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To be worried about going away with my mum?

(23 Posts)
Lorenz Sat 25-Jun-11 17:13:34

Oh this is nasty but I can't help how I feel.

Basically my mum has been saying for quite a while now how lovely it would be for just me and her to go away together for a few days. I have always said "yes, it would" always believing of course that it would never go ahead. Anyway it has, she's booked and paid for us to go away together in august.

I'm worried because my mum has some really, really irritating traits such as nagging constantly "what time shall we do this? what time shall we do that? what shall we do next? what did you say we were doing next? what time will that be? oh do you think we'll have time for that? what time is that going on? what about this? where shall we go now?" etc etc etc There's also the way she point blank ignores me when I'm speaking because she's become fascinated with a passing woman who my mum is wondering if she's "bigger" than her and the way she changes the topic of conversation really rapidly and suddenly:

me - "I wonder how many years it - "
mum "Ooo these eclairs are nice, arnt they??"
me - "yeah, I wonder how many - "
mum - "do you like them? the ecclairs?"

I can cope with it for a couple of hours around shop but 3 whole days?? I know, it's an awful way to talk about your mother but it drives me CRAZY and I'm really concerned about my ability to bite my tongue for so long.

squeakytoy Sat 25-Jun-11 17:27:21

You are an adult too.. so why not pull her up on it, and say "hey, dont interrupt me all the time mum"...

If you constantly bite your tongue and let things ride, then it will drive you crazy and your mum will not be aware that she is annoying you...

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Sat 25-Jun-11 17:36:59

Believe me when I say these things that drive you crazy are the same things you will miss when she's gone.

zipzap Sat 25-Jun-11 17:56:27

Did she check with you that you would be able to go then - is there any way that an 'emergency' could come up and someone else could go in your place?

where has she booked to go to? Is it the sort of place that she can be in charge of the guidebook and you can just talk about specifics of what you are doing that day. Or can you plug in to music to listen to ?

Could you get her a cheap mp3 player and load it with music or audioboks she would like and give it to her as a thank you present for taking you away... At the start of the trip obviously and then when you lie down on the beach you can plug in and say how thoughtful she is because one of your most favourite things is relaxing with music and no interruptions but with friend/family close by and you never get a chance for that usually and as she now has her mp3 she can do the same.

Maybe she doesn't realise she is doing it so asking her directly mum do you realise that is the 2/3/4/etc time you've asked me that in the last few minutes, do you need to speak to the doc about your memory? Last bit only when she has done it lots!

Or maybe she hates silence or feels she should be talking to you and doesn't know what to say or shes very shy and tring to hide it or has a sort of worrying ocd or something similar and therefore needs reassurance that it's fine to be in companionable silence.

Lorenz Sat 25-Jun-11 18:25:27

She would be really upset if I pulled out now and I know I will miss her when she's gone but its so frustrating. She gets obsessed over really stupid stuff too, like yesterday she'd invited me down and she was obsessing over the fact that the window cleaner was coming.

me - "it's a lovely day today"
mum - "yes, the window cleaner is coming at 10! oo these windows havn't been done since I moved it!!"
me - well it will be a treat for them then grin so, how did you get on at the bank?"
mum - *looking out of the window, no idea what I've just said* "umm?"
me - "how did you get on at - "
mum - "oh I hope he comes!"
me - "who?"
mum - "the window cleaner! he's supposed to be here at 10!"

anyway this went on for an hour, everytime I tried to talk about anything else she changed it back to the window cleaner. Then when he arrived she did nothing but go on and on about him:

"oo what will he think of the windows??" "I bet the windows are filthy!" "can you see them? are they doing the back windows now?" "I wonder how long it will take?"

all the while I'm trying to discuss something else entirely. Eventually when they finish she goes on and on about how dirty the windows were, telling me over and over and over again what they'd said to her as she paid, telling me 4 TIMES that they're coming back in a month - repeating what they'd said to her etc etc. Its SO frustrating.

She gets OBSESSED over such silly things.

Another example - we're walking down the street. A man stops and says "hi, lovely weather today!" and carries on =

mum - "oh that was nice!"
me - "yeah! anyway where did you want to go for lunch?"
mum - "awww you don't often get that now, do you?"
me - "Nope, so where shall we - "
mum - "hehe! did you see his little dog?"
me - "yep, as I was saying, where do you - "
mum - "they're all friendly like that around here you know!"

and on and on and on about the insignifcant man for the rest of the day.

northerngirl41 Sat 25-Jun-11 18:50:20

Hey Lorenz - are we sisters?? I could have that exact same conversation with my mum. I do sometimes slightly question her sanity, as frankly she forgets most things you tell her, but obsesses over really bizarre things. I'm convinced it's mostly because she doesn't have enough to do and therefore the mutinae of what she's doing on a daily basis becomes super inflated.

I find if you give her something to do, or something which is useful to obsess over, she's quite good and at least isn't doing that thing of telling me the same story 52 times a week and going "Now was it Tuesday or Thursday that the window cleaner came... I think it was Thursday because Wednesday Alice came over and she's got an appointment next week with the doctor... but actually it might have been Tuesday... Or was it Thursday?" ARRRRRRRGGHHH!!!!!!

Suggest quite a lot of activities so you aren't corralled with her alone for 72 hours? I find claiming to be tired and having a nap or going for a walk or a long bath is quite refreshing when it comes to my tolerance levels. You're much better to go off by yourself for a little bit than seethe until you snap!

plymouthmaid Sat 25-Jun-11 19:13:23

Please enjoy your mum, faults and all she wont be around for ever.

northerngirl41 Sat 25-Jun-11 19:49:58

It's all very well saying "She won't be around forever, so put up with it" but when your mother is as annoying as mine is (and it sounds like the OP's mother falls into this category) you need coping strategies so that you don't end up snapping and hurting her feelings.

I have no doubt at all that my mother has the very best of intentions at all times, and that no doubt I was a complete pain in the butt and did many, many worse things to her as a child (teenager especially). But the OP can't help her mother driving her up the wall - just as much as her mum can't help doing it.

If she really does sit there biting her tongue, I guarantee you that she'll end up saying or doing something unforgiveable and her mother will be very hurt and not speak to her - perhaps forever.

It's much better to be realistic about it and put coping mechanisms in place. Even if it's locking yourself in the bathroom for half an hour's peace!

LunaticFringe Sat 25-Jun-11 19:54:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Euphemia Sat 25-Jun-11 19:59:01

She sounds just like MIL. These things can be easier to tolerate with someone you love, I think: I've developed a way of only one eighth half listening to my dad because he talks entirely in anecdotes I've heard 1,000,000 times. DH can't bear to be around him, but I love my dad so I've found a way to cope.

Could you find a way to let your mum's chat wash over you? Lower your expectations of how often you can have a normal conversation?

skybluepearl Sat 25-Jun-11 19:59:59

i think you should go but try to find the humour in how she behaves. Finding it funny will take the edge off things.

CMOTdibbler Sat 25-Jun-11 20:01:25

I have to say she sounds like my mum too - who gets very anxious about the shape of the day because she can't remember what you've said, and has lost the social niceties of taking conversational turns. I know her life is very limited now, but the dementia sends me up the wall if I let it.

Have a break with her, and try to let it all wash over you

kenbarlowslovestick Sat 25-Jun-11 20:15:43

Im going away with my mum in september with my 16month dd we,re staying in a chalet at a holiday camp and i cant bloody wait smilemy mum has driven me nuts over the years as i have her but now at 40 and having a dd of my own i can cope with her little odditys and when shes being nuts (shes 73 by the way ) i just take the piss and its all cool and we laugh about it and i think i love you mum you,ve given me so much and i so love that ive still got you and we can spend this time together and i hope my daughter will think that of me one day wink

misty0 Sat 25-Jun-11 20:30:24

Op, reading the descriptions of your mums behavour and i'm saying - yes. YES!

My mum is exactly the same! Much worse since my Dad passed away 4 years ago, and shes lived alone. She can be very judgemental and caustic too tho, so i find it hard to 'laugh at it and enjoy her company' sometimes. What gets me is she wont listens to me, and then says i never tell her anything! Its not for the want of trying!

Lots of good avice been given already. I would panic about spending 3 days solid with my mum too.

I'm interested in how many people think this kind of behaviour is a symptom of living alone or wether it really could be a sign of the onset of something more sinister, such as dementia?

Watching this with interest ....

Jonnyfan Sat 25-Jun-11 20:50:24

I think they all go that way as they get old! How old is she? My mum is 94 and irritates me so much. if I let her! Have to keep reminding myself she is not doing it on purpose, but when I am telling about a close friend who died of cancer aged 50, and she changes the subject to tell me about her lunch, it is hard sad

pinkdelight Sat 25-Jun-11 21:14:41

You are right to be worried. I had a mini-break with my mum this year and she drove me nuts with her batty habits. Tensions got quite high and it made me sad to think how I couldn't appreciate her company when, as people say, she won't be around forever. But in the moment that doesn't really help. However I am still glad we went together and time photoshops those memories so that it doesn't seem so bad after all. Go for it, I'd say. Just make sure you have your own room.

PlanetEarth Sat 25-Jun-11 21:32:47

I'm not sure why people always say on this kind of discussion, "Make the most of her, you'll be sorry when she's gone!" Of course you will, but that doesn't mean you have to find all her irritating habits endearing. Same with husbands/children/anyone you love - what about all the men+housework threads, maybe we should all just respond with, "You'd be sorry though if he was run over by a bus, just iron his shirts, scrub the floors and smile sweetly. there's a dear."

Jonnyfan, that's awful...Maybe at 94 you've seen it all and only care about your lunch!

NomNomNom Sat 25-Jun-11 22:30:24

Is it possible that she can't hear very well?

My mum is a bit like that sometimes. What I'm trying to do is just let her talk, and I nod and smile, and when she asks me a question I give her short answers as she doesn't seem able to concentrate enough to listen to a long answer.

Lorenz Sat 25-Jun-11 23:19:59

The thing is, it's not age as she's always been like this. It is getting steadily worse but I remember years ago she would go on and on about the same thing constantly.

She asked me yesterday "what are you doing saturday?" she then immediately began staring out of the window at a woman walking her dog. I said "Taking DS to cinema" she followed the woman and her dog with her eyes and half heartedly muttered "oh - umm - it's ok, Im not ignoring you, I'm just err - watching that woman out there. so - umm - what are you doing saturday?"

ffs

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Sun 26-Jun-11 09:29:19

Doesn't the amount of people saying that's my mum make you feel better grin

have say my mum is getting worse. She's living on her own now and tbh I think these are the same convos they have when we are not around!

I also feel like I got a bit like that when I was unemployed on extended mat leave. Although I can remember bursting into tears and telling my dh I knew how boring I was.

Lorenz Sun 26-Jun-11 09:33:00

Yes it does help to see other people saying their mums are the same, infact it's a massive relief actually!! grin

I'm just terrified of ending up the same way.

glastocat Sun 26-Jun-11 09:47:45

That wasn't my mum, but my dad was just as irritating! I went on a trip to Rome with him the year before he died and I went nearly mad with frustration and rage at him. Of course I miss him now he has died, but I still remember how bloody annoying he could be,so you have my sympathies.

LoveBeingAbleToNamechange Sun 26-Jun-11 09:52:12

Well hate to say it but, my mum used to say the same things about my nan........grin

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