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Why has she made a promise she cannot keep? I feel so let down.

(170 Posts)
ChildishGambino Wed 17-May-17 22:59:54

What do I do now?

DM has decided she isn't sure about looking after DD two days a week, despite offering consistently over the last 13 months. (I gave her the 'adult me' response and said it was fine but I've been upset most of today.

Adult me
Yes, worry about yourself and make sure you have enough time for you and to relax. It's not set in stone and never was. You're not responsible for my daughter, we are. It's fine. Your brother has just died and I will make sure you get to the funeral, fucking miles away, the day before I'm due to go on holiday. I understand you're not feeling great so I'll bring you over some lovely food and my baby for a hug.

Child me
Are you fucking joking? I work 2hrs away and was relying on your help. You moved to be near my sister 10+yrs ago and now I have moved here to be near my family you are not interested, despite taking up three days a week of my maternity leave, every week. I let you have those because you live alone and you are lonely. I had an EMCS 5 months ago and last week you asked me where the teabags are - so you've not been helping at all, have you? Nope, pop over for a free lunch and fill your days up. I'll always be there, bringing you food when you're ill. My sister has an amazing job and a cleaner and you still do her washing for her as she regularly runs out of clean underwear and her children's shoes don't fit unless you replace them.

Thanks for leaving me in a hole.

I'm calling the nursery tomorrow to see if I can have extra days but AIBU to feel fucking put out and like I've moved closer for nothing?!?

ChildishGambino Wed 17-May-17 23:07:00

Bump - I really need some help here

PartiallyStars Wed 17-May-17 23:07:33

Oh my goodness, almost the exact same thing happened to me. DM was always saying how nice it would be if we lived nearer, and how she would look after DS and he wouldn't have to go to nursery. We did move, and I asked a few times during the process if she was sure, that it was a very generous commitment etc. Then when we had moved and I said something like so, when shall we start, she completely denied she had ever said such a thing! She had me doubting myself she was so convincing, if it wasn't for DH agreeing with me I would have thought I had made it all up.

In the end she looked after DS for one day a week but it turned into a massive favour I was asking for rather than something she had actually offered to do, several times! I actually do love her very much, but she does have a tendency to offer things that she then doesn't do, which I forget every time.

Fruitcorner123 Wed 17-May-17 23:09:05

YANBU to be annoyed if she has promised something. I hope she has given you some notice. You were a bit silly to see her three days a week during maternity if you didn''t want to. Put your foot down on that next time.
BUT
Her brother has just died which is very sad event and surely you want to be at your uncles funeral anyway!? Plus hopefully you moved to be near family and not just for free childcare.

Hopefully the nursery will be able to help. Don't let this ruin your relationship with your mum but you need to discuss with her whether she can firmly commit to the day a week because letting you down once you are working is really going to ruin your relationship. Maybe your DC is harder work for her now that she/he is toddling and she has realised it's too much. She very possibly found it quite hard to discuss this with you so be grateful that she has. I don't know her age but my parents are only early sixties and find a day with my DCs very tiring. If your mum is in her own a full day is tough.

ChildishGambino Wed 17-May-17 23:12:40

Oh partially it is so frustrating. She's acting like I asked her to do me a huge favour when I haven't.

I was even looking to move closer to my brother and she made me look closer to her. The annoying thing is that she said she wasn't sure and when I pointed out that she'd hardly ever see DD if she went into nursery for 3 days (DH is having her one day and me the other) then she'd hardly ever see her she said she'd think about it.

I could move closer to my work and have a better work/life balance but at the moment I'm doing favours for everyone else and no one is helping us at all. I'm even moving into my sister's house for 4days while she goes to Glastonbury for the second yr in a row.

reetgood Wed 17-May-17 23:13:17

I think both of your responses are valid, but I also think that giving your mum the adult you was wise.

It's very annoying. When I found I was hurt by a friend who let me down, but was still good company, I ended up revising my expectations of her. It meant I just did not expect her to be there, but it was nice if she was. I wonder if something similar is possible with your mum. E.g. Now you know, she might say one thing and mean another. Downgrade expectations, stop bending over backwards and tell her she knows where the kettle is ;)

FATEdestiny Wed 17-May-17 23:14:05

You can't insist she offers you childcare, you know that. It is very unreasonable if you to think she should. Entitled even.

But she also shouldn't have promised. The "Adult Me" would tell my mother exactly that. Yes, it's ok to not offer childcare. But you should have said it sooner and it's unfair the way you have done this.

For what it's worth, my MIL did the same when I returned after maternity leave. Even worse was that I had no expectations, she asked me if she could have baby for 1 day a week.

I went back to work, she did 2 weeks. Then spend the next 8 weeks having various excuses why I needed to find altetnate childcare on her days. In the end I stopped it completely and put baby in nursery - which was what she wanted from the outset.

I was far more fucked off that she lacked the assertiveness to be upfront about it, than her actually not proving childcare.

fuzzywuzzy Wed 17-May-17 23:14:56

Gambino, why are you bending over backwards for everybody?

Stop putting yourself out and thinking of everyone else.

Do what's best for you and your family.

Move closer to your work. Stop dropping everything and doing stuff for your family if it is inconvenient.

Guaranteed they'll start appreciating you once you stop letting them walk all over you.

Somevampsarehot Wed 17-May-17 23:16:11

Op, you sound like a bit of a martyr (no judgement here, I'm one too!). If none of these people that you regularly help out ever at least offer their help in return, stop helping them!
You have the power to say no! Once you start you'll feel liberated, I tell you!

ChildishGambino Wed 17-May-17 23:17:05

Fruit - it's not that I didn't want to it's just that I thought it would help to build their relationship and that she'd then be able to help with my KIT days at work as she would know DD's routine. Plus; there was a feeling of us being in it together so I didn't mind but now I'm wondering what the point was - other than to fill up her days.

Yes, I want to be at the funeral but she was trying not to bother and to say she didn't need to go - oppressing her loss and grief as if she could just ignore it but I insisted and now she has agreed that she needs to go as part of her acceptance of her loss.

SaveMeBarry Wed 17-May-17 23:18:01

Oh Op it sounds like you're spreading yourself quite thin trying to please others. I'd take a little step back, not as any kind of tit for tat over the childcare issue but just because it sounds like you need to focus on yourself and your own family.

Your mum is being quite non-commital about childcare but do you think that have anything to do with her bereavement? I know that when my parents started to lose their siblings it really was a reminder of their own mortality and they sort of realised their own age. I just wonder might she be thinking she's too old/won't cope?

MaroonPencil Wed 17-May-17 23:19:26

I ageee with downgrading expectations, it is something I have had to do but it is very hard to remember. Another time I had "you are so exhausted, come and stay with us and you can have a whole nights sleep, we will just give you the baby to feed and then take him straight off you and you can go back to sleep again." Did that happen? Did it happen my arse.

Ratbagcatbag Wed 17-May-17 23:19:37

Agree with fuzzy, you moved closer on the promise of some help. It's not materialised so now plan what suits you, your dh and dd, which is taking the opportunity of a better work life balance and moving closer to work.

ChildishGambino Wed 17-May-17 23:19:39

I think I am a martyr but- I enjoy helping other people and would never break a promise. Ever.

Fuck, more of this goes on than I realised. But I have been kind and calm in my actual response to her. It just stings. A lot.

ChildishGambino Wed 17-May-17 23:23:20

Possibly SaveMe - and I do understand that. But she's absolutely shitting herself to help my sister and that's where I just cannot see straight. I am trying to get work to agree that I can WFH and so the days will be a lot shorter and there will be gaps.

Today she rushed off to be with my sister's children and do her washing and she has never lifted a finger here.

I suppose I just feel bad about what I thought life would be like here. It's not right. I've applied for a job nearer here so if hat comes off at least I can drop and pick up DD from nursery. I'll call them tomorrow and see if they have any extra days and, failing that, I'll move. DH doesn't mind either way.

ChildishGambino Wed 17-May-17 23:25:35

Should I take her non-commitance as a green light to get childcare covered? I cannot deal with i don't know yet

wickerlampshade Wed 17-May-17 23:25:48

Move away - it's all one way at the moment and doesn't sound like it will change

SaveMeBarry Wed 17-May-17 23:26:32

It's fine to enjoy helping people but when it seems to be one way traffic and that hurts your feelings maybe it's time to be a little less available?

To be honest if the nursery can take DD I'd book her in and leave it at that. You need reliable childcare and even if your mum settles in a day a week or whatever, it's possible that could change again. DH and I pay for full time after school care for our 2 DC even though in theory my mother takes them one afternoon a week. In reality that might be 3 weeks out of 5! Better to have the peace of mind.

ChildishGambino Wed 17-May-17 23:29:01

You're right SaveMe - I cannot go back to work with maybe's. It burns tho. I should add that she's 72 so it would seem this is too much but she still works a very demanding paid job 3 days a week. I just don't know why she offered and then retracted it.

AtrociousCircumstance Wed 17-May-17 23:29:07

This hurts now, but it it for the best. If she can't cope or be consistent then it's right she tells you now.

I had a similar thing with my mum and I had an anger reaction (privately); it was only months later she told me she'd been to the doctor for beta blockers (when still trying to be positive about the idea of helping us regularly) to help her cope with looking after two under twos once a week. Her anxiety was through the roof about it. Finally she snapped and said she couldn't manage it. I felt so let down, so hurt and abandoned, but once things had settled down I realised it was for the best and I was so glad I hadn't gone mad at her. She just wasn't up to it and at her time of life, she shouldn't feel she has to be.

If your mum can't do it, she can't. This is a modern phenomenon in terms of how widespread it is - grandparents having to childmind while we work. Because house prices/capitalism. Etc. If your mum doesn't feel able to do it, accept that and give yourself time to process it.

It'll be ok. Sort the nursery days or plug the gaps with a childminder.

No doubt there may be underlying issues about your own childhood fuelling your anger. There were for me.

I really get it and I felt so vulnerable, rejected and hurt when she said she couldn't help. But in time I saw what a bind she had been in and what a struggle it had been to speak her truth about it.

Also your mum's brother has just died - that's pretty big. Cut her some slack.

But yes rail to us here and to your DP and friends but keep your anger from her right now.

I do relate flowers You feel unsupported. But it's not about that, honestly.

ChildishGambino Wed 17-May-17 23:29:36

She's very fit and active.

ChildishGambino Wed 17-May-17 23:31:26

Atrocious - I am really trying and outwardly I'm being really reasonable and kind. She even said she was worried about telling me and thanked me for being so understanding.

But.......argh! (Yes, childhood issues).

AtrociousCircumstance Wed 17-May-17 23:32:07

I get it. I really do. Honestly it burns at the time, so strongly. Give yourself time.

ChildishGambino Wed 17-May-17 23:32:22

I haven't even properly explained it to DH, just said she's tired and we will have to cover it. Then phoned my best mate and had a HUGE rant. She's ace.

AtrociousCircumstance Wed 17-May-17 23:32:43

I'm really glad she's not doing it now! Frees up everyone to have less stressful relationships.

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