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To dread Mother's Day because I don't have a 'normal' relationship with my Mum?

(59 Posts)
rubyblue Mon 24-Mar-14 21:50:02

Every year it is a reminder of how disfunctional my Mum is (depressed alcoholic for 30 years, violent, manipulative etc) and how we do not have any semblance of a relationship left. I dutifully send a card, gave up on pressies years ago when even I realised what a sham it was to pretend that she was a great Mum. Mostly I don't think about her as she is almost a recluse now and all contact is through my long suffering (weak) Dad, but sometimes I feel sad and mourn for a relationship which I have not had since I was younger than ten. Sorry, feeling a bit down about it all.

I know these things are just commercial crass, it's like Christmas, everyone assumes the mother/child relationship is sacrosanct.

rubyblue Mon 24-Mar-14 21:57:40


TheEarlOfDoncaster1963 Mon 24-Mar-14 22:13:43

Sorry to hear you are dreading it - I haven't really got any advice... it sounds like you are better off not being in contact particularly. I'm so sorry.

Salmotrutta Mon 24-Mar-14 22:14:49

It's a day.

That's all.

But unfortunately we are "expected" to buy into the commercialism - "I love you so much I used my credit card" to quote someone I heard years ago on the radio smile

I have a good relationship with my mum and I don't need a day set aside to honour that, nor does she.

It's a day. Just a day.

niddy Mon 24-Mar-14 22:18:37

I too struggle with this (depressed, hoarding mother), almost impossible to maintain any sort of a relationship with.
I share your sadness Ruby.

Nennypops Mon 24-Mar-14 22:23:26

Expectations with these things do tend to make people behave oddly. My FIL was an alcoholic and spent all day sitting in his chair and drinking beer. He was quite argumentative and tended to be verbally aggressive to the point of being really unpleasantly vicious, particularly to MIL, and it was a mystery to his dc and their respective spouses why they stayed together. He bored for England with his tedious and very right wing views, and about he personally won the war - I wouldn't mind, but he was too young to sign up and was in the Home Guard in Yorkshire and never saw a shot fired in anger. He particularly fought with SIL on a regular basis.

Yet, come Fathers' Day, all his dc regularly bought him cards saying what a wonderful father he was, SIL's being the most gushing of all. It wasn't a discussion worth getting into, but I really wondered how on earth they reconciled it with their consciences buying those cards when they none of them liked him and SIL spent her life telling her mother to LTB. I can only suppose it was a matter of habit and convention and I suspect none of them really gave it much thought.

Hardtothinkofanewname Mon 24-Mar-14 22:26:29

I feel the same way, and struggle to pick a card that mirrors the complete lack of emotion I feel. But it is just a day, no point in dwelling on it.

Would it make you feel better to send something they can both enjoy? Might lighten your dad's day.

Dirtypaws Mon 24-Mar-14 22:26:45


GatoradeMeBitch Mon 24-Mar-14 22:45:08

Me too! For Mother's Day and Father's Day. I always have to carefully avoid the 'Best dad Ever!' and 'Mum, You're A Star!' cards and look for something plain. I wish they made something like 'Despite your negligence I survived and I bought you this card!' grin

loveliesbleeding1 Mon 24-Mar-14 22:50:39

Yes, I feel like this, too painful to talk about, but I feel guilty if I don't send a card, and I hate myself if I do send one.

loveliesbleeding1 Mon 24-Mar-14 22:54:08

*berate, not hate.

FarToGo Mon 24-Mar-14 22:56:38

I love Gatorades card, might make one on moo pig wink

Again, I stay away from 'worlds best mum' and all that schmaltz. I'd rather not get her anything but she's a materialistic old mare and I still aim to please.

Anyway, it's all about ME this year,my first Mother's Day smile

jugofwildflowers Mon 24-Mar-14 23:08:47

I stopped being fake with my mother 2 years ago, as I was tired of her criticism of my dc, home, everything, and tired of having to walk on eggshells my entire life around her moods and expecting my dc to do the same.

I wrote her a letter saying I found her critical, judgmental, selfish and I never heard a word back, perhaps unsurprisingly. She was cold, once told me she wished I was dead when I was sick (she hated us getting ill, it would make her lose her temper) we never once had a 'mother daughter chat' or do any of the things I routinely do with my lovely dc.

I used to send her gushing mother's day cards but this year I made one instead, saying Happy Mother's Day, I hope you have a great day!

I am finally at peace with myself. It wasn't until I had children myself to realise what a crap mother I had.

I don't feel guilty as for the last few years I have been in mourning for the mother I wished I had. She will never change so I am glad I don't have to pretend anymore.

Whatdoiknowanyway Mon 24-Mar-14 23:40:21

I have raised this with the (lovely) owner of our local card shop. It's not just parents either. Where are the cards that say 'you've been married 25 years and he's been cheating on you but says he's sorry so you're giving him a chance' - all the choice I could see wittered on about 25 blissfully happy years and it was really hard to find a plainish one that recognised the occasion but didn't insult the intelligence of the recipient by pretending I didn't know they'd been really struggling.

And cards for my dad, he was difficult, he didn't give the support I was surprised in adult life to find other people's fathers did but it was hard to find a card that didn't say 'dad, you were always there for me' etc. I wanted one that said 'you're my dad, happy Father's Day' not make him out to be a saint.

sashh Tue 25-Mar-14 06:50:27

Please someone make some passive aggressive mothers' day cards.

streakybacon Tue 25-Mar-14 07:02:10

I'm one of the fortunate few who doesn't feel sad that I no longer have my parents when it comes to Mother's Day and Father's Day. I am so glad I don't have to struggle through it any more, trying to find the 'right' card and a present that will be approved of, and the forced jollity that none of us meant.

At times, I envy the sense of loss other people must have at these times, because it shows the strong relationships they must have when their mums and dads were alive. But I hate attempts to make me feel that my parents were something they weren't, just because other folks' parents were better.

CailinDana Tue 25-Mar-14 07:02:34

Gatorade's one is hilarious in a sad way.

I won't be sending my mother anything. She is not a great mum, and has never said "I love you." Her whole life is built on playacting normality. I won't collude any more.

TheBody Tue 25-Mar-14 07:41:21

it's very sad. your parents should be the most dependable people in the whole world. the only ones who love you completely with no strings.

everyone child deserves that.

some people are just shit parents and I hope they realise what they have lost here.

flowers to all those on here who were let down by their parents. thankfully it won't stop you being fantastic with your own children.

Diamondsareagirls Tue 25-Mar-14 08:28:41

I hadn't realised there were so many others out there who go through the search for a card that doesn't gush about how amazing their DM is! Oddly Clintons don't stock alcoholic friendly mothers day card. Can't think why grin

IPokedABadgerWithASpoon Tue 25-Mar-14 08:32:07

Scribbler is good for nontraditional/unconventional cards...

I know, I've had to look myself!

BabeRuthless Tue 25-Mar-14 08:46:51

I totally get this. I've got a quite distant relationship with my mum. I could never in a million years say how I feel because world war 3 would break out but she wasn't very nice to me as I was growing up. Part of it is to do with her childhood but I'm the polar opposite of her with my child so a bit of me does think she should have just got over it. Since I've had my son I've realised how bad a mother she was. Reading up on it I'm starting to think that she's a narcissist. I could go on for pages and pages here but I'm opening up a real Pandora's box. It's tough when people don't get it, there's supposed to be this brilliant relationship between mothers and daughters but I've never had that.

plentyofsoap Tue 25-Mar-14 09:45:45

Same here. My mother is a vile woman she does not get a card. I am fine most of the year and we have had nc for a very long time so I an quite hardened to it all. Sunday will upset me though. I miss the mother I should have had but life is sometimes unfair.
You are not alone though x

Burren Tue 25-Mar-14 10:08:37

I hear you, OP. I should say that I have a 'normal enough' relationship with my mother, but I am very aware of her limitations as a human being and as a parent - and the factthat through her own ignorance, and due to the fact that she was prepared to settle for anything for herself and for us, our childhood was cramped and not particularly happy. Any attempt to raise this with her ends in her sour defensiveness 'Oh, that's just the way things were' or 'We didn't know any better' or 'Oh, you're twisting things'.

It's not the obviously abusive situation of many posters on this thread, but I am very conscious of the gap between my real experience of being mothered and the saccharine Hallmark sentiments on the average Mother's Day card. But think about the difference between the inevitable compromises and misunderstandings of any real romantic love relationship and the sickly sentiments on Valentine's Day cards, or the difference between an ordinary family Christmas and the images of perfection you get on Christmas cards.

Those sickly greetings cards sentiments do not describe anyone's lived experience - try not to let Mother's Day upset you.

jugofwildflowers Tue 25-Mar-14 10:22:53

I am so thankful my dc have me as their mum as we do fun things, I love and support them no matter what and apart from shouting I have not followed any of the toxic patterns of behaviour laid down by my own mother grin

I love Mother's Day as we have a hand made tradition for all celebrations in our family and so a lot of thought goes into it.

rubyblue Tue 25-Mar-14 19:26:30

Thanks so much all for making me feel less alone at this time and less selfish. Baberuthless, I read The Road Less Travlled years ago and it summed up my Mum. Sadly, she has gotten worse over the years and is an utterly selfish person. Thanks for the support all, cheered me up! And I guess the one thing to come out of this for all of us who had/have crap Mums, is that we are doing our best not to repeat the mistakes.

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