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Super critical female relatives

(12 Posts)
SexNamesRFab Mon 30-May-16 11:02:45

I don't think my mum is bad enough to have me running to the stately home threads, but my god she can be horrible. Yesterday she brought my v elderly nan to visit me at my home. While she was here I got - your nan said your house better be clean <eye roll implying of course it's not>, your gel nails look fake, your husband is shit at lighting Bbqs, your geraniums are common and grow like a weed and your plastic hanging baskets are tacky. Meanwhile, nan was upset as my engineered wood floor seemed to be made up of difference colour planks (presumably unlike her uniform Lino).

It's left me rattled, we've got friends coming round today and I can't help feeling sensitive and open to judgement. I don't know why they do it. I'm sure my house is actually cleaner than my mums (it's newly decorated and we have a cleaner 4hrs a week FFS) and I didn't think too much of the low cut top she was sporting - but I wouldn't dream of upsetting/embarrassing her by saying these things out loud.

Are your relatives like this? How do you deal with it?

mrssmith79 Mon 30-May-16 11:12:45

A few years ago I got tired of my dm doing pretty much exactly the same so I began responding with a gradual "have you heard yourself?" Or a throwaway "behave yourself" , the odd raised eyebrow thrown in. irritated the shit out of her at first but when she realised I wouldn't bite and that, in fact, she was making herself look like an idiot, she pretty much stopped.
Still has the odd slip upmind but once my mindset was altered I can now see that the snipes and barbs are her failings not mine.

mrssmith79 Mon 30-May-16 11:13:17

Casual, not gradual!

Pearlman Mon 30-May-16 11:17:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

concertplayer Mon 30-May-16 11:18:34

Gosh, you would think she was living there wouldn't you ?
I mean she is only visiting
Does she do anything else for you to help you ?
Hyper-critical folk like this are either bullies or very insecure.The more
involvement you have with them the worse it gets as I found to my cost
This is nothing compared to one of my female relatives. I wish I had
known what I knew now and avoided like the plague

NoahVale Mon 30-May-16 11:23:18

I am not sure if avoiding is the answer.
I think growing a thicker skin is the answer as well as having some retorts up your sleeve.

SexNamesRFab Mon 30-May-16 11:27:45

She usually has my DC for a few hours after school one day a week. Yes I think she does feel the house is hers, she was showing my nan round the new extension like she owned the place - and was visibly annoyed when I took over.

Another one that made me laugh - those geraniums are a bit wishy washy. They're White mum.

If I pull her up on it then it's all poor me, stop picking on me. Mostly I laugh it off or put her straight - the house is clean, it's not a show home WTF do you expect with 2 DC. Well we like the flowers/baskets/sodding floor.

I wonder if its learned behaviour - my nan can barely speak now but, back in the day, was forever telling all us girls in the family that we'd put on weight. I also wonder if she's a bit jealous of my life (feel guilty thinking that).

concertplayer Mon 30-May-16 12:29:39

Bingo I knew I was right. Mine had dc once a week too and it was like
she was doing me a huge favour. Never allowed to forget it.
I was working and a single parent but she insisted I pay her back by
spending Saturday in cafes with her. I was told to stay up until
midnight to catch up with my housework.
A control freak, a bully and thoroughly selfish.
For you I would suggest taking aside describing her behaviour
and saying you will no longer put up with it
Then change the subject and discuss the EU referendum or whatever

MissMargie Tue 31-May-16 07:35:46

Sounds like a continuation of childhood

KatsutheClockworkOctopus Tue 31-May-16 13:00:23

This all sounds quite familiar. For me, the turning point came on the day I realised she would always find something to comment on. I am known as "the lazy one". To counter this (untrue!) description I used to wreck myself making the house spotless (cue lots if ooh isn't it lovely and clean in here haha). They would just keep poking around till they found something to prove my laziness. The day I realised this , I stopped caring what they thought.

Tiggeryoubastard Tue 31-May-16 13:03:36

They're bitches. Pure and simple. Keep your children away from them.

Lottapianos Tue 31-May-16 13:07:26

' I also wonder if she's a bit jealous of my life (feel guilty thinking that).'

I think its massively influenced by jealousy and yes, its learned. I have a hyper critical mother as well - I have very little contact with her these days. She's very jealous of me (and my sister), extremely insecure and never really matured past the 6-7 year old stage emotionally. It's miserable to be around her, so I'm around her a lot less these days.

OP, you started your post by saying that your mother is possibly not in the Stately Homes league, but her visit has left you feeling anxious, upset and defensive (understandably I should add). That's really unpleasant for you. It sounds like nothing you ever do will ever be quite 'right' for her - there will always be something to criticise because that's how she makes herself feel better around you. As for how you handle it, you have options - openly laugh at her ridiculous comments, tell her to 'behave' or similar as suggested by another poster, ignore the comments entirely, see her much less frequently. Do not feel bad about protecting yourself and trying to minimise the hurt she causes you.

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