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My mother

(12 Posts)
pastaratatouille Fri 05-Jun-15 20:24:01

She lives 3 hours away by car and comes to stay with me, my partner and children every couple of weeks for a couple of days. I really try to enjoy these 2 days with her, but I just don't. I need to know if I'm being sensitive or whether I need to man up?

Firstly, I find her rude. She arrives at a time which suits her every time, never giving me a time beforehand as she 'doesn't live her life to times.' Leaving it difficult for me to plan what I'm doing the day that she's scheduled to arrive as she could arrive at any time! However, she'll always say 'plan your day as normal...' how exactly when I need to be home to let her in? Sometimes she'll even give me a time and be 3 hours late!

She wont accept hospitality- always refuses a drink but will go off to the kitchen 10 minutes later to make one for herself. Refuses to eat when we eat as it's 'too early' for her and will go off to get a takeout for herself.

She's loud- talks over me with her billowing voice but often doesn't contribute to conversation when I try to make some.

She has constant digs at me and when I bite back, accuses me of not having a sense of humour. E.g If I pick the wrong table in a cafe, or forget to pack an obvious item for my children when we take them out.

I guess, the thing is, I just feel rubbish after I've been in her company. Like our set meal times, routines etc aren't good enough for her. I feel like my conversation isn't good enough, I never feel close to her when she visits as she stays with us, but doesn't adjust to being a part of us. It makes me feel really uncomfortable.

I'm not guiltless- I have digs at her in retaliation and it's a constant game of criticism ping pong- it's tiring and I don't enjoy it. I'm considering asking her to stay elsewhere when she visits from now on. Is this reasonable? Am I being sensitive?

Maugrim Fri 05-Jun-15 20:32:55

I am in a similar situation. The only coping mechanism I have found is reducing visits. That wasn't easy and I received a four page letter telling me how horrible I am, but that was the pain to get there!

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Fri 05-Jun-15 20:39:19

Take her at her word :-) she clearly thinks the world revolves around her so leave her to it. If she visits that frequently she will be more than capable of finding somewhere to go and have coffee if you are out and about. Just refuse to come back early!

Imbroglio Sat 06-Jun-15 08:27:22

It doesn't sound much fun, and yes it sounds quite rude to me. It would annoy the hell out of me if a house guest went off for a takeaway.

On arrival day, tell her you are planning to be out until XX time so tjhat you have the best part of the day to get on with your stuff

For her dinner, tell her in advance you want the family to eat together and consult with her about whether she is going to eat with you (you'll cook) or you'll feed the children early and you'll join her in her takeaway (she can pay).

Why do you think she comes? Do you press her to come, or does she invite herself? Does she come to see the children? Is she lonely?

FunkyPeacock Sat 06-Jun-15 08:31:20

Is there any way you can agree to make the visits less frequent?

If it was every few months rather than every few weeks then you might be more tolerant of one another and the visits might be more enjoyable for you?

Penfold007 Sat 06-Jun-15 09:03:54

Do you invite her, does she inform of the date of next visit or have you both fallen into the every two weeks habit?
You need to reduce the frequency of visits,then work on the other issues.

happystory Sat 06-Jun-15 09:10:34

Agree that's she's coming far too often, but I know how difficult it is when they invite themselves and you don't really have a valid reason for saying no. You've either got to have it out with her or make some excuses until fewer visits become the norm. But either way, be prepared for the fall out as from her personality, sounds like she won't take it well.

TheOldWiseOne Sat 06-Jun-15 09:18:46

Going to suggest you look at it from another point of view - she is your mother and not your child..while we all want to run things according to a timetable she is at an age where she doesn't need to. ( I assume)

Really does she NEED to arrive at a specific time? If you are out then you are out...she's said it doesn' t matter..so get on and do what your plans are.

If she is not greatly inconveniencing you then what is the problem if she is getting her own drink in the kitchen? Have you thought that she might not want to be seen as a visitor or doesn't want to add to what you do? The takeaway thing is a bit off but I get that she doesnt want to eat at children's tea time....Obviously I can't comment on her rudeness etc but can only suggest that maybe you are trying to hard to be perfect - change the way you are perceiving these things ? I think it might be less stressful on yourself then...
Just a few thoughts coming from an "older " person - no one wants to feel dependent on others . It would be a great shame if you lost this contact for your sake and your childrens. I do speak from experience here as never feeling good enough but you don't hear her when she is praising you to her friends ! Unfortunately you are "between generations" and we are all there at some point in one of the roles! ;-)

Anniegetyourgun Sat 06-Jun-15 09:31:38

Do try not to take it so personally. Your mother deciding to be an awkward sod does not mean that you are not good enough. It sounds as though she is deliberately subverting your routines because she is the mum and you need to know your place. Actually, your place is with your nuclear family in your own home because you are, you know, a grown-up grin. She's just a rather annoying visitor and since she invited herself it's not up to you to be "good enough", it's up to her to behave herself like a guest.

As for the digs: why shouldn't you dig back if she does it to you first? However, you might find it easier to just roll your eyes and say "Yes Mum" (as DS1, also an adult with his own family, does to me! But I don't invite myself nor play mind games when I get there). Not getting through to you will probably drive her crazy.

You know what would happen if you did go about your normal daily routine and weren't there to let her in: she would be sitting in the car with much martyred huffing and sighing, even if she'd only got there a few minutes before you! Perhaps you should tell her next time she comes that you might be out and you therefore suggest she brings a good book wink

Sammasati Sat 06-Jun-15 09:43:23

Life is too short for this shit, either she fits in with your plans or she doesn't visit. Really just because she is your mother doesn't give her the right to behave like this. You are both adults, you have equal say in what happens, if she is not happy with your house your rules then she can just jog on.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 06-Jun-15 09:47:53

This is very hard not to take personally because its her mother and its happening in her home (as well as outside it). Such behaviours will affect self worth and self esteem; you do feel like you are not good enough and this has been going on for some considerable time.

OP I would suggest you read "Will I ever be good enough" written by Karyl McBride.

I would severely curtail the number of visits she is making to you (btw does she impose herself on you by announcing that she will deign to visit on x day at x time?). She does live her life to time, her own time, and refuses to accommodate your wishes and plans.

You are also well within your rights to insist she makes alternative accommodation arrangements as well. Parental visits should not be like this at all leaving you feeling rubbish afterwards. Do you feel a sense of dread when she visits?. Your children pick up on all that as well. What is she like with your children, probably not much better than she has ever been with you.

My guess as well is that she has always been like this and its not your fault she is the ways she is. I guess as well that she has no friends either, does not need or want them.

You do not mention your Dad; is he still around?.

What does your man think of your mother?.

Joysmum Sat 06-Jun-15 09:50:44

I agree with imbroglio and say you'll be out until X time so to arrive after that.

Also suggest she texts/calls at a certain point to give you an hours notice. Then demand it if she dleant because whilst she doesn't live to times, your household does.

Tbh if you aren't enjoying the visits anyway then space them further apart and every 2 or 3 months.

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