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DC setting down NY resolutions for me, AIBU?

(68 Posts)
BatterednotBruised Wed 31-Dec-14 22:44:18

Have Namechanged for this, regular reader, occasional poster but do not want to out myself as feeling very shaky and not sure if aibu or over-reacting.

To give a brief backstory, have 3 x DC (ages 17-26) and have been divorced from their dad for 9 years. Times have been difficult but after many years as a SAHM found a job when exH left me for OW and have worked really hard to keep things ticking over and worked even harder to make sure DC were happy and settled.

Oldest DD who lives at other side of country (stayed in uni town) never calls me first but when I do manage to speak to her, things always seem ok but she can be cold with me which I have tried to address with her, but she clams up. This hurts me a lot, but I make excuses for her in my head and keep hoping it will get better.

Relationship with younger 2 has been easier as they still live with me and we have some good times, or so I thought. Had dinner this evening before I dropped them both off at parties (in opp directions so out for 2 hours) and will be doing the same at 2am to pick up. Over dinner having a light-hearted conversation about NY resolutions and youngest DD said maybe you should try not to be so paranoid and over-emotional about everything. Nervous laughter from DS. He followed up with oh and maybe try not to embarrass us so much and get so involved in our lives.

Although this upset me I hid it well and asked them what they meant and out spilled lots of examples about how I question them too much, and that I can be a killjoy with a long face sad they cant talk to me with problems as I obviously cant cope.

Anyway, dropped them off, came home and now sitting here in shock as had no idea my own DC felt this way but maybe I should have known by how oldest DD treats me? Other people looking in always tell me what a wonderful mother I am to have held things together - exH virtually non-contact - and I feel like I have built myself up to be some kind of hero when obviously I have been selfish and not handled everything half as well as I should have to the people that really matter here.

I know I have to do something about my life, this is NYE and I am alone, no relationship, a fat mess, no friends to spend the evening with either so realise I am having my own self-pity party, but feel so numb and shocked and if I try to talk to them they will say it was only banter (hate that word) or even worse, that I am proving them right by being over-emotional, paranoid, and all the other words they said.

Feel like my whole life is a lie and I am not the person I thought I was this morning so I want to wake up tomorrow and try and address this somehow but not sure where to start. AIBU to ask for some honest opinions here on NYE, they must want me to change right? They are good kids so didnt speak out of spite. How do I undo and rewind, without falling into a huge pit of pity?

pludolphTheRedNosedReindeer Wed 31-Dec-14 23:02:07

Ah, shit. Children are selfish. They probably developed these ideas out of guilt, so they wouldn't have to be humbled by/ immobilised by guilt in the face of what you have done, and sacrificed for them. sad

Imwoodword Wed 31-Dec-14 23:02:37

I'd not get involved in their lives by not picking them up. Sounds like selfish teens to me.

flowers for you, please don't feel so sad.

puntasticusername Wed 31-Dec-14 23:02:47

Oh, love.

I'm not sure quite what to say but it does sound as if your DC love you very much and more than that, they respect you enough to actually give honest answers to difficult questions. Maybe they didn't phrase their answers as well as they might have smile but good on them for trying, and good on you for listening with an open mind.

It's hard to say much else without knowing more of the situation and in particular, how your DC see things. But keep the faith - you've made a start; keep talking to each other and between you you ought to be able to work things out.

Again - kudos for being open to having difficult conversations and trying to get the best out of them - if more people took that attitude, the world would be a happier place.

FunkyBoldRibena Wed 31-Dec-14 23:03:20

Yeah, first step dont run around after them dropping them off and picking them up! Thanks kids, great idea! I wll start right what you could have said.

ConferencePear Wed 31-Dec-14 23:04:02

You could stop being so involved in their lives by not picking them up from their parties.

eosmum Wed 31-Dec-14 23:04:48

Sounds like when your ex left you put so much energy into the dcs you lost yourself, as they've gotten older and more independent you maybe are still trying to be as involved with their lives as before? Do you do anything for yourself? Class hobby? Giving them lifts at 2am also sounds like they want you involved when it suits them, so maybe a couple of steps back?

Ikillpotplants Wed 31-Dec-14 23:12:37

I agree with everyone who suggests no more 2am lifts! I am sorry that this has upset you OP. I reckon doing some nice things for yourself sounds like the best plan as well. That way, this can trigger something positive and hopefully fun. You could write a list of some things you would like to do to cheer yourself up. Sending hugs as sorry you have been upset by this.

mommy2ash Wed 31-Dec-14 23:15:12

it sounds to me like your life revolved around the kids and somewhere in all that you lost yourself. now they are older and have their own lives you are still trying to be involved but they want some breathing space. I would start doing something for yourself in the new year. take up a hobby meet some new friends

still a bit cheeky from them when also needing you to drive for hours to ferry them around but that's teen's for you

i think you need to strike a balance

AnyoneforTurps Wed 31-Dec-14 23:15:32

Everybody in the entire world irritates their nearest and dearest from time to time. If the worst your kids can come up with at the most self-obsessed, unaware stage of their lives (teens) is that you are a bit over-anxious about them, then you should consider yourself a raging success as a mother smile

Your DC are in the midst of establishing themselves as adults so, of course it is going to rankle sometimes that you worry about them - in their minds, they are invincible. Give them a couple of years and they'll have this in perspective and realise that your concerns were entirely normal.

You sound like a lovely person. Don't let this get you down.

BatterednotBruised Wed 31-Dec-14 23:18:45

Thanks everyone. I mentioned the lifts in my OP as I do this kind of stuff all the time, house is always open for their friends etc, and I do think I have lost my identity along the way. Maybe I am a martyr at heart, as every penny goes on them and not me, no hobbies or time to myself outside of the home and my very stressful job. Sorry I know that sounds full of woe is me, but I thought it was all worth the sacrifice if the DC were happy.

I do need to step back gradually and yes wish now I hadnt offered lifts (including one friend each who is sleeping here tonight). Cant even have a drink! I need to see tonight as a turning point and be careful what I say too. If I am honest, I think I am just talking about their day and sounding interested but it must come across as though I am too interested?? So confused.Think I need to get a life, cliche but true. Have a small bonus from work that I was going to spend on new clothes for DC in sales but think I might invest in some counselling for myself and not mention it to anyone else. Thanks again for kind words.

Ikillpotplants Wed 31-Dec-14 23:20:28

I think that's a great plan - good for you!

MistressDeeCee Wed 31-Dec-14 23:23:43

They're bloody cheeky, speaking to you like that.. but sadly, youngsters often "know it all" so can be unthinkingly selfish. They love you and exasperate you at the same time. I wouldn't bring it up with them in your shoes..just draw back a little, so they can get on with being independent..until they run back to mummy again with requests for lifts, advice, etc

Why don't you improve things for yourself? You've mentioned your, perhaps aim to lose a little weight to feel a bit better about it..join maybe? I know a few friends who have had success meeting people with similar interests for friendship/taking up hobbies on there. Listen to music, treat yourself to a spa day, beauty treatment, anything you like.

Its quite easy to fall into the trap of life revolving around your DCs and thus becoming over-interested and involved in their lives ..but honestly as they're growing older it really is best to have your own interests, things to do and look forward to. They spread their wings to fly - and so must youflowers

puntasticusername Wed 31-Dec-14 23:24:45

Yes - you sound lovely and very devoted to your DCs' happiness, but in with that you have to have something that makes you happy too! And you absolutely have to put yourself first from time to time. And tell your DC: no, sorry, can't actually do that for you today. It sounds as if maybe they are a bit uncomfortable with how closely you follow their lives - for your and their benefit, it may be helpful to detach a little more.

eosmum Wed 31-Dec-14 23:25:57

That sounds like a plan. But do speak to them, tell them that what they have said rings true, then throw it back to them the next time the lifts thing comes up! Doing something for you will help everyone in the long run.

OneSkinnyChip Wed 31-Dec-14 23:27:03

Great idea to spend the money on you.

I think I would be talking to them too. Something along the lines of what you said hurt me even though it wasn't your intention but what you said made me realise that I have been putting so much effort into making you happy that I have neglected myself and that needs to change and will be changing so thank you for your honesty.

Then put yourself first for a while thanks

minionmadness Wed 31-Dec-14 23:28:47

You sound like a great mum!

I think now they are all older and capable of doing more for themselves it would be the ideal time to start the process of gaining back some time for you.

FunkyBoldRibena Wed 31-Dec-14 23:28:53

No, start at midnight!

Text them 'happy new year. Ive decided to take your advice, so have gone out on my own, had a drink and wont be getting so involved in your lives which means no lift tonight. Im sure you can sort a taxi out. Thanks for your advice. Love mum.'

AgentZigzag Wed 31-Dec-14 23:28:55

Yeah, agree with the other posters, start your Less Involvement Phase by not picking the cheeky buggers up! grin

Now then, don't be letting what they've said shake your confidence, or your perception of how you're doing as their mum.

It's your right to embarrass them! If not for that, WTF else is there for revenge you to look forward to as you go through the difficult times when they're younger?



If you're not there to interfere in their lives, then who the fuck will??

You just brazen it out like I do and laugh in the face of their scorn and condescension, you've fucking earnt your status!

<stern face>

ThePinkOcelot Wed 31-Dec-14 23:31:51

Treat yourself in the sales OP and try to start making a life for yourself.

I would take a step back from your DC too (I know easier said than done) and if anything is said, I would just remind them of this conversation and say you were doing as requested. I think they would really notice if you took a step back.

I know counseling seems to be the be all and end all on mumsnet, but do you really think you need it?

DurhamDurham Wed 31-Dec-14 23:37:28

I would have been hurt if my girls had said similar things to me so you are not being over emotional or are reacting in an entirely reasonable way. I do a lot for my girls but make sure I have a life of my own. They were both away with friends for a few days and then this morning my 17 was still on bed at 11am, I mentioned that I was meeting a friend for a coffee and she tried to make me feel guilty saying ' but I've come home so we do something nice together, I thought we could go out for lunch'...this had not been mentioned to me before then. I explained I was going out and was gone for about 3 hours ( several coffees grin ), when I got back she was up and dressed and we sat and watched a film together. We had a lovely afternoon together and I hope that she realised that I don't sit around waiting for them to come back to entertain me.

I think that you owe it to yourself and to your children to have a life and interests of your own. I hope 2015 is a good year for you thanksthanksthanks

Catmint Wed 31-Dec-14 23:39:27

I don't think they were cheeky. It sounds to me as of you have such a strong relationship with them that they felt they could be honest. I'm sure they didn't mean to hurt you.

It sounds now as if it needs to be your turn. But please don't break your commitment for tonight, as the support of your children may mean a lot as you move into a new phase of your relationship with them.

Have a fantastic 2015.

TheCowThatLaughs Wed 31-Dec-14 23:40:55

It reminded me of the title of that book about teenagers often recommended on here: "get out of my life but first give me and Alex a lift to town"
I really hope you're not going to pick them up at 2am. Even if they hadn't been so rude it's going far beyond what should be reasonably expected of a parent imo.

BatterednotBruised Wed 31-Dec-14 23:43:41

Some great advice, thanks for going easy on me! Not feeling strong enough to not pick them up but wish I had thought to suggest it at the time! Feeling more positive now and determined that next New Year will not be a repeat of this one. Small steps and I wonder how they remember the conversation in years to come, probably completely different to how I will.

Dealing with weight and health issues top of my list. Happy New Year to you all, and thank you smile

DurhamDurham Wed 31-Dec-14 23:46:45

I think that now a life has been offered it would do more harm than good to change plans now. I personally wouldn't offer a lift at that time of the morning. I like/need my sleep too much to be out picking up my girls at 2 am. They know to either book a taxi or make plans to stay with friends/boyfriend. But as the op has already made arrangements to collect them it would just cause cause bad feeling, and that's not how this family need to start a new year. I'm sure in the weeks and months to come the lifts will become more sparse as the op embarks on a life of her own.

Here's hoping that they will be the ones picking you up his time next year wine

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