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I'm 37 - why does my mother still affect me so much?

(32 Posts)
sandyballs Tue 19-Apr-05 12:22:03

Just wanted a rant really and don't know where else to do it as I'm stuck at work - just had a blazing row with my mother in my open plan office .

She is 78 and has been a widow for about 15 years - has no friends and relies on me and my brother for company. Brother doesn't get on with her and rarely visits, I pop over once or twice a week depending on what else is going on (I work 3 days a week and have twin 4 year old girls).

I haven't seen her for a week as my girls have had parties to go to on my days off, and I've wanted to spend time with DH at the weekend as a family rather than dashing off to visit mum - I have, however, rung her every day, she very rarely rings me. On the 'phone she has been very off and cold which is her usual way when I haven't been to see her. I rang her this morning and mentioned the fact that I could see a pattern - ie, I don't visit for a week, she gets all stroppy and cold and starts inventing places/people she has to see when I do suggest meeting up. She laughed and said it was all in my imagination, then went on to list a few of my faults, as she saw them, spending too much money, spoiling my girls, rushing around too much with friends ..... ending up with the fact that she feels I only visit occasionally "out of duty".
I forgot I was at work and screamed down the 'phone "Out of bloody duty .... that's why I got 3 buses and two trains with 2 bloody four year olds to come and see you the other week when my car had broken down". Hardly duty! She started to cry, said I had really upset her and put the phone down. Now I should just forget it, but she really gets to me, I'm peed off that at 37 my stroppy weird mother still makes me feel like that. I'm a mother myself so why does she still affect me like this.

If anyone is still awake thank you for reading this, very boring and very trivial I know in the great scheme of things but it's better off my chest.

malibustacey Tue 19-Apr-05 12:43:22

Mine still tries to control my life, and im 33, she helped me with my 1st DS (who is now 8yrs old) i lived back at home as i was on my own with DS living in Scotland, i went back to work and mum looked after DS, although i did pay here for doing so!!
Ever since its like i owe her bigtime!! She can wrap DS round her little finger and is always pointing out if she thinks im too hard on him! The fact is he was spoilt rotton by her so runs to nanna when mum says no!! I cant tell her anything because she criticises everything i do . Its hard sometimes because i really want to open up to her but its not worth the hassle!!

koalabear Tue 19-Apr-05 12:44:33

our mothers know how to press all our buttons because they installed them!

(hug) to you from a fellow sufferer

ps it doesn't matter what you say, they will ALWAYS make it about them (so I've given up and just say "yes mum" "no mum" - makes for an easier existance)

milward Tue 19-Apr-05 12:46:38

My mother is very difficult & now she doesn't talk to me or my sister any more. This is all for stupid reasons that come down to her not being able to just get on with us and accept that she does need our help sometimes. Let things just be with your mum - perhaps call her just once a week as you also have to have time for your family responsibilities & work. Explain this to her. Good luck with this.

milward Tue 19-Apr-05 12:46:39

My mother is very difficult & now she doesn't talk to me or my sister any more. This is all for stupid reasons that come down to her not being able to just get on with us and accept that she does need our help sometimes. Let things just be with your mum - perhaps call her just once a week as you also have to have time for your family responsibilities & work. Explain this to her. Good luck with this.

almostanangel Tue 19-Apr-05 12:49:50

ooh [[[[hugs]]]]] dont even get me started!!!!
[see my elderly parents thread]......i have been to see mine every day since she went into hospital last week ..i dont drive 1/2 mile walk train then bus with my dds to see her ..yesterday i said i wont be up today as i wanted to take dds out as they are off scholl and so far apart from daily trips to hospital havent been out ,,,,,,,,,,,student nurse phones this morning and says she wants you to bring some knickers up!! so she wants me to walk/train/bus to hospital ..forget taking dds out and bring her some knickers...arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

almostanangel Tue 19-Apr-05 12:51:22

milward... that is easier said then done..if she has the same feelings as me ...then if she doesnt do what her mum wants when she wants you suffer anyway mentaly...

Fimbo Tue 19-Apr-05 12:53:54

Malibustacey-god we could be long lost sisters you have described my mother to a "t". My mother and father also looked after my dd when she was small and I have never been allowed to forget it, despite them insisting they wanted to do it. Now she slags off my pil's for not taking a turn!! (Mil had cancer at the time and was ill from chemotherapy).

Sandyballs you have my sympathy - I am 37 and despite living thousands of miles apart my mother still has the ability to make me weep and feel like a small child.

wild Tue 19-Apr-05 12:58:54

she is old lonely and afraid, she has forgotten all about the rushing around you have to do in a family and she just focuses on her need of you. Which is pressure. Don't stop loving her though, I am 37 too and I lost my mum last year, I still wish I had told her what she meant to me.

Kibby Tue 19-Apr-05 13:06:16

I think the minute you accept that you can't change someone of that age and take a step back form it emotionally iei concentrate on your own family, it gets better

wild Tue 19-Apr-05 13:10:07

I would've said my mother was 'my family' tbh!

suzywong Tue 19-Apr-05 13:10:08

that is absolutely true, true, true, true

I'm 37 and I've only just accepted that a few weeks ago

koalabear Tue 19-Apr-05 13:10:32

agree kibby - once you accept that you can not change them, and they can not change you, it becomes less confrontational

Chandra Tue 19-Apr-05 13:21:39

Good post Kibby.

malibustacey Tue 19-Apr-05 13:22:49

Mine has done alot more than hold me ransome for my DS, she refused to come to my 1st wedding unless i payed for a mini bus for the whole family, ripped my photos up and sent them back calling me selfish for not hiring the mini bus!!, she never shows emotion i could be sobbing my heart out and she is so cold towards myself and my sisters, but all over the grand kids, this really has taken a toll on me through the years because i have done everything through out my life to make my mum proud of me or just to hear her say "i love you" is this so wrong?? There isnt a day goes by when i dont tell my kids how much i love them.
I was diagnosed with depression this year, and after talking to someone about these issues i managed to tell mum how i was feeling and although it hasnt made much difference ive come to terms with who she is and that i have my own life now!! Phewwww i can take a breath now!! lol

wild Tue 19-Apr-05 13:24:21

you all make me realise how v lucky I have been

emmatom Tue 19-Apr-05 13:30:08

Sandyballs - you have young twins, you work part-time, you phone her, you visit her.

God, if my daughter does all that when she's grown up I will be very proud of her.

You can do no more. Your mum has the problem. I fear she won't change at this age. Perhaps she feels lonely, insecure, who knows what makes her use this emotional blackmail?

You however, can do no more than you already do.

Take heart you are not alone, many mothers do this to their offspring, usually the daughters. Try, and this is the hard bit, not to let her get to you, don't rise to her and don't feel guilty or try to do anymore than you already do.

You're being a good mum and a daughter.

sandyballs Tue 19-Apr-05 13:51:54

Thanks for all your messages, much appreciated.
You're absolutely right that I need to step back a bit and realise I cannot change her, I shall try to let her comments flow past me! I'm starting to see why my brother doesn't bother with her - he got fed up with all her games years ago.

marz Tue 19-Apr-05 13:56:05


our mothers know how to press all our buttons because they installed them!

This really is the best statement about mothers that I have ever heard!!!
I no longer have contact with my mother...(her choice, although if she were to contact now I would refuse)
A friends mother passed away recently and it brought up all the old should I make an effort to make amends etc but I have come to the decision that I cannot and will not try. It is nice to read here that other people have the same issues...(I feel often like I have the problem, (not my mother ) as all the people I know have contact with their mothers...even though a lot acknowledge they have control issues. biggest fear is that I will change as I get older and start to think more like her and then start to treat my daughters like she treats me....etc etc...I pray that cycle can be changed!!!

koalabear Tue 19-Apr-05 14:17:10

i love my mum, BUT have made my hubby and best friend PROMISE to tell me if I start exhibiting her characteristics

SecondhandRose Tue 19-Apr-05 15:00:17

Hi Sandyballs. I started a thread about 4 years ago now. Someone might be able to find 'Am I the only one with a miserable mother' in the archives.

So many people came back with similar problems. I would recommend that your put your DH and children first and let your mother fit in after that. It sounds like she is jealous and perhaps a bit depressed.

My Mother is a bit happier these days, I think because my Dad died a couple of years ago and they didn't get on. I have become stronger with her and don't say things that I know she will knock back and don't invite her anywhere she will refuse. She won't ever refuse a free lunch!

Perhaps she needs reminding who'll be looking after her in later years and she might mellow a bit!!

Instead of visiting her why not pick her up and bring her to yours once a week?

I think the other problem is their age (mine 74) they were born into different times when women didn't have freedom etc and they don't like the change. Is that possible?

sandyballs Tue 19-Apr-05 15:14:49

I think that is completely possible Secondhandrose, she's always going on and on that I see my friends too much and how DH "lets me" go out too often. My dad didn't like her to do anything that didn't involve him or the family.
So maybe she's jealous that I have a different type of relationship. If DH is happy, why should she interfere?

Another thing that really upsets me is her lack of compassion for her autistic grandson. My brother's 10 year old boy is autistic but getting on well in a special school. My mum saw him briefly last week and he had an accident - poohed his pants, which obviously upset him. Mum went on about it for ages, saying what a dreadful smell there was, how she couldn't eat her lunch and how he would be better off in a home. Now I know I said I would let her comments go and not rise to the bait, but how can I with something like that .

Pagan Tue 19-Apr-05 15:17:13

I've been trying to pinpoint what it is about mu Mum that just grates on me. She's nothing like what is described on here and always obliging and helpful but I still find myself leaving her company or coming off the phone in a bad mood and then I feel guilty about it.

- DH was away on business recently and was delayed for a further 2 days. I was fine about it - she had a rant

- been waiting to hear from builder re our house extension, she goes on and on about it whilst I'm a bit more chilled

- all her attention now focused on grandchildren and anything I say is either ignored or forgotten

Perhaps I'm just like her

SecondhandRose Tue 19-Apr-05 16:08:29

Pagan - you're filling her in with too much information about your life, she is commenting and it upsets you. Remember, she only know what you tell her.

Pagan Wed 20-Apr-05 10:27:11

I can see your point SHRose, because I don't automatically tell her everything I'm up to. But if she asks directly "when does your builder start" and "Is DH home now?" then I'm not going to lie. And neither is it something that I can hide.

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