AIBU to be driven mad by this?(23 Posts)
Name changed as don't want other posts linked.
I love my parents dearly, they do a lot for us and I am extremely grateful but they are driving me insane!
Firstly if we are out shopping and she has come and I pick something up to buy Mum comments negatively, "ohhh you can probably get that cheaper at the pound shop, ohh £3 for X is a bit dear isn't it? No just me? Oh well ok hmm. (disapproving look)"
Now if I was always borrowing money from them then I would understand but I don't and in the rare emergency I have I have always paid it back and I do work.
For example on Sunday I was out with Mum and son and daughter. Son picked up one of those fruit infuser bottles to buy from HIS OWN money and she did the above to the point she made ds feel bad and put the bottle back. She does this with EVERYTHING we buy to the point we now hide purchases from her.
BUT they order absolutely tons of crap on ebay and buy expensive clothing and items for the house which cost more than my rent for a month which is fine because it is their money and they can do what they want with it.
I will be honest I have been in debt but this was run up by exh in joint names and I am paying it off which they know and I am also up to date with any bills in the years since I left exh and I do not spend regularly, once a month at most I actually go to the shops and I am talking cheap stuff that we NEED although the dc use their spending money which is not from me on anything they want.
Secondly they are insistent on complaining how much council tax I pay compared to them, I made the mistake of answering once when asked how much I paid although now I won't say but she is always complaining that she is retired and pays more than me and how unfair it is. The problem is she has a very good private pension and they own a four bed house which is entirely paid off mortgage wise so no rent to pay versus me as a single parent with two children in a tiny flat hence my council tax band is much lower. She doesn't seem to get that actually she is £500 a month better off than me to start with no rent to pay and security of a home she is not going to be possibly moved from with 8 weeks notice.
Stop going shopping with her. And stop discussing your finances with her. You are enabling her to do things that really annoy you.
YANBU. I can't believe the crap people spend their money on but I keep my mouth shut.
Why don't you start doing the same to them? Everytime they buy something say 'HOW much? I could have got that for a quid in the market!' Have some fun with it.
Let them complain to the council about the tax, see how far they get.
Yeah stop shopping with her
Is there a reason you just cant tell her to stop commenting on everything you buy?
For example on Sunday I was out with Mum and son and daughter. Son picked up one of those fruit infuser bottles to buy from HIS OWN money and she did the above to the point she made ds feel bad and put the bottle back. She does this with EVERYTHING we buy to the point we now hide purchases from her
Why didn't you just say "Mum stop it, its his money and he can buy what he likes, and its not expensive anyway. Its nothing to do with you". Why did you let her make your son feel bad?
Don't shop with her, and don't discuss money with her - ever. By answering her questions and talking to her about money you are feeding the flames.
Yeah - you've as much right to express your opinions as she has hers.
I don't intentionally go shopping with her, she often invites herself, has been known to just turn up if one of the kids has mentioned they are going shopping on social media or she has asked if they are coming at the weekend and they say no they are going out.
I would rather she did not come as she usually doesn't really want to be there long (I am talking nine minutes in Primark when ds was looking for some cheap trainers and she wanted to go home) Last year on one of the kids birthdays she made them feel guilty about wanting to go out with friends and not family and insisted she would take him out somewhere amazing and 'treat him' this involved 20 minutes in a sports shop and then making it obvious she wanted to go home and was tired to the point I said I would take her home and come back but then her telling ds I did not want to stay for something to eat in the cafe we had planned a birthday treat in and she had rang Dad at home and got him to order a takeaway from her favoured place instead.
As I said I have learned my lesson with not mentioning finances when she asks and don't!
x post I did and do say something Spartacus, I was not there initially as we were all just browsing and both kids are teens. Ds put his water bottle back. I noticed at the till it was not there and asked, ds said he did not want it and had changed his mind. I questioned ds he said he just wasn't bothered. I only found out when we got home about it and I did say something to her.
It makes no difference.
When she invites herself you need to say you'd rather go without her as you don't want her nitpicking about your purchases. If you can't do it for yourself, do it for your kids.
Just to add I did say something over the birthday incident too! The kids know she is elderly and not very well and will do anything for her as a result.
I did not know that she had guilted the kids into telling me that they wanted to spend the day with family rather than friends until after either.
Oh How annoying is that! We made the mistake of going to the supermarket once with exMIL, we both needed to go so all went together.
I picked up a red onion. ExMIL spent a good 7 mins pointing out that a white onion would be cheaper and taste the same. Ex and I both worked and had enough money to but a red onion if we fancied it. Argh!
So you have my sympathy. I would from now on just not mention shopping trips.
She's feeling old and useless, isn't she? She wants to continue to parent and take control now of your children to somehow prove her worth to herself, I imagine. There is no solution to this one. Unless you can find her unique usefulness to your children and steer her in that direction. I get the same thing with my family. My aunt (and mother) voted Brexit because she wants to do what's best for our children even though she admitted she won't be around to see it. I don't know how I contained myself from exploding considering my dh is French and we now consider getting dual nationalities a fundamental part of doing what is best for our child.
My Mum does the same with constant Aldi comparisons, we don't have an Aldi anywhere nearby so I couldn't give a shit how much a pack of Cupcakes are there!
Just stop shopping with her?
Mummyoflittledragon I think you are very wise. It sounds like she wants to be important to the gc and treat them. And she wants to be useful to her daughter and save her money and give her helpful advice. It is all not working - the gc want to be with their friends and the advice is just irritating her daughter. If she could step back and think about this she could maybe find a different role for herself. But I don't expect the OP can get her to do this - unless there is some great stuff that she does for the family that the OP can keep asking her about enthusiastically?
I was rather blunt and said that that was ds own money and he could spend what he wanted and that I was going to have to go back and get his bottle which would cost even more money for petrol and parking to get it. I was a bit pissed off tbh,
As I said above they bought an ornamental item for the house which cost more than my months rent recently and regularly spend more than I would spend on an item of clothing on meals or cake from the shops. Maybe I should start commenting on that!
She asked me about council tax again this morning on the phone, I refused to tell her saying I wasn't sure and got a rant about how it would be cheaper than hers and how ridiculous it was that it would be less than hers to pay when she was a retiree. I did point out that their two pensions brought a higher income weekly than my wage and that they were rent free and not living in a pokey hole flat but it made no difference.
Mummyoflittledragon I think you are probably right
If she starts the council tax rant again, point out that it's based on size of property and if she objects to that she should direct her rant at the council, not you.
If she turns up when you're going out shopping, tell her you are going to be some time and ask her whether she'll be OK to get herself home if she doesn't want to hang around.
Severe bluntness to the point of rudeness, coupled with an explanation that the nitpicking is driving you and the kids away from her may help.
Make kids birthday plans (or any other plans) are set in stone before mentioned to her.
Otherwise all you can do is avoid any discussion of money, ever. Or adopt the 'grey rock' technique and zone out with very bland answers.
My Mum does this and it drives me nuts. I moved 3000 miles away and stopped shopping with her EVER. It's improved our relationship no end
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