to have wanted/expected some help...(sorry, long and maybe a bit whingy)(29 Posts)
6.5 months pregnant, badly sprained ankle (can barely hobble around), 4 year old to look after, husband out of town for work. My parents are visiting from out of town, but staying with my sister (who lives literally a 3 min drive from me). Not one person suggested that I might need a hand and maybe our mother could come to help me out. Yes, I could've asked, but I felt stupid even asking because to me it was quite obvious, the ankle thing happened at my sister's house and everyone could see the pain I was/am in and that I clearly couldn't walk. I even drove myself home because "it was a good thing it wasn't my right ankle, so I could use the pedals in the car".
I feel like I don't even qualify for 'a friend' category. Surely someone with an ankle injury, pregnant, no help at home, and a small child to look after qualifies for some help.
I won't go into the long details from over the years, but this is not the first time I've felt let down by my family. My mother will say with my sister to help her out with her 2 kids if her husband is out of town, because oh, you know, it's terrible times when you have to get to kids off to school by yourself and look after a dog at the same time. I couldn't even get someone to watch my son for the 1 hour of my 12 week ultrasound and had to take him with me, ending up having to tell him about the baby before we were ready to (minor point, I know, but it's one of many).
We moved countries to be closer to my family because we were alone where we were before and had a really hard time with the first pregnancy/birth etc being on the other side of the earth with zero help. I used to get all kinds of comments about how if we were closer we'd have had all the help we needed. I feel like they were all polite lies and we were stupid to even think it would be here. We've been back in my home country 3 years now and have had to move 4 times, and not one tiny bit of help offered each of those times. Might as well have stayed where we were.
Or maybe it's just pregnancy hormones and I need to pull my socks up?
Yanbu they should offer to help but if you're just keeping quiet you're reinforcing the idea that you are fine.
You need to ask for help.
Surely you could ask? People, even family, don't always think of offering help. To you its obvious that help is needed, it may not be for them, particularly if you usually put a brave face on and look like you are coping.
I have asked for help in the past for things, but there is always a reason they can't. I have 2 siblings, another with a 15 month old, who leaves her with my other sister while she's at work. So free babysitting, which is totally cool. Except I don't get these same privileges for some reason. I have even brought this up in the past and was told I was being silly and that they love me. This is why I haven't asked, because it already feels weird to me. I don't even expect either of them to look after DS ever even for a date night here or there, I don't ask them to do any of that, however, if I ask to arrange visits or outings together so that the kids spend time together I get excuses 8 out of 10 times. They have friends' kids for sleepovers, they watch each others kids, have outings with other families that are close to them like 'family'. We were gone 8 years...I feel like I'm supposed to be taking a hint here and I'm not cause I'm in denial or something. And if so, I have no idea why. Has being away for so long changed the family dynamics so much that we don't fit in anywhere anymore? it's just so heartbreaking, we were all very close before.
Definitely ask. At least then you have recourse when at some point you can say "I ask for help but never get it, sister gets it all". Not that that will be of much comfort, but not sure what else to suggest!
Maybe they think you're the child who has it 'all together' so they think you can cope while your sister can't?
Sounds horrible. Poor you. Could you be more specific in your asking for help?
Maybe ring your mum/siblings and explain, you're exhausted, your ankle is agony and you really are struggling. Could they possibly.. Look after DS for two hours so you can sleep, bring some shopping, come over to help with housework or cook a meal?.
Sometimes people need a bloody great shove and maybe even a few tears before they see you really do need help.
If your pleas are ignored or rebuffed I'd be telling them that is exactly why you never ask for help!
I would be petty enough to mention that the other sisters help each other etc but that's just me!
Have you got any friends nearby? Babysitting circle? I'd be more than happy to help out one of my friends in your situation and I know they would me.
Hope you feel better soon.
I agree with CanIBeTimmy. Phone with very specific requests for help.
My mother never used to help me and even told my sisters that I would resent 'interference'
She is lovely but gets odd ideas and can't get past them.
Could you get your dp to ask on Your behalf saying that you are trying to be brave and not bother them but he's worried as you're in terrible pain and not coping at all and it would a great favour to him
I know long way round but they could respond to that
Thank you all, i hear what you're saying, and I'm happy to know that I don't sound like a moany preggo.
Mojo...no way hubby will do that, not after ther 12 week scan thing. Stubborn, i know, but I'm 40 and we were quite aware that we could be facing a termination if things didnt go well and didnt want to tell DS anything about the baby until all was good and well, and all the family knew this. No one would watch him for that hour, I asked, believe me.
DH is not asking anyone for help, and for past reasons too.
You don't ask you dont get, people live in their own bubble and dont think til stuff is right in front of them/asked outright. Being subtle or hoping they will notice is a rubbish tactic!! You getting on with it just reinforces the oh she is managing well if they do even think about it!
I have a thread on Relationahips about my DM who's doing exactly the same. Is staying with us and watched me struggling all weekend with sick DH & DD. trying to manage others DCs while going back & forth to A&E. Like your DM it's not worth asking as you'll get 'no' or such a fuss it's not worth it. YANBU.
It's wrong how she's treating you and you know it. But you can't change people. Just don't repeat the cycle. DD21 said late yesterday it was a pity it wasn't my aunt staying as she'd have just helped out. Sad comment but true. Hope your ankle gets better soon.
Parents/family who behave like this are twats. It's like they're missing the common decency gene.
Hope they get their comeuppance when they expect help when they're elderly.
If you lived near me I'd come and make you a brew and let you have a rest whilst doing a quick clean. And I don't even know who the fuck you are!
Be kind to yourself x
I can't believe all these posters saying OP needs to ask - this is her mother! Would any of you let your DD cope on her own under those circumstances when you're 3 minutes away?
I'm angry with her on your behalf OP. You should be getting more help and you shouldn't have to ask.
I'd be tempted to have it out with all of them, make the points you've made here about the scan, not including/wanting to do things with you and your son, etc., they say they love you but it doesn't feel like it. You do run the risk of them taking umbrage, becoming defensive and being even less involved with you but at least you know where you stand and can make decisions for your family without giving them a second thought.
Of course OP shouldn't have to ask, but if her mother and sister aren't volunteering then help isn't going to materialise if she doesn't ask. OP, I suspect you were being too brave about things like driving back, and in fact they don't realise how bad your ankle is. Just get on that phone!
Thank you for your kind words and sympathy! You're all lovely, I'm crying, and my dear neighbour has just randomly dropped off a batch of cookies that were still warm from the oven!
I've had it out with my family before. There was one time when they were in town and my mum had got ds all excited about her staying over the night (they never come for longer than a cup of tea). He was sat in his pirate costume waiting for her and she was so late she showed up as he was getting into bed. She didnt spend the night either, and she and my dad were late because he was busy finishing some diy at my sister's house. It was then that I had a huge row with her snd told her not to make promises to ds if she wasnt going to follow through.
As one of you already said, i ran the risk of being brushed off further when this happened, maybe the recent lack of concern is a result of that. I dunno...just makes me sad. I put a lot of effort into keeping our relationships with the rest of the family going.
I feel really sad for you, it sounds like you are making all the effort for little or no reward. .
Would it be worth you having one last attempt? Is it an option to speak to one of your siblings?
The thought of your ds waiting excitedly in his pirate costume is heart wrenching, I'm not surprised you went mad at them, do you think they may feel embarrassed and guilty about this?
Unfortunately it may well be that the only way to prevent your dcs and you being hurt will be to distance yourself from them.
Sounds hugely unfair. Poor thing - I'm currently 7.5 months with a toddler and really struggling, and that's without the ankle!
One thought - you say you've had it out with your mum, but that was when you were very angry so may have put her on the defensive? Not blaming you for that of course.
Maybe you could plan what to say so be able to tackle more calmly and use language like 'I feel as though...' 'It seems to me...'
No guarantees it will work. If not I'd be thinking about distancing myself too.
Thinking of your little boy in his pirate costume waiting broke my heart. Poor little love.
To the poster that said you shouldn't have to ask for help. No of course not, she shouldn't HAVE to but in this case she needs to!
Seriously, get on the phone and tell your mum straight. You're hormonal, tired, run down and in pain. Hell, I'd come and look after you!
If it doesn't work or she's arsey with you and argues and refuses, maybe it's time to cut your loses and move on.
Hope you feel a bit better this morning.
Lots of love.
Obviously not right now, but do you do favours/spontaneously give offers to help for any of them? Maybe they have pigeonholed you into a relationship where you don't do that in either direction but your sister in one where you do.
Bestzebbie yeah I always help out wherever I can, happy to.
Thanks for all your replies, need a little perspective sometimes. Can't tell if what I'm feeling is real or hormones!
What you're feeling is real and justifiable, what's happened/is happening is incredibly unfair and rather nasty.
All the best, OP, hope your ankle recovers quickly and the rest of your pregnancy and the birth are plain sailing.
Oh darling. Your mother doesn't deserve your love from the sound of it. Get yourself over to the Stately Homes thread on the Relationships board. There's lots of good advice and sympathy to be had there.
Just think, her selfish behaviour will mean you certainly won't be wiping her arse when she's too old to do it herself. That can be your sister's job
My in-laws are a bit shit but have become better over the years. DH and I often chat how we'll be fantastic grandparents after learning from their mistakes!
If you're anywhere in Greater Manchester I'll come round with a cake
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