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Struggling with mother during lockdown - help!(4 Posts)
I apologies in advance if this post ends up very long!
Back in February I gave birth to twin boys, my first children. My sister also has a daughter giving my parents 3 grandchildren. They are both retired and just love being grandparents. My mother however can be very overbearing (she is right and everyone else is wrong...) so initially we didn’t see much of them (perhaps once a week) as I just couldn’t bear all of her ‘advice’ about how I should raise the boys in those hellish early weeks. And then when they were 6 weeks old we went in to lockdown.
We all hated the idea of it as everyone did - nobody wants to be locked away (especially with 6 week old twins!) but naturally respected the rules, but my Mum took it very, very badly. She would ask on an almost daily basis if she could come and look at them from the door if she stood at the end of the drive - we did this twice but it just wasn’t feasible, they were newborns and once she arrived and they were asleep and she had a paddy so I just put a stop to it. From there on, me and DH respected lockdown rules completely.
Cut to - the lockdown easing and seeing 6 people in the garden. And this is where it all starts going wrong... we invited them over to our garden during the nice weather. As soon as they arrived - she asked to hold the twins. I felt incredibly put on and uncomfortable. She got upset and said how hard it had been and how she had respected lockdown completely, she would wash and sanitise her hands now etc. I relented and let her. I will regret this forever! I could not get him back, nor could I get her to leave. She was acting like a child - I would be demanding to give him back and she ignored it and would quite literally wander off with him. This has been an ongoing issue with my Mother for years; she couldn’t give a monkeys what anyone else wants as long as she is getting her way. Anyway, I just said it was too hot for them to stay in the garden and I needed to take them back inside and they finally left. I felt just awful and so uncomfortable about the whole event all day, and resolved it wouldn’t be happening again - but figured they had been really good during lockdown so the risk was low.
Later that night, I discover that after she left our house she went directly to visit a friend who lives nearby. This friend works on a COVID ward. She went in to her house to see the new decorating, and they also shared a bottle of wine in the garden. I was absolutely livid. I had to call her to tell her off and she didn’t seem to understand what she had done wrong (‘I didn’t touch anything’ etc). I was so angry and said we wouldn’t be seeing them again if they can’t respect the rules.
A week later it was my birthday. She asked to see me and was full of apologies; I initially refused but she said we could meet in my sisters garden and if I felt uncomfortable at any point I could leave. I went along and to be honest, it was fine - we all sat a few meters away from each other and I only stayed an hour. My 2 year old niece was there on her bike.
After I left I get a call from my sister. My niece wanted to ride her bike in the little alley between their house. My mum said she would stand at the gate to keep an eye on her. 10 mins later my sister, wondering where they were, went to get them - and they were gone. She had left her phone in the garden. My dad and BIL had to go searching for her. 30 minutes later she returned after taking her to the park. There is absolutely no way she could have done this without touching my niece to help her on the bike - but also - I mean, kidnapping!? My sister was absolutely beside herself. Mums excuse was that she ‘only went to the park’ which I just think is ridiculous. She refused to see she was in the wrong and again, toys were thrown out of the pram and she stormed off home.
None of us have spoken since. I am just at a loss with her. Do I just continue to avoid her until it’s safe and okay to do so? Or even longer?? I don’t feel I can even trust her to be honest with us any more! Also, should I maybe be worried about her?? Who does that? I just do not know how to handle the situation anymore at all. I was so looking forward to some help with the twins when lockdown was over, but now I genuinely feel uncomfortable with her ever being with them. Or am I overreacting??
I think that was a dangerous and horrible thing of her to do, wandering off to the park with your niece. Your poor sister!
This is your turn to have mum, her time has passed. If she cannot abide by the rules and refused to give you back your child (Wtaf!!) then I wouldn’t be letting her hold him or even come round. If she then goes to a key worker’s house, one who is 8n direct contact with covid patients, then double, triple no. Don’t let her guilt you or make you feel bad. What you say goes with your children.
@Cherrysoup Thank you, I know you’re right. She just has a way of making you feel like a little child around her sometimes. I’ve often found myself making up excuses for the way I’m parenting just because it isn’t what she is ‘advising’ and then berate myself for doing so.
My Mum did a similar thing once. We were at a family BBQ and she’s been drinking, she took my 2 year old to the park without telling/asking anyone. We all thought she’d gone home with my brother and nephew, and couldn’t initially see them in the park. So I rang 999 absolutely terrified. Ten minutes later she turned up with him. The difference is she couldn’t have been more apologetic. If anyone ever mentions it now she looks traumatised (as I was ringing 999 saying I’d lost my 2 yr old).
In your and your sisters situation I would find it hard to forgive.
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