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To blame the boyfriend’s mum

(37 Posts)
Gingerlilly Tue 05-Mar-19 19:00:45

My dd hardly ever comes home, she is nearly 18 but has lived out for near to a year. We had a strained relationship before when amongst other things she gave up school, refused to get a job or help at all around the house
When she was home all day and I was full time at work. We tried all the usual stuff, not funding her, blocking wifi etc so eventually she just went to live with her boyfriend and his family. The mum welcomed her and despite me asking her not to let her stay whenever she wanted as in ‘all the time’ until she eventually just stayed there. In sharp contast to our parenting she does everything for them, washing, cooking etc and they are not expected to help around the house much which of course in my daughter’s eyes makes us look mean but actually I am a firm beliver in children learning how to look after themselves. Their house is also large and lovely so basically she gets a 5 star hotel experience there with service which we cannot compete with, nor would want to. Am I being unreasonable to be cross that this other parent has facilitated all this and basically let me daughter stay against my wishes, I am sure parents are supposed to help each other out but I’m starting to feel more and more like this mother has rather made things worse for our family by letting her stay. Whenever I ask her she just says’I dont mind her staying she’s good company’ and she doesn’t mind cookng and cleaning for her either. It is driving me insane. I feel like my daughter has been stolen in a way and I just feel so sad about it. I sway from blaming myself, to blaming my daughter to blaming the boyfriend’s mother for being such a pushover and it’s just playing on my mind the whole time.

Tractortod Tue 05-Mar-19 19:04:32

She's 18. She's an adult.

The only thing you should be thinking about is how the relationship deteriorated long before her leaving and try to rectify it.

SlightAggrandising Tue 05-Mar-19 19:06:59

What's the boyfriend's dad up to?

GregoryPeckingDuck Tue 05-Mar-19 19:07:14

YABU. If she left you then she left you. I was in a similar situation at her age but with a friend. It wasn’t because I preferred her mother although her mother was very kind and wanted to help. It was because I couldn’t tollerate mine and wanted to escape contact with her.

Arowana Tue 05-Mar-19 19:08:15

I assume this boy's mum behaves the same way towards her son, not just your DD? If so, the problem is that this is just the way she parents. So expecting her to back up your parenting philosophy isn't so much unreasonable as just unrealistic.

Sorry OP. I know this must be really hard.

If I were you I would make a big effort to have positive interactions with her when you do see her. Could you suggest a shopping trip or meeting for lunch or coffee, just the two of you? Keep the lines of communication open. She may split up with the bf and want to come home.

Remember it's not that unusual for an 18yo to leave home.

ALargeGinPlease Tue 05-Mar-19 19:08:25

I guess as your dd is nearly 18, there's not much you can do about where she chooses to live. And, who could blame her for choosing a large, comfortable, house where she doesn't have to pull her weight?
I think all you can do now, is to build an adult relationship with your dd, meet up for coffee, go shopping together and accept that she has moved on.
By the way, i don't blame you for wanting your dd to pull their weight at home and get involved in the household tasks, but you cant make her do that now. Maybe when she's older, she will thank you for giving her the skills that she will eventually need, but for now, you have to accept where she is.

janetforpresident Tue 05-Mar-19 19:10:31

Yanbu to feel like this at all. I would feel the same. The other mother is foolish for doing all this but your daughter has most likely fed her a sob story.

Why do you think your relationship with her deteriorated so much? Rather than worrying about the practicalities of wjo does her washing etc. Could you spend some time workig on your relationship with dd?

AgentJohnson Tue 05-Mar-19 19:11:25

She’s an adult and her self entitled fecklessness isn’t the bf’s mum’s fault. Your DD is lazy and it isn’t a recent development.

PooleySpooley Tue 05-Mar-19 19:17:15

OP I really feel for you.

My DD moved in with her GF and her mum (there was no dad) just before she took her A’levels last year. She was 18 but I really felt that the mother should have discussed it with me before offering (as I was still financially supporting her). She failed her A’levels and gave up her plans of Uni

It was a really really heartbreaking time but I did my best to befriend the girlfriend even though I couldn’t stand her.

They have now split up and DD is happily single and shares a flat with DS.

Try to be supportive as possible and keep channels of communication open and it will probably run it’s course.

IdaBWells Tue 05-Mar-19 19:17:42

To start with I have 18 & 15 yr old girls and a 12 yr old son.

Finding someone to blame is really not constructive. The other mum however is not the one you should be directing your emotion toward. There are not many children who would pick another family to chose to be around instead of their own family purely because of the size of their house. It seems that for whatever reason your dd prefers the company of that family. I doubt it is as simple as someone else doing her washing. You seem resentful and jealous of the other woman for having a good relationship with your daughter.

From what you describe, your daughter struggled through her teenage years. I have never had a child refuse to go to school, get a job or help around the house. Obviously your daughter’s personality comes into play here but there must have been reasons that your relationship seems so volatile.

Now she is a adult she can live where she wants and if the other family are happy to host her it is up to them who does what in their household. You had many years of opportunity to build a relationship with your dd. Are there other reason that she would prefer not to come home? How has your relationship been over the years? Can you describe it? The good and the bad times? Also perhaps if you work long hours she was lonely. Is their family larger so more people are around? Does the mum work?

Gingerlilly Tue 05-Mar-19 19:17:43

“YABU. If she left you then she left you. I was in a similar situation at her age but with a friend. It wasn’t because I preferred her mother although her mother was very kind and wanted to help. It was because I couldn’t tollerate mine and wanted to escape contact with her.”

The only reason our relationship broke down is because we expected her not to laze around the house all day refusing to get a job or help whilst we both worked full time. I don’t think this an unreasonable request from a parent, this is the only reason we didn’t get on. There wasn’tany other reason and wewere not backing down on it as what kind of parent would just let their children run rings around them like that. I am not sure how that can turn into being unable to tolerate someone.

IdaBWells Tue 05-Mar-19 19:22:52

I think your expectations are completely reasonable and I can see how you struggled to enforce them because she was at home while you were at work!

Is she working or studying while living with this other family?

whiteroseredrose Tue 05-Mar-19 19:29:17

I suppose in your shoes I'd be trying to keep the lines of communication open rather than stick to my guns.

My teenagers can't see the point of cleaning as it needs doing again a couple of days later 😂. I was the same until I got my own house.

Is it worth losing your daughter over?

MrsTerryPratcett Tue 05-Mar-19 19:29:25

You raised her to 18 so no, it's not her BF's mum's fault for housing her after.

I would just relax. You've done your job for now and it either took or it didn't. Maybe she'll see the issue soon, maybe it will take a few years, or breaking up with him... either way, don't interfere now, it's counterproductive.

IdaBWells Tue 05-Mar-19 19:32:57

It’s out if your control so I would take the advice of others on here and focus on building a good relationship rather than berating her. Be grateful someone else was willing to take her on! She must have some positive qualities if the other family are happy to live with her 24/7. How long has she been there?

Gingerlilly Tue 05-Mar-19 19:36:45

I’ m a bit sad that some commenters think that there is something sinister about our relationship and saying that I had plenty of time to build one. The fact is we had a perfectly reasonable lovely dd until a change almost overnight in her teens when I suddenly had a sullen, unhelpful stranger. I read all the books, sought advice, we sat her down to talk it through tried everything but it was like she was taken over by someone else. Took her to the docs, sought counselling, tried leaving her alone nothing worked. I’m not sure why I came on here as some of tbe comments are a bit harsh.

PooleySpooley Tue 05-Mar-19 19:39:06


Ignore - you sound like a lovely mum.

Your DD will come back to you honestly.

It was really tricky for a while with my DD as we had always had a lovely relationship and we still do now.

MollysLips Tue 05-Mar-19 19:40:39

How is she spending her days? Does her boyfriend have a job or college or anything? Without work, education or even any chores to do, what is she doing with her time??

My mum and I had a strained relationship when I was 16-18 but we're really really close now (as in talking-every-day close, she's the first person I talk to about good or bad things, etc) so please don't think you've lost her forever.

If you could, I'd probably suggest you use this time to think about what went wrong between the two of you and take some personal steps to overcome your side of that, and not stew. You can't blame the other mum, tempting though that is. Nobody could "steal" someone who didn't want to be stolen. At least temporarily.

Drum2018 Tue 05-Mar-19 19:43:01

You need to let this go for now. Invite your dd over for dinner, out for coffee etc. Treat her like the adult she thinks she is. Do NOT fund her at all - don't give money to the other mother for her either. The other family surely can't be happy paying for her to live there so she'll have to work to pay her way. The more you try to get her home, give out about his mother, berate her for not going to school etc, the further away you will push her. You've tried it your way and it hasn't worked. So let her do things her way and see where it takes her. Again Do NOT fund her. If she thinks she's old enough to move out then she's old enough to fund herself.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Tue 05-Mar-19 19:46:11

@gingerlilly - MN is full of people with utterly dysfunctional and chaotic home lives - they assume that everyone else is just like them. They have no experience of suddenly fickle children because they've always been in conflict.

Don't pay any attention.

Gingerlilly Tue 05-Mar-19 19:46:51

Thanks guys. She is at college now but her attendance is bad and college have been in touch to let me know- she’s not 18 yet. This is why I’d prefer her at home so I could help her attend more often - the other Mum (who is very nice despite me feeling annoyed with her) obviously doesn’t encourage her to go as we would - why would she it’s not her daughter? so she is on the brink of being chucked off her course constantly

Yesicancancan Tue 05-Mar-19 19:48:09

It’s quite sad really that before 18 years old she moved out, it’s also sad that her relationship with the boyfriend is a major factor is where she lives.
Let her know you love her as she is, meet for a coffee and don’t mention the things that irk you. Ask her how she is, show her you are interested in her. Change takes time, but you know what, nothing changes, if nothing changes.

PooleySpooley Tue 05-Mar-19 19:50:08


DS was terrible at college and he did not achieve any qualifications.

When he dropped out I made him get a job and he works really hard now.

They do get it eventually - 17/18 is a horrible age IMO.

IdaBWells Tue 05-Mar-19 19:51:23

GingerLily she is still soooo young and has lots of growing up to do. It’s not unusual for teens to struggle with their parents. She is still transitioning to adulthood. There’s only so much we can do and that’s why posters are encouraging you to just focus on enjoying your dd.

To be fair OP your original post expressed a lot of frustration and anger at the other mother and that seemed somewhat misplaced.

None of us underestimate how hard it is to raise teens and how much you dearly love your dd. Who knows how long the current arrangement will work out for her? So many times I bite my tongue with comments from my DDs, but I know they are clueless at how hurtful some of their flippant comments can be because they are immature! I just stick to the mantra “this too shall pass”!

ScarletBitch Tue 05-Mar-19 19:52:12

I think your being fair, she is 18 lounging about taking the piss. She is now old enough to pay her own way through life. I guarantee she will land back on your doorstep when she gets in a fight with her bf. I would make it perfectly clear she either gets a job, or goes back to retrain as she can't go through life scrounging off others.

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