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Feeling conflicted & probably ungrateful etcou

(3 Posts)
Mumberjack Thu 15-Sep-16 17:27:06

I have 2DD (one 3, one under 1). I also have a daughter who was stillborn at term one year before my eldest was born.
My DM is a single parent with me, things were OK growing up but a bit hard, I spent a lot of time with my grandparents who took on childcare so my DM could work and my DM has never met another partner (said in the past she didn't want me to have to adapt to new partners).
Aside from other issues relating to my DD1 (competitive grief it seems; another whole thread!!) I'm finding it hard to deal with her relationship with me and my DDs.
She recently came into money (not a huge mount but she can live comfortably provided she doesn't squander it) and she is constantly buying things for my daughters. This is where I seem ungrateful but while it's nice to receive clothes etc it's almost as if she's trying to buy so much that she knows whatever they wear will have been chosen by her. And she buys a load of tat too - cheapy toys and magazines that clutter the place. Again it is nice for her to buy things for the girls but my eldest in particular has started asking her granny what she has brought her. I hate hearing her say that as I don't want our girls to be spoilt brats (and consciously have to stop myself from spoiling them; they feel precious to me after my first DD died and I feel v lucky to have them).
I feel that my DM is trying to compete with me - my elder DD had injections yesterday. I bought her a sweet for being brave. DM appeared today with Disney gifts in a bag (the younger DD got a little gift; that's one of the shit things, wondering how much my DM favours the elder one...she only ever had me to look after and tends to struggle dividing her attention).
It's almost like she sees my DDs as her second chance to be a parent. And I'm so conflicted as she retired in part to provide childcare when I return to work (2days a week) - she is great with them but just feel like the material things are almost like a pay off so she gets to act like a parent again. Then I feel ungrateful as she has done all this for me, and to be honest paid childcare would be a struggle for us (and would break my DMs heart if I took them away etc).
How can I stop feeling so shit about it?? I do try to assert that I'm the parent when we're all together but I just end up looking like the bad guy while my DM swans about buying shit.
The other side of it is I'm worried that she is going to fritter this cash away and she'll be struggling and will need help as she gets older...I know I'm the only person who'll be responsible for all her accommodation and caring needs as she ages, and selfishly o don't want to clear up her financial mess as well.

Mumberjack Fri 16-Sep-16 03:58:29


Happybunny19 Fri 16-Sep-16 15:31:22

I understand difficult relationships with parents only too well, but won't bore you with the details, but from your post your mum appears to be acting like every grandparent. They all seem to enjoy spoiling our little ones, it's the joy of grandparenthood it seems. Your kids are obviously her only grandchildren and that does intensify this behaviour. My in laws are exactly the same and also provide us with free childcare, so I feel ungrateful being too critical. I simply console myself with the fact they are so close to my kids and always there for them. My own father has met them only a handful of times and they don't know who he is sadly. Our own mums do have a knack of annoying us more than anyone else, but we'll be doing the same thing to ours in time lol x

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