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How can I make things right?

(33 Posts)
beauty2 Sun 19-Jul-15 10:53:46

Here we are, on a fab holiday, 2 x Dd's, the eldest being 20, ( it was her choice to join us, paid for) and as per she's being downright miserable and arsey.
TBH this has been her general attitude towards me especially,since she was about 7yrs old. Don't get me wrong, I'm no wallflower and haven't sucked up to the insolent moods and little digs along the way ( a long way) but by now, I'm bloody brassed off. Nothing is ever right,my mood, my jokes, my cooking, my suggestions, my opinions......nothing.
I always suspected she resented her sister being born ( 3 years gap) and I still think she still hates it. I haven't got a relationship problem with the youngest apart from the odd teenage/ menopausle spat. But the eldest seems to resent that we get along. I would with Dd1 if it wasn't for her rubbish attitude and we do, if she's in the right mood.
What can I do? Ignore it? Accept it? Is this her personality and we just clash?
Just so you know, I was a SAHM and did my best. She's at uni, we're fully supportive of everything ( always have been) and given everything that we could. We have a good family and on the outside look perfect but it's bloody well far from it.
I suppose I just feel really sad for myself and a family situation that should be text book Waltons. Advice needed please

arnieschwartzsnogger Sun 19-Jul-15 10:59:43

Just because she's your daughter doesn't mean that you have to tolerate it. I wouldn't be paying for a holiday for someone who is rude and insolent. You have a choice. She may never learn that this is not acceptable behaviour otherwise.

hesterton Sun 19-Jul-15 11:00:09

I wonder if you are doing her any favours paying for her holiday when she reverts to childish behaviour when with you. She is an adult now, and she should be treating you as you would treat anyone who treated you to something special - at the very least, with respect.

Do you think you could switch off from her emotionally a bit and see her more as a young adult who has an issue which needs fixing? Run a bit of a commentary when she is rude...'That feels like an odd thing to do/say to another adult...'

And honestly, I wouldn't invite her again until she can act her age, and I'd let her know why.

daylily Sun 19-Jul-15 11:02:56

Love bomb her.
I have exactly the same dynamic with my two daughters (25 & 22).
At one point I did have a chat about about there was a point where we could choose to be friends or not, possibly a little older than 20 though, after uni.
I know now that my eldest is jealous of my 'easiness' (both companionship and she has had it easier not being the eldest) with the younger.
I try now to spend alone time with the eldest as often she comes back and has to 'fit in' to the established home dynamic with the younger.
I hope this makes sense, i am still finding my way through this.
x

daylily Sun 19-Jul-15 11:06:50

Cross posted with above and I agree with them too. But you won't want to spoil the holiday and also i realised the eldest felt left out etc and that her feelings were hers and a little justified? And I wanted to help my daughter be happier and more adult in her behaviour.

beauty2 Sun 19-Jul-15 11:17:12

Thanks, I'm thinking a lot more tough love is needed. But know that will fuel the lifelong/current resentment and am afraid of what it will lead to. And, do you know what? That's exactly what I'd advise anyone else ( tough when it's you and yours in the (crappy) situation. Daylily, I've gone down that route- suggested all sorts but most of the time I can't even get eye contact

ditherydora Sun 19-Jul-15 11:38:18

I have no direct experience but my advice would be to create some distance between you. She is 20, not a child, and so quite able to stand on her on two feet. I take it she isn't living at home? If so, I'd give her the option of not coming home for holidays if she doesn't want to, suggest that she get a job during the summer, let her cook dinner for everyone if she doesn't like what you cook.

If she grows up a bit she might appreciate what you are doing for her a bit more

IndigoWoman2 Sun 19-Jul-15 12:48:07

I have a similar situation. Daughter was a stroppy and rude teenager, and it's been a difficult relationship, although we've always tried to support her and she did well at Uni. She returned to live at home last year after graduating, and resents us, probably because she still wants her independence, and to have a student-type lifestyle. Her social life is full-on. She has a job, but can't afford to leave home. She does no housework, takes what we offer when she needs it, but criticises us the rest of the time. It actually hurts. But I know she suffers from stress/ anxiety and we are the recipients of the fallout from this. And to be fair, there are nice moments.
But she ruined our last two (short) family holidays with her sulking and selfish demands. I've resolved not to take her on holiday again until she grows up. Unfortunately this means her younger (much more easy-going) sibling won't come away with us without her (too boring!)... so the family dynamic is altered.
So we had a conversation with her recently about ground rules if she wants to live with us. Things have improved slightly. She's contributed some effort to the household. I think a talk is a good idea, but you need to stay absolutely calm, fair and loving to retain the 'moral high ground'. We have suggested that she cooks a family meal once a week, which was nice for a while, but she's out so much it doesn't often happen.
Of course we love her, but I think we'll have to wait until she leaves home and grows up till things really improve. I wish you luck.

beauty2 Sun 19-Jul-15 13:14:15

Oh IndigoWoman2 thanks for that.im not in my own. Not sure where I went wrong...... Too much or too little? Too little....... I don't know where??? I just feel really sad.im sat here in the hotel ( they've gone out, I didn't have the heart) I did all the giving I had as a Mum and I'm met with this (20yr) old scorn? My husband has facilitated / supported a lot of her **ite ?? Maybe that hasn't helped, over the years, I suspect it hasn't. I tried to tell him years ago," you're her parent not her friend" it comes back n bites you on the bum!
Done the meal thing, she's going back to uni city to work in Aug. Leavingg to live with BF nxt yr but I just hoped life, when at home would be better, not worse.
Thankyou all for your advice. Just goes to say.... There's not a guidebook to parenting!!

IndigoWoman2 Sun 19-Jul-15 14:38:07

You're not alone. It's painful, isn't it? You don't expect this when you have a baby...
I don't know what we did wrong either. My husband, too, has been soft on her over the years, and is now scared she'll leave home. But I think it's probably the answer. Maybe it's not healthy to have your adult children living with you...
I know what you mean about 'not having the heart' - I've often withdrawn from situations, and even avoided her, for an easy life. The disrespectful things she says to me sometimes make my blood pressure rise. I've tried 'love-bombing' her, but she doesn't trust me when I'm nice!
I think we mums have to protect ourselves really; being a mother is draining and years of scorn can affect your health! I've started to think of my own life, and make plans without reference to her. She's an adult and will be alright. She knows we're here if she needs us. I hope to rebuild trust when she's older.
I really sympathise with you. I hope you manage to retrieve something good from your holiday - can you plan a trip/activity that you want to do? Others can join in if they want, but it's your day... You deserve it.

Fairyliz Sun 19-Jul-15 16:00:40

Oh op are you me? I hae exactly the same problem with daughters aged 18 and 21. The youngest has had her teenage moments but is generally a delightful young woman.
However my oldest always seems so cross with me; whatever I do is not good enough and she always wants more and more. I always feel like I am walking on eggshells with her so our relationship doesn't feel normal and relaxed.
It feels awful because I am in the fortunate position of having the money to do nice things with her, holidays, shopping spa days but I just son't want too.
Hope we get some good advice.

IndigoWoman2 Sun 19-Jul-15 20:00:36

I'm so familiar with that feeling of walking on eggshells, Fairyliz.
I like Hesterton's idea of 'that's an odd thing to say to another adult'. Put the responsibility on them. If they want to be treated like adults, they should behave like one.
It's very telling that you said 'How can I make things right?' as if it's your job to remedy it. (Typical of us mums!) D'you think she feels there's anything wrong with your relationship? Does she ever try to talk about it or improve matters? Do they actually think this is a normal way to treat your mum?
How are things this evening?

beauty2 Mon 20-Jul-15 03:18:55

Fairlyliz, common denominator - 2 girls. I often wonder if this has anything to do with it?
Indigo, I left them to go for a meal after telling eldest I wasn't going because I'm fed up with her general attitude. I've woken this morning and am going to say something. Husband and I have decided this is the last holiday together- isn't that sad? Sad because, fortunately it's not lack of funds, it's a lack of family dynamics and friendliness.
I've said to husband this morning, I'm sooooo proud of what she's done / doing but am not proud of her personality.......nature or nurture?
Eggshells,that's so true. I just wish I could get her 'Christmas day & birthday mood' every day. I spose 2/365 days could be improved on!!!!
Thanks for your replies.

Muldjewangk Mon 20-Jul-15 07:42:33

I think the common denominator is they are spoilt. Let them go without, stop giving them money, stop waiting on them and stop letting yourselves be treated like doormats. Let them grow up.

I have seen it too many times, you would think they would be grateful to their parents, more often than not they never are.

fourflights Mon 20-Jul-15 08:13:50

I think Muldjewangk may have a point.

dreamingofblueskies Mon 20-Jul-15 09:38:03

My DM could have written this, I am the youngest of 2 DD's and her relationship with my sister has always been a bit tense.

And yes, my DS has said that I ruined her life by being born (3 years gap like yours). She doesn't 'blame' me, she blames my DM. My dad thinks that a lot of it is jealousy aimed at me, but there is no reason for jealousy, she is a lot cleverer than me, has a much better job than me.

I'm afraid I have no 'they did this and bonded and now they're great together' story for you, but since my DS had children she has mellowed somewhat to my DM.

They will never be a 'movie mum and daughter' but then who is? I think sometimes we're led to believe, by the media, card companies, etc. that we should all have a magical relationship with our mums/children but sadly this is not always the case.

We were never spoilt, despite growing up with money, so I'm not so sure that that is the problem, of course you're in a better position to know one way or the other.

I think that this maybe is just a personality clash and hopefully will settle down as she gets older and realises that parents are people too, not these perfect beings.

The one thing I think my DM could have done better was to show more love towards her, but then my mum is very undemonstrative and always has been. I could probably count the number of times she's told me she loves me on one hand. sad

<I'm not in any way suggesting that you are like this though.>

dreamingofblueskies Mon 20-Jul-15 09:38:37

Sorry, that was a rambling post with no practical advice! blush

Stealthpolarbear Mon 20-Jul-15 09:54:01

I remember being like this. In my case it was because my lovely mum is overprotective and a bit too full on (but it was my teenage silkiness, not her fault). Also as my mum I knew shed take the brunt of my moods and still love me. blush. I totally took her for granted and look back and blush. It did get better, mid to late 20s. The only thing she could have done was backed off a bit. Not got involved in my moodiness. She couldn't actually 'do' anything as it was all me.
If it's any consolation i look back and think how fantastic she was. My dad was good too but I was better for him.

Fairyliz Mon 20-Jul-15 11:39:22

Im sitting here crying and just come onto this thread for advice. Just asked daughter to do a small job around the house ( she has been home from uni for about six weeks and is not working) and she has just snapped my head off again.
I tried to remain calm and say that as an adult she should help around the house but apparently she is so busy with uni work, despite the fact the I have not seen any sign of work in the last six weeks.
Her answer to why should I do all of the housework and work part time is just leave it then.
As I only work part time I can fit in all of the housework, I just think she should help out . So once again we have an atmosphere in the house instead of having a nice relaxed day.
Any advice?

IsItIorAreTheOthersCrazy Mon 20-Jul-15 19:13:53

I don't have any advice but I wanted to add my experience. I am the eldest of 2 girls and I was horrible to my mum from around 14 - 19 (when I moved out). I honestly don't know how she coped with me. Like others, my mum and sister are similar and close. I am very different to them, and my dad always defended me / supported me even if it meant going against my mum. I'm ashamed to say it resulted in me complaining about her and him agreeing, so I ignored her a lot of the time, knowing my dad was on my side.
Part of this was jealousy, but also a deep seated insecurity because my mum seemed to like my sister so much. There was a worry of what is so wrong with me that even my mum doesn't like me?
It came to a head when we had a big row and my hormonal teenage self burst out with "that's fine, I'll leave, you and dsis will be happy then." I think I also said something about dsis being a favourite and me not being wanted. It changed everything - my mum pointed out all the things she did that showed she loved me, and all the things I did to her that I wouldn't do to my friends parents and that she wouldn't accept from other people. She told me she found me hard because I made her feel like a crap mother and what kind of mother is hated by her daughter?
I think I left for a day or so, thought about it and came back with an apology. We didn't talk much about it but she made time to do things with me and I stopped being horrible.

Now I'm older, I can see that I was bloody horrible and she could have been tougher, but we get on great now and I respect her. And I think I've turned out ok! I just turned my insecurity onto her because she had to love me anyway like toddlers who are great with teachers and horrible to their parents

Please try and find a middle ground - tough love might be too much if they dont feel loved underneath, and too soft and they'll walk all over you. But definately treat them like the adults they are - they pull their weight at friends houses, are polite at work. It's the least you can expect at home!

Ps sorry for the huge post!

Stealthpolarbear Mon 20-Jul-15 19:44:02

I'm wracking my brains g to think what might have worked. all I can think is if someone outside the immediate family told me to grow up and stop taking my mum for granted. thinking of my aunt - mums sister - very close but I'd have been on my best bahviour for her. it might have worked.

Ragwort Mon 20-Jul-15 19:58:18

I think you are amazingly kind to even consider taking a 20 year old stroppy DD on holiday. My DS is only 14 but sounds a bit like your DD - I have actually refused to go on holiday with him after he tried to ruin our half term holiday. My DH is taking him away for a week which means DH and I don't get a holiday together but to be honest I am so looking forward to having a complete break at home grin. (I have other holiday plans with a friend).

I've been reading the thread about 'pleasant' teenagers and been in tears, my DS can be so rude, unkind and downright nasty. sad. He is an only child so doesn't have to 'compete' with any other siblings and whilst we try not to spoil him materially he clearly has lots of attention and opportunities that many other children don't get.

moopymoodle Mon 20-Jul-15 20:01:15

Definitely spoilt. I'm 28 and by her age I was surviving out in the world by myself. She sounds ungrateful and entitled If I'm honest. It's probably neither of your faults, she just needs to realise she's not your little girl anymore she's your adult daughter. It sounds like shes still in child mode around you a bit. Tbh you paying for the holiday encourages that a bit too. I can see you just wanted to do something lovely for your daughter but she needs to learn to respect you. If my mum cooked for me or took me on holiday I'd be thrilled. I guess because I'm in dependant it would be a treat not my right.

rosesanddaisies Mon 20-Jul-15 20:05:08

Don't take that crap. If they know they can get away with treating you like shit, being rude to you etc, then they will. Would you willingly accept that attitude from a friend? Your boss? A stranger? If the answer is no, then why is ok for your daughter to treat you like that?

beauty2 Tue 21-Jul-15 02:18:01

Thanks for all your replies, there's some sound advice amongst them.
I'm going to back off and wait. She's back at uni nxt wk till Christmas ( funny tho, it's always her that asks for visits inbtween terms). Hopefully time/ distance will make her grow up........ Because I think that's the problem reading other posts. Also,i know my husband didn't get the same attitude and enjoyed their closeness ( many a row over the years, I said "remember who your wife is and who'll you'll eventually be left with!) that then made it difficult for me to always pick up on the moods/ attitude because I was the one left out in the cold &,upset while they were ok.
I still feel sad,I never expected text book niceness but a general good family feeling would have been good.

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