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My mother is constantly critical and undermining of my parenting calls

(10 Posts)
Jamstar Thu 17-Sep-09 22:55:03

- not an unusual situation, I'm sure, but I am finding it increasingly hard to take.

She is a fab gran, loads of time for 21 mnth old ds, but if I play down a runny nose, I am a bad mother; we like to do lots of activities with our son, she thinks he shouldn't be exposed to too much risk blah, blah.

She is very loving but I also worry that some of her stranger habits, eg white lies to cajole DS might work against his development. She thinks letting hime cry at all is cruel and if we leave him overnight with her he returns needy and wakeful.

She is never encouraging of my skills as a mother, makes out that I don't know what I'm doing and makes me doubt myself and feel generally angry whenever I see her - which is weekly.

Coping strategies anyone?

btw ds is a delightful, energetic, chatty darling. very impressionable (hah) with a stunning memory. I and DH are careful what we say around him...

groundhogs Thu 17-Sep-09 23:11:03

Tell her you think she's a fab gran, tell her why you think that.

BUT, then say that you need to remind her that YOU are his MUM, and you DO know best. If DS is progressing well, you literally can't be doing that bad a job... Also, say that if she keeps saying stuff like that to you, explain how it'll put you off seeing her.

Let her join the dots...

Sometimes you have to stand up for yourself, polite but firm. Don't ever doubt yourself... look at your son for the proof of your abilities.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 18-Sep-09 07:58:20

Pull her up on it and keep doing so or she'll keep doing it. As groundhogs says be polite but firm. Make and set proper boundaries of acceptable behaviour. Some mothers/MILs do try and overstep the mark in such circumstances. Its power and control.

What's your Dad like to talk to; can he assist?.

My guess is as well she's always been one to try and tell you what to do. This is subtle though, this usually only becomes more apparant when the daughter has a family of her own. Again set boundaries and if you continue to feel uncomfortable only see your Mum in a neutral place outside home.

maybebaby23 Fri 18-Sep-09 08:20:05

I could have written that. Every single line word for word describes my situation! Even down to your ds having an excellent memory and having to becareful what you say, we do too with DD.

I tend to doubt my ability a a mother, have low self esteem and am picked up on things i do with my DD by my mum. She also thinks any crying is cruel and DD turns into a real brat when she is with both my mum and me together. I am the bad one then who is unfair (to DD) because i won't let her do something/have another chocolate bar blah blah blah. Does my head in.

she worries about things like my daughter's stammer, like worries to death about it and im sure its just a bit put on to make me feel like im not concerned enough about my own child (i bloody am!) She says things like she still has her strong maternal instinct which is the reason why she can't let DD cry...like theres something wrong with my maternal instinct. I could go on and on. She never shows any support or encouragement. Never says thing like "dont worry its normal" Just "you really should do this/that" etc.

So i know how you feel, i worry about the effect on DD and often think of my own childhood where she didn't let me have my own way (rightly so!) all the time and did leave me to cry. Why cant she do this with beloved grandchild?? No idea but it winds me up no end.

I started a thread on here the other day because i get so worked up about DD's speech thing and a whole load of other things that i really shouldn't make myself ill over with worry, but is it any wonder when im made to feel like im rubbish at being a mum by my own mum When i say all this to her she insists i have a problem, paranoia or something else and should see a doctor!! She knows deep down though, i know it.

I should add at this point that i love her to bits and she i also very loving. Just the way she is i guess.

Jamstar Fri 18-Sep-09 09:53:35

Thanks for the support, guys. I do have to remind myself I am doing a pretty good job, despite what she thinks.

Just this morning I had a call from her asking how he was - 'oh he's bounding about with a runny nose' I said. To which she replied - 'so take him to the doctor'. My calm and firm insistence that I won't be taking him to the doctor was met with her pretty much hanging up on me.

I have had to gradually withdraw information from her over the years as it just causes more problems. Things are always my fault. Looks like this will continue and she will get glossy health reports from now on!

I like the idea of telling her she is valued but reminding her that I'm in charge. But I do agree it is a power thing. She can be reassuring on some things, it sounds like your ma takes the biscuit maybebaby, but I do relate to the guilt tripping. Extrordinary psycholgical behaviour! It comes back to the power, doesn't it.

Dad is much more reasonable, but I think he has been conditioned to think that she knows better than I do, and probably thinks I'm a little too laid-back.

Anyway, I'll go on some more later. I'm sure we all have some great examples of this delicate balance.

Groundhog: I know what you are saying, and I think it may be in the back of her mind already but If my mother joined the dots - she'd come up with an entirely different picture. Scary really.
x

alypaly Fri 18-Sep-09 09:57:39

dont let her make you feel like this...it will eventually undermine your self confidence and if something goes wrong she will probably say "told you so".

put your foot down....smile

alypaly Fri 18-Sep-09 09:59:02

if you pick LO up every time they cry and run to the docs for every little sniffle ,it will make you neurotic. you sound as though you are in control...dont let her take the reins

justaboutautumn Fri 18-Sep-09 10:03:02

Message withdrawn

groundhogs Fri 18-Sep-09 16:10:08

justaboutautumn... inspired! smile

mathanxiety Fri 18-Sep-09 16:16:08

"I'm sorry you feel that way" smile works for criticism also. Then a change of subject.

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