To ask for your help with my mum(22 Posts)
I think I am being unreasonable in my expectations and would really appreciate some perspective.
A bit of background- my mum to my mind was irresponsible during my younger childhood. She drank heavily, and we lived in a violent and unpredictable home. The violence was mostly between her and my dad, but it was traumatising and I was left to pick up the pieces of her being drunk and unconscious from a young age.
In middle childhood I was extremely anxious and she confided very adult things to me about her sex life (she would often talk about my father's impotence and possible homosexuality) and she would often lose her temper and have terrifying fits of rage- in the car, at home etc. At other times she was loving but I honestly can't remember her doing things with me I would have enjoyed- reading to me, snuggled up in bed, playing with me, arranging times to see my friends and so on. Now I have my own children , and make such an effort to ask them what they like and makes them happy and I do it, I feel somewhat cheated I suppose. I didn't enjoy my childhood, it was a horrible time and I can't let it go and I'm increasingly cross with dm for what I now perceive as huge selfishness at not putting her kids first. I felt very unprotected and vulnerable as a child.
Now as an adult I have a good relationship with her at times and at others I think she is vey difficult and unpleasant to me. I have been unable to do more than answer the occasional text following a lunch at hers where I came down very suddenly with a sickness bug, and she was furious at having to entertain my two children (only other people there was my brother and his partner) while I was literally vomiting repeatedly. She then called ds who is 5 spoilt and bad mannered and should be quiet when adults are quiet. He's really not that bad- just a little boy who is learning what's expected of him. She refused to serve the cake as a result, shut him out of the kitchen when she was tidying as she didn't want to hear his incessant chatter.
I then felt we had to leave as my ds was very sad and despite being sick all down myself on the motor way. I was very upset by this. A month or so later, dhs back had gone and I had this sickness bug again. We just couldn't look after our younger child. I called my mum and said look please could you come over we are desperate for help - and she said no, I've got tickets for spectre. I was absolutely disgusted- I cannot imagine my daughter calling me up asking for my help and me responding like that.
On top of this she has come into very large sums of money over the past few years, and spent this on cruises, new cars, new kitchen etc. We rent and she makes constant comments but never offered to help with a deposit.
Is this a generational thing? Was parenting a lot less child focused in the 70s and 80s? Would others help out or am I expecting too much? Its her money to do what she likes with right? Please help me get some perspective.
Basically she is just a very unpleasant person. Parenting wasn't quite as child focused in the 70s but that doesn't explain or condone her behaviour
You don't need her in your life, she brings nothing to it and she is hurting your DS.
Could you cope with going no contact?
She was and is hugely abusive.
Am so sorry. She won't change, she's shown you repeatedly that she puts herself first and doesn't care about others. May be easiest to go NC or at the most severely limited contact.
You should feel so proud that you are doing the complete opposite with your own kids - they will have brilliant memories of their childhood and that is down to you.
She's was a bad parent, she's a bag grandmotherand isn't going to change.
You can only change how you react to her.
Suggest counselling and keeping her at a distance. No one who treated you like that deserves your love and attention.
Gosh thanks. I hope so.
Is that what it is? Is she abusive and an unpleasant person? She always sends me texts telling me how much she loves me but these make my skin crawl now.
Is it that bad, what she's done recently? Objectively?
She sounds extremely selfish and unpleasant to be around but nothing will change her now. I'd suggest seeking counselling for yourself and keeping away from her.
Nanny, I'm not sure I could cope with nc, to be honest
I have got counselling coming, on a wait list so I'm hopeful it will help
She isn't a nice person so probably stop expecting her to be one.
Find an agency that can supply ad hoc childcare if you need it.
But it is her money to do with as she pleases. The comments aren't nice ahout renting but they only back-up her general unpleasantness.
Can I offer a perspective?
I used to work for my dad. It was always a bit stormy becasue at heart he is a bully. One month out of the blue, he decided not to pay me becasuse my brother had run up some huge bills and the creditors were threatening to take dad to court.
I realised shortly afer that he is a deeply unpleasant person. Oh, he is full of seemingly nice behaviour, but underneath he is a bully and weak. It has now got to a truce between us. I certainly no longer feel any deep love towards him.
In the end, our parents are just people.
It sounds like she was having a pretty tough time during your childhood but as a parent it is your job to try to protect your children.
The deposit thing in itself wouldn't bother me. At a stretch nor would the childcare thing, if perhaps she didn't realise what a mess you were in... But the overall picture is of a very selfish, damaged woman who was not cut out to be a good parent.
My Mum had a pretty bad upbringing and i believe she did her best to change the record with her own kids. It was very VERY far from perfect mostly due to the dynamics between my parents but I do appreciate the fact she made a big effort to do things differently and its great you are doing the same.
It's not a generational thing there were plenty of child focussed parents in the 70s and 80s including my mother and dhs mother.
The way she treated you and her grandchildren when you were ill is terrible and not the norm.
I don't agree she should help you financially but I think that is a separate issue to her general selfishness and lack of loving behaviour as a parent.
It is not you who are at fault in this relationship and you are to be commended for providing a very different and happier childhood for your DC.
There is something wrong with her OP.
When people say parenting was less child focused in the 70s it means they sometimes sent kids out to play when they didn't want to go out, not that they never played with them. I think they were stricter about manners and so on, some loving parents spanked their kids ,which we disagree with now, as they felt teaching children to behave well was important for their futures, but a good parent was still loving and protective.
I am not saying she doesn't love you, but she is a damaged person who can't give love in a mature way, that means putting your needs above her own sometimes.
Thanks all. In some ways I do really hate her.it feels like such a burden
She was abusive in the 70s and she's abusive now. She knows she can't control you as much now you're an adult, and her shitty behavior and comments are all made to try and gain back that control.
If you can't face going NC then consider going minimal contact. Meet her in neutral locations when possible, never ask for favours, don't initiate contact. And never leave her alone with your children.
horrible, horrible parent. And no, parents from that generation are not generally like her
I agree with notquitehuman But she was probably dragged up herself and hadn't got the sensitivity or empathy to try to improve things for her own children. Is her drinking still out of control?
Sounds like your mother and father had lots of issues when you were growing up and it wasn't a happy household. I think back in the 70s parents tended to stick together even though things were tough and I'm sure that made for a lot of unhappy people unlike today where people tend to split up quicker if things aren't going well.
As for having money and your renting - sorry this is what most families are like, parents don't generally give lots of money to their kids. I'm guessing most people only get money when their parents pass away.
I don't think you can ever expect financial help, or childcare help from other people. You can ask, but I wouldn't take offence if they say no. There's no obligation on their part, related or not.
I'd never even ask my mother for help.
I'd drop all and any expectations. Only see her on your terms, if you're not happy don't see her.
I agree with notquitehuman, especially the bit about no or minimal contact and never leaving her alone with your kids.
It's good that you're on the waiting list for counselling, I think it should help you come to terms with having an abusive mother.
In the meantime maybe you could read some books like "Toxic Parents" and post on the stately homes thread?
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