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To not expect constant criticism from my parents each time I see them (sorry long)

6 replies

citylover · 17/05/2007 12:53

My parents very kindly came to stay yesterday in order to pick up DCs from school and look after them last night as I had to attend a rare work function. I do appreciate it I really do.
However, the price to pay is constant criticism from them. In the short space of time I saw them this morning (very early and slightly hungover! tut tut) they mentioned the few remaining unopened boxes in my house (due to separation from exH we have had to move twice since August both times with no help whatsoever!) which were a fire hazard - there is a clear escape path and I have discussed with DCs what we should do in the event of a fire.
DS1's bike needing tightening up and this was a 'death trap'. We live at the end of a quiet cul de sac, which I picked because I though it was quiet and child friendly and I allow DSs to play outside (they are 6 and 10)with strict boundaries and with intermittent supervision from me and if DS2 is alone then I stand at the door and watch him constantly.
There are a few cars coming in and out but of my immediate neigbours only. My M said that DS2 was bound to get knocked over even though I watch him all the time if he outside. However I also think they need to begin to develop some road sense especially as DS1 will be travelling alone to school next year.
I was brought me up to feel that disaster was lurking around every corner and it has taken me years (and I mean years to rationalise things and weigh up risk etc and be less anxious and have less of a sense of imepnding doom). I still consider myself to be cautious and when DCs were little very very careful - more so than some of my peers. Still careful now of course but in a different way.
They also look down on divorced people and living in rented accommodation (both of which I am currently) yet don't offer much support (I don't expect it but it would be nice if it was voluntarily forthcoming).
My brother is similar he rang a few months ago to ask the weights/heights of the DCs as he wanted to be sure they were having the right car seat!! I assured him that they did and I had looked into it all. He then offered to pay for a new one if I was short (Booster costs about £10 I think)!!!!!!When I said what you could do to help is help with a curtain pole he said he couldn't spare the time to come down!!

When I told my m that I had another long day tomorrow she said well why don't you go part time. Yeah right! Not that easy in my current position. She still of the view that women should work for pin money and has castigated me for 'palming off my children' on the after school childminder. My dad told me on a previous vist I was 'up myself'. Funny but it is obvious where I work that I am actually quite working class and a bit common (in the nicest possible way)compared to alot of people here!!

This is in stark contrast to last night when I am told I am good at my job, capable and efficient, would be hard to replace etc etc. If other people can see it why can't they? I could even cope with the criticism if it was tempered with some praise.

Of course this has been going on for a long time and can't see how it can change now. I don't have the energy or the strength to confront them or it. I keep a distance and only see them when i really have to but they leave me feeling utterly crushed.

Anyone else have parents like this? I try so hard not to criticise the DCs in such a negative way because I know what it does to one's self esteem. And als try b more measured about risks and safety.

I can also see its partially a product of living away from my home town and going to uni etc ie I am very different from them

OK rant over. Sorry its so long

OP posts:

mummydoit · 17/05/2007 13:01

I have a mum who's a bit like that. Complains about all her kids. Two are divorced, one is separated from the father of her child. My two sisters work which she disapproves of. Even I, who am married and a SAHM, can't please because I chose to move 250 miles away. It can be hard to take but I've just learnt to let it wash over me. They almost certainly won't change so your choice is to put up with it or cut them out of your life. I chose to try to see the good things and tolerate the bad. Sorry, that's not much help but I just wanted to give you a bit of sympathy. Oh, and I too live away from my home town and was the only one in the family to go to uni and it does change your outlook a bit so you grow away from what they know.


littlemisssensible · 17/05/2007 13:08

{{{{Hugs}}}} Citylover!

I sympathise, parents are often a pain!

Don't think you're gonna change them though, so probably best to stick with not seeing them too often and gritting your teeth when you do!


GemBean · 17/05/2007 13:11

I can totally sypathise with you citylover. Mine aren't quite the same in their criticism as yours; its more nothing is ever good enough, my way isnt as good as their (the right) way, I have let myself go (I really havent, I think i look quite nice for 35, to them I look overweight and tired), I could go on and on, but the end result is the same, I get so upset by their comments. The few times I have tried to tell them, my mother laughs and says "God you're sensitive, stop taking things so seriously". I think of myself as pretty positive and together, but when it comes to them I just brew stuff up inside and become a seething mass of resentment.

I too live away from my home town, I wonder if they feel like its their only way to retain some sort of parental control? One things for sure, DD and new baby due later in the year will not have to put up with horrid nasty little digs.


BibiThree · 17/05/2007 13:13

Oooh, I've had the same thing with MIL, nothing is quite right and somehow it's ahrder to take from her ebcause I can't just lose my rag and tell her to shut up - not that I would with my parents, but I know I could if I ahd to.

You have my compelte sympathy.


citylover · 17/05/2007 13:19

Thanks for the hugs (lms) and for the sympathy (mdi). Helps to know that others are the same and just to get it off my chest.

I think that the domestic arena is one where they feel as though they have a bit more knowledge and expertise and so like to capitalise.

I have considered counselling for it (hard to get the time) but actually think I can almost counsel myself out of it.

it's about the only area ex DH and I agree on!!

I just hope that my own DCs don't feel like this about me when they get older. I try to be as supportive and encouraging as I possibly can!

OP posts:

Holly29 · 17/05/2007 14:37

I think what's wonderful about this is that you are now so aware of what this damaging behaviour does to kids (i.e. to you) and that you are so keen to avoid it with your own kids. You sound like a really loving and caring mum, who would do anything other than make her own kids feel bad.

Just hang on to the fact that we all think that your parents (and brother) are being totally unfair, you are coping brilliantly in difficult circumstances and every time they criticise think 'they can't help it, they're just like that and I can't change them' and remember we think you're fab. Just don't let it ever make you cynical though.

Big hugs!

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