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really hurt by my mums behaviour

(19 Posts)
AnguaVonUberwald Fri 26-Sep-08 09:08:58

I had DS nearly six months ago. and when my mum was coming down to visit, the initial plan was that she would come down for two weekends to see us (as she OBVIOUSLY couldn't take time off work)

She came down 11 days after DS was born and announced that she wasn't cooking, cleaning or making cups of tea!!!! Now I wasn't expecting a maid, but I did think, 11 days post a very traumatic birth, that she could have helped a bit around the house.

The plan was still that she come down for a second weekend, but a few weeks later she phoned and said "Well, I COULD come down for a second weekend now OR... I could come in September, Its not like he will remember me anyway!"

I couldn't face arguing with her, so I just agreed that September was best.

So she is now coming in October, for 3 days. Has only seen DS for one weekend since he was born (first grandchild), she phoned yesterday and the conversation went something like this:

Her: So what shall we do while I am there
ME: Well, I am sure we can find things to do
HEr: I was thinking we could go and see an art exhibit at the tate modern, but you aren't much into that are you?
Me: Not really, plus its very hard work getting into the center of town with DS
HEr: Right, well, hmmm, when could I go, its a shame to go on the Monday, when your DH is working, as we get time alone together, hmm, I could go on the Sunday or Saturday, hmm. Do you have any plans that we are interupting, anything you would be doing normally?
Me: NO.
HEr, but you have swimming
Me: That the Thursday, you are not stopping that
HEr: hmm, when could I go, I could go on the Saturday, or Sunday, or even the Friday, what do you think Angua?
ME: Whatever Mum...

I am sorry, but she is meant to want to see her grandson, my ILs would walk over hot coals to see him, it would never occure to them, if they had three days with him, to take a half day away from us, to see an art exhibition.

I should add, she is arriving on the Thursday, going to the theater, adn then coming to ours afterwards, so she is getting some culture while she is here!!

She just wants me to tell her its OK to go, and ITS NOT!

jimjamshaslefttheyurt Fri 26-Sep-08 09:14:23

Its annoying (incredibly -especially if you have IL's who are really into the grandparent bit) - and hurtful- but best to just let it go. You won't be able to force her to do something she doesn't want to. She may get better as your ds gets older.

Can you think of something nice for you and your dh to do instead?

Or can you use a sling and head into the Tate as well, then go for a lunch somewhere? Or go for a walk by the river and meet for lunch afterwards? I found one baby the time to do that sort of stuff- much harder when they're older and if there are more of them.

cupsoftea Fri 26-Sep-08 09:18:16

ignore her - let her visit but you do your own thing. Don't rely on her to do anything to help you - you are not her maid so make sure she doesn't create work for you.

AnguaVonUberwald Fri 26-Sep-08 09:20:30

JimJams, money is quite tight at the moment, and it would all get quite expensive by the time we had paid the trainfares, lunch etc.

The stupid thing is, she is coming while we are having a kitchen extension done (her idea) and can be quite hard work, so I will probably be glad of the break, its just the lack of interest that annoys me. Especially on DSs behalf.

AnguaVonUberwald Fri 26-Sep-08 09:21:38

cupsoftea, strangly she did some gardening last time, that was apprently OK, but helping in the house wasn't!

Its going to be really hard work with no kitchen, I did try and say this to her, but this was the time that suited her to come!

cupsoftea Fri 26-Sep-08 09:26:26

Sounds like she's not sure of her role or confident as a gran? If you said - here's ds until he needs to be fed & could she entertain him? Could she go to the supermarket/ shops with you so she could have some proud gran moments with everybody cooing over him (post office good for this as well)

dizzydixies Fri 26-Sep-08 09:28:31

have you spoken to her about this?

I had similar issues with my mum and eventually found out it was because she thought I was so 'capable' and didn't need her help

had I made less of an effort to look like I was coping and just asked she may have felt more needed

am not saying its the same for you but its worth a thought smile

scatterbrain Fri 26-Sep-08 09:29:52

I hate to say it - but she sounds like she is not really a "baby person" - maybe she will come into her own when he has grown up a bit.

Lots of people aren't that into babies - it's just that most of us pretend !!! Your mum hasn't bothered to pretend !

AbbeyA Fri 26-Sep-08 09:38:50

At least she is honest-you will just have to accept her as she is and not expect a doting Grandma.

AnguaVonUberwald Fri 26-Sep-08 09:49:46

The thing is, she had five children herself, so I can't see it as lack of confidence with children.

I think she does think I'm capable, adn I am, and she is not close enough to offer help most of the time, its more about her showing some interest.

She has always been like this with me, its just that it hurts all over again when its DS.

I supose what sad for me is that my relationship with her is slowly declining, due to many things like this, and I know there is not point in discussing things with her, as I have tried many times and it gets me no where.

So I am just watching the relationship slowly deteriorate, but things like this show me why I can't save it.

AnguaVonUberwald Fri 26-Sep-08 09:51:25

AbbeyA, you are right I guess, at least I know where I stand.

But then she says things like "OH well, I supose DHs parents are so interested as they know they don't have much time left!"

AbbeyA Fri 26-Sep-08 09:55:57

It is very hard, I wouldn't like it, but you will cause yourself more heartache if you expect her to change. If you stick to low expectations you won't be disappointed. Perhaps she wasn't cut out to be a mother in the first place and is relishing her freedom.

QuintessentialShadow Fri 26-Sep-08 10:13:37

I can see your dilemma. But, she might not want to interfere too much either. It is hard to get the balance right. And at 6 months, I would not hesitate to go to Tate Modern, especially, if I could share the experience with my mum! GO! Make an outing of it. A six month old is SO portable. Bring snacks and a change of clothes, take a buggy.

Ring your mum, and say something along the lines of: Ok, I have warmed to the idea of Tate Modern, our kitchen will be a tip, so it is good to get out. I will have you to help with the buggy on stations, and lunch is on you?

Forget your preconception of what a "doting granny" should be like. Let her be the granny she wants, and compromise a little. The important thing is that you spend time together and she gets to know your ds, and a trip to Tate Modern, or other gallery will do just as good as lounging around the house or your local park. Show her that you can do this, and you can all have fun. Your ds will grow up with a Granny that takes him on fun cultural things, let her set the track, in 10 years from now she will take him to a west end show rather than Chessington World of Adventure, and IT IS GREAT!

TwoMore Fri 26-Sep-08 11:20:34

Yes very annoying, is it worth telling her how you feel? Take her out to lunch and gently broach the subject maybe? She wounds quite insensitive so might be hard going.

But then, she is a warewolf whose used to castles and the like, so you cant really expect too much can you

AnguaVonUberwald Fri 26-Sep-08 11:51:19

Quintessentialshadows and AbbyA, I know what you are saying and about expectations, and you are right, I guess the problem for me is that this is the end of a long journey and my expectations keep having to be set lower.

i.e. got engaged, went home for christmas with new fiancee and nobody, and I mean nobody, even mentioned the engagment once. When I finally said that it would have been nice to have been congratulated, I was told that "they feel very critizised".

I guess with all these things, its not the one incident, its the whole process. She is also bringing my stepdad, for one night, who hasn't spoken to me since the wedding and hasn't mentioned the pregnancy, birth or grandson once!!

Twomore, I guess you are right, its the whole castles thing that is causing the problem grin

I have tried to talk to her about stuff in the past, but it just seems to damage our relationship more. I did mention to her that I was surprised that she wasn't prepared to help at all, after I had a baby and she said "Oh, I was only joking about the cups of tea!"

AbbeyA Fri 26-Sep-08 12:18:52

It is very difficult and I really feel for you.
I think you have 2 choices.The first is the easiest, you just have to accept that she is never going to be the mother or grandmother that you want and just take her on her own terms.
The second is to sit down and talk to her and try and get to the bottom of why she behaves the way that she does and get her to understand that it is hurtful, the problem with that is that you probably won't get anywhere.
I should take comfort in the fact that you are obviously going to be a very different sort of mother.

SueMunch Fri 26-Sep-08 12:30:54


Know EXACTLY what you mean! Aaargh.

My own mother works mornings and is normally finished by 12.30.

During the enitre six week holiday she only got involved with my children once and that was on a visit to Legoland that we had organised as a family, so she basically tagged along.

She has had this week off work and not once has she dropped into see the children or offer to take them out, do their tea etc.

I find it hurtful, particularly as my MIL is a regular feature of my children's lives and is always offering to help.

I am actually debating whether to speak to her on this matter as it becoming quite painful.

AnguaVonUberwald Fri 26-Sep-08 13:17:26

AbbyA, I will have to accept it, as I really beieve that talking to her about it won't change anything, it certainly hasn't in the past.

Like you say, I will be a very different kind of mother, and at least DS has my ILs who are lovely, and really keen on him!!

SueMunch, good luck with talking to your mother, I'm afraid I have pretty much given up on trying to get through to mine.

Ironically she was very disapointed in how her mother behaved with us, but somehow she sees that as meaning whatever she does is OK, rather than that she should think about how she behaves.

My MIL on the other hand, had really difficult ILs and parents, and has taken this as a sign to be a lovely, considerate MIL!

TwoMore Fri 26-Sep-08 14:11:07

I expect you cant change her and will be happier if you expect nothing, anything else is a bonus isnt it. I really feel for you tho, its not nice at all. Is she a toxic parent or just very very hands off?

I noticed you said she is bringing your stepfather who doesnt speak to you, is he invited? Do you want her to bring him?

At the risk of being frivolous, you can always send them back to Uberwald with a flea in their ear if they annoy you!

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