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I need a friend.

(27 Posts)
sugarplumfairy28 Sun 29-May-16 20:45:52

So a bit about us, we actually live in Germany, in what is supposed to be a 2 family house, but currently without boundaries or separate entrances with my parents. My mum has become incredibly overbearing, interfering and moody, it is testing my patience to say the least.

Our 'house' was always going to need work, but the basic things that my parents promised haven't been done, after nearly 2 years. These were things that were promised to us on the basis that it meant we would vote in favour to buy this house. We (me, hubby, and kids) have no direct access to the garden, and it is not secure. For some unknown reason, I have been told the garden is my problem to keep in check. It is a third of an acre of grass, and takes me 8 hours to cut it every other week (the edges have to be done)

Due to redundancy, my husband (3 months ago) had to take a job which is 3 hours commute each way. I understand he is tired! Due to the same redundancy I am now not working. I do however do a lot around the house, I have decorated all the bedrooms (twice due to a reshuffle) the living room, and last week finished installing a kitchen, by myself (we haven't had a kitchen for 2 years, and this was a gift from my uncle)

Almost certainly due to hubby effectively working away, the children are playing up like nothing I've seen before. He leaves for work before they are up and comes back after bedtime. Our son (7), is mouthy, has a terrible violent streak and just will not under any circumstances do anything he is told. Our daughter (5) is clingy and moody a lot of the time. They both mess me about every single bedtime in some hope they drag it out til Daddy is home.

My parents nag me constantly about such petty things, all day long. They also only do it when hubby is not here, and the only word I can find for it, is bullying.

I do both school runs, all the shopping, washing, cleaning, bath time, literally everything house or child related alone. The last time I saw or spoke to anyone who wasn't school/kindergarten related was February. Hubby seems to come home and in a couple of hours makes as much mess as the children do throughout the day. I get mornings to 'myself' but I spend that clearing up the night before, this is also prime nagging time from the parents.

On top on all of this I am now under pressure from parents, and hubby to start up my own craft business to bring in a little extra money. None of them have given me any idea how I am meant to lump that in to a day where I'm already struggling to keep up.

I know stay at home mums are busy, but how am I meant to deal with bullying parents, a messy but pretty much absent husband, children who are struggling and start a business? I feel so totally alone, I just need a friend.

clearsommespace Sun 29-May-16 21:04:07

Oh that sounds tough.
Is there a reason your parents have not kept their promises?
What would happen if you didn't mow the lawn? Or at least don't bother with the edges?
Can you phone a RL friend? It's what I do when I haven't spoken to another adult except my clients after a few days (sometimes it works out that DH and I don't have awake time together for days on end)

OTheHugeManatee Sun 29-May-16 21:07:56

That sounds awful. Poor you OP sad

What is your parents' explanation for not getting on with the alterations that were promised before you bought?

clearsommespace Sun 29-May-16 21:17:41

Does your husband realise how much h time you spend clearing up after him?
If you work out a sort of plan where you need say 3 hours a day to day your business and ask everyone else to take responsibility for x y z tasks so that you can have time, could that work?

clearsommespace Sun 29-May-16 21:23:18

Oops. I wanted to say '3 hours a day for your business'
I am going to bed now. I hope you feel better for having shared your problems. I am impressed you installed a kitchen by yourself! You sound like a coper surrounded by people who think you'll manage whatever. You need whatever it takes to make it clear to them that you have limits!

Foofoobum Sun 29-May-16 21:30:03

I think you need to go on strike. That's too much for one person when there are people around who should be supporting. You're not the servant you're the mother of children, wife to husband and child of your parents. Maybe they need reminding.

sugarplumfairy28 Sun 29-May-16 22:17:07

Since we moved out here, the only people I really talk to are my in-laws. Last year hubby got me some concert tickets for my birthday and my parents were being awkward over babysitting and said they will babysit on that day (3 months after my birthday) as a birthday present. Hubby told his mum, and suggested, very much as a joke, that she fly over for one day and do it. 3 days later she called to say she had booked flights and was staying for 5 days, I cried!! We skype once a week ish, but what with the children being upset I've been letting them take up all her time on skype.

Manatee they decided on a whim to blow all the house money on buying an over priced car... It was 10k over their own budget and 6k more than any car exactly the same. Now it's a case of well it's things you want, so you can do it, and pay for it.

Clear my mum is like a child basically. Because I'd been working on the kitchen, the grass had gotten a bit wild, and every time she goes out there, she comes back in slamming doors, shouting and swearing about how we live in a mess, and how disgusting it is etc etc, it upsets the kids, which is the last thing they need. After about a week and a half doing plaster boarding, plastering and having to move the entire kitchen from my Uncles, I got Hammer arm, which I believe is basically tennis elbow. Mum had to drive me to the doctors because I could barely zip up my trousers let alone drive, she came in with me, and the doctor told her that she had to make sure I did nothing, and that she would have to look after the children. He also told me off for doing too much. She took that to mean no kitchen work and ignored me for 3 days. I have also managed in this process to chip my ankle bone, my Dad stupidly (stupid because he wouldn't change out of his slip on slippers) dropped an oven on it. Despite all of this, they all seem to think that because I still sorted the kids out, walking down the stairs literally in tears, that it means I can still do it all.

Don't get me wrong, I actually enjoy DIY (my Dad used to build luxury yachts, so I kinda take after him) and I do find it difficult to sit down and do nothing, but I feel like I'm constantly running at full pelt all the time. Hubby calls me Wonderwoman, my Dad jokes that I'm more of a man than my brother, and somehow think that saying things like that, makes it all OK.

MumOnACornishFarm Sun 29-May-16 22:39:55

OP, I feel for you sooooo much. You have a crazy juggling act on your hands already; I do not understand how you can be expected to start a business on top of that? I know it sounds cheesy but I think you need to call a crisis meeting with the whole family when your partner is at home. They need to understand how much pressure you're under, and why you are at breaking point (which it sounds like you are) and you need some kind of plan to move forward and address the issues that were promised but not delivered. Unless something changes you will go pop.
I know from very bitter and ongoing experience the draining, suffocating pain of a project like this one. 4 years ago my partner talked me into buying an extremely run down house with land. I absolutely begged him not to, but he was full of promises and he just seemed like he needed it so I caved, and he took redundancy from a very well paid job to take on the project. I insisted he concentrate in the main house, to get it 'liveable' (even the mortgage co said the house was uninhabitable) but he insisted on converting a derelict barn first. Fast forward 4 years and we now have no redundancy money (long gone!), half a barn (we found 2 mine shafts and had to abandon it) and a barely habitable house with a toddler and baby no.2 on the way. No hot water unless we light our woodburner, broken glass in windows, bare earth floors...you name it. I cooked everything on a 2 ring camping cooker for 3 years. It sometimes get so cold that our toothpaste almost freezes hard in the winter!
So I understand how you feel and it is awful. I am so sorry sad

OTheHugeManatee Sun 29-May-16 23:07:25

Christ OP, your parents sound awful. They blew the renovation budget YOUR contribution provided on a car? Your mother has hissy fits about lawn mowing when you have RSI from doing the renovations yourself thanks to their profligacy? And you have a chipped ankle because your father dropped an oven on it shock

Is there any way you can get out of this arrangement and live on your own? They sound like whiny parasites who are just leeching off your energy and skills.

clearsommespace Mon 30-May-16 06:06:55

I agree Manatee, that sound like the best long-term solution. But it doesn't sound like it will be financially viable immediately.
Sugarplum, you don't say whether you have opened up to you DH about this. Would he get it if you told him you aren't wonderwoman? Is there a chance he thinks feels the same way about your parents but daren't criticise them? You might not feel so lonely if he is there to support you.

Is your Dad physically able to help you? Could he mow the lawn? Or would it be acceptable to have a normal size lawn near the house and leave the rest to grow to full height.

Do you want us to offer ideas or just to be here to 'hesr' you offload as a RL friend would. Your in-laws sound lovely. Could you make MIL into a friend?

Amumincornwall, sorry you are in a similar boat.

wannabestressfree Mon 30-May-16 06:10:37

Rent somewhere nearer your husband work Even if it's for the sake of family unit.

sugarplumfairy28 Mon 30-May-16 06:37:11

Oh Cornish now I feel bad for complaining. We could have had an alternative cooking method party a few weeks ago. Christmas 2014 my mother in law bought us a travel oven with two hobs on top, that I'd been using. I had a bucket under a tap in the kitchen. I had to 'share' my mums kitchen, which involved being watched like a hawk. After nine months Dad finally put in the bathroom sink, and I used that instead of my bucket. I have tried to talk to my parents about everything, but mum takes over and I just end up being shouted at.

Manatee I've managed to over do it far too many times. In 2014 I put my shoulder out, I have rotator cuff impingement. I have bad knees from a previous injury anyway - which is why living on the 1st floor was a compromise I wasn't keen on. Just before we moved out here, I had a horse riding accident and among other things broken my wrist, because of timing I never got the physio for it after it was out of the plaster. So that plays me up sometimes. Now it just seems that me injuring myself is something else normal to everyone else.

When I say my parents, I usually mean Mum. It would appear that my Dad has absolutely no back bone at all. He covertly checks on me to see if we're alright, and does get quite upset when I say we're not. He is incredibly worried that we will leave, but even he doesn't get to voice his opinion with my Mum. Dad seems to have completely lost his get up and go. We'd been in about 4 weeks and together with Dad we started ripping out the bathroom (it was a change from the plan, which was do to Mums kitchen, but there was a leak from my bathroom into her kitchen so needs must) somewhere along the line, he just couldn't be bothered, and my bathroom is still not finished, most of it is covered in bin bags to try and keep it dry.

We are waiting to hear back about a different job for hubby, which would be about 45-50 minutes away and quite possibly quite a bit more money. I think we have to start there because the effect it's having on the children. Hubby and I have talked a lot about moving out and it is the only answer we can agree on that will stop this vicious circle, but it would mean me losing my Dad, and my daughter her Grumps. She has the relationship with him I could only ever of dreamed of. He dotes on her like nothing I've ever seen before and to take them away from eachother with a very real chance of my Mum refusing to ever see me again, would break their hearts. At the moment it's that I can't get past. My Dad doesn't drive, and where we are, there is no way he could just come out on his own.

sugarplumfairy28 Mon 30-May-16 07:10:50

clear I have told hubby how I feel and I usually get 'I know I should do more' and for a couple of days he will do a bit more than it wears off. He does seem to be a naturally messy person. Hubby is actually fairly laid back about most things, but we do agree on my parents and he really really doesn't like them. Moving out isn't an option as of yet due to finances. We're spending an absurd amount on him commuting. Then we end up in a situation which means somehow having to stick it out, and then he gets really annoyed that there is no easy answer. He also suffers with Rapid cycling Bipolar disorder, so I try and limit the amount of discussions that end in no obvious answer, unsurprisingly my mum is a massive trigger. Ideas would be nice, but I don't want to come across as defeatist.

My Dad can physically do things, he did mow the lawn once last year while I was working, but hates doing it. The garden is sort of sectioned up. Most of it is to the side of house, with a fence dividing the part that goes round the back of the house and is meant for the dogs, I don't do that very often, but it's small in comparison. I thought it would easier just to show you a picture. Behind the big tree thing in the middle, at the back, as you see it, is a veggie patch. That I have been lumbered with, although I have been more productive with it. I don't enjoy gardening, just not my thing. When viewing houses Mum and our son wanted room for a veggie patch and it would be their thing. Mum hasn't lifted a finger, and this year I put my foot down and put in fruit bushes rather than doing the germinating seeds and having to plant them all out. My argument was I never wanted to be doing it, and got roped in because he is my son, but he prefers fruit and it's most cost effective to grow berries than root veg etc.

My mother in law is very supportive, but she is a busy lady, she works full time and does go out, so once a week chatting to her is about all we can do. She does come over more than anyone else, and I usually get a massive load off when she does.

MumOnACornishFarm Mon 30-May-16 07:28:48

sugarplum you have every right to complain! What a situation for you all. It dounds like your father is suffering too. Your mum sounds very strange; has she changed or was she like this before you agreed to live together? I'm just wondering, if her behaviour has changed, whether she is quite alright or whether she might be poorly?
I understand your DH must be knackered with all that commuting, but hey so are you! I think you need to ask him to help you address the behaviour you're getting from youf mum. Your dad is not going to confront her (my dad is the same!) and she won't just listen to you. I think this needs to be as public a confrontation as possible; her bevaiour sounds awful and you can't give her anywhere to hide. This is why I thought the family meeting may work.
I so hope that your DH gets that other job. At least if he's commuting less you can expect more hands-on help with the house & kids.
Bless you OP, you sound like an absolute trooper! Your kids are very lucky, even if they do drive you around the bend. flowers

MumOnACornishFarm Mon 30-May-16 07:39:19

Lovely garden! God knows how you manage to mow that though confused I know your dad doesn't like mowing it, but I hardly imagine you love mowing for 8 hours either. Maybe time to a bit tougher and draw up a rota, and TELL people that they are taking their turn because you are no longer doing everything. I agree with foofoo I think you need to strike!

RomComPhooey Mon 30-May-16 07:39:36

Op, I am amazed you are still standing. Your circumstances sound trying in the extreme and your mother a nightmare. I'd focus on getting out from under her and finding a place of your own. Also, much as you treasure the relationship your daughter has with her GF, it is exerting such a toll on you - it doesn't sound sustainable as things currently stand. The relationship your DD and DF have established provide a firm foundation for something different in the future. I feel really sad for you - where is the care for you, your physical and emotional needs, in this set up? flowers

clearsommespace Mon 30-May-16 08:01:20

Fingers crossed for your DH and new job.
I'm sure if you moved out, you'd find time to drive your DD to see her GF, if you don't have all that extra stuff to deal with. It won't be quite the same, but YOU shouldn't have to suffer so much just to maintain the current closeness.

sugarplumfairy28 Mon 30-May-16 09:00:00

Cornish hubby has said exactly the same thing, Mum gets away with it because it's behind closed doors. I think that an all out head to head is what it is going to boil down to, and I to be honest it is going to result in us moving out. I don't think I can have that conversation with her until we are in a position to actually go, I don't want to have to sit around for a couple of months with all that hanging in the air. The only other way is the sly way and tell Dad we are going to move and see if he can get her to back down and reign herself in. The other way would be to involve my Grandad who is about the only one who isn't scared to tell her what he thinks but that really would be pushing it, and I'm not keen because I don't want to run to him to fight my battles. Believe it or not, Mum used to be my best friend. I had the usual had to move out feelings when I was 19/20 but other than that, if I didn't see her every day I would call her every day. I really really thought that we had such a strong relationship that it could withstand this sort of move and work on the house. I don't know what has happened to her. As for Dad and DD, I'm hoping, truly hoping, that this isn't something he will let slide. Me and Dad never got on very well and I missed out on a lot, weird now that I have a better relationship with him than my brother does, and I can be a lot more honest and to the point than with Mum. I have shouted at him, and I have told him I'm not doing any other stuff in the garden, he can rake stuff over, do the weeding, plant stuff and move the compost pile, I'm just not doing it.

Rom Sounds blunt but there is no care for me. I don't go out, sadly I don't work any more which was my main source of outside interaction. I pretty much live off painkillers for one thing or another. I know things are bad because for the past week I keep sitting down with the kids at lunch and falling asleep. The cats know something is up (like they do) I can't go anywhere without being washed or cuddled (there goes my bathroom peace and quiet).

I want to say thank you to all you ladies, I wasn't going to post anything for fear of being told to man up and stop complaining, and your kind words have reduced me to tears. I don't have moments of weakness very often, and somehow I will pull us out of this, but for now I just need picking up.

clearsommespace Mon 30-May-16 09:14:03

I wouldn't call it a moment of weakness, just a moment on not being super-human!
I'm glad this thread has helped you feel a bit better. .

sugarplumfairy28 Mon 30-May-16 12:22:03

There is just so much going on, I'm not sure how to make sense of it all. My Mum can be so vindictive and jealous, and manipulative. Hubby and I said we wanted 3 children, and the most practical opportunity we've had to have another, has been since we've been here.

My Mum, for some reason, really really thinks it's completely wrong on so many levels to have more than 2 children, especially if you have one of each. I can't help but think, all of this that is going on, is some grand plan to put me in a place where I will over work myself into not wanting 3.

My brother has one step daughter and two sons. Mum just will not accept the step daughter as part of our family, she constantly says my brother has 2 children and that 'she' is nothing to do with him. Just not to his face. I have cousins who are having number 5 and a male cousin who will be having a second son, but also has 2 step children. She was so red in the face and disgusted for days.

Am I over thinking this, or am I being manipulated to suit her opinions?

RomComPhooey Mon 30-May-16 13:23:16

She sounds a right piece of work. Sounds like you'd find kindred spirits and good support on the Stately Homes thread.

OTheHugeManatee Mon 30-May-16 13:42:03

Your mum sounds like an absolute nightmare. I second finding yourself some support on the Stately Homes toxic families thread. At least you and your DH are on the same page about her, and you are working toward being able to move somewhere else. Fingers crossed he gets this new job.

RainbowFlower24 Mon 30-May-16 13:43:10

You sound like you're having a really difficult time. If you can move away, nearer to work opportunities for you/Dh that would be good as living in your parents pockets sounds like it is not good for anyone. flowers

Bryt Mon 30-May-16 14:28:15

I'm sorry OP, but your mother sounds like a toxic parent. On no level does her behaviour sound reasonable or loving. Are you sure your children are playing up because they miss daddy? Might it be this stressful living arrangement they are reacting to. Really hope your DH gets a new job and you can all move out. Your mother would actually stop your dad and dd from seeing each other if you moved out?! That's shocking. Would you ever fo that to your (future) grandchildren? No. Can you see that you mother gas only her own interests at heart? You deserve not to be living a life like this. And It's your business how many children you have, not your mum's.

Bryt Mon 30-May-16 14:28:49

flowers

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