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I think I may have resentment issues towards my mother

(11 Posts)
hormonalhippy Sun 04-Jan-15 14:12:15

Without going into too much detail as I don't want anyone who knows me in RL to be able to identify me I didn't have what I'd class as a normal childhood.

I have two siblings one who is close in age (ds1) to me and one who is 7 years younger.(ds2)

The sibling who is close in age suffered exactly as I did. I won't say we were neglected but I do think that my parent's couldn't be bothered with us and we were the smelly kids in school. Our grandparents had a massive role in our upbringing and in all honesty provided us with what we needed, clothing, decent food and sanctuary. We spent a lot of time at their house from babies to even going after school on weekends. We choose to stay over there as much as possible.

Neither parents were affectionate or loving in fact my dad had a bad temper and myself and Ds1 often felt the end of his belt, slipper, hand or whatever else he could reach. We weren't naughty or difficult children it was simply we had pissed him off. My mum sat by and did nothing to stop and on occasions even instigated or encouraged. As I got older I used to throw myself in front of ds1 to take the beating instead and eventually as I got to a teen they stopped as I started standing up to my father and threats were made to report him.

Ds2 whilst living in the same home as us had an entirely different upbringing ds2 was mum's superstar and she adored and doted on ds2 and would never have allowed my father to lay a hand on them. They were given all the love and affection in the world and was even applauded if they attacked ds1 and myself which they did frequently. If I reacted to this my mother would hit me resulting in several black eyes. Ds1 and myself now have a rather strained relationship with ds2 who has turned into a spoiled, entitled and frankly horrible person who wouldn't spit on you if you were on fire but entirely the apple of my mother's eye.

Of course both parents now deny this ever happened. Their idea if my childhood to what happened is different. They deny the beatings or anything else and in fact my mother insists that ds1 and I had a fantastic upbringing.

My DH knows most of what my childhood was like and admits my mother can be a fruitcake at times (his word).

I've always buried the issues for sake of a quiet life but I'm due our dc1 soon and it's causing all sorts of issues.

My mum expects me to leave dc1 with her when I eventually return back to work. I have categorically told her no. I'd rather she went into nursery and wouldn't leave her in my mums custody 4 days a week knowing how I was treated. Of course my concerns are dismissed and I've been told I'm cruel to even think of putting a baby into nursery.

Ds1 will look after dc1 some days but again my mother has hit the roof and can't understand why I would choose ds1 over her and keeps going on at how she gave us a wonderful childhood.

I've told her I'm not prepared to discuss it any further it's my child and my choice but now she's turning nasty making spiteful comments to me and to others about me and making me out to be a drama queen.

I've been told that she has plans to be in the hospital when I'm in labour and has told people I'm insisting she be there. I have not and would not and she has now told people she has booked time off work when the baby comes because Dh and I will need lots of help as neither of us will cope. I'm furious about these comments.

Normally I'd let them wash over me and just avoid her but I don't know if it's the impending arrival of my own dc1 but all the resentment about my childhood is bubbling to the surface and I'm quite angry that she making me out to be a mad women and worse an unfit mother to be.

Sorry it's turned out to a long post and probably very ranty I had to get it off my chest

FeckTheMagicDragon Sun 04-Jan-15 14:25:02

I wouldn't call it resentment- is call it being very sensible. It's quite clear that she should never be trusted with any of your children, they wil either be scapegoated and I'll treated (as you and your DS1 were) or become her new golden child - and twisted during their formative years (as your DS2) were.
Keep her away, or at least very closely supervised during short visits. And pre warn the midwife at the hospital to not let her in.

lulu12345 Sun 04-Jan-15 14:32:44

Just wanted to say I sympathise totally with your feelings and have a similar relationship with my own parents. The good news is that growing up in these circumstances you learn a lot of things you will do differently with your own DC! I would focus on this, what you want for DC and what you want them to learn about life - then you can think about what sort of relationship DC should have with your parents to achieve this. If you think DC will be damaged by full time care from your DM when you go back to work then you just need to find as tactful a way as possible to get out of it! But be clear with DM. Trust your judgement.

hormonalhippy Sun 04-Jan-15 14:43:59

Thanks for the replies.

It's difficult because to the outside world my parents are wonderful and couldn't do enough for their children. Behind closed doors it's entirely different and it's taken DH a whole to be able to reconcile between the parents I talk about to how they are in front of him and others.

My major concern is because of the image she portrays that I'm going to be made to look entirely unreasonable for not allow my dc to be looked after her for more than a rare occasion.l and can already see her setting me up for this in her conversations with friends and family

I've always said that I would make sure my children had a different upbringing to me and would shower them with love and affection and encourage them to be whoever and whatever they want without spoiling them.

I know I've turned out very independent and we'll rounded but that's not because of my parents that's because of my grandparents influence and because at times I had no choice but to be independent because I knew I couldn't count on my parent's.

CogitoErgoSometimes Sun 04-Jan-15 15:04:29

Being a parent - or imminent parent - changes your perspective. What you will find about your baby is that you'd walk in front of a runaway train if it meant saving them from harm. Your protective instinct may even scare you with its ferocity. When you feel it you will then regard your neglectful abusive parents with fresh eyes and you will not resent them, you will despise them.

I think you've spent far too long keeping the peace, smoothing things over, and engineering fake quiet. So this is the time to stop being the peacemaker and to start asserting yourself. Sharpen your elbows, make yourself unpopular if you have to & say what you really mean for once. Anyone applying pressure or telling you that you are being unreasonable...... show them the door.

Meerka Sun 04-Jan-15 15:05:20

I'm afraid that your mother is pretty nasty in setting you up to look unreasonable - no news to you!

I think you have to stick to your guns. All you can do is say No as you have done and keep repeating that. Also you must tell the nursing staff that your mother is not allowed into the labour ward!!

All you can really do is keep firm and not let yoruself be steamrolled. Keep repeating what you've said over and over and don't let her set up things that you feel you have to go along with. It's ok to say "no, you needed to arrange that with us first and it's not what we wish"

It's also ok to say that "actually we are new parents but we'd like to do it our way and we think we can do it quite well".

It's also ok when people say 'oh how nice of you to insist that your mother is there at the labour" to say "actually we didn't, we're not quite sure where she got that idea, it's a special time for my husband and myself and we've said that all along".

In dealing with a manipulative steamroller who bluntly lies like this, one of the best tactics is to call them on the lies every time. Every single time. By the way, she may be making you out to be the drama queen but in reality it's the other way around isn't it?

Also, keep calm. Don't show her how hurt you are and remain calm. Plan ahead of time what she might say / do. Also, warn your DS1 of your wishes, that your baby is never left alone with her, ideally in a written email / letter. At least he knows what she is like, all too well.

Would you be prepared to go low - contact with her? If you are, and my god you sound justified, that will help a lot.

I think you need to read Toxic Parents by Susan Forward, it's an excellent book.

Also be aware that when you have a baby all sorts of strange and difficult emotions come up for some time if you have a difficult family. It can be pretty intense. Actually it could be a very good idea to write down a list of incidents and abuse and refer to it when the delightful hormone roller-coaster hits and makes you wonder if it was really as bad as you thought. Because you're right - a mother who plays favourites, hit her children and who lies and manipulates you even as adults is not a fit grandmother to be around the children. The only way that it would be ok is if she'd genuinely and deeply changed and the lies and pressuring she's exerting now, show she hasn't.

Hold hard to your guns. You're right.

Windywinston Sun 04-Jan-15 16:45:07

She sounds batshit crazy. It's very normal when you're about to become a parent to reflect back on your own childhood, for some this is not a pleasant experience.

You know what you want, be firm, stand your ground. Set clear boundaries and don't let her slowly erode them. You're not being unreasonable, but if she makes people think that, so what? Does it matter? Most people aren't going to give a crap what your childcare arrangements are, if she starts moaning to friends/family about not being allowed to be involved she will be the one who comes across as weird, not you. Also, you do not need to discuss or justify any of your decisions and I'm glad you're being firm on this. Continue to do so.

Be ready to feel very emotional after your DC is born, you would be wise to keep her at arms length until you're feeling back to normal - I.e. No visits unless your DH is there to stand up to her if needed.

Protect yourself, protect your DC. Good luck.

hormonalhippy Sun 04-Jan-15 18:09:07

Thank you all for the replies. I'd begun to start wondering if I had been overacting and feeling a bit sorry for her but I've realised I had nothing to feel sorry for.

Meerka you are so right about her being a drama queen although it's always turned around to make it look like I'm the drama queen and unreasonable.

I've distanced myself alot from her over the past year and more so since I got my bfp. I've had a difficult pregnancy and decided I didn't need her drama making things more difficult and stressful. As it so happens since I told people about being pregnant she hasn't been remotely interested and hardly comes near me or contacts me unless it's in public then once again she plays the doting mother.

I had hoped that she would continue to keep her distance but it seems that the closer the babies arrival date gets the more vocal she is becoming to others.

She's sort of given up appealing directly to me because I've been firm in my choices and DH is right behind me with them which annoys her even more as she's always thought she could get round him.

I could honestly say if i ever told any people her know her about my childhood they would outright think I'm lying because of the image she portrays to people.

Meerka Sun 04-Jan-15 19:29:36

Its sad and horrible how some people can hide their bloody awful treatment of others. If you talk about it you seem the unreasonable and unfair one .... <unmumsnetty hug>

all the best for the last weeks and for your lovely little new one. So glad your husband has your back.

... Actually, could he act as your gatekeeper? give him your phone and get a new one for yourself. dont give her the number. say you're doing without your phone for a while or something. then everythign has to come through him. you SERIOIUSLY don't need mother-shit when you have a newborn, you really don't.

hormonalhippy Mon 05-Jan-15 14:28:18

I'm not sure he has enough strength to act as gatekeeper against her Meerka.

She rarley contacts me at the moment and I've often ignored her calls if she does and won't answer withheld numbers either.

I've suffered really horrendously with HG throughout my pregnancy and have had zero energy to deal with anyone's crap or drama so I've deliberately built a sort of Fort around DH and I as I've had to rely on him for absolutely everything.

I think that's why my DM has kept her distance too I reckon she's pissed off that I haven't turned to her and begged her for help like she expected me to do and I expect this is why she is now trying to build up this picture of me not being able to cope with a baby

Meerka Mon 05-Jan-15 14:37:09

ouch, had HG too. It's a bastard.

The good news is that once the baby is out you'll feel much, much better immediately. But it will have drained you and you will need support - not that I am for a moment suggesting you let your mother provide it. The price comes far too high.

Even more of an achievement to withstand her when you are so ill. Just keep setting the record straight calmly when other people repeat her lies. Not what you need when you have a newborn but it's the best that can be done

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