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Feeling really angry and upset - Have I been unreasonable?...

(15 Posts)
Jan2 Wed 04-Mar-09 11:49:32

This is a long story but the basics are that I have a daughter who will be 2 this May. I had always planned on going back to work when she was one as I enjoyed my job (most of the time!) and had studied hard to qualify.

Anyway when the time came to go back to work I found that I couldn't leave my daughter with a child minder or at a nursery because she was VERY sensitive - to the point that she cried if handed to anyone other than myself or my husband. Having said that I do think that if my parents had been a bit more active in getting involved with her I think she may well have got to know them better. As it was although they are both retired and have no hobbies or interests and despite the fact that they live around the corner from me I have seen them at most once a week for an hour since she was born.

Anyway I approached them to see if they could help me out by having my daughter for about an hour and a half a day during the week and only during term time as my husband is a teacher. I was trying to negotiate with work to allow me to work late afternoons. My parents made a huge deal out of of it saying it was a huge responsibility and laying down all sorts of conditions which basically meant they they made it impossible without actually coming out and saying no.

I resigned from my job and have not yet returned to work although now that my daughter is approaching 2 she is getting a lot more confident.

My younger sister had a baby when my daughter was 1 and in the months that followed we often discussed our parents and how it would have been brilliant to have parents happy to help out and spend time with their grandchildren - we both agreed that we felt let down by them.

My mother only really bothers coming to see me when her and my father fall out - last time she told me a lot of things about him - how he hates my older sisters husband (who is lazy and rude apparently) and how he hates everyone and never leaves the house and drinks too much. She was even convinced that he had mental problems and showed me an article on autism as she thought he had this! She even said that he wanted to go away for xmas so that my older sister and her husband wouldn't come to stay for xmas. Anyway when the arguments blow over its always the same - not seeing her or my dad unless I go round there and only for an hour or so once a week.

The next thing they offer to have my sisters child for a whole day each week so that she can return to work part time with her husbands mum having the child the other day she will be working.

All talk between me and my sister about the above stopped and suddenly they could do no wrong! I was really angry and very upset at both my parents and sister. I did send her a couple of upset texts saying how unfair I thought it was. I couldn't phone as her child is always asleep so phoning is difficult.

Coupled with all of this I had noticed that she was showing no interest in my daughter at all - almost to the point of ignoring her - fine when they're babies but she's been a toddler for several months and now likes to interact with people. I was starting to feel really angry whenever I saw her as it was obvious to me there was some problem. Even strangers on the street showed more interest in my daughter. My husband noticed it as well and was annoyed but we decided to ignore it hoping it would pass.

Then last week I was chatting to a mutual friend who said that she had noticed a change in my sister as well. She said that she had also noticed that my sister didn't seem interested in my daughter and she was surprised by this. Also she had seen my sister out with a group of other mums she has met and noticed how she was 'all over' the other mums babies showing a great deal of interest in them and talking about them.

It all seemed strange to me and I snapped and texted her - stupid I know. I should have spoken to her but took the easy option. I later emailed her explaining properly why I was upset and asking if we could sort it out.

She replied with a really rude and abusive email saying that I was going 'loopy' and had too much time on my hands (a dig at me because I haven't gone back to work and she is due to go back shortly). She also rang my parents and got them on side before I had a chance to put my story across.

I was really angry and without thinking rang my mum who obviously wasn't interested in my side of the story and had known about the issue and discussed it all the previous day with my sister behind my back. I had seen my mum the previous afternoon but nothing had been mentioned apart from a few sly digs about maybe I should get back to work etc etc which made sense later.

My mum was drunk when I rang (it was 5pm but she and my father drink a lot which is a whole other issue...) I was upset and said that she was drunk and that was that - I had hit a sore nerve!

According to my sister and my parents I have made the whole thing up as I'm unstable and have too much time on my hands. Ironic as my parents are both retired and do not do anything! I am out and about at groups etc with my daughter every day and resent the insinuation that I have an empty life.

My husband and friend also noticed there was a problem but that doesn't seem to make any difference.

I just wanted to get things resolved but wish I hadn't bothered.

Neither of them are speaking to me and I feel so angry and can't ever imagine resolving this! I just wanted an impartial view of things - have I been unreasonable?...

compo Wed 04-Mar-09 11:53:08

no not at all

tbh do you really want them to look after your child if they are drunk by 5pm?

slightlyonedgemum Wed 04-Mar-09 11:58:40

It doesn't sound like you're being unreasonable no.

Two questions though, do you think your parents are helping your sister as they don't like her husband or, (as my in laws would) are suddenly threatened that the other grandparents are involved?

But even if that is the case, they've been unfair. I do wonder if your sister has problems somewhere but you'd think she'd talk to you if you had that close relationship.

Jan2 Wed 04-Mar-09 11:59:23

Thanks for reading such a long post!! I know what you mean. I am starting to think that really would it be such a bad thing if I never spoke to the 3 of them again?!

I'm just upset and wanted to get an outside unbiased opinion.

Think I need to move on and get on with life without them.

steamedtreaclesponge Wed 04-Mar-09 12:00:30

Oh my goodness, you are not being unreasonable at all! It does seem very unfair but I agree with compo, do you really want them looking after your DD?

I would be most upset about the breakdown in communication with your sister, TBH - did you have a close relationship before all this? It seems strange that she should suddenly be so uninterested.

I know it must be hard dealing with all this but perhaps it would be best if you just stepped away from your parents and sister altogether for a little bit and concentrated on yourself and your own family - maybe explore some options for going back to work that don't require your parents to get involved?

southeastastra Wed 04-Mar-09 12:01:02

no you're not and agree with compo, they don't sound suitable for the job anyway.

i really don't know what you can do, i'd let them get on with it for the time being.

does you sister have a different relationship with them, would she not be worried that they're boozed up so early?

PlumBumMum Wed 04-Mar-09 12:02:00

Agree with compo grandparents or not I wouldn't want them looking after my children if they drink during the day

I think you need to take a step back from your family, and now your little girl is abit more confident could you not find a nice childminder near by

Parents are strange, my parents only bothered when it suited them they too are retired, but I now don't speak to my father and now I have took a step back, I now know they weren't a positive infulence in my life as they are so selfish

Jan2 Wed 04-Mar-09 12:02:42

It's the other sisters husband that they don't like. I think the main reason they've agreed to help her and not me is because her child is very easy going! My DD has always been harder work due to her being sensitive.

Thankfully my husbands parents have been brilliant with my DD and we actually left her with them for an hour last weekend for the first time since she was tiny - and she was fine!

That adds to my upset really - that my parents are happy to help her as it won't be too difficult whereas it would have been harder to get my DD to get to know and trust them.

slightlyonedgemum Wed 04-Mar-09 12:05:04

My sister's in laws have drink problems and thinking they wouldn't drink whilst babysitting left my neices (aged 1 and 3 with them) whilst they went out for dinner once. She came back to find her FIL asleep and MIL so drunk she was falling over and slurring words. She hasn't asked them to babysit again.

If you were getting on with your sister, why didn't you offer to share babysitting so you both got a day free? Wonder if you can (once you've sorted things out) get that to work so you get to see her (and thus her not get into your parents clutches).

It must be really difficult having problems with your family, especially your sister when you were getting on. Do you think there's a reason she's now being funny with you?

rolledhedgehog Wed 04-Mar-09 12:05:22

Think your friend sounds a bit of a stirrer personally!

Completly understand why you a are upset but echo what compo said about the drinking - that would really worry me.

I have three children and have learnt that their babyhood goes very quickly which is both sad (they are lovely) but good too (they get easier). When my DD was 12 months she was very clingy and I could not have left her but by the time she began pre-school at 2.5 she was off without a backward glance. You will be able to leave her and go to work and will have the comfort of knowing she is well cared for at nursery/childminder and you are not asking for your mum and dad's help.

beanie35 Wed 04-Mar-09 12:05:57

I agree with compo, wouldn't fancy leaving a child with people that drink and argue all the time. As hard as things are, I think you just have to face the fact that you can't rely on your parents when it comes to childcare. Your child will soon be going to nursery and in 3 years (yes, it will fly by) full time school, so you will be able to return to work at some point. If you're not reliant on them, then they can't let you down. I talk from experience, I love my family, but I've learnt that I can't expect any help from them sad. Took me years to accept that fact, but I don't feel bitter about it anymore, just promise I won't be like that with my own grandchildren!

MamaG Wed 04-Mar-09 12:06:49

This is a difficult one. I can see that it would be hard to have parents who don't seem interested in your DD, but I think that asking them to look after her for a short time every day puts limits on them - they can't go out fo teh day etc etc and I think thats a bit unfair TBH. Having your sister's baby one day is better, really, as they still have the rest of the week to do stuff. I think its unfair of you to put some of the blame onto them for your dd being sensitive, as they didn't spend much time with her, as she may well have been sensitive even with that attention from them. Also, if they are heavy drinkers, you wouldn't want to leave your daughter with them would you?

Its a shame they don't take more of an interest, but thats just hte way some folk are. My Mum takes a great deal of interst, but PIL don't take as much. At first it really bothered me, then I thought sod em! Their loss. Some people are just not made that way.

Re-reading above, I realise it sounds a bit mean, but this is YOUR child, not theirs. You can't base going back to work on their childminding possibilities. Your DD is your responsibility not theirs. Perhaps a nice local CM would let you spend time with y our DD at her house for a while each day until she settles in, then gradually leave her for longer and longer periods so youc an work? I think you'd have to pay her, but it would be wroth looking into.

Sorry if I sound harsh, I'm typing quickly as baby stirs. I can understand your frustrations, I really can.

Jan2 Wed 04-Mar-09 12:07:13

Thank you all! I feel really relieved as I was starting to think maybe I was going mad!

Yes I am going to look into getting back to work over the next few months as my daughters confidence grows.

I have always been very close to my sister but over the past few months things have deteriorated mainly due to her attitude to my daughter.

She flatly refuses to admit there is a problem and says that she is outraged by my accusations!

Taking a step back is making me see that in the long run yes maybe my life would be happier without the aggro!

Ewe Wed 04-Mar-09 12:10:57

YANBU but you do need to start having adult conversations with people instead of resorting to texts and emails.

whereismumhiding Wed 04-Mar-09 12:14:10

Jan2,
You seem to have expectations of your parents and your sister that they can't fufill. They dont sound to be as kind, generous with their interest and time as you want them to be. I wonder what kind of parents they were like to you when you were growing up? I think your hurting yourself more by expecting them to be fair and as loving as you are to DD, than they are hurting you. Your DD is probably wonderful and look what they are missing out on.

Both your parents and your sister sound to have issues of their own. Try to ignore their opinions and talk behind your back, as it's not based on who you are and what you were asking them to do. Surely you wouldnt want DD looked after by g/parents who a. drink so much and start early in the evening b. are a bit unstable c. clearly arent that involved in DD and may "see her as hard work". That's not what's best for DD! Can you find a kindly childminder, or retry her at a nursery, as she may get more confident as she gets older. Is there a nursery that one of her friends go to so she will have someone she knows? My two DDs took/still taking ages to settle into nursery- but DD2 (middle one) is confident at school now (reception) as a result of having gone to nursery/preschool. She cried solidly for 6 weeks each morning I dropped her off. The nursery cuddled and cuddled her and assured me she was fine after 10 minutes each day. I rang back in to check each morning.
It sounds to me as if you'd like to go back to work and whilst it would be nice if your parents would help with their g/children, some g/parents just arent up to or interested in that job, so a good nursery would be ideal. Good luck xx

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