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How to almost-NC with mum without drama?(29 Posts)
My mum is a selfish, conniving, manipulative cow, always has been and likely always will be. She's quite a twisted, bitter person and can't bear to see anyone happy, everyone else is an idiot and wrong, even down to her poor neighbour who recently lost her husband and is grieving all wrong apparently.
Things have come to a head and I have sent a 'I need a break from you' kind of text message, civil and to the point but not abusive. I'm not going into all the details on here because frankly it would take all flipping day.
I've had radio silence (other than a message from a family member who clearly means well but is too far removed to know what's actually been going on) but am expecting a torrent of emotional blackmail very soon.
I have 2 DC (13 &14) who don't really care for her since they see how she treats me and DH, and plays favourites with them. I am expecting to be told she has the right to see my DC so what is the easiest way to let her without drama? I'm thinking of saying she can come and see them (c1hr drive and they have said they don't want dropping off at her house) but that will be it and we won't all be sitting round having lunch playing happy families.
I cba with dramas, I've had a lifetime of it from her and it's fucking wearing. I am quite happy to be civil and pass the time at family things but I have no desire to spend any time with her.
Does anyone have experience of a similar set up for DC visits, or ideas for a better solution please?
And please, I don't wish to be rude but I won't read or respond to replies saying I only get one mum and I will wish I'd made the effort etc, there is massive, massive history here and I am done.
If, and it’s a big if, dc want to see her, then arrange for her to meet at a skatepark (or whatever they’re into) with a cafe or something and say you’ll be back to pick the kids up in a couple of hours. Try and resist being drawn back in-she has no rights to your attention or emotional space because rights like that need to be earned and she hasn’t earned them.
I agree with pp. If the kids want to see her let them go to a neutral location for the afternoon.
If they don't just say "the kids dont want to see you and I wont be forcing them to" then dont engage with the torrent of abuse. If shes that much of a horrible person I wouldn't be trying to force a relationship between them.
My DM was in a similar situation with her own mother.
A counsellor asked her why she would want to allow someone who was so awful to her to have contact with her children. Good point! My DSis and I haven't had any contact with my DM's mother since.
I don't miss her. Why would I want someone that toxic in my life? I was 7 at the time, my DSis was 4, and we could tell we were better without her in our lives. I think if your 13 & 14 year olds don't want to see her, then don't push the issue. Let your mother kick off, she hasn't got a right to see them.
Good luck OP xx
Your mother has no rights whatsoever to see your children, and I wouldn't let her. All she will do is try to use them to harass you.
If you don't want to listen to her tantrums, block her or refuse to read any messages or answer any calls. Time to take control back.
I thnk you're right not to be rude. She'd only quote you around town.
That was quick, thank you all
I don't know if my DC will want to see her, it's a good idea about the neutral territory but I'm not sure they would want to be left anywhere with her- much like dropping them at her house. I certainly won't force them but I expect her to be on at them soon and they're both 'nice' kids who would see her out of a feeling of obligation.
I feel quite deflated at the moment, I've had a crap day at work and getting the message from my cousin shook me up a bit even though it wasn't a surprise that she was running round the family. I think I need to just step back maybe and see how it pans out. Thanks for the supportive and constructive messages, I really appreciate it.
I'd just cut all contact. The kids can see her if they want,rhey are old enough to speak to her themselves. But tell them you have cut contact and they are welcome to do the same too if (or when) they wish. But that your mother treats you badly and we should never accept that sort of behaviour from anyone, so that they dont need to feel they owe her contact if they don't want. Lead by example, but let them make their own choice.
Going low contact with this type of disordered of thinking person does not work in the long run. I would urge you to now go no contact with your mother. Block every and all means of she being able to contact you. Deal with all FOG (fear, obligation and guilt) re your mother through therapy. Keep your own self and your kids too well away from her.
It is not your fault your mother is the ways she is and you did not make her that way. BTW you do not mention your dad here, where is he?.
I see you have already had one flying monkey descend upon you.
Ignore too any and all flying monkeys sent in by her to do her bidding; such people are not interested in hearing your side of things so their opinion should be ignored. These flying monkeys really do have their own agenda.
A good rule of thumb here is that if a relative is too toxic for YOU to deal with, its the same deal for your children too. She was not a good parent to you when you were growing up and she has not changed fundamentally since that time.
Your children have the measure of her really and they have seen how you people as their parents have been treated along with them being on the receiving end of her favouritism. They understandably do not want to see her and besides which you should not be at all forcing a relationship between your mother and your kids. FGS do not have your mother in your home, that's a really terrible idea. Grandparents rights to see their grandchildren in the UK are not automatic either and the onus would be very much on her to prove that a relationship between she and her grandchildren would be beneficial.
Do have a read of the current "well we took you to Stately Homes" thread on these Relationships pages and do read "Toxic Parents" by Susan Forward.
Block your flying monkey cousin; this person has their own agenda and their opinion should be ignored. YOU matter!!.
Your children are old enough to meet her if they want to. They can contact her or she can contact them for chats and meet ups.
Don't invite her over or go to hers - lions den. Meet up in neutral surrounds where you can't be alone to face abuse. Leave if abuse happens without drama. Introduce excuse as soon as you see her and use that to leave.
Communicate via text and exit if abuse starts.
I'd be tempted to ignore her altogether, and engage politely at social gatherings. That's how you want things to be, right? Even if she made a horrible scene, you could just try to hold it together and she'll end up making a show of herself rather than anybody else.
She can make a big flag with 'I have a right to see your children' plastered on it, and wave it all day long. You can still ignore her.
Please don't offer up for sacrifice your precious dc..
I am nc with dm and no way will she see dc. Even my adult dc have no desire to see her.
Thanks all again it's soothing (wrong word but brain is fuzzled) to have people not just tell me I got it wrong
Attila, thank you, I feel like I have been in therapy after reading your post! My dad died 15 years ago, he was physically and mentally abusive to both of us (and probably a good chunk of what is up with my mum- which is why I tolerated this so long and kept trying to see the best in her). He was constantly hitting me and telling me how stupid I was, I used to lie in bed at night listening to him doing it to my mum as well. Now I feel bad again for giving up on her after writing that. I'm just so tired of all the negativity all the damned time.
I won't force DC to see her though, and they're aware of what's happened and both said they were glad I had done it.
She had no rights legally. But morally you do - to keep them away from toxic people. Relatives or not..
If the DC don't want to see her but might do it because of a feeling of obligation, that's their own version of FOG. As pp said, you need to protect them.
Good on you indeed for deciding to not force your kids to see her. They are smart kids and a credit to you, they do indeed have the measure of their maternal grandmother.
It is not your fault that your late dad was also abusive. Your mother stayed with him for as long as she did for her own reasons. She is abusive too and her own need for a man at that time well outweighed any need to protect you from abuse as a child. She failed to protect you from that and has gone onto further abuse you (and in turn your kids who have seen what she is like with you) when you are yourself an adult.
What if anything do you know about your mother's childhood; that often gives clues. She may well be repeating what was dished out to her as a child. Its still no excuse or justification for how she behaved then or now.
You did not give up on your mother, she gave up on herself a long time ago. You were but a child at the time, none of this even now is your fault. Instead of getting the necessary help your mother is further taking out all her inherent ills on you and that is unacceptable.
The only acceptable level of abuse in a relationship is none.
It is really not possible to have a relationship with someone like this and I would not even try any more. Certainly keep your kids well away from her; they have seen already what she is like towards you. They will be treated not all that dissimilarly from how you yourself were treated.
You may find this website also helpful:-
When my DM.and DF.seperated I was 13 and was told it was up to me if I wanted to see him or.not. let them make the choice and if they do, at a park somewhere for an hour. Always take their lead.
OP, I second everything Attila has said. She is a very reliable and wise poster on toxic relationships.
It was having children that made me finally go no contact with my own narcissist and emotionally abusive mother. I was pregnant with my first, and couldn’t face the thought of her treating my child the way she treated me. It helped that we lived nearly 500 miles apart. My two DDs never met her, and she is now long dead. I have no regrets.
I doubt your own DC want to meet or humour a woman who has ill treated their much loved mum - why on earth would they? NC is definitely the way forward!
Thank you Attilla, I will have a look at that a little bit later, I am feeling quite tearful just now. My mum's own mum left the family when she was small, she's not talked about, but her dad was a wonderful man according to everyone who knew him including my mum and her sisters. Writing that I am making all sorts of excuses for her again now, maybe not excuses so much as genuine reasons for her bitterness, but I am just so worn down by it.
She has no rights whatsoever to see them. Don't put them through the facade of maintaining a relationship with someone like that!
If the dc don’t want to see her, get them to block her from their social media.
They don’t need to have to deal with that.
If she comes at you. Tell her you will ask if they want to see her and if they say yes, you will be in contact. If they say no, you wont.
Then block yourself
We are NC from in-laws; we drop the children to them, then collect later at an agreed time. We do it this way, so we can control how long we’re there, as opposed to risking them coming to ours and strolling into the house (which despite them having done some horrific things to DH & I is exactly what they did the first time they had the kids and dropped them back).
DH takes an aloof approach when dropping them off; is courteous, but does not go in / engage for longer than necessary.
Good luck. Best thing we ever did.
You're not giving up on her, she's driven you away. She's treated you so poorly for so many years, and still it's taken until now for you to draw the line. It sounds like you've done everything you could, and made huge efforts. She's had plenty of opportunities to treat you better, but made no effort at all.
She's not being fair to you, and neither are you.
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