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The Great Escape

(735 Posts)
GoodtoBetter Fri 18-Jan-13 07:24:59

I thought I would start a new thread, for anyone who might be interested in listening to my waffling on about my struggles with a difficult, overbearing mother. Thank you to whoever it was who suggested the thread title! I've changed my name for something a bit more positive.
previous thread here:

GoodtoBetter Sat 16-Feb-13 23:26:52

It's not set in stone, we might not see her next weekend. Also to be fair, the kids are at school and nursery all morning and I work 3pm til 10pm Mon to Thurs, so the only time she can realistically see the kids without asking DH to take them while I'm at work is on a Friday afternoon or at the weekends. We see the PILs for lunch every Sunday.

GoodtoBetter Sat 16-Feb-13 23:28:17

It doesn't always suit to see her on a Friday afternoon, hence visiting this Saturday morning while DH did the lunch and had the house to himself for a bit.

2rebecca Sun 17-Feb-13 08:35:27

If it suits you then fine, I'd hate to visit relatives, mine or my husbands every weekend but it sounds as though you enjoy that and are both more extended family orientated and less sports and activity orientated than we are. We both work as well so need weekends to chill a bit. Now the kids are older Sunday is usually a late brunch and then sporting stuff/ gardening/ kids do homework or their sporting stuff or doing stuff round house or go out for the day. Visiting someone every Sunday for lunch would make me feel I had no Sunday left.

GoodtoBetter Sun 17-Feb-13 08:57:45

I don't mind...means no cooking and get a take home tortilla in typical Spanish MIL styleee and kids like it.

GoodtoBetter Fri 22-Feb-13 12:00:30

Grr. Saw her this morning and she was complaining about an estimate she's had for painting the exterior of the house and regrouting the patio. She thinks it's a lot of money ad she said "I'm not like you and DH, i don't have money in the bank". Iirc she has about 20 or 30 grand in the bank and has a pension double what I earn and doesn't have 2 children and owns her own house. We were on our way out to the framer's, where she spent 500 fucking euros on picture frames. But apparently she's "got no money in the bank and can pay to paint the outside walls" and I "have money in the bank".

GoodtoBetter Fri 22-Feb-13 12:02:19

obviously she does have 2 children blush I meant 2 dependent children.

Herrena Fri 22-Feb-13 13:33:06

Heh heh. If it's any consolation Good, pensioners can sometimes be a bit blinkered about the level of their income (IME anyway). My MIL has a pension which is considerably higher than my DH's salary and she constantly goes on about how frugal she has to be just after having spent hundreds of quid on flowers

So maybe this is only 50% 'have a go at Good' and the rest is made up of 'unreasonable expectations of income'. Let's give her the benefit of the doubt here grin

How are you doing anyway? Are you feeling any better?

GoodtoBetter Sun 24-Feb-13 22:31:28

Hi Herrena,

Yes, my body has obviously decided it has no choice but to work as it isn't going to get a rest anyway and I'm feeling a little less run down. Finished exams and reports at work so now only a massive translation and a fulltime job to contend with, minus the admin on top. Also, been going back to bed for an hour at the weekends and leaving DH to give DS his breakfast (DD is a sleepy wee monkey and capable of having a longer lie in then me grin) before staggering downstairs to a nice cup of tea and toast and jam.

Saw DM today, went to the park for an hour with her and the DCs and sat in the sun while they played. Was very nice. She was cheerier and had been to ikea herself, so that was positive. She's calmed down about the estimate and thought of a way round it that is more sensible and suits her better.

It wasn't the spending money that annoyed me, it was this implication that she's so fecking hard done by and I'm swanning around living the life of luxury on my "money in the bank", while she scrapes by on a meagre pension, when the truth is she has thousands in the bank (whether she wants to spend them or not is not the issue), a large house she owns outright, one person to feed and clothe and an income of around 2000 euros a month. Whereas I have an income of around 1200 euros a month (but only for 9 months a year, the other months I have to claim the dole) to feed a family of four, (with very little prospect of promotion and DH with no signs of work) pay 425 a month rent and will probably have to slowly eat away at my savings, and then we'll be renting on an income of 1200 a month with no safety net. And I HAD a house which I sold (Duh) to look after her, DB has a property, DM has and I'm the one who's been proper shafted.
But, I digress.

She asked why we hadn't been down to the flat recently and insisted I take a set of keys, said we should make the most of it before it's sold. Haven't decided what to do on that one just yet.

Still really really really enjoying living away from her. Can't believe I put up with it for so long. I look back and feel like I was sort of squashed down by it all. Feel so much lighter here, emotionally, physically. Love it.

GoodtoBetter Mon 25-Feb-13 14:22:44

A month today that we escaped! smile

wheredidiputit Mon 25-Feb-13 14:47:36

Are you sure. I'm sure it was only last week or is time just flying by again.

You sound so much more relaxed and happy (and is your DH I expect). Even if you are busy with family and work.

Jux Mon 25-Feb-13 21:19:39

A whole month! Fantastic!

GoodtoBetter Tue 26-Feb-13 10:09:23

Yes, so busy I'm starting to fantasise about being a housewife! I'm so looking forward to getting this translation finished so I can have the mornings free again to pootle around while the kids are at school, drinking tea and doing a bit of laundry/tidying, even though I'd still have to work in the afternoons. Right now is just mad cos I work all morning, have lunch then work til 10pm then come home and work til around 1am.
Only another 12000 words to go...better get cracking. xx

2rebecca Tue 26-Feb-13 13:37:19

Glad things are going well. I'd have thought the reason you haven't been to your brother's flat is obvious "er, have you forgotten that I've just moved house mum and am really busy at the moment?"
Weekends in holiday cottages are for people with time on their hands, all that packing and travelling back and forth can be quite stressfull.
She's the one who has time to visit the holiday flat. If she can't be bothered why should you? It's not your problem, only go if you think it will enhance your life, to me it sounds like an unnecessary hassle at the moment.

WingDefence Wed 27-Feb-13 14:38:47

Hi Good - I'm so glad to see your updates! Hope the translation is going well today... I'm also in the middle of getting a major piece of work finished but had to pop back on here and see how you were doing.

I can't believe it's been a month since you moved - I'm so glad you can see the difference. I hope it's made a difference to your DH and DCs as well?

Take care smile

Herrena Wed 27-Feb-13 15:19:38

I would smile politely and thank her for the keys but not even consider going. It'll probably end up just being another stick to beat you with since people like your DM don't really ever give things away without an ulterior motive (even if it's 'only' that she wants you to be mildly indebted to her). If you did go then she could whinge to your DB about how you won't live in her house with her but her holiday home is good enough for you, oh yes. Not that such whinging need affect you necessarily, but it would annoy me if I knew of it.

If she asks why you haven't gone, just say you're really busy/DD has become dramatically carsick or something. If possible, don't make it an obstacle which she has the power to fix.

tribpot Sun 03-Mar-13 22:21:25

Hope all's going well.

GoodtoBetter Mon 04-Mar-13 09:17:53

Hello tribpot. Thanks for asking after us. Things are going well, will be finishing the giant translation job this week, thank goodness as I am so tired of it. It was too much to take on really but I couldn't turn the money down if there was any way I could possibly do it. I have 3000 words left, which I'm hoping to more or less do this morning (won't get it all done) and then have to trawl back through it all over the course of the week. Hopefully I'll get the other two books to do, but need a little break first because it's just too much working full time and trying to squeeze in translating a book on top of that.
It was a bank holiday weekend this week, so no work/school Thursday, Friday, and it was DH's birthday on the Friday. We went out for a meal on Friday using a meal voucher work gave me for Christmas. Friend babysat, was the first time out since before I got pg with DD I think (she's nearly 2).
Saw DM on the Thursday briefly and it came up that it was DH's birthday the next day. She said nothing, no "wish him happy birthday" etc. Nada. Saw her again briefly yesterday and she asked "how the birthday had gone" and that was it. I think she sees him as responsible for what's happened. I think she saw him as an irritating obstacle before and now she actively dislikes/resents him. But she's stupid because it just limits the time she sees me/DCs if we always see her without him, iyswim.
Also, have been noticing her favouritism of DS again. Went to a mediaeval market (artesan stuff) yday with her and DCs as DH was feeling under the weather. She bought DS a wooden sword and then a harmonica and never mentioned DD. DD was v interested in a little xylophone (DM watching her play with it) and it wasn't until I said I thought I would get it for her as DS had had 2 things that she said she would buy it. I don't mean she should buy them stuff, but I don't think you should buy for one and not the other. She likes DD, but it's like DD is a friend's granddaughter...very cute and all, but...yeah..whatever. But DS, well the sun just shines out of DS, she's always thinking about him, what he'd like, etc. I thought it was because DS is nearly 5 and talks etc, can do stuff but nothing changes and DD will be 2 in May. DM fussed and fussed when DS was a baby about him being read to, (ex teacher) and bought huge amounts of books for him. She's never ONCE asked about DD and stories. And there was the thing about saying before we moved that DH favoured DD (which he doesn't, at all), which I think was her projecting. When we dropped DM off, she did what she always does. The kids are in the back and she's in the front passenger seat, she gets out, blows a kiss to DD and then walks round the car (DD's in the seat behind her), opens DS' door and gives him a kiss. No kiss for DD. DD blows kisses and waves and looks a bit confused. When we see MIL, on the other hand she opens DD's door and kisses her and then does the same with DS, or vice versa.
I might say to DM next time that DD wants a kiss too, cos I don't like it. So glad we moved out, some seriously weird stuff goes on in my DM's head.

tribpot Sat 09-Mar-13 18:56:01

GoodToBetter, just popping by to check all is still okay.

Hopefully the giant translation job is done, what a task that's been.

Bizarre behaviour with regards to your ds and dd. She truly wants to play golden child/scapegoat doesn't she? Highly damaging for your children.

GoodtoBetter Sat 09-Mar-13 19:23:54

Yes, I think DS is definitely the Golden Child and although DD is too little right now, i think she will definitely be the scapegoat later. At the moment it's more just that she's very cute and all that, but...well...meh..whatever in comparison to DS who can do no wrong and who she is always thinking about, planning for etc, etc. What worries me is that "the Golden Child can be encouraged, either overtly or tacitly, by the Narcissistic Mother, to bully the Scapegoat which adds to the friction". The DCs are lovely together now at 5 and almost 2, so close and affectionate, I'd hate her to start undermining their relationship.
I'm finishing the translation this weekend, can't wait to have a bit of free time. The only thing that's bothering me slightly is that Easter's coming up and DB is visiting for a week. I'm really looking forward to seeing DB but DM worried me a little by something she said the other day. Would appreciate some advice, I might even start a thread, but there's so much backstory I'm not sure it's worth it?

DB arrives on the Tues, which is DS' birthday. I'm going to pick DB up from the airport at about 1pm, with DS coming with me to see the planes and collect his uncle on his birthday (he's v excited about this). Then, the plan has always been (because DB booked flights early, long before all this kicked off and we moved out) that we would all (DCs, DB, DH, DM and me) go out for lunch. Fine. So, saw DM yday and she was saying we could go out for a lunch on another day. OK, fair enough..DB's here for a week. But then she starts saying she'd get a joint of meat in and as I don't have an oven, we'd eat at her house and it's do two days and then something else about another meal for another day...sounds like she thinks we're all having lunch together every day DB is here. Obviously when we all lived together we ate together every day, but there's no way I want to spend every lunch time with her! On my holiday! (I have the week off). I was so surprised I didn't really say anything. DH was utterly horrified by the idea, and rightly so as she will basically ignore him and then bitch to DB behind DH's back that DH doesn't speak to her at the table.
I had a fucking horrible Christmas with all this going on, so there's no way I'm spending all my easter week with her, but I don't want to provoke a war either. I'm not putting DH through seeing her more than necessary either.
I spoke to DH and suggested we do the birthday meal and possibly one other meal and the rest of the time be magically "busy" visiting friends, going out for the day, etc etc. The difficult thing is I do want to see DB and have a chance to chat to him and see him a bit, but would rather not have to factor DM into the equation.
What I used to do was that she would do her virtually housebound routine and I'd get DB to come to the park with us and see him without her that way. Since we've moved out I've tended to see her on "organised outings" like the park etc as I find it less oppressive and laden with awkward significance than sitting in the house we used to live in. I worry now if I say we're going to the park, she'll say she'll come too. Also want to show DB the new house, but not sure how to do it without her self inviting or being rude by clearly not inviting, iyswim?
Think I'll try skyping DB next week and see what he thinks....

Goodness that was long!

GoodtoBetter Sat 09-Mar-13 19:25:36

Sorry, I meant DM was suggesting 2 lunches out, the birthday and another day and then all these mels at her house.

wheredidiputit Sat 09-Mar-13 19:44:45

I agree with you. I wouldn't be putting your DH in position of not feeling welcome.

I think it a good idea to see your db alone. Maybe he can come to lunch and see your new home and stay for lunch one day.

GoodtoBetter Sat 09-Mar-13 20:20:48

what do you think to the being "busy" tack or am I being a coward?

AutumnDreams Sat 09-Mar-13 20:52:46

Lovely to hear from you Good!

I don`t think you`re being a coward at all. Just someone who has been through the eye of a needle in recent months, and now wants some peace.

To be totally honest though, I feel that you will need to have strong words with her in the very near future. She still seems to think she can control you and your family, albeit in a different way now. Ostracising your husband, and the father of her grandchildren in this way is completely wrong, and maybe she should be told. He has put up with so much from her.

Her behaviour towards your little one though is the really worrying thing, and that needs to be dealt with before she creates a serious rift between your children.

For now, take the easiest way out - lie! - until you feel strong enough to deal with her again. Try to get time out with your brother in whatever way you can, without her being there. In the long run though, I don`t think you will ever allow her to cause problems again.

Enjoy your holidays with your lovely little family.

tribpot Sat 09-Mar-13 20:54:39

It's a massively awkward situation, isn't it? Taking the nearest analogy I can, my brother lives in the same city as my mum (we are about 90 miles away) and although I have visited and been to see only one or other of them, normally we would all get together. If we were going for a week, though, we wouldn't hang out all day every day as it would get too oppressive.

You could put a very definite line in the sand and invite your DB to your house on his own, but this would be difficult to pass off as anything other than a deliberate snub to your mum.

I'd pretend you haven't heard the thing about the joint of meat - why not say you think it'd be great if you all went out to eat as planned (actually have your bro say this) so no-one has the cooking and then one lunch at your mum's and one lunch at yours. After all, you don't live together now.

Presumably you'll want to do something that includes your in-laws as well?

But then I would definitely say that you do have plans already - visiting friends and maybe a day trip out for the kids to enjoy. If she acts like you're being incredibly rude to have planned this during your brother's visit you can then have him say he is quite happy for you not to be living in each other's pockets and that the kids need to enjoy the holidays.

Having some alone time with him could be very tricky, though. Unless he makes a point of coming down to see you every morning - for a coffee maybe - so that she feels she has to protest about all the time being spent at your house smile

GoodtoBetter Sat 09-Mar-13 21:14:36

I don't want to actively snub her, no because I just want a bit of peace and I can't cope with having another holiday ruined by having a huge fall out. But I am very conscious not to let DH feel she's more important and I don't want him to have to spend any more time in her company than is absolutely necessary to prevent ww3. I can tell the very idea of being in the same room as her depresses him. I think he'd rather do pretty much anything than be in a social situation with her, and he's put up with so much shite from her over the years, it's not fair.
I think next year I might do a birthday party for DS or something, even if DB's here, to try to diffuse the situation a bit..i.e she can come to the kiddie party but there'll be lots of people there to diffuse any unpleasantness and not so much pressure on DH to "chat over dinner". Can't get out of the meal this year on DS' birthday without it being a MAJOR snub/insult though.
I think we'll do the meal out on the birthday as planned and maybe one other meal and then just be busy the other days at lunchtime, I can pop over an afternoon instead for an hour, so DH isn't involved if he doesn't want to be. Maybe invite DB to watch easter processions as she won't want to do that much walking/standing around...and then just have a quick look and sneak to the park, or invite DB to come and do something quite active like kicking football around, so she won't be interested......or go on long walks with DC and DH and DB......

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