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Intimidation by daughter

(71 Posts)
JammieB Thu 03-Jan-13 20:57:31

I have a 45 year old daughter - she is an excellent mother and holds down a good job, however lately she is making me feel intimidated and challenges a lot of what I say. I would love to be able to have a normal conversation with her without feeling as if I am treading on eggshells all the time. I appreciate that this time of her life is not easy, her children are teenagers and becoming more independent but her husband it successful and attentive. I almost feel that my husband and I are being treated as doddering old fools - we're not even 70 yet!! I'm not sure how to handle this new state of affairs and are starting to dread having to be with her - anybody else found themselves in a situation like this and if so any ideas how to handle it?

Marelli Thu 03-Jan-13 21:09:18

I've experienced that type of behaviour from my lot at times as well, JammieB. I can also identify with the feeling of being intimidated - it's horrible. You feel wary, and don't know how to react in case it causes a row. I think the best way to handle it is to ask why she is speaking to you in that manner?

granjura Thu 03-Jan-13 21:30:02

I know exactly what you mean. Hard as when we visit it is for about 1 week to 10 days at a time. She will snatch things out of my hands and say things like 'Goodness sake's mum' or look at me with 'that' 'mum's off her rocker' look. Most of the time I can laugh it off- but from time to time I find it intimidating, as you say, or downright upsetting. Last time we were there I snapped back and we had a few very awkward hours - but managed to snap out of it and make up. I am often tense when we are there as our sil can be very intense and we are walking on egg shells a lot of the time.

glassortwo Thu 03-Jan-13 21:37:18

I live with my DD and have experience of this from time to thats not true .....quite often. I think she sometimes forgets that I am her Mum and not one of the children and as much as I try to hold my tongue I have been know to ask her not to forget who she is talking to, this generally leaves an air of tension but she must take heed as it is better for a while.

JammieB Thu 03-Jan-13 21:38:07

Reassuring Marelli that it's not just me!! I did ask just that but was met with raised eyebrows and asked whatever did I mean - that made me feel even more geriatric! I am wondering if it's possible that she might be menopausal and her children moving on are testament to the fact that SHE might be feeling that life is passing a little too fast. I love her dearly and am so proud of all she does, she needs reassurance and I tell her regularly - however this all seems a little one sided at the moment!

jO5 Thu 03-Jan-13 21:40:04

Yes. This definitely rings a bell here too. You just have to be assertive. Don't let them get away with it. We might not be quite as quick as they are, but we're not senile! hmm

JammieB Thu 03-Jan-13 21:41:37

Oh goodness this makes me feel a lot better!! Thanks guys!! I am a 69 year old graduate - not a sulky teenager (however a fair bit of sulking goes on in the car on our way home after a visit!!)

Ana Thu 03-Jan-13 21:42:36

I think daughters do tend to take things out on their Mums when things are going not so well in their lives, the relationship is so complicated really, isn't it? And they do so hate any signs of ageing or forgetfulness - I suppose they just don't want to acknowledge that we're getting old(er), and they get irritated, as though we're doing it on purpose...hmm

Mishap Thu 03-Jan-13 21:43:59

I think that the only way through these situations is humour. When all my DDs are together I sometimes (but thankfully not often) feel that they "take over" and treat us as if we are getting on a bit more than we actually are - I usually make some quipy about not being in my bath chair yet!

It is just another stage in our evolving relationships with our DDs as they and we get older.

glassortwo Thu 03-Jan-13 21:44:05

JammieB there are times when I wish I was on a visit and not living with her hmm

JammieB Thu 03-Jan-13 21:53:04

Oh my goodness - you are right!! I am still able to drive myself home at night and certainly will not mention that my cataract makes it difficult in the dark!! Bring on the long days again! Mishap I think you are right about the evolving relationship and am trying to remember how I was with my own Mother, unfortunately I lost her at the age I am at now so will never know.

JammieB Thu 03-Jan-13 21:54:11

Ana - you are so right

JammieB Thu 03-Jan-13 21:56:15

My grandchildren still think I am really "cool" - especially when we came to the conclusion that I probably still have more whiskers on my chin than my grandson bless them!! LOL

whenim64 Thu 03-Jan-13 22:08:14

I had a couple of comments over Christmas during a large gathering - son posturing and then made a crack along the lines of 'you're going senile.' I put him firmly in his place and he protested 'I was only joking.' If he does it again, he'll get one of my lectures grin He won't do it a third time grin

Elizabeth1 Fri 04-Jan-13 09:44:53

I am so pleased its not just me who experiences walking on eggshells when visiting daughter. Even on the phone I'll be told "you've already said that" in a tone which sounds annoyed. Eh how are we meant to respond without fear of backlash or fallout. Wouldn't like to have that happen. Anyway it's not all that bad as when I leave I too have time to vent to husband on the way home. Exasperation when adult kids treat parents less respectful than they should. do you think they are aware of this behaviour? By the way I do love my family and they love me too. Funny old world eh.

nightowl Fri 04-Jan-13 10:06:25

I'm also glad to know it isn't just me! The awful thing is, I know that I spoke to my mum in just the same way. I remember how everything she said, however innocuous, would annoy and irritate me and I would do the eye-rolling and huffing and puffing. Karma, eh? blush

Nanado Fri 04-Jan-13 10:29:35

This is all so familiar, especially the walking on eggshells but. There was a thread about this a couple of months ago I seem to remember, and someone advised someone else (!!i know!!) to try to put a mental barrier up around themselves when this happened.

I put this into practice when my DD started her tricks. I sort of closed down, go quiet and gather myself together. It's not sulking, far from it, it's a mental withdrawal from the hurtful situation. I will answer questions politely, speak when spoken to but not initiate conversation or argue a point or offer an opinion. I cannot believe how well it has worked.

Over Christmas my DD has been actively seeking out my advice, trying to draw me into conversations and sharing details of her recent promotion with me and how she feels about it. Rather than feeling like an interfering old fool who knows nothing I am now being treated as a wise woman with something to offer.

Perhaps we all give too freely of ourselves? I now cultivate the 'still waters run deep' attitude in her company.

Ana Fri 04-Jan-13 10:48:42

Good idea, Nanado! Sometimes I think I come across to DD as 'needy' when all I'm doing in my head is trying to communicate with her and have a proper relationship! confused

nightowl Fri 04-Jan-13 11:01:20

I have tried that approach Nanado but I'm obviously not getting it quite right because I am then asked 'why are you in a mood with me ? ' hmm

whenim64 Fri 04-Jan-13 11:03:27

Karma indeed nightowl. It's so easy to recognise becase we did it, too blush.

I like Nanado's strategy. Ill try it if there's a need, although I certainly got the message acoss last time. If they don't respond to 'do you ave ANY idea WHO you are talking to?' the silent and mysterious treatment should kill it stone dead! grin

JessM Fri 04-Jan-13 11:07:16

The phrases "give me a break darling" and "I'm not in my dotage yet" spring to mind. There is a fine line isn't there between being mildly patronising (and we never did that to our parents, ever, did we? hmm) and being irritable and put-down-y
Perhaps some women look at their mothers and suddenly see themselves in 20-30 years time. Or suddenly start worrying about mum or dad becoming a liability?

Ana Fri 04-Jan-13 11:11:46

I certainly couldn't/wouldn't ask DD whether she had any idea who she was talking to - it would NOT go down well....hmm

kittylester Fri 04-Jan-13 11:12:20

My daughters don't do that, yet, but they all got together at Christmas and tried to organise 'jobs' among themselves. I'm a complete control freak and like to organise EVERYTHING if they are coming to us and it really made me feel as though I'm in my dotage sad

The silly thing is, they are all control freaks too and we laugh about how they must have caught it from me. confused

When did the hats go? shock

Ana Fri 04-Jan-13 11:13:17

The festive season is obviously over for us! grin

granjura Fri 04-Jan-13 11:14:07

If I try to do that- not stone walling, but going quiet 'she'll ask constantly if I am OK, and why I am so quiet'! Our difficulty is that we, due to distance, have to stay for a week or more. We have said a few times that we will stay in a hotel - trying to make light of it, but they insist that they have a spare room just for us, blabla, and that the children so love us being there, etc.

We do make sure to make ourselves scarce during our stay to give them space but it is not easy. Of course we had the same with my parents the other way round- also for a week or 2 at at time! And I do remember getting irritated by both mum and dad too at times!

Our daughter is a very successful business woman with a big team under her- and is very fast and brilliant at multi-tasking - so not used to people like me who do hesitate sometimes- partly due to the 'walking on eggs' due to her OH. So hard- and yes, we do love each other so much and are very close too. When you go for the day, or a few hours, you can make an excuse and say see you for coffee next week- but when you have to pack all your affection and being together once or twice a year a week or two at a time, it multiplies tensions, etc, and misunderstandings are more likely to linger.