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To move house

(68 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.

gummybears Fri 20-Apr-18 16:32:32

It is, mostlyharmless.

I promise it’s not me that’s the trouble, I get on fine with absolutely everyone else....!

MIL is definitely not the president of my fan club but I remain always polite and affable and she sees H and the GC frequently. I don’t and wouldn't get in the way of that.

Honestly, and I know this sounds pathetic coming from a grown woman, I’ve always wished so much that MIL would like me because by god, I could use a mum figure to give me a hug and a cup of tea now and then.

I don’t have skills at enforcing family boundaries, although I have worked on it.

Again, this is something that I can only admit pseudonymously, but sometimes I see other folk out with their kids and the grannies and I think, I try so hard with mum and MIL, am I really that awful?

Neither of them wants to ‘share’, they both want to be the only granny and the only mum, and that tension has been really awful for me and H to negotiate.

Mum can see my house from hers and she keeps a notebook of times I come and go and of any cars who visit, so she is actively monitoring the ILs’ visits. Her reaction is... not positive, to be blunt. One of the huge advantages of this move is that I will have privacy about my comings and goings and any visitors we get. Honestly my stress levels about ILs visiting will be lower when mum is not walking her dogs back and forth past our street and looking in the windows whilst they are there.

I desperately wish MIL and I had a decent relationship, but what strife she has with me I can handle. Nothing is overly dramatic as long as I don’t interfere with her access to her son and grandchildren, which I don’t. I don’t have a third party to put between me and mum though.

mostlyharmless Fri 20-Apr-18 16:32:34

Or are there two gummybears?

gummybears Fri 20-Apr-18 16:42:10

My other thread’s here.

I have been taking the advice I was given there and gone on the recent visits. It seems to help a bit. FIL and I get on well enough to chat about current affairs etc so I’ve been doing that. My much loved BIL is planning to come along on the next visit (he is due for a visit) so that will be fine.

I feel pretty downtrodden lately which doesn’t help. I have pretty cripplingly bad self esteem and having it squashed by spending time with two mother figures in your family who basically don’t like me isn’t helping.

Sorry, I sound completely pathetic

eazybee Fri 20-Apr-18 16:59:45

Your responsibility is first to your husband and children and yourself.
You cannot stay in your present home, too small.
You have lost a nearby house you tried to buy.
Your husband does not want to be near your mother.
You do not need to be near your mother.
Two miles is a safe, workable distance.
Go for the house, NOW, before you lose it.
You may well experience guilt, but it won't be compounded by very difficult living conditions.

mostlyharmless Fri 20-Apr-18 17:03:55

It sounds as if you need support gummybear. Do you have other family, friends? We all need supportive people around us, especially with three young children.

gummybears Fri 20-Apr-18 17:13:50

My brother and I are close but he’s very busy. Likewise my sister in law, who is lovely, and my BIL, who is really a brother to me.

I don’t have a ‘mum circle’ of buddies and I gave up work for a career change just before I found out my eldest was on the way. I miss my work colleagues. A lot of them were older ladies and frankly they did fill a lot of the mum sized hole that there often is in my life. And I greatly respected their advice.

I am planning if we do move to this house to join certain very local groups which I think will hopefully give me some more social contacts. I generally make friends easily enough and I will finally have enough room to actually let people come over. You honestly could not swing a cat in my wee house anymore.

New house also gives me an excuse to invite my old friends over those catch ups we keep promising to have but never seem to organise, without mum keeping tabs. I don’t know why that behaviour bothers me so much but it really does.

EthelJ Fri 20-Apr-18 18:08:58

You are definitely not being unreasonable but your parents are. Do whatever is best for you, your husband and your children. 2 miles away is nothing but even if it was 20 or 200 miles you would not be being unreasonable. It is your life and your children's and your parents should not be making you feel guilty like this.
Good luck .

Luckygirl Fri 20-Apr-18 18:11:10

Your mother is NOT your responsibility, but your children and your OH very much are.

Your father is absolutely out of order to load this on to you. Just say no.

We all carry baggage from our parents and our childhoods into our later years, as you most certainly will; but you can enter into damage limitation by distancing yourself to the extent that gives you a comfortable and less stressful life.

Make a list to present to your parents, for example:
- we are moving house - it is the best thing for our family.
- I will call and see you once a (week/fortnight/ whatever you choose).
- I am happy for you to phone, but only if you have something kind and helpful to say; otherwise I will put down the phone (and DO it!).

Stick to your list through thick and thin and they will get the message that you mean business. No wavering!!!

You have to start to distance yourself from this and ditch the guilt that has been programmed into you from birth - not easy, but you must do it for the sake of the family and indeed for your own sake; because you matter too and cannot be everyone's keeper.

I am glad that your OH is supportive and wish you well with the new arrival.

Sunlover Fri 20-Apr-18 18:22:09

Two miles is no distance. If you like the house buy it. It sounds to me that life will be much easier with some distance between you and your mother.
It's your life to live as you please.

Day6 Fri 20-Apr-18 19:58:52

You should not accept this parental abuse. That is what it is. I do not understand why they have such a hold over you. They sound extremely selfish. Your father may be using you as his own prop so that he can carry on staying away from home.

Move to wherever you and your husband think is appropriate.

Do you feel guilty that you are deserting them in some way? You shouldn't.

GrandmaKT Fri 20-Apr-18 20:12:52

Good God! Move - as soon as possible!
Good luck x

Peep Fri 20-Apr-18 20:26:56

After reading the previous thread Gummybears highlighted I would think a woman and child refuge is really more appropriate.

Elegran Fri 20-Apr-18 20:38:55

"I try so hard with mum and MIL" Try a little less, be a bit more casual, do things that suit your life, and you will probably find yourself better valued by everyone. Many people value someone who is hard to get more highly than someone who is at their beck and call and can be blackmailed into lying down and acting the doormat.

You have a husband, two small children and another on the way. Your father just has a wife. Which of you has most time, energy and responsibility to keep your mother happy? Which of you long ago made those promises about better or worse, sickness and health, richer or poorer?

The same one who now keeps on working long hours when he could be retired, so as to avoid fulfilling those promises.

You say "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." Why is your father not encouraging her to get treatment and instead putting it onto you to cope with her illness? His wife is HIS responsibility. If she had a physical illness he would make sure she was treated, not tell you to cure her.

M0nica Fri 20-Apr-18 20:59:10

.....and some GPs wonder why they become estranged from their children!!!!

Your parents are acting utterly unreasonably. They are both indulging in passive aggression, and some not so passive aggression to make you subsume your whole life around them. A parents job is to launch their children into an independent adult life. The days when _single- daughters were expected to stay home and look after their parents ended before WW2, the days when married daughters were expected to subsume their own families to their parents needs ended before WW1.

If your parents have problems with their relationship, then it is up to them to solve it between themselves and they have absolutely no right to see you as the solution.

So, move. It is your family, your children and your DH who comes first. in this situation your parents are also-rans. They do not even have an excuse for their unreasonable demands. It is clear from what you say that neither is disabled. They are just fit healthy bullies who want everything their way and for you to be the answer to problems particular to them.

NfkDumpling Fri 20-Apr-18 21:16:12

You may even find that you get on better with your MiL and gain her respect when you’ve moved out from under your mother’s thumb and become your own woman

It sounds as if your parents only had you so you could be their servant/nurse/dogsbody. There’s no way you can be at their beck and call AND be a good mum of three little ones AND a good wife. Move and get away from your parents before they destroy you.

Eloethan Sat 21-Apr-18 01:03:40

I think I'd be inclined to move to another country, let alone 2 miles away!

Seriously, though, your mum and dad are being totally unreasonable and I think your husband must be very easygoingto put up with this. 2 miles away is nothing. I'm sure there are many Gransnetters who would be so happy to have their family that near.

gmelon Sat 21-Apr-18 02:29:56

Grow up. Start being a parent. Being a daughter has to come second.

Two miles, is this a wind up?
Weekly drives of hundteds of miles to visit their children and grandchildren are common to some gransnetters.

I agree with other posts. Move house.

You'll never find the right house if your search is so limited . You're letting your children down in favour of your mother. Your children deserve the best accommodation you can afford, wherever that may be.

Why isn't your father looking after you? Your description is of a totally unacceptable mother so why does your father not do more to support you ?

Willow500 Sat 21-Apr-18 06:47:49

I'm sorry you're going through this but as an outsider glimpsing in it sounds an horrendous situation which you need to get away from as soon as possible! Your mother spies on you?! That's totally unacceptable from anyone's point of view - your life is not your own and you owe it to your own children and husband to move. Two miles is down the road not the other side of the world for goodness sake. I'm sure your relationship with all your other family members will benefit if you 'escape' from your parents clutches and once your baby is born you can join toddler groups in the new area and any other similar groups.

I'm sure you love your parents but this is your life and you only have one chance at it - you don't need to go no contact - just less contact on your own terms.

Good luck!

NfkDumpling Sat 21-Apr-18 07:00:15

Looks like we’re pretty unanimous then! Not one gran saying their daughter should be a whipping post then? No one willing to say their daughter should put her parents - especially her mother - before her children and husband?

You know what you should do gummybear. You just need the courage to do it. You can do it. You can. Go Girl!

Apricity Sat 21-Apr-18 10:50:16

Oh Gummybears, have read a number of your posts and just want to give you enormous hugs. If the house meets your family needs and you can afford it, Go For It! Two miles is nothing and may in fact save your sanity. ???

Cherrytree59 Sat 21-Apr-18 11:30:59

Try and get your brother to do his share, busy is not an excuse.
If nothing else he should be supporting you and explaining to your both parents that their behaviour towards you is Totally Unacceptable.

You must prioritise your own health and
well-being a sick or stressed mother is not what your little ones need.

Unfortunatly if your mother has mental health issues her attitude towards you is unlikely to change.
So you are the one who will have to make the changes required to keep your own littles ones in a happy and secure environment.
Moving 2 miles away good a good start. smile

We can only advise the rest is up to you.


henetha Sat 21-Apr-18 11:36:47

Your mother is being possessive. You have the right to move to wherever you want to and it's only two miles from her, so she has nothing to grumble about.

Mapleleaf Sat 21-Apr-18 16:58:15

You really do need to make the move. You and your own family are priority number one here. Your Father sounds rather controlling, and things must be on his terms. However, you are no longer a child. In all honesty, what can he do if you do move? Let him bluster, and your Mother, too - another one who is trying to control you with emotional blackmail. Don't allow either of them to win thus one. It's time to stand up to them - bullies tend to back down when they are challenged. Good luck and take care.

Blinko Sat 21-Apr-18 17:08:59

Dear Gummy, please stop trying to please your mother. She is not likely to be happy or approving any time soon, regardless of what you do or don't do. Focus on your family. She had her chance and messed up, bigtime!

grandtanteJE65 Sat 21-Apr-18 17:10:08

Dear gummybears: MOVE. It is your life and your DHs and children.

Honestly, if my parents had behaved like yours I would have moved as far away from them as humanly possible.

Please, do not give in to their emotional blackmail, it will like all blackmail only get worse if you do.

And congrats on the new baby and the triumph of having three when you had be warned not to expect any.