Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

is my mum cintrolling/ridiculous or are we ungrateful brats?

(28 Posts)
havenever Thu 03-Apr-14 15:42:14

This sounds like nothing much. And it isn't really, but i struggle sometimes to trust my own judgement. Would appreciate some opinions please

my mum bought dd (8 years old) 3 dresses. 2 where in a smaller size than the other 1. I thought they all looked nice, just different 'styles' (tight or baggy). DD liked the tighter fitting dresses, but my mum insisted they were too small and needed returning to the shop..she could keep the 1 in a larger size. It then transpired that the friend who had been at ours for tea and since fine home; had been meant 1 of the dresses to wear for the school trip the next day, so they could 'both look fab'. My mum hit the this time another friend was visiting dd and my mum screamed and shouted at dd in front of her friend, making her cry. All the while i had been stuck in the garden, finishing a job i could leave midway through.

once i was free, i reiterated to dd that she shouldn't have meant the new dress to her friend but reassured my mum i would get it back unworn. She was insistant that she should return the smaller ones as she had paid her money for them and they wouldn't last 2 minutes. DD needed the larger size. I told her to take them all back and get a refund as dd didn't like the baggier size. My mum threw the dresses on the floor in rage and said 'dont you start as well'

i said she should leave


how ridiculous?!

i don't really know how to go on from here. I expect we will just forget this happened and never mention it again...but WTF. This is over controlling, right?

whatdoesittake48 Thu 03-Apr-14 15:51:26

it sounds a bit like your Mum was just having a really bad day. there could be all kinds of things going on with her that you don't know about.

it is totally wrong of her to shout at her 8 year old in that way however and she should apologise. She also over reacted with you when you were just trying to help.

the dress thing is a red herring - the shouting is the important bit. I would be cross about the dress too.

When she has calmed down maybe you could (in a calm way) ask if she thinks she should apologise for shouting and come to a compromise about the dresses.

if this is a pattern of behaviour it is not good, but if it is a one off, you might find out what sparked it all.

havenever Thu 03-Apr-14 15:53:36

Its becoming a more frequent thing; my mum being cross, if we don't all do as she wants...

havenever Thu 03-Apr-14 15:55:08

She wont apologise to dd. She will think she was justified in being cross/shouting

FunkyBoldRibena Thu 03-Apr-14 15:57:02

It then transpired that the friend who had been at ours for tea and since fine home; had been meant 1 of the dresses to wear for the school trip the next day, so they could 'both look fab'.


havenever Thu 03-Apr-14 16:01:58

Fair point!...the friend who had been at ours for tea, had taken 1 of the dresses home to wear for the school trip the next day. At dds insistence, so they would 'both look fab'

Meerka Thu 03-Apr-14 16:16:48

a bit ott of your mum, rather unpleasant, but as a one-off you'd ask if something was wrong and then let it go.

As part of an increasing pattern, there's much more of a problem. Potentially much harder to handle. If this is a pattern it does need stopping before it becomes unbearable and you have to step back in order to protect your daughter and yourself.

Is there anything wrong in her life atm that is putting her under a lot of stress? Or something medical? Is is possible to make time to sit down with her alone and gently say that you've noticed she's a bit shorter of patience than she used to be, is something wrong? Then maybe comment that it's putting you all under strain and it's a bit hard to handle and offer to help if there is something you can do.

FunkyBoldRibena Thu 03-Apr-14 16:29:43

If your mum bought your daughter some dresses, then surely they then belong to your daughter. I'd perhaps tell your mum that she needs to stop buying your daughter things and then taking them straight away again.

havenever Thu 03-Apr-14 16:29:47

meerka yes, she has a painful health condition. And i do understand as i have chronic pain (moost of my adult life) but not as severe or debilitating. I and others in the family have tried talking to her to say we are worried. I even phoned and spoke to her GP as i was worried about depression/alzheimers. But she always shrugs it off/gets angry/blames others for making her grumpy. What i haven't done, is told her how it is effecting the rest of us. She has been quite horrible on occassions.

havenever Thu 03-Apr-14 16:32:21

Myy thoughts exactly funky ...just because you buy someone a present, doesn't mean you can dictate what style/size they wear...or even who they lend it to, although that's more debatable. DD loved the dresses, she was gutted she couldn't keep them

Meerka Thu 03-Apr-14 18:43:28

hmm in that case havenever it sounds like you potentially have a real problem on your hands sad If she knows several of you are worried and is not taking steps, getting through could be hard.

Perhaps the next step is to say to her gently but clearly how it's affecting you all. Unfortunately she may not take it well. But it sounds like therés a risk that she may get so bad that you have to back away for the sake of your daughter. Poor girl, to have the dresses and then have them taken back and then get shouted at til she cried sad

BertieBotts Thu 03-Apr-14 18:56:26

It took me a while to understand the post because I've never heard "meant" to mean "lent" before, but I think I get it now.

I agree it sounds like she is under a lot of stress but she shouldn't have shouted at your DD. And it should have perhaps been made clear at the start whether these were "Lovely present to keep" dresses or "Try it and see if you like it" dresses. Maybe then one wouldn't have gone home with the friend.

I do agree if she's becoming emotionally unstable it's not fair for a child to have to deal with that sad It might be the case that you have to manage expectations for a visit in advance. (Your mum's expectations).

havenever Thu 03-Apr-14 18:57:50

How do i do that bertie?

havenever Thu 03-Apr-14 18:59:20

My mum and dad look after dd2 for a day and a half a week (including overnight). Do you think i should stop that? It would upset them alot, i think

SaucyJack Thu 03-Apr-14 19:04:53

You and your DD are certainly not ungrateful..... by the very virtue of the fact that she's taken all the dresses back. What exactly are you supposed to be grateful for?

SaucyJack Thu 03-Apr-14 19:07:37

I don't think she sounds particularly controlling tho- or certainly not in a deliberate, calculated way.

It sounds more like a stress/anger management problem.

Hissy Thu 03-Apr-14 20:05:43

Your mum shouted at your child so badly it made her cry.

How dare she!

What on earth are you doing leaving your child with someone like this? Really?

Seems you're fãr too used to your M getting her own way at the expense of others. Protect your children, don't let them find themselves in that position again.

You wouldn't accept this treatment from a childminder, why accept it from a member of family who supposedly loves her gc.

Hint: treatment like that indicates that a paid cm would be a better bet than an angry, dysfunctional and verbally intimidating relative.

Find your own inner mumma bear and protect your babies!


BrunoBrookesDinedAlone Thu 03-Apr-14 20:09:19

It needs to be tackled!

You could start by saying, 'Mum, DD really liked the dresses and was gutted she couldn't keep them. And really upset to be shouted at like that. You need to apologise to her: there was no need to shout like that, you were out of order. And I don't want her starting to see you as shouty and unreasonable.'

DM - 'No, I won't apologise, I'm in the right, etc.'

You- 'No. This is getting more frequent. You lose the plot and go on the attack and it is NOT on. It's going to affect your relationship with all of us-the girls are going to start not trusting you and your moods and we're going to get to the stage where we're not happy with you having them overnight if we can't be sure you're going to treat them fairly and lovingly. You need to apologise.'

Meerka Thu 03-Apr-14 21:18:55

I second bruno!

Have you talked to your daughter how she feels about going to grandma's overnight?

Ie - has this shouting / unreasonableness been going on more than you realise?

If not, then bruno's scenario seems great. If it has - it's even more vital and you would need to talk regularly to yoru daughter about what it's like at grandma's when she stays, so you can pick up warning signs.

I also think that you need to say to your daughter that shouting at her like that was wrong behaviour, much as you all love grandma, and that if it happens again to tell you, her mother.

If this shouting is happening when your daughter goes to stay overnight and if your mother is not prepared to change these outbursts, then staying overnight might have to stop until you can be sure yoru mother will treat her right. Your daughter needs to know this shouting is not acceptable (more than a one-off) and that you will show her by example that it's not acceptable.

I do wonder about early stage alzheimer's from what you say ... did the doctor say anything?

havenever Thu 03-Apr-14 22:19:13 is the other dd who stays overnight. she is only 3, so less likely to provoke an outburst, probably. My dad is there also. But I do feel wary

No, the Dr couldnt tell me anythig about my mum...confidentiality. And my mum went beserk, that i had spoken with the GP

Meerka Thu 03-Apr-14 22:36:39

oh I see. That makes it more awkward, specially as 3 year olds can test anyone's patience! With the -pattern- of behaviour, I'd be alert for signs of trouble sadly.

I can understand your mum being angry about speaking to the doctor; from your pov its loving concern, from hers it is an invasion of privacy. But that you went that far shows that there is a problem and it's a pity your mum wasn't able to see that too, even if she had some reaon to be cross.

imo, definitely talk to your mother calmly but firmly, over coffee or something. Ask for an apology to your older daughter and watch for some signs of genuine understanding. Again, the increasing pattern of unreasonable anger is a sign that maybe its not ideal for your younger daughter to stay overnight. Sorry :/

havenever Fri 04-Apr-14 09:47:41

thanks for talking through this with me.

I have realised, I feel reluctant to have a conversation with her about it; because I feel much less concerned about her these days and mostly just angry with her. And Im scared of the outcome of such a conversation

I think its at the point where the parent is no longer the supportive one and is the one who needs supportive. I thought parents were alot older when this happened sad

dippydaisy1 Fri 04-Apr-14 09:57:46

Have you considered menopause as a possible reason for irrational mood swings?

havenever Fri 04-Apr-14 09:58:37

Oh, shes way past that;65

Meerka Fri 04-Apr-14 10:14:04

Hm. can you talk out your anger with your husband or something before talking ot her? or even let her see some of your anger?

Because unless she gets out of this pattern of outbursts the situation will only continue and worsen. That means that maybe your anger will only grow. In the end it's hard to see a positive outcome of this because she does sound like she's getting worse and may not be open to change, whether you face it head on with her or whether you just let it develop. But there -is- maybe a chance she will sit up and take notice if you talk to her, maybe (you know her; do you think she might be able to?)

Mostly from what you say it sounds concerning that she may be doing the same to your younger daughter, who perhaps can't tell you clearly yet what is or isnt going on. And it's rotten for yoru older daughter.

Sorry, havenever, a really knotty problem. What does your partner/husband say?

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now »

Already registered? Log in with: