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To think i must have mug written across my face

(23 Posts)
LucyEllensmummy Wed 18-Feb-09 09:41:52

Am i being unreasonable? Perfectly willing to be told that actually i should get over myself and be a kinder person.

But this week, i feel i have been taken advantage of.

So, I get invited on a playdate with DD - the mum is lovely etc and had invited me to tea on friday with DD. I didn't really want to go, but couldnt decide why - well now ive fiured it out. Its because i seem to be a fecking nanny when i am there - she spent most of the time either cleaning or smoking while i was left to occupy her children - they are quite difficult - was a referee. This tends to heppen every time i go there - she just never sits and has a cuppa with me. Is it me? Maybe im being unfair but it just seems like she thinks great LEM is good with the kids, i'll catch up on the housework. Should i just be grateful that my DD has a little friend to play with. I don't have her to my house because she is quite badly behaved and i draw the line at having my house wrecked.

Then, my mother - she hasn't been feeling all that well, so i went round yesterday for two reasons 1. To see if she needed anything from the shops and 2. To see if she could have DD for an hour or two while i went to my counselling session. I didn't expect that she would feel up to it, and that was fine,quite prepared to cancel, but thought id check because ive canceled in the past and she has turned up to babysit. So, she doesn't feel up to it - no problems, i cancel. Then just about the time i had to leave she came round - oh, so you are not going then? Um, well not without childcare no! So, what then? Will you come to the town with me? FFS - cue me trapsing around all the shops while she laughs and jokes with the pet shop boys (hysterical gay couple who run the local pet shop)and i just follow behind attaching her shopping bags to DDs pushchair - DD gets out of pushchair so the inevitable happens...all tips up, i wrench my back jumping to catch it all. STILL she wants to "just pop to this and that shop"...Well, i'm bloody knackered by the time i get home - she seemed quite ok.

today i am taking DD to an animal park, she wants to come too - fine i don't mind, but i want to let my DD have a free run, let her do what she wants and not be rushed away from play area etc, which will inevitably happen. I have just had a little bet with myself that on the way home, we will have to get off the bus early - so my mum can pop to ths shops.

Now i know my mum is quite old, but she manages to walk her bloody dog for three miles every day. Manages to drag me around the shop til im knackered using me as a shopping trolley - i had stuff on the pushchair and hooked over my wrists yesterday! Why could she not have sat in my house drinking tea whilst watching DD (3.5) doing colouring in while i go and see my fecking counseller!!

DH says im being selfish as she probably doesn't feel up to having DD, fair enough but the shopping thing is getting me down - i don't drive and it is at least every other day. Ive offered to buy her a shopping trolley - no way jose, thats for old ladies!! Yesterday i suggested that she has the shop deliver her shopping, its free ffs - "oh i can't be bothered with that, its too much hassle having to wait in!!"

I'm too soft aren't i?

you decide, too soft or too selfish?

macdoodle Wed 18-Feb-09 09:51:25

Too soft LEM grin

sausagenmash Wed 18-Feb-09 09:54:19

Ooooh LEM, not too selfish at all - I'd be yelling blue murder! See how your little bet pans out... if you're right, would it be worth 'having a word'? - or would it be like with my Mum, and end up shouting down the phone and then not talking for 5 months (that was a couple of years ago, but STILL)

I'm quite lucky - my parents live a 3 hour drive away.... we have to plan meeting up weeks in advance!

wingandprayer Wed 18-Feb-09 09:56:10

Too soft and I think you are being taken advantage of even though it doesn't sound deliberate on your mum's part. She sounds lonely and wants to be involved but you have your own things to get on with too and you are not solely responsible for her happiness unless you decide to make yourself so.

Yesterday you were very considerate if she wasn't feeling well, but is she aware of how important the counselling is to you? Refusing to go round the shops would have been very petulant, but there would have been no harm sitting down at the end of the day and gently pointing out that you had missed your session because you thought she wasn't up to it and how important it was therefore to ensure you amde the next one. Regarding today, either don't take her or let her get off the bus and go shopping on her own. If she can walk three miles a day she'll be fine. The shopping trips are an excuse to spend time with you - schedule in other regular visits that will be more enjoyable for you and DD and let her do her won shopping if she is well enough to manage it. At the moment you are giving her lots of opportunities to NOT help herself, so she's not.

None of the above is meant as a criticism by the way, you sound very kind, but if you don't do something this resentment that's starting may cause much bigger problems later.

BoffinMum Wed 18-Feb-09 09:59:23

Definitely a bit soft, but lovely really.

There is nothing wrong with the word 'no' if you don't want to do things!! It gets easier with practice.

Dropdeadfred Wed 18-Feb-09 10:06:22

Preted your pushchair is broken for a week and see what happens wink

Just say no LEM...simple as. She says no to you when she doesn't feel 'up to it' you should do the same!

mej3 Wed 18-Feb-09 10:06:44

IMO you are not selfish, you are human. Being a mum is busy enough and sometimes the last thing you need is more demands, especially when they affect the way you want to do things with your dd. I think your playdate is taking the p**s, how nice to have children intertained while she sweeps round with her duster and has her cig break!
The situation with your mother is more difficult because it is your mother. But tbh, she sounds quite active from what you have said, and you sound like her entourage at the back. I would maybe try to set some tactful rules or you may end up getting so hacked off, that you have a big argument and end up feeling really bad. You can't please everybody all the time, so sometimes, you just need to do things your way. Does not make you selfish, you still care, you still take her to shops, just has to suit you too. (I'm sure she'll remember what is't like being a busy mum.)

bellabelly Wed 18-Feb-09 10:07:20

So your mum regularly babysits for you? I think you should be bloody grateful actually!

bellabelly Wed 18-Feb-09 10:08:19

PS Meant to say, yanbu about the playdate thing. Why is your friend doing housework when you are there? That is weird and rude.

compo Wed 18-Feb-09 10:09:20

criey, she is really taking the micey isn't she/
you have to learn to say no, I can't go to the shops today I doing xxx with dd

compo Wed 18-Feb-09 10:09:39

that was crikey and mickey blush

Gorionine Wed 18-Feb-09 10:10:37

Well for the playdate YAdefinitelyNBU. I have been on the receiving hand of such playdates several times (always with the same mum though), and also decided I while ago that if she can't actually be bothered having a conversation instead of doing her washing up there was really no point.

I think it is trickier when it is your own mum though. Maybe you ca find a compromise? You do her shopping this week if she could look after DD for you so you can do your own things as well as helping her?

LucyEllensmummy Wed 18-Feb-09 12:26:02

bellababy - no, she doesn't regularly babysit for me - i go to a counseller once a week (great fun that is) for an hour - it is the ONLY time she ever has DD for me. Me and my DP NEVER go anywhere alone because i just dont ask. I am grateful when she babysits, i just think that it wouldnt hurt her for one hour when i go and try and sort my head out! But hey - perhaps i should cancel the counselling as its really quite selfish of me hmm.

mej3 Wed 18-Feb-09 13:25:33

bellababy, I would be "bloody grateful" if my mother had to clean my house top to bottom every week, but not to babysit her granddaughter for an hour a week, especially for counselling. Many grandparents love to babysit, as it's special time with grandchildren. just my opinion.

bellabelly Wed 18-Feb-09 15:37:35

LucyEllensmummy - didn't say you were being selfish! From your OP, it sounded like she regularly babysits - in fact, even just once a week is a regular arrangement isn't it? And she was feeling ill, so not that surprising that she didn't want to this week... So hmm right back at you - your last sentence sounds really adolescent, tbh.

mej3 - I know and it's lovely that lots of grandparents happily give up their time to babysit but many don't/can't. Just think that if people do have gps who are willing/able to do this there should be some acknowledgement! They are doing it out of love and kindness, not because we have any right to "expect" it, iyswim.

BitOfFun Wed 18-Feb-09 15:48:52

LEM, can you swap babysitting with the PITA mother so you could get to your sessions? How is the counselling going, btw?

LucyEllensmummy Wed 18-Feb-09 19:25:06

my point was that she was well enough to trapse all over town, that is all. I do let people take advantage of me - my mother is just one of them, but i don't mind, she is my mother. I am sad that she doesn't seem to want to babysit for DD as DD loves being with her. Maybe she does find her too much, but then she could come and spend time here with me here also.

I have another mother from playschool who gets me to take her son to school on a friday - but when she went away for the long weekend she didn't bother to tell me so i waited for nothing!

I need to learn to say no more.

My mum didn't come with us today - just as well, it turned into one of those comedy nightmare of a day! We get there and DD whines all the way round because all the animals are asleep - altough the wolves were up and about and pretty amazing, but i feel quite ripped off of my ten pounds. Then the food there was so expensive i decided i would walk up to the pub up the road where they serve a full carvery for £3.50, the price of a sandwich at the animal park! Rang DP and said, do you reckon i could walk it - yeah he said, no problem, its just around the corner - yeah right, bloody great corner and no fecking footpath so was walking pretty much in the ditch with DD who was a little angel. Then we gets to the pub and i treat myself to a lovely cold pint of cider, thats all good - food was welcome. Waited for the bus, but didn't read the front of it properly and it ended up terminating in the middle of no where, deviated from the main bus route so no bus home for over an hour! Walked back to main bus route, DD getting tetchy now - wait for a bus, FINALLY came and we are home comfy and warm. It would have been so stressful if DD had played up.

Do you reckon its bad karma for me moaning about my mother??

I shouldn't do, because she is a lovely person really but she is self centred and always has been - being my mum doesn't mean she is perfect. To be fair she doesn't actually know i go to counselling, im not sure what she thinks, just that i go to some place on a tuesday - i haven't told her because she would worry and assume that im some sort of nervous wreck, im not, most of the time honest! So i suppose it is my own fault really as whenever i get the sense she doesn't want to do it, i just say, oh don't worry i dont really have to go.

Anyway, DP home now, im off for a cuddle and a cuppa.

ChampagneDahling Wed 18-Feb-09 19:34:06

Hey LEM - you have to look after you too remember. Counselling sessions are important. Just leave DD with her friend alone next time and go to counselling instead - yaay!

Leo9 Wed 18-Feb-09 19:45:06

Can you not arrange a different time with the counsellor? Most I am sure would be able to be a bit flexible; maybe nearer the end of the day - could your DH make sure he was home to have DD one day a week if it was 4 or 5pm?

i just think it's such a bad position for you to be in to be missing your counselling and never quite knowing when you'll get to it or not based on your mum's decision; and your mum's decision not even being based on her knowing what you're needing to get to!

Re: the rude cleaning/smoking friend, I'd stop going! Agree with what you said about learning to say no can be too nice you know!

LucyEllensmummy Wed 18-Feb-09 19:50:09

I lost a part time job due to my mums erratic baby sitting. Sometimes she is feeling unwell and that is fair enough but other times she just gets a bee in her bonnet about something. Im painting a shitty picture of her, thats not really fair - she will often just give me money, out of the blue, she knows we are hard up - but i would rather her help me out childcare wise, but it is not my given right.

I could leave her with the PITA friend i suppose but actually don't want to get too involved in that relationship. Im sure she doesn't mean to abandon me to the kids, maybe she is just one of those people who wants to sit and chat - unlike me - i can talk the hind leg off a donkey me!

LucyEllensmummy Wed 18-Feb-09 19:54:08

Leo - its awkward whenever it is tbh. My DP works for himself and is working miles away just now so wouldnt be able to garuntee getting home. When he works locally he takes the afternoon off, takes me there and we go for coffee afterwards (nice). Its a pain in the bum actually as it is a bus ride away but i do rely on it just to vent sometimes, otherwise my poor long suffering DP gets it in the earole.

I have made this all about my mum and the counselling really and i didn't really want to. It was more a how do i learn to say no without upsetting people. I still haven't made my excuses about friday but i really just don't want to go, let alone for fecking Tea, her DH will be there and he makes me uncomfortable, not in any dodgy way - just in that he says nothing and i always feel at a loss as to what to say to him - NOT like me at all!

Leo9 Wed 18-Feb-09 20:03:18

Maybe sometimes if you say no you will upset people - I'm not sure there is a way of learning to say no without upsetting people. But it's about realising that if you need to, you CAN say no and that is fine, even if they are upset. It's their emotion, their reaction and it's for them to deal with not you.

Loads of people want to please other people and that's lovely of course and how society runs, but you have rights too including the right to say no to people and you shouldn't put the pressure on yourself to make other people ok all the time.

We're all individuals responsible for our own happiness in life after all.

BitOfFun Wed 18-Feb-09 21:11:42

LEM, can you google A Woman In Your Own Right, by Anne Dickson? It sounds like it would really help you.

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