To think it's hard of my Mum to do this to me?(63 Posts)
Basically I've emigrated across to the other side of the globe. Been here a year with DH and our two DC.
It wasn't an easy decision to make AT ALL. Much soul searching etc.
However, given the opportunity we had been given and the fact that our prospects in the UK were looking narrower and bleaker, we took the chance and went.
Mum is widowed...but she works part time and has friends plus my two sisters and my brother...my sisters also have children so she's not been robbed of her only grandchildren (though obviously mine are themselves and can't be replaced)
She guilt trips me.
I speak to her on the phone about 4 times a week...I've suggested she gets my sister to set up facetime or something so she can see the DC faces and interact but no...she isn't computer literate...hasn't got one.
I asked her tonight "Have you asked sister to show you some photos on Facebook yet?"
And she said "No. To be frank I don't want to see them. It will make me cry"
Now that may be the truth but does she need to tell me!?
She wont' come to vist. She's made that clear....she COULD but won't. Doesn't like flying.
Work makes it hard for us to go but we're trying to arrange a trip next year. This isn't the first comment she's made..she's not demonstrative...has never told me she loved me or anything but I know she does and I accept her difficulties with expressing emotion.
It seems to come out so hard when she says things like that. It's not easy for me either! I do like it here though...but I'd feel much happier if I had her blessing but I know shed prefer us back in the UK even though we had shit jobs and a shit flat in a shit area.
AIBU to want her to act a bit tougher or something? For her to jolly ME along instead of the other way round? She's my Mother and I don't feel like she supports me.
You can't dictate her emotions or how she feels. She's obviously devastated that she doesn't have you in the UK anymore. The guilt you feel is on you, and is not her problem to deal with to be honest. BUT I think you do need to have a full and frank with her and explain the difficult decision you had to make and how it upsets you to see her so down. Hopefully this is just a period of adjustment for both of you and she gets used to the new normality. An honest discussion around how you both feel will hopefully enable that adjustment to happen much faster.
I think you want her to pretend all is ok and to support you with your feelings but she can't and that's human. You left her and took her grandchildren with you. Why should she "jolly you along"?
Can you honestly say that you wouldn't be gutted if your own children went across the globe and claimed to be so busy with work they couldn't travel to see you?
Sheldon I'd miss them of course! But I would never express that sadness in a way which made THEM sad! I'd be proud they had the nerve to be honest.
I totally get where you are coming from, been in your shoes for the last 3 years BUT with support from all parents which has been great. It is hard enough giving up everything and everyone you have ever known to start again without being given guilt trips. Tbh i would tell her straight you can not take any more negativity. Cut down contact to once a week, keep busy and try be upbeat when you speak to her. Moving to the other side of the world is bloody tough and I applaud anyone who has the guts to give it a shot.
Thank you Tatiana that means a lot.
Pud as I said in the OP, she won't. She hasn't a computer and now she's indicated she can't even LOOK at photos, how would she manage with skype?
She talks to my DC sometimes on the phone....
If you were my daughter, I wouldn't want to be doing or saying anything that would make you feel unhappy. She should care about your feelings as well as her own.
I think you've done the right thing and considering your mum works, you have other siblings and she has friends, she is being mean - if I had any siblings I'd have probably left years ago - my mum is very hard work and I'm the only one so my DP and I do everything - I don't have much of a life due to this and other factors and you need to think about yourself and your family first and foremost - you won't change her but you need to stop feeling guilty - she's no on her own and she should be happy for you
You want her to pretend how she feels so that you feel better?
Did she see much of your DCs when you were still in the UK? I get that she misses you all but she seems to be reacting quite over-dramatically to the situation-won't look at Facebook, make an effort to Skype etc, won't make any effort to come and visit you but is quite happy to guilt trip you several times a week. What is she hoping to achieve by this?
Thank you Mynestisfull
I feel for her so much but she does complain a lot. She always has told me her complaints about my siblings...well...two of them...the other does no wrong! She tells me things and then says "I haven't told the others..."
And I think "Why have you told me then!?"
I'm the youngest of four...why am I always the one she confides in and complains to?
One of my sisters is quite cold towards her....she had, she says a tricky childhood and my Mum was very young when she had her so it's possible that the Mum I knew as a kid...ten years later I was born...was completely different.
I had a more or less good upbringing...quite happy though with very, very little affection from my Mum. My Dad always gave me affection though.
I accepted this...still do...she wasn't able to BE affectionate but that didn't mean she didn't love me.
Maybe her confiding in me and telling me now how sad she is, is sort of her way of opening up?
I want to make her feel better. But short of returning, I don't know how.
Maybe I should write her letters or something.
Can you cut down the phone calls to once a week? To have this negativity four times a week must really get you down.
LoveWine she saw them on average once a week...sometimes about twice...not daily though and to be frank though it was obvious she loved them very much (She showed them more affection than I ever got) she was never a hands on Gran...never played with them or anything.
I did enjoy spending time with her though we never did stuff together much. She'd visit and say a quick hello to the DC...have a little chat..they loved her...and then the rest of the visit would be us having tea and the kids doing their own thing.
I'd have liked the sort of relationship where we went out for tea or for a meal or to have a day out.
You're not responsible for her happiness. It isn't your job to be her confidant.
Cherry it really does. My heart sinks when the landline goes I want to look forward to chatting to her...not dread it.
It's bad enough that my best friend never calls me and we were very close indeed. I think she was devastated I went really and has pulled away to help her cope. She told me she was gutted I was leaving as I was a big support for her.
I think you need to protect yourself. Draw back a bit, let the answerphone take some of her calls and try to focus on building new, balanced friendships where you are now.
I think that is very selfish of your friend tbh. She's lost her "big support" -so, what, are you no use to her anymore so she doesn't bother to contact you? You would think that people like her and your Mum could get over their own feelings for a second and think how much it means to someone who has moved to the other side of the world to maintain the close relationships they have built up in the UK. Your friend and DM sound a bit "me me me"! I'd be upset if my best friend moved to Australia but no way would I not maintain contact with her.
I really admire you for going for it and emigrating BTW. It's a big upheaval and it can't have been easy.
Love I know...it's awful really. I can't think what to do though...my best friend...I can't do much about her. But perhaps if I start sending Mum a weekly letter/postcard...then she'll feel that I'm at least trying and stop moaning a bit.
Cherry no...it was hard. V stressful for all of us. But it was the right thing to do at the time and a year later it still feels right.
Hi OP, as you'll guess from my name, I'm not UK-based any more either. DH and I love Norway and don't ever want to go back to the UK. It's definitely not the same as the other side of the world, but I know my mum finds it hard (probably Dad too, but he's less vocal). I'm an only child and her only hope of grandchildren.
I know she misses being able to see me frequently, and when I leave after visiting she will always be teary. However - she is VERY careful to always let me know that she's happy that we are happy, and constantly repeats "you cannot live your life for another person".
I think you need to have a real heart-to-heart with your Mum and explain that her comments hurt. Tell her that she can be very proud that she has raised a child independent and confident enough to make the leap across the world - most will always be too scared and stay in their comfort zones.
I'm sure deep down she wants you to be happy, and maybe you can tell her that her feelings are tainting your positivity. You will also need to explain that you know where she is coming from, but if she is so upset about not seeing your DC, she needs to get over her aversion to flying and come do it! You will also be visiting her as much as possible.
Finally, I think if I were you I would let her know that you already did your soul-searching before leaving, and negativity now isn't going to make you move back; in fact, it is just eating away at your relationship with her as you feel she's piling on the guilt.
Lots of people move, modern inventions like Skype and Internet comms are life-savers. Much like the flying, I think once she realises that you're not coming "home", she will just HAVE to get on board with the tech.
Sorry my answer is so long. Wishing you luck, OP.
I've also moved overseas. I'm sure my parents were sad for themselves when we made the decision, but there has never been any guilt trip. I hope, if my children move away to make a better life for themselves (and any grandchildren), that I would be mature enough to put my own feelings aside and be kind to them, even if it was tough for me to do so. Why? Because I want the best for them.
I am surprised at the replies you have received. To me, your Mum sounds selfish. Fine to tell you how much she misses you and your children. But no to guilt trips and the rest. She sounds sulky and as if she's not even trying to find a way to make the best of things.
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