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At my furious. WWYD?

(74 Posts)
Lagoonablue Tue 22-Apr-14 19:11:17

OK my mum is a bit difficult, borderline NPD IMHO. She dotes on my kids though she is incredibly fussy and house proud and almost follows them round with a DustBuster. Not very restful.

We are staying with her for a few days. I can tell her stress levels are high. She is conflicted because she loves the kids but they obviously make her immaculate house messy. Just general untidiness which I always clear up when they go to bed. Kids are 3, 5 and 8.

However she is panicking that they will stain her carpet at mealtimes and they are both sitting on tea towels on chairs with a mat under the table. I don't mind this as is her house but tonight they were a bit giddy at the table as tired so that was difficult and DS dropped a bit of dinner on himself. She was huffing and puffing and wiping.....I got so exasperated that I said, ' you want us to visit and this is the reality of having three small children in your house. They ares messy.'

So.....she took massive offence at this. I didn't rise to the bait. Later heard her slagging me off to my enabler father. Didn't hear it all but definately heard her say my kids have appalling table manners. They don't. They are not great but they are little kids. I am working on it. They are improving as kids do as they get older. So I said 'please don't talk about me. And my kids do not have awful manners.'

I am bloody furious. AIBU? Just feel like leaving tbh.

ilovepowerhoop Tue 22-Apr-14 19:13:54

she sounds like a pain. Could you stay somewhere else?

temporarilyjerry Tue 22-Apr-14 19:14:04

YANBU and I think you have handled it well.

Squitten Tue 22-Apr-14 19:14:51

So leave.

If it's going to cause that much drama every time they eat a meal, I wouldn't visit. Nobody seems to be enjoying it so what's the point?

OwlCapone Tue 22-Apr-14 19:15:01

6 of one, half a dozen of the other IMO.

Lagoonablue Tue 22-Apr-14 19:17:51

Is the slagging me off behind my back am most mad at.

Lagoonablue Tue 22-Apr-14 19:18:29

No can't stay anywhere else.....only one more day to go thankfully.

Pigginnora Tue 22-Apr-14 19:18:41

I would leave. What's anyone gaining by you staying?

Maybe organise your visits differently so the stress is manageable.

Floralnomad Tue 22-Apr-14 19:19:36

Its a difficult one , when you said about this is the reality that was fine ,but you know what she is like so probably didn't need to go back and say about not talking about you as that is just going to be antagonistic. TBH I wouldn't stay in future ,could she not come to yours instead as it sounds like too much stress for all involved .

poppetpuppet Tue 22-Apr-14 19:19:48

Oh dear, sounds really tense. ��

I think I'd ask if she wants a cuppa, then calmly as possible tell her that you are feeling really uncomfortable and judged, and that she seems to be a little strung out too. Then just see where the conversation takes you. If you feel you need to leave then do so in the morning, and tell her that you know she loves you all and that she's welcome to visit at your house.

Sorry, my advice is always a bit rubbish and wishy washy. If I were in your place I'd probably just drink winewink

smellysammy Tue 22-Apr-14 19:20:05


I agree. A little bit of disipline required, perhaps?

Pigginnora Tue 22-Apr-14 19:20:11

Could you make your visits shorter?

Mum stay with you?

Stay in a b & b?

It's obviously very difficult.

Forgettable Tue 22-Apr-14 19:20:29

Gosh yes, gather up clobber and depart, fulsome thanks and heave sigh of relief

Make mental note to not bother again, if they want to see the children, fine,they come to you or do days out if you stay in a travelodge/premier inn neaarby (but really, why bother)

I do understand that mess can make folk twitchy or uncomfortable, ofc but to be so unwelcoming is pretty awful

storynanny2 Tue 22-Apr-14 19:21:18

My mother is and always was the same. She seemed to get no pleasure at all from any of her visiting grandchildren. Although she is 4 hours away I now visit just for the day. I am 57, take no children with me and eat nicely at the table when told to. She is no different though from when I took my children with me.
You wont change her, try to work round it a d make very short visits.

SantasLittleMonkeyButler Tue 22-Apr-14 19:21:21

I wouldn't stay over night again TBH.

Lagoonablue Tue 22-Apr-14 19:21:48

God the drama if I left.........think will have to grin and bear it. A bit upset tbh. Is the latest in a series of difficult situations. Don't want to drop feed or bore anyone with the gory details.

She is trying to act like nothing was said. I would like an apology. Would it be wrong to ask for one?

drnoitall Tue 22-Apr-14 19:22:13

What a useful insight into what I could probably be like in the future.
I adore my dc of course but the mess drives me insane at times.
Your mum sounds very house proud and the mess is probably stressful. It is for me, I cannot relax until it's tidy.
Try being kind, have a chat, I often say to my dh when he is cooking, I'm going, because the mess bothers me, ask your mum if it's really really an emotional problem, which for me it is, I know how that sounds, really wierd, but it's true.
She may end up not eating with your dc because if she comes into the room after they have eaten and it's how she left it, whats to moan about?
Yes I have an OCD.

Waltermittythesequel Tue 22-Apr-14 19:23:27

Pack up and go.

MIL has OCD and as a result I know my children do her head in!

Again, not bad children, not overly messy. Just children.

She would never dream of complaining she's just quick to clean up after them unless I get there first! And she constantly picks up their toys before they're finished playing so causes more stress for everyone really!

Last time ds(2) cried that Grandma kept taking his toys then she cried that he didn't love her (I know.)

Anyway, I have said that if we visit again (it's a big if - a lot of unrelated issues) then we're staying in a hotel because although she would never act like your mother I can't be dealing with all the drama!

You either want children there and accept that they are occasionally messy or you don't!

Martorana Tue 22-Apr-14 19:23:36

5 and 8 should be able to eat without dropping dinner or being giddy.8 should certainly be able to behave at the table like a grown up.

3- not so much.

Lagoonablue Tue 22-Apr-14 19:25:34

A bit of discipline? What do you mean?

Maybe I should have sucked it up but god it is wearing. You get out of bed for a wee in the morning and before you can maybe hop back on for a few mins, she's been in, made the bed and opened the windows and curtains! Makes you feel you are just on the way.

Sorry. Drip feeding and said I wouldn't.

onedayatatimeLondon Tue 22-Apr-14 19:26:45

Sounds like my mum. If my mum goes this far my dsis and I will point it out and try and turn it in to a tease. As they have got our older the dcs will also gently tease. She adores them so does try to back off. We are used to her striping our beds on sunday morning and getting the hoover out before we have left! Oh and the sofas are always covered when we get there!

If it gets too much at least my dsis and I can let off steam with each other. Do you have siblings? It is exasperating - we had to live with it as we grew up and my dsis and I are now completely the opposite in reaction. We are untidy and pay for a cleaner rather than do it ourselves. We drive our dm mad and vice versa. But we love each other. So we put up with our idiosyncrasies. Try and relax and maybe your dm will too

Journey Tue 22-Apr-14 19:27:18

You clear up their mess when they go to bed! That would drive me mad. I think you need to clear up a bit more frequently than that. I have four dcs and tidy up throughout the day. I couldn't cope with having a messy house all day.

Lagoonablue Tue 22-Apr-14 19:29:22

Well tidy up when we go out too. I am quite a tidy freak myself tbh but wouldn't act like her.

Waltermittythesequel Tue 22-Apr-14 19:30:13

I heard MIL one morning mopping at about 6. I felt really sorry for her then.

And when we go out for the day unless we organise it it's not terribly child friendly so they end up only having play time in her house (no garden to speak of.)

I run around after them like a blue arsed fly but it's just really uncomfortable for everyone. So best avoided at all costs overall, I think.

Also, I wouldn't think there was anything wrong with a 5 year old accidentally dropping something at the table!!

iwasyoungonce Tue 22-Apr-14 19:31:53

Massive sympathy from me, my mother is very similar. It's difficult to stay quiet when you are being made to feel so uncomfortable, and like your children are untrained chimps. (Mine are normal too!)

My mum also used to make me feel really bad about the state of my house - which is generally clean and tidy, but not up to her show home standards. I ended up having a talk with her. I picked a moment when we were alone, getting on, sitting in the garden actually, relaxed. I said, I need to talk with you about something... then I told her how upset her little comments made me. I said I know my house is far from perfect, but I work full time, I have 2 young kids, I do my best. I told her she makes me feel judged, like she's disappointed in me. She cried. She felt terrible and admits she has got a problem (OCD). She said she shouldn't have made me feel like that. She told me she thinks I'm a great mother, and loves my kids. We both cried.

Anyway, she has been much better since then. I still sense her feelings at times, she can't help the look on her face when one of the kids looks grubby, or my bin is overflowing. But she keeps it zipped.

Could you try a similar approach? i.e. don't just snap in exasperation and say something snarky. Wait until you are getting along, on your own, then bring it up in a non-confrontational way?

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