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To not want to ring my mother every single night

(72 Posts)
Gymbob Sat 12-Jan-13 23:13:36

My dad died over 4 years ago and ever since I have rung her every night. Tbh she spent months trying to move in with us so it could be worse. she has mental health problems that are so long standing they are untreatable now. She also suffers from abnormal grief which means she will never come to terms with losing my dad. She refuses to move and just wants him back.

Please be honest am I being unreasonable to not want to ring her every night. I prob won't stop anyway as I am an only child but I am 50 years old and very pissed off with the pressure and the bollocking I get if I don't sad sad

manicbmc Sat 12-Jan-13 23:15:47

It's understandable that it pisses you off because you have to do it. How is she if you prewarn her you can't call the next day if you're busy or away or something?

LindyHemming Sat 12-Jan-13 23:15:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MarilynValentine Sat 12-Jan-13 23:16:47


That sounds really difficult sad

Calmly tell her you'll call her every other night, hold your nerve when she kicks off, stick to it until she accepts it?

laalala Sat 12-Jan-13 23:18:05

My mum expected this off of me for ages, managed to cut it down to every other night. Still annoying though, my life's not interesting enough to have new stuff to say all the time!

LisaMed Sat 12-Jan-13 23:18:11

When my mother had terminal cancer I used to ring up for a listen every night.

What I actually did was go, 'hmmm, uh-uh, hmmm, dear me, hmm...' while playing patience games on the computer. Games have moved on since then, and I suggest that you do something like play patience, iron while on hands free, invent emergencies that mean you have to get off the phone when your head is about to explode - basically you owe it to yourself to keep as much sanity for as long as possible.

Good luck!

CleopatrasAsp Sat 12-Jan-13 23:18:48

No you aren't no being unreasonable. Bereavement is terrible and it must be horrible to lose your spouse but, as adults, we are responsible for our own happiness and your mum has had four years to start to build herself a life without your dad. You are not responsible for making her happy.

Start to wean her off the nightly telephone calls, gradually reduce them to an amount you feel comfortable with, don't do things out of guilt. Whatever you do do not move her in with you - you will never have a free life again and I suspect it wouldn't make her happy anyway.

Kleptronic Sat 12-Jan-13 23:19:30


I am sorry you are under such pressure to support your mother. I expect you have your own things going on, quite apart from grief for you dad.

JeeanieYuss Sat 12-Jan-13 23:21:27

Maybe see if she'd be okay with every other night?
I know it must be hard but she must be lonely, has she got any other family that could step in to take it in turns with you?

I guess in the grand scheme of things she won't be around forever, is a phone call that much hassle?

volvocowgirl Sat 12-Jan-13 23:21:41

No, YANBU, and I don't think you're helping her either.

Sometimes a dependancy on someone close like this can be more damaging than good. It may feel like an awful thing to do but I think you need to take a step back and get her involved with some or all of the following people:
Practice Nurse
Cruse Bereavement
Local Mental Health facilities - some areas have drop in and outreach workers who will speak to you about it as well
Health Trainers
Also some Public Health / Health Promotion services in some areas have bereavement specialists that may be aware of programmes that could help support your mother.

Also you need to look after yourself (and possibly talk to some or all of the above about this) as this is obviously effecting you.

Good luck!

JeeanieYuss Sat 12-Jan-13 23:23:53

I forgot to say I'm sorry for the loss of your Dad.. : (

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 12-Jan-13 23:25:41

Hmm it's understandable that it's annoying but would you really let your mum go days on end without speaking to anyone? Or even a whole day with no other contact with anyone? I ring my nan everyday as I don't want her to of not gone all day without even a hello, it's not hard I do it while MNing or doing the dishes and just Mmm and hmmm and oh that's good, would hate her to be sat there thinking well isn't my life just shit and no one doesn't bother.

Gymbob Sat 12-Jan-13 23:32:25

bless you all for your quick replies. if I tell her I can't call tomorrow she goes into a decline and apologises for being a nuisance which makes me feel worse.

TotallyBS Sat 12-Jan-13 23:32:52

I call my 80 yr old mum every night about 9ish when the kids are in bed and the adults are winding down with a glass of wine.

It's just a 5 min call to share the latest news about her grand kids, what we had for dinner, what's on the tv. Just mindless chat.

To me it's just 5 min out of my day. Considering the years of hardship she endured raising us, it is no big deal to me.

DumSpiroSpero Sat 12-Jan-13 23:42:51

I can really understand where you're coming from.

My mum still has my dad, but I am also an only child and she expects some sort of contact every day and a weekly visit.

99.9% of the time, I'm more than happy to do it, but it's just the feeling of pressure and expectation if occasionally I'm not in the mood that gets me down. I know I'll get shirtiness or guilt-trips and it does make me resentful tbh.

Does your mum use a mobile at all? I do manage to get away with exchanging a few texts now on 1 or 2 days a week.

It's a bit of a no-win situation though, isn't it?

spiderlight Sat 12-Jan-13 23:44:13

I called my mum every day until she died 7 years ago. I would give anything to be able to call her just once more. I can understand that it must be difficult when you feel that you have to, but it sounds like it means so much to her just to be able to touch base with you every day. Does she have any other family or friends around? She does need other people in her life as well but a couple of minutes every day can't be that big a sacrifice, surely?

Gymbob Sat 12-Jan-13 23:51:36

I should add that age concern have done an amazing job and she is out in town every day or out with friends for lunch. the only day she stays in is Sunday. I do understand that she is lonely at home and very quickly I was advised to help her by refusing to do her shopping for instance and making her come with me.

I know she's lonely and I know that she waits for my call every night but it still grinds on me.

and no it's no real hardship is it but sometimes I am busy and forget the time.

I know I will have regrets one day and most of it is about keeping my conscience clear. my mother has never been a mother to me I am sad to saysad

Gymbob Sun 13-Jan-13 00:00:28

thank you all for being so lovely and not judging me too harshly.

I do understand that when mums die you would give anything for a last phone call. I envy all of you who have or have had wonderful relationships with their mothers. I wish that could be me

monstermissy Sun 13-Jan-13 00:06:03

My neighbours daughter phones her everynight around 10pm, I know cause my neighbour is very hard of hearing and her ringed is a special super loud one, sometimes she wakes the kids up cause she talks so loud down the phone. It's the only time her phone ever rings tho and I know she is glad of it. Don't really know my point except your not alone there are many children doing the same.

andtheycalleditbunnylove Sun 13-Jan-13 00:07:26

i don't suppose you are being unreasonable.

but i was worried that you might be my daughter. sad

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 13-Jan-13 00:07:46

Maybe think of it differently, think of it as that thing you do when you have your last cup of tea, or when you first sit down so it's not a ffs have to ring her, and MN while making appropriate noises in the right places.

It's just like washing the dishes it has to be done.

andtheycalleditbunnylove Sun 13-Jan-13 00:09:32

my mum's in a nursing home at the moment but i phone my dad most nights. sometimes i forget, if i've worked very late. but i try to ring him. he's living alone and might not speak to anyone else. he's 80.

CleopatrasAsp Sun 13-Jan-13 00:34:41

Don't be made to feel guilty by the 'I would give anything to speak to my mum brigade'. Unfortunately, not all of us have happy or easy relationships with our parents and people who do just don't understand that. It's quite different to have a mother that is actually interested in your life and who is positive and upbeat and not relying on you to be their life - of course we'd all be happy to ring someone like that. However, it is horrible to feel the pressure of being someone's whole life and to constantly have to listen to their negative view of the world when they won't get any help, it is an unfair burden and a caring mother wouldn't want that for their child, they would try to make themself a life.

Don't encourage your mum to look on you as her sole emotional prop, it isn't good for her and it certainly isn't good for you and if you don't stop it now then it will only get worse as she gets older. That's not to say that you abandon your mum or anything like that but slowly wean her off her complete reliance on you. We are all different and we all chose how we behave. I know 80 year olds who are full of life and enjoy every day and I know others who were old and miserable at 60, often this is simply a result of their own choices about how they view life. Life is short, don't feel you have to make other people happy all the time at the expense of your own happines. As women we have this drummed into us from birth and it's both sexist and unfair.

MovingOnNow Sun 13-Jan-13 00:42:45

Hi, my dad died very recently and not always having had the greatest relationship with my mum, yeah I am finding it a bit tough too. Luckily I am one of five though and everyone is doing their bit to keep her company. Is your mum any good with technology. I see mine about twice a week but iam always emailing over pics and just general chit chat on email, even late at night. A daily phone call would kill me though, she doesn't mean to but my mum drags me down and she always has. It's a hard time for everyone when someone dies.

Gymbob Sun 13-Jan-13 09:26:50

thanks all. she can't really look after herself very well. she cant change a light bulb or put batteries in anything. she doesn't clean or wash her clothes and has been depressed for at least 40 years. she only lives 10 mins away but I only go round if I need to sort out some thing.

she just drags me down to her level even the kids avoid her. she comes for tea once a week and we can't wait for her to leave.
she won't take her medication so it is very hard to be around her. she still won't accept my dad is gone and the house is still full of his stuff. his coat and hat are still on the chair. psychs say further help is pointless as her thought processes are not normal as she can't understand or accept it.
I will keep ringing of course but I hate it the long silences are painful when there is nothing to say sad sad

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