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Mother not acknowledging pregnancy - AIBU to cancel family holiday?

(92 Posts)
Xiaoxiong Mon 29-Apr-13 17:27:06

My mother has ishoos with age and life transitional events - every time I've moved from one stage in my life to another she has caused some sort of drama or tension or has belittled or dismissed it. I think she feels these events signal to the world that she is getting older and hasn't accomplished what she wants (she is ambitious but self sabotages). So I always knew that having children of my own would cause ructions.

She also has lots of opinions of how I (and everyone else) should live their lives, which are always of course in their best interests in her eyes. She thought that for my health and family I should have a very big gap between children, if I should indeed have any more at all - I just brushed it off and told her we would have DC2 when it made sense for us.

I fell pregnant with DC2 in January - there will be a 22 month gap between DCs (gap between me and my brother: 19 months). Emailed my parents to tell them. My father emailed back and said he was overjoyed but that he would "break it to her". Since then I have heard nothing from her and she hasn't picked up any calls from me.

My dad says she is just extremely worried about my health, finances, and how I will cope with two etc and that she'll come round eventually. These worries are not unreasonable and DH and I have had the same worries, and have taken steps to plan ahead as much as possible. However she has not asked me any questions about our planning which might allay her concerns.

My dad is now asking for the dates we can come to the US for our annual family get-together in New England, staying in a cabin on an island in a lake. I've been there every year since I was born, as has my dad, so not going is a very big deal. I am really sad to think I might not go, but I can't imagine it under the circumstances.

My dad and brother (peacemaker quiet life at all costs types) think I'm the one being VVVU and prolonging the drama, because when she finally does come round we can all just let sleeping dogs lie. They also that I'm using my DS (16 months) as a weapon, threatening to withhold him from his GPs unless she apologises - something which I should apparently just accept she will never do. My dad is now saying if money is an issue he will buy our tickets as he is desperate to spend time with DS.

AIBU to not want to go on holiday with someone who has given me the silent treatment for months and still hasn't acknowledged I'm pregnant, even if that means it's terribly unfair on my dad not to see DS?

(Of course the other issue is that for the dates we are planning to fly, I'll be 31 weeks - I did go way overdue with DS though.)

awaynboilyurheid Tue 30-Apr-13 17:57:50

my mum was a bitextremely cool about my second and I had a big gap, never asked me once how I was in the 9 months even tho I was extremely sick at times, however she came round once baby born and they get on great now! you just dont know how things will work out in the future so I would go especially for your dad and son, but as others say it might be too late too fly then so bringing it forward might be better but either way I would try to see them.

Loa Tue 30-Apr-13 17:12:26

It's hard if you did have a habit of seeking approval and smoothing their emotional stress to stop, but once you start, it's rather nice to know you don't have to worry about their reaction.

Very true though I had to learn to tune out the you never tell us anything moans and the horror when stuff they disapproval of does come out. The shock accompanying our first hb - a non issue in our ours was a memorable occasion.

In fact I haven't had a pg announcement - where some member of my family hasn't had some issue but as DH pointed out if they aren't offering to help us its not really their problem is it so their 'concern' isn't a help.

Years later none of them remember their issues hmm.

claudedebussy Tue 30-Apr-13 17:08:18

sounds like it's a good thing she lives in the us. imagine if she were round the corner! it'd be non-stop stress.

DontmindifIdo Tue 30-Apr-13 17:02:46

no, people like this, more information gives them more to work with - it also sets up a relationship where you are expected to inform them and seek their approval of what you are doing. Your long e-mails about using midwives, I bet you were trying over and over to justify why this is ok, but the thing is, it doesn't matter what she thinks about your care, as long as you think it's ok. It's feck all to do with her now. You aren't a child, so your medical treatment is none of her business. By telling her all the details, you are giving her (and yourself) the impression it is her business.

Step back - complaints about "medievil healthcare" should be met with a laugh and "oh well, I'm happy and as I'm the pregnant one not you, that's all that matters isn't it?" Repeat every time she tries to say "oh but what about XYZ" - "I'm happy with my healthcare, and you won't change my mind." repeat, repeat, repeat. If she does come over in May, you'll need to do this!

It's hard if you did have a habit of seeking approval and smoothing their emotional stress to stop, but once you start, it's rather nice to know you don't have to worry about their reaction.

thebody Tue 30-Apr-13 16:56:44

Your dad and brother spoil her don't they.

What a drama queen.

EldritchCleavage Tue 30-Apr-13 16:55:01

Whatever the issue is, I don't think it is anxiety. Anxiety does not turn you into a sulky cowbag.

diddl Tue 30-Apr-13 16:54:32

"My dad then asked me to email in future so she wouldn't "react in the heat of the moment" and emailing would give her "time to process fully"."

How ridiculous.

What on earth does that even mean?

The only response needed to "I'm pregnant" is "congratulations".

No time needed to think or "process"hmm

Eastpoint Tue 30-Apr-13 16:44:28

I am bucking the trend by saying my obstetrician wouldn't let me travel from 12-26 weeks (risk of miscarriage) but I flew transatlantic at 28 weeks returning at 31 without another adult with my 18 month old toddler. I didn't have any problems with insurance or during the flight. My ob/gyn thought the chance of my going into labour mid-flight was very low & that even if I did I was unlikely to have a baby born that fast. I also flew short haul at 36 weeks, no problems & was signed off again by my obstetrician. She was even happy for people to fly at 38/39 weeks if they were well & it was a 2hr flight.

thebody Tue 30-Apr-13 16:29:18

Op you should be resting and looking after YOU not worrying about your mothered feelings.

You are too nice. Tell her to bugger off. Relax and enjoy your pregnancy.

ExitPursuedByABear Tue 30-Apr-13 16:18:48

Oh bless you with your thousand word emails! Did you used to talk together when you were younger?

If you are a sharer of information then it must be difficult to restrain yourself but I think you will have to try.

There are drains and there are radiators. Your mum sounds like a drain.

Xiaoxiong Tue 30-Apr-13 15:34:43

Dontmind I think you must be a long lost sister of mine.

I've been trying to give her as much info as possible, thinking that would make her less anxious. I sent her many multi-thousand word emails last time explaining why the NHS uses midwives. She told me I was accepting medieval healthcare by not demanding an obstetric consultant for each checkup (!)

So my watchword is now:
- as little info as possible about everything
- if she comes to see us, let sleeping dogs lie.

diddl Tue 30-Apr-13 15:34:15

Think I meant Exitblush

diddl Tue 30-Apr-13 15:33:10

Sounds as if he' just making excuses.

You're an adult with a toddler & a baby on the way-no point in her worrying about how you're going to cope!

Well, she can worry-but without dragging you into it!

This meet up in August-is that the only chance you get to see your dad?

Sad, but can't be helped.

Maybe he could comeover with your mum?

I know what you mean glass about somethings not being worth the fall out.

But this mother is making it all about her-and you'd think she was doing a fucking great favour by "being in London in May".

Jeez-does she want to see her daughter & GC or not??!!

OP-maybe you need to tell your mother a little less about your lives so that it doesn't distress her so much!

So mothers can't help thinking that daughters aren't just venting & that they don't really want/need their mum to leap into action & sort out every "problem".

DontmindifIdo Tue 30-Apr-13 15:25:46

I'd stop telling your dad what you are doing, perhaps say "don't worry, it's sorted." and refuse to discuss how it's sorted.

I've taken to massively reducing the amount of information my mum has, so she can't worry and make drama out of my life. For instance, I'm booked in for an ELCS this time round, she doesn't know. She'll be told afterwards I had a c section, not that it was planned. Otherwise I'll have weeks of drama about it, stuff about how dangerous it is - she'll be telling the world all about it and then I'll hear that someone who knows someone at church ended up with X Y or Z complications and how selfish I am worrying her by taking the risk... We'll all have to spend a lot of time and energy making sure she's happy with the choice I am making about my own body, not anyone making any effort to make sure I'm ok with it.

ExitPursuedByABear Tue 30-Apr-13 15:23:44

Yep OP. If you can both move on there is no point raking over old coals. Life is too short to try and put everything right.

Xiaoxiong Tue 30-Apr-13 15:15:28

Glass she hasn't told me directly as she isn't speaking to me. My dad says she is concerned about my health (had an EMCS in Dec 2011), our finances and our childcare situation as our nanny will be off on mat leave herself. We have dealt with all these issues as best we can at this stage but I can't tell her what we have done to mitigate the problems as...she won't talk to me or pick up the phone. I just have to hope my dad is passing everything on to her.

<waves at Tea, looking forward to a cup of RL tea at the seaside in August> grin

DontmindifIdo Tue 30-Apr-13 15:12:56

Yep, my DM can be very similar - she managed to find a way to make my miscarriage last summer all about her...

Anyway, I'd reply to your dad asking if your mum will be apologising for being so rude to you when she comes over in May? A simple short e-mail along those lines might be enough for him to realise you aren't just going to play along with the family focus being all about how you keep mum happy - that other people in the family have a right to have their feelings considered too.

And don't fly in August, it's far too far to go when you're that heavily pregnant, if it was July that would be a different thing, would your family even entertain asking your Uncle if you could swop months at the cabin or would that mean putting someone other than your mum first?

Xiaoxiong Tue 30-Apr-13 15:11:21

Susan I'm told them I'm not going and they seem to have accepted that without a murmur which is good.

Exit so is this a situation where if she makes the running and comes to see us in May, you would not push the issue and just let sleeping dogs lie? That's what I'm leaning towards...

TeaandHobnobs Tue 30-Apr-13 15:09:37

<waves at Xiaoxiong> you know what I think, so I won't add to the above. Some very wise insights though.

I'm going to hold you to that August holiday, you know wink

kerala Tue 30-Apr-13 15:09:06

My friend had a mother like that, only meaner. Eventually when the mother was upsetting her daughter while pregnant with their first baby my friend's DH lost patience (difficult mothers DH and DS were utterly pathetic enablers) rang the awful mother and bollocked her - ending with if she didnt stop upsetting his wife they would never go and see her and she wouldnt see her grandchildren end of. It was marvellous - I had seen my poor friend going through hell with her mother since she was a child. It did work though she was much improved after that. I think she was shocked to be called on her behaviour by a calm reasonable person outside the immediate damaged family.

GlassofRose Tue 30-Apr-13 15:08:28

Bit nosy, but what on earth are her actual concerns? confused

BlackeyedSusan Tue 30-Apr-13 15:03:23

oh for goodness sake. you do not need to go. the relationship is not healthy.

have you posted on the stately homes thread? go and look it up and ask over there.

ExitPursuedByABear Tue 30-Apr-13 15:01:43

Some things are best brushed under the carpet.

I never thought I would ever say that, but at the grand old age of 53 I finally realise it is true.

<nods sagely>

Xiaoxiong Tue 30-Apr-13 14:53:48

Update! A response from my dad:

"Ok, no worries - your DMum was the one who said to me (unsolicited) that we should get tickets for you to come here in August. She is still on edge about life in general. I think she'll probably come to London sometime in May, and she will want to see you and DS. She will come in peace -- I have no doubt about that. Nothing is festering. Love, DDad"

I can just see what "coming in peace" means - she'll show up here in May as if nothing had ever happened and refuse to discuss anything that's happened over the last few months... and if I push the issue then I'm the one who's breaching the peace, as it were.

Dontmindifido you have some serious insight into her behaviour - I hope it's not because you've come up with lots of people like her before. I've never been able to come up with any reason before why she will big me up to all and sundry and say such mean things to my face but it totally makes sense now.

Thanks again for all input. I guess the question is how much I insist on having it out with her if she shows up in May and whether there is ever any solution. DH thinks she'll never change or discuss her behaviour so I should give up any hope of that happening.

propertyNIGHTmareBEFOREXMAS Tue 30-Apr-13 14:42:12

I think you should just go. Don't let your mum's ad attitude ruin a nice event for everyone else. Be the bigger person. Go and enjoy yourself. You can't control your mum's eh saviour but you can control how you react to it. Don't rise to the drama, show her life goes on happily with or without her mad input.

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