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To be totally over mother's looooooong visits?

(159 Posts)
TheVanguardSix Wed 05-Apr-17 11:43:02

I come across as mean, I know. I know. She's 82 and a lovely person. But she comes to visit us from abroad and ends up living with us for 6-9 months, up to a year. She is a nice person, but it's incredibly hard work because she's an attention seeker, incredibly needy, comes from a huge, domineering family and can't be alone for a nanosecond.

We just have hit a wall. She left in late January after a 6 month visit and announced the other day that she'll be over in May. We have friends staying in late May. So she said, "Fine, I'll come the first week of June, after they leave." I said "OK".

I told my husband and with such weary exhaustion he said, "No. I need a huge breather from your mum. It's been too dramatic and I think we all need to give her a wide berth."

Any advice as to how to kindly reject my mum, who will react badly to "We want a few months off"? I can hear her now, "No room at the inn. No one has room at the inn for me." It's her mantra. Sigh.

I know she won't be around forever and she's my mother. Those guilt buttons are totally activated! Oh but any advice would be appreciated. How do you say, "Stop!" nicely?

oldestmumaintheworld Wed 05-Apr-17 11:48:03

What you say is 'Mum I really love you and its great to see you, BUT we need time to ourselves.' My husband is not happy about you visiting and staying for so long AND I agree with him, so I need to ask you not to come until next Christmas.'

This is never going to be an easy conversation and you have to be prepared for the emotional blackmail - the huffing, the puffing, the 'why are you being so horrible to be', but your husband deserves rest from your Mother and so do you.

I guess the real question is did you marry your Mum or your husband?

LadyPW Wed 05-Apr-17 11:51:55

A 6 month visit?! More than that?! shock
She's not visiting, she's living with you part-time!

TheVanguardSix Wed 05-Apr-17 11:56:50

You're right. Both of you. Thank you.

I can't help but wonder what my marriage would be like if my mum didn't start doing this the moment I moved in with my now husband (8 years). It's been dressed up as "Here to help with the kids". But all I ever wanted was a nice visit. "I need to come over and help you" is what she says but turns into me chasing my tail to manage her, 3 kids, the husband, the dog, and I end up resenting them but especially me the most. I feel so overwhelmed. I can't sleep at night. I feel so stressed about it.

MatildaTheCat Wed 05-Apr-17 11:57:09

Sorry, be completely firm on this and say no. Then add that you all find her very protracted visits difficult and in future can only commit to X number of weeks days. She clearly has no filter at all regarding how inconvenient it is to host her so needs telling.

She will huff and say she knows she's not wanted but stand fir,...she could live another twenty years!

RedSandYellowSand Wed 05-Apr-17 11:57:12

I'd get some friends booked in for July. So Mum can only stay for a month. And tell her now when her return flight needs to be booked for (non transferable).
Or she needs her own flat nearby.
Living with you for that amount of time isn't sustainable.

MumW Wed 05-Apr-17 12:02:28

We've got a lot on/going away/decorating in June,July, August, September,October. Best leave your visit until November when we'll have more time for you.

ijustwannadance Wed 05-Apr-17 12:04:10

She is totally taking the piss. 6 months to a year!! I'm actually surprised your DH hasn't moved out himself.

If she wants to be there for such a long time, why doesn't she just sell up and move nearer to you?

Reow Wed 05-Apr-17 12:07:57

Why can't she just come for 1 or 2 weeks? That alone would kill me, but 6 months is insane.

Would she be offended if you said 1 week? This is seriously well above and beyond the norm.

NonsensicalNonsense Wed 05-Apr-17 12:10:32

Omg that is absolute madness what a cheif pisstaker she is! You need to be firm. No decent mum in their right mind would go and live with their daughters family for more than half the year every year!!! Absolute madness. I am surprised your DH has lasted this long.

xStefx Wed 05-Apr-17 12:13:15

You need to be firm, you are being a bit of a coward here (sorry)
Why don't you say: " Great if you come in june - we have people here the beginning of july so a month would be nice. (then she knows she will only be able to stay for a month)

And keep doing something like that
Or you could just say its a bit long and could she only come for 4 weeks at a time

TheVanguardSix Wed 05-Apr-17 12:14:02

We've tried encouraging her to sell. But she won't. She has every excuse as to why she won't sell. So she has this house rotting away, never inhabited because when she's not here with me, she's with her sister for a month, my brother and his very ill wife (two months), my other brother's wife won't even talk to her when she stays (only a week at a time). She doesn't take the hint at all. I don't want to leave her alone and vulnerable in her property but she's got to just make a choice about how she lives instead of bouncing around. Her property is abroad and she refuses to sell it because of the property taxes, etc, etc. Also, she wants to leave it as an asset to us, her kids. It's not worth it! I don't want her asset. I want her to invest in a lifestyle that works for her NOW instead of just floating around, showing up when she's ready.Oh I feel so mean saying that but I just feel strung out. The thing is, she thinks we can't wait to see her and have her come on our summer hols. She thinks we all just love having her and that she's the highlight of our year. If I didn't have my book of Buddhist mantras on the back of the toilet, I don't know where my inner calm would come from! Joking aside, I fantasize about going away on a three week silent retreat just to get the stamina up to face the fallout that will come with the announcement that we want some family time. If she came for 2 months it would be great. But it will never ever be that way. If she were just a dream to be around, I wouldn't be here moaning. I do feel awful because when she goes, I am sure I'll beat myself up.

xStefx Wed 05-Apr-17 12:18:19

So cant you just say you have people staying in july so she will only be able to stay for 1 month?

Reow Wed 05-Apr-17 12:22:26

"Sorry DM, but we can only have you for 2 weeks this time around to to prior commitments. What date will you be arriving/leaving?"

averythinline Wed 05-Apr-17 12:24:52

Seriously just say no- she can only come for a week or 2 tops (thats plenty) there is no way I would want anyone to live with me for 6mths even if they were a dream to be around your dh must have the patience of a saint - did he know he was getting a 2 for 1 deal when he married you...
If hes happy to be blamed and you don't have the big girl pants to say' no that doesn't work for us' on repeat - just blame him......

TheVanguardSix Wed 05-Apr-17 12:27:45

I'm just going to have to face the fallout. It'll be huge. But you know, our relationship has been damaged over the years by her extensive stays. Her way of dealing with it will be to bad mouth my husband. She'll be fuming with me but she'll put me on a pedestal as a victim of this unreasonable man who controls everything. That's what's happened with my brother's wife who finally put her foot down. I haven't heard a decent word about her for years. Mum spends most of our phone conversations bad-mouthing her. Sad, I know. I just have to do this and brace for impact.

GloriaV Wed 05-Apr-17 12:28:13

You sound naive. Surely she can't kid herself everyone loves her if SIL doesn't speak to her when she's there. And, obviously, you would invite her to stay if she was a pleasure to be with. And that's not the case, she always invites herself.

Maybe you don't want to admit your DM is a pushy old woman. And that you, having been brought up by her, are probably lacking in some ways too. Instead you are desperate to be seen as a lovely caring person, and as long as you need to feel that way about yourself nothing will change.

She stayed with your ill SIL for 2 months. That says it all.

Pigface1 Wed 05-Apr-17 12:30:06

You are NOT being unreasonable, you do NOT come across as mean, and you should NOT feel guilty. Neither is your husband.

A six month visit?? I find a bank holiday weekend with my mum taxing.

goodpiemissedthechips Wed 05-Apr-17 12:32:24

She needs to choose where she wants to live. Abroad, with a visit for a week or so each year (ten days max!) or nearby where she can be in touch frequently.

She can't come to live with you whenever she feels like it for however long she wants to. End of.

TheVanguardSix Wed 05-Apr-17 12:33:38

I increasingly feel sorry for my husband. It has totally turned into this "When you marry her, you marry the family" scenario. I was a single mother and marrying him brought so much more to our world. I felt so safe and happy. I felt there was a future I didn't have to be so afraid of. I felt like I finally found a real partner and a friend... my life path lengthened and brightened. Our marriage has hit the rocks. And I can't help but notice that this time especially, since mum left, DH and I are kind of doing better than we have done in such a long time. We don't talk to each other when mum is here. He just stays in the background- becoming that cliche of a dad who goes out to the shed and makes trophies or model ships. I become a total single mother of three when mum is here. And it undoubtedly has stained our marriage. I was so glad to hear my husband say no to the idea of mum coming back. It made me see reason instead of thinking of mum's needs first.

floraeasy Wed 05-Apr-17 12:33:38

I know it's a bit of a cop-out, but she's so elderly and it's too late to change her, so..... about inventing some MAJOR renovations at your house, going on for months? If you won't have anything to show her next time she visits, make the stuff "invisible" - dry rot?

Take a year off.

Have a year on.

The next year, make something else up.

And so on....

oldestmumaintheworld Wed 05-Apr-17 12:34:29

You are not being mean, or a bad daughter. Please stop thinking you are.

You are an adult with a husband and children.
You are therefore allowed to live the life that YOU choose without interference from anyone.
Your Mum has made choices about what she does with her property and her life, and you have the right to do the same.
You can't live her life and she MUST NOT try to live yours. If she does, she is the one being mean and thoughtless. Thoughtless of the needs of you and your family and only thinking of herself.

I am a Mum with a grown up daughter and, yes I love to see her, but it must be on her terms, not just mine.
Your husband has clearly shown great forbearance and you have bent over backwards to be kind and welcoming to your Mum, but I think you've gone too far. It is time to put your family and yourself first. The way to do that is to say NO.

If she won't just come for a week or so, then you and your husband (together ) have to speak to her on the phone and say 'sorry, no we cannot have you then.' And as the MN mantra goes - and repeat.

redjoker Wed 05-Apr-17 12:36:16

from the sounds of it she will never take this well, so you are probably going to have to put your had hat on and go in. It sounds like you are at breaking point with it, and either way you cant win

Do it for you and your husband, your Mother im sure is a lovely person but 6 months is really pushing the limits and I think anyone would struggle. DO it in the best way you can and just take comfort in the fact that really you don't have a choice and it's for the mental health of your family

TheVanguardSix Wed 05-Apr-17 12:37:59

Gloria V... maybe I am naive. Or maybe I am just learning as I go. I have to say, I've changed, mum's changed and I see things I hadn't noticed before. When you're a kid growing up, it is what it is. You don't have a lot to compare to. And hey, she was a loving, nice mum growing up. She's not a monster. By default we want to be loving to our parents and to look after them when they're vulnerable. I feel guilty that I'm not quite up to the task and I find myself unprepared and surprised by my mum's expectations.

Pigface1 Wed 05-Apr-17 12:38:52

OP I think your most recent post give you your answer really. There may be some people who'll jump down my throats over this but I think, to be absolutely brutally honest, your marriage is more important than your mother.

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