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I feel let down by my mum(28 Posts)
Just that reallyand I wonder if I'm being a selfish cow or whether I have a point. She's never really done anything terrible, the odd line crossing privacy moment as a teen but I can see things from her point of view too (read my diary, but there was some concerning stuff in there as one example).
Now I live a few roads away with DH and small children but she only sees us a couple of times a month, often too busy. That's fine of course but I feel like she plays 'perfect gran' by always saying how much she wants to do stuff/see them etc but never following through. I trust her completely with DC and she does have them occasionally but she knows DH and I have been having a rough time and doesn't feel the need to offer any support at all. She is early 50s and works during term time, drives etc so it's not a lack of ability.
I suppose this has been thrown into stark relief by a conversation with a friend yesterday who is about to return to work after mat leave and has had so much support from both sides of her family that I couldn't help feeling envious. It's not just the babysitting/childcare but the fact that her mum will just come round when she's free for a chat or a stroll round the shops. In contrast, I felt completely overwhelmed after having DC1 and asked mum to come round for a cuppa after she finished work on Mondays as DH works later that day and my DM finishes earlier. I had hoped she would take the chance for a little regular coffee and catch up whilst also helping me feel less isolated but she only came once.
There is so much more to this and its all a bit of a mess in my head. Just trying to sort out my feelings about it really. I feel excluded by her except for when I can bring cute kids to make her look like the best GM ever. She looked really put out when I mentioned that we might move further away for work in a few years time and I had to bite my tongue to stop myself saying "you only see us once or twice a month so what difference will it make?!"
Sorry this is a garbled mess. It's not like I don't have support, my dad is fab and I see how much he loves playing with the DC and feel sad that DM doesn't feel the need (my parents are divorced), dad makes a real effort and they love him for it.
Am I being petty, selfish and overreacting or is it normal to feel like this? I can't imagine knowing my DC are having a tough time and just sitting back and watching instead of supporting, but maybe I don't get it because they're still so young. I don't know.
No, I don't think you're overreacting. These sorts of things can build up over time and have a way of making us feel so low. It's wonderful that your dad is so supportive; I wonder, would he have any insight or suggestions? I know you said they're divorced but could be worth a go? Alternatively, you could try writing it down and giving it to her, although this sort of thing can only go well depending on who you're dealing with but again, could be another thing to try.
You are not overreacting. It is sad but that is the way it is.
The best thing you can do for yourself is accept it and stop hoping for more from her (speaking from experience).
Mine rarely visits and I work thirty minutes drive in the opposite direction and have two toddlers. I have to visit or she will get 'sick' this results in her lying in bed for days crying and my father rings me to visit.
No support at all.
Its very hard. I went for councelling and she said it is harder in a mother daughter relationship as we are built to need nuturing.
[Flowers] and hugs to you
fafoutis you are right, I am trying to do this but I keep letting myself have hope and then it bites me in the arse.
Thanks loulou I have considered doing this but she has a /very/ high opinion of herself and this would probably result in a lot of dramatics and end up being all about her. It's as though she likes the idea of having family nearby but not the practicalities of actually engaging with us. She remarried a couple of years back to a perfectly nice man so I often feel like she is busy with him as their relationship is still 'new and exciting' in comparison to how a 40 year marriage may feel iyswim? Of course I'm happy for her with this but it still hurts when I hear they've been off to one of his (adult) children's homes for dinner when I practically have to beg to get them through our front door (nothing wrong with our house - genuinely- they just always want us to drag the kids round to them as it's easier for them).
Feeling really low about this atm.
I know you've said "there's more to it than this" but I can only comment on what you've written, and, to be frank, I can't see anything wrong in what your Mum does / doesn't do
Not everybody wants to be living in each others pockets.
She's at work, has a little bit of free time now her own dc has (have?) grown up and left, and she she's them regularly and will come round if asked. I genuinely can't see what's 'sad' or 'disappointing' about it.
wobbly she sounds even harder work than mine! for you too!
Your mum is young, has a life of her own and does see you. I can't see anything wrong either.
Fair enough backforgood A big part of it for me is the gap between what she says she'd like to do and what she actually does. If she didn't keep saying she wants them round for a sleepover or to take them out for the day or come along the next time we go to X place then I wouldn't get my hopes up.
I disagree with BackforGood. It does sound like she doesn't come round enough and you go round there much more. That's enough to make someone feel unwanted.
If it was me I'd be saying something like 'I feel upset that you don't come round much, feel like you're missing out on the kids'
Savagebeauty once or twice a month when living a few streets away? Get real!
What do you mean by 'get real' ?
When my parents were alive, they loved me, and their Grandchildren very much, but they didn't pop round on a regular basis, despite living fairly close. They had busy lives, doing things they'd 'put on hold' whilst working and bringing up their own dc. Once they had more time, they (quite rightly) used it for some time to do things for themselves.
I think the issue is possibly the disconnect between her words and her deeds. I had an issue with a long term illness and my parents were constantly saying "we want to help" and even asking them a tiny thing would set off "oh no we can't that day because we're at the pub". Finally I said "can you stop offering help when you clearly don't mean it". Oddly that seemed to shock them, then they said something weird about wanting to help with big things and not little things...I won't go into detail on here but actually when you're ill you often need small bits of help IYSWIM and ironically, as they have health problems, I had my mates helping with the big stuff.
But in the end they saw my point and did help. It was almost like they thought the words were more important. Is it possible your mum needs you to spell it out? I don't think either yours or mine are obliged to help but it's ridiculous for her to complain about you wanting to move away.
You just have to accept what she offers. Comparing other families is the way of madness. Would you want more contact if he was only doing because you asked for it. I think you need to build up other support. Do you have any free time/interests?
I can relate. As PP's have said, you need to reconcile yourself to the situation because its highly likely not bothering her in any way.
My mum has a woeful amount of insight into how she comes across; to outsiders she is fabulous, warm, do anything to help however shes caused me an inordinate amount of emotional distress over the years.
Its has broken my heart to not be held, hugged, have any kind of proper eye contact - Ive never felt good enough.
Unfortunately my esteem issues were then further compounded by marrying a man-child who pretty much replicated my mothers behaviour.
I had a breakdown, found the strength to leave him but not before I was subjected to awful minimising of my experiences and feelings; to overt support for exDH, you name it.
Ive tried to be assertive, and thinking I may be getting through to her. I understand she is the product of her upbringing, however I know that my respect for her will always be found wanting .
Bit of a segue there OP - I suppose I am trying to say that the dynamics of the relationship can permeate other areas of your life.
I'm doing the detachment for me now, I tell her almost nothing about my emotions or what is going on between me and exDH. I always get talked down and sometimes I just want to hear "sorry things are so shitty for you"
I've posted on several threads like this Guybrush and understand it entirely. I was cared for and I guess loved but it always felt 'forced' A series of events, one quite major, made me completely evaluate my relationship with her and I now accept it for what it is. Visiting is stressful and admittedly I do it as little as possible. Ironically, she does now (at times) make more of an effort but I struggle to accept it as genuine.
I have this, both with my own parents & DH's parents.
Currently in the middle of a house move, which will mean we're further from both sets. Part of reason for move is being sick of feeling unwanted/let down.
I have raised the words vs deeds argument with them and was told basically to "f* off!".
Both love to appear as the doting grandparents, taking lots of photos and stuff, but zero of the hard stuff.
My DM has passed away but live 5 mins from my dad who claims he sees his grandson weekly in reality we see him once a month or less. It's made me sad on occasion and has had me revisit my own childhood as I thought we were very close.
I've had to accept it's his choice and he's the one missing out.
Don't see why you would want to see family more often than that.
OP post I have a similar feeling with my mum regarding the gap between what she says she wants to do and what she does.
I find it hard when I see other mums with my friends. And my mum is lovely, there's nothing nasty about her, but this makes me feel upset.
It's rubbish xx
You see your mum every fortnight, that sounds quite a regular relationship?
Have you tried specifically inviting her? I hear a lot on here that mum's aren't wanted if they just drop in. In fact some posters said on one thread they's expect notice and a phone call before their family visited. She may not be sure she's welcome.
But I suppose she might just be genuinely busy and wrapped up in her own life. Some gms might just want to move on from the small child stuff when they've 'done their bit'.
I understand too
My mum is lovely too and would see us more often if she could but I feel invisible when we see her. She focuses so much on the kids and never asks me any questions or takes in interest in my life it feels empty.
I have had a really hard few years with them as the kids are such hard work ( don't sleep, have been assessed for autism amongst other things) yet I never get asked how I am or helped. I have asked for money to get an assessment for the children/help but thus hasn't happened so I struggle on whilst they go on holiday after holiday. Yes they deserve a good time but surely I deserve a mum?
Dad on the other hand ( not with mum anymore) has been supportive yet he isn't the emotional type so I feel touched by this even more but it fuels being let down more too
The description in your post sounds like you expect a one way street. What are you doing for her? With her? Do you make her feel valued?
You need to break the cycle of expecting her to be someone she isn't. I get the impression that you thought motherhood and your mother becoming a grandparent, would change the dynamics of your relationship more dramatically and it hasn't.
You aren't powerless and you are just as responsible 'for getting your hopes up' as she is, either call her out on not following through with her comments or ignore them.
Give yourself time to grieve the relationship you wanted and accept the one you have.
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