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quick to criticise but never offer of support RE - mum

(17 Posts)
vodkanchocolate Mon 03-Nov-14 23:06:39

Hi, im basically on here to just rant as cant really do it in person and the husbands asleep so sorry if I bang on too much.

Me and mother are not close I know its bit of a cliche but ive always felt like black sheep of the family. I hardly see anything of her despite only living 5-10 mins away in car, we see more of her in Asda than anywhere else strange as it sounds.

Shes developed a bit of a fb addiction and everytime I post anything she finds something to pick faults with, eg when I put thank you to my neighbour for looking after my youngest while had an appointment, she private messaged me and had a go at me about making sure my daughter is safe, like does she think im so irresponsible that I just dump my children anywhere!! That is just one example.

Today I have litrelly felt like shouting at her in front of a town full of people. My eldest daughter stayed with the neighbours playing and my eldest son had gone for tea at his friend from schools I litrelly had an hour where there was just me, husband and the youngest 3 and we nipped into ther local town to get a few bit, she was just coming out a shop as we were going in and she showed no secret of the fact I had 2 children missing. She was asking all sorts of questions about his school friend and do i trust his parents, all very disaproving. I know it might not seem like the end of the world but it was the manor she said it and long line of patronising and critical comments.

She is a very anxious person and always has been me or my siblings never got to go for tea at friends or sleep overs etc I felt like I missed out on a lot growing up and dont want that for my children, I have tried explaining that to her a number of tmes and she gets it in her head ive called her a bad mum. I know she cant help it but I cant be botherd anymore she never makes the effort or offers any useful support and when she does I feel like its to pick faults, what do I do?

I have 2 sisters with children and Ive asked if shes as bad and they have both said she is but they try and just ignore it but she actually makes the effort with them I often wonder what the difference is? sad

Walkacrossthesand Tue 04-Nov-14 06:09:40

From what you've said, it sounds like this is her anxiety talking - it affected how she raised you, and she's still worrying about everything on your behalf and simply can't keep her worries to herself. All you can do is repeat a mantra like 'it's fine, mum, I'm happy with the arrangements' or whatever - and if it is just too wearing, ease back on contact! I bet that's how your sisters deal with it....

Joysmum Tue 04-Nov-14 07:58:29

Sounds to me that she might have been a victim if abuse herself as a child hence her concern for you as a child and her grandchildren.

vodkanchocolate Tue 04-Nov-14 10:19:13

Thank you, im not sure about abuse its never crossed my mind im not sure if shes always been as bad but certainly as I was the eldest I remember her been very strict especially with us 3 girls she always seemed a bit more laid back with my brothers but they are the youngest with 10 and 12 age gap to me. My dad was an alchoholic and there was domestic violence I dont htink this helped. I know shes had councilling for things and suffered depression im not sure if still recieving any sort of help.

There have been so many issues and to make it worse she will turn to her husband and say things to him like im not there and they have a full blown conversation about me in front of me and hes just as bad at throwing out the critism. My husband seems to think I should wash my hands of her but that feels wrong, like when I ring up and say youve not seen children for a while would you like to come up she will and um and arr and feels like she makes every excuse, is it also a bit weird how she always asks if they are well before she comes? If any of us have sniffles she wont come near, some sort of ocd?

Im not trying or wanting to sound like its me been difficult I wasnt to be a bit closer to her and I would like my children to have the same kind of closeness they have with their other grandparents.

Meerka Tue 04-Nov-14 16:36:29

two options:

1) arrange a time to talk to her without the children there. Talk to her honestly about the things she's doing that are grating so much on you. Tell her what they are and how you make her feel. (have them clear in your head beforehand and do not let her distract you). If necessary, tell her that you've considered going lower contact and you will if you have to but you don't want to.

2) the second way is to quietly and without fuss go low contact. It's clear you want a close and loving relationship with her but she is not that sort of woman and I think you have to face that. If your husband's parents are loving, that will have to be enough. You can be sad, even mourn, not having a truly loving mother. Because she isn't.

Practicalities? don't ring her when she doesn't make an effort to see the grandchildren. Leave the effort to her. When you do happen to see her, chat but as soon as she starts complaining or criticising, make an excuse and walk away. Do that over and over and over. If she walks with you as you walk around the supermarket, literally reply "mmhmm" "ah, they're fine" and make it clear you're concentrating on other things like the shopping list. If she challenges you, say your piece calmly and neutrally that you have confidence in whoever the children are with and can she drop it now please. If she carries on, tune her out. It's not rude. She is being damn rude with her criticisms and you don't have to take that.

It sounds like she is treating you like a rather incompetent 9 yo and it's no way to treat a grown mother of 5. You don't - shouldn't - put up with it.

Joysmum Tue 04-Nov-14 16:40:44

I agree with Meerka.

I know I'm massively projecting here due to my own background but I work hard to try not to let it affect my daughter. Having said that, when a 'joke' popped up in Facebook re a Jimmy Saville lookalike pumpkin, I couldn't help myself and went to collect my daughter and her friends from trick or treating sad

Of course, I may be very wide of the mark here but I thought I'd mention it just in case.

vodkanchocolate Tue 04-Nov-14 22:18:46

cheers, a 9 year old is exactly how I feel around her. I do think there is something not quite right with her way of thinking probilly due to anxiety, I have (not sure about my siblings) told her until im blue in the face that she just needs to leave us to it and can do without the judgemental crap that comes out of her mouth but she seems to think its everyone else with the problem. I have no idea why shes like it her brothers dead laid back and her sister is a bit of a serial moaner but my grandparents were pretty laid back.

I find it hard to talk to her due to the fact she goes everywhere with my step dad can never get her on her own, I have in the past sent messages on fb but shes kind of brushed them off. There are so many things im actually angry about that I probilly should get off my chest but whats the point?

Venticoffeecup Tue 04-Nov-14 22:48:00

I think you have to set some firm boundaries.

I had this situation with my Mum. She kept asking me ridiculous questions, had I done this or that obvious thing for my DS.

I had to call her out on it in the end, we had a conversation that went something like this.

Mum: "Did you strap the baby in the car seat."

Me: "No, I just left him dangling about and he fell on the floor when we went round the corner."

She pretty much dropped it after that!

You could try the same tactic. So lets say in the scenario where you were in the supermarket.

Your Mum: "So you let GC1 go to his friends house. Do you know his parents? Do you trust them?"

You: "No Mum, but I did hear on the grapevine that his friend's Mum is a drug addicted stripper and his friend's Dad wants to sell them both to a hot dog factory."

I think every time she questions your parenting you have to be firm with her and say "Don't be ridiculous Mum" or "Don't be silly Mum, of course we checked his is safe."

Don't give in to her need to double check everything you do and don't feed her anxiety.

vodkanchocolate Tue 04-Nov-14 22:56:01

Ive also tried the sarky comments she just goes nuts and thinks poking fun at her sad

Venticoffeecup Tue 04-Nov-14 23:16:14

I suppose then you have to go the more direct route that the other posters are suggesting.

You might have to accept that you are going to fall out with her, if you call her out on her behaviour. It's a case of deciding which bothers you more, not sticking up for yourself or falling out with her.

I hope you find something that works for you.

vodkanchocolate Tue 04-Nov-14 23:21:26

Well it wouldnt be the first time we have fallen out and wouldnt be the last just think its no way to live your life is it? All my other family members just then blame me they have the attitude that "she is who she is" and we have to accept it but you are right Im not going to be belittled the rest of my life.

vodkanchocolate Tue 04-Nov-14 23:28:09

Would love to hear anyones personal experiences of been in this situation, maybe not a mother but another family member. Everyone I know has close relationships with their mums I feel like we arent "normal"

StopBarking Tue 04-Nov-14 23:35:00

My Mum trusts that my judgement is sound, so if I tell her that my children are with somebody she personally has never met, she wouldn't worry because she trusts me. So you're right, it's not normal for her not to trust your judgement.

But like others say, perhaps there's a reason for that. :-(

Joysmum Wed 05-Nov-14 07:55:14

Of course she might just be controlling because that's a quirk of who she is. I don't want to give her an out for bad behaviour.

Meerka Wed 05-Nov-14 09:24:51

everyone else may seem to have normal relationships with their mother.

Yours might seem normal on the surface to anyone else. Read the threads here; there's a lot of people with weird familys.

if there wasn't, there wouldnt be such an industry in books about surviving your parents!

A quote from perfectstorm:

I will never fathom why blood alone should mean you're forced to let people hurt you over and over again, as long as they aren't physically or sexually abusive. It makes no sense. Life is too short to let bad/damaged people screw with you, no matter who they are, unless they are your own kids. You don't owe anyone else your unconditional love and time.

Your mother may not be actively hurting you but she's belittling you and stunting your confidence.

GoatsDoRoam Wed 05-Nov-14 09:40:16

It sounds like you need a way of shutting down her anxious barrage of questions, as they are distressing you.

If sarky comments don't work, how about: "I am not discussing this with you."

Said in a bland tone of voice. Over and over. Until she gives up or you walk away.

It doesn't sound like you can change her, but you can state what your own limits are, and enforce them. And it sounds from this thread as if you don't want to engage in her endless questioning about the children's safety - so don't.

vodkanchocolate Wed 05-Nov-14 11:00:25

Thank you all for commenting I have taken them all on board, its hard to know what it going on in her head so wether shes just a control freak or genuinely just anxious over everything.

Its not just safety of the children either shes like it about everything, another example when I first got pregnant with my daughter whos nearly 9 I was 20 year old and frightened to tell her I knew she would go mad and she did, I then had the same lecture with all my other pregnancys despite been in a very happy stable relationship with my other 4 children, she was like it with my sisters aswell.

I also totally understand she now has 10 grandchildren and I know it will be hard for her to keep up with contact with them all. I

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