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Controlling/over-invested/guilt-tripping mother!

(14 Posts)
PenelopeChipShop Mon 22-Jan-18 13:17:00

I'm really struggling to think how to articulate this. I don't want to be flamed by those who 'have no family support'/ have mothers who have died etc. But I am struggling a bit with my mum's attitude towards, well, most things! I think it's particularly difficult at the moment because I'm separated from DH, about to begin divorce proceedings (with a heavy heart tbh - I wanted to work on the relationship but he has a new girlfriend already under a year after leaving) and just need a bit of emotional and maybe even practical support. And she's upset me today.

So for context my DC are 5 (in year 1) and 21 months. Neither of them sleep through the night and I let them come into my bed as to be quite honest I find it easier, particularly given that I'm on my own with them. I also still bf the little one. If I ever say I'm tired (IN PASSING!) my mum will start with 'well it's your own fault they don't sleep...'

Today I have a heavy cold/fluey virus and she said she would come to take the toddler to a tumble tots-type group we usually do, supposedly to 'help' me - but tbh that group would have been the easiest part of my day (compared to entertaining her at home!) and they were out less than an hour so it wasn't a massive help - I don't want to sound ungrateful but I honestly think she just wanted to do something fun with DGD which is lovely, but it's annoying to dress it up as hugely helpful - if she'd kept her for another hour or so then maybe I could have rested or got something done...!

When I make a passing remark like when I'm thinking of starting DD in pre-school (I'm considering trying her in sept at age 2.5, mornings only, which will help as I work from home/freelance/around the kids which is a huge juggle) she says judgey things like 'is that really what you want? /She will miss you / she's not ready / they're only little once / of course, I actually ENJOY spending time with little ones, not everybody does...' (she was a teacher and she IS great with kids, I do something very different and much more solitary!)

Tbh I just constantly feel judged and it's not just me, if she sees a mum in a coffee shop with a toddler she doesn't like it as she thinks the mum should be with her toddler and not having coffee....! NB I do this all the time if I want a coffee and my DD loves babycinos - so sue me!

I just cannot take the judgement! Does anyone else know what I mean?!

Lottapianos Mon 22-Jan-18 13:24:29

Sounds like lots of judgement, lots of blaming, lots of criticism. So yes, I know exactly what you mean! My mother is very similar. It wears you down and makes it impossible to have an enjoyable relationship. The person who 'should' be your biggest source of support turns out to be anything but. It really hurts.

Do you live with your mum at the moment OP?

PenelopeChipShop Mon 22-Jan-18 13:38:20

Hi Lotta, it sounds like you get what I mean! It's just so negative. And she over-analyses everything, it's like she can't relax. No I don't live with her, I couldn't!! But we live in the same town. I actually chose to move back here with DH about 4 years ago, and being close to the GPs was definitely a consideration - so they could have a good relationship with the DC and also so I could support her as she had cancer at the time. She is fully recovered now.

I logged back on as I remembered the other thing that winds me up - she's so extreme. So today, when I remarked that I felt like a needed a bit of a break, she comes out with 'well I think you've always had mixed feelings about becoming a mother haven't you.' What the actual! I am very happy as a mother thanks, I'm just a bit worn out by, y'know, having a toddler and no husband. I think that's pretty normal?!

dlnex Mon 22-Jan-18 13:43:48

Hi - sorry you are feeling poorly today. I feel rubbish too!
I would feel judged by these sort of comments.I dont have any support (distance issue) but this is the sort of behaviour I would get if I was closer, it's not helpful at all. Does your DM miss work and has moved onto Professional Grandparenting?
I think the choices you are making about your DDs sound fine, nursery at 2.5 is normal - if it was bad, there would not be so many nursery places for 2.5 year olds.
Going for coffee with small children is fine too. Nobody judges the many pensioners having coffee out for not spending that time with pets or attending to their gardens.
One one occasion two women were chatting in my workplace, which I felt was 'jibe' at - about parents who send DCs to breakfast club - "cant be bothered to give their DCs breakfast" In fact I want & need to work & DD gets a breakfast at home & at breakfast club.

Thistlebelle Mon 22-Jan-18 13:47:18

Stop telling her stuff! Limit or edit information.

However if she says things like “you’ve always had mixed feelings about being a mother” call her on it!

You don’t need to start a fight, just calmly tell her she’s wrong.

PenelopeChipShop Mon 22-Jan-18 13:47:38

I think I'm just feeling so alone. My DH is gone and is bloody living it up with his new girlfriend who is ten years younger than me. My kids are utterly adorable but they're wearing me out! My mum just comes round and starts shouting at me when I'm obviously at a low ebb and looking for a bit of sympathy. I do have friends but they're all busy working mums too and I know there's a limit to how much you can be a shoulder to cry on with all that we all have to do so I don't like to lean on them too much. I guess that's why I'm posting here. I just feel like screaming! I really want to go and do a lovely calming yoga class but have no bloody babysitter. Only on here now as I'm (theoretically!) doing a bit of work and invoicing while DD naps. It's just relentless sometimes!!

Oh sorry I've gone completely off piste

dlnex Mon 22-Jan-18 13:49:19

P chip shop -
Just seen your new post, Yes very extreme. It's fine to be worn out, that's vastly different than doubts about motherhood! this would be the sort of extreme comment my DM would make, my ex MIL would make the sort of judgy ones you mentioned. You are normal, she is not supportive to the point of unhelpful.

PenelopeChipShop Mon 22-Jan-18 13:51:37

Dulness sorry you've experienced it too - I just feel like we shouldn't judge each other! If DC are in breakfast club I'm sure there's a good reason for it, namely that their parent has somewhere to be at an early hour! My DS doesn't go but has actually asked to as apparently it's fun at his school!

Thistle you're probably right I need to limit info but I reckon then I would get sulking...!

DD has woken up so off for a bit but thank you for support x

NerNerNerNerBATMAN Mon 22-Jan-18 13:52:21

She sounds increadibly judgemental OP.

Do you need to have that much contact with her? I'd be tempted to spend less time with her.

I find the less I tell my DM, the less she can's worked well for me. She has noticed and is hurt that I've put up boundaries, but it's a lot better this way.

So don't tell her you're putting DD in nursery. Just do it. Don't tell her your tired, don't ask for help and don't accept 'help' unless it's actually helpful and on your terms.

You have the DC so ultimately you hold the power in the relationship

ajandjjmum Mon 22-Jan-18 13:53:07

If you Mum shouts at you, it really is important you stop her immediately. Would she treat any other adult like that?

Sorry you're feeling rotten - and that your Mum doesn't seem to 'get' how much more she could help.

Remind her of the old 'if you've got nothing nice to say, say nothing'.

NerNerNerNerBATMAN Mon 22-Jan-18 13:53:55

Yeah mine sulks too sometimes. I treat it as I would my toddler - I ignore it!

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 22-Jan-18 13:58:25

I would further lower your time with your mother and raise your boundaries a lot higher.

She was not a good parent to you and not a good grandparent example to your children either.

Thistlebelle Mon 22-Jan-18 14:05:57

No one is allowed to shout at you in your own house.

If she is shouting at you ask her to leave.

Remember you want to keep to Adult:Adult conversations not Adult:Child so make sure you stay calm and polite but firm. Yelling at you in your own home, in front of your children is inappropriate and unhelpful and she either needs to stop or go home until she’s calmer.

Lottapianos Mon 22-Jan-18 15:22:18

OP, I agree with others about putting more distance between you - see less of her (much less) and stop telling her how you feel. I know this can be a hard habit to break, but it sounds like you need to take care of yourself and your feelings when you're around her, because you can't trust her to be kind and thoughtful. Showing any hint of weakness to people like this is just handing them ammunition. She doesn't sound like someone you can rely on to be supportive. I know how much it hurts when the person in question is your own mother

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