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Is my mother BU? I have such a warped sense of what is normal mothering that I don’t know anymore...

(57 Posts)
BeakyFlapdoodle Wed 29-Nov-17 15:46:09

I am unexpectedly six weeks pregnant. I was on the pill (yes, honestly.) I have a three year old and a one year old. We’ve decided not to continue with the pregnancy for a variety of reasons (mainly, I’m not sure that I could cope) and I’m booked in for a termination on Friday. I’m wobbly, but ok.

This is not the issue.

The issue is my mother.
I needed someone to talk to at 5am when dh was asleep and so I told her. I needed someone to come and look after my children while I went for the initial appointment at the clinic and then again when I go for the termination later this week.
She lives a long way away and is currently staying with us.

I expressly asked her not to tell anyone about this.

A message has just flashed up on her phone from her latest boyfriend. (There’s been a long line including three husbands) They’ve been together for about a year and I’ve met him a few times. It said “how are you doing Florence Nightingale? Just to let you know that what you’re doing there is amazing and they’re so lucky to have you while they sort out this mess!” I then read through the previous messages and she’s texted him details of when we first went to the clinic this week, she’s told him when the procedure will be carried out, she’s complained to him that she’s here alone “holding the fort” (we left her alone with the children for three hours and the eldest was at pre school) she also texted him last night when the baby woke her up crying. Instead of helping me, she texted her boyfriend to have a moan.

I just feel really hurt and awkward that I’m going to have to see this man who I don’t really know and he’s going to know all about everything. She’s somehow made a bad situation worse.
But I need her to be here. I don’t have any other help.
Not sure what I’m asking here really. I just have no idea how a normal mother would behave in this situation and I guess I want to know whether I’m overreacting?

Badbadtromance Wed 29-Nov-17 15:48:17

Your mother is well out of orderflowers

The80sweregreat Wed 29-Nov-17 15:51:20

I didnt want to read your post and run, but just wanted to say that I think she is out of order doing this and you should tell her that you feel disappointed that she is discussing this difficult situation with her new boyfriend.
Its tough to say how most mums would react to your news and what your having to go through - my own mum wouldnt have supported me at all, but I would like to think i would be different and provide lots of support and childcare - and not say anything either. It can;t have been an easy decision.
I wish you luck for Friday.

whiskyowl Wed 29-Nov-17 15:56:52

Ok, well first of all, I think many people tell their partners things of this sort- to be honest she may not have had much choice in that she will have had to explain to him why she was needed away. They have been seeing each other for a while, so he isn't a random stranger. It is a breach of trust but I wouldn't take it too hard.

Secondly, you read a bunch of messages that you were never intended to see (it was a bit naughty reading her phone!!) and you are witnessing a different side of your mother. She is doing that thing of moaning and exaggerating her contribution to seem more impressive, but it doesn't sound like anything she has said is fundamentally untrue. It IS hurtful for you to see such things, but if she is otherwise supporting and helping you, I wouldn't give too much weight to it. Her actions in being there when you need her have to be placed in the balance with this, and the whole rounded and flawed picture seen. Just because she's not 100% perfect doesn't mean she isn't in your corner.

Finally, I'm sorry you are going through this. I hope you are doing ok.

BeakyFlapdoodle Wed 29-Nov-17 16:00:04

whiskyowl thank you. That’s so brilliantly put. I’m really grateful x

AssassinatedBeauty Wed 29-Nov-17 16:03:10

This is difficult. You shouldn't have read through her messages, but you couldn't help seeing the initial message that popped up. Your mum shouldn't have told her boyfriend about all the details of the procedure as that's clearly private information. The problem is that if you raise it with her you'll have to explain that you read her messages.

I think in the short term I would try and put it aside, rather than add to the stress by trying to talk to her about it. Then maybe consider not confiding in her in the future.

PilarTernera Wed 29-Nov-17 16:05:21

to be honest she may not have had much choice in that she will have had to explain to him why she was needed away.

I disagreee. She didn't have to tell him anything more than dd is going to the doctor and needs me to look after the gc. No need at all to give him op's private medical information.

Sorry you are going through this Beaky flowers You are not overracting.

PilarTernera Wed 29-Nov-17 16:06:16


thecatsthecats Wed 29-Nov-17 16:07:05

I hope you get through this ok, OP.

I don't condone how your mum has done this, or the detail of what has been said (to a newish boyfriend), but to be honest, unless it could really direly affect someone else, I tell my boyfriend absolutely everything. Especially when I'm supporting someone else and need to vent my frustrations. I do make absolutely clear to him about what is confidential though, and he would never break that. It's one of the most important things about my relationship - a safe space to talk about absolutely anything.

KimchiLaLa Wed 29-Nov-17 16:09:24

Your mother sounds like a terrible person for doing this.

Dustbunny1900 Wed 29-Nov-17 16:15:36

Well my mom would never support me getting an abortion (very religious) but if she had agreed to not tell anyone, she would have kept that promise.
I’d be hurt by the betrayal of trust. But I don’t think it’s a huge deal as family dramas go

Caroelle Wed 29-Nov-17 16:17:34

Beaky I’m sorry that you are in the situation, I had a condom and the morning-after pill fail on me so I’ve been where you are. I have always said that I didn’t regret my decision to terminate, I just regret that I needed to do it. I could never have shared this with my mother, but you obviously have a good relationship with yours. It sounds like she is the sort of person who needs a man In her life, and doesn’t have very good boundaries because of this. Obviously she is ‘bigging up’ how wonderful she is because she wants a man to praise her, it’s sad that she would do this at your expense. Having said that a year is quite a long time to be in a relationship, it’s not like she only met this bloke a few weeks ago. I know that it’s hard, but you need to try to ignore this and focus on yourself and your family. You are making the best decision for all of you, but it still doesn’t make it easy. Your mum is there to support you, she probably feels sad about the situation as well. Take care.

Gemini69 Wed 29-Nov-17 16:20:41

Fuck that... she entirely broke your confidence in a matter so bloody sensitive it could have caused untold issues.... kinda wipes out reading her bloody phone....

she is Bang out of Order and I'd be telling her exactly why she would not be confided in EVER AGAIN.....

it's a termination of a pregnancy FFS..... not taking a pair of shoes back to the store... how utterly insensitive can your Mother be hmm

Please take care of yourself over these next few days Lady..... and I hope all goes well Friday.... flowers

RebelRogue Wed 29-Nov-17 16:21:24

Why do you have no idea how a normal mother would react?

I'm only asking because, while hurtful , one incident like this would not have a massive impact on a loving, supportive and healthy mother daughter relationship.

If, however, it's just one of a long list of in indents where she had broken trust,put her needs/boyfriends first etc. then that puts a different spin to it.

Quartz2208 Wed 29-Nov-17 16:25:18

Whereas you do have a right to be upset remember that it is hard for her and she may need the support of someone she is close to to help and support her

shivermytimbers Wed 29-Nov-17 16:27:48

I was in a similar situation to your mum a couple of years ago when my daughter went through a termination. She asked me not to tell anyone and so I didn't. Not even my husband. And when excuses needed to be made to explain time away from home, I made them. What DD was going through was the most important priority and I was glad she felt able to lean on me.
I'm not surprised you feel betrayed.

BeakyFlapdoodle Wed 29-Nov-17 16:29:25

rebelrouge a looooooooooooooong list. She’s a textbook narcissist, but I can’t seem to break the cycle.

BeakyFlapdoodle Wed 29-Nov-17 16:32:07

shivermytimbers thank you. That’s what I wanted to hear, really. If one of my children was in my situation 20 years from now and asked me not to say anything, I wouldn’t dream of breaking their trust. But my mum does time and time again. I just need someone else to tell me it isn’t normal, because it’s all I’ve ever known.

Acrosstheuniverse123 Wed 29-Nov-17 16:34:21

Your mother sounds horrible. I am so sorry she is behaving like this. She sounds very selfish. I don't know what you can do other than not make her privy to information in future. I have a mother who I tell nothing to as she is cut from the same cloth as your mother. I am sorry you are going through this.

RebelRogue Wed 29-Nov-17 16:37:51

@BeakyFlapdoodle I suspected that might be the case.
This situation excluded, in order to break the cycle you need to accept that she will never change. You have no control over how she behaves. What you can control though is how much information you give her, how much involvement you allow her etc. Basically how much ammunition you give her.
I am in no way trying to blame you and I know how hard this can be.

StaplesCorner Wed 29-Nov-17 16:38:14

I just have no idea how a normal mother would behave in this situation - why not? Would you consider doing this to your own children when they're grown up? She sounds utterly selfish and self obsessed. I feel so sorry for you having to go through this and now your own mother has betrayed you.

it is hard for her and she may need the support - sorry Quartz you are obviously getting confused. Its it the OP facing a termination, not her mother. hmm

StaplesCorner Wed 29-Nov-17 16:39:16

Sorry OP - cross posted on the "normal mother" bit.

CoyoteCafe Wed 29-Nov-17 16:46:48

I'm very sorry you are going through this, and I hope your termination goes as smoothly as possible.

I'm sorry that your mother betrayed your confidence. I liked whisky's post about accepting that your mother isn't perfect.

ifonly4 Wed 29-Nov-17 16:49:17

I think you're all feeling a bit sensitive and quite rightly so, it's a hard time. I guess it's not been an easy decision for you to make. On the other hand, your Mum probably loves you and her two current grandchildren to bits (she might not always show it but she does) and perhaps just needs an outlet at the moment especially as it's probably on her mind there's one grandchild she won't have), you have your DP to talk to, is she meant to talk to no one. I don't mean to sound harsh as I know you're going through it.

When my DD was growing up, neither grandmother particularly helped out, I think the responsibility worried them even though they loved DD and have been proud of her achievements as she's got older. We had the odd bit of babysitting and my MIL and mother helped a little when I had pneumonia and wouldn't go into hospital - MIl took my to doctor in the first place and looked after DD in waiting room, my Mum came up I think twice and did food shopping - someone looking after DD would have been great, but they helped in their way. MIL has just lost her fight for life, she wasn't perfect but the last time I saw her all she did was say how lovely it was to see me and talk about all her grandchildren.

What I'm trying to say is I know you're upset, but try and let it go. x

AstridWhite Wed 29-Nov-17 16:54:47

Your mother sounds exactly like mine. Exactly. I also had a termination once, many years ago, I confided in her at a really difficult time and she blurted it out to my ex's mother while I was in the throes of leaving him. I still can't begin to understand why she thought it was helpful or relevant to tell her. It was such a betrayal. As a result I never trust anyone with secrets. My problems need to be mine and mine alone.

It's shit having a self absorbed mother who you cannot trust. Just shit. I love the way she's painting herself as the rescuing martyr as well. hmm I am sorry for you.

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