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my mum

(29 Posts)
sonicunderground Wed 24-Jun-15 23:04:30

Since I had kids 10 years ago, my mum has always provided 2 days childcare a week, when she worked and now she has retired. Ive always been careful to check with her, that its not too much. But both her and my dad insist its 'the highlight of their week'

My mum injured her back 3 years ago and was in constant pain with restricted mobility until she had an operation 6 months ago. She became really grumpy, shouty and aggressive over this time. She was pretty horrid and difficult to be around. We made allowances because of the pain. Childcare arrangement continued as my dad had retired by this point. Sometimes dd spent extra days in nursery so they didn't have to have her

Since the op she is pain free and there was an instant change in her mood. She seemed back to her old self.

Except now she has reverted to being argumentative/unpleasant/shouty. Shes just totally unreasonable. She argues with my 4 year old as if she is an adult. Today whilst I was at work, she stormed off home after dd refused to accept her 'help' with her drawing hmm

My dads at a bit of a loss and thinks shes having some kind of breakdown. I think she's unhappy since my dad retired. I dont think she likes him. Most of her anger is directed at him, but it spills over onto us also. Shes impatient and always seems to be trying to get away from us all

Me and my dad have both tried talking to her. She just shouts about how its our fault. I phoned her gp at one point. It made her very angry.

I don't know what to do

sonicunderground Wed 24-Jun-15 23:07:03

I should add, I have some bubbling resentment; she was horrid to me when I separated from my (alcoholic, possibly abusive) husband 4 years ago. Took his side, swore at me...didnt speak to me for a while. I think she felt ashamed that I am a SP

theblairbitchproject Wed 24-Jun-15 23:36:29

Firstly- an very unmumsnet hug, flowers and wine/brew- whichever you prefer.

You need to sit her down. Her behaviour isn't appropriate and while it does sound she is having some issues herself- it isn't right for her to take it out on a 4 year old who doesn't have a clue what is going on. You need to express your concern for her, but your priority is obviously your DD and if her behaviour continues I honestly wouldn't be happy with her looking after DD- which isn't fair on your Dad.

Have you told her you feel that she is ashamed of you? If so, I don't know what more you can do- it's up to you to prove that you are more than capable of coping by yourself and that you don't need what sounds like a waste of space in your life. What would she honestly prefer- her granddaughter being exposed to an alcoholic with the potential of being abused and a stressed out mother, or a mother who is trying her damn best to make a good life for her daughter? Personally; I would be more ashamed if you had continued to expose your DD to that.

How long has your Dad been retired? Does he have any interests at all? My Dad isn't retired yet- but I know my Mum is dreading the day that he does as all he does is work. He only has the few friends he socialises with with Mum and has no interest in doing anything other than the odd DIY job when he is off. When he is off- he complains that my Mum is always out doing other things and doesn't spend time with him. While I understand his point- my Mum doesn't have any interest in sitting around watching daytime television or painting walls- he gets under her feet and stops her doing what she wants to do which in one way is a good thing but that's a whole other matter. Could this be the case with your Mum and Dad?

Atenco Thu 25-Jun-15 01:51:38

Are you certain her back isn't hurting again?

I just say this because my SIL suffers from a bad back and often refuses to admit it even to herself. And during that stage she is impossible to be around.

I do think though that you should make other childcare arrangements.

sonicunderground Thu 25-Jun-15 05:55:54

Thanks for your replies.

al i am certain her back is good. You can see the pain has gone from her face. Shes mobile again and she says quite often that she cant believe how good her back feels. Stupid thing is, I have constant back ain. Not as severe as she had, but mine is a forever thing. And I manage not to be so bloody horrid to everyone.

blair my dad has loads of interests and is really active. His activities were a bit curtailed by having to become my mums carer effectively, when her back was bad. They had plans to do lots of travelling and fun stuff when they retired. But my mum has no interest in doing ^anything. All she wants to do is watch tv/mess about on the internet. On her own.

In September, littlest dd starts school so childcare arrangements wont continue. She is on the waiting list for afterschool club. I asked my mum if they could pick her up Monday and Tuesday so I could compress my work hours and I could then finish early Wednesday -Friday. She sighed and said she didn't think they would be able to keep doing that. Which I fine. Exceept, she told my dad that they were going to split the week between them. One of them could pick up 2 days andd the other 3 days. confused Its not what I asked for. I know she understood, what I was actually asking for.

So, yes I think your correct, she needs to be uninvolved in childcare. How I feel right now, I don't what her to see my kids at all. I feel really angry with her for being so intolerant and childish. But maybe if its not a chore, she will be better. I feel sorry for my dad though, he loves having the kids. Maybe he could come over on his own. They are supposed to be having them a couple of weeks over the summer. Not sure what to do about that.

Sitting down and talking to her. I kind of know I need to do that. I'm dreading it. I know shell be angry and shout. It upsets me so much, that shes so horrid. But its gone on so long, of lost all concern for why she is like that

theblairbitchproject Thu 25-Jun-15 11:16:41

So has your Dad basically stopped doing things to care for your MUm? He needs to start again. If he keeps pandering to her bad behaviour, this will just continue. Just like if your 4 year old threw a tantrum in the supermarket for sweets and you gave in- she would continue to do it. Stand strong and she would finally get the message. He can't give up his life so he can sit around and be used as a punching bag. He doesn't have to do it with your Mum, he's entitled to his own life if that's what he wants.

You do have to talk. Sure it will end up in an argument- but it needs to be done; and she needs to be told if her behaviour continues she won't see her grandchildren unsupervised.

sonicunderground Thu 25-Jun-15 13:43:48

Thanks blair he still does dayto day activities. He swims daily. He looks after their allotment. He goes to rugby ever Saturday. But he doesn't do the bigger stuff any more. The cycled over the Alps when he first retired. He had more plans for stuff like that; some with his mates, some with my mum.

He seems to have had his stuffing knocked out of him. He seems bewildered and sad.

FredaMayor Thu 25-Jun-15 15:02:08

You do have to have a heart to heart with your DM. She may be depressed or harbouring fears about her future health and how your DDs retirement has affected their lives.

sonicunderground Thu 25-Jun-15 16:45:33

Both me and my dad have tried, numerous times to talk to her about why she is so unhappy. Is not very comfortable as we have never been very expressive about emotions, generally. And its horrible specifically because she is being such a monumental witch. But, yes, I will have to try again.

Or maybe it would be easier to just move abroad!

sonicunderground Thu 25-Jun-15 17:33:47

Well, she slapped my DD today. So that's the end of that. Ive just text her (I don't want to speak to her) to say she wont be seeing dc again, until she sorts her self out.

But my dad said today she said she hates dd2, is going to kill her. She wants to go and live with my sister. Haha, she'll be pleased!

MatildaTheCat Thu 25-Jun-15 18:05:46

She sounds unwell if this is a total change from her old self ( pre back). Was she taking strong meds which she may be dependent on? Perhaps she is withdrawing or taking too much or something. Tramadol in particular is a bugger as is codeine.

Totally agree your dd must stop going there but if she's a changed character suddenly she needs to see her GP. Worst case scenario for sudden rages etc could be a brain tumour or abnormality. Sorry, not to scare you but just pointing out that this doesn't sound normal. The reaction to your marriage breakup might be a red herring as many older people still feel like that.

So many different possible causes but she needs help. Very difficult to achieve if she continues to deny any problem. Would you sister be able to chat to them both?

sonicunderground Thu 25-Jun-15 18:19:07

She wasn't dependant on any of the meds

My dad was saying today, she used to be the most selfless kind person ever. Its true. She was so much fun

I'm imploding a bit. I cant really process any of this...

MatildaTheCat Thu 25-Jun-15 18:49:17

Sonic, no disrespect but how can you be sure of that? I have a chronic back injury and take a lot of strong meds. It's virtually impossible not to develop dependence on them. Don't be too quick to dismiss it as a possibility. Otherwise she needs a mental health assessment. I'm assuming she would regard any MH issue as weak and shameful?

Busybusybust Thu 25-Jun-15 19:12:34

Sounds as if she may have the start of dementia. She ought to be checked out

sonicunderground Thu 25-Jun-15 20:17:21

matilda the meds all made her vomit; or constipated, to the point of screaming and writhing on the floor in pain and having an emergency call out. She hated taking them.

What is a mental health assessment? Do you mean a GP appointment? Yes, she would consider MH issues shameful

She has text to apologise for slapping dd BUT dd thumped her first apparently. Whilst she was driving and nearly made her crash

Edenrose206 Thu 25-Jun-15 20:43:35

Sonic, retaliating against a 4-year-old can never be justified! Your mum's claim. "She hit me first" just sounds preposterously childish. Something is amiss if her personality has changed... Dementia, maybe, or even a minor stroke? She needs to be assessed by someone and your dd needs to be protected from her!!!

Edenrose206 Thu 25-Jun-15 20:44:54

I would tell her GP privately and ask about a possible referral to a neurologist...

OwlsAreGrumpyBastards Thu 25-Jun-15 21:10:05

I'm sorry to be doom-and-gloom, but this could indicate early stages of dementia.

sonicunderground Thu 25-Jun-15 21:36:41

eden I have phoned her GP about this a few years ago. She went BALLISTIC. But I will do it again. Nothing to loose now.

I wonder about dementia, but there is no family history. Her mum lived to 85 and had all her marbles

She does misremember stuff a lot. And just has alternative versions of events quite ofte. Weird illogical thinking

Floridabound42 Thu 25-Jun-15 22:24:28

My MIL was exactly the same as your mum. Looked after my DS beautifully until I had my DD 2 years later and the intention then was for her to have DD when I went back to work (DS would have started nursery by then). She did start having DD but her behaviour became erratic, she became short tempered, forgetful, hypochondriac. Starting saying she didn't want to look after children any more despite absolutely loving it previously. It turned out she had the early stages of Alzheimer's, the subtle change in her personality soon grew into an obvious problem. I would definitely consider this. Lots of what you have written sounds familiar

Floridabound42 Thu 25-Jun-15 22:28:00

Can I just say that the alternative version of events, strange thinking etc sounds extremely like my MIL. She used to make up the most bizarre things that you knew couldn't be true yet if you corrected her she would be adamant they had happened. I would be contacting her GP again with my concerns if I were you

sonicunderground Thu 25-Jun-15 22:45:33

florida how long did it take from 'strangeness' to knowing?

She has been like this for approx 4 years now. I would have thought if it was alzheimers, it would have progressed to being obvious by now?

sonicunderground Thu 25-Jun-15 23:06:10

I really feel like I cant cope with this, in anyway

DCs dad is very selfish and his input is totally limited to what he feels like doing. Longer term, I can organise child care. But right now I feel in a bit of a crisis. Ive got summer holidays (7 weeks) AND THEN a 3 week school induction period for dd2, where she is in half days. Ive just asked their dad to help me out, but 'he has a job'. FFS, so do I. A new job. Where I have already had to take off a week because of my mums surgery. I take off time for all kids inset days, sicknesses etc. I had almost a week off with an ear infection. They've questtioned my commitment already, when I asked for unpaid leave over the summer holidays

I'm on my knees

FriendofBill Thu 25-Jun-15 23:12:57

Try for minders in your area pronto.

Edenrose206 Fri 26-Jun-15 07:02:31

Sonic, what a pickle! Please don't leave your dd with your mum again... You could try Tinies, too, for childcare. I just found help with them and they have temp services too! I tried three agencies plus posted on because I'm going back to work in August and I'm doing four days a week, full-time (9-10hrs a day) and no help from DH who travels a lot!!! I'm so sorry you're in the midst of this family crisis; please just make sure your mum isn't left alone with your daughter anymore... The possibility of physical violence toward your dd is too horrible! Big hugs.

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