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Aibu to expect my mum to travel to me..just sometimes?!?

(87 Posts)
Felicitychipmunkx Fri 18-Aug-17 19:40:47

I'm very close to my mum and always lived pretty local until last January when she decided to move to the coast with my stepfather.
I was happy for her as she was living in inner London and never really liked to noise or busyness although the move meant she left a long standing career and is now working long shifts as a carer, 5 days a week 8 hour shifts.
My children are 7,4 and 3 and every second weekend we make the 2 hour drive to the coast to visit her.
We can't really stay in her cottage for the day as its tiny so end up picking her and stap father up, going out for the day, which she often does pay for however I don't like her feeling obliged ( but equally I can't afford to fund this )
She doesn't drive and never offers to come to visit us even though I live directly opposite the train station so after a train journey she only has to cross a road.
I understand a 2 hour train journey isn't ideal but I don't think at age 60 it's unreasonable to do this journey every month or even every second?
I don't think she has a clue how hard it is to do that sort of drive with 3 kids and it was a massive deal when I went down to once a fortnight instead of once a week but we were all just exhausted from it.
I work 4 days a week so only have 1 day in the week to sort anything out and even then I have my 3 year old so weekends are precious.
I'm seriously considering upping and just moving near her as I don't think this is going to change.
The issue is we would be giving up a council home and going into private rented accommodation which terrifies me with children as I know how unstable it can be after doing it for many years.
I'm an only child so there's not really anyone to pass this by other than friends who all seem to live pretty local to their parents so it doesn't really matter who does the travel.
Thanks for any opinions as feeling quite down about this!

NapQueen Fri 18-Aug-17 19:44:13

Irrespective of whether she can or is willing to come to you, thats a big commitment every fortnight doing the trip there. Cut it back to once a month, and face time with the kids in between.

SantanicoPandemonium Fri 18-Aug-17 19:44:17

She made the choice to move, so don't for one second feel like you should give up your life and security in London! If she's able to do a physically demanding job like being a carer, then she's more then capable of sitting on a train for a couple of hours.

She's being selfish expecting you to do all the running around and if she tries to guilt you into visiting more, that's completely out of order.

ShesNoNormanPace Fri 18-Aug-17 19:44:59

Oh sod that. You need to wean yourself off this, soon enough your kids will have parties and homework and you'll not be able to do it. I understand she's tired after working but so are you - and it's always easier for those without kids to travel.

Pizzaexpressreview Fri 18-Aug-17 19:47:12

My father lived 2 hours away from us (we were edge of london) and he thought 3 x a year was enough to visit. It seemed a very big deal to him.

Pizzaexpressreview Fri 18-Aug-17 19:47:39

We didn't drive back every month!! (we couldn't afford to and also activities etc...)

WingsofNylon Fri 18-Aug-17 19:51:37

I thought you were going to say she is 75! Have you actually asked her to come to yours instead? What does she say?

Mrscropley Fri 18-Aug-17 19:55:53

You need to take back control of your own life instead of letting your dm dictate to you - (either directly or via emotional blackmail)
Before you have no time to enjoy your dc yourself. .

rainbowpie Fri 18-Aug-17 20:05:40

No chance would I be doing a 4hr round trip in a day with young children. Our summer holiday this year was a 2hr drive from our house. I'd be telling her it isn't pleasant for the DC and is stressful for you. FWIW I see my DM twice a year. She is 4 hours away. We go to her once a year and she comes to us once a year.

PNGirl Fri 18-Aug-17 20:08:19

My parents are a 4hr drive away and we see them about 4 times a year. She's married so it's not like she's alone for the fortnight inbetween - stop going EOW!

Felicitychipmunkx Fri 18-Aug-17 20:11:19

We do already have parties, not much homework yet luckily but expect this will step up for eldest in September.
She's actually asked me why I can't cancel them going to parties if it clashes with the weekend I'm due to see her.
She maintains family should always come first.
My grandmother is a strain on her as lives another hour on from where she is now so my mum has to travel that via train once a fortnight so it does actually only leave a few days where she can do nothing and I completely understand that and have often said lets do it once a month, but then she gets upsets, offers to pay for petrol for us to come and I feel awful so end up going.
Neither of us are financially well off so I feel bad taking the money but equally I can't afford the petrol and activities every time we go.
My stepfather has 2 children still in London and they have never visited since they moved! He's gone to them a handful of times in the past 18 months on kids birthdays and so on but they have a different relationship
The issue here is I love my mum, she adores the kids and she brought me up on her own for the first 10 years of my life and I guess I feel I owe her.
She was living in a dive so the move was the right thing for her and I hoped she would get some happiness and peace there but I think she always thought we would follow and I would in a heartbeat but my husband says no way, we can't give up stability for a life of private rentals and however many changes of schools for the kids to follow my mum.

cheesypastatonight Fri 18-Aug-17 20:13:19

Most people don't see their mother that often! You need to have a life! Just visit every couple of months if you want to. Your family is your immediate family, your dc. They need to spend time with you . If it's so important to your mother, then she can visit you!!!

PNGirl Fri 18-Aug-17 20:15:19

Well, he is right. You have 2 choices to change things: you make it about the effort and not the petrol money so ask her to travel to you every month, or you cut it down and have to bear some guilt.

Dina1234 Fri 18-Aug-17 20:16:31

My father flys for upwards of 24 hours to see me and my children and always arrives with a huge smile on his face god bless him. You are not being unreasonable.

Love51 Fri 18-Aug-17 20:19:03

You are making it to easy for her. She's getting everything her own way and doesn't believe it is more of a pain to drive with kids than use the train as an adult.
Also, hasn't the 7 year old just developed a burning desire to do a weekend extra curricular?
Aim to see her every 3- 4 weeks, taking it in turns to travel. Sometimes go solo.
Family comes first - yes mother, what time shall I collect you from the station?

TestingTestingWonTooFree Fri 18-Aug-17 20:22:02

In laws are 2 hours away. Children are 3 and 6m. We drive, mil won't (other than locally). She could stay here but won't. We can't stay with her, not enough room. We probably go there 2-3 times a year and she comes to us on the train maybe 4 times. It used to be us doing nearly all the visiting but I won't with children.

I'd cut down the frequency of the visits and/or suggest meeting half way for lunch. If she complains you can point out this is the downside of her having moved away.

TestingTestingWonTooFree Fri 18-Aug-17 20:24:26

Your children are allowed to have time at home, playing with local friends. Do they want to travel so much? As I child I visited grandparents an hour away most Saturdays and didn't really like it.

Felicitychipmunkx Fri 18-Aug-17 20:32:14

The kids do swimming Sunday's and generally not many meet up with friends over weekends aside from parties.
Maybe as their families are local so they tend to have Sunday dinner and stuff.
I'm sure this will change soon as the kids get older.
Halfway I would happily do and when I suggest this she says " well that's no different to me travelling all the way "
It is, as she doesn't even have to change trains it's just one 51 minute journey!
I think she thinks as she lives by the beach the kids love it but that's only true on nice hot days and even then it's an expensive day with ice creams and dinner out which she doesn't seem to realise.

junebirthdaygirl Fri 18-Aug-17 20:36:43

Would she meet you half way on train. Ye are going out of her house anyway so find a playworld/ park somewhere on that railway line.
My inlaws lived 3 hours from us. We travelled about 4 times a year and stayed over night. They came to us once a month on the train until they were in their 80s.
You cant keep this up.
Her having her dm is tough but even an odd time would help.

DarthMaiden Fri 18-Aug-17 20:39:27

Personally I think you need to loosen (rather than cut) the apron strings.

She made the decision to move, knowing the circumstances with her mother and yourself. Further, she moved to a property where you and the kids can't be accommodated.

Every other weekend is excessive imho and will only become more so as your kids get older.

They too have a right to have weekend time with friends etc and shouldn't have to decline parties etc due to an overly rigid visiting schedule that involves 4 hours in a car.

Family is important yes, but part of that being s being sympathetic to everyone's circumstances and your mother frankly is failing to see that.

You both risk these visits becoming a chore to your children, rather than the delight and treat they should be.

I think once a month is more than enough (once every 8 weeks is roughly our schedule to see PIL's a similar distance away and they alternate with us on the visits).

Personally I'd just start saying that you aren't available due to xyz and will see her in 3/4 weeks as infinitum....no drama, just state you/kids have plans and as family comes first you are doing just that to ensure a balance for every family member and not just your mum.

Cantstopeatingchocolate Fri 18-Aug-17 21:48:22

My mum used to me and my brother to Glasgow to see my gran every fortnight (about a 2 hour drive).........over 40 years ago. I think she felt guilty that she had moved so far away and my gran didn't drive so she kind of had to.
I also think she's a bit pissed that I don't do the same, but due to our job roles/shifts there is no way. And now DS is almost 8 we have activities and parties and sports.

It's a different world now and we phone and Skype regularly and she understands all this so it hasn't affected our relationship.
They come to us much more than we go to them and that will have to change though, as they are getting older and I worry about them driving to us (1.5 hours).
It's difficult to manage but you definitely have to set some expectations for the future. Maybe she'll try to come to you more often if you cut back.

SunRainSun Sat 19-Aug-17 02:55:59

Cost in money and time every fortnight is big. I would decrease to once a month and extend in the future if you need to

ThumbWitchesAbroad Sat 19-Aug-17 03:34:40

YABU to expect it since she's clearly shown that she's not up for it.
But YWNBU to have hoped that she'd be a bit fairer about it!

However, since she's decided that it's for you to make all the effort, then I would also decide to cut back to once a month. It's not just the time, it's a considerable financial outlay to do a 4h round trip in the car every fortnight, and it's hard on the children to have to spend all that time in the car when they have other things they could be doing. Plus you and your family should be allowed to have a rest at the weekends!

Cut it back - once a month only and if she doesn't like it then she really does have the power in her hands to see them more often by coming up to see you. Up to her whether or not she chooses to use it.

TheMaddHugger Sat 19-Aug-17 07:10:15

Did she visit her own mother as often ? you mention her train travelling to her own mum, but what did she do before she went to live by the beach ?

If you don't cut some of this travelling back you risk burn out, then where will you be ?

Your first allegiance is to your Husband and children. That is marriage.
Full Stop.

Your mother moved and is now being unreasonable. Stretch out the visits to every 3 weeks. It's farer on you and your children.

I am sure your Husband would Also like to see his own children ???

((((((((((Hugs)))))))))))) flowers 🌸🌺💜🌺🌸

acapellagirl Sat 19-Aug-17 07:16:19

YANBU. As a child my mum made us do a fortnightly weekend stay st my grandparents house and looking back it was much too much

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