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Dm is controlling and interferes with the way I handle my dcs

(92 Posts)
Sad51 Wed 12-Feb-14 22:29:00

I am in my late 30's yet dm has the ability to make me feel like the pathetic 15 years old I was; timid, insecure, desperate for recognition.

When I reprimand my dc, dm tells me I am too harsh right in front of them. I have told her to back off several times but she cannot help herself. One of my dcs now plays on the fact that nanna will jump in for her.

Also when my youngest is crying, she throws in that when I was a baby she never allowed me to cry and dropped whatever she was doing.

Most of dm sentences start with "Don't you think" as she likes me to agree with her. I deliberately disagree to make it clear that she cannot force her opinion on me like she did when younger. She becomes uppity.

She lives nearby and visits every other day so I have to deal with her often.

I do not like my dm very much which makes me question the kind of person I am sad

deakymom Wed 12-Feb-14 23:36:33

cant you go out when she visits i really don't think you should take this behaviour but if you dont want to rock the boat get a hobby have a friend in need a doctors appointment sneak off to the library anything but stay in

my mom tried this one but unfortunately for her i get more uppity than her the phrase things have moved on we dont do things like that anymore i hardly think its cause for concern are phrases that sent her running for cover

Xenadog Wed 12-Feb-14 23:52:59

OP don't let her in. It really is that simple. If you don't like her then regardless of what the blood relationship is you do not have to maintain any semblance of friendliness.

Alternatively, if that approach is a step too far, every time she says something say, "This is my house and my child. I run things my way. if you don't like or agree with this then that's your issue. I am happy with what I am doing. You do not need to stay if you do not like what you see or hear." Always maintain your calm. Speak slowly and deliberately whilst looking her in the eye and do not back down or justify yourself.

She will get even more uppity but if you repeat this mantra like a stuck record she will either get sick of it and shut up or stop coming around. Win win I would say!

ladyquinoa Thu 13-Feb-14 01:33:05

Either go out when she visits or stop having her round. Every time she puts your parenting down remember to delay the next visit. You could either be honest and say you find it too traumatic her constantly putting you down or just feed her little lies like its not convenient.

ladyquinoa Thu 13-Feb-14 01:35:50

Her 'why don't you ...... Xxx ...'
You 'I need a break from your criticisms, best come round next week instead so I can have a breather'

ladyquinoa Thu 13-Feb-14 01:36:52

Break the cycle. You are both going round in circles.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 13-Feb-14 07:12:40

People like your mother do not at all make for being good grandparents.

Part of you still is that 15 year old desparately seeking attention (and approval) from your mother; she will never give you that because she is not built that way. It is also NOT your fault she is like this.

I assume that you actually allowed your children to have a relationship with her in the first place because you thought erroneously that she would somehow behave better towards them this time around despite the rotten treatment your received. It has not happened.

Do not answer the door when she visits.

If she is too toxic/difficult for you to deal with then she is too toxic/difficult for your vulnerable and defenceless children. Your mother is causing a lot of harm here not just to you but to them too. Your mother may well start having a "favourite" and "ignoring" the other sibling. It has to stop as of now. If your mother cannot behave, she does not see any of you end of. Some people really should not be allowed access to their grandchildren. Break the cycle.

I would also consider moving; you need physical distance from her as well as mental distance.

I would also suggest you read "Toxic Parents" by Susan Forward and post on the "well we took you to Stately Homes" thread.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 13-Feb-14 07:14:32

Definitely consider moving. I only started to have a reasonable relationship with my DM after moving first 50 miles then 200 miles away. smile If she lived round the corner and popped in all the time I'd be in prison now for murder.

Joysmum Thu 13-Feb-14 07:16:06

You may not be able to change how she is, but you can change how you react.

If I'm insulted I'd be a lot more hurt if it was from somebody a respect and like. If it's from somebody who's clearly a twunt then it doesn't bother me.

ROARmeow Thu 13-Feb-14 07:58:36

What age are your DC?

Are you a SAHM?

Really don't think your mum needs to come round so often, that'd drive me mad! Is she any help, or just there to make you doubt yourself?

Do what other posters have advised - go out instead of being at home so much, tell your DM that it's your house so your rules apply, and take a breather from her for a while.

Horsemad Thu 13-Feb-14 07:58:36

Just keep reiterating 'you've had your turn at parenting, it's MY turn now.'

I had to do this with my MIL ( who incidentally lives too close & popped in all the time).

She no longer does it - took a while though, moving would be easier!

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Thu 13-Feb-14 08:52:11

Tell her that if she cannot respect you as the parent, she can no longer come in.

And if she starts, show her the door.

Ask her if she would have tolerated this from her own parents or in laws and tell her that she is not only insulting you by acting as though you are an incapable parent, but she is also saying on a daily basis that she was such a shit parent that she was unable to raise a child who can care for their own children.

Really, it's going to be down to you to be very firm and very clear. Establish the necessary boundaries and then allow her to really enjoy being a big part of your life as long as she does not treat you like a child.

(this is not no experience theory stuff on my part. I won't bore you with all the stuff leading up to it but I was forced to tell my parents that they were shit grandparents and they had to choose whether they wanted to be grandparents or not, and either was fine with me, but the situation as it was was not to continue, so choose.)

Sad51 Thu 13-Feb-14 08:56:57

Dm just popped in and start panicking about the dcs being late for school. Anyone would think I am incompetent and unable to run my household! I left home at 24 and pretty much looked after myself from the age of 17 bar paying the mortgage. I have never asked her for money.

On telling her to stop intefering, she mumbled not wanting to argue and shut the door on me. According to her I am the problem, I am moody, argumentative. I feel I have to protect myself when she is around as she questions everything I do and makes me feel crap. I really do not need help in this area, as I can feel bad all on my own.

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Thu 13-Feb-14 09:01:10

Don't let her in.

You are going to have to have a very blunt conversation with her and lay out some consequences.

Well, you don't have to, obviously. You could continue to let her act like this but it'll drive you crazy.

Sad51 Thu 13-Feb-14 09:01:50

I have no fight left in me. I just spend a lot of my time crying. Dm is so needy and requires constant reassurance from any and everyone. I feel drained when she leaves. She talks of my dc missing her if she does not visit for a day - err no they just get on with it.

princessalbert Thu 13-Feb-14 09:02:09

This is why I don't agree with family members just 'popping in'.

What the hell is she doing turning up when you are trying to get ready for school? How selfish of her.

Can you take control of the visits? Tell her that you would like to see her on x day at x time? Keep it to once a week if you like.

It would drive me round the twist having anyone popping in on me daily. It's your home. They are your DC.

Once you have set the boundaries you will be so relieved - and know that your free time is your own. With no one criticising on a daily basis.

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Thu 13-Feb-14 09:05:52

Not dealing with it is not going to make things better for you.

You feel you have no fight left in you because of this. If you can find a way to tell her that she either respects you as the parent or X will happen - and mean it - you are going to always feel this way.

tbh, I'd actually be saying that because of her attitude and actions, I am planning to move out of the area as I feel only distance will stop her constant interference.

And hope that the thought of that would make her stop and think.

Sad51 Thu 13-Feb-14 09:10:57

Dm lives nearby and takes it upon herself. She lives alone and has very little money due to making silly decisions in the past. She eats a lot with us.

I admit to having slight depression. I was bullied at school and received no emotional support from dm. On bringing it up, she said she noticed the major change in my personality, but on asking I always said I was fine so she left it at that hmm

Sad51 Thu 13-Feb-14 09:12:32

She is most definitely a narcassist. I looked at the common traits and she fits nearly all of them.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 13-Feb-14 09:16:14

You would not tolerate this from a friend, your mother is absolutely no different. Your mother was a poor parent in many ways to you as a child and she is still failing you now. It is not your fault she is like this, you did not make her this way and you are not responsible for her.

Your mother is likely to be the root cause of your depression. Also she is not and never will be the mother you want her to be. She pretty much left you to get on with it.

She trained you well because your boundaries re her seem pretty much non existent.

How did she get into your home; did you let her in or has your mother got a key?.

Sad51 Thu 13-Feb-14 09:16:54

I always thought there was something wrong with me that stopped me from being able to get along with my dm. I did not think I had it in me to be the kind of daughter somebody would want. Dm made me feel I was the problem as a teenager. Yes I was stroppy,detached, miserable - I was so unhappy with my life. She never investigated/booked a meeting with my teachers/took me to the doctors. Nothing at all!

princessalbert Thu 13-Feb-14 09:17:03

Can you write her a letter instead of having to brazen it out in person?

If you are feeling a bit down anyway, it can be hard to handle a confrontation.

Do something, and do it now. If you don't she will always be in control of you - and you are an adult now, responsible for your own family.

Write and tell her that from now on visits will be on ..Tuesdays - 5-6.30pm for example. So she can come for tea and then bugger off home.

Do you lock your door? Or does she just walk in/have a key? Make it so that she has to knock. That way if she does come at an inconvenient time you can say no more easily than if she is already in the lounge.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 13-Feb-14 09:18:39

It is not possible to have any sort of relationship with a narcissist.

Basically your mother taught you that you do not matter and that you are only there to service her needs. She has no empathy for you whatsoever.

Have you ever read the website entitled Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers?.

All you can do is detach from such a person; she will just drag you and the children down with her otherwise. Narcissists in particular make for being deplorable grandparent figures.

princessalbert Thu 13-Feb-14 09:19:22

OP - I don't much like my DM either.

I see her maybe once or twice a month max. We live in the next town - but I don't go out of my way to meet up.

So, there is nothing wrong with you. Your DM failed you as a child by not recognising that she was keeping you down.

No one says you have to like your family. You didn't choose them. You choose your friends/husband.

Sad51 Thu 13-Feb-14 09:22:01

I felt suicidal most of my school life. I just about managed to get through the day. Smiling/laughing was not a priority - surviving was.

No dm does not have a key. She knocks.
She actually gets on with my other siblings and dh far better than with me so it is very easy to assume there is something wrong with me.

Dm likes to have the final say which she did when I was growing up. Now I will not give her that. She does not know everything and I will question her views if they differ from mine.

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