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I don't like my mother and my family dynamics - is there any hope?(12 Posts)
Name changed because I'm ashamed.
Background - I'll try not to dripfeed.
Moved away to college at 18 and returned to my village where I was raised about 7 years ago with DH and DDx2 in tow [teen and 7yr old].
Had quite an unhappy child/teen hood due to my younger brother's constant battles with my Dad - he still has the odd eruption now even though he's in his early 40s.
I am incredibly jealous that my parents prefer my brother and his family despite all this.
My parent are young grandparents [60s]. They never ever offer to babysit for us, not even for birthdays, Xmas etc. When we have asked them they will agree then feign no knowledge when the date arrives. We don't ask them anymore as the stress of their reluctance was too much.
My eldest isnt having dinner with her grandparents tomorrow as my mother is babysitting so my brother can watch the match. I've not been to her parents evening for two years now as i have to look after our youngest - dh goes alone. My parents babysit so my brother and his wife can got to nursery and parents evenings [their eldest is in reception]
My parents childcare for my brother's children for a day each week. My mum said they agreed to save them money on childcare. My brother and his wife have well paid full-time jobs, they didnt mention the childcare vouchers they received, the arrangement was supposed to be until their son was at school, it's now been stretched to their daughter is at school, so another 3 years.
I am the breadwinner for our family and have never had any childcare offers. This would have been really helpful as I had terrible PND and anxiety after my youngest was born and needed support. They knew my situation and never asked what they could do to help.
When we moved here I usually spent Sunday afternoon with my parents and would bring my youngest round to their house. This time has now been taken by my brother and his children so I've now started to make excuses not to go. I work for myself so any time not working is precious and I don't want to spend it being ignored in favour of my brother and his children. I am literally ignored by the way. Invitations to stop for dinner are only extended to my brother and his family.
My parents have never eaten out with just my DH and I. Meals with my brother and his wife were routine prior to their kids arriving.
My brother recently became self employed. My parents are very excited by his business and are really involved, helping out, asking questions etc. The parts of the Sunday afternoons not spent marvelling at his kids are spent discussing his business. The only question my mother has ever asked me is "did I think my business would ever be a success?" [I have a 6 figure turnover]
Over the last year my mother has developed a mobility issue which means she'll need an op soon. She has endless discussions with me about how difficult she's finding the childcare arrangements but she doesnt want to let my brother down. More pointed remarks about how noone is going to care for her in her old age the way she has looked after various relatives.
My DH is amazing and the love of my life. He's a great Dad and always has my back. His view is that I should let it all "wash over me" and detach emotionally. He's only 5 years younger than my Mum by the way.
I've reached the point where if I could move away I would [not possible]. I want to be that sulky teen and scream "what about meeeeeeee!?"
I know I must come over as a terrible daughter but I'm at the point where I can't deal with it all anymore.
Is it too late to mend this?
My advice would be to extract yourself from all this and concentrate on your own happy little family. Make a good life for yourself and surround yourself with people who love and care about you. They say friends are the family you make for yourself.
Your parents have made their choices but choices have consequences. As they haven't been the slightest help to you and have clearly favoured your brother and his children, you now have no obligation to help them when they are elderly and in need of care - let them turn to your brother and sister-in-law instead. Do not under any circumstances be guilted into assuming responsibility for them when your brother and his wife end up dumping them from a great height - which they surely will. I wouldn't engage at all in the emotional blackmail your mother is trying to pull. If you have to have contact with her just ignore her when she starts up about being cared for in her old age or say to her that as she has helped your brother and sister-in-law so much they will surely make sure she is supported and cared for when the time comes.
Only surround yourself with people who make you feel good about yourself . Whether that's family or friends . You owe it to yourself and your family
Your birth family are deeply dysfunctional and it is not your fault they are this way.
You need to detach from these people completely. Do not ever be guilted into helping your mother longer term with any care needs; you are truly under no obligation to your mother at all and I would also point out to her that your brother would surely help her.
You have been and remain the family scapegoat and your brother has always been favoured; the way forward for you here to detach completely from all your birth family. They are not nice and will never play nice. They will never give you what you want from them i.e their approval.
I would also suggest you post on the "well we took you to stately homes" thread on these pages. You may also find that helpful.
Look up golden child vs scapegoat and narcissistic mother. It is a sad situation. I have gone no contact with my parents as I am a constant disappointment to them. I now realise that my childhood was abusive. Make less effort and live your life. Don't ask them for anything. Don't trust them with your dcs. I have a narcissistic mother and enabling father. Try the stately homes thread on here. It is very supportive. It is not you, it is them that has a problem. Do not measure your worth through their eyes.
Hello Atilla, I recognise you from stately homes thread. I go to stately homes with my dcs!
One good thing is that you DON'T have to feel at all guilty when she starts asking for help. You can become very dense about it to the point of utter stupidity if you want. I am sure the blue eyed boy's family will clamber over you to help (not).
You really are too busy, even if only watching paint dry. Very busy job that.
And if she starts whingeing that you are being selfish you can tell her you had a great teacher and how much you would have appreciated help but she preferred to help your brother. Don't let her try emotional blackmail.
You could suggest that you expect your brother and his wife will naturally repay the compliment in bucketloads when she is in need of care.
Thank you so much for all your replies. It's the first time anyone apart from lovely DH has ever validated how I feel. I'm in tears, thank you, thank you xxx
'Oh, I wouldn't have thought you'd be at all comfortable with us doing any care for you, I mean you've always made it clear that you feel much closer to Bro & Sil, plus after all the help you've given them I'm sure they wouldn't want to miss out on the chance to repay you for all you did for them!'
It's not you - it's them.
Cherish your lovely family and sod the lot of them!
I have a similar setup with my dad and brother. Dad hugely favours him. I've dealt with it by emotionally distancing myself and having low expectations. People don't change. You can just change how you deal with them. I was extremely upset about it but I don't care that much anymore.
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