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To move house

(67 Posts)
gummybears Fri 20-Apr-18 12:22:24

I need an outside perspective on this from people who are not close to the situation or either party, please.

I have a three year old, a two year old, and a third child due in August. We live in a two bed one bath bungalow a few doors down from my parents. We also have a beloved large and now quite elderly dog. I will not consider rehoming him.

Our accommodation was bought when we had no children and had been told not to expect any. It is now frankly overcrowded. We have been talking about moving for over a year, but the arrival of a third child makes this necessary sooner rather than later.

We offered on a house a couple of streets away this week, but despite offering well over the valuation, we were still seriously outbid. We are going for a second viewing of a very similar but larger home in a very nice area two miles away this weekend. The sellers have had their buyers withdraw suddenly and are very keen to sell ASAP at a very reasonable price. I like this house a lot more than the one we offered on - the other one had the advantage of being in our current location but was otherwise smaller and had a worse layout for a small family.

My mum has absolutely blown her stack over this.

She has had a full meltdown and accused me of abandoning her. My father is trying to strongarm me into not moving bt saying she will be completely alone (he chooses to work seventy hours a week plus overnights away in retirement because he says he cannot stand to be with her), that I am ending her relationship with her grandchildren, and that she might kill herself. I consider it exceptionally unlikely that she would try to harm herself. She has a number of serious and untreated mental illnesses that my father forbids her to seek treatment for, or for us to encourage her to seek treatment. She is in any case implacably opposed to treatment.

This house is literally two miles away over well traveled toads. My mother literally drives past it at least once a week on her way to the supermarket. During the three plus years her grandchildren have lived three doors away, she has agreed to visit our home three times on Christmas Day only. All other visits must take place at her home. She has also said I may no longer visit her home once the third is born as this is “too much” for her. I can only visit if my father is present, which due to him continually absenting himself is not often. At most I am permitted to come once a week. I have had three difficult high risk pregnancies and she refuses in any circumstances to babysit so that I might go to appointments. I am missing a number as a result as my husband is very difficult about moving his work commitments so I can go. I am trying to make at least one a week.

I explain all this to contextualise that the amount she sees the children will literally not change if we move as I have given an undertaking to keep bringing them for the one allowed visit per week. I can drive and again, I am travelling only two miles.

I can only describe the past few days as a shower of abuse, including her screaming at me in front of my very elderly and frail grandmother and the children yesterday during a visit to my granny for her birthday.

She thinks I should by the first three bedroom house in this area available and tell my eldest two they must share a bedroom in perpetuity. I do not think that we have the resources as a family to allow each child their own bedroom that this is fair or reasonable. I was not expected to share with my own brother as a child.

If I have missed anything out, it is because she phoned during this post to say that I will have post natal depression if I move. I have a history of depressive illness that she did not allow me to seek treatment for as a teenager but was very successfully treated a number of years ago. I have been entirely well for almost a decade and proactively monitor my mood with my antenatal team. I found this line of attack hurtful and my train of thought has gone somewhat off the rails.

She has no friends and has never worked since I was born. She does not visit her sister or small niece who she encouraged to move to the neighbouring street. She does not suffer from any agoraphobia and enjoys driving. She is able to go shopping frequently and to either the hair salon or beauty salon once a week. Her physical health is excellent.

Is it me, ladies? Am I being unreasonable? I just don’t have the perspective I need about this decision. And I need to make it this weekend.

Will obviously answer any further questions as required. Please be honest with me, I am really struggling here.

Please help.

yggdrasil Fri 20-Apr-18 12:32:07

Buy the house. It's your family that counts, not your mother. You don't mention a husband/partner, are you having to make this decision alone?
You say you like the house, you can afford it, and it is only 2 miles away. What's not to like

gummybears Fri 20-Apr-18 12:37:51

No sorry, I am married. My husband has wanted to move away from mum for a while because although I try not to be affected by her blowups, at least once a week she is really bad and it does get to me.

He has also resented for a long time that she is not willing to help out even in emergencies. I have had to refuse emergency hospital admission a number of times over the years because she would not hold on to the little ones for half an hour until he got home from work. She also will not see us at all if she “suspects we have a cold” as she is extremely careful about her health.

This is partly what I meant about an outside perspective, he tries his hardest to support me in trying to maintain any relationship with her but obviously from his point of view, it brings a lot of grief into his life.

Situpstraight Fri 20-Apr-18 12:38:37

Move, don’t let your Mother manipulate you.

If something like this tips her over the edge, then believe me, you and your family are not the problem.

I hope you get the house and love it!

grannysyb Fri 20-Apr-18 12:38:42

Go for it! You are not emigrating, it's yor life. Good luck.

gummybears Fri 20-Apr-18 12:47:54

Thank you ladies.

I just find the blame crushing. My father has told me since infancy that he expects me “to keep your mother happy and look after her”. He went away overnight last night to go to a social function and gave me a speech before leaving about “being aware of your responsbilities to your mother, its not about you and the weans”.

He and I have argued about this a lot since my eldest was born; I feel that as he chooses to remain married to her he is not entitled to totally offload the emotional labour of caring for her onto me. I have (almost) three other little people to do everything for.

Panache Fri 20-Apr-18 12:49:49

Quite frankly, just reading your letter and all its various dilemnas I am shell shocked, and probably not even able to think straight.
You certainly have a host of semi related problems on your hands, and of course now with both a third child almost due whilst you yourself have your own mental issues, the whole scenario is truly mind boggling.
However, as far as I can see it, this is not your fault as you seem to have not only conquered your mental issues despite no family help,plus you seem to be taking a sensible view of your life with three children to rear over the next considerable time.
Two miles distance is absolutely no distance at all,whilst if this house is not only your preference, but will cater well for your entire family,I cannot see why all this aggro ..............other than from a seriously demanding mother.... whom sadly thinks just of herself and is not ready to see and understand your needs and point of view.
It seems to me, you really have to put your own family`s needs first, and I wish you luck in obtaining this new home soon.
Whilst perhaps once the deed is done your mother will realise that she is very much in the wrong, and she will,in time,come around to seeing common sense and that this home is indeed well within her visiting distance ...........if only she makes the effort.
Altogether a very upsetting story and I can but wish you well from all aspects, and I hope this whole business eventually works out and proves you right.

Situpstraight Fri 20-Apr-18 12:57:16

gummybear you don’t say how old you are, but I’m guessing that you are fairly young and still at the age where you feel guilty for whatever happens to your parents, but, as you say, you now have your own family to think about.

It might be time to take a deep breath and help yourself to realise that you are not your parents parent, to stop feeling that their lives and happiness depend on you and that they are old enough to come to terms with their choices.

The time has come to step away from all of their problems and get yourself organised for the move, because they obviously have serious problems, but they are not yours to take on or solve.

It’s going to be hard because you are their ‘buffer’ - time to make them sort themselves out. TBH your Father shouldn’t be making you feel responsible for keeping his marriage together.

MawBroon Fri 20-Apr-18 13:01:36

This is a no- brainer and I hope the support you are getting here will help you to do what is right for you and your family
One or two points
Your mother is not your responsibility while she still has your father. Don’t be browbeaten, he is abrogating his responsibility.
Two miles is nothing, you are not emigrating.
(Two miles could even be too close if I am being honest)

Now, forgive me if I have confused you with somebody else, but if I am right you suffered and survived an unhappy, abusive childhood. Your mother’s mental health issues may have been the reason, but are not an excuse.
Consequently, you owe her nothing . Harsh I know and I am never normally the type of person to take this attitude.
I am amazed you have even contemplated letting her look after your little ones.
I am not advocating going “no contact” but you and your OH must stick to your guns and do what is right for your children and each other.
Cynically I do wonder (but not much) why your father chooses to work such long hours in his retirement. hmm
You are being dumped on, stay strong, don’t get into arguments and let your OH back you up.
Very best of luck.

gummybears Fri 20-Apr-18 13:05:50

I am thirty six. (the children came late, against all hope, but abundantly!)

Situpstraight, I think I needed to hear that. Thank you. I still feel like I am “disobeying” them.

I work so hard to try and make her happy and give her what she wants from our relationship, but I feel like I don’t even know what that is any more. For years I was a failure to her because she had no grandchildren. Now she doesn’t want to see them except solely and absolutely on her terms.

I hate telling them that they can’t see Grandma when they are asking to. I admit I lie and say she is very tired, or feeling sick. I don’t think I can tell them any sort of the truth. I don’t know if I would know where to start.

Charleygirl Fri 20-Apr-18 13:16:54

You absolutely must move to the house which you think will suit you and your family best. Maybe moving two miles away you will meet new friends and perhaps you will have reasonable neighbours who will babysit in an emergency. You have to get away from that toxic environment.

I am in agreement with Maw, two miles is not far enough away, what a nightmare. Good luck, remember it is your life, not your mother's.

rockgran Fri 20-Apr-18 13:17:20

Good Grief - I don't think two miles is far enough! Seriously - this is your life, go for it! It sounds like whatever you do it will never be considered "enough" so stop trying to please everyone else. You are perfectly entitled to enjoy your own little family.

Situpstraight Fri 20-Apr-18 13:17:34

Just tell the children that it isn’t convenient, they will soon get used to the term, make some cakes or a card with them, and take them with you next time you pay a visit ( freeze the cakes) that way they will be occupied and won’t keep worrying you with requests to visit, or set a certain day week or fortnight, then they will know that today isn’t ‘The ‘ day.

It seems that the more you give your Mother the more she wants and demands, no one can continue like that, you will be sucked dry and then what will happen? it’s time to concentrate on your little ones, your OH and of course yourself.

Nanawind Fri 20-Apr-18 13:18:47

Gummybears it's your life with hubbie and children. Move for your families sake. It's not for you to always support your mum, your father also needs to take responsibility in helping your mum to get help.
Reading your thread I get the impression that they don't support you so why should you feel guilty in supporting them less than they want. You only come this way once.

Stansgran Fri 20-Apr-18 13:39:45

Gummybears I think you would be better talking to Mumsnet as your problems are so diverse. They may see things differently and have a more proactive attitude . You seem mired in awkward relationships with your mother , husband ,mother in law ,infertility and difficult third pregnancy and now a house move.

NfkDumpling Fri 20-Apr-18 13:49:28

Move! Soon!

It's your little family that matters more than anything else. They come first. What your parents do is their concern.

Your mum is playing the guilt card big time and manipulating you big time. I doubt will follow through on any of her threats - she'd be the looser. Give in now and you may well be in danger of loosing what you have.

To my mind two miles is the minimum distance to move, further may be worth serious consideration!

gummybears Fri 20-Apr-18 13:55:20

Stans, I am no longer welcome on mumsnet because I stated that I would not go completely no contact with mum and dad.

I have thought long, long and hard about this over the years and I don’t feel able to do it. The view of my fellow posters was that I was refusing to help myself and there was no other solution to the issues.

I would probably feel better if there was less frequent contact. The visits are ok because the littles are there but the daily phonecalls I absolutely dread.

Maw, I needed that badly, thank you sincerely.

Smileless2012 Fri 20-Apr-18 14:10:07

That's awful gummybears to say your mother is overreacting would be a gross understatement.

It's also very sad that you feel unable to talk about this on MN because you've said you wont go non contact with your parents. Scary that when there's a problem with parents so many advocate cutting them out.

It might do your mum good if she were to take a look at the estrangement threads, and read of the pain and heartbreak that actually being abandoned by your own child brings.

I hope you will make the decision to go for the house best suited to your family regardless of your mother's views on the matter and that given time she'll put the needs of you and yours before her own.

Clearly you are prepared to keep your door to her open; I hope she has the good sense to knock once she's calmed down so she can have a relationship with her D and GC.

Good luck for the weekend. Let us know what you decideflowers.

yggdrasil Fri 20-Apr-18 14:11:04

daily phonecalls I absolutely dread.
So get a phone with an answer phone, and caller Id and all the other modern stuff. Listen to the calls once a week when you feel up to it, and only then phone back if there is anything to say.
You don't have to cut off contact all together. Your children depend on your health and welfare, you owe it to them to avoid unnecessary upsets. Get your priorities right! And those who say 2 miles isn't far enough have a point, but if you can get the offer on that house accepted this weekend go for it:-)

mostlyharmless Fri 20-Apr-18 14:12:06

Two miles is just around the corner. Many gransnetters would love to have their grandchildren that close!

Do what’s best for your little family and try to get more support from your husband and father. Enjoy your new house without feeling guilty.

luluaugust Fri 20-Apr-18 14:28:48

You must do what is best for your family, two miles is nothing. Your mother should be responsible for herself but if for some reason she can't be then she is certainly more your fathers responsibility, you should tell him so. There is so much going on here you must be exhausted, is two miles far enough, you are being controlled by both your parents. The second house sounds really suitable go for it.

fiorentina51 Fri 20-Apr-18 14:34:50

Goodness, what a stressful time you are having!
My advice for what it's worth....
Think of yourself and your own family. Try not to feel any guilt, move to where you and your husband decide is best. Make a life and enjoy being together.
Tell your parents that there will be no more daily phone calls as you will be very busy with the new arrival. Phone calls will be roughly once a week and never on the same day. Ignore any calls you get from her at other times and delete them. Point out, kindly, to your father that your mother is not your total responsibility and that he will have to look after her.
If any visits turn nasty and she has a tantrum, just try to remain calm and leave. Tell her you will visit again when you feel she can behave herself in front of your children and not before.
Don't let her bully you and ignore threats of self harm.
It sounds like you've been dealing with a stroppy 14 year old rather than a grown woman!
My very best wishes, whatever you decide to do. ??

TwiceAsNice Fri 20-Apr-18 16:14:59

Your mother is monstrously manipulative and selfish. I know this because a it is obvious and b because I had one as well. Screen the phone calls either answer them when you feel strong a enough and it is convenient to you or not at all. You are rewarding her behaviour by giving her all this attention and following her rules. It will have a serious emotional impact on your children as they grow older unless you begin to change it now. We cannot change other people we can only change how WE react to them. Why should your mother change she has everything she asks for. You are not responsible for her as an adult she is responsible for herself, your father blackmails you emotionally so he can have an easy life, what about an easier life for you, don't you dersrve it? Well done for successfully managing your depression, your mother could have had help for her own poor mental health she CHOSE not to. Please put yourself first and enjoy your life with your husband and children, they need a happy mother. Lastly have you ever considered counselling to help you process all this. As a therapist I seriously believe it may help you. Good luck ,and enjoy your new house, you should definitely buy it and move.

mostlyharmless Fri 20-Apr-18 16:16:39

Is this the same gummybears that has a relationship problem with her mother-in-law too? Just wondering......

gummybears Sat 24-Mar-18 11:24:41. I have a bit of a problem. I have mentioned before MIL can't stand me and we have the proverbial 'difficult' relationship

lemongrove Fri 20-Apr-18 16:21:24

gummybears.....just move house!
Two miles isn’t anything.It’s your life, not your Mother’s.