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To feel let down by my mum

(32 Posts)
jennyandfelix Sun 05-Feb-17 10:40:18

I'm a single mum and I work full time, Monday to Friday. My mum lives about 30 mins drive away but works on Saturdays, so I always 'hold' Sundays for her so that she can see her only grandchild. It's never been put in stone but it is understood that either she'll drive to us or we'll come out to hers (normally she comes here or we meet elsewhere as it's a 2 hour bus journey for me to get to her, so 4 hours travelling with a toddler, not fun).

With only Saturday and Sunday to do everything needed outside of work - spending some actual time with my son (not just breakfast, bus to nursery, collect from nursery, dinner time and bedtime), cleaning, food shopping, seeing friends, anything else that crops up... The weekends get pretty intense, although equally lonely.

When I called her this morning she asked me what the plans were today and I said that it might be nice to take DS swimming. He loves swimming and she has only seen him swim once when he was very little and hasn't been in with him. She said that she would only want to go swimming if it meant she could do her 40 lengths or so, and that she couldn't do that if she was going swimming with me and DS, so no.

I feel pretty hurt as IMO the point of her seeing DS on Sundays was to spend time with him and have a relationship with him. I thought that she would want to go swimming with him.

On the other side, perhaps she just doesn't want to go swimming. But it feels much more like she doesn't want to go because it would mean playing with DS rather than doing something for herself.

Bearing in mind that this is the same mother than told us one Christmas that the only reason anyone has children is so that you have someone to look after you when you're old...

I'm not sure if I'm overreacting because of PMS or if I'm justified to feel let down by her. AIBU? confused

Hassled Sun 05-Feb-17 10:43:26

No, YANBU - that's pretty crap of her. But once a week is way more than most grandparents see their grandchildren - she's doing her bit overall. How much of this is to do with your loneliness? Is there anything you could do to improve that for yourself - so that there's a Plan B if your mum has other plans?

KellyBoo800 Sun 05-Feb-17 10:45:33

Swimming can be expensive - she might have meant that if she was having to pay to go, she would rather pay when she could go by herself and get her laps in, and do something else with your son. I think I can kind of understand that, if she just hasn't phrased it properly. Could she not go beforehand to a pool near you, then you meet her about 30 minutes later once she's done her laps?

RainbowsAndUnicorn Sun 05-Feb-17 10:46:05

I think expecting her to give up every Sunday and not be able to make her own plans ever is very selfish. She's done her part raising children and should now be enjoying herself. Forcing contact won't make for a great relationship.

Wolfiefan Sun 05-Feb-17 10:49:26

I can't see how she has let you down. She feels the pool is for exercise. It's isn't exercise if she's watching DS.
I don't like swimming so I wouldn't want to go either!
Why do you have to see her every single weekend? Have a weekend off?

jennyandfelix Sun 05-Feb-17 10:52:31

Hi Hassled and Rainbows, I accept what you're both saying but I've never forced Sundays upon her, and I also can't make any plans for that day as I reserve it for her. Maybe I've done this in my head and she actually doesn't want to see us weekly. I always felt like it was the right thing to do for her. As it stands I had to cancel a coffee with my best friend this morning as my mum said she'd get here earlier than usual today.

Do you think I'd be better asking her to decide a week in advance if she'd like to see us?

debbs77 Sun 05-Feb-17 10:54:05

I agree with PP that said she could have perhaps gone earlier and met you there? But you are relying heavily on her. Which isn't fair

BaileysAddict Sun 05-Feb-17 11:06:16

I disagree with previous posters. My Mum sees my daughter 4/5 times a week. Sometimes just as a visit with me and sometimes to look after her to give me chance to clean etc as I'm disabled and cleaning is impossible with a 2yr old! My Mum misses her like mad when she doesn't see her! Sometimes she only sees us for an hour or even less sometimes. But she only lives round the corner. I get that some people's kids aren't close to their Grandparents. Everyone is different. However I don't think the OP is necessarily instigating this. It sounds like she is making herself & Son available for her Mum to see her Grandson out of consideration not 'need' as she is not asking her to babysit? Grandma may look forward to her Sundays with her Grandson?

I wouldn't take it to heart OP. Sometimes Mums say things tactlessly. Maybe in future just leave it up to her to suggest where you go & what you do? And instead of asking what time & where, maybe start saying "Do you want to see us again this Sunday? X

SorrelSoup Sun 05-Feb-17 11:07:56

Perhaps she just wanted a week off and do something for herself. You need to let her know that it's OK for her to do this. Everyone gets tired. You could have said that you'll watch your dc whilst she gets her laps in, then swap. Me and dh do this sometimes.

She's being a really good mum by recognising your situation and by being there to support you and obviously she loves ds but he is your responsibility; she's done her time. Kids are hard work. Don't take it personally. My mum helps me a lot too and obviously loves her gdc but I don't kid myself that they're half as interesting to her as she makes out!!

barinatxe Sun 05-Feb-17 11:09:23

It sounds like one-way traffic - you are expected to be there for her, whilst she doesn't expect to have to be there for you. In future, if you haven't made firm plans with her then don't assume that she wants to see you that day - and certainly don't cancel any alternative plans you may have had.

It's often the case in situations like this where relatives fall into a pattern of seeing each other on a particular day - people visiting their parents and parents-in-law on alternate Sundays for example. This is fine except when one side sees it as a much more firm commitment that the other.

Perhaps your mother thinks that you need time to socialise with other people, perhaps she's just being selfish (sounds like the latter). But try not to view this Sunday thing as a firm commitment, and don't feel guilty if another week you have plans which don't include her.

jennyandfelix Sun 05-Feb-17 11:27:07

I disagree with the posters who are saying that I'm relying on her - as I've said I hold Sundays for her, it's not the other way around. She has told me on a Sunday morning that she's made alternative plans and that's fine usually, but I do wish she would tell me earlier than that morning so that I could take it into account when planning my weekend.

I should also be clear - I'm not leaving her with DS to look after him, I'm there too. In fact, she has never looked after him. The swimming thing was in no way about me having a swim whilst she looked after DS. I completely accept that my child is not as interesting to her as he is to me, and I would have no problems with her doing some laps.

That said, thanks KellyBoo, I hadn't thought about the cost implications.

I think I'll take a step back and ask her if she wants to see us next weekend.

SorrelSoup Sun 05-Feb-17 11:34:57

I didn't realise she'd asked you to hold Sundays for her to see her grandson; I thought you'd decided to do that.

She hadn't made alternative arrangements today though? Sounds like she just didn't fancy going swimming. You wanted her to get in the water with your ds, but it probably didn't matter that much to her; don't take it personally.

Wolfiefan Sun 05-Feb-17 11:37:58

Why don't you ask? Make an arrangement to call earlier in the week or ask each Sunday about the next week. I love my kids to bits but would hate to be tied every single Sunday. Does she never go out or go away for the weekend?

DesignedForLife Sun 05-Feb-17 11:38:39

She might not be that interested in seeing him swim, I personally don't think it's a big deal. She's around a lot more than many grandparents are, obviously loves spending time with your son, don't let it get to you. Some people don't see swimming as a fun activity.

puglife15 Sun 05-Feb-17 11:42:07

I think you are a little bit U but perhaps understandably. She's rejecting swimming, not you or your son.

Everyone who works full time has to do all of those things you mention (cooking, cleaning, spending time with children etc) outside of work. Surely you can do a lot of those things in the evening?

Is your child's dad on the scene? Does your mother work Monday-Friday too?

Flisstizzy Sun 05-Feb-17 11:58:55

Is it not just the swimming that caused the issue? It does sound like she spends a lot of time with you aside from this.
I kind of get what your mum means, I think swimming with kids is a big faff, you end up cold & wet, but I do like going on my own for exercise.
I think you've got a bit hurt for not that big a reason here flowers

Bluntness100 Sun 05-Feb-17 12:03:06

If she doesn't want to go swimming I don't see why you feel offended or let down. She does her bit getting angry because she doesn't want to do your choice of activities is unreasonable.

girlelephant Sun 05-Feb-17 12:05:41

I think have a chat with her & unless you both agree don't "hold" the day for her. Perhaps agree instead to hold a Sunday morning only every fortnight. This means you still see each other regularly but you each have a "free" Sunday & the afternoon the other week to suit yourselves.

KateDaniels2 Sun 05-Feb-17 12:28:19

I am little confused. You say you hold sundays for her, but the ln upset she doesnt want to do what you want to do.

Thats not really holding sundays for her. Its hoping she always wants to come along and keep you company.

Honestly i would feel pretty resenful if someone implied i had to spend every sunday with them doing whatever kids activities they want to do.

Finola1step Sun 05-Feb-17 12:32:10

I would change the set up to every other Sunday. That way, Saturdays can be for all the practical stuff and two Sundays a month, you and your ds spend the day doing things just the two of you.

esiotrot2015 Sun 05-Feb-17 12:36:24

Hi op

It might be as simple as she didn't want to go swimming and didn't know how to say so it came out a bit wrong

It can be a bit cold and dull playing with a child in the pool

I wouldn't overthink it and ask what she'd like to do next sunday

Whocansay Sun 05-Feb-17 12:36:33

Are you saying that you expect her to use her only day off a week to come and help you with childcare? And she's letting you down? Really?!?!?

The poor woman must be shattered. You are expecting too much.

debbs77 Sun 05-Feb-17 12:39:56

I learnt a long time ago to never assume! Always follow up plans, call or text the night before. Etc etc

Musicaltheatremum Sun 05-Feb-17 12:42:09

OP hasn't said its her mum's only day off. She just said the her mum works Saturday's so the sunday is the only day they are both free.

I think I would cut down the frequency of the visits and give yourself a bit of space. My parents live 2.5 hours drive away and I see them more now as they are older (80 and 84) but still only every 6 weeks or so, sometimes longer.

Astoria7974 Sun 05-Feb-17 13:05:12

I appreciate that you're lonely but it's never going to improve if you keep holding sundays for her. You should use the weekend to get out and about with your child, make new friends, and make concrete plans.

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