To cut all ties with the family(39 Posts)
So I am thinking of just not speaking to my mum, brother and sister in law again. I am so hurt by the current situation but I don’t want to over react. Maybe I’m just being silly. So I thought I would ask. I am a longtime mumsnet user.
Growing up I never got on with my mother. She used to say evil things to me and kicked me out at 17. She had a bad childhood and I think as she had post natal depression when I was born she just reflected all her anger, hate and bitterness onto me.
I have four children. Two of those children I had when I was in my early twenties. I stayed with my mum for a little while with my children (just a few weeks). She worked part time and I used to have to beg her to babysit. I was a single parent and she wouldn’t help when I was at work. So the children went to full time nursery. As they grew she would sometimes have one child but not the other. She dated lots of men during my children’s early years and if I ever asked her to babysit she would always have a date or be too busy with her latest boyfriend. In the end as I needed some down time I found a childminder that would have my children overnight once a month so I could go out with friends.
Now I have four children and she babysits once a year. We do have a better relationship. I see her quite often and myself or DH will have her over and cook for her. We always host Christmas for her also at our house, her choice.
Now my brother has recently had a baby with his GF and they do live a little closer to our mother. They have asked her to look after their child every week for a few days so that DSIL can go back to work and my mother has said yes. I know this as I asked her if she could babysit (with my sister) so I could take DH away for a night. She said no as she will probably have the baby.
I get that I have four and they have one and it’s not about the babysitting. It’s about the fact that once again there is something more important than my children. I was a single mother working full time and she wouldn’t help me. I was struggling. I had little money, no social life and worked long hours. I had escaped a violent relationship and really needed support.
It feels like a kick in the teeth that she is helping and supporting DSIL when she isn’t even her daughter. I’m her daughter and I felt unsupported and pushed out pretty much all my life. My brother also didn’t speak to me for years over a petty argument (the argument wasn’t even with me it was another family member). Now I feel like he has had his child and they all treat it as more important than my children.
Am I wrong to feel that I would just like to cut all ties with them and concentrate on my family. I am struggling at the minute with a non sleeper and I wonder if I’m over reacting. But I don’t think I’ll be able to just forget about it.
I can't write a long reply at the moment but I didn't want to pass you by. I nc'd my family about forty years ago, long before it was a 'thing', and I never really regretted it. They never understood me and we were not on the same page about almost anything. I have two children (grown ups now) and they've never even really asked about it, they've both accepted that I did it for good reasons - a lot of it that i didn't actually want my family's influence in their lives. So all I can say is, it can totally turn out to be the best thing. I think if your family are selfish and can't really see you as a person what have you actually got to lose? Sorry, i'll maybe try come back later to say more. Chin up! Put yourself and your children first.
Maybe speak to your mum in a calm way before you go NC. She has been selfish in the past but maybe she has mellowed and has good reason for babysitting your db's child.
Also try not to see it as her favoring your SIL. She is helping out her son.
The fact you are getting on better is a good thing but it is obvious you still resent her for the past. I don't blame you. She should have helped you more. I wonder if she was angry at the choices you made and that dictated her selfish behaviour.
I don’t really think she gave much thought to my life choices to be honest. She said I was mad when I announced every single pregnancy. Not once did I get a congratulations.
DM told me she didn’t want to watch their child but I knew she wouldn’t be able to say no to them. They did plenty of prep visiting loads all of a sudden and buying her gifts. So I knew it was coming. It just stings that she could so easily say no to me. She never even used to call to see how my children are.
I think I accepted how she treated me and I have moved on from it. It’s still there in the back of my mind but I don’t let it overshadow things. Now though I feel like once again my children are second best and that I won’t accept.
I can't help thinking that you sound rather entitled. You chose to have 4 kids, not her. She isn't obliged to babysit, just because you are her daughter. Maybe your brother is nicer to her than you are?
She may have 'chucked you out' at 17, but presumably took you back later when you had your kids? Yet you don't appear to be grateful in anyway for that. Why should she put her life on hold just because you made some bad life choices?
I would suggest you decide how important it is for your kids to know their GG, and be a bit nicer to her.
Jax Completely entitled to your opinion, after all that’s why I started the thread.
Just to clarify as I didn’t make it clearer up thread. I wasn’t kicked out because of anything I did wrong. I had been to a funeral on my DF side of the family and because they were divorced she didn’t like me spending any time with him. She asked him to have me live with him when I got home as she felt I had “taken the piss” and was out too late at the wake. My father isn’t a big drinker and it was still light out so I’m guessing no later than 5pm. The only bad life choice I made was staying a little too long in an abusive relationship. But I didn’t have anyone else. I was scared of being a single parent and all alone.
Maybe my brother is nicer but then he was never called names and told he was adopted or swapped at birth as a child. He also didn’t have one of her latest boyfriends at the hospital after the birth of his first child being introduced before my dad had chance. I think I do pretty well maintaining any kind of relationship so far and biting my tongue considering
Maybe I am a bit entitled though. I do get that four are hard work much harder than one. I don’t really ever ask her to have my children these days though. It’s not so much about that it’s that they were treated so differently, pushed out, exactly how I was as a child. That’s what stings.
I don't think you sound 'entitled' at all OP. You are just fed up with being treated badly, which is understandable.
Any chance you can get some counselling to talk things over with someone and help you decide what you want to do? GP might refer you.
It's obvious you haven't got over the past. The anger is still there also at your brother too. You have every right to feel anger and i think you could benefit from some counselling.
Aldo if she refused to babysit your db's child i'm sure you would say "she hasn't changed". So she can't really win can she?
have you ever confronted her about the past?
Mrsharrison that’s true actually. I don’t think she can win. I hadn’t looked at it that way before.
I have had some counselling before but yes maybe some now would help me get some clarity.
Thank you to all that posted. I’ve made an appointment with my GP. I’ve spent most of today in tears.
I am confused that if you found it hard with 2, why you had 2 more?
YANBU at all. It's extremely hurtful when GP's treat children differently. It doesn't sound you were expecting her to do things for you. It sounds like you just wanted a bit of help during a tough time. I can't imagine what it would be like without my mum's help (and no I don't expect it or rely on it but it is lovely to have).
I would be hurt too.
YANBU, I can see why you're hurt. I wouldn't give her the satisfaction of asking her to babysit even just once a year.
And she will have to rely on your brother and SIL when she needs help in her in her old age.
I am confused that if you found it hard with 2, why you had 2 more?
She explains in her OP that she had her first two children early in her life and those are the children she was hoping to get her mother to look after when she was a single mum. She's now married and had two more children with her DH.
She also explained that when she was originally living with her mother and asking for help, she'd just come out of an abusive relationship.
So - when she was in her early 20s, she escaped an abusive relationship and was working and could have done with some help with childcare but she managed without it, worked, kept her wee family going and now she's married to a nice bloke and now has four children. Does that clear it up?
OP don't mess your head up with the "she can't win" stuff. Your mother has never shown you much love. You interpret her current behaviour based on your knowledge of her past behaviour. That's why she "can't win", because it would take more than one or two instances of her being nice vs a lifetime of being not nice to convince you she'd changed.
I'd slowly fade out if I was you. You don't have to make it a big thing, but just make yourself less available. Life's short, spend your time with the people who actually care about you.
Outnumbered i think counselling is the way to go. It may turn out that NC will be the right thing for you.
It seems to me you're craving her love and acceptance which is normal when you've been rejected.
I hope you get some resolution.
Trueheart I was a single parent with my first two. I didn’t struggle with the children. I just needed a little support. Saving on childcare would have been great back then but it was never an option I was given. Even a hug every now and then would have been nice or a “your doing a good job” speech. I had two more as I found an amazing man to spend my life with who took on my children as his own but who also wanted to experience having a child of his own and I always wanted a large family. I know four are difficult to look after for one person. I struggle a little as my husband works away a lot. That’s just normal isn’t it? Parenting is hard no matter how many children you have. But it’s not about the babysitting itself. It’s about the fact once again I’m treated differently. I only have one child in childcare now and I know if I had asked my mother to look after that child a few days a week while I work she would never, ever have said yes.
Stargazer Thank you. That’s exactly it. Growing up I was treated differently. My wages when at home was never my own. Not a penny was taken from my siblings. My children then came second to her boyfriends and now they come second to my brothers child. I never used to get hugs off her my siblings did. We did used to have blazing rows and I was pretty nasty back but there’s only so many times you can hear that she must of picked up the wrong baby at the hospital or that I was adopted. I actually prayed I was adopted when I was younger and once I was old enough I actually did a search to see if I could find anything and made her give me my birth certificate. I was that convinced.
Op when you say you get on better with her now, how does she show that?
Minerva Thank you. Yes I won’t bother asking anything of her now. DH and I will just use a local babysitter should we ever get invited anywhere. We don’t really go out anyway. These days a take away and a film that finishes by 10pm is about all we can manage
Toomuch Thank you for your post. It’s nice to see some have understood what I’m trying to albeit clumsily, say. I think you are right. I believe for my own sanity I will just fade it out. We are all seeing each other at Christmas and I don’t think I want to spoil that for the children but I’m just going to let them get on and avoid conversations. There’s always plenty to do in the kitchen at Christmas and she never helps so I’ll hide in there. If she asks why I’m acting differently then I will broach the subject (briefly).
Mrsharrison Erm good question. She has nice conversations with my children and plays with them when we see her. She talks to me, mostly one sided but it’s better than nothing and gives me advice if I ask. She even gives me a hug goodbye these days. My DH is very tactile and his family are the kiss on the cheek and hug to greet you type (which I found so uncomfortable at first). So I think we started hugging from when she first met DH as that’s how he greets. Nothing about her presence now irritates me really. But I do just find it hard to let go, like you said. I watch her speaking to my older children and think why couldn’t you have been like that with me. I don’t see her very often and I have to call her she never calls me. I call to tell her about the children.
Sorry OP, I hope I did not offend you. I was genuinely curious and your answer makes perfect sense.
Trueheart not offended at all. I get that everyone is going to have questions and have differing opinions that’s why I posted. Believe me sometimes at 3am when I’m getting out of bed for often the fourth time in the night I do ask myself the question “why did I have so many children?”. My youngest is my most challenging child by far
Op may I ask how old you are?
When you had your first children in your early twenties, she may have not been mentally ready at the time to look after your kids if she'd already had pnd in the past. As they were your children, she may have resented looking after children that were not her choice to have. She may have been at a time in her life (given that you were young) where she was still young and so wanted freedom, just as you wanted a bit of freedom.
Now that she's much older and at a different time in her life she may be in s better position to look after a child. And it's not like she can refuse help to your brother because she was reluctant to give you help when you had children in your early twenties.
I get when your pissed off. But it was your choice to have children
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