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All I can think about is my mum telling me I’m a failure of a mother

21 replies

Cantdealwithit · 05/02/2024 23:15

My mum has always I think not liked me. I have other siblings who she is so nice to and they defend her at every opportunity so I’ve just stopped saying anything because it’s not worth it.

Some of the things she’s said over the years have been harsh, she doesn’t like me, I’m fat, it’s no wonder I’ve got no friends, that I shouldn’t have had gallbladder surgery because the pain would at least remind me I need to lose weight. That I’m lazy, that I’m delusional (whenever I question her) but a few months ago that I’m a shit mum, and that if my DP ever left me I’d never see my son again because I’m not fit to be a parent.

My DP is such a good dad. But it’s all I’ve ever heard from her, how amazing he is and how I wouldn’t be able to do it without him. Everything I do is wrong, I dread her ever coming to my house because she makes me feel uncomfortable in my own home.

I had horrendous PND for the first year after birth, and I tried to tell her about it and she told me if I told anyone they would take my son away from me. So for a year I just tried to get through it on my own.

I’m not okay (I guess?) but I am finding things really difficult at the moment. My DS, 4, is autistic very developmentally delayed. I love him to absolute bits, and I worry about him constantly. He is having meltdowns frequently lately and it’s so hard because he’s non-verbal and I just want to make it better for him. Every time it happens I want to cry, and all I hear is my mum telling me what a bad mum I am. So every time he cries or has a meltdown, I’ve become convinced that it’s me, that it’s because of me he’s having meltdowns. I always manage to soothe him and he calms almost instantly when I cuddle him on my shoulder. But then I sit there and think if I wasn’t such a crap parent would things be the same?

I’m also running my own business and have fallen behind with work. I work from home so that I can be with DS too. My DP doesn’t work so we don’t need to pay for childcare, my DS is also in nursery two mornings a week (he needs a 1:1 and that’s the only capacity there is right now and tbh, I think much more would be too overwhelming for him).

I know I sound very selfish right now because it’s not about me. But I long for someone (other than my DP) to tell me I’m a good mum. I know she never will but I still just want her to tell me and I don’t know why.

I’m feeling like a total failure at the moment. I’m so stressed and anxious all the time and lately I’m feeling so low.

I keep thinking DS deserves more than me. I love him until my heart hurts. I would do anything for him. I just want him to be ok.

But lately I’m questioning whether it would be a bad thing if I wasn’t even here any more.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

52 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
OrigamiOwls · 05/02/2024 23:19

It sounds like your an amazing mum and doing your best for your little boy.

I know it's never as simple as this, but why are you still in contact with your mum? If she's making you feel like this have you considered going low/no contact with her?

NoCloudsAllowed · 05/02/2024 23:20

You know who's a bad mum? (Clue - It's not you.)

I'm sorry your mum is so toxic, it must be so hurtful. Cut her out of your life. Keep on caring for your lovely son. Get some therapy if you can.

ThirtyThrillionThreeTrees · 05/02/2024 23:23

The irony of this woman telling you that you are a bad mum when she is absolutely a horrific mum.

There's absolutely nothing in your post which indicates that she is correct in any way. You sound like a wonderful, considerate, supportive mum.

Why are you still in contact with her?

NeurodivergentBurnout · 05/02/2024 23:23

I’m autistic (‘high functioning if you will’). Meltdowns occur because of sensory overload. Not everyone can help me during a meltdown. XH made me feel worse (like I was over reacting!). The right people can calm me down. This phrase is key I always manage to soothe him and he calms almost instantly when I cuddle him on my shoulder.. You are the calm your DS needs. It’s bloody exhausting being Autistic and overwhelmed. It’s also exhausting to raise an Autistic kid! It sounds like you’re doing a great job with him. It’s okay to find it difficult.
Honestly? Your Mum sounds vile. Read up a bit on golden child and scapegoat, see if it rings true. Think about getting some therapy to process that dynamic and about how much contact you have with her and anyone in the family who contributes to it. Does she really bring anything positive to your life?

Cantdealwithit · 05/02/2024 23:26

I went LC with her and even moved further away from her but she still sees my DS on a Wednesday because she threatened me with court action and said she’ll get social services to take him away from me if he didn’t. I don’t see her nearly as much as I did and I try my best to stay LC. But her words were when I wasn’t LC, and it’s still hurting so much now.

OP posts:
junebugalice · 05/02/2024 23:32

You poor thing, I really feel for you having to deal with a mother like this. I too have a toxic mother and I can relate to what you are going through. I would advise therapy and to take a big step back from her. You deserve peace and happiness and you won’t get it while she is such a strong presence in your life. Best of luck op and, for what it’s worth, you sound like a great mom.

Northernsouloldies · 05/02/2024 23:37

Take you to court for what? Grandparent rights aren't a thing as far as I know. She's threatening ss on her own daughter for no reason and drags you down at any opportunity she's not worth having her involved in yours or your family life.

BubziOwl · 05/02/2024 23:44

It's one thing being a good mum, but it's a whole other thing being a good mum when you had a rubbish mother yourself. It's sounds like she's vile tbh. You had a terrible example to follow, and yet here you are breaking the cycle for your son anyway. Well done you - it's hard! ❤️

Everything in your post sounds to me like you're a great mum. I'm sorry you're having a hard time, it does sound like a very stressful situation for you.

I really think it sounds like you'd benefit from talking to someone, though, especially about the thoughts in the very last paragraph of your post - is your GP any good?

Fionaville · 05/02/2024 23:45

Your mum is a terrible mum, horrific!

My DS is autistic too. When he was your DS age, my in laws made us feel like it was our fault for not smacking him. It really upset my DH (he was determined to break the cycle and never be violent to ours DCs) My point is that parents can be utter arseholes and when their opinions are so vile, you shouldn't take them to heart.
As for suggesting you keep yourself in horrific gallbladder pain (I've had mine out too!) Just to remind you to lose weight, she's a monster! What mother wants their child to be in pain?!
I never say this lightly, but I think you should cut contact with your toxic mother.

DifficultBloodyWoman · 06/02/2024 00:07

Here is some honesty from a random on the internet:

  • I don’t know you and I don’t know if you are a good mum or a bad mum. Thee isn’t enough information in your post about your parenting to tell.
  • Your mum sounds like a terrible mum. She is a bad example of parenting so please don’t parent your child the way that she parented you.
  • A child will not be taken away from you purely because of post natal depression. Don’t listen to your mother.
  • Talk to your husband about how you are feeling so he can support you.

But lately I’m questioning whether it would be a bad thing if I wasn’t even here any more. This worries me for 2 reasons.

  • I know people who have parents who either committed suicide or attempted suicide. It fucked them up. Don’t fuck up your son.
  • Please talk to your GP. Ask for support. Despite the NHS crisis, help is still available.

Lastly, your mum sounds dreadful so I am inclined to believe the opposite of whatever she says. You are probably a great mum and she is struggling seeing you as good parent when she was awful.
Rubyfoxx · 06/02/2024 00:09

Hey girl. Gosh you poor thing. So your Mum blatantly emotionally abuses you. That is awful. Those things she said couldn't be any meaner or hurtful. Wow.

Of course you want your parents to validate your experiences, thats natural. We ALL thrive better when we are validated, and have people we love cheering us on at the sidelines. That makes you very normal! She's your Mum and that is what a healthy Mum should do. Nothing weird about that.
What's weird is that she doesnt. Harsh truth but....Unfortunately she never will.

I understand that this hurts so much. I can see from what you wrote at the end that you are feeling so much overwhelming emotional pain that you feel like maybe killing yourself would make it stop.
That is A LOT of pain to be dealing with. Despair is a horrible place to sit. Especially when you have this beautiful family around you who rely on you for everything but you know deep down you are having thoughts about checking out. And I cant say I blame you for feeling like that with how much you are going through. Im so sorry you are suffering like this.

You know, when I read your post the thing that stood out to me was when you wrote how you soothe your son on your shoulder, and I honestly read that feeling your warmth and thinking how lovely for that child. You sound like a great Mum! A REALLY GREAT MUM! Yes , even when you have dark thoughts, when you have good thoughts and when you have in-between thoughts.

It also struck me just how much you are juggling on your own. Putting on my best southern American accent* - Girl, you running your own business on top of all of this! ITs like you're an olympic weightlifter of a person holding all this family and business stuff up in the air inspire of your mum telling you you suck while you stand there doing it all anyway. WOW!
It sounds like you are literally supporting everyone in your household. Go girl! You are an amazing beast of a woman! .... But also.... can you maybe delegate some more tasks to your partner or even a couple of hours to a friend or relative or do you not have any of those kind of people around?
(Trust me I know, people vanish when you have babies!)

You are ALLOWED to not be perfect as you take on and juggle all these things. Everyone with a four year old will read your post and go, yep, exhausting...but not only that, your beautiful child is autistic and needs extra support on top of that. Most people just could not manage that at all but here you are!

Okay look, id really love if first of all you can find a way to talk to yourself the way you need your mum to talk to you. Read that again!

So I want you to really think about how much you are doing! Its incredible.

Next if you can, and it's totally cool if you dont want to, id have a chat with your GP about how much pressure you are being put under.

  • They are only there to advise- so you choose what to accept or not, but might be able to find you support for your child care, will probably offer you talking therapy support (which in case you're thinking NO CHANCE -if you were thinking of trying it out, is actually a lot like having a one person cheering squad on your team - its not like being in a headmistresses office and being told to suck it up - which is what I thought before I did it! but no worries if its not for you or you're not ready for that but im glad youve shared on here xx ) and also they might offer you medication for anxiety/sleep or even depression (yes, even if you say no to therapy. Sometimes, ironically, you need to be feeling better before you are ready for therapy and thats fine too) Not becasue you are doing any thing wrong - but because you are doing everything right! And you deserve people telling you that instead of making you ill and yanking you down.

You totally got this. Im here, a total stranger rooting for you! Sorry I wrote a long old essay but your post really moved me and I wanted you to know I see you, I read and thought about what you are going through, and I really hope you feel a little better. x🙂
Backinthedress · 06/02/2024 00:15

I voted YABU because you are .... if you believe a single thing that horrible woman says.

GoodbyeMother · 06/02/2024 00:17

I've no idea how to vote, I think i pressed the wrong way but I just want to say you sound great and thoughtful and kind and I'm very proud of all the amazing mum's, including you, that have written such thoughtful words.

Raffaell0 · 06/02/2024 00:25

Cantdealwithit · 05/02/2024 23:26

I went LC with her and even moved further away from her but she still sees my DS on a Wednesday because she threatened me with court action and said she’ll get social services to take him away from me if he didn’t. I don’t see her nearly as much as I did and I try my best to stay LC. But her words were when I wasn’t LC, and it’s still hurting so much now.

And how exactly would she get him removed? Social services don’t just take kids away. They work with families to provide support. Removal is a very last resort for an at-risk child. The first thing you need to do is stop being worried about social services. Even if she contacted them, all you’d need to do is engage with them. Let them see your home, tell them about the situation (I’d also tell them about the things your mother has said), if anything they will be able to help you with DS’s additional needs but I very much doubt they’d have any concerns and would realise it’s a vexatious complaint.

I’m hearing a story of a bad mother, but it’s certainly not you. Threatening to have your son placed into the care system because you won’t give access (which is well within your rights to do) shows what a vile person she is. If she truly believed your child was at-risk then she’d have a duty to contact them regardless of whether you let her see him, so that alone makes her disgusting. Using your fear of SS involvement is just her way of maintaining control of you.

The way she treats you says a lot about her, but not you. She projects a lot of her own insecurities onto you, especially the part about being a bad mum. I’d say if anything, the insistence that you are a bad mum suggests the opposite. She sees that you are a better mum than she ever was and wants to drag you down to her level out of spite and jealousy.

Regarding threatening court action, let her. Grandparents have no automatic right to see their grandchildren in England and Wales, and it is a lengthy and costly process to even get permission from the court to apply for a child arrangements order; grandparents don’t have automatic right to apply for a child arrangement order, so need court permission first to even apply. You’re safe there, so again, stop letting her bully and intimidate you with her baseless threats.

PND is nothing to be ashamed of. 1 in 5 suffer with it, and that statistic doesn’t account for the people who suffer in silence. 1 in 5 people don’t have their kids taken off them, that’s ridiculous. Most mums suffering with PND love their children more than anything (like you), and it’s the high standards they place on themselves as a result of wanting to be the very best mum that can exacerbate the problem. These types of people don’t have their kids taken off them.

If you need anymore convincing you fall into this category, read your own words back:
I keep thinking DS deserves more than me. I love him until my heart hurts. I would do anything for him. I just want him to be ok.

Get help for your PND, OP. It sounds like it is ongoing. And get yourself some talking therapy (you can self refer or speak to your GP), to try to undo some of the effects of years of abuse from your mother and break this cycle.

Gremlinsateit · 06/02/2024 00:29

Oh goodness, that’s awful. Stop the Wednesdays - she cannot carry out her threats and you don’t need that poison anywhere near your dear little son.

If he has a one on one, does that mean you already have some support from a health care provider or social services? You might consider telling that person how your mother is blackmailing you, and seek support for yourself.

MrsBennetsPoorNerves · 06/02/2024 00:40

You sound like you're doing great...keeping your head above water through untreated PND and parenting a non-verbal child with significant developmental delay; juggling the running of your own business with looking after your dc; presumably supporting your family financially if your DP doesn't work; and very capably soothing and calming your ds when he experiences meltdowns. And all this despite your own mum being absolutely shit as a parent?! I'd say that's pretty amazing, personally.

You aren't causing the meltdowns... that is the autism. It sounds like you know just what to do to help him, and you're really committed to trying to make things better for him.

Your mum is talking shit. I don't know why, and it isn't fair, but it reflects on her as a parent, not you. You're doing great.

And please don't ever think that your child would be better off without you. He needs you, your DP needs you and the world needs you. You're doing great, so don't allow your mum to mess with your head. But please do consider talking to your GP about your mental health... it's perfectly normal to struggle sometimes, and there is no need to fear that they will call social services. They will simply see that you're a responsible mum that recognises that you need to look after your own wellbeing effectively to be able to look after your ds.

saoirse31 · 06/02/2024 00:43

You sound like a brilliant mother and your mother is being absolutely horrible to you. I dont think theres such a thing as grandparents rights in english law and honestly any mother who would threaten to have her daughters child, taken off her is no kind of mother. Also, you sound as if youre a really, really good mother.

Id try and go no contact with your mother tbh, for your own well being and that of your son. I wouldnt want her trying to influence him and put you down to him, which I'd guarantee will happen if its not already.

Your life would be so much easier and happier without her in it.

thebestinterest · 06/02/2024 02:06

What keeps her in your life op? Your mum sounds broken 😞

candyisdandybutliquorisquicker · 06/02/2024 02:13

Your mother is appalling. I'm so sorry that, at a time when you need support the most, she is doing the opposite.

TheSlantedOwl · 06/02/2024 02:17

She can try to take legal action but she’ll get precisely fucking nowhere other than further up her own arse. Nasty, spiteful waste of molecules that she is.

Please cut her out. She’s the only thing wrong with your story. Other than that it’s two loving parents caring for their child. With difficulties, with issues, because sometimes that’s life, but - with love.

Honestly cut her out. You’ll feel so much better. And she can’t do anything about it.

Cathy31 · 06/02/2024 03:08

My mum said something similar to me, and it took years for it to stop hurting. But it doesn't hurt any more. Get therapy. Your mother sound really dreadful. Also as someone else said, killing yourself would damage your child profoundly. I know someone whose mum killed herself. Being at all ok has been a life's work. There is a way out of this pain, and for your child's sake you need to find it.

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