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So disappointed in my mum

(52 Posts)
Opal13 Thu 10-Oct-19 13:25:37

I’m writing this here because I feel really protective of her- even though I feel that, in lots of ways, my mum has somewhat failed me over these last few years. I don’t want to be condemned or told off. I know that lots of people have a far worse time than I do, but I’d really appreciate your advise/suggestions/what you did if you have been in same boat.

So, my mum and I used to be really close. We used to choose to hang out together and we had fun. When I was 23 I moved to another town and I guess we just stopped seeing each other that much. I can’t remember if she called much but she’s never really been the sort of mum who takes loads of interest in her children/remembers what they’re doing when, etc. which I totally get as it must be such a stressful whirlwind when you have 4 and you’re on your own.

Anyway, 5 years ago I got engaged/married and she took no interest in my wedding which I found really sad as I would have really liked her to have suggested looking at dresses together, etc. or to look at venues, etc. but she didn’t. At the wedding she drank loads and was fairly vacant. I also moved back to my home town and we live 5 mins away from one another.

3 years ago, I became pregnant with my son and again, she couldn’t have been less interested. She didn’t come and see me or help me or ask me any questions. When he was born, I really struggled and again, she just left me to it. All I wanted was for her to be involved, even a little bit, but she wasn’t interested.

A year ago or so, I spoke to her about all of this and she said she really didn’t think that she has done anything wrong and that I expect too much from her. I genuinely don’t think that my expectations of her are at all unreasonable and find it so hard to understand why, if you care about someone, you would express so little interest in them, especially when they have already confronted you about it. All I want is for her to call me occasionally and once a month, say ‘would you like to go for a coffee?’ or ask how my son, her only grandson is. She knows so little about him or me and it makes me so sad. I see grandparents with their grandchildren in town and at groups and I feel so jealous that I don’t have this relationship even though I have really tried.

I can’t talk to her about this again but I also don’t want to be so angry with her as this means that, when I do occasionally see her, I’m already furious, which doesn’t help the situation. I should also add that she can be very spiteful (I think she thinks she’s really funny) and makes comments about how fat, etc. I am (I’m 10st and 5’9!).

Are any of you in a similar situation? Do you crave the attention/love of a parent but get no where? How do you deal with it? My husband says ‘you know what she’s like. Don’t get upset’ but it’s so hard as I’m so hurt.

Apologies for the long post but I feel really sad about this and want to improve the relationship but finding it hard.

sheshootssheimplores Thu 10-Oct-19 13:28:27

Do you think she’s jealous of you? Are you close in age?

neonglow Thu 10-Oct-19 13:30:51

It does work both ways though- do YOU suggest going out for a coffee or inviting her over?

That does sound upsetting that she doesn’t take much interest in you or her grandson though sad

Lagatha Thu 10-Oct-19 13:32:27

Does she treat your siblings the same?

Opal13 Thu 10-Oct-19 13:33:54

Yeah, I do ask if she would like to do things, and she does usually yes. When we are together, she asks no questions about he or I.

Opal13 Thu 10-Oct-19 13:35:02

We aren’t similar in age- she had me when she was 26. She does treat them similarly. She likes to see my sister as they drink together but she’s similar, emotionally, with us all.

RueCambon Thu 10-Oct-19 13:35:40

Some mothers just arent emotionly mature enough to get that their adult children are individuals, and not vessels for the feelings they dont know what to do with, or tools for their own social life / image.

Opal13 Thu 10-Oct-19 13:39:35

When I do suggest meeting, she says ‘we can, if you’d like’ but again, asks me no questions. I don’t ask as much as I should but I’m so annoyed already!

GettingABitDesperateNow Thu 10-Oct-19 13:45:12

I'm sorry OP, it sounds like this is just how she is. If it's been a long time, she is unlikely to change or give you what you want. And I understand that's very hard to accept. But you are going to have to accept this eventually otherwise it's you who will suffer as you will stay angry. You will have to treat her as an acquaintance and try and enjoy what she can give you. How you go about this, I don't know? Maybe a couple of therapy sessions?

Haworthia Thu 10-Oct-19 13:45:19

I’m sorry she hasn’t been the mother you want or need, OP. I think that’s the crux of the problem here. Nothing of what you describe strikes me as normal, particularly. Especially this:

I can’t remember if she called much but she’s never really been the sort of mum who takes loads of interest in her children/remembers what they’re doing when, etc. which I totally get as it must be such a stressful whirlwind when you have 4 and you’re on your own

Nope, not normal. I can see you’re making excuses for her and that’s understandable, but taking an interest in your adult children and their lives is the very least a parent can do.

Pepperwand Thu 10-Oct-19 13:59:44

If it weren't for the fact you have a DS I'd think you were my sister! I'm also one of 4 and find my mum a little emotionally unavailable. I feel sad that we aren't really that close, we're quite different people I suppose but I do envy other people's close relationships with their mothers.

When I had my first DC I would ask her questions as I was struggling and just wanted a bit of advice and she'd just say "I don't know" or "I can't remember."

I do feel sad about it sometimes but it's just how she is and I think your mum sounds exactly the same. I think finding acceptance that it's just how they are and you can't force a closer relationship will help you come to terms with it. Just try to enjoy the time with her that you can, don't stop inviting her over or for coffee and try it make peace with the relationship how it is and not how you wish it would be.

WagtailRobin Thu 10-Oct-19 13:59:58

Reading this my heart genuinely went out to you! She will never change and I suppose that's the sad reality you have to accept because if you don't, you will wreck your own head and that wouldn't be a good space to find yourself in.

You have a little boy yourself now, do for him all the things your mum has never done for you, cherish him, be interested, be everything for him your mum never was for you. It won't change your mum's behaviour but in the least you will be proud of yourself for being a true mum, for being the mum to him she never was to you.

My mum and I are really close, as she is with all of my siblings but I would be heartbroken if we weren't close, so I really feel for you.

Lagatha Thu 10-Oct-19 14:03:20

Do you think she is well in herself?

fizzandchips Thu 10-Oct-19 14:05:35

I hear you.
My mum was the most incredible mum as I grew up. She made me who I am and I am so proud of her, but she has been an alcoholic for the past 15 years and this has changed her so much. I still enjoy her company, but I can’t rely on her emotionally. I’ve spent years mourning everything I felt we had lost - she isn’t interested in anything I or my children do, but over the years I’ve realised she has her own demons to fight and I concentrate on being the best mum I can be for my children, but I am sad they don’t know her as I did.

beachysandy81 Thu 10-Oct-19 14:16:16

She sounds like she is only interested in going out and drinking. If you mention a night out would she jump at the chance?

dottiedodah Thu 10-Oct-19 14:21:42

She sounds a little depressed TBH. Do you think she may feel a bit envious of your life ? As you say her life as a SP of four must have been very tough ,I think she seems a bit disconnected as a way of maybe distancing herself from feelings of jealousy .When you meet up with her maybe she remembers her own difficult years while you were growing up! Maybe she feels being LC with you is her way of dealing with it .I see you are sad about this, but many people have a less than perfect relationship with DM!.The people you see are the lucky ones ,there are many more who are LC or even NC and dont get on well at all!Do you see your siblings at all? Maybe make an effort with them they may feel like you !

dottiedodah Thu 10-Oct-19 14:24:41

I think her comments about your weight are well out of order and seem once again maybe she is jealous .(No excuse) 10 stone and 5ft 9 is NOT fat or even anywhere near !

Oakmaiden Thu 10-Oct-19 14:25:22

I think, for your own emotional health, you have to let go of your expectations of how a mum should act and just accept her as she is. I used to get very upset at my mother constantly letting me down, but since I have learned to have fewer expectations I am also less disappointed by our relationship.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Thu 10-Oct-19 14:35:49

YANBU to be disappointed that you don't have the mother you would have liked to have had, but YABU to expect her to be any different now than she's always been.

I used to read books where the mothers were all very loving to their children and called them darling etc. - wished mine would do that. I only remember her doing it once.
She was very different from me, and she blamed me for her never giving me cuddles because I apparently used to resist them as a toddler hmm.

SHe was emotionally immature in many ways, thwarted for many reasons, brought up in a less than ideal environment herself and in all honesty I just don't think she had it in her to be the sort of mum I wished I had.

One of the biggest realisations I had was after I'd been on holiday for a couple of weeks - got back, mum didn't even ask how it went, let alone what I did or saw. Saw my boyfriend's grandparents who were immediately interested and wanted to know all about it.

And then when I got pg with DS1, and went to tell her, her reaction was "Oh no, now I'll have 6 grandchildren". Why that would be a problem was never clear but it was hurtful.

Sadly (?) she died while I was pg with DS1 so she never did meet him, and although it's a not socially acceptable thing to say out loud too much, I'm almost glad she wasn't around because I think she too would have been distant, uninterested and very critical of everything I did.

I had a few years of counselling which helped me realise that my mourning the mother I wished I had was ok, but it wasn't going to help me accept the mother I actually had. So I had to learn to deal with the mother hand I had been dealt and realise that none of it was MY fault.

It's not easy though. thanks

Longlongsummer Thu 10-Oct-19 14:43:14

Unfortunately just because someone is a mother doesn’t mean that they care for you that well. Having four children isn’t an excuse at all. You have some options:
Talking more with her.
Being clear about what you want, and asking directly. I need help with baby’s whatever, could you do X. Phone her regularly. Do all the arranging.
Deciding how much you want her in your life.

Do what’s best for you.

MidCenturyVintageWoman Thu 10-Oct-19 14:49:28

Funnily enough I'm also one of 4 and your mother sounds similar to mine. The best piece of advice I can give you is 'lower your expectations'. I have done this with my mother and it has helped enormously. It also works with friendships. I have three adult children and my relationship with them is very close and loving. No grandchildren yet but I know I will be a doting granny who will spoil them rotten and let them mess up the house with glitter glue and plaster of Paris. It's sad and I feel for you as I know exactly how it feels, but you can't change her behaviour, you can only change how you react to it.

Lweji Thu 10-Oct-19 14:50:53

This is who she is and you will just have to accept it. She will not change.

At least she's not messing up with your life, she's just absent. It's sad, but it doesn't really affect or alter your day to day life.

I'd just tell her stuff, even if she doesn't ask, or invite her if you want her there.

mathanxiety Thu 10-Oct-19 14:51:51

It sounds as if your mum is preoccupied with something else.

My guess is she has a drinking problem.

ohtheholidays Thu 10-Oct-19 14:53:15

I know how it feels to be that daughter OP,my Mum has sadly passed away but despite everything I still miss her all the time and I regret that we weren't closer but I did try and sounds like you've been trying really hard with your Mum and it's very hard emotionally when you feel like you don't get the same back.

All I can say is that I'm a Mum of 5DC and I recently became a Grandmother for the 1st time(he's 2 weeks old now)and despite how my Mother was with me I am the complete opposite with my DC and I am totally bowled over with my Grandson and how amazing my DD has handled everything and is being as a Mother.

I have an amazing relationship with my DD's and my DS's and that's one thing that has made up for how things were with my Mum,hopefully as your son gets older you'll think less about what's gone on with your Mum and it won't hurt as much because you'll have the relationship and the love that you and your son share.

You can give your DS the relationship you wish you had with your Mum and you can give the Grandmother relationship to your future Grandchildren flowers

FaFoutis Thu 10-Oct-19 15:00:26

You are being far too nice. Stop making excuses for her. My mother is similar to yours, my DH's parents are even worse. You have no choice but to accept it as they won't change.

My advice to you would be to stop expecting anything from your mother and keep visits as infrequent and short as possible. Protect your mental health and your child - it will be obvious to him in time that his grandmother is not interested in him.

People who have loving parents don't understand this or how it feels, so some advice on this kind of thread, though well-meaning, will only lead you to blame yourself. It's not your fault.

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