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AIBU?

AIBU to be upset by my mum’s “jokes”?

64 replies

Thunderbird7 · 05/02/2024 13:30

I have a DS who is 15 months old. He understands a lot more than he can say, so obviously it’s hard to know exactly what he understands.

My mum keeps “joke” blaming me whenever DS is sad or gets hurt and not only is it upsetting me because I’m quite sensitive but I’m worried he understands and is going to grow up blaming me every time something bad happens to him too.

So for example, yesterday I was stood filling in a form with my back turned and he came to hug but he ran into my legs a bit too hard and flopped onto his bum. He didn’t hurt himself or anything, he was just giggling and it was all part of the fun for him. But my mum started saying as a ‘joke’, “Oh no did mummy push you over? I saw her! I saw her!”

Or if I have to wipe his bogies or something, which he hates, while he’s complaining she will say things like “What’s mummy doing to you? Is she torturing you? What a bully!”

Another time he fell over on the other side of the room after I warned him not to do something and she said “Mummy didn’t catch you, did she? Naughty mummy! Smack mummy’s bum!”

She does it ALL the time. Nobody ever laughs, she’s the only person who enjoys the joke, I just find it really upsetting to even think that I would ever hurt him, and I’m scared he’ll grow up thinking everything I do is malicious or every time he bumps that I did it somehow. Or even that he grows up thinking when something bad happens it’s natural to find someone to blame.

AIBU to be getting so upset about it?

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

545 votes. Final results.

POLL
You are being unreasonable
13%
You are NOT being unreasonable
87%
SausageRollsWithMustard · 05/02/2024 13:32

You're not being unreasonable at all. Those comments are not funny and are mocking actual child abuse and cruelty.

Tempnamechng · 05/02/2024 13:32

She is being a bit thick and needs to stop. What if he starts repeating to someone outside the home!

Mistralli · 05/02/2024 13:33

I think you need to explain your concerns to her, and that it upsets you. I don't think you're unreasonable, but getting upset and not saying something is.

Babsexxx · 05/02/2024 13:34

Yanbu your mother is going to land you in all types of shit in future what if ds runs into nursery repeating her one day?!! Social services that’s what! I’d be having a firm word…...

Tinkerbellflowers · 05/02/2024 13:35

If he repeats this and tells teachers at nursery (for example), they could get the complete wrong end of the stick.

TheNeverEndingOver · 05/02/2024 13:35

My mum does this too! I think she’s trying to bond and have an ‘in joke’ with her granddaughter through these comments, which is ridiculous. ‘mummy is annoying you isn’t she!’ ‘What’s mummy pulling your hair with that brush for? Yanking you, naughty mummy!’ I asked her why she does it, and she got VERY defensive saying ‘I’m only joking’ and huffed and puffed. I’ve told her to stop and if she does it, I say ‘silly grandma is joking, I would never do that on purpose.’ I feel for you!

MoonWoman69 · 05/02/2024 13:37

Once or twice a blue moon, then yes funny. But not continually like this, it's really not on. I think you need to think about how to word it and have a chat with your mum about it. Like you say, you don't know how much he's taking on board and one innocent phrase as he learns to talk, could lead to a heap of unnecessary trouble!
Normally someone would comment "Whoopsie daisy" or some such like, if a toddler fell on their bum or did something clumsy? It seems an odd thing to me for her to comment like she does? I'm struggling with that one!

TheYearOfSmallThings · 05/02/2024 13:39

Tempnamechng · 05/02/2024 13:32

She is being a bit thick and needs to stop. What if he starts repeating to someone outside the home!

Basically yes. Your mother is not a smart woman. You will need to explain to her in words of one syllable why she needs to STOP. IT. She won't fully understand, and there may be eye rolling, huffing and future instances of exaggerated caution "Ooh, must be careful! Silly Granny mustn't annoy Thunderbird7!" but she really needs to stop it.

Pinkdelight3 · 05/02/2024 13:44

YANBU to be upset by her stupid remarks, but you also don't need to worry that it's going to damage how your DC thinks of you or any lasting issue there. Sounds to me like your mum is insecure now that you've grown up and become a mum, so she needs to undermine you and make herself feel more important. It's pretty sad, but she's the insecure one not you, so you can be quite calm about telling her the jokes aren't funny and to stop making them. And if she crosses the line when you've drawn it, keep her at more of a distance until she gets the message. Show her you won't be belittled like this.

Mumoftwo1312 · 05/02/2024 13:45

Put on a stern voice and correct her immediately every time she does it.

"Oh no did mummy push you over? I saw her! I saw her!"

"No, I did NOT. We do not joke like that in front of the kids. Do not put harmful ideas into his head."

Immediately, every time. Make sure your dh etc are on board because her instinct will be to try and laugh it off or make you out to be mean. Dh can just reiterate "we don't put harmful ideas into his head"

35965a · 05/02/2024 13:49

God help you if your child ever repeats what your mum says to nursery/anyone else. You need to stop her.

ObliviousCoalmine · 05/02/2024 14:02

Your mum sounds pretty dense, and fairly tiresome.

mightydolphin · 05/02/2024 14:18

Well, if she ignores you directly asking her to stop then I would just say 'silly granny has got in a muddle again! You bumped into my legs didn't you!' etc.

She'll soon stop...

TheLovleyChebbyMcGee · 05/02/2024 14:21

That sounds really annoying, I'd ask her to stop for that alone!

LyndaSnellsSniff · 05/02/2024 14:26

My MIL did this when DS1 was a baby (first grandchil). For example, his socks might be twisted and she'd comment something like "what's mummy done to you now?" and sometimes even "is mummy being mean? What a bitch!" It drove me mad.

I decided eventually that she was struggling with no longer being the only mother in the room and wanted to assert her matriarch status.

Could this be the case with your mum?

pootlin · 05/02/2024 14:28

She is an utter twat. Tell her the comments stop or you won’t be taking DS to see her anymore.

Jellycats4life · 05/02/2024 14:31

I agree that this is her weird way of trying to build a special relationship with her grandson. Exactly why it has to involve putting you down, I don’t know. It sounds OTT and very passive aggressive.

Btw I have been the butt of “mean mummy!” comments before, but the difference between that and what you’re experiencing is there was no malicious subtext and I found it amusing too.

I think you need to be short with her - “God Mum, pack it in! You say this stuff all the time!”

Thunderbird7 · 05/02/2024 14:32

LyndaSnellsSniff · 05/02/2024 14:26

My MIL did this when DS1 was a baby (first grandchil). For example, his socks might be twisted and she'd comment something like "what's mummy done to you now?" and sometimes even "is mummy being mean? What a bitch!" It drove me mad.

I decided eventually that she was struggling with no longer being the only mother in the room and wanted to assert her matriarch status.

Could this be the case with your mum?

It could be … she has done this sort of thing before DS was born.

Like I went through a hard time after a bad break-up with an abusive ex in 2013 where I was effectively left homeless, living in my car & broke (I couldn’t afford to feed myself) and after a long time of struggling I asked her for help, and she humiliated me in front of my extended family by saying “asking for money again! What would you do without the Bank of Mum and Dad?” as if I was doing it all the time and not just once because I was desperate.

I think all her self-esteem comes from putting other people down and making it seem like she’s the only competent one.

OP posts:
fortifiedwithtea · 05/02/2024 14:41

Your mum is being tiresome. I remember the “what’s mummy doing to you” comments when mine were young. Elderly aunt that never had children of her own.

You are taking it too much to heart. However children are very literal and repeat what they hear. We used to call our 3rd bedroom the cupboard as it was extremely small. Roll on to me being pregnant with Dc2. Dd1 happily informed nursery school that when the baby comes it will be put in the cupboard.

ginasevern · 05/02/2024 15:13

OP, your mum is jealous. She wants to be number 1 in your child's affections and the best way to do that is to make him not like you very much. It's deliberate brainwashing.

I had similar shit with my mother around my child and other things. She seemed to like to make a fool of me, especially when other people were around. It's because she wanted them to like her more than me and think she was oh so clever. It's sad really but it had a huge impact on me all my life.

Sit her down and calmly tell her that if she doesn't stop you will go no contact with her. Don't lose your temper but look her straight in the eyes and mean every word you say.

Jk8 · 05/02/2024 16:17

It's all about tone of voice at that age rather than words (so he may very well assosiates what she says with synpathy/concern but not understand "your to blame" mentality) but it sounds stupid if your already quite anxious/attentive so your not unreasonable to tell her to stop & enforce it

Pinkyhere · 05/02/2024 16:21

@ginasevern has put it perfectly.
If she makes out it was a joke or suggests you're being sensitive. Don't rise to it. Hold her gaze and repeat: "if you continue to try and undermine me. I will not spend time with you"

Bulkypeepants · 05/02/2024 16:30

It's funny isn't it why our mothers are doing this as mine does it too. A couple of times I've told her to wind it in. She stops for a while and then it restarts again though. My little one loves being tipped upside down and swung around, so when I do it my mum comes out with comments like 'what's mummy doing, she's horrible isn't she!' in a baby talk voice. Can't figure out for the life of me why she needs to do it 50 times a day. Little one still quite young so I'm not too worried that he's going to actually start thinking that I'm a horrible mother, but I had a rough pregnancy and try really hard to be a good mum to him so I don't like the insinuation that I'm not!

LonginesPrime · 05/02/2024 16:47

She sounds horrible - do you have to spend so much time with her?

Tinkerbyebye · 05/02/2024 16:51

I would have one serious conversation with her, quoting the quotes you have here and telling her exactly why it’s unacceptable and it has to stop

i would also say that if she does make those comments she will be asked to leave immediately if at yours, or you will leave if at hers, and mean it

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