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I just don't like my mother

(21 Posts)
mogwai Sat 05-Mar-05 14:14:03

I'm 35 years old and have had a terrible relationship with my mother since I was about 11. She remarried when I was 13, had a second child and basically froze me out. She was particularly nasty to me for years and eventually threw me out when I was 17.

I made a success of my life, went to uni, got a career and am now very happily married. By contrast, she is alone and miserable. She has no friends other than work colleagues and has no social life, just watches TV.

That's a very simplistic account of the situation.

When I got married, she wanted to give me away and became very upset when I asked a male friend to do the honours instead. I just didn't want her to do it, I didn't think she had the right. Now I'm expecting a baby and she wants us "to be close". I'm trying my best, but the bottom line is that I can't stand this woman. She might be my biological mother but she is difficult and although not as nasty as she used to be, I feel she could turn nasty at any second (she usually changes and becomes very arrogant if she has a new boyfriend).

My friends have made the accurate observation that "she's nevr been there for you but wants to be there for all the good bits, like when you get married and have babies". I think she's jealous that I've found happiness, I truly wish she could find it too.

I feel particularly tetchy at the moment because it's mother's day this weekend. I hate the charade I have to go through every year. Just because someone is your mother, it doesn't mean you have to like them, right? I mean, I would never choose her as a friend, in fact, if I had to work with her, I'd need to sit on the other side of the room.

I feel so guilty that I should be very forgiving and give her a chance to be my mother, even if it's just for the baby's sake, but I just can't find it in my heart. How can I stop feeling so bad? I've already had lots of counselling, which helps to some extent.

Does anyone else feel this way?

gothicmama Sat 05-Mar-05 14:17:36

I don't feel this way but a friend does - it is often hard to change how you view stuff that has ahppenened in the past - could you and your mum work togetehr if you had a fresh start .
There is no rul ethat we have to like our families if it causes you pain then I am very much of teh belief you should not do it

Fimbo Sat 05-Mar-05 14:20:48

Yes Mogwai, I know how if feels. My mother and I have never got along and I doubt we ever will - its more a case of tolerating each other. We live hundreds of miles apart but I don't know whether that is a good or bad thing. I don't want to go into too many details except to say her idea of seeing her grandchildren is to spend a shed load of money on them and then sit and watch Countdown and any other afternoon twaddle, when all my dd wants is her grandmother to play with her, she even told my dd once to go away as she was reading "Take a Break".

stitch Sat 05-Mar-05 14:23:28

i think you should stop feeling guiilty. you seem to have very good reasons for not liking her. and im sure she plays on the guilt.
you dont need to 'give her a chance to be my mother'. she had that when you were little. imo you should give her a chance to be a grandmother. let her be good to your kid. and also, your kid deserves a grandmother. i dont know if i am making any sense. im trying to extrapolate from my mil, who is a darling b.i.t.c.h to me. but an okish grandmother to my kids.
also age changes people. as do grandchildren.
good luck

prunegirl Sat 05-Mar-05 14:24:00

Message withdrawn

Nemo1977 Sat 05-Mar-05 14:49:23

I feel the same, i really do not like my mother she is a nasty person and someone i wouldnt have in my life by choice. Like you when i got pg she wanted to be around and pretend to be something she had never been for me before, this lasted until DS was 3mths. He is now 16mths and we see her for about 20mins a month, completely on my terms and when i feel able to cope with her. Its horrible as you feel that because she is your mum u have a 'duty' to her but u dont at the end of the day all that matters is u and ur family.
good luck as i know how tough it can be, if its any consolation she was funny about it at first but now she just knows thats how things are to be.

chipmonkey Sat 05-Mar-05 15:13:31

You have absolutely no "duty" to her, she didn't do her "duty" to you when you were little. If you want your baby to have a relationship with her thats fine but you are under no obligation whatsoever.

joash Sat 05-Mar-05 15:45:49

Moqwai - are we related. Your mum sounds remarkably like my mum. Except at my wedding, she had rekindled her relationship with husband number 3 (who abused me in everyway possible as a child) and caused so much trouble that we ended up with him being best man to shut her up. He's now on al my wedding photo's and on my marriage certificate.
You don't have to like your mum. I ended my relationship with my mum almost four years ago and it's one of the best things that I have ever done. Literally felt as though a tremendous weight had lifted. My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner. Don't let her screw your life up anymore.

mogwai Sat 05-Mar-05 18:39:10

Aww thanks ladies

It helps so much to hear that other people feel the same. Some days I cope well with it, I know just what to say to those inner voices that doubt myself, but mothers day weekend is always so difficult. She usually falls out with me a few weeks beforehand, knowing I'll feel obliged to go to her house on mother's day, ie make the first move. I always manage to find a card with a blank message, but this year I misread the card and when I opened the cellophane wrapper, it said "thanks for all you do". I was so cross with myself and there was no time to get another if I wanted to put it in the post.

The hardest part is that the rest of my family stopped speaking to me when I refused to budge on the decision about who was going to give me away. I'm proud that I stuck up for myself but she made life very difficult and encouraged the rest of the family to do the same, largely by twisting things I had said to cast me in a bad light. I was disappointed they believed her, they have all had some trouble with her over the years and her other sister hasn't spoken to her since 1983.

I didn't have a very large family anyway, basically my mother's younger sister and her family. The problem is, both of their parents (ie my grandparents) are dead, both at a relatively young age. My aunt has lived with her parents being dead for most of her adult life, and when her mother was alive, she gave her a pretty rough time. Of course now, they are all full of regret about the way they treated my grandmother and wish they could turn back the clock. So from this, they feel I ought to value my mother and let the past lie.

I've tried to do that, so much counselling to try to do it, but it just doesn't work. I just don't like her. I feel their issues about their own mother have nothing to do with the problems I've had with mine.

I think she does play on the guilt. Last mothers day I was at her house giving her the obligatory card and bouquet when my aunt rang. It was obvious from the conversation they were having that my aunt had rang to say "So, did she bother with you today then?" as my mother was answering "Yes, she's here actually". My aunt says (through my mother) that if I can try to get on better with her (basically agree to all her demands to be close friends with my mother) then I can also resume my relationship with the rest of the family.

I've thought hard about her relationship with my baby. My basic feeling is that no matter what she's done to me, I shouldn't deny my child the right to see it's grandmother, and I suppose I shouldn't deny her either. I understand the point you make about sometimes people are better with their grandchildren than their children, someone else said that to me and I took it into consideration. I do have a problem, though with the rest of the family having a relationship with my child when they don't want a relationship with me. They openly slag me off (my younger sister told me) so they would presumably do the same in front of my child. I think they give up the right to my child when they decide I have to give in to their demands "or else".

Also, my mother really wants to be involved in all the pre-baby stuff. She wants me to take time off work and go shopping with her. I can't think of anything more stressful and to be honest, it's not how I want to use my annual leave. As she has no friends, she wants to be at my house every weekend ideally, as she has lots of time to fill. She keeps going shopping and presenting me with large bags of clothes, which I suppose is nice, but she's also recently started trying to buy nursery bedding, which kind of inadvertently chooses the colour scheme. It's my first baby and I want the pleasure of doing that for myself really.

I must admit, the babysitting would be very handy, but it's not a good enough reason for me, and I don't want to "use" her in this way.

Sigh. It's so difficult. I haven't heard from her in about three weeks, I just know she's been round my aunt's house telling her I haven't been in touch and boo hoo, she's bought me all this stuff.

By the way, when she was a child she used to faint to get attention. She also scares off every man she ever met through wanting overnight commitment and becoming insanely jealous of anyone else they speak to. What the hell is wrong with her? Will she damage my baby with her twisted view of the world? Will our on-off relationship affect the child or will I have to maintain an "on" relationship for the baby's sake? I'm not sure I can take the stress.

oatcake Sat 05-Mar-05 18:47:20

I did. mum put her married boyfriend before me in my teenage years and it wasn't until she sorted herself out and got ride of the loser after 12 years with him(!) and married my lovely stepdad, that she mellowed.

Because of this history, I did not want to go through, as you say, the charade of mothers day and so opted out which I know upset her.

She chose to go to her timeshare around the 6 weeks I was due to give birth to her first blood grandchild, so she wasn't the model of a mum I wanted.

However... she died suddenly last july and I miss her, and cry for her most days as our relationship was lovely after I'd had ds.

wait until you have the baby and see if you're feeling any different. I felt more mellow after the birth of ds.

mogwai Sat 05-Mar-05 18:53:22

I'm surprised to hear that other people "opt out" of mother's day. I sometimes think I'd feel better if I could do the same, in some small way. Maybe if things got better in the future I would feel like opting back in. I feel forced to show love and appreciation where it's not due.

Maybe I will mellow after having the baby, you're right oatcake. Doesn't solve all the problmes of the way I feel towards the rest of the family though

oatcake Sat 05-Mar-05 18:55:01

aw, stuff the rest of the family!

mogwai Sat 05-Mar-05 19:12:02

maybe they weren't worth having anyway. I guess having your own kids puts that into perspective. Hope so!

oatcake Sat 05-Mar-05 19:42:30

what's that saying...? You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your family!

Mirage Sat 05-Mar-05 19:43:51

You certainly aren't alone.My mum loathed her mum,for very good reasons.Just because someone is a mother doesn't make them a nice person.

My gran put my mum through 50 years of hell,but mum wouldn't sever contact with her because her brother,the only other child was handicapped & mum didn't want to abandon him.It used to break my heart to see the way my mum was treated.As soon as I was old enough to understand what was going on,I never forgave my gran & neither did my sister.

So no advice,but don't feel you have a 'duty' to see your mum,just because she is your mum.You deserve to be treated with love & respect.

Dior Sat 05-Mar-05 20:13:38

Message withdrawn

stitch Sun 06-Mar-05 09:10:59

i find this thread really sad. i have a lovely mom. i fight with her on so many things, but she loves me,and would do anything for me. it is so sad to hear about peoples moms acting like mils. lots of sympathy for all of you.
as for mothers day, isnt it just something created by the card companies? as is fathers day, ad grandparents day. etc etc. we never celebrate mothers day. if you haave a good relationship with your mom, then you dont need to have a specific sunday to advertise your relationship.

MeerkatsUnite Sun 06-Mar-05 09:12:33

I don't get my Mum a card and never have done. I certainly could not buy her a card with "best mother" on it for instance because it would not be true.

It's a bit easier for me as she doesn't like Mothers Day anyway and thinks its a rip off.

vict17 Sun 06-Mar-05 09:25:26

It is father's day and grandparents day that was made up by card companies. Origins of Mother's Day arehere

bibiboo Thu 10-Mar-05 00:03:48

Maybe i'm not the right person to post on here as I've had no relationship with my biological mother since I was 11, and will never forgive her for what she did, but some aspects of our situations sound very similar. So I would say "sod her!". She had her chance to be a mother, probably had many chances and threw them away. Was she too busy making her own life? Tell her that now it's your turn to make your own life, and she's not really a very big part of it...if any part at all. And no, just because she's your mother it doesn't mean you have to like them. Don't feel guilty for your baby's sake. If you were hurt and disappointed by your mother, what's to say she won't do the same to your children?
Free yourself from the guilt and you'll be happier. As long as you can say to yourself you've done your part and she messed up, not you, then you are guilt free.
Sorry if you think that's harsh, but it's a bit of an important topic for me.

Mirage Thu 10-Mar-05 20:01:54

Well said Bibiboo.I am glad that my gran is no longer around to mess up her great grandchildrens lives,like she messed up her childrens & grandchildrens.It is a great relief to me that she can no longer cause anyone any more harm.

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