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Mum's sarky comments

(21 Posts)
Wigglesworth Tue 21-Oct-08 11:52:35

My Mum gets on my nerves and says something that bugs me nearly every time I visit with 12 week old DS. If she isn't telling me what to do with bub she is making sarky comments about how LITTLE she sees him.
DS and myself visit her and my Dad at least once a week sometimes twice. I went round on Sunday and she was talking to DS but having a dig at me saying "oh I haven't seen you for a week little man". I replied we visited you on Tuesday Mum, she said well it's nearly a week.
They see him more than anyone else, obviously other than me and DH. My DH's parents live over 100 miles from us and don't get to see him anywhere near as much so they should think themselves lucky really. I don't want to spend all our time at their house, and the cutting remarks make me want to visit even less!! My DH has already cut down on his visits to their house cos they get on his nerves too.
Am I unreasonable or do you think they are out of order being so demanding and being a bit nasty about it? I don't know what to do.

DaphneMoon Tue 21-Oct-08 12:03:28

Couldn't they visit you?

BloodyStranglingwithBling Tue 21-Oct-08 12:06:14

okay, I have some experience in this kind of behaviour from my mother. You might not like this, but the only thing I have found to work at all, is to simply refuse to buy into her guilt trips. Decide for yourself what you think is fair, tell her, and stick to it. And then, try very very hard to ignore anything else she says because she's being unreasonable.

I know, easier said than done. But without wanting to be negative, in my experience, parents like this cannot be pleased. So trying is pointless. But, if you are consistent and clear at all times, you might be able to deflect some of the commentary or let it bother you less than you would otherwise.

I am sorry, I suspect you were hoping for something that might change her behaviour? And maybe someone has some experience and maybe your mother isn't exactly like mine. But I've spent years trying to deal with this and realised changing her was impossible, so I had to change my reaction.

misshardbroom Tue 21-Oct-08 12:08:41

can't really top what BloodyStrangling had to say, as this is v good advice.

But I know that my parents who live 300 miles away would totally love to see their DGCs even once a week! Your mum doesn't know how lucky she is.

pudding25 Tue 21-Oct-08 12:09:47

I agree with bloody. Parents like this just cannot be reasoned with. My parents have ridiculous views on everything. Unfortunately, at the age of 36, I still can't hold my breath and have to answer back to everything when I should just leave it.

Decide how often you want to see your parents and that is it. whether it is once/twice per wk.

Wigglesworth Tue 21-Oct-08 16:48:43

I have thought about giving sarky comments back to her for example talking to DS and saying "If nanny keeps making nasty remarks we will visit even less won't we!" or reminding her of the fact that my DH parents see him a lot less and would give their right eye to see him once a week and she should think herself lucky. What does everyone think?

BloodyStranglingwithBling Tue 21-Oct-08 16:54:22

Nope. Won't work. Sorry.

You could try making those comments, but in totally even tone of voice as a straight fact so as to demonstrate how her behaviour may lead to some other, less desireable for her, affect. But IME (and I have lots sadly) sarky will simply fuel her fire of "DD is so mean to me and never lets me see DGC and really, I just want to be close to my family, is that so much to ask?"

I think this kind of behaviour is childlike - she cannot see reality because she is so self absorbed. Sarcasm or other tools therefore are unlikely to have any impact. She does not see that her comments are nasty or unpleasant, so genuinely cannot understand why you would be sarcastic with her. I suspect she genuinely believes the things she's saying.

I have spent entire weekends with my mother while visiting home, leaving her side only to sleep or perhaps to make a phone call to dp, but when I leave, she will still complain that I have hardly been around.

compo Tue 21-Oct-08 16:57:56

just ignore it or say 'you're laways welcome to come and visit' or just say 'yes we have been very busy haven't we' , smile and move on. It'll only get you down if you let it.

Wigglesworth Tue 21-Oct-08 21:07:34

If I told her she is welcome at our house she wouldn't sodding well leave me alone. Her and my Dad smother me and are constantly fussing. My DH has just got a new job and works away 2 nights week. At first my parents were like "ok so we will each take it in turns to stay with you", until I told them in no uncertain terms that I did not want any to stay with me because I am a 28 year old married mum and not a 16 year old child.
My mum is itching to be round here all the time to "help", I don't need help though, I am a get on with it person but they just say I am stubborn. In reality I don't want my mum here interfering and trying to tell me how to do it. She can be very patronising without realising it. Sometimes if she sings to him and rocks him to sleep she gives me a look that says "see this is how you do it aren't I so f**king ace and you are useless", he only sleeps for a few minutes when she tries to get him to sleep. When I have patted him to sleep and he is really zonked she says "you should try singing to him that will send him to sleep", ERR HE ALREADY IS ASLEEP ARE YOU BLIND?
I feel terrible for feeling this way cos she is a really caring and loving person but she lacks in the tact dept and rubs me and DH up the wrong way. Do I sound insane? Do you have the same experiences? I am a first time Mum and all this is very new to me. That said I know myself and DH are doing a bang up job of making sure he is a happy bub. He is very smiley and pleasant (wasn't at first, utter nightmare!) and I feel that is cos myself and DH have done it our way and not let people interfere.

Tryharder Tue 21-Oct-08 22:23:44

I hear what you are saying Wigglesworth but I honestly think your mum is only trying to help. My mum is the same and loves to give me the benefit of her "experience" . Just smile and nod your head and then do things the way you want. Your parents obviously love you and want to be involved in your lives. Make the most of it! Why do you not want her to help? Could she not do some shopping for you or tackle a pile of ironing. Could she and your Dad not babysit for you once in a while - that would probably make her day! My mum would move mountains for my DC - she annoys the hell out of me - but it's nice to know that there are other people on this planet other than me and DP who really, really love our DC.

I have friends whose parents couldn't give a f*ck about their grandchildren and that's really, really sad.

LittleBellaLugosi Tue 21-Oct-08 22:37:56

Oh I disagree that your mum is only trying to help.

People who are only trying to help, think very carefully about what effect their words will have on the person they are trying to help and if in doubt, won't utter them.

I have a colleague at work who is pregnant and is already talking what I consider bollocks, but I shut the fark up because I will only say something I genuinely believe may help. So that's nothing then. grin

You are not being mad, your mother sounds like a PITA and it is probably a revelation to you that you are even allowed to think that. I agree with everything Bloodystrangling has said as well, listen to her, she is really only trying to help.

KatieDD Tue 21-Oct-08 22:43:05

Mine don't really give much of a fuck about their grandchildren certainly didn't when they were babies.
If I was you I'd drop him round there for a couple of hours whilst you get your hair done/have a coffee/sit and do nothing for a few hours.
No point in trying to get her to do the ironing because she wants the baby not you grin so make it work to your advantage and then you don't have to hear the comments.
Trust me when he's a snot covered toddler telling her to get off when she tries to smother him, she'll be less keen. Unless you've had another one then grin

lizzylemon Tue 21-Oct-08 23:01:14

Hmmmm, sounds a lot like my mum. I had a few(!) comments about how to do stuff or what my mum didn't agree with and I think the way to go is to make a rule, tell your mum and stick with it as per Bloody's sound advice.

I reminded my mum thats she's the Grandma now and she just gets to do the nice things and everything else is down to me and my OH and thats how the beautiful / special bond between Grandparent and child is forged (I also used "that look" she's spent the last 35 years using on me - it works both ways dontcha knowgrin)

Also, the scheduling is a great idea as everyone knows where they stand. My OH mum kept saying that she never sees our little bumbino but as I pointed out, the door is always(!?) open and she is welcome but wheneve I invite her she's too busy. Plus why should you travel all the time, much easier for your mum surely.

lizzylemon Tue 21-Oct-08 23:09:41

Sorry to go on but I think this is quite important, as you get more used to being a mum and more confident in what your doing you will find it much much easier to ignore comments because you'll know and believe that you're doing the great job you are. smile

BoffinMum Tue 21-Oct-08 23:10:07

My mum can't really stand kids and sees the offspring 3x year max. She prefers us not to go around her place as it messes up the cream sofas and so on. She generally comes over to ours for 3-4 hours for lunch and coffee, then leaves. Her most classic quote was when one of my friends who was thinking of having children asked her "What do you think about the whole children thing then?" and my mum's reply was "Well, if I have my time again I'm not sure I'd bother". Cheers mum!

edam Tue 21-Oct-08 23:11:13

Your baby is 12 weeks old (congraulations, btw). Suggest you rein in the temptation to have a go at your mother - eventually you will be REALLY grateful to have someone around who actively wants to babysit and who loves your child almost as much as you do and wants to hear all about everything they do.

(And use bloody's advice too, refuse to rise to the bait and do NOT get into tit for tat conversations with the poor baby. He's not a UN peacekeeper!)

MadameCheese Tue 21-Oct-08 23:27:53

I really know where you're coming from, had the same sort of thing with MIL. We've had bitter emails from her regarding seeing DS. I noted that she seemed far more concerned about seeing him than she ever did about seeing her own son before LO was born . However, due to this experience I would advise holding your tongue, you have to be the bigger person and actually this will make the situation much less aggravating in your eyes.

orinocowitch Tue 21-Oct-08 23:34:21

Bloody had some great advice there.
I was worried I would have the same sort of issues with my mum as that is what she was like too, but sadly she died before DS was born so never had to put it to the test.
I think it is innate in all mums to assume that their children have no clue how to manage a new baby - just some are better at keeping their traps shut about it! Evemn my MIL, who tried Soooo hard not to do it, still inadvertently managed to put my back up a few times by doing something different and suggesting that her way worked better.

Ride it out, don't upset her - I assume this is her first grandchild?

Wigglesworth Thu 23-Oct-08 10:57:38

This is her first grandchild, she just fusses so much and nobody else gets a look in when I take him round, she pounces on him straight away. If anyone else holds him she is right by their side holding out her arms to catch him in case they drop him, she treats them like they're simple and don't know how to hold him and it makes me cringe.
I do love my Mum very much and she is very caring but sometimes she has no idea how to behave and comes across very patronising. I think all this is starting to affect my relationship with her and that is the last thing I want. She should be someone I can rely on to make me feel better and help me out when I need her, but I don't want her "help" because she stresses me more rather than helps me.

Popple Thu 23-Oct-08 11:16:54

Hi Wigglesworth,
You could be me! I have the exact same problem with my mother. My dd is 8 now and I tore my hair out for years over the way my mum was. I have just had to care less unfortunately. I've cut down on the time I spend with her & the things I tell her. I don't go to see her if my patience is wearing thin or if I'm having a bad day. Just try your best to ignore it all. She won't change so you have to change the way that you handle her. The worse thing to do is to get grumpy and make remarks back. You will just feel worse for it and she will think you are being a cow! If she is driving you really crazy then make your excuses and leave ASAP. Don't let her emotionally blackmail you. It's your baby and you call the shots.

Don't think I don't still get wound up. My mother continues to drive me mad but I try to laugh at it (behind her back of course)and move on. Ranting on here is always good too.

loler Thu 23-Oct-08 11:25:09

How about having a set day to see her, maybe organise to meet somewhere, do an activity together (swimming, baby bounce and rhymne at library) - will help to manage her expectations and is always easier (IME) when out of the house.

The nod agree and smile approach will have to work for many years as I found that it can get worse - just think about potty training grin.

When my Dsis had her baby I bought DM the good granny guide she has been quoting it back at us ever since - i.e. I don't think you should do that but my book says I'm not allowed to say that. Hasn't really made her any better but at least she realises what she's doing! A good christmas present!

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