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To have had it with my mother?

(23 Posts)
JonesMalone Thu 12-Jan-17 13:51:11

Background: parents divorced when I was a kid. Lived full time with mum. Thought she was great but in hindsight she was anything but.

In recent years we haven't had a whole lot of contact. It dropped off and I stopped bothering because my calls and emails went ignored (I live in a different country now).
I had a baby a little over a year ago and although she seemed genuinely thrilled she seemed to be all talk. We were going to Skype all the time, she was going to do this or that but in reality she hasn't bothered with my DS. She didn't send him a present or card for his first birthday (just a Facebook post saying happy birthday!!) and nothing for Christmas. She did come to stay with me after the birth to help but she literally did nothing. I ended up waiting on her and she was a huge hindrance.
Again, I stopped bothering because I'd send her little updates and pics and I'd never get a reply. But when I put anything publicly on Facebook the amount she gushes is actually weird. 'This is the best. Nanny loves you. I love you all. I miss him SO much' sort of thing.
Out of the blue shell make contact. It'm usually left feeling guilty. She phoned me the other day when she'd know I'd be at work to tell me she was in the hospital (nothing serious). Because I was at work she said she'd call back later. She called later that evening and told me that she was pretty sure she was dying the day before. Wanted to talk to DS (17 months old with no idea who she is. He wasn't interested). She asked for a video so I sent her one. Then she says she was watching it all through the night and it really made her happy.
We went home last year to see family and we made plans to see her before we left which she just didn't turn up to. I then got a message saying she forgot she had to do something else.
She treats my db in a similar way. Rarely speaks to him. Plans to meet him and then just doesn't turn up with no real excuse.
She relies on everyone thinking she's a bit flaky but I think she's extremely selfish. I have other examples but don't want to write an essay lol.
I just don't know what to do. Voicing an opinion hasn't gone well in the past but it's actually really upsetting me. My DS is such a lovely little boy (totally biased obvs lol) that it really hurts that my own mother seems to just want to appear to be the perfect Facebook granny. Then obviously there's the sympathy she gets because she can't see him all the time and what not. And I feel like the worlds worst daughter. Eventually DS is going to realise he has a nanny who sometimes thinks he's wonderful and sometimes ignores him. sad
Sometimes I feel justified in my anger and then others I feel incredibly unreasonable.

I appreciate it if you got this far!

Shoxfordian Thu 12-Jan-17 13:54:05

Have you ever spoken to your Mum about how inconsistent she is? Do you think it could help?

I'd be inclined to limit contact and block pictures or otherwise delete from Facebook if her comments there bother you

pinkie1982 Thu 12-Jan-17 13:57:11

Delete her from FB. That's one problem sorted.
Just tell her again, if you think it's worth it. If not then don't but remember, she is the one missing out on your son, he knows no better and if she can't make the effort for him and you then don't waste your energy.

HystericalWoman Thu 12-Jan-17 13:57:27

I think you should just let her get on with it but I would stop contacting her, I would let her contact me and if that was never, so be it

Seriously what have you got to gain by bringing this up with her, she won't change now - and you seem hurt by all that has gone before

Lottapianos Thu 12-Jan-17 14:04:29

'Sometimes I feel justified in my anger and then others I feel incredibly unreasonable'

And guilty every time you have contact with your mother. Sounds a lot like you were raised to put her needs first at all times. Now that you're laying down some boundaries and starting to think more about what you need, and not just giving her what she wants all the time, its getting harder. You're questioning yourself and second guessing yourself, just as she has trained you to do.

I have a similar mother and I have tons of sympathy for you. Your anger sounds entirely justified to me. I find it helpful to think about what I would say to a friend of mine who was experiencing my situation. We're often a lot kinder with other people than with ourselves.

You feel that she just wants to be a 'Facebook granny' but doesn't actually want a serious relationship with either you or DS. You may very well be right. That's very sad and very hurtful for you. Remember that you don't owe your mother a relationship with your DS - its your job to keep him safe and out of harm's way, and that could include keeping away from a granny who sounds full of guilt trips and blame.

JonesMalone Thu 12-Jan-17 14:07:08

Wow, thanks for your quick replies.
Shoxfordian, I brought it up once after she offered to do something for me and DH and let us down in a big way. It lead to a massive row and then her accusing me of never contacting her. Petty as I am, I went through two years of Facebook messages and listed the dates that I contacted her that she read and never replied. I didn't hear from her for a while after that.
I've considered deleting her but I might as well go no contact. Because that's the only contact I have with her. I feel it might be a little dramatic. It would certainly cause a huge rift.
For the most part I don't contact her anymore. She still contacts me and although it upsets me I'd feel guilty if I didn't talk to her/ reply

Newbluetattoo Thu 12-Jan-17 14:10:05

I blocked my mum on FB for similar reasons. I still feel a bit conflicted about it in some ways, but overall it's been positive - it's lovely not to have to see her posts pretending that everything is great.

Shoxfordian Thu 12-Jan-17 14:11:58

Seems like it might be best to go no contact

Ask yourself what she's bringing to the party really

JonesMalone Thu 12-Jan-17 14:13:01

Thanks lottapianos. I think you're right about how I was raised. And I'm sorry that your mum was similar.
I sometimes find it difficult to judge whether or not I should feel angry because each instance seems insignificant but when they pile up it becomes overwhelming.

JonesMalone Thu 12-Jan-17 14:14:52

Newbluetattoo, do you have any contact with her otherwise?

KenzieBoosMummy Thu 12-Jan-17 14:20:01

Definitely definitely definitely delete her! And not co tact her any other way. She'll soon realise that once the opportunities to brag on fb have gone that she has no other way of being a 'Granny' than by actually being one...........

Lottapianos Thu 12-Jan-17 14:21:04

'Ask yourself what she's bringing to the party really'

Very good advice. 'But she's my mum' is not enough. Its reasonable to expect that a relationship brings you some good things - fun, support, comfort, shared interests. Relationships should not be full of martyrdom. No-one deserves to be kept around despite selfish behaviour 'just because'.

user1484226561 Thu 12-Jan-17 14:25:28

she is who she is, she isn't demanding or cruel, she is just unreliable. She raised you alone, and at the time you seem to have been very happy with her.

Just accept you have a flaky unreliable mother in your life, and enjoy the good bits, and let the other parts wash over you.

To be fair, it is you who moved to a different country!

I don't see anything here worth going totally non contact over, and I certainly wouldn't block her from facebook, if this is your main source of contact.

hellsbellsmelons Thu 12-Jan-17 14:28:45

Have looked into 'FOG'?
Fear Obligation Guilt

Chloe84 Thu 12-Jan-17 14:32:02

I would block her on FB. If not that, then when she next comments ''I miss YOU much' to a pic of your DS, you reply 'He'd miss you too if he ever saw you'.

Also don't make plans with her and therefore you stop giving her the opportunity to stand you.

If she wants to visit you, she stays in a hotel.

FlyingElbows Thu 12-Jan-17 14:32:23

Don't worry too much about ds. If his experience is anything like my kids then he just won't miss what he's never had. Yes it's very sad and it pains me daily that my children don't have the grandmother I had but they know no different. There is nothing missing because it was never there. Two of my kids don't remember my mother at all and think my paternal grandmother was my mother. I promise you it's not a great tragedy waiting to happen.

I ended contact with my mother after a lifetime of ea. The sudden realisation in adulthood that sharing dna is not a licence to be awful to someone or an obligation to accept it is quite freeing. It's not easy though.

JonesMalone Thu 12-Jan-17 14:33:08

Hi user1484...
Just to clear things up. She didn't raise us completely on her own. My dad was still around and we lived with my grandparents.
I thought she was a good mum but looking back I realise how often she very deliberately made us feel sorry for her in order to get out of some less than ideal parenting.
I truely believe she is a selfish person.
Having said that I think I agree that it's not enough to go no contact over.
Maybe I just deal with her selfishness?

JonesMalone Thu 12-Jan-17 14:38:52

I don't want to be mean to her either. Especially on fb where it would be public.
Flyingelbows, that makes me feel a lot better but I think the reality might be that he has occasional contact and doesn't understand why she doesn't make an effort.
To put it in to perspective, my dad and step mum Skype him weekly and he has an excellent relationship with them and even recognised them when we went to visit.

Newbluetattoo Thu 12-Jan-17 14:43:02

V low contact. I'm fortunate in that I live quite a distance from her. I was quite open about the fact that I was cutting contact and why. I think I wanted to give her the opportunity to see things from my perspective, and improve our relationship. She wasn't interested. We see eachother a couple of times a year, and can be cordial ( for short periods). It works in its way, but I've had a lot of therapy!

danTDM Thu 12-Jan-17 14:45:25

My mother was the same, worse if anything and I understannd. I am totally nc. lottapianos gives good advice.

flowers it's confusing though, going through it and accepting the situation, it is not of your doing though. Especially when other, normal people have such lovely parents/grandparents, they look as you hmm and I hate that!

dailymaillazyjournos Thu 12-Jan-17 14:48:50

It's easy to say go no contact but much harder to do when there's not been any heinous behaviour and just disappointing and flaky behaviour.

It sounds like you've lowered your expectations and know not to expect anything meaningful from her. Perhaps your minimal responses are the way to keep going for now. Would it air things by sending her a letter saying what you've said on this thread and how it makes you feel? Do you think seeing things from your point of you written down, it may possible make it more 'real' for her?

Bragging and pretending she has a great relationship on fb is shitty. And I would block her for that. Being a GP isn't about bragging to your friends, it's about the relationship you have with your GCs. I wouldn't let your DS be used in that way under the circumstances. I know you are in a different country to your Mum, but with skype and whatsapp etc, you can still keep in touch and be a part of someone's life.

Touchmybum Thu 12-Jan-17 14:55:18

I think in later life you might come to regret cutting off contact with her. Plenty of mothers are 'good enough', and it sounds like yours was in that category. Maybe you have to accept her 'limitations', and don't take them personally?

MIL didn't take a huge amount of interest in our children, and saw them infrequently. DH had a good relationship with her and I wasn't going to interfere with that. The kids just accepted this granny who they saw at Christmas and didn't really have a clue about them. They weren't particularly upset when she died either, why should they when they didn't really know her? However the door was never closed, she just didn't make the effort.

Personally I think you would be best making peace with your end of things; as someone above mentioned therapy, it might be worth talking it out. She is as she is; you aren't going to change her. What you can change is how you react to her.

JonesMalone Thu 12-Jan-17 20:14:45

Thanks everyone. You've given me a lot to think about. I'd never considered therapy before but maybe it's not a terrible idea.
I know I would regret cutting off contact. She can be not so nice at times but that doesn't mean I want to behave the same way.
Thanks everyone

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