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Daughter's expectations

(70 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?

rubylady Mon 18-Apr-16 04:05:09

My daughter's partner (if they are still together confused ) has said, when I have visited and I have asked him to make me a drink, that he didn't know how to! What 20+ year old does not know how to make a cup of tea? He can make two babies but not a cup of tea? I really didn't get on with him even though I tried many times.

NanSue Mon 18-Apr-16 09:46:05

I have often thought to myself "She wasn't bought up like that" I sometimes have to remind my daughter to do thoughtful things e.g, buy birthday cards and little things like that. It's a manners thing and maybe a generation thing too. You would think it would be a led by example thing but sadly it seems it's not always the case.

Lilyflower Mon 18-Apr-16 09:56:45

Members of one's own family do take greater liberties than others as they think their behaviour will always be excused. I have become the scapegoat for my sister's ire over the past decade. When she is under pressure and stressed she lashes out at me and makes horrible and hurtful accusations which she never acknowledges later and for which she never apologises.

Her behaviour after one of these 'whipping boy' events is gradually to make contact again by 'liking' posts on Facebook, adding comments and sending purely practical texts and e-mails as if nothing is amiss. However, it is clear that she harbours the ill feeling and, in particular, her distorted vision of me as a terrible person even as she reinstates the relationship.

I would dearly like to challenge her (mildly and politely, of course) behaviour and ask her to act differently in future but am strongly discouraged from doing so by my husband and daughter.

Daisybel1, I think you should speak to your daughter about her unkind treatment of you - but I have already acknowledged that I daren't speak to my own sister about her behaviour so I am not a good example to follow.

As for the cup of tea:- just make your own when you get to your daughter's! Don't wait to be asked!

adaunas Mon 18-Apr-16 10:11:57

Biting your tongue is really hard when you feel under attack as I sometimes do when the GC are picked up after we've looked after them (which we do on weekdays). It's even harder when you discover that your D has been slagging you off on Mumsnet and receiving lots of sympathy for having a mother like me. That really hurts! However, she does make me a cuppa if I am at her house to visit or to help out, so I have something to be grateful for.

Rosina Mon 18-Apr-16 10:23:44

Try not to get upset with your daughter; easily said but the advice here that we feel we can say what we like to our families is so true. I cringe now when I think of some of the things I thoughtlessly said to my dear Mum and Dad, long gone, who were so loving and always tried to help. Stress does awful things to us .

Someone said to me once, of my daughter, 'Just love her through it'. It helped, and in any event all things pass. Sometimes we do just exchange one set of problems for another but if you try to let the unkind remarks wash over you it won't add to her problems, which seem to be many right now.

Granny2016 Mon 18-Apr-16 10:54:10

When I feel angry with my adult daughters,I always remind myself that I would never want my life without them,and just ride the wave to calmer waters!
As my friends remind me,they come to me with their problems because they feel secure knowing that their mum will always help and support them.
They are the most important things in my life after all.
I also think that life today has become more difficult for many younger people.

marpau Mon 18-Apr-16 11:11:43

Daisybel1 I live close to my dil and as my son is away all week she has a heavy load with 2 dgs one of whom has health problems when I feel she is being a bit harsh I realise it is the pressure she is under and that she finds it difficult to ask for help. I usually say I will take the boys for the day or a sleepover and she is grateful I put it down to lack of sleep and her trying so hard to do everything.

sweetcakes Mon 18-Apr-16 12:44:14

It's not just girls boys as well what wrong with this generation of parents when did the rolls reverse and they became the ones in charge and we're to do as we're told I'm for one are fed up treading on egg shells not upsetting one or the other for fear of not seeing the DGC. I never treat my mother in law like this felt like it sometimes but have respect for her.
Hildajennij I would be upset to.
KatyK I know what you mean.
Rant over ?

Linsco56 Mon 18-Apr-16 13:45:03

Anytime my MIL popped in for a visit, the first thing I would say was "Hi, great to see you, you're looking well. What would you like tea, coffee, glass of wine?" My DD does the same. Now, my niece, that's an entirely different ball game! The entire family have named her me,me for obvious reasons.

GillT57 Mon 18-Apr-16 14:24:30

One of my aunts was horribly bullied by another aunt, her sister. I asked nice aunt why she put up with it and she said' well, she's family'. I asked if this same behaviour would be acceptable from a friend? No. Allowing for pressure/tiredness etc., I still fail to see how it is in any way acceptable to be rude to parents who are trying to help. As for not offering a drink or tea, well that is incredibly rude.

LesleyC Mon 18-Apr-16 14:45:05

I would just put the kettle on anyway and help myself at my daughter's or son's house if I wasn't offered one. They are easy going and I don't need to wait until they ask. It is just good manners to ask though and it may be just thoughtlessness and assume you will get a drink when you need one.

It sounds as if your daughter has too much going on daisybel1 and needs more help or to cut down her responsibilities rather than seeing the doctor and medicalising the problem.

patriciageegee Mon 18-Apr-16 19:45:41

In the case of DDs I have always said we give them a voice then they use it against us!!! When my own DD and I are having one of our 'moments' I sometimes think I allowed her to get away with too much when she was growing up but she is a good loving girl with an honest heart so I suppose if she holds up a mirror to me a little sharper than I'd like then I have to at least give it some credit (this sanguine attitude comes after many years mirror holding and many learning curves lol!!!) But I would certainly give her what for if she didn't offer me a brew...what am i saying? It would be ME actually making the brew lol!

grannybuy Mon 18-Apr-16 23:24:15

I think we may have taken the unconditional love too far when bringing up our children! I have two DD's and five DGC, and this year on my birthday, not a single card. I felt so sorry for myself, unusually, wondering if I was the only mum and granny to get no cards at all. Both DD's were very busy at the time, and 'knew' that I would understand, as ever. Maybe we shouldn't be so uncomplaining. I did get gifts when they finally caught up with me, so I shouldn't be petty. It just got to me this year.

Sugarpufffairy Mon 18-Apr-16 23:48:09

I always make myself a cup of tea at my DD's house. At another relative's house I have to wash the dishes before there is any hope of a cup of tea. It is best that way! I know that both these young mums were brought up in houses where the kettle was the hardest worked thing in their houses.

Adaunas - I would not pay too much attention to what is said on Mumsnet. I doubt if I could find words to describe people who are so sure of their own perfectnesses! They are so full of themselves and so outrageous I read through for entertainment. I wonder what they will be like when they join Gransnet! They will be these awful mums and mils!

annodomini Tue 19-Apr-16 00:13:37

Not only do my DSs and DiLs make me cups of tea (or hand me a glass of wine), but now the GC (from 8 to 13) do it too. And I am always welcome to make a brew for myself and any of them who want it. They don't come to me very often because the children now have so many weekend commitments, but when they do, the DSs usually take over the kitchen.

Judthepud2 Tue 19-Apr-16 01:32:59

I think our children take their frustrations out on us because they know we will still be there for them when they need us. I've had my share of lashings, and it does hurt. I've finally got to the stage of just backing away and letting it go.

DD3 is particularly prone to have a go at me when she is under pressure (which she is a lot of the time) but she tends to come out of it quickly and is then generous and considerate. She tends to offer me wine rather than tea as she knows my preferences well wink

thatbags Tue 19-Apr-16 08:05:19

I don't understand this so-called "unconditional love" thing when applied to adult offspring. If my adult offspring were unpleasant and impolite to me, I really don't think I would like them any more, just as I wouldn't like any other person who was unpleasant to me for no good reason.

One loves a baby and a small child unconditionally because one is responsible for it (yes, I realise that's a very biological way of looking at it, but I believe it's true: mother love is programed into our genetic code to enhance the survival rate of offspring), but by the time they are adults if they are being rude or disrespectful, then they can sod off. I have more self-respect than to be treated like dirt by anyone, let alone my own offspring.

In short, I'm agreeing with jings, who said something similar about self-respect further up the thread, if I remember rightly.

thatbags Tue 19-Apr-16 08:10:37

However, that is all hypothetical because they wouldn't, and I do love them. They reciprocate that love but I don't think it is unconditional on either side.

I don't think any love is unconditional. There are always 'conditions' to how one feels about a person.

And it boils down to what I've said to each of my kids as they were growing up and being awkward (to put it mildly): you don't have to like me but you do have to treat me with respect. My being your mother makes no difference to that.

thatbags Tue 19-Apr-16 08:11:42

As it happens, they all do seem to like me. Or if they don't, they hide it very well grin

Elegran Tue 19-Apr-16 08:32:30

If we are to accept that they take out their frustrations on us, then presumably we are OK to take out ours on them? Is it acceptable for US to snap at our grownup children because we are annoyed at our ageing bodies, can't do what we did when we were their age, have lost most of our friends to death and Altzheimers, and see the shadow of the grim reaper looking over our own shoulders?

Or are we grownup enough to ignore the way they spend their money as though there is a money-tree at the end of the garden, allow their children to act in ways we would have cut short at once, forget us on birthdays and mother's day, expect child-minding for them to go out for the evening while not noticing that we haven't been able to enjoy a meal out for several years?

We are often advised on the forums to turn the other cheek, so often that we must be well browned on all sides by now, but surely being grown-up is something that ALL adults are capable of? I would not dream of using any of my children as a whipping-boy for my own frustrations, nor would I accept them being rude to me. Family members should be treated with as much consideration as is offered to anyone else.

Not that they would do otherwise. Like thatbags I have a family who don't take offence at the drop of a hat, but neither do they give offence. Perhaps it is because respect for all family members was the norm as they grew up - toward them and from them.

Gagagran Tue 19-Apr-16 08:37:00

I treat my children as I try and treat everyone, with kindness and respect. I don't offer advice and I don't criticise their decisions even though the temptation to do so is sometimes hard to resist but - least said soonest mended.

I enjoy hearing about their lives and what they think about things and we have some interesting discussions. I also appreciate their sharing their children with us. They are nice, good adults and I am very proud of them and their contribution to the world.

I think some of the posts on here make sad reading and the offspring described sound very spoilt and entitled to me.

Alea Tue 19-Apr-16 08:47:57

Thoughtful and reassuring post Elegran (and others) and helps to put the M/D relationship into perspective. There are some truly sad posts about situations which are clearly distressing and one can see more problems lining up for the future.
I wonder how Mumsnet would have responded?

annsixty Tue 19-Apr-16 08:58:18

We don't need to wonder. To slightly change the old saying relating to H's, in most of their eyes " a mothers place is in the wrong".

annodomini Tue 19-Apr-16 09:17:15

Gagagran. smile

Judthepud2 Tue 19-Apr-16 10:02:06

Thought provoking posts here and I agree with the point that we should all treat each other with respect. But when grandchildren are in the mix, things can become messy. So many of us try to bite our tongues and tolerate the tongue lashings so that we don't lose contact. How would you show that being rude to one's mother is not to be tolerated, Elegran? I really would like some ideas. Whenever I try to discuss it, it makes things worse. Backing off and allowing things to cool off seems to be the only way.

When I was a teenager and being rude to my saint of a mother, my dad would intervene and make it quite clear that this behaviour was totally unacceptable. As an adult I would never have considered being rude with my mum. I had learned to appreciate her and all she did for me. She died 20 years ago and I still miss her every day.