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Why does my mum aged 82 still put me down?

(50 Posts)
Choclover27 Tue 23-Jan-18 21:17:24

I’m 49 and my mum is 82. She’s as sharp as a button and living her lovely life with her ( long suffering) partner. So why does she constantly feel the need to pick out the things she deems I do wrong? So tonight’s phone conversation has brought up 1) “she noticed at Christmas how untidy my children’s rooms are and that when us children lived at home she had no problem keeping us all under control “
We live in a small house due to my divorce. I have three semi grown up children and a dog and I run my own business. I do my best.
2) for the first time since being on my own ( 5 years) I’m going away for two nights with my ‘boyfriend’ and my dog. “ she questioned me leaving the children behind although they are 22,19 and 15 and the older two look after the youngest. And said” I am concerned that you are leading the children to believe that marriage is worthless and that going with different men is fine “.
3) she said I “do too much and need to step back as it appears I’m not coping “ As if I have a choice to not do too much !!!!
Finally I have to tell her how much I have in my bank account as she “wants to top it up if I don’t have enough “
I don’t need her money as I work v hard to survive. But every now and then she sends me cheques. Which whilst very very generous of her, I don’t really want !
I want to stand up to her but when I did a year ago by waiting for her to call me as she NEVER does, she shouted at me and said it was my duty as a daughter to call HER. not the other way round.
Feeling a tad exhausted and upset.

LittleFeileFooFoo Tue 23-Jan-18 21:23:26

She is your mom, she can't help it.
If you don't want the checks send then back, or-better yet- put then in a fund to buy something for the kids.

My mom is also annoying but clearly loves me. Says thinks like: if your hair were shorter you wouldn't look so short.
And constantly criticizes my house (it's a mess) i have had to push back, and it was hard to get her to treat me like an adult and not a careless teenager. ( I'm 47 and she is 78)
Good luck!

TheStoic Tue 23-Jan-18 22:07:23

Because she can.

She’s 82. She’s not going to change. If you don’t like it, stop contacting her. I would’ve stopped long ago.

Choclover27 Tue 23-Jan-18 22:22:25

I wish I could. But I would feel bad. Even badder than putting up with her comments.

LittleFeileFooFoo Tue 23-Jan-18 22:25:11

Well, i sound like I've fixed theproblem but i really haven't. I do wonder how my eyes don't roll out of my head when chattering on the phone with her.
She's your mom, warts and all. Focus on the good bits and try hard not to emulate this part of her....

LittleFeileFooFoo Tue 23-Jan-18 22:26:50

It's hard though. Find a good listener and have a nice rant n that helps me!

She is being ridiculous, though.

Follyfoot Tue 23-Jan-18 22:26:59

Poor you. It's awful isn't it. Can I recommend the 'but we took you to stately homes' thread for others in similar situations? My Mum carried on with her vicious tongue until days before she died. I think age can amplify some characteristics, unfortunately.

Lottapianos Tue 23-Jan-18 22:31:03

'She is your mom, she can't help it'

That's nonsense. Not all mothers are like this. Some are kind and thoughtful and supportive, not cold and critical. My mother is similar to yours OP and we're in limited contact now. It hurts and it's very undermining. I'm sure you know that at 82 she will never change, but that doesn't mean you have to take endless crap from her just because she's your mother

Choclover27 Tue 23-Jan-18 22:36:30

It makes it even harder as she is much closer to my sister ( “your sister always rings me every Tuesday” ) and I was always closer to my Dad. Who died when I was 27.
She has never once hugged or kissed me. I do towards her. She freezes.
But I hug and kiss my lovely children every day. Even tho they are 22, 19 and 15!!!

Lottapianos Tue 23-Jan-18 22:40:05

It's even more hurtful if you see them being loving and positive towards others. Makes you feel like you can never do anything right. I feel for you OP, its really tough

Hissy Tue 23-Jan-18 22:43:50

Good god woman! Haven’t you suffered enough?

Please just tell her to mind her own business and leave you alone!

Life is too short to put up with this horrible old woman bullying you.

shakeyourcaboose Tue 23-Jan-18 22:44:43

All this 'its her age' 'shes your mum' bloody nonsense. Year of or from whom birth is no excuse to be rude and horrible!

username7979 Tue 23-Jan-18 22:46:53

Still? she has obviously done it all her life. Sadly it seems punch bag is your role for her

RainingOutside99 Tue 23-Jan-18 22:49:26

I really understand your pain. My mother is very similar, but think the sun shines out of my sister's backside. It really hurts, especially as my sister is actually incredibly selfish.

It's HER problem, not yours. Unfortunately, she will never change as others have said, you have to find a way to limit contact and build your own self esteem. Her issues are to do with her own upbringing, and i suspect you may feel her feel threatened and inadequate. Women that age have set ideas about how things should be done and as they get older these get set in stone, so that anything that challenges their ideas gets stamped on. Not all women of course, but many. She probably finds it difficult to know how to support you or what to say as a single mother, as perhaps that is outwith her experience . It is her fears, insecurity and inadequacy that make her as she is. You sound like a brilliant mother, coping with things she probably never could have, and so she needs to put you down to feel less out of her depth.

I don't know if that makes sense, but it's the way my mother relates to me. It hurts like hell, but I try to say to myself ' I know what the truth is, and her opinions don't need to hurt and upset me, they are just her opinions.'.

Sadmum23 Tue 23-Jan-18 22:50:27

I feel for you , mothers can make or break us

Mijkl Tue 23-Jan-18 22:50:32

I'm so sorry. My mum is very similar and it is so hurtful.

XmasInTintagel Tue 23-Jan-18 22:50:46

My mum was similar OP, and I think it may partly he that she wants to feel needed. Yours insists you need financial help, mine used to demand our clothing to iron, and then tell me when I must pick it up, or when she:d bring it. I was always politely grateful, but would have been happy without it ironed at all, and just having her over - but she was uncomfortable when invited just because it would be nice to see her :-). There was also a lot of criticism ('you had such nice hair, when you were younger...', was a favourite...), but the ironing thing helped me see it as a need for my attention, and to feel needed.
Try to see her as an elderly lady who means well, with a few quirks, rather than feel the criticisms as a child hearing their mum tell them off, iyswim. You are a competent adult, doing well in life, and you can just decide that what she says isn't useful, and not to be upset by it.

Choclover27 Tue 23-Jan-18 22:51:50

I wouldn’t say she’s loving to my sister particularly. But my sister isn’t divorced. Lives in a big house. ( I used to but how the divorced have fallen 😜😜😜) and my mum is impressed
In the scheme of life it doesn’t really matter. I was just irritated earlier.

Giraffey1 Tue 23-Jan-18 22:52:27

Whenever she says these things, just reply with ... oh, really, that’s interesting ... and then change the subject. And repeat as often as necessary. Or, given her age and the fact she isn’t likely to change her habits now, just count to 10, suck it up and ignore.

NotSureThisIsWhatIWant Tue 23-Jan-18 22:57:54

It will come a time when she finally throws the straw that breaks the camel’s back and you will not be able to put up with her any longer.

That day you will be free.

Choclover27 Tue 23-Jan-18 22:59:59

Interestingly she doesn’t have female friends.

MyPiranhaAteMyHusband Tue 23-Jan-18 23:02:26

She sounds just like my mum. She's exhausting. I keep pulling her up on her crap but she keeps trying. She is also of the non-affectionate type so like you I've made sure my kids know they are loved and valued.

The kids and I play a kind of What's- Nan-going-to-say-this-time bingo.

My mum's best one to date is;

I never wanted a girl because I knew she would have terrible hair.

When I challenged her on it she said, well you know what I mean. smile

trackrBird Tue 23-Jan-18 23:05:10

Tell her off! She can take it. Better, find some assertiveness techniques, practise them, and try them out.

It might do her good to hear you calmly stand up for yourself. Though she won’t like it.

Nonetheless, if you allow yourself to be shouted at to ‘keep the peace’, you will find yourself suffering more rather than less.

I would not expend too much energy on her though, it’s not worth tying yourself in knots. The relationship looks irritating rather than irreparable (though I’ve only got your OP to go on.)

ToadsforJustice Tue 23-Jan-18 23:17:54

Don’t tell her anything about your life. Don’t mention work, money, boyfriends, dogs or children. If she asks questions, be vague. If she comments on the state of your house, just agree with her. Never ring her. If she wants to talk to you she can call you. If she complains, put the phone down. She’ll soon get the hint. Bank every cheque she sends you. Keep it for your DC if you don’t want to spend it. Most of all, stop trying to please her. She will never be happy. You will never be happy unless to learn to be happy without her. You love your DC and they love you. That’s enough.

LavenderLemons Tue 23-Jan-18 23:19:14

She has never once hugged or kissed me. I do towards her. She freezes.

This. I so sympathise with you. It was exactly the same for me with my mum. I could never please her, whatever I did was wrong. I, too, was also closer to my dad. Sadly, he died when I was 28. I had no siblings.

She’s dead now. Don’t miss her in the slightest.
You’ll never change your mother, she’s a nasty narcissist. Please don’t feel guilty. It’s not you, it’s all about her.

I would advocate going NC. Wish I had.

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