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To feel a bit let down by my Mum?

(93 Posts)
Squish3 Thu 25-Feb-21 23:46:17

Long post 😅
I’ve just had my first DC and I guess it’s made me really look at my relationship with my own mum. She’s never been the affectionate type. She was always home with us while dad worked. We weren’t a very well off family at all but they made sure we always had everything we needed to get by. We weren’t brought up doing any family stuff meals together, no days out together, no holidays etc.

She’s never really been interested in doing what I would class as “mother/daughter” stuff eg, She didn’t take me shopping for my prom dress - I went alone because everyone else went with their mums (petty to hang onto that I know, but it’s really stuck with me!).

When I found out I was pregnant my dad told me “you’re never going to get rid of your mum, you know that don’t you? She’s been excited for this day for as long as I can remember!”. I told her I was pregnant, she told me she was delighted, then that’s pretty much all I heard from her. She’d never really check in to see how I was unless I’d called her for something then she’d ask. There was no excited chat about baby things, no offering advice (even if I phoned asking for it she’d just say she didn’t know🙄), no shopping looking at baby clothes. I guess just none of the stuff that friends have had with their mums 🤷🏻‍♀️ In fact, one day when I was pregnant and I was with her in the car she commented on how she just feels better being a “hands off” mum. Whatever that means 🤷🏻‍♀️ Yet whoever I’d bump into any family friends... “your mum is so excited!” 🤔

Flash forward to now when DC is here. First grandchild. She doesn’t ever ask how we are - in fact, she never contacts us first. Never offers help/advice even when it’s asked for etc. Her household is supposed to be my “support bubble” and we’re going to try and stay as isolated as possible...yet she decided that going to meet random friends (non socially distant) and a million trips to the supermarket each week are more important so that was the support bubble out the window. No offer to pick stuff up for us that we might need on any of these trips either. Yet I bump into family friends “ohhh, your mum raves about him!” Blah blah blah! 🙄

I have asked her to do these things...the baby/prom shopping etc. The answer is always “maybe...”, change of conversation never to be revisited.

Maybe I just need to accept the fact she’s not that interested in me 🤷🏻‍♀️😅 I’m a grown up, I don’t need her to do anything for me at all...but it would be nice for her to want to offer advice/help, or maybe spend time with me 🤷🏻‍♀️ It just makes me feel a bit sad if I’m honest.
I look at my DS and can’t imagine not wanting to do things with him that he’s asking me to do 🤔
Am I just being bratty?

OP’s posts: |
MoiJeJous Thu 25-Feb-21 23:50:50

I would probably feel the same too OP so don’t feel bad about feeling the way you do. Would you feel comfortable having a heart to heart with her about how you feel?

Stroller15 Thu 25-Feb-21 23:55:33

My mum is like this OP. It is shitty. I have a sister who gets more attention from my mum in general, so that might be the reason, but I am still hurt and disappointed with my mum's apparent lack of interest in my life. I try to manage my expectations but every milestone it's the same. No advice really, you're not alone. Maybe you can just look forward to a better relationship and involvement with your own DCs.

Apparentlystillchilled Thu 25-Feb-21 23:56:21

You're not bratty. It's really, really hard when your mum doesn't care. And isn't available foe normal mum things. When big thing happen like having a baby, it hurts all the more. Be kind to yourself. But accept that she won't change so surround yourself with love and affection from other people.

Milkshake7489 Thu 25-Feb-21 23:56:54

I'm sorry OP, that sounds really tough. Having a baby is an emotional time and in an ideal world your mum would be there to support you.

Unfortunately you can't change her and trying is likely to end in disappointment. Do you have other family or friends you can rely on for emotional support and to share your excitement with?

Congratulations on your new baby flowers.

MrsKeats Thu 25-Feb-21 23:58:36

It's a shame for you.

SleepingStandingUp Thu 25-Feb-21 23:59:11

Could you tell her "oh I bumped into Shiela on Monday, she was saying how much you were raving about Barnabas. That's lovely, I didn't know you felt like that" and say it kindly as of it does genuinely make you happy to hear, not snootily. And see what she saya

AIMD Fri 26-Feb-21 00:01:26

Hi op. That sounds really upsetting.
I don’t think you sound bratty at all. You are talking about things are were/are really important to you. We all want out parents to show interest and concern in us and what we do. That only natural. It sounds like your mum has never put much effort into showing you that your are important to her in the ways you maybe needed her to.

You could having a heart to heart. However if she is as you describe her, I can’t imagine her understanding your perspective and I think it’s hard for relationship dynamics to change after so long. Worth a go maybe though!

I have found that having my own children made me reflect on my relationship with my own parents too. I think becoming a parent can’t sometimes shine a light on things that you feel you missed out on as a child. I feel sad about some of the way my mum is/was, but I’m trying to work on accepting it rather than focusing on it. My mum certainly isn’t able to change now purely due to age/disability.

I think comparisons with friends mothers are hard too. I get that sense of “why isn’t our relationship like”. I have found it quite useful in terms of knowing what Type of mum I want to be though.

Wobbitcatcher Fri 26-Feb-21 00:06:27

My mums very similar, I don’t think she realises though. With mine it’s selfishness, not nastiness or anything. My kids are something for her to brag about and to post pictures online for her friends to
Comment on but not to actually do much with them.

My mums mum was significantly more like it though so I don’t think my mum knows any better

Squish3 Fri 26-Feb-21 00:07:49

@MoiJeJous I have spoken to her before...she just dismisses it 🙄
@Stroller15 I’m the same! I know better than to expect more but I still find myself being a bit disappointed 🤷🏻‍♀️
@Apparentlystillchilled In my head I know she won’t change 😓 it’s just a bit rubbish!
@Milkshake7489 Thank you ❤️ He is just my whole world already 😍 I’m obsessed 🙈 I do have other friends and family thankfully and my partner is amazing so I’m very lucky.

And I’m sorry for those that said they experienced the same ❤️❤️

OP’s posts: |
AIMD Fri 26-Feb-21 00:10:18


My mums very similar, I don’t think she realises though. With mine it’s selfishness, not nastiness or anything. My kids are something for her to brag about and to post pictures online for her friends to
Comment on but not to actually do much with them.

My mums mum was significantly more like it though so I don’t think my mum knows any better

Similar with me.

If you saw my mums Facebook page you’d think she was a great grandparent.

In reality has never done anything really with or for them. Engages with them to meet her own needs but is totally oblivious to their needs.

She’s just not capable of being a more responsive mother/grandmother.

Squish3 Fri 26-Feb-21 00:17:01

@AIMD Thank you ❤️ I’ve certainly learned a lot about what I do and don’t want to be as a parent from how I was raised and from watching my mum and dad. Their relationship is very dysfunctional and my most vivid memories from growing up is always then screaming at each other...usually about money 🙄 it’s the one thing I’ve sworn that I will never do. As for being a Mum, I just can’t imagine ever not wanting to smother this wee guy with all the love and attention in the world 🙈 that might change when he’s a grubby 14 year old but we’ll see 🤣🤣

OP’s posts: |
Sleepingdogs12 Fri 26-Feb-21 00:18:49

This sounds familiar. I was brought up to be independent, not make a fuss and get on with things quietly. I know my mum loved me (she is no longer here) but there was very little warmth . It makes me sad and angry at times but I think things were probably tough for her at various times and it just wasn't her way. Being a parent made me look at my own childhood and relationship with my own parents but also really made me think also that we are all just people trying to do our best too . Being a parent doesn't mean we will do it all brilliantly.

2020iscancelled Fri 26-Feb-21 00:20:26

OP that sounds really hard.

We have this notion that all mothers are natural care givers, brimming with affection, love and care. And that they would walk on burning coals for their children no questions asked.

But the reality is different isn’t it. Some women just aren’t maternal, some women just don’t want that aspect and aren’t comfortable with it. Although they may choose to have children it doesn’t mean those emotions just suddenly appear and they know how to be SuperMum.

It’s shit and I’m sorry. You’re right in that she probably won’t change. You’ve tried to address it and she’s ignored it.

Perhaps she will come round in time as your baby grows, perhaps not. It’s sad for you but you can’t keep chasing someone and being continually rejected - it will damage your self esteem. Work on accepting the relationship for what it is. You may want to get some help with this in the future, it can be really useful to unpack childhood crap.

The positive thing is this doesn’t have to affect the parent you are! You can be as loving and affectionate as you want. You can set the tone for your relationship with your children and it can be everything you would have wished for yourself.
It’s not quite the same - I know from experience - but it’s wonderful.

I had no mum growing up but I have a beautiful loving affectionate relationship with my kids, I’m obsessed with them. They will never ever doubt my affection or miss my attention.

Squish3 Fri 26-Feb-21 00:20:34

@Wobbitcatcher I think that’s the thing that bothers me more than anything else actually!! If you don’t want to be that “hands on” and involved in our lives then don’t be 🤷🏻‍♀️ But don’t make out to other people as though you are 🙄 and god help her if she ever posts a picture of my child online 😬😅

OP’s posts: |
Squish3 Fri 26-Feb-21 00:29:21

@2020iscancelled I did make a conscious decision after having my DS that I would no longer be chasing her and trying to force her involvement. I don’t have time or energy for that any longer. Getting help in the future might not be a bad felt good just writing all that down!
I’m sorry you had no mum growing up ❤️ Lovely to hear about your relationship with yous DCs though!

OP’s posts: |
Googlebrained Fri 26-Feb-21 00:32:39

This makes me so sad. My mum wasn't really interested either. Never came round. No offer to help. Didn't want to go on a shopping trip with me etc. It was v hurtful.

I haven't got daughters, and I'm worried from all the MiL threads on here that I won't be involved with my grandchildren, as I'd never force myself on any potential DiLs. But I'd love to be able to help out as much as they wanted and have trips out and phone calls to discuss all the details. They might not be interesting to anyone else but when it's someone you love I can't understand why your mum doesn't want to be involved. It's baffling. I'm so sorry.

NearlyTheHolidays2 Fri 26-Feb-21 00:33:44

My mum's like this and even looks down a bit on her friends who are 'overly involved' with their grandchildren. She's always been very hands off but I think she has ASD and just finds it difficult to relate. If it's any consolation, I bought my wedding dress on my own too.

Googlebrained Fri 26-Feb-21 00:36:14

So did I Nearly. flowers

Labobo Fri 26-Feb-21 00:38:25

YANBU. The reason everyone else thinks she is 'so excited' is she likes to come across as a good grandmother. My parents are the same. Zero interest but if I force them to shut up for two seconds in a three hour phone call and share a morsel of DC's news, it is crowed to everyone, usually massively exaggerated, to prove what a loving close family we ar eand what wonderful grandparents they are. We're not. They're not. I finally made my peace with that. Painful as it is (it really is, I know) try and accept it and focus elsewhere. We were lucky that DH's family were more interested, so we spent more time with them instead.

StressedTired Fri 26-Feb-21 00:45:42

I don't think you are being bratty at all, it must be very sad to not be able to share life with your mum in the way you want to. I think you have to have a certain amount of acceptance though that she is how she is and won't/can't change, otherwise you'll drive yourself mad longing.
My grandmother was like this towards my mum, and it was because her own parents had treated her horribly, so she'd never experienced or therefore learned how to be maternal. Perhaps your mum is like that, what was her relationship like with her own parents?
What changed was that as we (her grandchildren) got older we interacted with her in a way she couldn't refuse and she really softened her approach and was a nice grandma. So perhaps when your little boy is a bit older he might have a different experience with your mum than you've had if you're open to allowing it. In which case I'd advise not being bitter about it, unlike my mum who was constantly declaring "she was never like that with me...".

Sapho47 Fri 26-Feb-21 00:48:34

Have you tried directing these questions and advice requests to your dad?

He was a parent too

Coyoacan Fri 26-Feb-21 00:49:26

Sorry, OP, put I get the impression that you have an idea of mythical normal mother that everyone else has and you don't. Have you tried getting to know the mother you actually have instead of complaining because she is not some factory-produced mother?

saraclara Fri 26-Feb-21 00:53:04

My Mum is exactly the same. She tells everyone about her wonderful daughter/granddaughters, but effectively ignores us. She's in a care facility now, and years ago I told my (young adult) daughters not to give up their time to visit her (it's a four hour return journey) after they'd been with me on several occasions and my Mum didn't address them even once.

The upside at least, is that mum isn't remotely needy. I don't have to feel guilty about not seeing her, and have been able to get on with my life independently since I left home 45 years ago. Whereas some of my friends are constantly at their Mums' beck and call and feel responsible for their happiness! So you might find there's a silver lining!

Firebird83 Fri 26-Feb-21 00:55:40

My mum’s a bit like this. She never wants (or wanted to, before COVID) to meet up and do mother-daughter things, have days out etc. If I ever suggested it she’d say “yeah...maybe.”

I thought she’d be more interested in my DS than she is. He doesn’t really have much of a relationship with her at all which is really disappointing.

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