is to cut them out of your life - and your child's - they willuse her to manipoulate you, then pick on her when she reaches puberty, it's what my grandmother did.

Lulu1984 Tue 16-Oct-12 10:53:43

I know talking to her isn't going to accomplish anything but it will mean she can't bitch and moan that I haven't tried to sort things out. I'm going to make it clear to her how she is making me feel and if she can't change that then I'm not going to make the effort anymore.

I'm not expecting to get through to her, nothing has changed, but at least I can come out of it saying I tried and have no reason to feel guilty about the way things have changed between us.

Can I ask anyone else who has issues with their mums, has it always been like this? I used to get on ok with my mum up until i was pregnant with my DD. As soon as she was born and we got married, thats when it changed. Is it because my position changed (eg im a mum, wife) so have people depending on me? Thoug I have noticed how I am with my DD, I tell her I love her every day, enjoy playing with her etc, I don't remember even cuddling my mum or her saying she loved me. I dont have a good memory though so I cant rely on it.

olgaga Tue 16-Oct-12 11:15:25

His are great, there for us if we need it, never hassle so we are both comfortable around them so see them more

Well can they give you a bit more practical help?

I don't see you're ever going to resolve this until you gain your independence from your parents, both in employment and childcare. Is there really no other way you can finish your training and study?

Yes they are dictating the terms of your dependence on them. That's unfortunate, but that's how they are. Realistically, you are not in a strong position to start dictating your terms to them.

Of course your DH doesn't care what they think of him - he isn't their son, why would he? I bed he'd care a whole lot more if they withdrew their support and left the two of you to struggle with your responsibilities on your own!

olgaga Tue 16-Oct-12 11:23:14

I used to get on ok with my mum up until i was pregnant with my DD. As soon as she was born and we got married, thats when it changed.

Well if you got on with her ok before, perhaps it's the fact that she had high hopes for you which has made her so unhappy at this turn of events. You say you have people depending on you, and imply she resents that. It does sound to me as though perhaps you have made choices you were unprepared and ill-equipped for, and she has found that difficult to come to terms with.

I take it your DH is in no position to support you, given your continuing dependence on your parents?

"Can I ask anyone else who has issues with their mums, has it always been like this? I used to get on ok with my mum up until i was pregnant with my DD. As soon as she was born and we got married, thats when it changed. Is it because my position changed (eg im a mum, wife) so have people depending on me? Thoug I have noticed how I am with my DD, I tell her I love her every day, enjoy playing with her etc, I don't remember even cuddling my mum or her saying she loved me. I dont have a good memory though so I cant rely on it."

This type of scenario often plays out with children now adults who were and remain victims of such dysfunctional emotionally unhealthy parenting. Regarding your comment stating that you cannot fully remember being cuddled by your mother or her saying to you that she loved you, that often happens as well in toxic families. You're beginning to remember what your own childhood was properly like now you have a child of your own and you would not want to inflict what happened to you on your child now.

When you started a family of your own, your mother was no longer in the centre of your world so in her warped mind, her world collapsed with the subsequent taking it out on you.

I would certainly read Toxic Parents (your parents are within those pages) and look at the websites Miggsie suggests. Your mother is the driving force and your dad is her weak and ever willing enabler. Narcissistic women like your mother always but always need some weak enabler man to assist them. Such spineless men often act out of self preservation and want of a quiet life. He has also failed you abjectly.

Lulu

If you do meet your mother (and at the present time I would suggest you do not) you must be prepared to make a quick exit; she could well tear you to shreds emotionally. Such people never ever apologise nor take any responsibility for their actions.

olgaga Tue 16-Oct-12 12:16:29

Do you know what, toxic or non-toxic, I would really like to hear your mum's POV on this.

In the meantime, I don't see the point in treating her as the enemy when you are so dependent on her. Manage the present, and focus on planning for the future.

I would however recommend this book. It's an invaluable aid to non-confrontational communication strategies and a real confidence booster:

www.amazon.co.uk/gp/offer-listing/0704334208/ref=dp_olp_all_mbc?ie=UTF8&condition=all

Viviennemary Tue 16-Oct-12 12:24:30

I don't know all the background but if you work for your Mum and she looks after your children nothing is going to change much. I don't want to be deliberately pessimistic but there is no way your Mum is going to change. You are the one who will always be in the wrong whatever the facts. This has been my experience. The only way is not to rely on her as much. She sounds like a manipulator.

"I would really like to hear your mum's POV on this".

Can only imagine what that would sound like. Probably a long litany and laundry list of OPs supposed shortcomings.

The only point of view OPs mother is interested in is her own.

olgaga Tue 16-Oct-12 13:47:53

Well there are plenty of mums who don't like their sons-in-law, which actually seems to be the main issue between you and her, OP. You did say you used to get on OK until you got pregnant and married your DH.

Unlike other posters I'm not going to rush to judgement and diagnose her with personality disorders or mental illness, certainly not on the basis of what you have said here! It wonder how much of her attitude is based on dismay at your apparent dependency.

You said:

"if I just tell them to fuck off and I never want to see them I will then have no work, no childcare and we wont be able to afford our home. I cant get a new job as no childcare and cant afford to pay it. We aren't entitled to any benefits so I really don't know what to do."

Perhaps she just wanted better for you, and would like some kind of acknowledgement that what you have wouldn't be possible without her and your dad's support. Perhaps she genuinely does feel that your DH has been poisoning your relationship.

If she is being that unreasonable, I wonder why your dad is so supportive of her? I notice everyone is saying she is toxic, but he's barely had a mention.

How is it that you and your DH are in a situation where your whole life seems to rely on your parents' goodwill? Is your DH overtly snotty with her and your dad? Why is it they are so anti your DH?

However, it may be that she has come back from holiday resolved to adjust to the disappointing reality of your ongoing dependence of you and your DH on her and your dad, and is perhaps hoping for a fresh start.

On the other hand, she might be about to tell you that it's time you stood on your own two feet and looked for a job elsewhere. Have you thought about what you would do if that were the case?

"If I cut them out I wont get to see the rest of my family as they seem to side with mum for an easy life, I just don't know what to do. I dont want to lose everyone."

So your dad and the rest of your family seem to see your mum's POV. Is that really "for an easy life" - are they all dependent on her and your dad too? Or is it that you can't see their opinions any other way? If your entire family is so "toxic", why on earth wouldn't you want to "lose everyone"? What do they say when you complain to them about your mum's attitude?

It just seems to me there's a lot more to this than meets the eye.

Lulu1984 Tue 16-Oct-12 13:58:02

Olgaga I may have given the wrong impression but my DH doesn't depend on me, he works full time, unfortunately its not enouhg for us to love on. I'm also not sure what you mean by us being ill-prepared. I think i was being naive working for my mum, though the arrrangement was mutually beneficial. I was working full time before having DD and could have returned on part time basis, I re-evaluated my options on mat leave and choose to restudy to do something that in time I could so self employed. I did it at this time as my mum was having an op and needed me to cover her work whilst she was out of action. My mum was also not supposed to be looking after DD, another family member was, but she 'talked' to them and they suddenly couldnt do it anymore after looking after her for 6mths.

She has controlled and manipulated situations so i am in this situation and is still trying to control me more. She has offered to buy us a house (in the area she wants near her), rent it to us (at a price we cant afford or we would have moved from our flat by now if we could) and then we can buy it back when we are ready at the price she paid for it (which would be at least £100,000 more than houses we have looked at so we'll never be able to afford it). She thinks shes being helpful but I just see it as another way to control us, and we have a mortgage for our flat so don't want to give that up and rent. They just throw offers of money to try and control us and make us in debt to them, disguised as helping us out. We have never taken any money off them, all I have had is wages earnt as I never want to feel in their debt like that as they will use it to their advantage.

I will read that book Atilla, and I have heard people from toxic parents have bad memories, and I guess i'm remebering things as we are bringing up DD. I am going to meet her tonight but will make my own way and will leave if I'm not happy. I'm not going to sit there and take any crap and be made to feel bad. I haven't done anything wrong. All I've done is not go round to see her as much outside of work because of her attitude and behaviour towards me. She on the other hand has said nasty things, been delibertaley spiteful and just trying to control everything I do.

I also don't understand why she can't be proud of me, I have always worked since finishing uni, buy my own things, bought my flat with DH, and never have to borrow money from people. I'm doing a good job raising our DD, shes such an amazing little girl and so clever and bright. I can't imagine ever feeling anything but love and pride for my DD.

Lulu1984 Tue 16-Oct-12 14:11:49

olgaga I have been with DH for over 10 years now, married for just over 2. There has never been a problem between them before this. My DH used to often help my dad with odd jobs at the weekends, and if we were going to a restaurant he would ask me to ask them along as well.

As I said in my previous post she has manipulated the situation so we seem to be reliant on her, this is her doing, not ours. If she turned round and said they wont look after DD I would get the first full time job I could and then would prob be able to afford to pay childcare whilst just getting by.

She doesn't have any idea on our money situation. She knows we aren't struggling so thats not an issue for her. We would struggle with just DH wages. We dont get benefits as our income is over the certain limit but only just.

I think my dad just does what she says for an easy life though hes had enough and has told me hes thought about leaving. The rest of my family see my mum more so are fed info from her, again not one of them has bothered to ask me about the situation so maybe it is best not to bother with them, though its not what I want. I think they are just takinmg a backseat and hoping it will blow over. They all have their own kids as well so are concentrating on them anyway, which also pisses my mum off.

I do have a bro and he has been supportive, him and DSIL have been through the same crap with my mum, though my mum refuses to believe any of the problems they have was anything to do with her. My bro lives several hours drive away though and is not about much so this is all down on me.

I don't think there is anything more to the situation. Thats what I can't understand. Within the 2 weeks after our wedding she started saying all the things I've done wrong (all petty) and hasnt stopped since. I've backed off a bit as she was effecting my mental health and she won't stop giving me grief. She wants to play happy families but its all fake. She can't stand being around us when we did do things, its all about how she looks to others.

Hi Lulu,

Many people fortunately come from emotionally healthy families so such dysfunction is thankfully unknown to them.

Do not ever enter into any financial arrangement with your mother. She will use it as yet another stick (the control one) to beat you with. She is not being helpful at all as you rightly state.

re your comment:-
"I also don't understand why she can't be proud of me, I have always worked since finishing uni, buy my own things, bought my flat with DH, and never have to borrow money from people".

Simply put its because she chooses not to be proud of you; you're competition to her, a rival and you do not want to do her bidding anymore. Its their scapegoat wanting or trying to break free of being controlled and ruled over that riles these people no end so she lashes out. Also such women always but always need a willing enabler (in your case your Dad) to assist them.

You did not do this to your mother, her own birth family unleashed all that emotional damage on her with the results apparant now. BTW what do you know about her own childhood, that will give clues.

" I'm doing a good job raising our DD, shes such an amazing little girl and so clever and bright. I can't imagine ever feeling anything but love and pride for my DD".

Excellent, a massive shame (understatement) that your mother has never been able to do the same for you. The birth of your DD is likely why you have started to think about all this and related childhood issues more carefully.

You can break the cycle and with your DD you will. Yuo won't act to her like your mother did and still does to you.

If your mother does start on the attack tonight Lulu as she could well do, leave smartish and do not look back. I also think that you got on "okay" (I use quote marks deliberately) with your mother prior to DD being born because that relationship with you was all on her terms. Its all about power and control.

olgaga Tue 16-Oct-12 14:28:37

Thanks for your reply.

It does seem to me that you are doing what you wanted to do - as you say the arrangement was mutually beneficial. Now you are finding it's not so beneficial so you are entitled to make new plans. I'm a little surprised at comments like "My mum was also not supposed to be looking after DD, another family member was, but she 'talked' to them and they suddenly couldnt do it anymore after looking after her for 6mths."

I don't know what to make of that. Are you saying your mum took this decision? Got at this other family member? But doesn't your mum also work? Childcare for your child is your decision, and I do wonder why you simply allowed your mum to make these decisions for you - you did have a choice at that point to say "OK this isn't working out".

Have you spoken to your former employer to see if they have any part-time vacancies?

Have you discussed with your education provider the possibility of putting your studies on hold? You might tell them that your current employment is at risk and you might have to find full time work, for example. They are bound to take your circumstances into account, and make allowances for parental responsibilities.

Simply ignore the offer of the house purchase, and any other financial offers which would make you further obligated to your parents. If it's not a gift, given freely, just say it doesn't fit in with your plans and you don't want to be financially tied down in that way. Repeat as and when necessary!

You talk about the possibility of emigrating but moving away doesn't need to be that drastic. You are entitled to move for employment opportunities, better schools or childcare, there are plenty of reasons why you might want to move away from their influence if you find it impossible to assert yourself.

You are a working, studying parent. You're entitled to decide what you do with your free time and how frequently you want to see your parents!

Do read that book I linked to above, it sounds as though you would find it very useful. And good luck tonight!

olgaga Tue 16-Oct-12 14:48:00

Attila I am simply more interested in techniques for dealing with the situation that wallowing in the past. You cannot control other people's lives or personalities or futures. You can control your own.

I have my own experiences to fall back on too. Just because I am concentrating on what can be done, rather than what should have been done years ago or how other people should have behaved years ago doesn't mean I don't understand.

I understand only too well. I also understand that the only way OP is going to break free from this cycle is to empower herself - not to continue to be dependent on the very people who are causing her such misery.

You are saying the same thing, but disregarding the consequences. I am simply trying to explore the practicalities.

If OP is saying she can't afford to pay the mortgage without the employment arrangement with her mum, then she can't "just walk away". She needs to employ reasoning. strategy and assertiveness.

And Lulu, it might help to prepare yourself for tonight's meeting just as you would if you were in a professional situation, dealing with a difficult client.

Do some preparation in relation to what might be discussed and what your response will be. You can't depersonalise your relationship with your mum, but you can depersonalise the discussion by keeping the focus on practicalities.

You obviously won't have time to get and read that book I linked to before tonight, but here is a pretty good summary of how to assert yourself and say "No" without aggression, manipulation or submission:

www.breakoutofthebox.com/LouisianaStateAssertivenessSummary.pdf

Lulu1984 Tue 16-Oct-12 15:44:14

Thanks Attila I think you’re right that our relationship was all on her terms before and its only now that I’m doing things she doesn’t like that she’s started getting upset.

Olgaga I’m not entirely sure what she said to the person that was looking after my DD but I know she adored having her and still does on the odd occasion when I’m stuck for childcare. I don’t know why I didn’t stop the take over there, I think I just let it go as it was nearer the start when things were going bad and we were trying to keep the peace. My mum does work but only 3 days a week. I work 3 days as well, only 1 the same as her so she has DD on the other 2.

I am close to a lot of people at my old work and I know they have just gone through a huge redundancy so it doesn’t look possible to get work there at the moment.
My education isn’t a problem as I distance learn in evenings so don’t need any childcare to do this. Its all off my own back, no lessons etc so whatever I do I can still continue with this. I should be finished by the summer anyway.

I am making a list of the main things I want to say tonight so I don’t forget as she has a habit of making me forget things or turn round what I say so I will go prepared

Thanks for both of your inputs it has really helped. xx

olgaga Tue 16-Oct-12 16:04:34

Can't you get on to the person who was looking after your DD and say you want her and only her to do the childcare? It really is your decision. If you are happy then your daughter will be happy - and that's a good enough reason to want to change things back to how they were. I'd look into it again if I were you. Tell this person you felt the arrangement with her was by far the most preferable and see if she would be prepared to do it.

Your mum might well be upset, but no more upset than if you organised any other childcare.

HissyByName Tue 16-Oct-12 17:33:23

The meeting will be for her to pressure you to get back in line. Not for the benefit of your relationship, but for her benefit only.

I'd refuse to meet her alone tbh. Take your DH.

BessieMcBean Tue 16-Oct-12 18:14:05

Have you checked that you aren't entitled to any benefits that you so far aren't receiving.

Clutching at straws but it would make such a difference if you didn't have to depend on her childminding.

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