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Daughter's expectations

(69 Posts)
daisybel1 Fri 15-Apr-16 15:22:35

We're lucky enough to live very near our daughter and her family which means we get to see the grandchildren often. We try to help as she has a disabled husband and 3 step-children (who stay every other weekend) as well as 2 adorable GS (age 4 and2). She has admitted that she's finding it difficult to cope and I have encouraged her to talk to her GP. Of course we want to support her and try to ignore her snappy criticisms as I'm sure its not really aimed at us. However I'm getting fed up of feeling that whatever we do isn't right or enough. Somehow she makes us feel that her problems are our fault. I don't want to fall out with her and I know that she can be very loving and kind and she's lovely to everyone else! I suspect she's depressed and maybe we have to put up with being the kicking boards. How do I talk to her?

Luckygirl Fri 15-Apr-16 16:32:53

Family always take the brunt because we feel safe with them - unconditional love and all that. I hope you are able to help her through this difficult patch without any falling out; but I can see how frustrating this must be for you. If you can let some of the irritants wash by you, I am sure that would be best in the long run, but it is not always easy. It does sound as though she has an awful lot on her plate!

Eloethan Fri 15-Apr-16 17:47:32

Would it be wrong to say, quietly and calmly (not when angry or upset) that you understand she is feeling stressed but is she aware that some of the things she says come across as critical, and you find it hurtful?

If you think that would create bad feeling or even start a row, then just try to ignore it. I tend to think, though, that bottling up feelings of hurt and anger over a lengthy period of time can sometimes lead to them exploding.

KatyK Fri 15-Apr-16 18:26:35

I echo what Eloethan says. I had a bit of a similar problem with my daughter a while back. She never criticised but it was more her thoughtlessness that upset me. I said nothing and fixed on a smile but one day when I was going through a particularly bad time myself, I exploded at her and it was a mistake. Thankfully we still have a relationship but it made things far worse for a while to be honest. I think maybe a gentle chat is the answer. I have fixed the smile back on and keep schtum.

FarNorth Fri 15-Apr-16 18:30:47

You are probably right to think that things are getting on top of your daughter.
Can you say that to her and make it clear you don't blame her for her remarks to you but you feel something needs to change?

Is there any way she can get a bit of time off from family demands?

hildajenniJ Fri 15-Apr-16 20:33:41

My DD has four demanding children. Her DH works at sea for months at a time. I visited for a few days once last summer and had hardly say down when she told me that people don't come to her house to sit down, they come to help! I said nothing, and I helped, but I was rather hurt that she didn't even offer me a cup of tea after my journey!

hildajenniJ Fri 15-Apr-16 20:37:28

Sorry, pressed the wrong key! I sympathise, I know how hard it is to keep quiet, but please try. I have a great relationship with my DD, and the DGC, and have learned when I can speak my mind and when to remain quiet.

KatyK Sat 16-Apr-16 13:18:57

Oh hilda the cup of tea thing. I once helped my daughter with a job she had to do. I helped her for 7 hours at her house and she didn't offer me anything to eat or drink although she had a few soft drinks herself! Glad it's not just me shock This was a few years ago, hopefully she would be different now.

Lona Sat 16-Apr-16 13:25:30

Hilda and Katyk I think it's sad if you don't feel able to say that you'd like a cuppa, or be able to say "Shall I put the kettle on?".

KatyK Sat 16-Apr-16 13:29:17

Well I did Lona and she accused me of 'spilling water all over the place'. I do agree that it is sad. I wouldn't do it now it has to be said. She was very stressed, having undertaken something she was unsure that she could cope with and believe me, by the end of the day I was stressed too!

KatyK Sat 16-Apr-16 13:40:22

And she did appear the next day with flowers and an apology smile

felice Sat 16-Apr-16 15:27:50

Is it a generational thing, I often go upstairs to DD, she will often make herself a cup of coffee or a soft drink and never think of asking me.
I now take my own M&S teabag or ask if there is a cold beer in the fridgegrin.

Elegran Sat 16-Apr-16 16:09:55

Couldn't you just say, "That looks good. Is there one for me?", when she makes a drink for herself? Without sounding critical, just asking casually.

Stansgran Sat 16-Apr-16 20:44:11

I would be astonished that anyone can make a cup of tea and not offer it . I blame tea bags but also I come from Liverpool where people are not backward in putting the kettle on if you are a bit tardy.

annsixty Sat 16-Apr-16 21:02:43

I and everyone I know would never dream of not offering a drink to everyone. Perhaps that is northern hospitality. If anyone made themselves a drink and didn't offer me one I would walk out. I can't believe what I read and in 78 years this has never happened to me. Am I alone?

Maggiemaybe Sat 16-Apr-16 21:08:10

No, annsixty, I feel just the same!

Iam64 Sat 16-Apr-16 21:27:36

Maybe it is a northern thing as Annsixty suggests. I can't recall visiting anyone at their home without being offered tea, coffee etc. That goes for work visits as well, when despite sometimes visiting to discuss 'difficult' issues, an early comment was usually ' do you want a brew' , a great way to break down barriers I found,

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 16-Apr-16 21:57:14

No one is more stressed than my younger daughter at the moment. She is a teacher and has a really heavy workload. But no way would she take her stress out on me. I wouldn't let her, but she just wouldn't do it. You mustn't allow her to treat you like that. You have to stand up for yourself for the sake of your own self respect.

jinglbellsfrocks Sat 16-Apr-16 21:58:56

hilda if my DD had said that to me after I had made a journey to visit her, I think I would have probably cried. It must have been so hurtful.

Eloethan Sat 16-Apr-16 23:31:23

I don't think it's a northern thing - I think it's a manners thing.

Iam64 Sun 17-Apr-16 08:38:29

Apologies Eloethan - you're right, it's a manners thing. We're so used to having the you know what taken out of us, we northerners sometimes respond defensively when there's no need.

annsixty Sun 17-Apr-16 08:46:37

Well don't feel bad Iam I started it.?

KatyK Sun 17-Apr-16 10:53:34

When it's your own daughter, it makes you look at them and think 'were you really brought up like this?'. I know I did. As for the suggestions that we should ask - we really shouldn't have to ask.

Lona Sun 17-Apr-16 17:00:08

KatyK I've often looked at my DD and thought the same thing! But at least she always makes lots of cups of tea! smile

KatyK Sun 17-Apr-16 17:35:00

Well that's something then Lona smile