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To tell my mum to back off

(56 Posts)
NameChange564738 Wed 10-Jun-20 20:36:24

Am I being unreasonable to tell my mum My thoughts and to back off and stop laying it on so thick?

Context:
Divorced from my Father when I was preteen because she decided to up and move herself 200 miles away from the family home and expected to remain a family unit.

Maintained contact through teens and twenties, then she moved another 200 miles further so totally just short of 400 from her original and my current location. Not long after her move me and DH found out we were pregnant After trying for a year, she’s been nuts ever since.

Sending enormous texts about how she’s upset she can’t be close and ‘do all the things mummys do for their daughters when pregnant’, she wanted to be at the birth instead of DH, she wanted to live with us for a few weeks after birth.. (what even is that?!)

Did she not give up all that apparent closeness when moving away before I’d hit my teens? I don’t feel like we’re close in the sense she’s talking about. It would almost be like a stranger at the birth, luckily lockdown has put an end to some of her demands but she’s making me feel shitty.

I am on the brink of saying something and finally speaking my mind. She has even taken to sending extremely long texts to DH in an attempt to get him to sneakily inform her I’m in labour so she can come down.

Finally I get texts saying that when I’m a mum I will understand why she is the way she is and quite frankly I couldn’t feel more opposite, I wouldn’t want to spend a second away from my baby, let alone move hundreds of miles away when they’re still figuring life out.

Argh, do I have an open chat or leave it and forget how I feel?

OP’s posts: |
Didntwanttochangemyname Wed 10-Jun-20 20:48:18

I can relate to this. My mum makes a lot of noise about being a grandmother but she spends over half her year on holidays, and when she is in the UK she's busy socialising doing her hobbies. She blames my dad (they are still together) for then being so busy, but it's a choice. They could choose to see their grandkids.
It hurts, a lot. My friends all have their mum's helping them and supporting them, but I just have one who pretends to do it.
I wish I could give you some advice, but all I can give you is a nod of support for feeling so alone.

KellyHall Wed 10-Jun-20 20:50:23

I'd tell her honestly how you feel. She might not listen, it might not help, but I couldn't leave it unsaid.

Aquamarine1029 Wed 10-Jun-20 20:51:51

I am on the brink of saying something and finally speaking my mind.

I think this is very long overdue. Your mother has no right to lay claim to any aspect of your life. She gave up her position of "mum" a long time ago. It's time to set some crystal clear boundaries.

Teacaketotty Wed 10-Jun-20 20:54:23

My MIL was like this when I was pregnant and still is to an extent. DH and her have a very fractured relationship and go long periods without talking but she’s very vocal how she’s going to buy a crib and high chair for DD to stay at hers etc. It’s like she’s imagining some fantasy reality where everyone gets on great and we are all so close (we aren’t!)

Honestly it’s just a lot of noise that never materialised into anything- impending grandchildren tend to bring it out in some people I think.

NameChange564738 Wed 10-Jun-20 21:07:21

Thank you for your thoughts, it’s been building for a while I think you’re right @Aquamarine1029

Sorry to hear other going/been through similar.

I hate confrontation and understand she can choose to do exactly as she pleases with her life that’s why it hasn’t really affected anything until I became pregnant. But to come and pretend like we’re super close knit two decades later and make me feel crap for questioning it or saying no to the requests seems unfair.

OP’s posts: |
Sushiroller Wed 10-Jun-20 22:33:03

Its a bit ambiguous (perhaps you've done that subconsciously?)
But are you saying she moved 200 miles away and abandoned/left you with your father when you were a preteen?

bluebell34567 Wed 10-Jun-20 22:38:02

is she alone now?

NameChange564738 Thu 11-Jun-20 06:11:24

Yes, unintentional vagueness there. Whilst still married and seemingly all well applied for and took a job 200miles away (not required for specific field of work or anything) leaving her husband (my father), me and her son from a previous marriage to sort of get on with it.

No she’s not alone now @bluebell34567 remarried for third time. They seem very happy.

OP’s posts: |
chatwoo Thu 11-Jun-20 06:22:08

Yes have a chat, lay it all out for her. Otherwise she's going to be batting these comments/thoughts at you indefinitely and there will be no peace from it!

Of course, a chat doesn't stop it happening, but at least you'll have tried to help her see from your viewpoint and hopefully come to some form of truce/agreement!

ukgift2016 Thu 11-Jun-20 06:27:52

Unbelievable. She left you AND a son who was not even related to her husband? Maybe time for some home truths.

Fanthorpe Thu 11-Jun-20 06:28:24

This sounds really difficult. Were you and your stepbrother told anything or prepared for her leaving? I’m guessing it was for a relationship with a new man. Were you given the chance to see her regularly? I’m wondering about your Dads role in this.

She may have genuinely had a change of heart and think now is the time to build a relationship with you, but I think it’s too little too late for you even if she is genuine. She’s lost your trust by withdrawing from you at an early age seemingly with no explanation.

You don’t owe her an explanation. You can block her number if you want. Have you ever told her how you felt before?

dottiedodah Thu 11-Jun-20 07:02:40

She seems to want to make up for lost time really .I would speak with her and tell her how you feel .She probably has regrets ,but she cannot expect to become Nan of the year ,after the way she has behaved in the past .If you have a heart to heart with her ,then you may be able to understand her reasons and get closer to her gradually .She will have to realise its on your terms now and she cant just waltz back into your life .

MeridianB Thu 11-Jun-20 07:09:20

YADNBU @NameChange564738

It feels like a combination of couple of things. One could be all the expectation and excitement that builds around someone when their first grandchild is due - friends. Neighbours, local shop keepers etc etc all talking and asking about it, commenting on how far away she is from you, so she massively overdoes her reaction to you.

This could be mixed with a massive conscious or unconscious response on her part to make up for being a crap mum by being a super-attentive grandmother.

Of course it could be neither, and her guilt is not for you to fix. I hope the chat goes well.

Aweebawbee Thu 11-Jun-20 07:21:23

I can relate to this. My DM left our family when I was 14 to move in with another man many hundreds of miles away. Years later, I had my first child and could not get rid of her. She would stay for weeks at a time, started looking at houses in the area and was also trying to muscle-in on my parentlng. I moved abroad, so that stopped, but then her partner died and the pressure started all over again. Cancer scares, nobody loves me, I've got no money (she did). When I went to visit, the health visitors and her (many) friends gave me such a hard time about not being a good DD, but I didn't feel at all guilty about prioritising my DH and children over her.

Dallaa Thu 11-Jun-20 07:32:12

My father is like this. A shit parent as a child, quite happy to not have much contact as an adult and now hes old and alone I am suddenly worthy of a phone call and her lots of pressure to go and see 'my old dad'.

In his case it's just about getting what he wants. In your mums case it could be guilt or just muscling in so she can show everyone what a great grandparent she is. I'd suggest you speak to her as I have had to do with me dad. I told him to back off as relationships are developed over time and cant be forced. He lost his right to whatever he thinks he deserves a long time ago.

kittenish500 Thu 11-Jun-20 07:32:37

DH mum did this when he was a child, the relationship survived as eventually she visited on weekends and ultimately she's turned out to be a huge support to DH and me as adults and a fantastic grandparent.
On the other hand my mum stayed with my dad then divorced when I went to university (quite far from home). I stayed in the university town with DH after graduating. My dad put in lots of effort to see us and get to know DH but Visits from here were very rare and short lived When I announced I was pregnant she became very intense and went like your mum though she actually went as far as turning up unannounced to the hospital and tried to enter the delivery room. Very very intense and all this 'oh you'll understand once/now you're a mum'. Now years later and she makes no effort at all, my children don't know who she is. Sadly she thinks money and gifts is a good replacement for making effort and having a proper relationship.
Yes in my opinion your mum gave up her rights when she left you and in my experience her interest will be short lived. I wish that I spoke my mind at the time as the very intense behaviour up to and surrounding DC1 birth was stressful when I should of been relaxing.

positivepixie Thu 11-Jun-20 07:45:11

The power is in your hands here OP, you don’t owe her anything. What relationship do you want with her and what would you want for your child - might be zero, or could be a monthly visit or day out with a couple of FaceTime calls in between? If you can decide this and stick to it, you will gain and retain control and not be affected by her requests/demands/attention seeking.

Gredd Thu 11-Jun-20 07:52:10

I understand and agree with previous posters, I can sympathise as receive similar messages from my father and step mother who claim “if it wasn’t for the distance...” etc in relation to wanting to see their grandchildren. The distance they chose to move but now lay lots of guilt on us to visit. I think you should say something but if you don’t want to “get into it” you could always reply with “perhaps if you hadn’t decided to move 400 miles away visiting would be easier” or similar to one of her messages. It’s so frustrating when people change dynamics or make a relationship difficult or poor through their own actions and then try to make out things are different or they wish it was another way. They chose it!

Try not to let her get to you and enjoy what’s about to come. You are opposite from her, you won’t “understand when your a mum” that’s not what you would do by the sounds of things and particularly not after being on the other side and feeling how it felt to be abandoned by her. She did give up rights to have a say when she chose that path.

Daisyxxchainxx Thu 11-Jun-20 08:11:21

Mums can be nightmares in many different ways when you are pregnant. My mum lives around the corner. She is "interested" in my kids but she's hardly a hands on grandma. She certainly did nothing for me in my pregnancies. She wasn't the sort of mum to come to scans etc. I had a 4d one and she had no interest or desire to be involved. I wanted her to be there for me. I'd love a mum who came around for a cuppa. But she has never been that way. My parents visited twice with each childs birth in those early days. But they have probably only ever been around once since! Maybe twice. They just don't bother.

Weirdly they had opinions when I was pregnant. They went mardy over me finding out the gender. They were vocal on names and what I should and shouldn't do.

Just tell your mum you want your partner there and no visitors staying over for a few weeks so you can get settled.

ThickFast Thu 11-Jun-20 08:48:25

If you can, I would try to say something about how you feel. If you’ve not really done this before then it can be hard/scary to do. But it sounds like she has some guilt around moving away and is now trying to dump that on you. Which is unfair.

YouTheCat Thu 11-Jun-20 09:02:36

I think you should get it said now or there's a chance she might just turn up.

WanderingMilly Thu 11-Jun-20 09:16:10

You could try explaining but she may not listen, it might be better to write it all down? She still won't listen but at least it will be said.

After that, lay down the boundaries. She only visits when YOU say, not on her terms. Don't be guilt tripped into letting her do what she wants, I would have very limited contact with her if she is proving to be so unreasonable. Get your DH to understand too, and stand by you so he isn't dealing with great long texts trying to get information out of him.

And I say this as an older mother of adult children myself.....

Muminlockdown2020 Thu 11-Jun-20 09:21:32

Just be straight with her!! Tell her she code to move 400 miles away from you all so how can she expect to be a hands on grandparent!!

Luckystar1 Thu 11-Jun-20 12:21:11

Mine was similar. Although it was me who lived overseas when my children were born. Oh god but she must’ve been spouting to the whole country when I was pregnant. So much so, that SHE got gifts when my DS was born. And I mean she got ‘grandma’ gifts from people.

It’s insane.

But, despite me living overseas my parents would only visit for the day. I kid you not (it was only an hour’s flight), they offered zero support at all, and in fact made the early days and months of my DS’ life a real misery.

For these types of people, it’s all about them. Not you.

We’ve since moved back to our home country, to a lot of people saying ‘oh your mum must be delighted’, nope, they couldn’t give a flying fuck and we barely see them.

Save yourself and your family any additional heartache and feelings of obligation and guilt, and just limit interactions as much as possible.

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