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AIBU to not answer a call to my mother?

(22 Posts)
dalecooper Mon 04-Dec-17 11:11:39

Daughter's birthday weekend just gone, she was with me on Saturday and then went off with her father in the early evening and came home for supper yesterday. She saw her grandparents (my parents) in the day on Saturday for lunch. She had only been home for an hour and a bit when the phone rang on Sunday and it was my mother. We were having supper so I let it go to answerphone. We then had a busy evening finishing homework, having showers, catching up on what had happened and generally spending time together and so I did not call my mother back.
I have just had my father at the door saying that they can't get through on the phone (I unplugged the phone to put the hairdryer in and didn't reconnect it straight away). However, I am sitting at my desk and working with my mobile next to me. I work from home and am trying to get a lot of things completed before collecting my daughter and doing numerous other tasks. I told my father everything is fine but he seemed a bit annoyed that the home phone was unreachable and said my mother had tried my mobile (although there are no missed calls on it).
Then 15 minutes later I get a call on my mobile from my mother in a panicky voice saying 'why can't we get through to your land line? ' I told her I had unplugged it to put the hairdryer in and that she can always call my mobile but she kept saying that I was uncontactable and what if the school tried to call me and they couldn't get through. Although trying to explain to her I was contactable and the school only ever call me on my mobile, she said 'well there is not need to get ratty with me' and got very defensive and unpleasant and tried to say that I was being horrible to her. I am just trying to get some work done! She then went on to ask about some childcare issues (she looks after my daughter two days a week) and to say was she needed on certain days and I hadn't confirmed with her. I am pretty sure I have confirmed everything with her and that this was to make me feel as though I was being disrespectful and messing her about.
I know that when she called on the Sunday night she did not want to speak to me and only my daughter, which is fair enough as that is normally the case, but could she not imagine that we might be busy and doing things as she had only been home for an hour and a half? She is due to see my daughter tonight as she is sleeping over, so why the guilt and snappiness and why am I being spoken to like I am a child? I sometimes want to be with my daughter and spend time with her alone without interruptions, particularly when she has just returned from her fathers house.
The phone call ended really abruptly with me feeling like I had done something awful to her. I understand that she felt that she could not get through and might have been worried but I feel this was unnecessary and over the top. The worry is not directed at me, only at my daughter as my mother likes to see and speak to her a lot. They have a close relationship but sometimes I just want my mother to calm down and realise that we have things going on to. I work for myself and also two days in another job and am divorced so have a lot going on. AIBU to think my mother is being petty and over the top and that I should not have to grovel to get her back on side? Why are mothers like this?

Tinselistacky Mon 04-Dec-17 11:15:08

Unfortunately imo when gps do childcare they can't see the line between gps and dps and assume both, therefore the line is nearly always crossed it seems!

dalecooper Mon 04-Dec-17 11:35:52

So grandparents carrying out childcare feel that they are entitled to call whenever they like and be involved whenever they like. I have rarely said my mother cannot speak to her granddaughter (if ever) so maybe not being able to speak to her was a shock. I cannot say anything to my mother though without her becoming defensive and her turning it back on me. I am told I am ungrateful and rude.

Tinselistacky Mon 04-Dec-17 11:46:21

Many threads on here are similar, gps overruling dps rules etc. When you collect your dc make it clear that's her 'shift' over with and it s back to you for the parenting now!! Or suggest if she has difficulty with you taking over your own dc maybe nursery is the way forward.

dalecooper Mon 04-Dec-17 16:10:48

I have mentioned that before and that resulted in her saying I was spiteful. She seems to think I am saying it to punish her and cause her pain whereas I am only saying it because I just want an easy life. Easier life at least where I am not made to feel guilty all the time. Sometimes other childcare sounds like a wonderful idea were it not for the costs of course. I can't win with her, she is very disapproving. If my dd was not around then we would not see each other nearly as much. DD is the thing that keeps us in constant contact.

I have to drop my DD off a bit later and I am dreading seeing her. The response will be very cold I am sure. Just really don't know why she is always so critical and disapproving of everyone and everything, nothing is good enough.

Butterymuffin Mon 04-Dec-17 16:17:51

Just consider now how this will ramp up when your daughter is older. I would seriously start working out how to save money so you can afford paid childcare. Then if you want your DD to see your mum, she can but you're not depending on it. Makes a big difference.

Ragnarhairybretches Mon 04-Dec-17 16:46:41

No one does my childcare so I don't have that angle but I regularly don't answer the house phone. I see it as a thing for my convenience. School etc use my mobile and for important stuff my family know to. It did used to drive my mum bonkers though but she's used to it now, so leaves a brief hello message and I call back when its a good time.

GreatDuckCookery Mon 04-Dec-17 17:12:38

Why didn’t she just ring your mobile? All that fuss for nothing.

Tinselistacky Mon 04-Dec-17 17:24:22

Your dd is going to be taking it all in when she is slating you. As she gets older your dm is going to mould her into a mini gm if you don't act!!

dalecooper Mon 04-Dec-17 18:36:15

Just did the drop of to my Mum's as DD is having a sleepover there tonight - happens regularly. There was minimal conversation. In fact after I had lugged the bags in and got the car seat out of the car and into her house and said goodbye to DD she mumbled 'bye' and shut the door in my face. Excellent. She may have well said 'fuck off now please'.
It makes me feel so redundant and awful as though I am simply a conduit to my daughter. I would like to stop the regular sleepovers but my DD enjoys them and I would be hurting her by saying that they were not going to happen on a weekly basis anymore.
My mother is not the type to ever think she is in the wrong. She thinks she has always got the right opinion, with her family, her friends, everyone. She thinks that her taste is the right taste, her views are the right views and can be very sneery if you don't look the right way or if you enjoy certain things that she does not enjoy. She makes me bad about myself a lot of the time and probably does not even realise it and even if she did she would no doubt say that I was being overly dramatic and sensitive and making it all up. You can't win really. I just do not know how to distance myself from her when we live so close and my daughter has been going to her grandparents regularly for so long.
I need some distance from her. I don't like feeling like I am not my daughter's mother whenever my own mother is around.

TammySwansonTwo Mon 04-Dec-17 19:38:50

Christ, I'd put up with some serious rudeness if someone (anyone) would take my twins for sleepovers and provide childcare - they're almost 15 months and I haven't had so much as an afternoon off since they were born. It's good that your daughter has a good relationship with her - my nan looked after me while my mum worked, and she was generally a pain in the arse to my mum too, but I cherish the relationship I had with her. They're both dead now though.

I had serious issues with my mum when I was younger and realised eventually that we should never change and to let it go - it got a lot easier to deal with after that! Not saying it's easy of course, but at this age it's unlikely to change.

dalecooper Mon 04-Dec-17 20:58:24

Tammy you are right - it won't change. Actually I really put my mum on a pedestal for many many years and thought she was the bees knees. It has only been for the last 16-17 years or so that I have slowly realised why I feel so bad around her. She makes me feel like I am not up to scratch and a bit of a disappointment. I am going to try really hard to never do that to my daughter. It is always in my mind.
I feel for you regarding not having a night off - whatever I say about my Mum, she has definitely helped look after my DD and taken some of the pressure off so I can sleep and have a few hours to myself.

TammySwansonTwo Mon 04-Dec-17 21:34:29

I totally understand - had lots of similar issues with my own mum. A lot of my own insecurities stem directly from her and her treatment of me when I was younger. I think once you accept that she's just wrong, she's a flawed person and what she says isn't fact, it becomes easier to distance yourself from her criticism and see it for what it is. It definitely was that way for me.

IWannaSeeHowItEnds Mon 04-Dec-17 22:26:07

Thing is, when your dd is of an age to have her own opinions, which may not be the same as your mum's, is your mum going to make her feel inadequate like she does to you? This is what you have to consider when you allow your mum to have a lot of involvement. It's bad that she makes you feel like a conduit to your child and indicates that she is treating your child like a more malleable replacement for you.

A good grandparent encourages you as a parent and supports your relationship with your child as the primary one. They offer sleepovers etc to support you.

I don't think it would be a terrible thing yo reduce the sleepovers - you are already sharing your child with her dad, your time shouldn't be further reduced because your mum wants to share parenting too!

Time to be independent and sort childcare so that you don't need her help and therefore you reduce her power. Then your dd can have a more normalised relationship with her gps rather than a parental one.

Fishface77 Mon 04-Dec-17 22:53:04

Sort your childcare so you don't have to rely on your mum.
Let your DD have the occasional sleepover. It sounds like you mum thinks she's the parent for both of you.
and if your mum moans tell her the truth.

Lizzie48 Mon 04-Dec-17 23:17:06

Your mum sounds like mine in some ways. She acts like she's the parent of both my DDs and of me. What she does is interfere when I'm dealing with my DDs' behaviour. She refers to 'Granny's rules', which is really irritating me now.

It has made it more bearable now she isn't so involved in looking after them. She occasionally comes for meals at our house and on rare occasions babysits when DH and I go out for meals. I can cope with the low level contact we have now. Mind you, she is 78 now so physically isn't able to do as much.

I agree with PPs that you should aim to rely on your mum less for childcare. It will give her less of a rod to beat you with.

OhNoOhNo Mon 04-Dec-17 23:31:46

Could you afford a childminder for DD?

dalecooper Tue 05-Dec-17 07:52:41

It would be hard - I probably could manage it but it would not be easy to pay for childcare. I think reducing the sleepovers is the way to go now. If I do too much more it will probably break my mothers heart as she does love DD to pieces. Equally I do not want her to make me feel guilty for the sleepovers and make me grovel and say thank you kindly ma'am and doff my cap.
Yes, when I am around DD and mother I feel that she acts the parent for both of us, putting me down in front of DD and saying 'don't be silly' to me, if I protest. I have only put up with it for so long as Ex-husband and I divorced when DD was little and I needed some help that my parents provided (and i am very grateful to them). Without that extra help I might have gone off the rails completely, but I think my Mum uses that now to indicate what a useless woman i am. Sort of, 'you couldn't even keep your own husband tut tut'

Fishface77 Wed 06-Dec-17 14:04:01

Every time she does that - interferes in your parenting say erm thank you but I'm her mum.

HopingForSomeSnow Wed 06-Dec-17 15:09:43

This won't get any easier over time. If you sort it out now you may have chance at a semi-decent relationship with your DM in the future. If you don't, things will decline even further over time and become impossible.
I speak from experience. <sighs wearily>

OhNoOhNo Wed 06-Dec-17 17:44:48

Yes, I would reduce the sleepovers to once a month.

And yes, as Fishface77 says, tell her your dd's mum every single time she interferes.

Otherwise you risk dd learning this behaviour.

Madwoman5 Wed 06-Dec-17 22:05:25

I have spent 17 years teaching my rellies that working from home is not watching Jeremy Kyle all day whilst filing my nails and that sometimes when busy with work and home stuff, I cannot drop everything to answer the phone. Talk to her and explain that from her end, she cannot immediately speak to you which, understandably, can be frustrating but at your end you are juggling family demands with work demands and she must understand that you have to prioritise accordingly. If this makes a callback a little late then that is just the way it is.

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