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AIBU in feeling my mother is off the scale selfish and callous?

(202 Posts)
Kippenbelladonna Wed 25-Mar-20 23:45:54

My mother doesn’t want us to use my parents’ empty flat to keep ourselves safe during this epidemic. So, the background is as follows: I’m an only child and my son is her only grandchild. I’m a senior clinician in a small specialist inpatient unit and we have already had one confirmed COVID case in the hospital. I must continue to look after patients. My husband is in a high risk category with a probable 10% mortality if he catches COVID. My son is very young, has ADHD and is very exuberant, tactile and therefore a high infection transmission risk. We have no close family and I can’t imagine anyone wanting to look after our child with the risk to them of catching COVID if both of us fall ill. We live in the epicentre of the epidemic in the UK. My parents are safely self isolating in a European country with better medical resources and they will not return to the UK until this epidemic is well over. My mother is very concerned about their health and was sending me media updates regularly, well before we approached lockdown, so she is not in denial with regards to the risks, certainly not when it comes to her own well being. We started a major house renovation project two months ago and she made it clear we could not use their flat, which is within walking distance of our house, during the project and should find temporary accommodation. We have been perfectly comfortable at home and I was happy with my decision to stay in the house and felt no need to move out. There’s less space due to boxes, risk from scaffolding etc but whilst my son was out all day when the workmen were in the house and the risk of COVID was low, we were all fine. Now, the risk of cross infection with a young tactile child at home 24/7 is high. When I told her we needed to use her flat as my husband and son now needed to self isolate together, to keep us safe as a family, her immediate response was “my flat will be wrecked, it’s an invasion of my privacy and I don’t want anyone sleeping in my bed”. I was so shocked by her response I put the phone down on her. Over the years and from a young age I have supported my parents through their respective mental health problems, serious physical illnesses and even supported them financially, when I was in my 20s and now they would be considered wealthy by almost anyone’s standards. I know if the tables were turned, my mother would absolutely demand to use our property and consider it her right to do so. Yet her response was also to say “what are other families doing?” When I told her that in Italy clinicians and members of their families were dying, which she well knows as she’s glued to the news, she chose to ignore what I said rather than being glad she could offer support to keep us safe.
So I haven’t spoken to her for a week and she text me today to say that on no account should I allow my cleaner to go to her flat as she’s got a lot of expensive jewellery. Clearly she’s more interested in her possessions than she is about how we are all coping as a family and whether we even have enough food to eat! I’m physically and emotionally exhausted by everything I’ve had to cope with over the last fortnight.
Am I being unreasonable to think this is not how a loving mother should react to this scenario? Does anyone else out there have a mother like mine?? I need some perspective!

annamie Wed 25-Mar-20 23:48:33

So I haven’t spoken to her for a week and she text me today to say that on no account should I allow my cleaner to go to her flat as she’s got a lot of expensive jewellery

So she's allowing you to stay in her flat now? It's not clear from your OP.

Leaannb Wed 25-Mar-20 23:52:34

You aren't entitled to use of her home. Regardless if she is your mother or not and she made it perfectly clear 2 months ago. Would it be helpful to you? Absolutely but like most keyworkers you have to do with what you got

bumblingbovine49 Wed 25-Mar-20 23:53:11

Do you have a.key?. If so use the flat . Do not even tell her. Just do it,
. I know this response will bring out the pearl clutches about it being her flat but in you position, I would just use the flat.

TerrorWig Wed 25-Mar-20 23:56:36

YANBU. I can’t imagine any circumstances where my mum would deny us this or where I would deny my own children to the use of a house sitting there empty.

northernlittledonkey Wed 25-Mar-20 23:59:18

Just use the flat & deal with the fallout later. Thank you for all you’re doing.

Leaannb Thu 26-Mar-20 00:00:13

@bumblingbovine49ine Are you really advocating for criminal activity? Are you aware that the longevity for surival of the virus is a few hours to a few days? That it is almost impossible to contain on surfaces even with heavy duty professional cleaners?

mochajoes Thu 26-Mar-20 00:00:27

Are any hotels providing accommodation for key workers so that family can be kept separate?

She's sounds horrible though & selfish, I would consider what how much you do for them in the future.

mochajoes Thu 26-Mar-20 00:01:45

* Are you aware that the longevity for surival of the virus is a few hours to a few days?*

How is this relevant?

Lynda07 Thu 26-Mar-20 00:02:02

i agree with bumbling bovine, use the flat.

TracyBeakerSoYeah Thu 26-Mar-20 00:03:27

Kippen if you were my DD, I would want you safe & in my empty flat pronto!

Leaannb Thu 26-Mar-20 00:03:55

@northernlittledonkey what if the fallout includes criminal charges and jail time?

northernlittledonkey Thu 26-Mar-20 00:06:07

What from her mother? And who’d jail an NHS worker at the moment for seeking refuge?

ADreamOfGood Thu 26-Mar-20 00:06:07

She sounds just like my mother. She would probably allow someone from church to stay in her flat, but never one of her own children confused

Leaannb Thu 26-Mar-20 00:06:21

@mochajoes because eventually Mom is going to return to the flat and there is no guarantee that the virus left on the surfaces when she returns. People are thinking this is going to be over in a few short weeks. Its not. We are in this for the next 6 to 12 months if not longer since viruses tend to mutate and get stronger and there are no cures for viruses

Cohle Thu 26-Mar-20 00:06:55

When I told her we needed to use her flat as my husband and son now needed to self isolate together

Why didn't you ask, rather than tell?

Look obviously they should let you use the flat, but given she warned you off using it during the renovations I sense there's a bit of backstory here and you probably needed to handle this more delicately.

You were pretty high handed just informing her that you'd be using her property.

SeperatedSwans Thu 26-Mar-20 00:07:19

I'd just text her back. "We are well, hope you have arrangements in writing for your funeral that a friend can carry out for you, because I won't be doing it. Please don't contact us again we're self isolating from selfish twats."

But then I'm harsh 🤷🏻‍♀️

AcheyBreakyArms Thu 26-Mar-20 00:08:22

If this was my daughter it wouldn't even be a question, but unfortunately you can't just commandeer someone else home against their wishes. And, if she's as peevish as she sounds, she'll probably get the police involved.

Threelionsandalioness Thu 26-Mar-20 00:08:38

Use the flat....deal with mother after and thank you for all you are doing flowerscake x

timeisnotaline Thu 26-Mar-20 00:08:55

If you have a key I’d just use her flat. Your husband can video you arriving and putting all her jewellery In a cupboard and locking it(might need to buy a lock).
Leannb what would the police really do? If the op lived there carefully and entered via key? Trespassing? In 6 months they can tell the op they should charge her for trespassing but they can’t be arsed and shame her mothers a tosser.
If you have to tell her, don’t ask. Just talk over her ‘i knew you wouldn’t want dh or your grandchild to die, it’s very much appreciated. I’ve told my friends it’s the only nice thing I remember you doing for me.’

ContessaferJones Thu 26-Mar-20 00:10:28

since viruses tend to mutate - true

and get stronger - if you mean more virulent, this is sometimes true but not always

and there are no cures for viruses - do you mean treatment? There is no specific treatment for this one at the moment but to make a blanket statement that there is no treatment at all for any virus is laughable.

Leaannb Thu 26-Mar-20 00:10:48

@northernlittledonkey anybody who didn't want their home squatted in. She isn't seeking refuge. She is seeking an easier way which I completely understand but mom said no. Just because she is an NHS worker does not mean she is immune to the laws. Now having said that her mother is a complete and total twat. But her mother's twatiness does not give her license to break the laws

annamie Thu 26-Mar-20 00:11:33

@Leaannb

because eventually Mom is going to return to the flat and there is no guarantee that the virus left on the surfaces when she returns. People are thinking this is going to be over in a few short weeks. Its not. We are in this for the next 6 to 12 months if not longer since viruses tend to mutate and get stronger and there are no cures for viruses

But OP says her parents won't return this until all this is well over. Are you seriously recommending that a flat remain empty for months on end so that there is no virus left in the flat? Wouldn't it make more sense for the parents to give OP a week's notice so OP can give the flat a deep clean?

ARoseInHarlem Thu 26-Mar-20 00:13:55

I never cease to be amazed how selfish some parents can be. This is awful, and so stressful for you, on top of everything else. Not what you need.

AcheyBreakyArms Thu 26-Mar-20 00:14:07

Genuinely shocked at all the people saying you should break the law. This is the sort of panic/anything goes mentality that causes people to start riots at times like these.
Op, you have no right to use someone else's home against the wishes. Mother or not.

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