Gransnet forums


not to like my mother?

(65 Posts)
Grossi Mon 08-Aug-11 07:51:29

Can any of you help me to gain a bit of perspective on my relationship with my mother? I am sorry if this is a bit long.

My mother is 80 and lives alone in another country. She has very few friends and expects me and my sister to spend all our holidays with her. While we are with her she criticises everything. Only one of her 7 grandchildren and great grandchildren is acceptable to her. She claims the others are fat (you can see all their ribs), antisocial (because they try to keep out of her way) and, and, and…

She says she has wasted the last 40 years keeping her house for me and my sister to inherit. When we suggested that she could sell it, she dropped the subject.

We can’t do anything right. We chose the wrong men to marry, we cook the vegetables in too much water, we don't do enough around the house and garden, and so on.

She has barely worked in her life and all repairs to the house, kitchen gadgets, televisions and computers etc. have been paid for by me or my sister.

People say we should just cease all contact, but we don’t feel we could live with ourselves if we did that especially as she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, although the treatment seems to have been successful.

What would you do?

Baggy Sun 14-Aug-11 13:11:08

Jangran, my mother also fell out with her sister so when my aunt helped me to make the dress I got married in back in the seventies, mother complained that she was 'surprised' I hadn't asked her instead. Actually, I didn't ask my aunt to help, I just asked if I could use her sewing machine while I was visiting her. She showed an interest and was able to advise me about some little details because she was a sewer herself. My mother, although she could and did sew a bit, always hated it. Nuff said! Mothers like that have a way of twisting things.

I won't be going the extra mile and I've already told all my four siblings not to expect it. As it happens, three of them are in a better position, financially, geographically or with regard to other family commitments, to help out more easily if and when it is needed. She likes them better too, and has different expectatiions of them (I'm the oldest girl), but we all find her difficult.

I've told my daughters to tell me if I ever get like her.

Jangran Sun 14-Aug-11 13:32:14

I am an only child, unfortunately, so I can expect no help there, but I have also told my daughters to tell me if I ever get like my mother.

Barrow Sun 14-Aug-11 14:04:59

Just an update on my Mothers selfishness - my husband has terminal cancer, I have just spent the last week in hospital with him, never leaving his side as the Doctors thought he could go at any time. He confounded them all by surviving and I now have him at home, albeit much weaker and I think not for long. I regularly email my brother with updates so my Mother is fully aware of all this. This morning I had an email from my brother saying that Mum is complaining because I haven't written to her. When he pointed out to her that I had a lot on my plate at the moment her reply was "well how long does it take to write a letter".

greenmossgiel Sun 14-Aug-11 14:14:12

Barrow, this must be so very hard for you at the moment - regardless of thoughlessness/selfishness from your mother. Thinking about you.

Baggy Sun 14-Aug-11 15:34:45

Barrow, ignore your mother, please! You have more important things to do than pander to her selfishness. If she were my mother and she pestered me by email at this point, I'd delete her messages without reading them. I would also tell my brother that I don't want to hear any more of her snide remarks.

Heartfelt good wishes for you and your husband.

Baggy Sun 14-Aug-11 15:35:34

In short, don't let her bully you.

Grossi Sun 14-Aug-11 17:01:46

My thoughts are with you Barrow.

grannyactivist Sun 14-Aug-11 18:42:38

Oh Barrow of course your time and energy must be with your husband now. If your mother doesn't like it she can lump it!
There really should be a 'bunch of flowers' icon on here for situations like this, big hugs in lieu.

Barrow Mon 15-Aug-11 10:11:04

Many thanks for all your kind thoughts and wishes.

My brother knows that I no longer let my mothers comments get to me and in better times we even laugh about them!

My husband is continuing to confound the doctors by getting a little stronger every day. When he was in hospital the doctors told me they had never known anyone survive an attack to their system that he suffered. They told me a week ago that he could go at any time. They then changed it to "it won't be long".

This morning he announced the bed the hospital had provided was uncomfortable and he was going upstairs to our bed. He climbed the stairs slowly with me behind him terrified he was going to fall. He is now happily dozing in the middle of the bed!! I have always known I was married to a special man but even I am finding his attitude to his illness truly amazing.

Jangran Mon 15-Aug-11 13:42:26

All good wishes. I am really sorry that you have so much to worry about. Your mother doesn't deserve you.

harrigran Mon 15-Aug-11 13:55:32

Sending best wishes to you and your husband Barrow smile

ElseG Mon 15-Aug-11 14:19:09

Do ignore your mother Barrow and continue to be of support to your husband. Sending best wishes and thoughts from me too.

We all know that we become more selfish as we age but I think some of the mothers mentioned here sure take the biscuit. It makes me realise that I was quite lucky with mine and the same goes for my mother in law I suppose!

Charlotta Mon 15-Aug-11 15:39:50

Someone said that only after the death of the mother does a daughter really feel free. In my case my mother died when I was 26 and the first thing I did was to have a gas fire put in the house. Mum liked the old open fire. I remember that feeling of never more having to wonder what she would say or feel about anything I did. Six months later, real grieving set in. My new found freedom had stalled and I missed having someone who cared what I did if only to criticise it.

I became a mother later and have always tried to give my children the feeling that they should do what they feel is right, saw that they left home from 18 + and now wonder if I have kept myself too distant from them. Any how they seem to like it that way.
I don't think it is unreasonable to dislike your mother. Some parents are awful. You see that a lot as a teacher.

Jangran Mon 15-Aug-11 16:25:59

I don't know how old your children are, Charlotta, but mine left home when they were 18 as well, and have only lived at home for short periods since.

However, we are still really close, emotionally, if not geographically, and my elder daughter can't wait for us to move closer to her.

I think that the fewer demands one makes on one's children the better, because they will feel better about meeting the few that are left. The reality is that you only get from your children what they are prepared to give - the only difference is whether they give it willingly or begrudgingly.

Incidentally, I am sorry you lost your mother when you were still young, but in a way, it is unfortunate if a parent is still around when you are old yourself.

Looking after grandchildren can be tiring when you get older, but they usually have parents to assume the major responsibility. Whilst looking after an old person is also tiring, but they never go away, and there is no-one else to take the responsibility.

Also, it struck me the other day that I no longer have a mother - she has long since stopped acting like a mother - now she is more like the child, only, unlike a real child, she will get "younger" not older!