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to believe I have the right to chose who my DD has contact with?

(22 Posts)
strifeiinmylife Thu 03-Sep-09 18:22:00

My DH and I have had no contact with my mum since last July, when she was separating from my dad and decided it was a valid option to move into a house on our street, even though after asking us we'd said we felt uncomfortable about her being so close.

Living here is the first time I've been happy in my life, and we told her she was causing trouble in our marriage, and we'd have to move if she moved so close, but she said children don't tell parents where they can live, and she'd been selfless all her life and was now going to be selfish. Other members of the family and her own friends have also found her to be very controlling, manipulative and has to 'win the point' in any situation at all costs.

Initially, she didn't see our DD (8), but after a while we let DD see her through my dad. However, she started accusing my dad and me of conspiring to keep my DD away from her, even though she was seeing her! So we thought that any contact with her would only result in stress/hassle, for us, and for my Dad who was just coming out of dark times himself, so my dad told her to get stuffed.

The reason we don't want our DD to have contact with her is because it always ends up with her upsetting us and trying to control us, and as I'm now 22 wks preg, I really don't want any more upset dragging it all up constantly. But she keeps texting/emailing/sending postcards/getting other family members to hassle us, we've ignored everything, but she keeps on.

What I'd be interested to know from the collective MN's knowledge base is do you think we have a right not to have contact with someone we don't like, and in this case decide on behalf of our daughter? And also how to get the message across that we don't want her contacting us all the time. It's getting me stressed thinking what she's going to do next, and it's escalating.

Northernlurker Thu 03-Sep-09 18:26:57

It's a serious thing to decide you don't want to see your mother but yes I think you do have that right in the face of her unreasonable behaviour. It's quite creepy that she chose to move so close knowing it wasn't what you wanted. I don't think it will make any difference if you ask her not to contact you though - she takes no notice of you at the moment - what would change that? If you do break contact though I think you need to bear in my mind that your daughter has a right to a relationship with her grandmother and if she wants to pursue that when she is a little older I think you should let her (and stand by for the fall-out) Much sympathy to you - it sounds a horrible situation.

ElieRM Thu 03-Sep-09 18:30:46

Not sure. Unsure why you were so happy about her moving onto the street? Could you elaborate?
Also, does your DD want to see your mum? I would think that she would contact you less if you didn't ignore her. Could you talk to her, and try and come to some arrangement about reasonable contact, say ringing you once a week? And also about seeing your DD if that's what she (DD) wants, perhaps through your dad again if you want no contact with your mum. Explain to her you won't stop her from seeing your DD, but that you set the conditions.

strifeiinmylife Thu 03-Sep-09 18:38:38

That's weird you should say that it's creepy wanting to move so close Northernlurker, because she looked at three other houses right by us knowing we were uncomfortable. She may have been worried about being on her own separating from my dad, but she could have just said that, instead of insisting she had the right to move onto our road and that the house was an option constantly.

ElieRM, we didn't want her moving so close because she's a manipulative control freak, selfish as it might be, we've been so happy here for 6 years that we see it as our space and she would intrude on that. Contact with her = trouble, my dad tried to help her see DD, but she was just so unreasonable that she made the depression he suffers from even worse.

Northernlurker Thu 03-Sep-09 18:42:11

Mum - Strife I'm thinking of moving in to your street - how do you feel about that?

Strife - Errr not that keen tbh

Mum - Excellent - I'll view 4 houses in the neighbourhood asap

hmm


No it's definately not a normal response!

strifeiinmylife Thu 03-Sep-09 18:47:28

We did feel it was a bit strange Northernlurker, she has actually moved to the same town we live in, but a bit further away, so all the shit she kicked up was for nothing anyway!! I understand she might be vulnerable after separating from my dad, but she went so over the line that we can't have contact with her just so we can protect ourselves from what she's like IYSWIM.

nellie12 Thu 03-Sep-09 18:50:13

I think you have the right to say you dont want her in you DD's life from what you describe. If your mums' relationship with your dd is between those two alone and not harmful I wouldn't say that.

Having seen the effect my nan had on my Dad in terms of his psychological health and the effect it had on my parents marriage at the time (they survived though smile) I would be very wary of letting your mum in if she can't behave.

Having been a child stuck in the middle of a toxic relationship it is very uncomfortable. Chances are your DD realises that her nan is using her for her own ends and is acutely aware of the strain that this places on you and dp.

pranma Thu 03-Sep-09 18:52:33

What does your dd feel?Does she want a relationship with her gran?I hate these mother/daughter feuds it should be such a precious relationship for both of you and your dd.

strifeiinmylife Thu 03-Sep-09 18:56:08

Pranma, we don't talk about her in a negative way or anything to DD, and she hasn't picked up on any negative vibes when she does mention her, we've been really careful about that.

We've explained it to DD in an objective as poss way, and why she doens't see her much/at all at the min. It is very sad isn't it, but like I said, I have to protect myself/my family from her, I don't think I'm being overdramatic saying that.

Jujubean77 Thu 03-Sep-09 19:00:42

Your daughter must be confused - kids don't really understand these things. It is a sad situation.

smokinaces Thu 03-Sep-09 20:13:51

YANBU

I have nothing to do with my biological father. He has never seen my children, except in passing in the street.

I still see my paternal grandparents, and he still sees my sister, but i have nothing to do with him and havent for 10 years.

There is a blood tie between my boys and him, but thats it and there is no way they are ever having contact with him.

I would say let her make up her own mind when shes older, but I know I would be devastated if my boys ever wanted anything to do with my father.

So if you dont see her and dont want your daughter to see her, I dont think you are unreasonable

unintendedadult Thu 03-Sep-09 21:55:01

Smokinaces, you've got it spot on

Why should blood overrule common sense? If you're not related to someone, you sether all links, why should 'family' be any different?

strife, IMHO you're doing nothing wrong. If your DD is happy and stable in her life now, then why should you feel any compulsion to change your view for sake of your mother.

I think stick to your guns.

babybarrister Fri 04-Sep-09 08:38:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

strifeiinmylife Fri 04-Sep-09 10:00:54

We had thought of that babybarrister, but TBH, because what other people think of her is important to her, I think she may be concerned about the support she'd lose from close family members if she did take that route. Plus, she'd be starting fires on bridges she'd already burnt with us, and that would sound a death knell for any future 'thawing'.

CheerfulYank Fri 04-Sep-09 10:18:52

What is it about your mom that rubs you the wrong way? (Besides the obvious creepy "I'm going to move by you even though you don't want me to" thing.) Is she a good grandmother? Do you trust her with your DC? Because tbh with a new baby on the way you could use her help (your DD could go visit her etc.) But if you feel that a relationship between her and your DD is not in DD's best interest then by all means limit contact. That's your job as a parent, I think.

Stigaloid Fri 04-Sep-09 10:20:06

I think it is outrageous that you would tell your mother where she cuold an could not live! She is going througha divorce and wants to be near her family adn you say if she moves near you, you will move? How would you feel if your child did that to you in years to come?

And refusing contact with her for your DD is unfair on both her as a grandparent and DD as a granddaughter.

I think you are being very unreasonable. She didn't ask to move into your house. Just be near familya s she ages and be near her grandchildren.

strifeiinmylife Fri 04-Sep-09 10:24:57

I can totally see what you're saying Sigaloid, but I hope, hope, that I would respect the space of my children, and wouldn't think of moving so close to them if they didn't feel comfortable with it.

Being near, and being on top of, are two diff things to me. She only lived 20 min drive away when she was with my dad, and has the rest of the world to move to, but she decided it was OK to move to our street feeling how we did about it?? If the way she behaved before she even moved is an indication of how it would be if she moved into the street, that to me just backs up what we think of the trouble she would cause for our family.

Stigaloid Fri 04-Sep-09 10:34:06

I love my mother in equal ways to how irritated i can be by her, however she is now alone due to my dad passing. She is far too independant for me and pretty uninvlved in our lives as she has her own, however as she aged, if she chose to move in next door i would look upon it as her right. She raised me and cared for me a a child when i could not care for myself. As my mother ages she too will lose the ability to care for herself. Loneliness is awaful at any age but particularly at old age when you retire and have not much to do or much income to rely on. She may be fit and healthy now but is entering into the winter of her life. Surely you should care for her as she cared for you as a child? if you don't want her in your house dont give her a key. But don't deny your DD a chance to get to know her because you think she is being selfish.

I also find it ironic that you call her selfish and yet 'claim' your street as yours and she can't move there because you were there first. Pot. Kettle. Black.

Sorry - i just find it very sad to hear she is divorced, alone, rejected by her child and now being forced to not see her Grandaughter. Did you not think she wants to be close to fmaily, especially as you are having another and your fmaily is growing as hers is shrinking?

claw3 Fri 04-Sep-09 10:43:01

I thinks its a shame that you and your mother cant put your differences aside for the sake of your DD.

All mothers, MIL, nans, ex husbands etc, etc are annoying and irritating, but its not about you or them, its about your DD.

OtterInaSkoda Fri 04-Sep-09 10:44:36

Stigaloid I find myself agreeing with you (again!) but it depends on how bad the OP's mother actually is.

strifeiinmylife Fri 04-Sep-09 10:48:05

I'm so sorry to hear about your dad Stigaloid, and yes, I suppose it is a bit hypocritical of me to accuse her of being selfish at the same time as being selfish myself, but I see it as my job to protect myself and my family. I believe strongly that if she is willing to put enormous pressure on me and my DH, our marriage and the way of life we have at the minute, that this is a person who has no regard for us, and one I don't want in my life.

I'm not saying she hasn't had good qualities as a mother, nobody wants to have to sever contact with their mum, it's horrible, but surely I wouldn't be feeling this way if the things she'd done/said were not as bad as all that?

Like OtterInaSkoda (great name!) says, if she wasn't that bad, I would find a way to bridge any gaps with her. Saddest of all, I haven't really missed her, and I thought we were close, perhaps it was only because it was on her terms.

Stigaloid Fri 04-Sep-09 11:40:57

Mothers and daughters are fickle things. I hope that your relationship with your own DD works out better than the one you have with your mother; but only you know what works best for your family. Tis a sad situation but life is quirky like that.

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