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To be upset by my mum

(11 Posts)
NoseyNooNoo Tue 23-Nov-10 23:12:20

My mum is staying with me at the moment because I have had an op and need help with the DCs. I knew it would be tough because we don't get on. I find that mum often makes comments about 'mums like you' or rather 'the problem with mums like you'. So far over 2 days she's commented about my housework (e.g. she spent 30 minutes cleaning a kitchen floor this morning that was mopped last night), how I do too much with the children, how me and DH favour DD over DS, how DH, poor lamb, comes home from a hard day at work and helps out around the house. I have grinned and bared it!

So, this afternoon ,she sat there slagging off all of her friends, many of whom she's fallen out with. She sat there doing mean impressions of them. She then went through her family, all but one she has fallen out with. This was due to my mum contesting her mum's will. The solicitor wanted to follow the wording of the will whilst she thought it should be split differently. That saga rumbled on for about 3 years, cost most of the tiny estate in fees and broke the family apart, such as it was. So finally after 7 years of hearing about it I said, 'Was it really worth contesting it i.e. falling out with family'. I explained that the solicitor did execute the will as per the wording. She went ballistic, pretended to cry and stormed up stairs, slamming doors as she went. When she finally came down she said how hurtful I ALWAYS was, that I ALWAYS upset her, that I NEVER support her, that I had said that i) she was selfish, ii)that she deserved not to have a family, iii) that she was only after the money. She then called dad to tell him how awful I am.

I'm sat here many hours later so sad that we can't have a good mother-daughter relationship. I never tell her anything of any importance because she will give her negative opinion on it. I would never share a confidence with her. She doesn't even know I have a self-employed job because she would mock it and judge me as bad to be a working mum.

How can I shake myself out of being affected by this. Should I just pull myself together?

muttimalzwei Tue 23-Nov-10 23:26:03

This sounds awful. I think you should stand firm and say well I do think it was wrong and I have a right to express my opinion. My mum does the crying act whenever I stick up to her. I actually cope with it now and say what I feel but it has taken me a very long time. Stand firm with her and fall out with her over it if necessary.She cannot bully you in this way.

A1980 Tue 23-Nov-10 23:26:39


I'm sorry to say this about your mum but she sounds impossible to have a normal relationship with. The fact that she's fallen out with her entire family says it all. She's one of these insufferable people who is never wrong, is incapable of being unkind and is always the victim in every situation.

She's lost her own family and now it looks as if she is creating problems with your family. What sort of problems do think it will cause if she tells DS you like DD more than him. I wouldn't put it past her.

You DO NOT need this when you're ill. Is there anyone else who can help you. I think you should get shot of her.

NoseyNooNoo Tue 23-Nov-10 23:31:06

I'm afraid there is no one else who can help and she's only here because she worships the children - although I can tell by how she looks at me and DD that she's wishing that me and her fall out (as she did with my sister and niece).

I've spent quite a few sessions in therapy trying to accept that things are how they are and that I can't change someone else and have to just live with it. If it wasn't for the children, and me wanting them to have grandparents (DH's parents no longer with us) I'd have said Adios by now.

I wish I could just switch off my feelings on this issue.

BubsMaw Tue 23-Nov-10 23:31:09

It's a pity you need to have her around, if I was you I'd try hard to find another friend or someone to help, heck even hire in some paid help, as it can't be nice to be dependent on someone who's so (dare I say it) toxic to be around.

I'm not sure you could change her, she sounds a bit like my mum in some ways but possibly much worse sad, I put several hundred miles between my mum and me, which to be honest hasn't changed things. She now just moans on and on about how little she sees us. I'd just try to see less of her, which I appreciate may be difficult!

BubsMaw Tue 23-Nov-10 23:33:30

Nosey - Did you find the therapy helpful? I've considered this myself, but on some levels I think I know what all the issues are in my own situation, I just need to come to terms with them and accept/move on.

NoseyNooNoo Tue 23-Nov-10 23:38:59

I found it useful in the short-term but ultimately it didn't remove my desire to be loved by mum and to have a warm relationship with her. It hasn't stopped me being affected by it but in the short-term it allowed me to consider that I was good-enough and that I couldn't change my mum.

BubsMaw Tue 23-Nov-10 23:47:35

Thanks. I hope you get through it all OK.

How about this as a tactic for dealing with her - just agree with everything she says (as far as is possible), ask her opinions, tell her whatever you think she wants to hear, and also just try to keep conversation banal. I've noticed that this is what my brother does with my mum and it seems to work for them, he never gets drawn into the same type of stressful conversations and petty arguments that I do all the time. If this is too tricky, or if things look to be getting difficult then could you feign a headache and go to bed for hours? Possibly not helpful ideas, but I'm struggling to be helpful generally!

I'm off to bed.

PorcupineA Wed 24-Nov-10 00:54:42

NoseyNooNoo I am wondering why you would want your children to have contact with such a toxic person. As someone else said, it is quite possible she is going to stir up trouble between the four of you. I agree that it sounds impossible to get on with her, literally impossible. So why keep banging your head against the wall?

Having grandparents can be great but I think you might be paying too high a price. Your children will be fine without her and in fact better off surely?

I feel for you and hope you can sort this out.

onceamai Wed 24-Nov-10 01:09:37

Nosey - I don't have an answer but at nearly 50 I have never ever done anything that has pleased my mother and I have spent almost half a century trying and would still dearly love to but know now I never shall. Have gone through period of wanting to reject her but have got over it now and just accept her the way she is and once I stopped letting her bother me she stopped bothering me.

You won't change your mum but you can change how you deal with her and how you react to her. It isn't easy, but assertiveness training could help as could some in depth reading about boundaries.

At the end of the day she will always be your mum but you can learn to control this relationship. You arent' well at present but when you are - you must take control of tihs relationship and who she is in contact with, when and for how long.

DD is 11 now and of her own volition at the end of the summer said "mummy, do you find grannie difficult somtimes". It was music to my ears and a validation of all I had felt and tried to excuse of had been made ot feel guilty about for most of my life. DD BTW had never heard breath's whisper against her grannie and it was entirely liberating. Just sad it took 'till I was 50.

sunshineriver Wed 24-Nov-10 01:20:46

My favourite thing about your post is that she tells you off for doing too much with your children! I'd love to be able to stay at home and do more with my son, but I just cannot do it, I have no patience and playing for a short period even just grates.

You are obviously doing a damn good job as you are without her advice. It's hard when our mums give us their critisms because they are just trying to help but I think that they assume that because they are mums, they don't need any tact.

My mum was horrid up until a few years ago, and we still revert back if we see each other too often, and I've found that the best way is to convince her to change her tone - if she wants a grown up friend to talk to, then she's got to treat you like a grown up friend, not a child - and also to HELP rather than offering bad advice - I stress that I'm doing what I can and that it's my best and that seems to have worked quite well, though we both need reminding sometimes of our places.

With regard to the family thing, it sounds like a complete pain in the arse and it sounds although she does regret contesting the will, even if she won't admit it to you. Its just a shame that it'll take something major to make her bite the bullet and try to build some bridges, and till she does that, she'll continue being unhappy about losing her family.

I'd definitely try sitting her down for a Two Mums conversation, draw some parallels and let her see that you do what you do because you think its best, she's probably just foisting her advice onto you because she wants to help but doesn't know how and doesn't want to get in your way and seem like she's taking over.

Hope my ramble helps

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