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Contact with mother

(14 Posts)
Bear1984 Fri 07-Oct-11 18:14:54

I have now had to allow my mother to see DD. I stopped contact due to lots of reasons and problems, basically down to her undermining me as a parent and telling DD things about me such as how I'm lazy, don't do anything with or for DD, that DD should ignore me, etc. She also thought she was the "second parent" because I split up with DD's father over 8 years ago.

The reason I've allowed her to see DD is because it came down to courts and lots of extra stress that I couldn't handle. I don't want her coming to see DD. I don't want her to have any contact with her. But the chances are if I stop her, courts will allow her access. So least this way, I have the upperhand and call the shots. So at the moment, she comes to us once a month for an hour.

But how do I explain to DD how she isn't able to go to grandma's? I don't want her to go there as I don't trust my mum to have her. Least here, she's right under my nose and I know what is being said.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 07-Oct-11 19:09:53

Hi Bear,

Why was contact reinstated after all that had happened?. Did your mother make you acqueisce to her demands and badger you continuously?.

Grandparents still have no legal right in law with regards to seeing their grandchildren, did your mother tell you otherwise?.

I'd be honest with your DD and tell her straight in an age appropriate way; DD probably has a good idea of what her grandmother is really like if she has seen your own reactions towards her.

Presumably your toxic mother has not changed her behaviour one jot. She made your life crap and such people are more than adept to pass on all their issues to the next generation i.e your child. This is not a good situation at all for either you or your DD. She has said horrid things to you and your child and can now do it within your home, I would be looking into cancelling this arrangement asap and particularly if she starts on your child again.

Bear1984 Fri 07-Oct-11 22:21:32

Hi Attila,
It's a number of things, from her constantly pestering me, to my friend telling me about her friend who was in a similar position as me but whose parents took her to court and won. I just didn't want that at all. I also spoke to a solicitor who advised me to allow contact, so felt everything was very much against me.

I don't speak to her at all now. As far as I'm concerned, she's not even my mother. I have very much disowned my family, and I'm not sad about that as they haven't given me any reason in the past years to feel they are my family. My sister has been a right pain in the arse lately though, trying to make me feel guilty with texts she keeps sending me, although the only problem is I don't feel guilty at all and don't even care enough about her to waste a text message on her to tell her to eff off.

My toxic mother hasn't changed at all. I can't remember if I mentioned this on here, but when I first met with her to discuss contact arrangement, we met in town so a) it was neutral ground and b) if I got really angry, I had reasons to try and keep calm and collected (didn't really work though). After giving her my reasons as to why we spent months not speaking and cutting contact, she did her usual "I never said any of that" and "oh if you want to hear me say sorry, even though I haven't done anything wrong, then I'll just say sorry" and the classic "well if you have to blame someone, I suppose it's going to be me isn't it?"

So yeah, I told her that she could see DD once a month for an hour, that is it, no DD going to her or staying over, I'm having it so I can see every moment and hear every word that is said. Like I've said before I don't want to risk my DD being poisoned by her and it took a long struggle to even to agree with this... but this is the only solution I have at the moment to be able to make things work. Least now she can't carry on with courts (at least I hope) as she is seeing DD, whether she likes the arrangement or not (although she did write to me asking if it could be every 3 weeks as she thinks once a month isn't enough...)

I do feel like a shit mum for allowing her back into DD's life, but I honestly don't know what else to do. It's getting me really down. Would love to win the lottery and be able to move far far away... (wishful thinking).

CleopatrasAsp Fri 07-Oct-11 23:10:29

She has no right in law to see your DD and has bullied you into this arrangement. Please don't let this awful woman do this to you any more, you and your DD deserve better. Let her waste her money going to court, she won't get anywhere, just be calm and document everything she has done to make you break contact in the past. Chances are if you break contact again she will be so enraged that she will leave nasty messages/texts etc which you can then keep as evidence of her behaviour and use to take legal action to keep her away from you. As for your sister, bar her number and ignore her.

Bear1984 Mon 10-Oct-11 15:51:14

Hi CleopatrasAsp, I keep hearing conflicting things about whether grandparents have the rights to see their GC. Just googling it, I find so many places saying courts tend to back the grandparents as they, for the most part, "enrich" the lives of their GC. Yes, fine if the grandparents don't poison their GC's minds...

I have kept letters and text messages from both her and my sister. I am blocking my sister's number though, as my DP suggested this to me at the weekend.

PeppermintPumpkin Mon 10-Oct-11 16:34:52

Hi Bear, can I give you the legal perspective?

I'm a lawyer, don't do Family law, but my boss does(always getting his advice and putting it on here!!).

He says that GP's do have a right to apply to the courts. It is a two stage process-firstly they must apply to the court for leave to make the application (ie it's not just a question of applying straight off). If they get leave then they can make an application in pretty much the same way a parent does it.

Their motives are examined and they must show all the way through that they are available for mediation.

In my area (south west) what happens is the application is made, and CAFCASS (children and family court advisory and support service) prepare a short report and examine whether there are any child protection issues. If matters are not agreed between the parties(let's say the parent says no to the GP being involved for whatever reason), the court will consider whether to commission a full "welfare report".

During all of this, the GP needs to show they are seeking contact for a good reason ie if their son or daughter already have contact, a court is unlikely to give them extra on top, but if they have been involved for periods with the grandchild's life, then the court is more likely to be sympathetic. ie if they have say, looked after the child full time previously for a good period of time while the parent was ill or something.


Tyr Mon 10-Oct-11 16:49:11

This is frequently misunderstood; GP's can apply for exactly the same orders as parents. They do need leave to apply but, in the absence of compelling reasons to the contrary, leave will almost invariably be granted.
All parties applying for orders are now required to attend a Mediation information and assessment meeting (MIAM).
In this case, I think the OP is being unreasonable and the solicitor was right to advise her to offer contact. Given her hostility to her mother, one hour a month with her present is not a child focussed arrangement and a court would want to see better than that.

Tyr Mon 10-Oct-11 16:50:19

Oh, forgot to ask- what contact does the child have with her father?

PeppermintPumpkin Mon 10-Oct-11 16:55:19

Ah yes, I wasn't trying to imply that having to seek leave makes it harder, was trying to emphasise the 2 stage process.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 10-Oct-11 18:39:24


Don't be bullied by your toxic mother; it is she who has always shown outright hostility towards you both as a child and adult and your DD. Grandparents still don't have any automatic rights in law to see their grandchildren.

Ask on the Stately Homes thread too about this; they may well have some good counsel for you as well.

Bear1984 Mon 10-Oct-11 19:27:43

Thanks Peppermint. It's useful to know that.

Tyr, she does have contact with her father, but he makes little effort with her. He comes and sees her when his parents want to come visit, which is every 3-4 months, and that's the only contact DD really has with him. She has a very good relationship with his sister and parents though, and has stayed with his sister and will do so again soon.

Attila, I have posted on there a few times, but don't have as much time as I use to for the net. I just feel very weak at the moment, as my relationship with DP isn't that great at the moment either, and I just feel so overwhelmed with everything that is happening.

Tyr Mon 10-Oct-11 20:11:58

Would his sister or parents facilitate the contact even in the short term until you get over the worst of your present troubles?

Bear1984 Tue 11-Oct-11 10:43:09

Do you mean with DD's father? DD does sometimes stay with his parents (he still lives at home) so there's that, or when DD stays over with his sister, she takes DD to him and his parents throughout the day, or they come to us. They live about 2.5 hours away which is why visits are few and far between. DD's not very comfortable around her father, but she gets on very well with his sister and parents so if anything, least she's got a good relationship with his family, if not him.

Tyr Tue 11-Oct-11 12:12:28

No, I meant would any of them facilitate the contact with your mother but, if they live that far away, it's hardly practical.

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