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Six months without my mother - daughter beginning to ask questions. Where to go next?

(20 Posts)
mogwai Tue 26-May-09 19:35:45

I posted about my mum a while back detailing my upbringing of emotional abuse and how I'd got away from it.

It's been six months since I saw her and I feel more positive about it all the time. Having time apart from her has halped me piece together some other stuff and answer some questions that have been in my head for years.

I have a daughter of almost four and am expecting a second baby in three weeks. Recently my daughter is asking questions and making comments like "perhaps we can go to nana's house for a cup of tea and a play?". I usually respond by saying that nana is "busy" (which is often true as she works full time) but I'm not sure I feel happy trotting out the same excuse all the time.

At what point do I tell her something different - and anyway - what do I tell her?

Also - when the baby arrives - I would prefer not to contact her at all but not sure this is the right thing to do. On the one hand it gives her something else to add to her list of things I've done "wrong" but on the other - we have no friends or family in common - so what do I care who she tells?

Advice needed and gratefully received!

FabulousBakerGirl Tue 26-May-09 19:37:23

My DD was asking awkward questions the other week about my parents and eventually I had to just say "do we have to talk about this now DD?" and MIL stepped in and changed the subject. DD is 5.9.

Doodle2U Tue 26-May-09 19:40:27

Tricky one.

If you've made the break, then I'd be inclined to maintain it. It seems to be the right thing for you right now.

At 4, I think I'd be saying, 2Listen sweetheart, we're not going to see Nana for a while because she and I have some things we need to think about before we can speak to each other again." She'll ask you what things and I'd cop out at this point and say "I'll explain when you're older! Now go into the garden and play".

Best wishes for the new baby.

Thefearlessfreak Tue 26-May-09 19:45:20

I would definitely say something straight forward & honest; your daughter doesn't need details & masses of explanation. I would think she would understand why she didn't see her nana more if you tell her a simple version of the truth rather than nana always being too busy to see her. The latter might make your dd think that it's something about her that means nana doesn't want to see her?

mogwai Tue 26-May-09 19:46:47

Thanks for replies

I think she'd be upset if I said "we're not going to see her for a while"

And I'm trying not to cop out!!

Do you reckon it's just a difficult age to be truthful in any way? She might be only 3;11 but she's incredibly sensitive and insightful.

mogwai Tue 26-May-09 19:47:23

sorry fearless, cross posted

warthog Tue 26-May-09 19:49:15

i would say 'nana and i have to sort some things out before we can go and see her again.' if she asks further, tell her a little more like 'she wasn't very nice to me'. i agree, your dd doesn't need details, just wants to know why she's not seeing her.

smithfield Tue 26-May-09 19:49:41

It's a tough one. I took the option of telling my mother about dd via text. Well, actually dh sent the text to everyone and she got one too.
That was it though.
Whatever you do it will be wrong so better off doing whatever sits best with you.
Meet the needs of you and your family first.

My ds is 4 and often says stuff like this and I do exactly as you did. I will have to tackle it at some point but I really feel he is too young right now to understand.
I guess part of me hopes that one day he wont have to 'understand' because there has been some kind of reconcilliation.
Very much doubt that though.

FabulousBakerGirl Tue 26-May-09 19:50:41

she might be but she is only 3

saying you have to do something before you can see her again will make her worry I think

mogwai Tue 26-May-09 20:11:36

Yes, I think she'll internalise it and worry and it will crop up later and then I'll regret having said it - perhaps keep doing as I'm doing for now - until she's old enough for me to say that we don't get along. She doesn;t get along with some kids - perhaps she'll see the link.

We are considering sending a sort of "round robin" text about the baby that starts with "Hello everyone" so it's clear that the text isn't specifically for her.

My concern is that this will lead to a frenzy of text messages in response (she is desperate to hang onto her grandchildren - they are easily manipulated as kids). This would be the first time we had opened the lines of communication since February.

She cancelled my christmas present in February (it was a magazine subscription) but since then has sent an easter card/present for DD and a wedding anniversary card for us. We've responded to neither.

warthog Tue 26-May-09 20:18:46

i wouldn't tell her. she will find out but she'll get the message loud and clear that you have cut ties. if you text her, i suspect she will assume that it's ok to contact you.

mogwai Tue 26-May-09 20:19:49

How will she find out, though?

FabulousBakerGirl Tue 26-May-09 20:24:52

My MIL told my mother I had had the baby angry so be prepared for someone to tell her.

warthog Tue 26-May-09 20:25:39

mutual acquaintances? if none, then does she need to know?

blinks Tue 26-May-09 20:30:27

could you not text someone in touch with her and ask them to pass on the news?

i wouldn't feel bad about a white lie in this situation, something about your mum living in a new place far away or something. she's too young to understand the complexity of this situation in my opinion. we are in same situation by the way and DD is same age.

it's a bloody nightmare.

mogwai Tue 26-May-09 20:33:03

I wish she'd just get on a slow boat to China..... would solve everything.

She adds nothing to our lives and has been a constant source of stress.

We have no mutual acquaintances unless she were to bump into one of MY friends in the supermarket.

She has NO friends.

blinks Tue 26-May-09 20:44:50

oh warthog got there first... i agree- does she need to know if you don't see her anyway? forget about her ammunition, just focus on keeping your own stress levels down.

blinks Tue 26-May-09 20:46:39

mogwai- don't tell her then and make up something for DD. it negates the whole point of removing her from your life if even in her absence she's the source of stress.

don't feel at all guilty about it.

mogwai Tue 26-May-09 21:16:56

thanks to all for your support and opinions. It helps.

saggyjuju Sun 31-May-09 21:39:42

we are over a year in now ,and dd is 4,she still brings up her granparents and where are they and why we dont see them,i have explained age appropriately to her that there have been reasons why we cant see them anymore,she does accept this and is past the upset stage,i have told her that when shes an adult and we know shes old enough to keep herself safe,she can choose to see them or not. my fears are they are now going through the courts to gain access,my blood runs cold at the thought sad

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