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To think my Mum should *help* when she comes to stay?

(92 Posts)
LittleOneMum Tue 30-Jun-09 11:15:17

PLEASE tell me what you think - had a real row with her last night and I need some honest views. Feel all shaky today - I hate arguments!
OK, so my Mum lives in another country. She chose to move there a few years ago. Anyway, she sees DS every couple of months because of this. My PIL come every fortnight or so, because they're about 3 hours drive away.
Anyway, she arrived for a 10 day stay on Sunday night. DH had been at work since 7am and I had been looking affter DS so when she arrived I asked if she could pop out to the shop to buy some bread for lunch. At the time she said nothing.
Yesterday I was at work all day and she hung out with DS and his nanny. Last night, she sat on the couch and watched the Andy Murray match and when I came home she said "What's for dinner?". I am ashamed to say that I said "I have no idea. What's in the fridge? Did you get a chance to buy anything today?"
To which she responded "I'm your guest. I shouldn't have to cook. And by the way, I was really shocked that I had to buy my own lunch yesterday. Couldn't you have done some shopping? If you had come to my house, I would have had lunch ready for you!"
I did not take kindly to this, to put it mildly. I said that PIL usually bloody help and she is not here just as a guest. I work f/t and have a toddler and frankly she is also here to help!
She went to her room at 8pm and I haven't seen her since. Am now at work thinking I am the most selfish and horrid daughter in the world. AAAARGH.
Please help. Am I being unreasonable. i feel like telling her to get lost back home immediately and I would, save that I think that DS having a granny around is actually quite nice,and important. Sorry this is so long.

Devendra Tue 30-Jun-09 11:21:26

Ummm TBH I would have shopped in advance of her visit but certainly my Mum would have prepared something when I was out at work all day. Its difficult and depends on the relationship you have normally with your Mum.. i would think nothing of asking her to do a few small tasks but then she would just do it anyway. Maybe go and start again...its hot, humid and maybe you were both being a tad unreasonable.

Tambajam Tue 30-Jun-09 11:21:35

I don't think YABU.
When my mum stays for a few days (every 6 weeks or so) she absolutely mucks in and I'm not even working as you are.
But if she is on a completely different page in this regard and anything she does do is going to be grudgingly while huffing and puffing I probably wouldn't bother pushing it unless you really want to.
It's just sad that she doesn't take pleasure in supporting you when she is staying with you. I would have one more go at the sit down conversation where you both try to avoid snapping and you try and see each other's POV. i.e. she gets what you are saying and voluntarily pulls her finger out.

DrunkenDaisy Tue 30-Jun-09 11:21:49

Hmmm. I think in the main YANBU and your mum should help out.

But then again, if she's come all the way from another country, you could have got something in for lunch on her first day.

Tbh , she brought you up, she shouldn't have to do it again with the grandkids.

What was she like as a Mum?

unavailable Tue 30-Jun-09 11:23:53

I do think you are being a bit unreasonable.

It sounds as if you made no effort at all for her when she arrived (presumably after a long journey) on Sunday.

I know different families have different rules/expectations - what would you expect if you went to visit her?

Perhaps she feels your lack of an enthusiastic welcome means that you dont really want her there?

FluffyBunnyGoneBad Tue 30-Jun-09 11:24:21

I think YABU. You were like this as a child yes? Your mum looked after you. Do you remember your gran helping your mum out? She is a guest, personally I'd stick her in a hotel so they can cater for her though.

meemarsgotabrandnewbump Tue 30-Jun-09 11:25:52

I think you are being a little bit unreasonable.

You say 'frankly she is also here to help'. But she's not really is she? - you have invited her to stay, not to be a home help.

It would be lovely for her to offer to help, and most people naturally would, especially as you are working. So she is being a bit lazy. But as she has pointed out she is a guest, and it is not her duty.

I think you both need to compromise and be a bit more considerate of each other.

1dilemma Tue 30-Jun-09 11:27:27

She sounds like my PIL they treat my place like a (free) hotel!
Can't offer anything constructive I'm afraid. bit I did LOL at her asking you what's for dinner when you got back in sorry

Bougainvillia Tue 30-Jun-09 11:29:50

I think you are being terribly unreasonable and very rude to your mum.

When you go and stay with your mother does she shop and cook for you? I bet she does.

You are an adult, and it is not beyond your capabilities to shop and cook when you have a guest staying.

saadia Tue 30-Jun-09 11:30:26

I think YABU to have sent her shopping on her first day here and sorry to sound unkind but many people do go shopping with more than one dc in tow.

And I don't think it is her job to cook dinner, although it would be nice if she offered. Presumably you would be cooking something anyway if she was not there.

staranise Tue 30-Jun-09 11:31:59

YANBU, like you say, you work FT and have a small child: you can do without running around after house guests as well.

Saying that, it sounds like a bit of bad temper on both sides that's been blown out of proportion. For the sake of family harmony it might be best to bite your tongue and apologise but explain that you would really appreciate some practical help.

LittleOneMum Tue 30-Jun-09 11:32:15

Thanks for these comments - the hard truth is what I need.

I should have made more of an effort for lunch. And she is a guest. She is a great hostess when I am at her house - although to be fair when I go she is not working full time.

Blast it? Does this mean I have to apologise?

littlelamb Tue 30-Jun-09 11:33:23

I think the working full time thing is irrelevant. Lots of people do it, what would you do for dinner if she wasn't there?

stillstanding Tue 30-Jun-09 11:33:34

I think it's really great when guests help out but I don't expect it. My parents are usually helpful but it isn't a given. I know that when I go to their house I don't expect to cook etc although I do help out in different ways. So while I see your point and understand your frustration I think you are probably being a little unreasonable.

saadia Tue 30-Jun-09 11:34:03

Yeah, make it up and enjoy the rest of her visit. Life is too short.

ilove Tue 30-Jun-09 11:34:56

YABU and yes I do think you need to apologise...sorry!

notwavingjustironing Tue 30-Jun-09 11:35:18

Take her some flowers home tonight and say "sorry we got off to a bad start" - how about I order some food in for dinner tonight
and we forget all about last night?

Then I would be tempted to do an on-line shop to be delivered when you are at home, then no-one needs to worry about it!

spicemonster Tue 30-Jun-09 11:35:38

I think you probably should apologise. But sit down and have a chat about your mutual expectations because it sounds like there's a bit of a gap!

Buda Tue 30-Jun-09 11:35:46

Yes I think you do. I am sure she would help out with a bit of direction. It sounds like you didn't shop. If I were her I would have been peeved to have to go out and get bread as soon as I arrived!

You can shop on line you know!

rubyslippers Tue 30-Jun-09 11:35:59

I don't think it is unreasonable to have some food in for her lunch/dinner at least on the first night(i also work FT and have a toddler so i know this can be tricky but it is doable)

she obviously views herself as a guest even if she is your mum - what is she like usually when she visits? Is this something new?

angel1976 Tue 30-Jun-09 11:36:13

My PILs never turn up unexpectedly and would always expect us to lay on lunch of some sorts if they visit. We are lazy so usually we take them out for lunch but I think they realise that already so haven't said a word about that! LOL.

My parents live in another country and when they came to visit for two weeks, I did make sure there was some food cooked and ready if they wanted to eat though they came in late. We then went and did a big shop the next day with them (as I knew my dad would love noseying around the supermarket! grin). My mum did subsequently help clean the house as well as cooked quite a few dinners, which was great.

So I have to say YABU in this instance. You sound like you are resentful of her choosing to live in another country and not being able to help as much as she would have if she lived in the country but she has her life to lead too! I don't think she should expect to go on holiday to cook and clean for you but to spend some quality time with her DGS!

stillstanding Tue 30-Jun-09 11:36:24

I would apologies, LittleOneMum. So much nicer to keep the peace! I would also explain to her that you are feeling under pressure with work et all and a little stretched but that you are thrilled that she is there and has come so far to see you. And if she offers to help take her up on it!

hmc Tue 30-Jun-09 11:36:31

YANBU - as you say, you have a toddler and work full time. She's had children herself so she should know how draining it can be, and there is no excuse for her myopia.

Now if it was me (2 school age children, no paid employment and a bit of studying on the side) I would have got some lunch in for her and I would have taken the lead on preparing dinner (but would expect offers of help etc) - but clearly my circumstances are completely different to yours (I lead the life of Riley grin)

mylifemykids Tue 30-Jun-09 11:36:42

YABU! Why would you have no food in the house if you knew she was coming to stay?

I actually feel sorry for her having, I assume, a long journey to get to you and then being sent out to get something for lunch. She's there to spend time with your DC not to look after you!!

LittleOneMum Tue 30-Jun-09 11:37:00

OK, will apologise. Thanks Mumsnet jury. For the record, I was totally planning to cook last night (as I do every night). It was just the 'what's for dinner?' comment which set me off. A simple 'what can I do to help you with dinner?' would have avoided any showdown I think. grin

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