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To think a tiny bit of support from my mum would be nice?

(31 Posts)
ShyBaby Sat 02-Aug-08 20:05:41

We had another stupid argument today over dd. It was a normal day I suppose, we went to the supermarket. Dd and I were hungry so were all going to get a sandwich in the town. Dd had a large book to lean her sheet of paper on and was drawing in the car. When we got her out, mum asked her to leave the book behind. Dd then threw a strop. So I calmed her down. Dd then wanted her furry coat out of the boot. It was blazing hot and I knew within 2 minutes she would take it off and I would be carrying it around. No big deal but I told her to leave it in the car as we didn't need it. Another huge strop which would have lasted about 30 seconds. I could have distracted her, it would have been fine, but no.

Mum starts flapping and says to me in a pained, dramatic voice "Oh I dont need this, just let her have the bloody coat" throwing me a filthy look, and goes to the boot to get it. At this point im inwardly losing my temper and dont want an argument. I calmly say im going home. I lean into the car to undo dd's seatbelt. Mum leans in, grabs the seatbelt and dd's arm and wont let go. I asked her politely but firmly to take her hands off my child. I get dd out of the car seat to walk home with her and mum grabs dd's arm, pulling her in the other direction.
At this point im fuming. Mum follows me for a while then goes back around to the car and phones me sobbing and asking why im doing this to her.

The history to this. My mum is completely over the top with my kids, especially dd. Dd has always been difficult and ive found it hard to cope with her temper tantrums. She has beaten me black and blue before now. I am trying my best to sort these tantrums out but mum's constant interference doesn't help.

Anything dd wants, dd gets. She demands a sweet, mum gets her one. Dd screams it isnt the right colour, mum goes off to buy something different. That's wrong too so mum will go and get some more. Every day before nursery dd wants nanny to pick her up and carry her across the road. Mum has weak joints and a bad back, she'll ask dd if she can walk, dd screams. Nan will pick her up anyway. So far mum has picked up dd when she already had a back injury and left herself in agony, picked dd up and twisted her ankle, nearly falling over. Picked dd up and her back gave way, they nearly fell over again.

Why stand there and let her do it I hear you say? I try, but mum will physically pull dd from my arms and scream at me that im cruel, she doesnt care who sees it either.

I can control dd's tempers if im allowed to but when we're with mum she just gives in straight away. Im left feeling like a rubbish mother (im cruel), a rubbish daughter (for making nanny carry the four year old).

I have tried to explain to mum that if she keeps giving in to dd it will not help anything but she always turns it somehow. Then when we're home I have a dd who if she can't get her own way, will scream that she's going to live with nanny, which of course makes me feel awful. Before now, dd has actually packed a bag and tried to walk to nans house because I wouldn't let her have chocolate before our meal.

Why cant mum back off and support me? Is that too much to ask? Even if she doesn't agree with my parenting she could still say nothing and pull me up on it later. No she has to argue with me in public and make me look like a fool whilst encouraging dd to misbehave.

She's done this before with ds when he was about 5. We were on holiday and went to the family entertainment pub in the middle of the holiday park. There were two young girls singing and ds put his hands over his ears as we went in. Mum was convinced ds was frightened to death, I assured her he wasn't and he would be fine in 5 mins when he saw the little girls having fun singing. She screamed at me in front of the other families that I was cruel. So I quietly said I was going back to the caravan with ds. She grabbed hold of him and physically would not let him go. Her partner looked embarrassed and asked her quietly to not make a scene and just let us leave (I would have taken ds to the park on the site for a while). She was having none of it, held on tight to him. I had to leave him with her because I was not about to have a physical tug of war.

Its tough trying to bring up two kids on my own, im trying my best but mum is not helping and I get irrationally angry with her. Then she cries and says im cruel, to her and my kids.

Babymumma Sat 02-Aug-08 20:13:16

Bless you for dealing with all that! Wow, I thought my Mum was a pita but she's never done the things you've just listed! I don't really have any advice for you but didn't want to read & run. I hope you manage to resolve things and yanbu!!

LEMONADEGIRL Sat 02-Aug-08 20:19:38

yanbu your mum sounds like hard work. I think you are doing the right thing. Children have to be shown how to behave giving into them all the time will create little monsters.

Roboshua Sat 02-Aug-08 20:25:25

Poor you.You are not being irrationally angry. I would be furious. She is constantly undermining you at every turn. My DS2 had temper tantrums and the only way to get through it is not to give in to any of their demands.

She is emotionally blackmailing you with the tears. You are not being cruel to her or your kids. It is her who is being incredibly unfair. Unfortunately I can't hink of any solution other than keep her at arms length which is difficult as she is your mother.

kittywise Sat 02-Aug-08 20:29:20

bloody hell if my mum had tried to grab any of my kids I would have lost it, you did very well .
My mum is always pushing the limits, it drives me nuts.
Your mum needs a good talking too

lizziemun Sat 02-Aug-08 20:29:32

I think you need to be realy hard on your mum and set ground rules.

She needs to understand that she is nanny and not mummy so she does not get a say on how you bring your dc up.

She must never pull your child from you again or you will report. I know what i am saying is harsh but the only way to get your dd to behave the way you would like her to is to cut down the amount of time she spends with her.

As long as you let your mum walk over you your dc will behave like this because they have learnt that nanny will give/do what they want.

I'm sorry but is using emotional blackmail by crying and saying your cruel and it working because you can not tell not to behave this way.

I would next time you see her tell right at the start any interference from her on how you are telling your dc off then you will go home. and stict to it as you have to teach both your mum and children thatyou will not tolorate their behaviour.

Tommy Sat 02-Aug-08 20:32:33

Why do you go shopping with your Mum if this always happens? Could you just invite her over and you go to her?

Doesn't solve the problem but containing it in the home might be a step in the right direction

bumpybecky Sat 02-Aug-08 20:40:54

Although in general it's not unreasonable to hope for support from your Mum, I think in your case YABU expecting it as from what you've said your Mum isn't capable of giving it

If it were me I'd be putting distance between my children and my mother. Maybe if you have a break from each other when she's calmed down and seen that you can cope without her 'help', she might help out on your terms?

Sounds like a difficult situation

ShyBaby Sat 02-Aug-08 20:43:37

Thanks for your replies. The problem I have is that I do sort or rely on mum. She works near me and I hitch a lift to work with her, otherwise it would take me an hour or more which is a tad impossible. Not that I want to cut her out anyway. She's strange. She's a very cold person to me, always has been. She knows very little about my life considering I see her every day, but she's followed me when I moved (lives in the next street), she has no little interest in me, just my kids.

She would never turn me away in an emergency (ceiling falls in type of thing) but she is so distant. We never talk. We spend zero time together. She doesn't want me to be far away, but wont let me be close emotionally iyswim? I tried to talk to her this afternoon when I apologised for the way I behaved. I tried to explain why I was annoyed about dd but she cut me short and said best forget it.

Until the next time I presume!

constancereader Sat 02-Aug-08 20:48:19

It sounds like a nightmare situation.

It does sound as if your mum is not actually capable of giving you positive support. You need to plan your life around that, rather than expecting her to change her behavior.

How often do you see her? Perhaps it would be a good idea to limit the time you spend with her and your dd - I realise this might not be easy but I think it would be a postitive step towards resolving this incredibly difficult situation.

constancereader Sat 02-Aug-08 20:51:05

ShyBaby - why did you apologise to her?

Surely it should have been the other way round?

Do you think the key to resolving this situation is to address your relationship with your mother, rather than her relationship with your daughter?

(Just wanted to add that of course you are not unreasonable in any way)

ShyBaby Sat 02-Aug-08 20:51:54

Tommy, shopping was an excuse to spend time with her.

We've both always worked in the week. Saturday we would go to the cafe and chat, browse around the shops and share a trolley in the supermarket (Saturday wasn't our main shopping day at the time!).

Then she said she couldn't afford the cafe. Then she said she couldn't browse because of her back (fair enough). Then she wanted a seperate trolley and tootled off on her own.

I've invited her over. As i've said, she lives in the next street and has done for 5 years. She has never popped round here, not once. I give up!!

ShyBaby Sat 02-Aug-08 20:55:52

She wont talk constance. I tried once, she got upset. It was on dd's birthday, the one rare occasion she will come to my house. She burst into tears, ran down my path and asked why I was trying to make her feel bad.

I felt like shit and apologised afterwards.

constancereader Sat 02-Aug-08 20:55:54

It seems as if you are very upset about the lack of normal reaction to you from your mother. Has she always been this emotionally distant with you? It seems a direct contrast with the way she emotionally indulges your dd.

How very hurtful this must be for you.

ShyBaby Sat 02-Aug-08 21:08:52

Hmm, she's always been this way towards me. She's a woman who gives up easily and maybe thinks its too late to remedy things with us so concentrates on the kids instead, in an over the top way (amatuer psychology alert)!

constancereader Sat 02-Aug-08 21:13:50

Have you seen any of the threads here about toxic parents? They might be of use to you in understanding your relationship with your mother.

Will look for a link.

constancereader Sat 02-Aug-08 21:18:33

this book has been mentioned a lot on here,

sorry can't find a link to the thread.

ShyBaby Sat 02-Aug-08 21:23:57

That's ok, thankyou, i'll see what I can find with regard to those threads also, I was expecting a lot of YABU replies. I feel slightly better now (but still fuming) grin

HonoriaGlossop Sat 02-Aug-08 21:30:19

I think you need to start long term planning to enable you to be more independent from her. If this was me, with her causing this much difficulty with your dd, I would not want to carry on like this. OK I read that you rely on her lifts etc but that's what I mean about long term planning; different job for you, different area? different nursery. There ARE options.

If this was me there is NO way I would have her this close to my family. Of course i know it's hard if you're a lone parent, it's hard to stop some involvement from another adult as that's precious but this is not HELP she's giving, is it?

I think you need a long term, independence plan. Maybe independence from her in practical terms will give you a bit of distance from her, which MAY help with independence from her in emotional terms. I don't say that lightly; we all want love and approval from our mums. It should be the least we can expect, really sad

TheProvincialLady Sat 02-Aug-08 21:33:21

You know you are working on managing your DD tantrums by saying no, being firm and not giving in, ignoring the yelling and tears etc and then distracting and moving on? Well it seems to me that you need to do the same with your mum. If you keep apologising to her, giving in to her and letting her see that her tears and rants have an effect on how you treat your children, they she is being rewarded for this behaviour. You need to break the cycle.

And I can understand how you need support from your mum but as she is pretty incapable of giving it in a helpful manner, maybe you should reorganise your life so that she plays less of a part in it? I could not see my mum as often as you do and yet I get on with her very well.

TheHedgeWitch Sat 02-Aug-08 21:41:09

Message withdrawn

donovan Sat 02-Aug-08 22:02:08

Shybaby, do you drive? If not, try to figure out a way to have lessons, you need your independence. Can you move closer to work, or get a job closer to home? What do your children's dad think of your mums attitude to the children?
I have a friend who is emotionally dependant on her mother, who like yours is a cold fish to her but, ott to her son. She now has a son who is 12 and is in the middle of a nervous breakdown, she realises now that the conflicting messages of her always acquiescing to her mother and him, has left him confused and on the edge.
As others have said, quietly (or loudly dependant on you) move heaven and earth to give your self and your children freedom from manipulation.

Eilatan Sat 02-Aug-08 22:12:24

I think you need a holiday! Poor love. Have you a mate (with or without kids) you could go with?

indiemummy Sat 02-Aug-08 22:29:11

oh you poor thing, she sounds like a nightmare. Be strong and have confidence in what you are saying. Try to explain to your mum why you are not letting dd have whatever she wants. for example, say "dd can have chocolate after her dinner, i want her to learn to wait, and i want her to have an appetite for her healthy dinner first". No-one could argue with that.

My mum, although nowhere near as bad, is also emotionally distant, and has never popped round although she lives close and she and my dad have always tried to get me to stay living close to them, even making me accept my second-choice university place so I could stay in my home town. Whenever my mum comes round (i.e. she arranges to come over after work - it's kind of on her way home - about once a month from about 4.30 - 6pm) it's really awkward. i could never tell her if i had a problem. i always end up really stressed after making her cups of tea and having to tidy the house for her - it's always such a relief when she's gone. it shouldn't be like this between mothers and daughters, but I don't know how you or I can sort our mums out and make them into nice, reasonable, helpful people!

Sorry got carried away! But - you poor thing! Let's vow NEVER to be like this with our dds when they are older! xx

ShyBaby Sat 02-Aug-08 22:43:56

I can cope, the hedgewitch, I've been a single mum for ten years now. Its not about coping. Its about being heaped with guilt trips and rubbish I dont need from the one person who is supposed to support me smile

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