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My Mum told me I must feel I've failed as a mother.

(43 Posts)
overthetop2 Tue 06-Feb-18 20:37:23

I'm feeling guilty because I feel I dislike my Mum. She is spiteful.

On the phone the other day I made the mistake of talking about how my DD is unaffectionate and stand-offish with me. She also does not allow me to join in with games. I'm not worried, it's just her personality, and I think I was similar when I was young. My DS is not like this.

So my Mum responds "You must feel as if you've failed as a mother". Is this bad or am I over-reacting to be annoyed by this?

This is just the latest in a string of insults she has thrown at me - usually name-calling: I'm selfish, spoilt, greedy, etc. I know those accusations have no basis (my DH just laughs as I am none of those things).

She is the kind of person you can't show any weakness or insecurity to, because she will use that information to taunt you. I can't talk to her about good things that happen to my family, because she is not happy for us, and I can't discuss any difficulties we have either.

I just pretend that none of this bothers me - it's the easiest thing to do because.....1. she is trying to get a rise out of me, probably to start an argument, 2. she would turn it around and accuse me of being paranoid and imagining that she's insulting me ("there is something wrong with you") or 3. she would blatantly lie and pretend she said something else or make up something I supposedly said.

WingsofNylon Tue 06-Feb-18 20:45:26

I'm not that sure on the main comment you refer too. Was she not just reflecting back what you were saying? People often do that to validate each other. The 'you must' but seems a bit odd but I'd interpret her comment as someone saying 'you must be doubting yourself' when a friend tells them they didn't get a job post interview. They aren't saying that they should feel that way. Just guessing that they might.

The rest of your post paints a fully picture though. Is say she voiced her own fears there. She feels she failed you.

WingsofNylon Tue 06-Feb-18 20:48:34

I'm surprised that given how she is, you still confide in her about things that are causing you concern.It might be time to step back and keep things a no more surface level for your own peace of mind.

NotAnotherEmma Tue 06-Feb-18 20:48:43

You're Mom is a bitch or something that starts with a C. She may not be a narcissist but you'd be better off with no contact anyway.

NotAnotherEmma Tue 06-Feb-18 20:49:06


welcomehome Tue 06-Feb-18 20:50:00

Don't give her any more ammunition. Seriously, if you must have contact with her, talk about the weather, films, anything but personal stuff.

overthetop2 Tue 06-Feb-18 20:51:26

Wings - I try hard not to talk to her about negative things. But sometimes I forget. Also, I'm kinda running out of things that I CAN talk about!

It would be more upsetting for me to go no contact. I can't do that.

lurkingnotlurking Tue 06-Feb-18 20:52:24

I learnt years ago not to go to my dad for emotional support. I suggest you do the same with your mum.

lurkingnotlurking Tue 06-Feb-18 20:52:50

If you've got nothing else to talk about, end the conversation

meredintofpandiculation Tue 06-Feb-18 20:54:49

Yes, I'd interpret that as a sympathetic, trying to acknowledge how you feel, comment. Like someone tells you they've failed to do something they were aiming for, and you might say, amongst other things, "you must feel so disappointed"

EatTheChocolateTeapot Tue 06-Feb-18 20:55:54

My mum is similar, after a particularly bad discussion where she told me I had done nothing good in my whole life I realised that it comes from her, not from me. I don't have any answer apart like you said don't confy in her and perhaps go LC. You could look up "grey rock", it's a technique to avoid getting into problems. Best of luck.

overthetop2 Tue 06-Feb-18 20:59:48

Mered - I get the "you must be so disappointed" thing, but "failed as a mother" is a bit extreme. It's a hard choice of words if you are supposed to be reflecting back to empathise. I wasn't even describing it to her in a worried way - it was just a chit, chat comparison about differences between by kids.

overthetop2 Tue 06-Feb-18 21:00:14


lottiegarbanzo Tue 06-Feb-18 21:00:45

Didn't you immediately say 'oh, is that how you felt as a mum, with me?'

TwitterQueen1 Tue 06-Feb-18 21:01:39

I too think you may be over-reacting here. my DD is unaffectionate and stand-offish with me. ... I think I was similar when I was young. Your DM's comment about failing as a mother - to me - means this is exactly how she felt when you were young. She was trying to tell you something .... Maybe a bit of sympathy and empathy here?

rcat Tue 06-Feb-18 21:01:44

I really wouldn’t tell her anything about your kids in the future and would keep them away from her.She sounds spiteful and wants to undermine you,it’s not healthy for your children or you.

Treacletoots Tue 06-Feb-18 21:04:48

It's amazing isn't it. If a friend said this to you, it's likely they wouldn't be a friend for very long! Yet because these are family, we're supposed to just grin and bear their constant nasty behaviour.

Nope. You don't. She is being a c**" and doesn't care about you. Sorry to jump straight in at the deep end but this is clearly a toxic parent behaviour. I went NC over 9 years ago and haven't regretted it one bit.

Perhaps review whether or not you need this negative influence in your life and tell them in no uncertain terms that it is unacceptable and if it continues you'll deal with it as appropriate.

ginswinger Tue 06-Feb-18 21:05:21

My mum's a lot like this. She's also very depressed, has low self esteem and lacks confidence in almost every area of her life. I feel sorry for her but it doesn't excuse the awful things she's said to me over the past 20 years. It's sad because I keep my distance and never confide in her as does my brother. I fear she has a lonely life as she doesn't seem to really like anyone.

LastOneDancing Tue 06-Feb-18 21:05:36

I thought the same as TwitterQueen - from the outside it sounds more like how your similar behaviour made her feel.

Doesn't mean she's not difficult and you deserve to be treated better though Op flowers

meredintofpandiculation Tue 06-Feb-18 21:05:44

but "failed as a mother" is a bit extreme. Is it though? It was actually "feel you've failed as a mother" and don't we all feel that now and again, and need reassurance that we haven't? Maybe she's aware of your dislike of her, and feels that she's failed as a mum, and doesn't want you to have the same feelings. If she wanted to show her spiteful side there's lots of other things she could have said!

Skittlesandbeer Tue 06-Feb-18 21:07:52

I think it’s time to stop looking for support from someone who is patently unable or unwilling to give it to you.

You can choose to keep supporting her, I suppose, but you might find that one-way traffic a bit galling after a while.

Prioritise your mental health, and get your emotional support elsewhere.

Lurk around ‘’ and gain strength from knowing you are not alone with feeling this relationship is not giving you what you need.

Someone who ‘taunts’ you when you ask for help, is not someone who understands love.

overthetop2 Tue 06-Feb-18 21:11:44

Twitter - The thing is, she does not think I was like that as a child. When I described my DDs behaviour, she also said "You weren't like that, she must get it from [my MIL]". I know I was like that, however, because I remember being moaned at a lot for not being affectionate, wanting hugs, being stand-offish, etc. So I don't think she was trying to give me a message about how she feels about me.

Ginswinger - my mum has came off her anti-depressants a few years ago, and I've noticed this behaviour more. She is resentful about things that have happened in her life, what she did not achieve and the failure of her marriage with my Dad. She would not really admit this, although we all know it as her unhappiness is quite obvious.

welcomehome Tue 06-Feb-18 21:11:46

Write a list of acceptable topics and put it by the phone/somewhere handy for reference.

If you have been "trained" to spill all to her, time yourself on the phone! Set a limit and then get off the phone. Try to reduce the time spent talking to her each time.

Have a stock set of nondescript answers to intrusive questions ("We're fine", "We're all busy") Write them down and refer to them.

Have a stock set of phrases for getting off the phone - someone at the door, have to start cooking etc. Again, keep a handy list.

welcomehome Tue 06-Feb-18 21:12:43

I had a mother like this, can you tell?!

overthetop2 Tue 06-Feb-18 21:17:04

If this comment had been the only one she'd said, then I'd probably not have read into it. But, there is a back-story here, that I've alluded to. I know from experience that she will latch on to something that she can turn into an insult.

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