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Is it normal that my DM makes me feel like a naughty girl even though I'm 43?

(15 Posts)
abitannoyingreally Tue 11-Oct-16 14:21:17

I am content with most aspects of my life - 2 dc doing well and happy, lovely dh, nice house, good friend. I suppose if my dc grew up to be as happy as I am I would feel pleased. But every now and then my DM assumes this tone of voice where and is a bit offish with me so I know she is not pleased with me. Mostly I don't know what I have done wrong and if I ask she will deny anything is wrong. It is difficult as she has been ill recently so I feel I cannot really pursue it. The latest event was a few days ago. She and DF had been away for the week. Before we went she asked me to keep in touch with my older Dsis (single and DM worries about her which can be annoying). I phoned Dsis once during the week. I also spoke to DM and DF a few times during this and all was fine. Then she gets back and has that offish tone and asks if I've done what she asked and kept in touch with Dsis. I say I phoned her once and comment that she sounds annoyed. She says it's up to me but is clearly annoyed. I feel irritated by the way this and other similar scenarios make me feel but find myself being ultra dutiful to get back in her good books. How normal is this with other mother/daughters?

AmandaK11 Tue 11-Oct-16 14:24:07

Do you think there could be something you have done that she didn't like/feels offended by?

abitannoyingreally Tue 11-Oct-16 14:26:13

I think she thinks I should have phoned Dsis more than once.

Boogers Tue 11-Oct-16 14:32:24

Does your sister's phone only take incoming calls? If not, why could she not phone you?

It's normal for parents to hope siblings turn to each other in their absence, but there has to be give and take both ways. You phoned your sister. Did she reciprocate? Is she in a position to reciprocate? Is there a specific reason your mother feels your sister still needs nannying?

abitannoyingreally Tue 11-Oct-16 14:36:59

No she didn't phone me and no reason why she couldn't have. She is generally a stress case with not many friends but at work during the day so not all alone.

TheColonelAdoresPuffins Tue 11-Oct-16 14:39:02

I think the only way you will stop this is by pretending not to notice. At the moment she knows if she does the disapproving act you will try and get back in her good books by being ultra dutiful. Stop letting her control you in this way. Act like you've not noticed her disapproval.

KurriKurri Tue 11-Oct-16 14:42:51

I wouldn't say it is normal no - it sounds as if she hasn't quite accepted she isn't running your life any more. You enable that by reacting as if she has a right ti scold you and you need to get back in her good books.

I think you should go for a fairly breezy no nonsense approach every time she tries it. For example when asked to phone DSis 'I'll give her a ring if I get time, but she knows she can always ring me if she needs anything' then breeze on to different subject.

In other words make it clear you make your decisions you are willing to hear her opinions and you will then let her know what you will be doing.

It's very irritating when people act all huffy and when you ask what's wrong say 'nothing'. I'd stop asking her what's wrong, she needs to come out and say it if she's got a problem.

CigarsofthePharoahs Tue 11-Oct-16 14:48:15

My Mum has moments like this too. I think sometimes she does forget that I'm now 36, not 6. It's up to me as an adult to decide who I make the effort to be in contact with.
My Mum does make the odd remark about my siblings. The thing is, I have made an effort in the past with them, but it wasn't really reciprocated. My Mum hates the fact that we're not a close nit bunch, but all the nagging in the world isn't going to change that.
My sister is also unable to contact me directly about anything. I invited her and her children to my sons birthday party last year. Got nothing back but cold silence until about a week before messaging my Mum to say she was visiting and "Oh I guess we'll make that party then."
Grrr.

PipandNut Tue 11-Oct-16 14:51:54

Just ignore it. Don't make a thing of it. You say you're happy with life, don't look for problems. She is why she is so keep things polite and friendly and don't rise to it

Or alternatively, rise to it and have a fall out

abitannoyingreally Tue 11-Oct-16 14:56:46

Great advice - so glad I posted as this has been milling around in my head for the past few days.

SeasonalVag Tue 11-Oct-16 14:58:11

My mum's a narcisstic ballache. I keep her at bay with one weekly phone call and little other emotional commitment.

redskytonight Tue 11-Oct-16 14:59:04

Does your sister have special needs or some other reason why you would particularly need an eye keeping on her?

Because frankly your mum even asking you to ring you sister is plain weird. You and your sister are both adults, you can ring each other or not as you choose.

abitannoyingreally Tue 11-Oct-16 15:05:11

Thanks redsky. This is exactly how I feel but go along with my DM to keep the peace I suppose as I know I'll get the cold shoulder from DM if I don't confused

Laiste Tue 11-Oct-16 15:49:50

Give her the cold shoulder right back!

I was late 20s when i realised how manipulative my mother is. 'Arm's length' is the way to go with emotional bullying. Takes practice, but it's second nature in the end.

scaryteacher Tue 11-Oct-16 15:51:44

Mine does this at times, and I have to remind her that I am 50, a Mum, a teacher and a perfectly competent person, and when I need her to criticise my actions I'll let her know.

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