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My mum is strange(45 Posts)
Is this a new thing or something that's always happened? Are you spending too much time with her or asking her for too many childcare favours?
The cracks about your appearance are unacceptable. The jokey cards and stuff about her being younger than you seem benign to me.
She's not very nice, never mind weird. And she knows exactly what she's doing. Sorry.
Your mother is a bully. Verging on abusive. Sorry.
My mother would make similar comments to me. I realised that she is projecting her feelings about herself onto me, and that actually she is a very insecure person who doesn't see nice things about herself. When I realised that, it was much easier to detach.
It sounds like you see an awful lot of her. If I were you, I'd try to find ways to cut back on that.
She's probably feeling sensitive about her own age so she has a dig at you. If she's basically a nice lady (and it sounds as if she is because she helps you with childcare) I wouldn't worry about it too much.
Stop laughing it off. You would not have tolerated any of this from a friend, your mother is no different.
I would cut these lunches as a thank you completely out given your mother behaviours towards you. You are basically rewarding her bad behaviour by doing that.
I would also find alternative childcare as a matter of course given also that she withdraws same when you challenge her on any insults she throws your way. She is bullying you and such behaviour is abusive in nature.
If she is too difficult for you to deal with its the same deal for your children as well. She has done this to you; she could well do this same behaviour to your children. What is to stop her saying such things in front of your own children?.
You do not mention your dad; is he still around?.
Reaffirm and raise higher your own boundaries with regards to your mother; they are too low and she is taking full advantage.
Its not your fault your mother is like this; her family of origin did that lot of damage to her.
I would also agree that your mother knows exactly what she is doing here. She knows how to push your buttons and hurt you.
Actually, I've re-read the OP and actually <swims against the tide> you're a 10 and she asks if what you've bought is an 18? Is she doing a sort of projected self-deprecating humour thing? Is she a size 18? Isn't she just saying how lovely that you're a smaller size?
The thing about your haircut? You've grown it longer and she's just saying she likes it as it is and tries to bolster that by saying she likes it MORE that it was before...even though she complimented you on it at the time?
She looks after your children, routinely, every day for two hours and you have an otherwise good relationship with her?
the threat to remove childcare...can you expand on this please?
My mum makes jokes about my age.
I remind her she's my mother.
So clearly older!
I find it's best to never rely on the help of someone who punishes you by removing that help.
Even if sometimes they are not being horrible, that doesnt mean its ok.
You wouldnt say well sometimes he doesnt hit me so its ok when he does. That would be ridiculous.
Its not ok to treat someone badly on the grounds that you at other times dont treat them badly.
You dont get a free pass on account of sometimes behaving like a decent human being.
Its ok to tell her to pack it in.
The thing that stands out to me most is that when you pull her up on this she threatens to stop the childminding. Perhaps she doesn't realise how hurtful she is - but when you tell her, her reaction should not be to threaten you. My mother sometimes says things to me that are not very tactful, and when I point it out, she is mortified and apologises (and remembers it). She doesn't stop talking to me or seeing me or anything like that.
As I said, your mother is bullying you.
My mum makes similar comments to me ...she always has since I was very young , she has always been over weight and I'm not and this has always bothered her . It's her own insecurities coming out and I try to ignore it , but it is hard sometimes . Rise above it andoes ignore it ...it's her problem not yours
She is a bully. She uses put-downs and threats (to remove childcare) to keep you down.
The only thing to do with bullies is to stand up to them, and stay away from them.
You need to look into other childcare arrangements I'm afraid. Bonus is that your Saturdays will become your own again
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So your mum does 8 or 2 hours a week childcare?
Ok, she is being deliberately nasty. This nonsense about your age and your size and your hair. It's just being nasty.
Forget about the, if she doesn't like my hair I wish she'd just be honest stuff. This is nothing to do with honesty. If you had a good relationship where she was usually loving and supportive, the occasional bit of honesty about a bad haircut would be fine. But this isn't what is happening here.
She is using the childcare as a weapon to make you put up with her nastiness.
I would investigate other childcare options.
Then I would be visibly upset every time she makes a nasty comment. Stop downplaying it and pretending it isn't happening.
I know what is happening because I've had exactly the same. Being a non confrontational person, I laughed it off for years. But you will be amazed at the transformative effect of standing up for yourself in a low key non aggressive way.
Stand up for yourself! Don't take her put downs. You sound so timid but also lovely! Your too nice.
If it were me I would practice some one liners back at her. Give her a taste of her own medicine!
I'm guessing she doesn't have any friends...
I do know that if I stand up to her she will cut off all contact
So? What's the alternative - continuing to take it lying down?
She chooses her own behaviour. If her reaction to you telling her how you feel is to cut you off, rather than to listen to you and try to acknowledge your feelings, that is her choice.
You can't manage her behaviour; you can only choose your own. Choose behaviour that corresponds to your own needs and your own values. That's the best that any of us can do.
Let the chips fall where they may, but at least you'll have the satisfaction of knowing that you are being true to yourself. And trust me, that is a much better feeling than letting yourself get shat on by bullies.
What RiceCrispieTreats wrote in its entirety. I would also let her cut you all off because you get nothing from this relationship anyway.
You are probably "confident" to those in the outside world but your mother has done a real number on your self worth and self esteem over many years. She was and is not a good parent to you; what makes you think she is at all a nice sort of grandparent figure to your children. It would not surprise me if she already favours one of your children over the other.
FWIW I doubt very much that your children actually adore their nan; they see all too clearly how you as their mum are treated by this woman. You do not adore your mother do you?. They see you absorb her bullying behaviour.
She's a bully, I understand that your children will miss her but they aren't really loosing out by seeing you stand up for yourself to her-it's better to teach them they don't have to accept bad behaviour off anyone rather than set them up for a life where they think it's acceptable for people they love to behave this way to them and worst still that they accept it as you are doing.
I know how hard it is, my mother is equally as cutting with her remarks, and equally as childish by cutting off contact when I pull her up about stuff. As recently as late last year because I pulled her up on her bullying of my early 20's close relative (and of me-kicking off at me when I visited in front of my children because I wouldn't agree with her and kept trying to change the subject) since she's had her baby (constant criticisms veiled of 'it's only my opinion', strops when relative hasn't done what dm tells her she 'should'). She cut us off for 4 months after hanging up the phone on me when I asked her the question 'why are you allowed to give your unasked for opinion yet your kicking off at me for doing the same about your behaviour?'.
She too said she wouldn't be looking after my children on the rare occasion I had actually asked her (my wedding day/night earlier this year), the children were upset and did miss her but I explained in child friendly terms that unfortunately nanna had behaved badly and thrown a tantrum when asked to behave nicer. That sometimes adults do throw tantrums but that we deal with them in the same way I deal with theirs (kids pipe up by ignoring?). Yes children because even though she's my mum it doesn't mean that we accept her behaving badly towards us and until she apologises and behaves better we can't go down as that's not fair to us.
They accepted it, when her threats of not coming to the wedding was met with 'okay, that's your choice. I'll need to know for definite by x date so that I can use your places for others as they're already paid for'. She realised her strops were not getting her anywhere with me and she started with the 'I miss my grandchildren so much I can't believe your keeping them from me' to which she was told in no uncertain terms that she was the one who kicked off at me, she was the one who hung up on me, she was the one going around telling everyone we had fallen out, she was the one who had taken out her petty upset with me on my children, she was the one who owed each of us an apology and the onus was on her to step up and behave as an adult and stop taking out her pettiness in my kids. She apologised 3 weeks later.
She did come to the wedding in the end too, seemed to take great pleasure of asking me in front of the wider family before it if she was still helping me out with the dc's as she 'knew' we'd have an awful wedding night if she didn't. I said 'oh thanks but we're all sorted. They're having a sleep over their friends that evening'. Her face fell as she realised the thing she used to control me (my kids) wasn't working anymore. I took back that control.
It hasn't stopped her behaviour unfortunately but she isn't aiming as much of it at me-as I'm the only one to stand up to her. The kids recognise when she's behaving badly and they now recognise and see me dealing with it by emotionally distancing myself (and them in a way), leaving when she starts (telling her 'your not behaving nicely so we'll go give me a ring when your in not going to take your mood out on us') and most importantly they know they don't have to put up with any bad behaviour like that themselves.
Sorry it's very long but unless you stand up to her, and her tantrums she won't change. And it's only a matter of time before she turns her comments to your children, teach them they don't have to accept poor behaviour because if you don't she will carry it on via them eventually and they will follow your lead in how they deal with it.
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