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Not sure if I am but fed up anyway.

(25 Posts)
ModreB Tue 30-Aug-11 17:49:10

My DM does a lot for us, which I do appreciate and tell her that I appreciate what she does all the time, but she is slowly driving me nuts. She looks after DS3 after school and in the holidays, both DH and I work full time. DS1 & 2 are over school age.

She has always had Narc tendencies, which have been managable, but over the last few months it has been getting worse and worse. EVERYTHING has to be turned back to her. For instance, I had a period of time at work where there was the possibility of redundancies. My dept was not affected, and in the end there were no compulsory redundancies made. When I told her this, her reaction was "Oh, wonderful. I have not been able to sleep for weeks worrying about it." No mention of, "Oh, wonderful, at least your job is secure."

Another example is when DS2 got his A level results, not good enough to get to the Uni of his choice, but was then offered a job as a trainee Butcher. Her response was not to congratulate him on his job, but to say to him, "Oh, I am so relieved, I was so upset about your results I have had an upset stomach all day."

I am aware that the examples sound so petty, but it is relentless, all day, every day.

The last straw was today. She took DS3 to an activity, meaning to get him some lunch on the way. BTW - I always make sure that there is plenty of stuff in the house for sandwiches, or soup, or hot food, so there is no need for her to buy more food for him, she chooses to do this.

Anyway, the local shop that she was going to was closed. She then proceeded to take DS3 to the activity, without lunch, so he has just come back now, having not eaten since breakfast time. He is 11 years old, and was upset as he said he has been telling her all afternoon that he was hungry, but she just ignored it. When I asked her about it, she just shrugged and said "Well he is having his tea soon, it won't do him any harm? I didn't have any lunch either, I am so hungry now, I need to go home and eat" WTF. Nothing about leaving a child hungry all afternoon.

I then spoke to her about an incident last week when she invited her friend round to the house, without speaking to me, and without my knowledge.

I said to her "I don't mind if you want to have a friend round for the afternoon, but could you let me know if you do please."

Her response "Why should I let you know?"

Me "Because this is my house and I would like to know who is coming here."

Her "Oh Ok, if I must. I think that it's not necessary really."

Is it me. Am I BU. Am I?

Sorry it's so long, just needed to vent.

carocaro Tue 30-Aug-11 17:55:47

I think you are being a little U. She looks after your kids while you work, which I presume is cheaper than nursery/childminder. You need to cut her some slack. I think Mum's just worry in their own way and although they care it comes across as all about them. I have one the same to some extent eg: "I lie away at night and worry about you all" Well I can't help that!

I think you need to learn to reenergise your deflector field for this simple misplaced comments and be gratefull for all the she does for you in total, instead of nit picking bits here and there. Yes the missed lunch was not on, but does it happen every week? No.

You can't train someone to talk and say what you would like to hear but you can manage your reaction to it.

YABU - a little bit.

Mitmoo Tue 30-Aug-11 17:59:07

She has "victim mentallity" you won't change her. No matter what happens it will centre around her, I've seen it before and know how annoying it can be but there's nothing you can do to change it.

ZillionChocolate Tue 30-Aug-11 18:01:47

YANBU being irritated but on balance I think you ought to just put up with it.

Tee2072 Tue 30-Aug-11 18:10:45

We have the same mother. But I call mine on it. "Why can't you say congratulations?' and 'Well, that wasn't a good use of your time, was it?'

It usually at least gets her to stop and think!

rookiemater Tue 30-Aug-11 18:12:55

YANBU but unfortunately as she is providing child care it's kind of tricky for you to extricate yourself from too much contact.

I would say something to her about the lunch situation as that is unacceptable and remind her where the food things are.

For the other things, you could either ignore her or pull her up every single time and see if it reduces at all.

ViviPru Tue 30-Aug-11 18:13:02

YANBU to feel fed up. She sounds like my future MiL. Nightmare. Hope you feel better after venting on here and agree with others - she won't change unfortunately. As carocaro says, and you no doubt already know, all you can do is manage your reaction. Easier now you know others sympathise.

TheMonster Tue 30-Aug-11 18:13:57

I'd put up with it considering the amount of money she saves you in childcare costs.
And if she could come and look after my DS for free she can have as many friends around as she likes! It would save me hundreds of pounds every month.

mymummyisasquarehead Tue 30-Aug-11 18:14:27

YAB(a bit)U

She looks after your kids, presumably saving you lots of money. Okay, so the food thing with the 11 year old was bad, but you need to relax a bit and just let some of it go over your head.

My mum is a bit like this, and whilst it's annoying, sometimes it's better to just put up with it.

And, I know it's your house, but YABU about her having a friend over.

FoundWanting Tue 30-Aug-11 18:19:34

Why is the food thing so bad? The child is 11 - presumably starting High School. Surely old enough to make their own sandwiches or toast. Or just grab a bowl of cereal?

It would really annoy me if strangers were coming into my house without me knowing though.

FabbyChic Tue 30-Aug-11 18:30:12

Why does an 11 year old need looking after? Leave them a packed lunch and some money to go out with friends, job done.

ModreB Tue 30-Aug-11 18:32:36

I have drastically reduced the amount of time she looks after DS3, this week she is only having him for the 1 day (today) and the rest of the time he is at an activity club. I have also spoken to him about the fact that he could make himself something to eat, but as he said, he was not at home so couldn't just go and get himself a sandwich.

I know that I am probably being a bit UR, squarehead, but I was not objecting to her having a friend over, just asking that she let me know about it.

After all, she was using my "facilities" as her home is such a shit tip that she won't have anyone over - and she didn't forget to make lunch that day as I came home to no bread, no milk, no eggs, no butter and no teabags. And then she complained to me that I had "only" left 3 eggs for her to have, without mentioning that she had someone over - I only found out about that later when DS3 told me.

Feminine Tue 30-Aug-11 19:22:29

Fabby? only the other day you were talking about how its your job to do it all for your boys...what gives? confused

Anyway op sorry its a pain ...she sounds like my Mum ,but just concentrate on the good she does provide.

Otherwise you will end up only winding yourself up smile

HermioneRocks Tue 30-Aug-11 21:08:24

YANBU and we too must share a mother

squeakytoy Tue 30-Aug-11 21:14:02

I think you do sound a bit unreasonable. Saying she was worried about you is not really "all about her". Mums do worry, as I am sure you do yourself about your own children.

I wouldnt have bothered about my mum bringing a friend to my house.. and I cant see the problem with that.. its not is if she was throwing a wild party is it?

ChippingIn Tue 30-Aug-11 21:16:58

Mod - I have to say, it really does just sound like a turn of phrase... 'I have been awake at night worrying' - subtext *about you*=I'm glad your job is secure...??

As for today - it wont kill your 11 year old to have been hungry for a while, really it wont.

Inviting people over - I wouldn't expect her to let me know either. Why does it matter? It's not like she's having parties and trashing the house <shrug>

rhondajean Tue 30-Aug-11 21:21:51

I always thought I was an only child till I read this - we are obviously sharing the same mother....

YANBU, its hard to realise how insidiously controlling this way of speaking and dealing with you is unless you have been subjected to it. DH thought I was making it up until he had been with me a while and started to see it for himself.

I resolved it by making sure DM does not babysit ever but I know that might be imposssible for you. There are some good threads elsewhere on here about narc mothers, you might find them useful - there are lots worse than our two from the sounds of it...

TheEarlOfDoncaster1963 Tue 30-Aug-11 21:23:16

I would be annoyed about not feeding your son - you don't just ignore an 11 yr old when he says he's hungry - wtf? Perhaps you should give him a few pounds in his pocket if he's going out with your mother, in case he needs to buy himself something to eat. I know SHE should be sorting it out, but at least you would know that if it happened again he would not be hungry. Presumably you won't need to worry next summer holidays as he will be old enough to be on his own?

Salmotrutta Tue 30-Aug-11 21:23:36

Why is a Mum worrying about her family a Narcissist?

And your 11 year old can presumably make a sandwich?

discrete Tue 30-Aug-11 21:25:45

It's hard for someone without a mother like this to realise what it's like when it's just so constant.

It's just the way there is never a supportive comment, one that recognises what you or indeed anyone else, is going through. It's always about her, her, her.

The classic for me was when my sister told my mother she was separating from her husband, and my mother's reaction was to start crying and say how she had previously not thought she had to worry about my nephews but now she would have to...

Try 'oh dear, I'm really sorry, if there is anything I can do to help please let me know' the next time, mum.

gaaagh Tue 30-Aug-11 21:34:01

She sounds like a martyr. Very hard work.

Unfortunately, based on my own experiences, impossible to change.

The only thing you can do is limit your tolerance of her martyr tendancies, which is difficult if you do love her, want her to see the children, and she obviously saves you a huge amount of money/hassle by looking after them, after all.

I think YANBU to get irritated by her attitude, but YABU for not recognising that tolerance of this personality quirk is just part of having her in your life. Which you seem to (mostly) want and encourage.

"suck it up" isn't very useful, but it's my only suggestion in this case - even if you're secretly thinking hmm at some of her lines!

PerryCombover Tue 30-Aug-11 21:42:01


Some mother's have spent a great deal of time not being listened to and have spent a long while putting their needs feeling thoughts and emotions behind everyone else in their households.
They are almost uncomfortable expressing emotions and feelings of their own. The problem with this is that they then shoehorn it all into other people's experiences.
It is clear from what your mother has said and also from all the time she spends with your children that she cares deeply for your family. Could it be that she simply doesn't communicate very well? Could it be that she tries to show how much she cares by tacking her emotion onto situations?
Do you ask her how she feels?

Has your mother been diagnosed as having NPD?

zinfandel Tue 30-Aug-11 21:47:30

YANBU to feel fed up. My mother has a similar personality (i.e. can be very helpful but everything is all about her). I still haven't found any strategies that make me less fed up with her behaviour (she just knows which buttons to press to wind me up) but I have accepted that she isn't ever going to change...

OberonTheHopeful Tue 30-Aug-11 22:07:04

Your mother sounds exactly like mine, even down to the bit about redundancy sad

ModreB Wed 31-Aug-11 18:14:09

gaaagh you are right, she is a martyr. And I do love her to bits, but she is just such hard work sometimes.

We have had another tantrum today, she didn't notify the car tax people that she has moved, so they sent the renewal to the old address. Somehow that became my fault that I couldn't help her to renew it online? confused

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