To just not give a fuck about my Mum’s hurt feelings?(88 Posts)
I’ve posted before about my tricky relationship with my DM... she can be ridiculously insensitive and thoughtless, but recently I can’t help feeling that she’s really taking the piss.
I’m currently 34 weeks pregnant and at the end of August DH and I were forced to pull out of a property purchase and move in with his parents (whole woe-is-me thread about that sorry episode here, if anyone’s interested).
When I told my Mother that we’d lost the flat we’d been planning to start our family in, she actually cheered. As in literally went “hooraaaaaaay!!” down the phone. Because she didn’t like the place we were buying. I told her that we were still selling our flat and were going to move in with my PILs and she asked why we weren’t going to move in with her. It just made a lot more sense for us to come to PILs- they have a lot more space and lived a mile and a half away from us, so we were able to put most of our stuff in storage round the corner and DHs commute is only about 20 minutes longer and costs the same. My Mum lives in a tiny 2 bed flat 35 miles away and DHs commute would have been more than twice as long and about 3 times as expensive. I explained all this to her and she just said “Oh... I’m always missing out aren’t I?” I wasn’t even surprised that that was her response, in fact I’d put off having the conversation with her for several days because I knew that she would say something like that.
It’s come up several times since... her saying how hard it is for her knowing someone else is looking after her pregnant daughter, asking if we’d ever really considered going to hers, etc etc...
So we come to Sunday. I’ve been doing a fair bit of baby shopping recently and was telling her about the stuff we’ve got, the stuff we still need to get and so on, and mentioned that we're planning on getting two nappy bins, one for downstairs and one for our bedroom, and that I’m giving serious thought to getting a mini fridge so we can keep expressed milk in our bedroom as well. She asked why, and said a bit of lazyitis is costing a lot of money... I said it was less about lazyitis and more about not wanting to go tramping down two flights of stairs and disturbing PILs every time we need to throw out nappies or retrieve expressed milk in the middle of the night. Her response was “Oh... I didn’t think you were planning to still be there and catering for it.” I replied that obviously we are hoping to be out by the time baby gets here (have had an offer accepted on another property) but it’s 99% likely we’ll still be here.
Spoke to her yesterday on the phone, and she was talking about how her depression has been so much worse after what I told her on Sunday... that she’s missing out again, how MIL will be so involved with the baby while she’s so far away, how hard it is going to be for her to get to us when we move, how she’d been hoping to be at the hospital within an hour of the baby being born (even though I’ve already told her I won’t want visitors so soon- that was the topic of another thread) and she thinks she’ll struggle with the journey so PILs will probably see the baby before her (we’re still planning on delivering in the town we’re moving to which is about an hour away), and so on and so on. Today she sent me a message telling me she’d met up with two of her friends “and they completely understood why I was upset. It’s just that you’re my baby and I want to look after you when you have your baby. My sister has said she’ll pay for a taxi for me to visit you so I can stop worrying”.
I haven’t answered. I feel bad for thinking it, but I just don’t have the capacity to give a shit about how hard this is for her right now. I’m having enough trouble keeping my own mental health in check (I’ve also struggled a lot with depression in the past). What’s upsetting me is stuff like how I’ll be getting to grips with breastfeeding and dealing with the physical aftermath of childbirth whilst living in my PILs house... how it’s making me feel that DH and I are sleeping in what was formerly BILs bedroom with pictures of him all over the walls and his stuff everywhere (I’ve no problem with BIL at all, it just reinforces the fact that this is not our home) in bedsheets that don’t belong to us and my laundry smells all wrong because it’s washed in detergent I don’t usually use... how I’m washing all my baby’s clothes because I want them to smell like me, but my own clothes don’t even smell like me anymore.^^ How upset I got when our pram arrived today and I was so excited for DH to get home so we could put it together and give it a push round the kitchen... he asked if it could wait til after dinner, in the meantime MIL gets home and says we should just open the box, check all the bits are there and then put the box in the garage, so it’s now sitting under a dust sheet in the garage. How I’m not getting to choose my baby’s Moses basket or bouncer chair because my MIL has already bought them, along with way more clothes than we’ve bought ourselves... I know all these things are fairly insignificant in the grand scheme of things and I should just be grateful and I am, but it’s really starting to take its toll. But of course I can’t talk to my own bloody Mother about all this, because she so preoccupied with how much of a struggle it is for her.
I don’t really know what I’m hoping to achieve by starting a thread about it... just having a rant I suppose.
Bloody hell that’s really long... thanks and apologies if you made it this far
Without being too dramatic she sounds like a classic narcissist.
Do you ever see her and feel happy afterwards? Or is it just constantly like “phew glad that’s over” if so you need to re think the relationship.
When you have your baby she will probably amp up this woe is me attitude.
Ask how your partner really feels about your mother because chances are he feels the same as you.
Do not let her dictate how much time she spends with the baby ( if any) and put your foot down when it comes to her visiting.
Is it possible to draw some boundaries with MIL too as it sounds like that situation really isn't helping either.
This is a major change in your life and you need to feel like you have st least some control, even if your temporary living arrangements mean a yes limited at the moment.
Oodlesandpoodles you’re not the first person to say that... it was suggested on other threads I had last year and the year before, as well as by a therapist I was seeing at the time. She does have anxiety depression and bipolar disorder but as far as I know no medical professional has ever come close to diagnosing NPD (although, how would they?).
zxcvhjkl I think about that often, but always feel like it would be punishing her for a crime she hasn’t committed... apart from being totally self-absorbed she hasn’t actually done anything “wrong”, iyswim? And she would be utterly devastated.
RainbowMum11 I don’t know... she’s not overly pushy or anything, she’s actually really kind, she’ll have just seen the logic of sticking the pram in the garage and she’d have bought all that stuff regardless... I suppose it feels more significant to me now because it’s going from just being the Moses basket/bouncer chair at PILs house to My Baby’s First Moses Basket, because we’re living here.
sounds like mine-everything is about her . I'm not sure if there is a solution- my DM did have a moment of realisation when I said I never told her about my problems because she never helped and actually doubled the problem by making it about herself ( so my miscarriage makes her stressed...). I think you have to be blunt and say "how do you think I feel about not having my own home when Im having a baby" eg emphasise that your problems are bigger and its not about her - she is fine to whinge to her friends but she can't expect sympathy from you
OP, have you heard of ring theory? It’s used for trauma, but big life changes (moving house, losing the house you bid on, having a baby) are big stresses, like traumas.
Ring theory goes that the person in the center of the trauma needs support and each center of the ring needs comfort to go onwards and complaining can go outwards. But “inside” rings shouldn’t have to emotionally support outside rings. So as you (and DH) are the center of the circle, you shouldn’t have to support anyone. You need comfort. The next ring would be close family members. They comfort you, and then can complain to others. They need comfort from people in the next ring, but cannot complain to you or your DH because you both just don’t have the ability to support them right now - you’re too close to the “trauma.” The next ring would be other family members and friends, and so on. (I attached a picture).
This pretty much perfectly explains why you can’t deal with your mother’s feelings right now - it’s not about her, and you shouldn’t have to. Maybe try sharing less information with her for now.
Good luck, OP, and I hope this new flat purchase goes through without bother.
You don't need any nappy bins (or a milk fridge)
Why not do your own washing in your own powder?
Moses basket/bouncer chair at PILs house you only need 1 - not 1 for each house.
It all sounds bonkers
Rent a flat. Move out.
Buy less stuff (you will look back and half laugh at the baby crap you have wasted money on and half feel bitterness that you have wasted money)
You can get short term furnished lets/flats - just move into one. could be weeks or months. It is Winter and so holiday lets come up for cheaper rentals as well.
I think the ring theory above is fantastic!
I can understand why your mum feels a bit sad and a bit jealous. But she should be more grown up about voicing her complaints/sadness/worries.
She did the correct thing speaking to her friends, then the wrong thing feeding it back. I think it's an emotional time for all of you.
I have a friend who i know will react a certain way to certain bits of information. So i pre edit what I will share because she's so predictable. I'm not NC with her because overall she's well meaning, but has flaws that annoy me.
Can you rent somewhere for a while?
Totally missing the point of the thread, but you don't need two nappy bins and a fridge in your room. How do you know you'll be needing to fetch expressed milk in the middle of the night? How do you know that you'll even be expressing or BFing at all? Nappies can go into a nappy bin stored in your room overnight. I'm sure your PIL won't mind any noise (there will be a newborn in the house after all.)
And why don't you just buy your regular laundry products and use them at PIL's place when you do your laundry?
If you feel your MH is already frayed then you should seriously consider renting elsewhere in the interim.
Gosh, your mum likes to play the victim card by the sounds of things! The thing is that probably no matter how hard you strive to please her, she will always demand more - so basically what you do will never be “enough.” Once you’ve accepted that, it gradually becomes easier to ignore the “me, me, me” chatter and to set your own boundaries regarding what’s reasonable. I don’t think the guilt ever completely goes away nor does the sadness that she isn’t the mum you’d like her to be - in my experience at least - but it does mean you’re no longer stuck in a perpetual cycle of constantly striving to meet her demands and feeling like you’re failing. I’d prepare for the “me,me,me” to ramp up a bit once you’ve had the baby - sounds likely she’ll struggle to deal with your attention being focused on your baby rather than her, so be prepared to stand firm. Good luck OP, you sound lovely and your baby will be lucky to have you as a mum.
Buy only one of each item, expect changing mats
If you need more amazon prime is your friend.
She sounds a pain in the ass but it would be kind to make her feel special too.
And I'd be renting somewhere short term, can't think of anything worse than being in someone's space whilst trying to breastfeed etc
This isn't the point, but you won't need the fridge at night unless you are trying to keep formula fresh and handy.
You won't get your milk supply up and running if you don't feed in person at night. The feedings from midnight to 2 am are particularly important for that purpose.
Save expressed milk for daytime in late afternoons when your supply is depleted and you and baby are both clapped out (and your DH and ILs might love to give a bottle).
Also, no need for a second nappy bin. Get a small pedal bin in your bedroom or wherever the baby will be changed and empty it every 12 hours.
Your mum sounds like a narcissist - agree with others. It's really hard to deal with someone like her. It's easy to say 'don't let her get under your skin' but everything she said there was designed to provoke you. I would honestly go low contact with her. She is going to up her narc game when as you approach full term and especially when the baby is here - a narcissist simply must suck all the attention out of the atmosphere and will do their utmost to make every occasion and situation all about him or her. Be forewarned - rough times lie ahead.
MIL sounds as if she means well, is excited and trying to be helpful but maybe also feeling a bit like 'Two and soon to be three more is a crowd'. Maybe she was a bit annoyed at DH's plan to have a pram occupying even more space in her house?
No matter what, you are under a lot of very understandable stress.
Is short term renting an option at all?
good luck with your flat purchase.
Jesus Christ if OP wants nappy bins and a fucking minifridge to make her life easier she can have them! She's an adult.
Your mum sounds awful. Tune her out. Don't open her texts. Maybe just go NC until after the baby arrives then re-assess. I was in a very similar position before DS came 6 weeks ago. We had been abroad and had no house until I was 37 weeks pregnant and from week 28-36 I was literally driving around by myself (DH was still working abroad) looking at houses, staying in hotels until I found somewhere. People genuinely don't understand how stressful this situation is. I used to cry in Tesco because I was so frustrated that I couldn't buy nice stuff for my baby or our home yet because I was in whatever hotel had a cheap rate that night.
Focus on what you need to do and tune out everyone else's nonsense as background noise. All that's important right now is you, DH and your coming LO. Do what feels right and screw your mother's opinions if she can't be supportive. That's not the sort of relative you need helping you during this time of huge change. Maybe ask MIL "can it wait until we've tried it out, I'm super excited" or similar next time she makes a helpful suggestion about putting a baby item out of the way, as I suspect she didn't quite realize how much you needed that moment with the pram and your DH.
You're nesting. You don't have a nest to do it in. That's really hard. I hope you find a place soon but you're right, the time to exchange contracts, do a survey etc is probably longer than you have.
And if renting would work for you both, I'd absolutely recommend it but it can be harder to get approved for a rental than to just buy a house (and more expensive monthly) so I completely get why you'd stay with PIL for the foreseeable until you could find a more permanent place to say.
PS we have two nappy bins and I love being able to just put them in the bin instead of walking round with a baby in one arm and a dirty nappy in the other as I wasn't too manoeuvreable for the first few weeks after my unexpected CS. Poo explosions in the first six weeks: 2. It's still really useful (we bought cheap pedal bins from Home Bargains for ours).
To be fair @AngeIoMysterioso your MIL has already ruined your excitement for your pram, bought the items you wanted, and will probably be in your face after you have delivered your baby. Your mum is not too blame for that. I think you need to get your own house and move before baby is born. As for the fridge upstairs, why? It is a waste of money.
Just because your mother has a thought or a feeling does not mean that it is important for her to say it to you. Just because she has a feeling does not mean that you need to listen to it. Her feelings are not more important than your feelings. If her feelings will make you sad and deplete your energy you have a right to keepbher at a distance or to set conditions on your communications. For example, "Mom, I'm pregnant and under stress. I need you to be strong for me. Don't talk to me about anything negative right now. If you need to complain, find someone else to complain to. I just can't handle it."
I'd look at a rental honestly. And I'd have spoken up when other people were buying things I wanted to purchase myself.
I think you need to stop sharing so much with your mum. Do you ever tell her to get a grip and basically distance yourself from her? 'I'm not entertaining this mum. This is not about you. You won't be there an hour after birth'. I wouldn't even tell her baby is born until I wanted to.
You can have ten nappy bins if you want op. Your baby, your money. Regular bins are gross anyway and will smell worse.
Putting all issues with DM aside for a moment, there are plenty of things you can do to change the way you feel.
If you absolutely cannot get a short term rent, you are basically resigned to living at MILs. There are positives here: You are saving money on rent, you do have somewhere to stay (many people don't when a house sale falls through and end up in hotels), you don't have to live with DM and when DC arrives, you will be glad of an extra pair of hands.
No, it isn't your own place but why not: take BIL photos off the wall and put as much of his stuff as possible in one place, get your own sheets out and do your own laundry in your own detergent.
Whether you are living at MIL's, your own home or a council B&B, establishing BF and the aftermath of childbirth will still be the same. Again, it is likely you will be grateful for the extra help.
The pram - you can't blame DH for wanting to unwind and have dinner when he got in from work rather than doing a non-urgent job. Remember it's MILs home too and the pram isn't needed for another 2 months yet so again, you can't blame her for not wanting it in the way just yet. She has to cope with a full house just as much as you have to cope with a strange house.
About the other equipment - you are only sad for yourself. Impending DC doesn't give a shit who chose their moses basket. The money you have saved by not buying these things can be spent instead on making your future home, DC's future home, a warm and comfortable place. This is a damn sight more important than a few baby things which won't even be used for long.
I agree with others, nappy bins are a huge waste of money. Buy a normal bin and use the nappy bags if need be, yes they are terrible for the environment, but so are the 'cartrdiges' you get for the bins. Same with a fridge, order one next day if you find you need one. Obviously up to you but seems a waste. I don't think it's unusual for a mum to feel a bit jealous that their pregnant daughter is living with someone else's parents; but most would see the bigger picture and realise it's for the best and not vocalise it. Was she happy about the flat as she thought you'd move in with her? Sounds unbearable, maybe go low contact?
Nappy bins aren't the issue. Let the woman have her nappy bins, she'll find out how useful they are on her own.
@AngeIoMysterioso Your Mum sounds narcissistic and far too enmeshed in your life. If you haven't been there already I recommend checking out the Relationships board on here. Also the Captain Awkward blog, Susan Forward's book on Toxic Parents and the Out of the Fog website.
Bottom line: you are not responsible for your mother's emotions. No matter how extreme they are. You are allowed to prioritise yourself, your partner and your child over her, and you should. Each and every time.
She is making your pregnancy and your child's birth about her. It isn't.
Not giving a fuck about her 'emotions' is an incredibly emotionally healthy and important step you're taking. You can't prioritise her now, you're about to be a mother. You need to detach. She will purposely make this hard for you (tears, tantrums, woe is me), but you sound like you're ready to do it.
Talk to your partner and have a plan for managing your mother in the hours and says following the birth. It might be better to just not tell her until the next day.
As for the anxiety and sadness you feel about the baby's things- I promise when you have a newborn none of it will matter. You will be that baby's mummy and it will be overwhelming, profound and wonderful. It won't matter who bought the Moses basket or where the pram was stored. No one can take the important part from you.
Take care of yourself, and good luck with the birth.
Oh and you need to put your DM on an information diet. Accept that she is selfish, and will never give you meaningful emotional support. It's sad to have your first baby without your mum emotionally supporting you, but that's the lot you've been dealt. You can't go on hoping she'll change into the mother you deserve. She won't.
So stop expecting better. Stop telling her things. She doesn't need to know about fridges, prams, etc. talk to a good supportive friend about this stuff instead.
Talk to your mum about stuff you don't care about, that doesn't make you emotional. Don't give her knowledge on how to push your buttons.
Talk to her about the weather, aren't bunnies cute, isn't traffic a nightmare etc etc etc. give her attention if you feel you need to, but keep your emotions out of it as much as possible. Do the same when the baby is here.
If she is whining, agree that that is how she feels and then disengage.
'Oh I won't get to see the baby right away'
'That's disappointing for you Mum, but I'm sure it will all work out. How are your petunias this year?'
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