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To wish I was closer to my mum...?

(10 Posts)
ElsaTheLionCat Sun 25-Oct-15 01:30:20

I sometimes feel like my mum and I don't understand each other at all and I wish things were different.

I love her, she means well and she's a really nice person and a good mother. We have never been the "best friends" type mother/daughter going shopping together and spending time together for the sake of it but we chat on the phone and see each other fairly often. So that's obviously fine and I know I'm very lucky to have her.

I get a bit sad though sometimes because I have been getting the feeling more and more that she finds me, well, dull and boring, and that she isn't really that interested in the minutiae of my life, while constantly telling me about hers and sometimes being offended if I'm not always very interested. She conversely spends a lot of time with my dbro giving him advice etc etc and listening to his gripes and moans.

A good example might be from today. She had people round this evening which doesn't happen very often (she's retired and although sociable and friendly, her and my df don't often spend quality time with others outside the family). She had a great time and was telling me all about it. However when she recounts things she tells me every - and I mean every detail - which is quite sweet but sometimes a bit exasperating blush So I heard a lengthy update monologue on the couple, the woman's commute to work (walking but occasionally she takes the bus or he gives her a lift if it rains...), their garden/its size/how it needs a good tending to, her parents and siblings, his degree choice (so that would have been 40 years ago then!), his job and commute to work, how much they dislike their neighbours' pets, how they have just adjusted the layout of their house to accommodate the building work currently going on etc. I'm not undermining what she's saying or taking the piss but after this had gone on for a little while I started to get a bit confused! I know she's telling me because she's excited and I'm happy for her but then (no joke) she started telling me all about the male half of the couple's new dentist and his recent holiday to Portugal! And how the woman wanted to go to Portugal, what a great deal the dentist got and ooh wasn't he lucky, actually it was all of Europe they wanted to see... Cool!

I wouldn't mind if dm gave me the same liberty when talking about those I know but no - she definitely cares more about the sodding dentist neither of us have ever met than me, or at least appears to ! An old friend (who dm likes and knows) had come to visit me that day and all she asked was "what did you eat?" and then made a jokey comment about how I always eat the same thing!

I know it's not a big deal on the surface but it's a repeated pattern and just symbolises to me that she doesn't really care about what I do or get up to or what makes me tick! Yes, there's far worse out there and perhaps I'm spoilt, but I am so jealous of the relationship she has with my similarly aged dbro (also twenties) - she knows the ins and outs of his friendship group, she asks after them, they have chats about his feelings... I would love her to do the same with me!!

Anyone have any words of wisdom? I've spoken about it with her before (joking) and she always says how silly I'm being or that she's tired and can't talk. Should I just leave it?

AgentZigzag Sun 25-Oct-15 02:06:06

You say you've been noticing it more and more, does that say it's something that's come on recently(ish) and she didn't used to do it?

Because the level of detail would be unusual to tell someone about, it's bordering on obsessive. Although I don't do this, I can imagine OCD (which I have) making someone feel as though they have to say everything in their head regardless of the pain you'd know the other person to be in listening to such shit.

I can't help asking how old she is and whether you think there's more to it? Is there anything else you've noticed in the way she behaves that's changed?

AgentZigzag Sun 25-Oct-15 02:09:29

If you don't think anything else is going on I really don't know how you stand it!

I wouldn't be able to stop myself saying something early on if I knew a half hour list was coming my way shock

Senpai Sun 25-Oct-15 02:27:28

Although I don't do this, I can imagine OCD (which I have) making someone feel as though they have to say everything in their head regardless of the pain you'd know the other person to be in listening to such shit.

Or ADHD. I do this sometimes to people on accident if I'm excited about a topic. People don't ask about or bring up certain topics more than once blush

If I were on the other side of it, I'd probably space out and wander off without realizing they were still talking. My dad and brother do the same thing with rambling, but they're family so I can tell them to shut up.

Some people are just able to open up with each other better. Do you have any hobbies you could talk to her about? Look on pinterest, there's plenty of inexpensive DIY hobbies you could start up like baking or paper crafts.

ElsaTheLionCat Sun 25-Oct-15 02:41:22

Thanks! Appreciate your advice.

I think perhaps I was a little harsh to her in her opening post. She's in her 60s and retired and is a very sweet person when you meet/know her - as in she'll ask people thoughtful questions, doesn't bang on about herself, is a good listener etc etc. So I think often people mistake her kindness for rapt interest and just talk! And the fact that she doesn't socialise for fun with others outside the family on, say, a daily basis (being retired) means she wants to tell me about how her evening was and she thinks I'll be interested... For her, these details are the conversation and therefore sum up the evening in her mind.

Obviously I'm quite a lot younger than her friends and acquaintances though, so while I care and am happy that she's happy, I want her to see my friendships in the same light! She's not a selfish person in the slightest but sometimes I think maybe she takes my recounting of evenings out/holidays with friends as boasting/showing off (??) - and doesn't want to encourage it? I don't show her/she doesn't ask to see hol photos, she doesn't have a giggle when I tell her my funny little stories - but my dbro's friendships, she's involved in and likes to keep up to date with!!

So as not to drop feed, my dbro who she's very supportive of in an emotional way is perhaps the "weaker chick" in her eyes as he sometimes struggled with friendships at school etc. I did too but on the surface had it easier. So maybe she thinks I don't need the "support"!

It's bloody bloody boring though to hear EVERYTHING about a night or all the interesting questions on a pub quiz. I think in her defence though, it must be symptomatic of getting older and therefore having less news to report. Maybe iabu.

Socrates67 Sun 25-Oct-15 05:28:12

I think you need to grow up and stop being so jealous of your brother.

Also, your posts are horribly ageist.

LeaveMyWingsBehindMe Sun 25-Oct-15 05:43:57

My MIL does this and it leaves me utterly bewildered and bored rigid. She gets so over-invested in the banal detail of other people's lives and sometimes in the gossip she picks up from them about third parties she doesn't even know. confused And she expects me to be interested….hmm

It's got much worse as she's got older, but it started after she retired and then lost her DH. It is down to loneliness, boredom and having a bit of an empty life herself I think. She doesn't have enough of her own stuff going on to focus on, so she inserts herself vicariously into other people's dramas and sort of by proxy.

MadauntofA Sun 25-Oct-15 05:53:10

Hi, my DM does this too. I speak to her most days because although she has plenty of friends and goes out, I don't think she has a chance to discuss her day/ worries etc with anyone else. My DM is v interested in my 2 DDs and will ask lots of questions about them, but rarely about me / what I think etc. She is now mid 70s and getting a bit worse, but the way I see it, me listening to her for a short time every day makes her feel less isolated, keeps me in touch with what she is up to, and I have DH and some really good friends who I would ring to vent if I needed to. I am the sibling with the "close" relationship too - my DSis has a v strained relationship with her!

claraschu Sun 25-Oct-15 07:05:54

It sounds like it might help if you had a common interest to talk about. Do you have time to do something together that you both enjoy? My mother and I used to argue about books and music a lot, which was never boring. Would you enjoy the same films? or volunteer for a charity together?

I just think if you are eager to have a closer relationship, that is lovely for both of you, but talking about people you don't know can be dull. Maybe you can find a hobby together...

ElsaTheLionCat Sun 25-Oct-15 12:16:42

That's really unfair Socrates. I'm not ageist at all! I was just hoping for a bit of empathy, I know it's not the the most awful thing in the world but it really upsets me so telling me to grow up is hardly constructive.

Thanks for other suggestions, done good advice. She is very close to her sister (my dm, that us, who is late 50s/early 60s and leads a very busy and active life) whereas my dm has been a sahm her whole life which makes me think that perhaps she is used to being the "less busy" one and I am a good outlet for her news?

Agree that getting a shared hobby would work.

Again, it's not so much that I'm upset about her saying this stuff to me, it's more that I find it a little unfair she doesn't afford my news the same courtesy? So even teenage nights out, whatever, my friends' mums would listen to their little stories but my dm always took a step back and left me to it. Yes, I have friends I can talk to about these things, but sometimes there's no one quite like your mum for a reall good perspective on things. As I say, she's capable of listening and giving good advice, she does it with my dbro and my slightly older dcousun (late twenties, very happily settled) but just not me confused

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