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Is my mum being childish?

(15 Posts)
theluckiest Mon 20-Jun-11 22:14:37

Or is it me? I genuinely don't know. Was going to post in AIBU but not brave enough!

Mum and I generally have a good relationship. Last few years have been tricky as she was made redundant 5 years ago, 'lost' herself and pretty much has done nothing since. She's had a few serious health issues which have added to her growing negative outlook but on the whole, things are alright.

When I had DC she was overjoyed and looked forward to helping us out. Great as she only lives 15 mins away. Don't get me wrong, she was very supportive and now comes over to look after DC1 2 mornings a week. Apart from this, she does very little with the kids like taking them out as (her words) she 'can't be bothered'. She seems to do it very begrudgingly and has commented that she can't wait for the summer hols as she won't have to do it for a bit (I'm a teacher). This makes me a little sad as she seems to be saying that she can't really be bothered to see her GC. Whenever I suggest coming out with us anywhere, she makes lame excuses (or actually just says that she can't be bothered). Just seems a shame really as it started so promisingly and seems to be going downhill.

OK, so to now. DC1 is a typical, lovely 4 yr old boy. Can be cheeky and pushing boundaries at the moment but on the whole is polite and very loving. Took him to parent's house yesterday. When we were leaving, DC1 bit tired and grumpy, didn't want to give kisses and was being a bit silly. Caught mum saying 'You're a horrible boy' to him. I asked her to not say that as he certainly is not horrible and was doing nothing particularly awful. We left, bit of an atmosphere but thought nothing more of it.

Today, mum came over to look after DC1. According to DH ( I was at work) she came in, DC1 was eating breakfast and engrossed in CBeebies. He did say hello but then my mum commented that he 'was still in a foul mood' and said that he was being 'pathetic'. He's 4 ffs!

This has touched a nerve. I'm really cross with her. I called her earlier to talk about it and she said that she was 'close to tears' yesterday when he didn't kiss her and that 'we'll agree to disagree' when I mentioned calling him horrible is unacceptable. I take this to mean she thinks my parenting is wrong. I just don't want my sons being called horrible or pathetic. (I could mention the times she made me feel shit as a kid when she sulked and held a grudge for ages about some misdemeanor I'd done but I kept my mouth shut)

Now I'm certainly not a pushover. When DC are out of line, we deal with it appropriately. I'm not sure how to deal with this though. Not sure what my mum expects - to be lavished with kisses every visit? She can't see that the more negative she is to DC, the less likely they will want to be affectionate with her. Downward spiral I think.

I want to nip this in the bud but not sure how. She is very stubborn and has clearly stated she thinks she is in the right. What to do?

BBwannaB Mon 20-Jun-11 22:56:27

I would suggest you get a childminder and stop taking advantage of your DM. She might then prefer to see her GC for fun rather than an obligation.

buzzsore Mon 20-Jun-11 23:00:48

I doubt very much you can change the way your mother behaves or get her to look after them in the way you want her to. She's either not up to it or she's feeling put upon or she's just not very good at it.

I think you need to find alternative childcare. This isn't working and you don't want your dc to have the same bad memories you do.

buzzsore Mon 20-Jun-11 23:01:36

him not them, sorry.

bejeezus Mon 20-Jun-11 23:04:34

do you think she might be depressed? how is she with the rest of life?

Rosemallow Mon 20-Jun-11 23:06:26

I don't want to condone what your mother said to DS but is she happy? The 'can't be bothered' attitude and getting upset when she doesn't get the emotional response from DS that she wants, among other things, make it sounds as though she may be unhappy/depressed.

snowmummy Mon 20-Jun-11 23:10:24

She is being childish IMO. Calling a 4 year old 'horrible' and 'pathetic' is not on at all and the statement 'we'll agree to disagree' indicates to me that she'll do it again if she feels like it. That statement has also effectively ended the conversation and left you nowhere to go. I'd find alternative childcare.

ineedabodytransplant Mon 20-Jun-11 23:18:48

my grandson is 4. He pushes the boundaries because that is what kids of his age do.

Having a so-called adult saying he is horrible is something I will not put up with.

He makes me laugh/smile with some of the things he comes out with. Ok, he has his silly moments but generally he is a good, intelligent boy and I love him to bits.

And frankly I think your mum is being a bit of a primadona

WishIWasRimaHorton Mon 20-Jun-11 23:24:28

i cannot hear my mum saying those words to my son as i remember her saying the very same words to me. my son is no angel (also 4); but he is a loving boy and by no means 'horrible'. but she has told him on several occasions that he is a 'nasty' boy, 'bad', 'naughty' etc. i have never called her up on it as i am afraid of her reaction if i do. but i do not want him to hear those words said about him, and i am sure you must feel the same when she says them about your son.

she is the adult. it is hard when you rely on her for childcare. to be honest, i wouldn't want to leave my son alone with my mother for 10 mins let alone all day... can you not find an alternative source of childcare?

brass Mon 20-Jun-11 23:34:11

I don't get these threads that use grandparents as childcare.

Maybe he IS too much for her as a carer. Maybe she just needs to experience him as a GC and not as a job.

FetchTheMaid Mon 20-Jun-11 23:42:14

Mother sounds depressed. However as she also treated you like this when you were little she's not a nice person.

If this is how she talks to/about your son in front of you what does she do when you're not there? Perhaps your son not wanting to kiss her indicates something too??

I wouldn't need to think twice about having this woman care for my kids. If she was a paid childminder would you still be considering employing her?

ineedabodytransplant Mon 20-Jun-11 23:43:00

wishiwasrimahorton(wtf is rimahorton?) sorry but you need to stand up to your mother. I will fight my grandsons side against anyone who says he is nasty/bad/naughty. Don't care who they are. How can a 4 year old be that? Only if that is how they are taught.

Frankly I wouldn't give a shit about her reaction. If she doesn't like it, so what? Who is more important, your little boy or your mother who should grow up?

I would give up my life for my grandson, couldn't say the same for my mother.

Raeofsunshine Mon 20-Jun-11 23:58:57

I have told my Mum for years now that if my kids don't want to kiss or hug anyone then they don't have to cos I grew up being told I must give out kisses and hugs to family members that I really couldnt stand! And I wanted to make sure my dc knew they were allowed to have boundaries with who touched them and how.
Perhaps you could suggest that you are doing this with your ds and from there discuss that you are not going to call your ds names and would appreciate it if she respected this as you want to boost his self esteem as much as possible and you need her to be on board with this as she helps you with your dc's so much?
In doing it this way your less picking fault with your mum (which YANBU to be annoyed with her for what she said to your ds) and more asking her to work together with you in bringing up your ds.
Good luck, it's a difficult situation but you must address it.

Dorje Tue 21-Jun-11 00:07:14

Fire her as a childminder, employ her as a grandparent - and never leave your little ds with her alone again - it's not worth it.

I was going to say who knows what poison she's been drip feeding him, but you say she's been horrible to you in the past; that she was a nasty mother, so YOU DO know what she's been up to.

Rest assured you will never change her, ever, ever, but you can start to build up your little boy's self esteem by saying that he's a lovely little boy, and is not horrible, and that his GM was wrong to say that.

Your boy has the right instincts BTW - why kiss someone who is nasty!! Well done your DS.

xiaoqss Tue 21-Jun-11 01:30:56

Message deleted

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