Is my mam being ridiculous or am I over-reacting?(49 Posts)
So my mam just told me that she won't be coming over to our house again unless my husband is at work. They have been giving each other the silent treatment for a while. My mam thinks he is lazy and he resents the way she criticises me and the house.
The conversation came about after she stormed out in s huff last week and I said we needed to talk to clear the air today. She gave him a proper slagging off to me, criticised my parenting a bit and then stormed out today as well.
I just text her telling her she had no right to behave like that and not to come back to ours at all unless she could stop criticising and be supportive.
Am I overreacting or is she being unreasonable? Need some perspective.
Its hard to say properly without knowing a bit more. Criticising you and the house sounds like she is probably highly negative and you were right to tell her that, but what did she mean by calling your husband lazy? Is he?
My husband is laid back in the sense that he doesn't see a problem with leaving the dishes or laundry until later in the evening to do etc but isn't a slob and is always playing with the kids. Pretty standard stuff I think?
I asked her why on earth she had such a problem with him since I'm the one married to him not her and she made him out to be like a dense, slovenly teenager I am dragging through life or something.
It's your house and your rules. She shouldn't be criticizing your parenting. You are a grown-up and she has no right to tell what to do and how to live your life.
Has she always been critical?
Is your house in a liveable state?
Has she got an issue with your DH because he stands up for you?
If so, then it's about time that you stood up to her.
You say they give each other the silent treatment so it sounds like it is probably really awkward for everyone if they are all in the house at the same time. Isn't it more comfortable for you to see them separately if that is how they feel about each other? I know it would be for me.
"So my mam just told me that she won't be coming over to our house again unless my husband is at work"
You should have told her that actually she won't be oming over until she's invited & that's not likely when she's finding fault all the time.
I generally wash up once a day.
Anyone who doesn't like it can wash up or keep schtum!
The house is by every one else's normal standards very nice - by which I mean it's clean, in good repair and decently furnished but my mam is a perfectionist so thinks it's a "bombsite" if I haven't put the laundry away yet or done today's dishes yet. She also like to suggest "better" ways we could have things like decor.
It has been really awkward recently but I feel like I'm doing my husband a disservice by letting her set these rules and she's upsetting me quite a bit with the criticism. When I have said this she told me to stop being so sensitive and taking things personally.
I'm a bit torn about whether I'm genuinely being a by OTT or whether I should put my foot down and tell her to behave better when she is over here. Don't want this to cause a rift between us as I'm an only child and also just had a baby 4 weeks ago and have an 18 month old too and really need her support. What would you guys do?
Why do you need her support?
Genuine question, as it sounds to me as if she thinks that you can't cope without her & she can therefore say exactly what she wants.
Big apologies if wrong there.
If you've just had a baby, is there more that yout husband could/should be doing to help out?
I think you should tell her exactly what you are telling us.
That said, this sort of thing -"When I have said this she told me to stop being so sensitive and taking things personally." doesn't make her sound very nice.
I would hand her the laundry basket if she's complaining about it not being folded or tell her to knock herself out if she's getting twitchy about a few cups in the sink. If it bothers her that much, then she can do something about it.
Or just tell her, ever so politely, to fuck off, because if she's always criticising, then she's not really supporting you, is she?
Her upsetting you with her criticism is unfair. Your house sounds like it is verging on my idea of spotless for someone who has had a baby in the last month. However, I do think your husband should be doing a lot more to help and possibly your mum is being over protective of you and also feels this way, but is going about it the wrong way.
How were things before you had children and before you had this baby?
I would tell her to back off. Remind her that I am an adult, not a child and that this is MY house, not hers.
She's treating you like a naughty child and you're letting her. It's time to tell her that she is your mother yes, and you love her, but you are a married woman with children of your own and you will not tolerate her behaviour.
Did her mother behave the same way to her? If so, remind her how that felt and don't let her pretend she loved it!
She doesn't get to set rules for you.
That's the bottom line.
Support coming with all that crap is support you can do without.
You should stop taking her personal remarks personally?
Tell her to cock right off.
If Op gives her mum stuff to do though, isn't that as good as saying that her mum is right & that the way things are done in Ops house aren't good enough?
I can't imagine criticising my daughter & on top of that criticising her reaction to it!
"Tell her to cock right off."
But not to take it personally
Honestly, unless her criticisms of you are really bad, then I think some criticism is just standard mum-behaviour. Doesn't make it less upsetting, but it might be worth assessing the positives as well s the negatives when you think about distancing yourself. As for her calling your DH lazy - it does sound like, albeit perhaps misguidedly, she's got your back. You've just had a baby and she doesn't think he's doing enough. She sees housework undone, thinks it's fair enough that you haven't done it, but shit that he hasn't done it so that you have a nice environment to live in. I doubt she's criticising the house - she's probably criticising your DH for not looking after you well enough. She might be totally wide of the mark, but it's coming from a place of concern for you. If your mum and DH don't get along then I think it makes sense to see them separately. Presuming your mum is on the over-bearing rather than the abusive end of the scale, I don't think it makes sense to distance yourself from her when you've just had a baby.
OK, so she's going to criticise your marriage, your decor and your housekeeping - but you aren't to take it personally?
Tell her to do one. You aren't a child and she is being bloody rude.
Mam, I am all grown up. If you think you did a really bad job in bringing me up then please do keep on pointing out what it was you got wrong, the things you forgot to teach me properly.
But you did bring me up to know my own mind, so don't be upset when I take your advice and tell you to shut up, mind your own business [insert her favourite 'fuck off' comment here]
Lots of love, your only child who now has a life, home, kids and partner of her own
Is your husband at home all day atm?
If so I would think that he'd get stuff done out of the way rather than leave it until the evening.
But really if you & him are happy, that's all that matters.
Does she feel slighted that the house isn't made spotless for her visits?
"then I think some criticism is just standard mum-behaviour."
I disagree. When you are an adult in your own place then it's not her concern how you live.
Unless it's unsanitary!
In terms of "needing support" I just mean that it's great to have an extra pair of hands for the kids while my husband is at work. I appreciate it when she helps out with little things like doing the dishes etc like anyone would but hate that she acts as though I live in a pigsty when in reality me and hubby keep the place pretty well looked after given that we have a toddler ransacking the place.
I was starting to regret sending the text think I'd over reacted but now I'm realising I probably needed a bit more of a spine recently and telling her to back off of behave better might be a good thing. She's great at holding grudges though who knows if she'll ever forgive me!
I think that when you have a toddler & a newborn & your mum visits it's pretty standard that they might wash up help with/make lunch whatever.
My mum used to bustle around a bit & make the teas.
It's no biggie deserving of unending thanks, is it?
If it's made into a big deal, better that she doesn't bother.
Afterall, as you say, your husband will do it later!
who knows if she'll ever forgive me! No.... you have that all wrong!
Who knows if you will ever forgive her
Tbh I think this is part of becoming a 'proper' grown-up (I'm still waiting btw ): to truly no longer seek our parents' approval and therefore being less sensitive to their opinions and not actually taking them as criticism.
Easier said, then done - believe me, I know.
Also, I think you need to make a decision where exactly your loyalties lie, with your DM or your DH.
Personally, I will not moan about my DH in front of my parents, and I tell them I don't need to hear what they think of him. They are welcome here by invitation any time - but this arrangement is easy for us to enforce because they live abroad . My brother otoh had to ask for a key back (it was given 'for emergencies') because they would just let themselves in whenever they fancied…
This is about boundaries.
You say you need your mother for support - well, could you garner alternative support? Could you make yourself less dependent on your mother - practically and emotionally - so she hold less 'power' over you.
In practical terms it may well be easier for your DM and your DH not to meet, but don't become a piggy in the middle, trying to sort their issues out for them. If your mother is critical of your choice of life partner, tell her to bog off and to feel free to take in personal
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