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To be really upset with my Mum and her rubbish apology

(93 Posts)
whatwhatinthewhatnow Fri 18-Jan-13 12:32:46

My mum has my son one day a week while I temp. I can choose my day at this particular place so its usually pretty flexible. I was asked to go in on Thursday, Mum said no she would prefer Tuesday so I swapped. Monday night she said actually she would prefer Thursday so I swapped back.

Thursday morning comes and I waited for her to arrive at the time she said but she didn't come. I called her and turns out she is still asleep. So I just calmly asked her to hurry, put the phone down, ruminated on the possibility of going to her house (but I had already taken the car seat out of my car to put in hers so that would have taken me longer... etc) Anyway in that time she calls me back and said she cant come at all because she has lost her keys. Time was getting on now.

I spoke to my husband and he said by the time I get to her house I will have missed my train and it will be around 10 (I have a hour's commute) and basically with this job on this particular day I HAD to be there by 9 or there was no point going in (I would have been in the office on my own after that time with no training or instruction) so I may as well just not go. It turned out I was able to call in and get some work to do at home so not all bad on the work front.

Mum called back later in the day - Its ok! She found her keys! Great huh! And she's sorry but these things happen and I have to understand. There was no real sense of apology, no sense of urgency, no acknowledgment that I or my work had been inconvenienced and when I said she had cost me the days wage and potential chances of going back to this place she just said "Dont make me feel bad" and put the phone down. Now I do understand that these things happen, but honestly she has been saying this to me ever since I was small and I'm just fed up of being let down all the time. I spent the morning in tears at this. I just feel she didn't take any of it seriously and then got angry at me for being angry (which she always does, everything is someone else's fault. She even blamed my younger brother for 'taking' her keys which he didn't)

Am I in the wrong here? Am I being harsh by being upset? My work could just get another temp who turns up on time with no hassle....

MadBusLady Fri 18-Jan-13 13:20:43

So I assume this incident is part of a long history?

she just said "Dont make me feel bad" and put the phone down. Now I do understand that these things happen, but honestly she has been saying this to me ever since I was small and I'm just fed up of being let down all the time.

If that is what she says all the time whenever you challenge any aspect of her behaviour then yes, she is childish and unreasonable about legitimate complaints, and you shouldn't rely on her any more.

marchwillsoonbehere Fri 18-Jan-13 13:21:09

Oh ffs the things you read into what I didn't say Curious

I absolutely would not be fine with that...and in fact I didn't get the impression that the OP's mother was 'fine' with it, quite the reverse, even from the OP's telling of it I picked up that her mother was quite upset

For me (once more with feeling and then I really must go) my beef is with the fact that the OP seems affronted that her mother was not apologetic enough!

EverybodysSnowyEyed Fri 18-Jan-13 13:22:20

Why does your mum come and pick him up? It would probably be better if you dropped him off at hers on the way to hers and picked up on the way back. That way it doesn't matter if she is still in pjs/can't go out that day

MadBusLady Fri 18-Jan-13 13:23:12

things went tits up, as they sometimes do, shit happens etc etc

What, like still being asleep at a time when you're supposed to be arriving at someone's house? Is this woman 15? I'd be fucking mortified if I did that to someone.

Paiviaso Fri 18-Jan-13 13:27:31

I don't think the OP is being entitled in expecting her mother to follow through on her word. Her mother let her down, risking her job - that is quite a serious. "Sorry but it happens, don't make me feel bad" isn't a real apology, and shows OP's mother doesn't take the situation seriously at all.

OP don't use her for childcare again, she shows little concern for being reliable!

EverybodysSnowyEyed Fri 18-Jan-13 13:28:03

Well you can either get angry and upset and jeopardise your free childcare

Or you can talk to your mum and come up with a strategy to deal with it going forward. You clearly know the limitations of the childcare you have so you and dh need to figure out how best to proceed.

Is this the first time she's done this?

ModernToss Fri 18-Jan-13 13:30:29

Your mother behaved badly. You need to have an honest conversation with her about whether she can actually take on this commitment in the future.

whatwhatinthewhatnow Fri 18-Jan-13 13:33:19

Thank you everyone who has said I am not BU for feeling upset or that I am not acting entitled. I hope I didn't come across that way because I am really grateful for the days she does have him and they have such a good time.

My mum doesn't usually come to pick him up, most times I drop him off but he had been really unwell, not sleeping and Mum is a heavy smoker so I asked if she could have him here that day given that he might sleep in and not be up in time to leave for her house. Turns out he was up! At 5am!

March, its not that my Mum wasn't apologetic enough. She wasn't apologetic at all. She was delighted she found her keys and the sorry was just a "well I am sorry but..."

boodles Fri 18-Jan-13 13:35:29

Your mother sounds exactly like mine and it is such a pain. If someone makes an arrangement then, I feel, that, other than in an emergency, they should stick to it or say they don't want to.

whatwhatinthewhatnow Fri 18-Jan-13 13:40:58

It is the first time shes done this particular thing with regard to the childcare. However not turning up, being asleep when she is meant to be somewhere, losing her keys and blaming it on someone else etc, they are all classic patterns of behaviour!

fuckadoodlepoopoo Fri 18-Jan-13 13:48:05

Well my relation who agreed to help changed their mind and went out shoe shopping instead and caused me to lose my job. So i sympathise.

MusicalEndorphins Fri 18-Jan-13 13:50:02

I can't believe she acted so glib after letting you down like that. I agree with you, she didn't apologuise. It is a shame you don't have someone else to watch your it possible there is another parent in your area who would be willing to do childmind in exchange for you watching her child for a day?

ImperialBlether Fri 18-Jan-13 14:11:39

OP, have you thought of doing childminding yourself? You would earn more and could stay at home with your little boy.

Oh and I think your mum was VERY unreasonable. You have to be able to rely on people.

Snazzynewyear Fri 18-Jan-13 14:15:54

Do the arrangement with your friend instead. Or you will have to pay. As has been said, this is a joint expense so not right to look at it as wiping out your salary. Your mum is unlikely to change her habits now.

pingu2209 Fri 18-Jan-13 14:29:45

Your mum effectively works for you for free. She is a volunteer childminder.

Research shows that it is very difficult for most people to work for nothing/volunteer. The majority of people enter into free working but very quickly become resentful and those that do it for the longer time need to be quite strong mentally.

Perhaps your mum is getting fed up of working but doesn't want to admit it. Yes I think her attitude was wrong as she made a commitment to you. If she is fed up with it she should give you time to sort out another alternative.

However, I wouldn't be too harsh on her.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Fri 18-Jan-13 15:24:50

Snazzy. But even if you look at it as a joint expense it doesn't change the fact that as a couple they earn no more with the op working than if not.

Yfronts Fri 18-Jan-13 15:34:57

Well i think if she agreed to do it she should do it. It sounds like she has let you down a lot over the years. Best not use her for childcare I agree. Maybe things have run their course and she really doesn't have the stamina for looking after the kids anymore?

RuleBritannia Fri 18-Jan-13 15:44:21

OP, did your mother ever go out to work? My mother didn't and she had no conception of how reliable one had to be if one did work.

She would ask us (yes, us) if we could go to her house to wait for a parcel on a weekday because she was doing something else and didn't like it when we said that we couldn't because we had to go to work. She just couldn't understand it, treating going to work as if it were a hobby.

thesnootyfox Fri 18-Jan-13 18:40:34

Treating childcare as a joint expense is the sensible thing to do if one of you has lots of disposable income but if you are just making ends meet it doesn't make much difference. Our childcare expenses come out of my salary and after paying for childcare I am left with zilch. I could treat it as a joint expense and take 50% from Dh's salary but if I did that he wouldn't have enough to cover the mortgage and direct debits and I would have to contribute towards that instead so it doesn't really make any difference.

rainrainandmorerain Fri 18-Jan-13 19:54:49

March is in for one BIG shock if/when her daughter has kids....

I was wondering the same as RuleBritannia - if your mother understood what you working actually means. I have had a few problems with my mum not 'getting' the whole 'if I've said I need to be there at 9, I need to be there at 9' thing with work. She is liable to want to make and break arrangements at very short notice, and it just means I can't rely on her. Example - she said she would come and look after ds for 'a day' to help me work - she turned up 2 hours late because she'd decided to do some recreational shopping on the way, without telling me, and then left early as she wanted to beat the rush hour. So my 'day' of help turned out to be three hours. And she asked me to get her lunch while she was playing with ds. I was in tears after she left. I did tell her I would be in trouble if she left early, as I just hadn't been able to do nearly enough work - she rolled her eyes and told me to grow a backbone and and stop letting 'work' push me around.

She has never had a career or consistent jobs (worked a lot of part time casual jobs but never for long). She just doesn't get it.

I think if a grandparent can (willingly) look after a gc, then that's a lovely arrangement, which yes of course benefits the parents... but helps grandparent and grandchild build a relationship. But if it doesn't work, it is so stressful.

Of course emergencies happen - burst pipes, illness, traffic accidents - but oversleeping and then not being able to find your keys isn't an emergency, and it sounds like your mum will only 'help you out' entirely on her terms. Which just won't work when you need someone to commit to concrete arrangements.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Sat 19-Jan-13 08:40:50

My relation who i mentioned earlier (that went to buy shoes and made me lose my job) also wanted me to stop work early as they couldn't be bothered to give my child a sandwich. So leaving me with only 3 hours i could actually be at work on my first day!

I would assume that she just didn't get it, apart from the fact that she has her own job with inflexible hours and that she babysits for another member of the family and is reliable for them sad

The only difference i can see is that i am self employed. I have found over the years that as a self employed person people often think that my days work can be compressed into half hour here and there if they need me to do other things such as fetch their shopping, pick up their parcels, give people lifts etc etc


diddl Sat 19-Jan-13 08:49:02

Was this the first time she was supposed to have him?

I´d have been pissed of at the day changing.

Why couldn´t your husband have taken him to your mum so that you could get the train?

What was your backup for if she was ever ill/on holiday?

diddl Sat 19-Jan-13 08:51:52

"It is the first time shes done this particular thing with regard to the childcare. However not turning up, being asleep when she is meant to be somewhere, losing her keys and blaming it on someone else etc, they are all classic patterns of behaviour! "

She sounds unreliable-I´d get someone else if possible.

onyx72 Sat 19-Jan-13 08:56:23

Sounds like your mum doesn't want to look after your DC any more and rather than come out and say so, she is putting you in a position where you have to 'let her go'.

onyx72 Sat 19-Jan-13 08:56:29

Sounds like your mum doesn't want to look after your DC any more and rather than come out and say so, she is putting you in a position where you have to 'let her go'.

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