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Am I being over sensitive

(32 Posts)
CanNotThinkOfANewName Tue 07-Jul-09 20:54:14

My mother came over today to help me sort through the children's toys etc. My daughter got over tired, due to no nap today and started to shout at me in a tired hissy toddler fit. Which I ignored and distracted her to another activity, which worked to quieten her down.
My mother told me that if I do not discipline my DD that she will turn out to be a bad teenager and that will be my fault. That a daughter should never shout at her mother.

It sounds so petty but this really was the straw which broke the camels back. I really feel like selling up and moving away, so I would see much less of my mother. I have had enough of the comments and if I stand up for myself, it would I upset my mother and my dad is upset that I caused problems.

Just today she criticised the housework (fair enough I don't do enough I prefer to play with the children), my parenting skills (I do things differently than she would), breastfeeding the baby, co sleeping etc
Ironically lastly she criticised the fact that I was upset about her comments, she told me "don't get huffy" I can cope with that stuff but starting on my daughter is just too much.

Strangers have often commented on how secure, friendly and polite my daughter is normally. Surely the strangers would remain quiet if my daughter was the overindulged brat my mother thinks she is/will be.
Surely I can communicate with my daughter and use non-physical discipline without destroying her self esteem. I want her to have more confidence than I do, to feel valued and have an impact on her life in little ways.

So my question is, am I being over sensitive being very upset by the criticism that my darling little girl will grow up to be a thug, due to my bad parenting skills. Do your children ever shout at you and what would you do if it happens.

Wigglesworth Tue 07-Jul-09 21:01:34

You are not being over sensitive, tell your mother that DD is your daughter and you will discipline her how you see fit and that if you needed her advice on discipline/housekeeping/general child rearing you'd have jolly well asked for it.
She sounds like a PITA TBH and your Dad sounds like he backs her up for a quiet life. You need to stand up to her, she may back off a bit if you do. If you can't face a confrontation just keep your distance for a while and she'll get the message, hopefully.

fizzpops Tue 07-Jul-09 21:02:01

You know the difference between tired grumbling and spoilt tantrums - sounds like you did the right thing to me. Your daughter was too tired to 'listen to reason' and you got her to calm down before she had a melt down.

I think our mothers say these things out of concern without really thinking how it will come across - my Mum is always saying loads of things to me about my sister's parenting which would really niggle if she said them to my sister. I am sure she is no different in her comments behind my back. She says them because they are on her mind and she needs to speak to someone.

sunburntats Tue 07-Jul-09 21:08:10

Oh God, been there and no i dont think that you are bieng over sensitive at all.
I had it from my sisiers, my dad& the teachers at school had a few things to say as well.

I agonised over the negative comments from people, i got really quite depressed about it.
But then i kicked myself up the arse and gave myself a good talking to and carried on as i was, doing a bloody good job in fact with little help or support from any of them.

My little chap is fine, he is just different and they dont cope with that.

I seperate him from them all...no issue and it is surprisingly easy to do as well.

Love, you needto have confidence in your abilities and in the knowledge that you are the mum, and you know your children, therefore you are the best qualified to do what is needed for your children.

canttouchthis Tue 07-Jul-09 21:09:09

try to limit how often you see your mother, because it's not fair on her making you feel like a bad parent (Which you are not, that comes across quite clearly in your post). I have similar issues with my own mother, always making me worry about how I'm raising my DS. Then i fret about these comments to DH when he gets in from work and then the whole thing gets blown out of proportion and I worry loads, no wonder I'm a total wreck sometimes hmm
so no, yanbu.

CanNotThinkOfANewName Tue 07-Jul-09 21:09:32

My father does just want a quiet life.

I did try last week to stop her comments, when she started to tell me off for breastfeeding. I smiled nicely and said "Mum, I didn't ask for advice" and then changed the subject. She did not like that and left my house shortly after.

Today my mother also told me that my sister agrees with her about my poor parenting. Which broke my heart as we are very close. Then I had a rethink and realised that my mother would of done the talking and my sister just nodded her head. My sister does not even have children yet and hold the same views I had pre-children.

lisylisylou Tue 07-Jul-09 21:10:04

Oh god I had my mum criticising me a couple of months ago and I lost it big time as I felt dh was not backing me up. Obviously not his job to in front of my mother however, pretty pissed off about it. However, I don't live nearby and remember your mum doesn't see all of what you do. Bugger the house - mine's always in a mess and why shouldn't you play with the kids. In fact right now my house is in a mess, we have no food in the cupboards - does that make me rubbish? Who cares - you'll always be your dd's mother and she loves you the most.

Qally Tue 07-Jul-09 21:21:27

She's not supporting you, she's undermining you. And of course kids sometimes shout at their parents - your dd is a toddler human, not a trained poodle! And your mum really shouldn't be saying things that can only make you feel crappy, and then blame you for the inevitable reaction. What sort of a mother isn't upset when her own tells her she's parenting badly?

slowreadingprogress Tue 07-Jul-09 21:26:51

qally you wrote my post!!!

OP your reaction to your dd's angry rant at you was imo perfect parenting; you were in touch with her enough to know that this was prompted by tiredness and you very sensibly diverted her. Well done you.

Why is it ok for your mother to speak freely and upset you, and NOT ok for you to speak freely? Why does your mother get to blame you for your reaction "don't get huffy" but not ok for you to blame her for any reaction of hers (you say you would upset her if you stood up for yourself)

I firmly believe that you always feel better if you speak up for yourself. try to remind yourself not to take responsibility for any unreasonable reaction she may have!

CanNotThinkOfANewName Tue 07-Jul-09 21:30:22

I am starting to feel a bit better reading these posts.

My husband came home to find me crying in the bathroom. My toddler was stood next to me stroking my hair and asking in a concerned voice why was I crying and did I wanted some medicine.

Does that sound like a bad child ? She is such a lovely child, she will run to me and tell me she is happy and wants a big hug or a big kiss and holds me so tight, I think my heart will burst.

Sigh, I will try and have a break from my parents. I will be expected to ring and check how my mother is tomorrow. It is upsetting for her when I don't take her critism helpful suggestions well.

CanNotThinkOfANewName Tue 07-Jul-09 21:35:44

As for
< Why is it ok for your mother to speak freely and upset you, and NOT ok for you to speak freely? >
I really wish I knew the answer to this question. It is something which literally has kept me up at night before. I guess she will never change and ironically she honestly thinks she is a very supportive mother. In some ways she is and I know she loves me, however she does not approve of me or my life and even at my age this hurts. Not that I would let her know this and not that I change how I live either, I am still true to myself, despite the problems it causes.

Qally Tue 07-Jul-09 21:39:21

You're bf, co-sleeping, and trying forms of discipline that don't involve trying to make a small child feel like something you scraped off your shoe. Frankly, I applaud you, and your mother's need to whine if you choose to do anything the slightest bit different to her os her issue.

I cannot believe she is thinking you should make her feel better after making you feel so awful. Slowreadingprogress is absolutely correct - she chose to interfere and belittle you, you have every right to object, and she can't then shift the ground rules by saying she can say what in hell she likes, and you can't even reply in any way she deems unacceptable. Why is she the only one with feelings?

My mother lives with us and helps me with my ds a lot. She drives me nuts on occasion, as we all have our own way of parenting, but she respects I am ds' mum, and would never dream of doing or saying what yours has. It's not okay. I actually feel quite cross on your behalf, tbh.

SecretNinjaChipmunk Tue 07-Jul-09 21:46:51

'I did try last week to stop her comments, when she started to tell me off for breastfeeding. I smiled nicely and said "Mum, I didn't ask for advice" and then changed the subject. She did not like that and left my house shortly after.'
maybe you should do this a few more times just so she does get the idea. Did she say anything before she left that time?
you and your dd both sound lovely from your posts, you just need a little confidence in yourself and your abilities. i fully condone playing with the kids before housework, time with them is precious, time doing washing up isn't.

slowreadingprogress Tue 07-Jul-09 21:47:22

I think the answer is that there is a power imbalance in your relationship. Not surprising, as you clearly want her approval, as do we all really from our parents.

Try to look at your mum's behaviour with fresh eyes. I bet you wouldn't act like this to your own daughter in a million years; in the future, if you said something to upset her you'd be devastated and you'd ring HER and find out how she was.

Your mums behaviour actually sounds really toxic - and her comments about your dd growing up a thug were crass and frankly unintelligent and ignorant. I think you will need to stop with the trying to please her and trying for her approval. Hard I know.

I wonder if it's possible for you to change things to make things more comfortable for you without suddenly having to try to break off with her which sounds as if it would be so hard for you. Could you stop seeing her unless your DH is present as well? Would she be so opinionated with him there? Would he challenge her opinions?

CanNotThinkOfANewName Tue 07-Jul-09 21:56:11

To be fair 'thug' was my word. My mother actually said my daughter would grow up to be 'one of those teenagers who do not respect anyone or their property.'

I know I need to stop trying to seek her approval. Especially as I am TTC and she has told me we are not to have more children. I expect a big argument if we get pregnant again. Not that will stop us grin

Jux Tue 07-Jul-09 22:07:15

Mothers, can't live with 'em, can't kill 'em.

Tell her what you said in your op: "I want her to have more confidence than I do, to feel valued and have an impact on her life in little ways". Don't worry about upsetting her, she's not worried about upsetting you. You can tell your dad that you're not causing problems; if your mum didn't keep criticising you then you wouldn't need to explain why you do things differently.

You can also tell your mum not to get huffy if she gets upset at your responses.

Qally Tue 07-Jul-09 22:17:05

*Especially as I am TTC and she has told me we are not to have more children.*

My jaw just hit the keyboard. What an unbelievably intrusive, controlling and downright RUDE thing to say! It's absolutely none of her business, let alone decision.

I lived in a communal household for a few years as a child, and the other mother is still treating me like I'm one of hers. Last time she came to visit, she was appalled to hear we co-sleep and promptly said "but what do you do about sex?"

Like that was any of her damn business. hmm

Still not anything like as bad as telling you not to have kids! Whose uterus, marriage and family is it, anyway?

SecretNinjaChipmunk Tue 07-Jul-09 22:31:02

my jaw just hit the keyboard too. i can't believe she had the nerve to say that to you. did she follow it up with a reason?

don't stop believing in your own ability as a mum, she sounds like she has some issues that need working through......

LovingtheSilverFox Tue 07-Jul-09 22:38:43

I cannot believe your mother was as self assured when raising you (sorry if this has been said, haven't read the whole thread, got so wound up I had to post!). Please don't doubt yourself, or your abilities as a mother. If strangers comment on how balanced your daughter is, you must be doing something right!

Mothers sometimes feel it necessary to pass judgement, I know my mother makes the odd jab every now and again, but you shouldn't take it to heart unless she keeps doing it, or does it on front of your children. Don't be afraid to stand up and say, this is the way I do things. My Dad (who is an absolute rock in many ways) once pulled me up in front of my DD, I pointed out, once she was out of earshot, that he may not like what I do, but please don't bring it up in front of DD. I think it was actually better that he had mentioned it because we discussed it, and it hasn't been mentioned since.

CanNotThinkOfANewName Wed 08-Jul-09 06:38:10

My mother does keep doing and it is always in front of my children but never in front of my husband. Basically she know she is right and therefore I must be wrong. The only way to avoid an argument is to agree completely. Even if I say lets agree to disagree or simply make randem noises that is not good enough for her.

She doesn't know that we are TTC but told me recently (unprompted and for no reason that I could see) that we must stick at two children and listed the reasons that she knew this was right. Considering we are a self supporting married couple in our thirties, this made me both laugh and cry at the time. hmm

RealityIsMyOnlyDelusion Wed 08-Jul-09 07:27:29

Message withdrawn

fanjoforthemammaries7850 Wed 08-Jul-09 07:40:00

You have my sympathies too..my mum also tells me i MUSTN'T have more kids (she is probably right but it's none of her business) even down to saying i am being unfair on HER if I have any.

And my auntie watches my DD every week and continually criticises my parenting and goes off in a sulk if I object, it is really upsetting.

You are not alone! <hug>

Longtalljosie Wed 08-Jul-09 08:15:50

These people have selective memories.

If your mum used to smack you, I think there's also a whole bunch of emotional baggage attached to that, where they have to believe it was a good idea, and therefore not smacking has to be a bad idea, in order to justify their own past decisions.

I've warned my parents in advance (am 35 weeks pg) I will not be smacking my children. Everyone else in my family does and I have my tin hat on already.

insertwittynicknameHERE Wed 08-Jul-09 09:02:10

YANBU or over sensitive. You know your DD better than anyone and it sounds as if you handled the tired shouting just as it should have been handled.
Your mum sounds a little like mine, who tells me 'off' for getting upset over her comments. I ave learnt to tell mum to basically butt out and sometimes we fall out over it, but our relationship is better for it.

My Step FIL once did this to me when DD was about 7mo, I put him in his place there and then that I would parent my child how I saw fit and that he did not have a say in any matter when it comes to DD.
He did not like that, and step FIl and I no longer have anything to do with each other (DD is now 19mo) DH and DD still see the IL's very regularly but I don't ever see Step FIL. Step Fil now firmly knows his place, according to DH he now never comments on anything to do with DD's parenting.

troutpout Wed 08-Jul-09 09:19:19

yanbu in doing what you think is right with your daughter
You do seem quite sensitive to your mothers criticism...give her some wellie back! grin
No my children do not shout at me but that is irrelevent tbh..(and luck more than anything! grin)

It's your daughter...your call

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