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I have let my DCs down

(31 Posts)
verysadnow Sat 15-Mar-14 21:35:31

Sorry there is a bit of background here

My mum made a complete mess of my wedding day. She got drunk and told everyone how horrible I was and that I disappointed her as a daughter.
That was 15 years ago and I cut contact with her for it.

Anyway 9 years ago she came around begging me to give her a chance to be a mum and get to know her grand children. The amount of time we see her has built up over the years we now see her about twice a month either at hers or mine but still haven't let her have the DCs by herself because of our wobbly past.

So today she came around to drop off a book for one of the DCs. My 3 eldest were in the park and the youngest was in the garden. She asked where they were and when I told she asked if I would get them to see her and I said they were okay playing for a bit. As they had only just gone to play.
She was rather put out by this but let it go.

Then the DCs came running back saying the ice cream van was coming. I gave them money for me, them and the youngest DC. My mum said she didn't want anything. The DCs came back to the house with the ice cream and I told them to stay in and eat it and talk to my mum for a bit. Which they did. My youngest dropped his ice cream so I wiped it up and gave him mine. My mum said that I shouldn't give him mine so he would learn. I said it was an accident and it didn't matter. She sighed at me and changed the subject.

So half an hour later and the DCs friends came to call for them again. I said that they had to stay with us for another 10 minutes then they could go my mum said I may as well let them go now because she was leaving anyway. I said okay then the DCs left then she sat back down and muttered something about being under the thumb.

Then she noticed that I had a new ring on DH had 're-proposed' to me last week for our wedding anniversary so we can have the wedding we wanted with our DCs. I explained that we were renewing our vows and she said it was a waste of money and a stupid idea. I said that we wanted to do it with our DCs and she said it was because I spoilt the DCs (in front of my youngest) I said she was being silly and sent the youngest outside.

She said that I was a soft mother and I needed to toughen up. I told her I was just parenting my way. She said my way was wrong. I told her to leave now because I didn't want to argue. She said that my DH was too good for me anyway and she felt sorry for my children. "The ones that are mine" (referring to our adopted son who is of course a part of the family)

I told her to get out now and she moved to the door, I followed her out and she turned and slapped me. Then she grabbed her handbag and hit me around the face with it. I told her to go and never come back she stormed out swearing and shouting.

Then an hour ago she was standing outside she chucked rubbish all over my yard, our neighbours called the police before I did and she was arrested. My mum's partner called us and told us that it was my fault she was arrested because I am a massive disappointment.

I can't ever let her near my DCs again but I am still sad about it because I thought we were making progress. Now I have let my DCs down because I let them build a relationship with her and now they won't see her again.

MamaPingu Sat 15-Mar-14 21:39:38

You haven't let those children down for one second. You tried to give them a relationship with their grandma, a relationship I think can an a very valuable one.

She messed up and now she's missing out. You've done nothing wrong OP remember that!

MamaPingu Sat 15-Mar-14 21:40:22

I feel sorry for you, she sounds vile. What an awful thing to say about your adopted son.

She has let you and those children down. You have done your absolute best'

Driveway Sat 15-Mar-14 21:44:13

Wow. Poor you. What an awful day.
Was there something else bothering her today? Not that it would be an excuse.
I'm so sorry that happened to you. You must be really shaken.

Driveway Sat 15-Mar-14 21:44:45

Don't feel bad. You did everything you could for the best.

verysadnow Sat 15-Mar-14 21:44:46

I know she is in the wrong. But I knew what she was like and I still let it happen.

verysadnow Sat 15-Mar-14 21:45:57

I don't know if something was bothering her she seemed to arrive in a bad mood.

Lweji Sat 15-Mar-14 21:57:20

She let them down, and she let you down too.

And wow, just wow, at her behaviour. It's hard to believe there are mothers like this. But I've seen my grandmother and she is very similar.

Frizzbonce Sat 15-Mar-14 22:01:08

verysad you have done your absolute best with a toxic mother. And yet you still seem to be blaming yourself - worrying about something 'bothering' her when she arrived. NOTHING justifies her behaviour - saying that vile thing about your child, bullying and insulting your parenting and then assaulting you!

You were amazing to give her another chance after her appalling behaviour at your wedding. She has blown it. Unless your mother has some sort of mental health issue, I would strongly advise for your own peace of mind that you cut her out of your life.

And congratulations on being such a lovely mum when you had such a shit role model. x

Hissy Sat 15-Mar-14 22:08:45

Good god, since when has standing up for yourself and your family let down anyone?

You're a fucking hero love! Don't ever forget that.

You trusted a woman who had already broken your trust.

She ballsed that up. Not you.

Well done. <high five>

Wigsy Sat 15-Mar-14 22:12:55

No no no no. No! I've been reading MN threads all evening sort of half-asleep, but I just knocked my tea over to leap up and respond to this one. You have not let your DCs down. You are parenting your way. Parenting your mother's way would be letting your DCs down.

She is letting you down. I'm so sorry to hear what you've been through. Good on your neighbours and good on the police, although I don't imagine that was easy for you to witness at all. We look to our parents to be grown-up and wise and when the emergency services have to step in to stop their unhinged behaviour, it's deeply unsettling.

Children are adaptable, accepting, and non-judgemental. If you can't tell them the truth about why they aren't going to see her in future, just underplay her absence in their lives. If they ask when they're next seeing her, just say breezily that you're not sure, then change the subject. Were they really that fond of her? Children can see through BS and fake veneers that toxic people put on. They're resilient to change. A toxic person will simply drift out of their lives and they will be fine.

You will disappoint her whatever you do. While you disappoint her, love your children, and bring them up your way. I'm so sorry for the awful, horrible showdown you've been put through.

Itssodifficult Sat 15-Mar-14 22:16:56

you didn't let your dc down, you tried to give them and your mother a chance to have a relationship, you did your best.
I think your mother has some issues, its not right to hit out at you physically like that.
after so many trials you have done, I don't think there is any point continuing your relation with her, it seems undoable and you cant have a distant relation either she wont let it happen.
best to cut her out.
you didn't let your dc's down, she did.

JonSnowKnowsNothing Sat 15-Mar-14 22:19:24

You've done absolutely nothing wrong. It takes a strong, brave, kind hearted soul to give someone a second chance... and she's blown it. She sounds absolutely foul and although you're shaken up and sad now, you can now resume non contact in the full knowledge you're protecting your children and doing the right thing.

Vile woman.

verysadnow Sat 15-Mar-14 22:27:39

How will I tell my DCs? They are 10,8,7 and 5 and they do love her. She buys them treats all the time and she plays with them when she sees them.

PublicEnemyNumeroUno Sat 15-Mar-14 22:32:25

She sounds like my mother, i now have no contact with her.

You have done nothing wrong here, some people are just fucking nut jobs

Wigsy Sat 15-Mar-14 22:35:42

Don't mention it until they do. Then you can say she's busy, or away. The truth is that she's unwell, in the head, but if you tell them she's unwell, they'll worry.

Don't worry about their relationship with her, or her absence from them. Just think about your relationship with them. Play with them, tickle them, tell them you love them, let yourself enjoy them without the worry of your mother hanging over you. Let yourself shake her off and share good times with your kids.

Just take it a bit at a time. Keep saying she's busy if they ask. You are not letting them down, you're protecting them. Do it a day at a time.

I'm so sorry she's hurt you like this.

Pimpf Sat 15-Mar-14 22:38:08

You tell them the truth, that she said some spiteful and nasty hurtful things, and that when she apologies she will be welcome to come back

Finola1step Sat 15-Mar-14 22:39:09

In terms of telling the dc, tell them the truth. Not the whole truth, but don't lie. You can tell them that you had an arguement and gm has hurt mummy very much. That because if this, we won't be seeing gm. It is sad but you love them very much and have to look after them. Then change the subject to something they rely like.

You can then have a quiet word with the older two later. I was about the same age when I was told something very important and shocking about my family background. I took it on the chin and thought "oh so that's why..." Forgot about it all v quickly.

Finola1step Sat 15-Mar-14 22:40:14

Really like not rely!

plentyofsoap Sun 16-Mar-14 05:08:07

Unfortunately you are like me and many others on this site, we get rubbish mothers.
You sound like a great mum though. She will never change so that was her last chance which she blew.

Cerisier Sun 16-Mar-14 05:13:55

She hit you, threw rubbish into the yard and the neighbours called the Police. Wow, she sounds deranged.

I think Wigsy's advice is spot on.

Deathwatchbeetle Sun 16-Mar-14 07:04:43

You've not let them down. You've possibly saved them from a nasty violent woman.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 16-Mar-14 07:11:57

Hi verysadnow,

"How will I tell my DCs? They are 10,8,7 and 5 and they do love her. She buys them treats all the time and she plays with them when she sees them".

What Wigsy wrote earlier. Children are very adaptable.

You seem very much in FOG (Fear, obligation, guilt) with regards to your mother. This is a common problem often seen in adult children of such toxic parents.

You would like to think that your children love her but they really do not. They see all too clearly how you as her DD are treated. Your mother's basically buying their affections.

Some grandparents really should not be allowed access to their grandchildren. Your mother is one such person. It is NOT your fault your mother is like this, you did not make her this way. Her own family did that lot of damage (do you know anything at all about her own childhood).

Your toxic mother's behaviour was appalling at your wedding; the writing was really on the wall then but you wanted to give your mother another opportunity. However, there should be no more opportunities now; she crossed a line and has gone way too far.

Keep both yourself and your children away from such a person for your sake and continue too to ignore her winged monkey (her partner) who I see was sent out quite early to do her bidding. All this is about power and control. No contact is an option I would seriously do as of now. They and you get nothing positive from her anyway and she will never give you the approval you on some level still want.

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

siblingrevelry Sun 16-Mar-14 07:25:42

You've not let them down-for the rest of their lives you can look them in the eye and know you gave her a chance to be part of your lives which SHE threw back at you. Many of us wouldn't have given the second chance so you're a better person than most.

The kids won't feel a hole in their lives from her absence because they have you, who is twice the person she is and sounds more than capable of being mother & grandmother to all your children (her 'true' opinion of your adopted son would be enough of a deal breaker for me, without the other stuff).

arsenaltilidie Sun 16-Mar-14 07:33:07

You haven'tlet anyone down.

It will just have to be another 9 years again.

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