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Don't get on with my Mum- am I being unreasonable?

(26 Posts)
foxtrotmahoney Wed 10-Sep-08 09:38:58

This is my first time on Mumsnet so apologies if this is a boring/common complaint. I find myself getting more and more angry and resentful about my parents and their attitude towards me and me having kids. Can't seem to let go of it and it's running between me and my wits..I just don't know if my feelings are unreasonable or not.
A few recent examples:
During my first pregnancy they booked a holiday abroad during what they knew was my due date- I didn't ask them to change it, but after long consideration I told my Dad that I was a bit hurt. That caused a huge rift for a month or so and they demanded £180 off me because I 'forced' them to reschedule. I invited them over for Christmas last year and my mum accused me of thinking they're made of money- this because they'd have to stay in a Holiday Inn- we have a very small 2 bedroomed house with no room for a spare bed. That caused ANOTHER month long sulk during which my Dad asked me why I hated my Mum and he stopped talking to me as-well.
They've never offered to put any money into my boy's trust fund but go on holidays/buy new furniture and gadgets all the time. I know it's their money, but £10 a month isn't too much to ask is it? That's what the inlaws are giving.
They come down for a couple of hours every 2 months or so, and I'm ashamed to say I almost dread it- last time Mum went into a prolonged sulk because I said that the parents in law had offered to come down to look after my boy when I went into labour with my second. I offered to rearrange it and explained that I'd only asked them because my parents have trouble arranging someone to look after their dog, but my mum told me not to. Whenever they are here they don't offer to push the pram, help me wash up, I had to even ask them to raise their feet so I could mop up the floor after they spilled tea all over it- bear in mind this is when I'm 3 weeks off giving birth!
My mum says she wants to come down to help with my toddler so I can get some rest in the last stages, and I'd LOVE some rest, but being with her is NOT RESTFUL and I nearly always end up angry and crying once she's left.
God, I must sound so petulant. Any advice would be welcome. Sorry it's so long.

Elasticwoman Wed 10-Sep-08 10:30:06

Sounds to me like faults on both sides. You are grown up and have no right to expect financial contributions from your parents, for yourself or dc. That many parents, eg your in laws, are very generous, does not make it a duty for all parents of adults.

Having said that, your parents seem to contradict themselves: first they book a holiday during your due date, then they expect to be your first choice of help for your second.

I think you should expect less from them, tell them your decisions after you have made them and don't interpret silence as "sulking", ie develop a thick skin and don't expect to hear from them every 5 minutes.

If you don't find your mother's presence restful, don't have her come to "help" - organise some other help, eg from in-laws.
Be assertive with your mother if she asks why, but don't mention it if she doesn't.

Remember, least said, soonest mended. When they contact you, be pleased to see them/hear from them. Avoid tricky subjects and don't ask them for anything. They really are under no obligation to give you their time or their money.

foxtrotmahoney Wed 10-Sep-08 10:43:52

yeah- that's kind of the way I've been leaning myself. I think certainly with the trust fund issue I wouldn't have expected anything if they hadn't initially promised it, but I guess they're entitled to change their mind. I don't think I interpret silence as sulking though- I just think they're sulking.

smithfield Wed 10-Sep-08 10:49:27

Hi foxtrot- Im going to guess that your parents haven't suddenly become this way?

Your feelings regarding your parents have probably surfaced 'since' having your children. Motherhood tends to make us reflect on our own childhood.

This can bring up some unpleasant emotions if your relationship with your mother (and father) was perhaps difficult when you were growing up.

The reason I say this is often the present day things that make us this angry and frustrated are a smoke screen for feelings that are buried in the past.

Elasticwoman Wed 10-Sep-08 10:50:56

Going back on a promise is not good - but learn to take their future promises with a pinch of salt; don't rely on them.

I'm not denying that they are sulking - just saying don't recognise it as such.

more Wed 10-Sep-08 11:06:13

Sounds like they love to play the martyrs.

However, I don't think you can expect them to pay £10 a month into your children's bank accounts. That is just not on. Just because one set of grandparents wants to do that, does not mean the other set of grandparents should. Don't compare them, they are four completely different individuals, with different pursestrings and priorities.

foxtrotmahoney Wed 10-Sep-08 11:12:46

I think looking back they have always been this way, but I haven't really wanted to see it. But definitely me being a mum has messed with MY mum quite a lot- she keeps telling me to wait for the time my son starts preferring his dad to me and stuff like that- like it's a competition. I dunno.
Totally take on board the trust fund issue guys- you're right, I can't expect that. The childish thing is that I REHEARSE them doing weird and hurtful things almost to prepare myself- which means that I'm in a constant state of tension which is neither fair to them or myself.

foxtrotmahoney Wed 10-Sep-08 11:18:17

Smithfield you're right about things surfacing, and I think that's the problem. There's SO much stuff that now I'm a mum myself I look back on with real resentment and almost horror. My mum was a big fan of giving me her anti-depressants when I was a kid, they used to give me codeine linctus to make me go to sleep, I was a serious drinker at 14 and they just kind of let it slide. expelled from school (where my dad was a governor) and I don't think they showed up for a single meeting about it.
This is all so long ago that it seems dumb to even bring it up, except that it's the first time I'm properly thinking- "that wasn't on" and I'm getting delayed anger. Maybe that's why comparatively small things now are taking on more weight than they should.

DwayneDibbley Wed 10-Sep-08 11:30:38

Message withdrawn

chenin Wed 10-Sep-08 11:35:05

foxtrot... it is only when you have your own children that you properly examine your own childhood and if there was something lacking in your upbringing, it hits hard.

Also, you saying you were expelled from school where your dad was a governor... if they are anything like my parents were, that would have been so shameful for them (totally and utterly not right, I know, but just part of growing up and pushing the boundaries smile). I was the 'black sheep' of the family and they were always exasperated with me, right through my adulthood. They had the view I was troublesome, and it didn't matter how hard I tried to correct their opinion of me, they were entrenched in that view. I grew up and they should have been proud of me (nice DH, two wonderful high achieving DCs) but they still labelled me as trouble!

Could that be the case with you? Can they now not realise you have grown up and are a wonderful Mum yourself?

smithfield Wed 10-Sep-08 11:46:15

foxtrot- It sounds like you were starved of attention when you were a child.
You probably did the things you did because you were desperate to be 'seen' by them.
This is what is coming to the fore for you now. Its like your waving at them and saying...'Hey over here'...but they still dont get it and its still on their terms.

The pain you are feeling is from how you experienced them as a child.

Im guessing you felt rejected and so when you percieve they are rejecting you now you react.

Its frustrating, but their behaviour 'toward you' wasnt and isnt your fault.
You cant fix them, they will never change unfortuantely.
You can only focus on yourself and what kind of parent 'you' want to be.

foxtrotmahoney Wed 10-Sep-08 11:47:25

Yeah- that hits home actually helliebean, cheers! I think me stepping out of role (ie having a good job, having a good relationship, not being a pill happy desperate housewife etc) has messed with them. It was easier to know what I was like when I was a f**k up- perhaps I wasn't scary then and all the drugs I was encouraged (certainly not discouraged) to take made me easier to get a handle on. Also they both had pretty awful childhoods that they've both tried their hardest to make out were normal and loving, or at least valuable. Maybe you're right Dwayne and it's a generational thing, and yes, maybe they take how I am now as a constant reproach. That's pretty sad.

foxtrotmahoney Wed 10-Sep-08 11:49:01

Yeah- that hits home actually helliebean, cheers! I think me stepping out of role (ie having a good job, having a good relationship, not being a pill happy desperate housewife etc) has messed with them. It was easier to know what I was like when I was a f**k up- perhaps I wasn't scary then and all the drugs I was encouraged (certainly not discouraged) to take made me easier to get a handle on. Also they both had pretty awful childhoods that they've both tried their hardest to make out were normal and loving, or at least valuable. Maybe you're right Dwayne and it's a generational thing, and yes, maybe they take how I am now as a constant reproach. That's pretty sad.

foxtrotmahoney Wed 10-Sep-08 11:59:35

Smithfield you're right- I'm an only child and I think I just kind of got in the way of their relationship. My dad's always said he didn't care about having kids in the first place. Because my mum was 'ill' so much of the time I spent a lot of time on my own. There's a bit (a large bit!) of me that wants their attention now like a kid does, but, y'know what, I'm an adult now, and they're OLD...they can't change. I however, can. Maybe it's unfair to expect an honest discussion about 'why-we-don't-get-on-as-a-family'. They're just not capable of that ( and they're a bit mad too!)
Wish I could stop rehearsing bad situations with them though because it's not helpful at all.

smithfield Wed 10-Sep-08 13:05:07

But you shouldnt discount your feelings either. They are 'your' feelings an you are entitled to them.

You probably need to start processing some of the anger. You can do this in safe, productive ways you know.

I think its unhealthy personally to brush your own feelings under the carpet. You are then doing what they do, discounting the value of what you are feeling.

Yes you are an adult now. And no, 'talking to them' wont work because they live in their 'own reality' and wont want you smashing that down. Even if its at your expense they will maintain their 'we are normal...what are you talking about stance'.

There is a good thread called 'but they took us to stately homes on msn' have a look if you get time

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 10-Sep-08 13:21:37


Your Mum and Dad are toxic parents.

I would agree with Smithfield; talking to them won't work because they won't acknowledge any wrong doing, give an apology or take ownership of any responsibility for their actions. Instead they will likely give you a laundry list of your own "supposed shortcomings" and deny your own recollections.

Now you've sorted yourself out and are a upstanding citizen you are more scarey to them because they cannot control you any longer. Okay so they both had awful childhoods - but its stil no excuse for what they did when you were a child. You were emotionally and physically neglected by both of them.

It seems that your parents chose not to address their problems (for which you were blamed) but instead found someone else just like them to validate their own selves.

Would suggest you look at the "well we took you Stately homes" thread part 4 on these pages and read "Toxic Parents" written by Susan Forward.

BTW I would not ask for any money from these people for your children primarily because they could likely use it as a stick to further beat you with. It is all about power and control with them.

Goober Wed 10-Sep-08 13:29:21

Bloody lucky you, if your inlaws are handing over £10 a month for your DC.
I had a falling out with my Mum last August over something trivial. We stopped talking until October I was told that she was ill and by Christmas we found out that her brain tumour was stage 4 cancer and she died 2 months ago.
Although I made it up with my lovely Mum, I feel guilty every day for causing her so much upset in her last year.
Her last words to me were: "love you." which I will hold tight forever.
My point here is: stop being so shallow and count your blessings. In the great scheme of things, money counts for very little.- Nil with me. I would give anything, everything to have my Mum back.

foxtrotmahoney Wed 10-Sep-08 13:50:48

I appreciate what your saying goober but I've said a couple of times now that I think I've been wrong about complaining about the trust fund issue. That was shallow. However I don't think my issues with my family are trivial- I don't think it's right to give a child sleeping pills and tranquilizers or actively enable drug taking. I don't think it's right to know that the caretaker in your child's school is a paedophile and sit on the knowledge. I don't think it's right to put your kid's head through a double glazed door. I'm really glad you made up with your mum- that's great. I haven't written my parents off, I love them and I speak to them reasonably frequently. What I AM trying to do is process some of the very difficult things about my relationship with them BEFORE there's a chance the relationship breaks down. I don't think that's shallow.

foxtrotmahoney Wed 10-Sep-08 13:52:09

Smithfield- I've just got to the Stately Home thread and it's really enlightening! Thanks!

sarah7777 Wed 10-Sep-08 22:54:17

don't undestand why you idea of how much money they have would affect your relationship.

Money is not significant,but caing is,do you have money wories youself>

sarah7777 Wed 10-Sep-08 23:02:53

Can i just add that I told my OH that I wanted to keep my daughtes due date free,but he was a bit angry because he really nEEDS that holiday,then later forgot and booked us 6 days away!!saying we could come home if
she needed us!!

By then I knew I would get MAJOR grief if a tied to ague the point and major grief if i arsked to go home (hewould say whats the point ) ..I was petty damn fuious-but there ae factors yoy mat not know about between a couple/

My Oh does not have childen so doesnt understand, and men can get VERY set in their ways wheRe holidays aRe the only resolve to a lot of work stress.

Theeae a lot of confused feelings here-

sarah7777 Wed 10-Sep-08 23:04:17

My thoughts are with you honey,but the both love you.

babbit83 Tue 22-Sep-09 13:42:58

hi this is my first time on here also, foxtrot your mum sounds a lot like my mum. I don't bother with my parents anymore as i have tried to sort things out with them a few times but don't seem to get anywhere. i have a half brother and a sister both younger than me and they too are not talking to me now due to the fact i am not talking to my parents, but they always do that. my mum and dad both had bad child hoods and that is there reason for bringing me up the way they did, my mum and dad gave me verbal abuse as well as physical and mental abuse. when my dad has had a drink on occasions he has always said sorry for hitting me, due to feeling guilty maybe? but my mum doesn't seem to think that she treated me badly, she says she had it worse than i did. no excuse in my opinion! my real dad used to beat my mum up when we were babies she left him and them married his brother who is my step dad (the dad i am talking about now) i have nothing to do with my real dad either. i had a bad relationship when i was 19 years old and it was an abusive one. so i had that to deal with and also my parents trying to kick me out all the time. i did not take this so well and had a breakdown and took an overdose and luckily i was ok spent some time in hospital and had to see a shrink. my parents were ok with me and treated me a bit better for a few weeks then they tried to kick me out again. they kept saying i had a screw lose and i was trouble. so finally i asked a friend if i could live with her and i did and then got my own place. they did help me with a deposit for the house which i gave back out of my college grant. but after that they did not visit much at all. and when ever i visited them we had a row and i would leave crying. i met my husband and three years later we got married. my mum didn't speak to me for a month because i wanted to leave from a friends house due to her having dogs and i didn't want them jumping up at my wedding dress. i got in touch with my mum first and they still treated my badly. and hardly bothered with me. i got pregnant and suddenly it was like my mum had changed and wanted to know me. but all she did was give me grief and boss me around about what i should do with my baby and pregnancy. my baby ended up being breech and i had to have a c section and because my mum had had three c sections she started bossing me and the nurses around. i was trying to have the baby turned before having a c section but my mum was having none of it. i secretly went back with just me and my husband to have an evc where they turn the baby. it didn't work and i ended up having a c section. and had a lovely baby girl. she is now 17 months old and my mum was all over her when she was tiny but as soon as she got to 12 months and started having tantrums she hardly bothers with her and never takes her out. wow i have wrote alot. but there is sooo much more. but i am waffling now. if i was you foxtrot i would have nothing more to do with them. as much as it hurts. but you will be better off. x

2rebecca Tue 22-Sep-09 14:00:14

This is a 1 year old thread! Why dig it up, just start your own.

babbit83 Tue 22-Sep-09 14:28:15

oh right ooops. i am new on here and don't know much about the site just joined how do you start your own thread?

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