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to be utterly hurt by Dad's remarks?

(18 Posts)
groundhogs Sat 26-Sep-09 11:30:08

Newish, first OP, first AIBU...

Bit of back story.. not too much.. oh, I tried... but it could be a flaming book...

DS (3.10) & I came back to the UK after a disasterous 3 years in DH country. DH is sorting things out over there and will himself be back home in a month or so.

While we were in the --godforsaken hellhole-- DH country we hardly ever left the house, initially due to DH being a bit crap about balancing work and home in a country which only has one day off a week.

After a while though, I did venture out, but as a foreigner, it was so oppressive and alien. I was followed, stared at, and photographed almost every time I left the house. In the end, I preferred not to go out at all, until cabin fever would hit and I'd go out for a couple of hours.

There were no opportunities or facilities for LOs, only once a week I would be able to meet another expat mum so our kids could play together.

Now we are back, my Dad never seems to miss the trick to rub in that DH should be here... OK he should, but can't be helped right now, but it's in plan... I don't need telling every single time he meets me.

Dad never stops saying DS is bored, despite the fact that he has more to do here in a day, than ever he had to do in a month over there... Here he has nursery, we go out and about and he has his GM that he sees every morning before school.

The latest comment is the one that really did cross the line for me.

DS had a bad D&V bug 2 months before we came back here, he messed himself in public. I cleaned him up in the toilets with the changes of clothes i'd taken as a precaution etc, but since then he refuses to do poos in the toilet. Saves them up for his night-time nappy before he goes off to sleep...

So dad asked me if there was any improvement on this the other day, almost the minute he got into the car... "No..", I said, in a matter of fact sort of a way, as I was negotiating a roundabout or something.

"Hmm, He's punishing you." said Dad. He said it more than once, before I said to him that it was 2m before we left there, apparently it's common so soon after starting PT, if there is a D bug etc... That kinda shut him up at the time, but...

When I got home, after a while, it brought back all the other 'odd' comments he's made into a whole new light. I'm feeling really hurt by it all. As if he's saying I'm the shittiest mum ever or something...

My Mum and sister say to me that he's totally out of order, and I will be talking to him about the comments, but what to say?....

groundhogs Sat 26-Sep-09 11:31:19

Sorry, I really did try to keep it brief...

mumofdjandbabies Sat 26-Sep-09 11:36:13

your dad sounds like he oversteps the mark time and time again

my dad does the same

Ill await replies for us both if thats ok grin

diddl Sat 26-Sep-09 11:36:51

What´s your Dad got to do with everything?

Are you living with him?

claricebeansmum Sat 26-Sep-09 11:38:22

My father says things that are hurtful but I don't think that it is meant to hurt - he's just from a different era and a bloke. I am learning to ignore him after 40+ years hmm

groundhogs Sat 26-Sep-09 11:40:28

Who me? no, he lives with his family. Mum and he split 15 years ago.

I live in the next county over, he meets up with us to see his GS and me a couple of times a month.

Hassled Sat 26-Sep-09 11:40:55

I would say nothing whatsoever and distance yourself as much as possible from your father for a while. Just don't volunteer to spend any time with him. He'll soon get the message.

He needs to learn to see you as an adult rather than his silly little girl, and he needs to cut you some slack - it sounds like you've had a tough time of it.

groundhogs Sat 26-Sep-09 11:42:54

I don't think he intends to do it, which is OK in some ways, worse in others.

If he knew he was doing it, it's be easier to tell him to cut it out, but if he doens't know he's saying things like that, then how on earth can I tell him to stop.

He also, on the same day i hasten to add, said to DS 'You greedy piggy' when he'd finished his juice quickly.. DS had already said he was thirsty, after playing on climbing frames etc..

groundhogs Sat 26-Sep-09 11:44:35

He told me I was fat my entire childhood - but looking at the photos of us growing up recently, I can see he's wrong about that too...

I don't want him doing the same by stealth to my DS.

groundhogs Sat 26-Sep-09 11:46:40

hassled thanks, I thought about that, but somehow it's going to affect DS, by him not seeing his GD... I'm 41, GD is approaching 70.

My first inclination would be to not see him, but it's not all about me... I just want his comments to be self-moderated..

mumofdjandbabies Sat 26-Sep-09 11:47:47

you dound to me like youre doing a good job by the way OP

AliGrylls Sat 26-Sep-09 11:48:30

I would start off by asking what he meant when he said those things - it will put him in a position where he will then have to have a frank discussion with you. Then it will at least give you an opportunity to tell him how you feel and how his comments have been hurtful.

If that doesn't work bring in the reinforcements, ie, your sister and your mum to have a word with him on your behalf.

As a last resort tell him if he continues then you will have to not see him anymore.

mumofdjandbabies Sat 26-Sep-09 11:48:49

sadly I dont think your dad is going to change , cant teach an old dog and all that, can you try to develop a thicker skin though I know its blardy hard I still havent managed to!

diddl Sat 26-Sep-09 11:50:41

He doesn´t really see you that often, but perhaps whilst you are without hubby, he feels he is the "influential" male in your life and has a right to comment?

"greedy piggy" is the sort of thing my dad would probably have said.

Doesn´t mean anything bad by it, just a comment on something being finished quickly.

I think you have to tell him next time that he always seems to be criticising & can he pack it in!!

Thingiebob Sat 26-Sep-09 11:59:50

I think hoping he will self moderate his comments is futile at this late stage. It sounds like he has made hurtful and tactless comments all your life. He's not going to change, however you do have the power to manage your reaction to them. You are not the shittiest Mum ever and you know it. He knows it as well, he's just being unpleasant because he feels your husband should be by your side. Old-fashioned POV that you can't change.

Don't let him hurt you. His comments are born out of ignorance and pettiness, not fact.
Don't give him the power to hurt you or your son. Everytime he drops a clanger, just pity him for being so petty and mean. Console yourself that you have a beautiful family, youth and health and that you would never treat your son in the same way he treated you.

If it makes you feel better - talk to him about the comments. Tell him you want him to stop going on about your husband and the idea that your son is punishing you is utterly ludicrous. You may get an apology but I don't know if it will make a difference in the future.

(Have had similar problems in the past btw!)

groundhogs Sat 26-Sep-09 13:13:19

Thanks ladies! All of you have such constructive comments!

Aligrylls I think you are right there, I've never stopped and asked HIM what he meant by comment XY or Z. Turning the whole thing around and getting him to explain himself might be interesting...

thingiebob you have a good point, he'll not change, it's our attitude that must change, but why is it that Dads manage to sneak under our radar? we can have all the self protection barriers in the world against the average person's comments, but Dads seem to have some sort of anti-shield device...

I did snap back at him once about the DH thing. I told him that being cooped up in a tiny cell flat with him, in a country that was so alien, that i was welcoming the space, both physically, and emotionally.

He knows i suffered out there, he knows i'm still having minor panic attacks sometimes if I go out on my own back home here; yep, even 4 months on, the hangover of that place is still being felt.

He is a funny bugger, tho, it's not just me that he says shite to, so i can't take it too personally, but it still blooming hurts at the time!

pjmama Sat 26-Sep-09 13:49:18

"Don't be ridiculous" or "Mind your own business" - two very useful responses!

You don't owe him any explanations and you certainly don't need to take any notice of him.

groundhogs Sat 26-Sep-09 14:21:44

Think as I'm on my guard now, pjmama I'll definately be using one or both of those suggestions!

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