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How to handle my mum re dd(57 Posts)
My mum is finding it hard to be 'granny' and not mummy and I don't want to upset her, and obviously glad she adores dd but finding her behaviour a bit much. Any advice?
I'll give examples:
She wants to see dd everyday, I say no and she has one day a week but she constantly hassles me for photos. I try to send her at least one a day but if I forgot or am busy I often get a moany message
She can't stand it if dd cries (I don't like it either) but she takes it to sometimes dangerous extremes, e.g. The other day I was driving and dd was crying. Not hysterically but fussing. I was verbally reassuring her and it wasn't appropriate to pull over. My mum who was sat in passenger seat and tried to unbutton her belt to get in back seat, I was genuinely concerned she was going to try and take her out of car seat in a moving car - obviously very dangerous! She did say later she wouldn't have taken her out, bit in not sure I believe her. I had to grab her arm and shout to stop her. She sulked the whole way to our destination (10 mins) and kept saying 'naughty mummy' which upset me.
She actually often says 'naughty mummy' to my dd if I do something she doesn't agree with or god forbid make a mistake (no one is perfect right?!) the kind of mistakes I mean are trivial like dd's nappy leaking if she does a big poo 'naughty mummy didn't put your nappy on properly'
She is constantly buying dd stuff and it's getting to the point where it's too much. We live in a flat and we don't have space - I feel really ungrateful complaining.
She is obsessed with dd getting cold, and tries to wrap her up even if dd is boiling! Im always saying no and unwrapping dd.
There is more but these are a few examples. She is lovely in other ways, does my housework if I need it, makes me food. But it all gets a bit much sometimes and I feel criticised a lot. I am always saying no and needing to be firm - but it's exhausting!!
She also once took sleeping dd out of her Moses basket while I was sleeping next to her 'to give me a break' and took her out in her pram but I woke up in a complete panic that dd wasn't there?! She did apologise for that one when my dad and dh took my side.
Argh that was cathartic- what do I do??
That sounds terrible. She is your mother though so i think that it's fine for you to be blunt with her even more than you have been.
You pull her up on all this shit.
Can you have a proper face to face chat with her and basically tell her everything you have told us?
The worst bit and I think the bit that will impact your DD is the 'naughty mummy' bit.
Make sure you correct her every single time on this.
The car incident.
NO - mummy was not naughty - I was looking out for your safety and the safety of DD.
No - mummy was not naughty - sometimes nappies leak - do not keep referring in this manner.
Over and over and over again until it sinks in with her.
I can't believe your DH doesn't say something to stand up to her either.
Tell her to stop buying things.
Honestly, you need to just grow a back bone and stand up to her.
If that is not easy for you then get reading about toxic parents.
Have a search on Amazon and google and get clued up.
If you think about patterns of how she spoke and acted when she was raising you, can you see a continuation of controlling behaviour?
She was quite controlling growing up. Like I was scared of farm animals and she promised me repeatedly we were not going to the farm, then drove me there and made me go in. I was traumatised but to this day she talks about how 'she got me over my fear of animals' when actually I was still scared but shut down.
She doesn't say in front of my dh but he would challenge if he was there. I often say something - but it gets into a ridiculous passive aggressive fight talking through my dd which can't be healthy for dd
'Naughty mummy did xyz'
'Mummy isn't naughty because xyz'
'Is mummy make silly excuses, nanny wouldn't make xyz mistake'
'Mum stop it'
'Why are you being so sensitive, is mummy being over sensitive today'
Ttbb I definitely need to be more firm! It's so exhausting though!
'Time for silly grandma to fuck off home'.
You need to back off until she respects your boundaries. She sounds like a nightmare. . Make yourself and dd less available.
She sounds like a nightmare. This sort of thing really isn't normal and unless you were doing something positively dangerous for your child, your Mum really needs to back off.
"Grandma is so silly shes going to get her eyes poked out in a minute"
Close the door on your way out mum.
I think I need to sit her down and talk to her - do you think if I write her a letter it will work? I often don't feel like I can be honest in person we she will dismiss what I'm saying and then go straight to tears and 'it doesn't matter how mean you are to me I'll always be here. I'm like a loyal dog who still comes back up to his master after being kicked' she actually shouted that at me in tears in a restaurant when I stood up to her. It was so embarrassing.
Letting your mother do your housework and cooking is totally compounding your issues with her. By doing those things, this gives more fuel to her fire and sense of control and entitlement. You can't have it both ways. You can't let her take care of your responsibilities and then complain when she takes it too far. Of course she will take it too far! You already know this. She's overbearing and controlling, and that's never going to change. Create distance and boundaries and stick to them.
Your mother is an emotional terrorist. Stop responding to it and paying her ransom of compliance. When you were in that restaurant you should have just smiled and continued to eat and just let her make a fool of herself.
How old is your dd? Agree you need to stop her helping out if she is feeling she has the right to chip in in return. Stop taking her out in the car as it is stressful enough with a crying baby, let alone her moaning.
Well she doesn't do all my housework and cooking. But yes maybe I need to not accept her help.
Maybe I need to create some distance, that's what dh says, but I just feel so horribly guilty, I can't seem to get past the guilt. If I stand up to her and she cries I feel so so guilty.
I'm not such a push over with other people!
Dd is 11 weeks
My mum is already talking about quitting work so she can be our childcare (she even told her boss!). I've already said no (dh said hell no ). I'm not going to hear the end of it when dd goes to nursery
Her needs are not more important than yours though. Nor your DD's. Remember that.
It is OK to feel guilty but do it anyway.
She is emotionally blackmailing you and has done for years. You have been trained to feel guilty in situations where you have nothing to feel guilty about, in fact all the guilt should be on her.
Therefore you can't trust your feelings of guilt when it comes to your mother.
Unlike every other area of your life you will need to ignore the guilty feelings and her attempts to make you shut the fuck up and let her do as she pleases irrespective of your feelings.
After a while you will start to see how fucked up your guilty feelings were and a while later you will stop having them so much.
It's good practise for when you have a toddler. They pull out all the emotional tricks to get their way but you have to stand firm.
DD being only 11 weeks makes it a bit easier in some ways. You can say something like "Now DD is 3 months old I need to start managing on my own more. I am too reliant on your help so I'm going to make more effort to do things on my own."
She's unlikely to accept it but perhaps it will help you in your own mind by positioning it as being about making you a better mother not about rejecting her.
Thank you all for your advice, it's really helping!
That is soo helpful! I never though about it that way. Feeling guilty specifically with my mum is ok because she is behaving badly. I need to repeat that to myself until it sinks in.
I also like 'emotional terroist' gosh that sums up how it feels!!
You need to be very assertive with her, that's the only thing. Stop her when she starts talking shot 'through' the baby and challenge her every single fucking time. You need to be incredibly consistent, stop the housework etc, that is definitely clouding the issue. You do need some distance, stop offering her the photo daily and when she moans, tell her it's not normal, quite frankly.
I fear it's up to you, with your dh backing you up, to be the strong one and give her strong boundaries. Imagine your life and how your mother will rule the roost in 5 years. I certainly wouldn't allow her to do childcare.
When my mother cries I sit calmly and wait her out. She stops pretty quickly because she is not getting the required reaction and gets really unkind. Helps to stop the guilt.
I know she has learned all this as a tactic from her own difficult mother too, and I remind myself of what she used to say when my grandmother did these things to her. She was right then, and I am right now: it is unfair and manipulative.
Then I tell myself to hate the sin and love the sinner (which emphatically does not mean giving in to her demands, but I do bite my tongue a bit).
Forget the angst about upsetting her-your mother is flawed, as we all are, but that is not a reason to give in to her every demand at the expense of your well-being or your relationship with your child.
I had a couple of years of this with my usually normal MIL, thank fuck she eventually calmed down. Tbh I would've found it much easier to be blunt with my own mother.
It's a long time ago now but I remember putting a bit of distance between us and dh having a polite word (a few times).
I think it was all coming from the right place in retrospect,but as a sleep deprived new mother still finding my feet it was v irritating.
There are so many comebacks you can give but honestly i would be more inclined to sit her down for an open and honest chat. Say " mum i know you love dd to pieces which is lovely, but your constant put downs are really upsetting me. I want to be able to relax and enjoy it when we're all together." Or words to that affect.
Also if she starts the water works just tell her that's how she makes you feel.
Get past the guilt, you've done nothing wrong. She knows you feel guilty so plays on it.
It is a tough one. Good luck.
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