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Does anyone else's mother use the telephone as a weapon?

(37 Posts)
MrsSchadenfreude Mon 31-Aug-09 15:18:33

I didn't ring my mother while I was on holiday. I rang her when I got back and she was so huffy:

"Oh you're back are you? Well I hope you had a nice time. I was so worried about you as I hadn't heard from you. I told your Aunt Rachel and she rang me every day to see if you'd called, and I had to say that you hadn't, and she said how inconsiderate you were. I was worried that something had happened to you or the children."

I said we didn't ring anyone while we were away. We wouldn't ring if we were overseas, so why should we ring her just because we were in UK? And if she was that worried then she could have rung my mobile.

"Why would I ring your mobile? You know how expensive that is for me."

She is like this all the time. If I don't call her, she won't ring me, just gets really arsey and "Oh I thought something had happened to you or that one of the children were in hospital."

She is exactly the same with her brothers - she hasn't spoken to one of them for a year - moans that "he never rings me" and says "why should I?" when I suggest that she might ring him. (I do suspect that he might not actually want to speak to her, as the last time she saw him, at my Gran's funeral, she said to him "I expect the next time I see you, you'll be in your box.")

llareggub Mon 31-Aug-09 15:24:09

Oh yes; my mother does this too. I try not to notice and that infuriates her. She'll deliberately not ring me foe weeks then get huffy when I pretend not to notice. I hope I neve turn into my mother.

UnquietDad Mon 31-Aug-09 15:29:15

Both my mother and DW's do things like this.

If DW/both of us is/are out, and her mother phones, we have to account for her/our movements. "Out" is not good enough. If we try to move the conversation on, she gets huffy and it turns into a Big Thing.

MrsSchadenfreude Mon 31-Aug-09 15:30:42

Why do they do it? What do they hope to get out of it? I have told DD1 to shoot me if I turn into my mother.

Yes, also get the accounting for movements thing too.

Is it an age thing?

Flower3545 Mon 31-Aug-09 15:32:04

My mother used to say "once I'm dead and buried you'll wish you'd rang me more often.

Well she is and I don't.

UnquietDad Mon 31-Aug-09 15:32:47

There is also the "you're back, then" call when we come back from a break or a weekend away. We take bets on how many minutes before we step inside the front door it will be.

"You're back, then."

No, we are speaking to you via the power of wireless comlink technology.

FioFioFio Mon 31-Aug-09 15:34:03

well tbh i would have just rang her (my mother is the same) and said i was ok. I worry about my mum when she drives home from here (200 odd miles away on major motorways) I don't think there is anything sinister in wanting to know someone is okay. Think about how you will feel when your children are older (sorry)

UnquietDad Mon 31-Aug-09 15:36:08

It is a generational thing. I think people in their 60s and 70s, for whom the phone is an innovation was popularised in their lifetime, (and who grew up asking "are you on the phone?") have an odd respect for the telephone. It must be used. It cannot be ignored. You do not let the answerphone get a call if you are in.

We got an answerphone in the late 90s for the first time shortly after buying our first house. I remember MIL's appalled face the first time we ignored a phone call with her ther in the room with us... gradually realising that we had, in the past, done that to her!!

eekamoose Mon 31-Aug-09 15:37:27

Lol flower! I love that

If I'm out when my dad rings, he always makes a comment about me being out on the answerphone. "Oh, you're out, I wonder where you can be, oh well, I'll have to try at another time." Its like he expects me to stay at home all day every day waiting for his calls.

Your situation sounds horrible Mrs S. How often do you phone her when you're not on holiday? Luckily neither of my parents expect to speak to me more often than once a fortnight or so. Even dh's far more "clingy" parents are happy with once a week.

Comewhinewithme Mon 31-Aug-09 15:45:29

My mother rings me at least 10 times a day .

Last night she rang and asked me to think of a character name for her because she was about to play Dungeons and Dragons hmm.

It does get a bit wearing sometimes especially as she is dyslexic but loves her computer so I spend around an hour a day spelling things for her ..she also rings to ask what music she likes ! Why her shopping hasn't arrived yet and many many other things bless her hmm .

diddl Mon 31-Aug-09 15:53:06

Why would your mother expect you tophone whilst you are on holiday?

Fnergle Mon 31-Aug-09 15:56:23

I read the thread title and thought, omg is Naomi Campbell your mother?

MrsSchadenfreude Mon 31-Aug-09 16:12:00

I usually ring her once a week. Occasionally more often if there is news to impart - eg I rang her as soon as I heard I had got the job I had applied for in Paris, and wished I hadn't, when she said "Oh. Why are you so pleased about that then? Didn't you want to go somewhere more interesting?"

Diddl - I don't know! We certainly wouldn't have phoned her if we went abroad, and she never rings us when she goes abroad, which is every other month.

FioFioFio Mon 31-Aug-09 16:14:06

it only takes 5 minutes to ring and tell her you are safe

I don't know your mum, but maybe she was worried if you had arrived safely. Travel can be a dangerous thing (!!) A phonecall takes 5 mins, keeps her quiet, she is happy your are ok, you get on with your holiday


MrsSchadenfreude Mon 31-Aug-09 16:17:17

No, sorry, Fio, I don't really buy that. smile Should I ring her every morning to tell her I have arrived safely at work? My commute is around 2 hours, which is the time it took us to drive to Norfolk.

diddl Mon 31-Aug-09 16:21:05

You phoned when you got back.
Did she expect you to phone to say that you had got there OK?

We have a habit of phoning say once a week, or if there´s something particular to say.

But would never phone whilst on holiday, and it isn´t expected.
If I phoned from holiday, she´d be thinking something dreadful had happened!

happystory Mon 31-Aug-09 16:31:33

Oh yes, I'm right there with you. My brother rings her at random times and not v often. But because I've got in the habit (aaargh) of a weekly phone call it's somehow become written in stone. She'll say 'Oh, you rang at 3 last week. Pat rang me but I said you'd be phoning so I got her to ring off' FGS! I'm quite capable of ringing back if it's engaged....

Dh just says ring little and often instead of a marathon but I really don't think my mother is capable of a quick conversation....

ProfYaffle Mon 31-Aug-09 16:34:00

I know what you mean HS, I could cope with a few short calls spread throughout the week but where my parents are concerned it's a minimum of half an hour whether there's anything to actually say or not ....

FioFioFio Mon 31-Aug-09 16:44:33

I think you will all eat your own words!

I have had to put my daughter on a bus on her own since she was two years old and I worry if she got their safely etc and I think it makes no doference that she is a child, in relative terms. We may grow up but we are still our parents children. It is not a crime that they care about us, or would you rather they did not? I have one of each, a carer and a non carer, i know which i prefer

trefusis Mon 31-Aug-09 16:51:30

Message withdrawn

MrsSchadenfreude Mon 31-Aug-09 16:52:31

Oh yes, Happystory, I get that too. "Joan rang me on Sunday night, oooh, about seven thirty it was, but I told her you usually phone then and told her to get off the phone in case you were trying to get through, and then I waited and waited but you didn't ring, so I thought I would have been better off talking to Joan..."

Oh yes, and the half hour marathon with nothing to say. She went to Egypt for three weeks, I heard nothing about Egypt, except that it was all the same colour (beige) and the Nile is just a big river like the Thames. But I got half an hour on who was on the Asda bus and how Maureen always books her a seat, and she meets up with Joan and Margaret on the bus and when they get there, they all go off and have a cup of coffee, and Margaret always has the cooked breakfast - she doesn't usually eat breakfast but it's such good value there, you get so many items for three pounds...

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 31-Aug-09 17:37:43

Mrs S

I would have to disagree with FioFio's comments. This is less about caring and more about control and emotional blackmail.

I feel that your Mother does not give a jot about you and your feelings and only cares about her own self. The barbed comment she made to you over your job in Paris is indicative of this and doubtless there have been many more. Its about exerting power and control over you all.

BonsoirAnna Mon 31-Aug-09 17:39:41

She is being passive aggressive, isn't she?

SlartyBartFast Mon 31-Aug-09 17:44:49

i wouldnt ring my mum if i was on holiday, nor would she expect it!

SlartyBartFast Mon 31-Aug-09 17:46:22

i went to america for 5 months and didnt call, apart from the once when i got a free line, but she wasnt expecting it, threw her a bit.

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