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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.

annodomini Sat 21-Apr-18 18:00:00

Two miles! Two hundred would be more like it! However, it seems to me that your father is the most responsible for this dysfunctional family situation. He is clearly a domestic tyrant since he did not allow your mother to have treatment for her disorders and has loaded the guilt that he should feel onto you instead. So he works long hours because he can't stand to be with her. Is it surprising that she is totally twisted in her attitude to you and your children? It is a mess not of your making and it is not up to you to keep the peace with your parents. Your responsibility is towards all three of your own children and your husband.

cornergran Sat 21-Apr-18 18:32:39

Agreeing with everyone else gummybears, please move, you sound excited about the prospect of this house as your new home, its time there was something for you without you considering your parents. Neither of our children consulted us when they moved home, it didn't occur to us to intervene, well I guess I mean interfere. We understood their needs and did what parents are intended to do, we let them go. Two miles is nothing, you know that so please don't be bullied into staying where you are.

I'm a mother in law to women and I would agree with the advice you have been given, relax and don't try so hard. Its a relationship that comes with all sorts of assumptions. You know you get on well with other people, your mother in law is just a person, but do remember it isn't all your responsibility. It takes two to make a relationship, so be as natural as you can and see what happens. Sometimes if we stop worrying things fall into place.

I'm pleased you have found support here, just think, how many mothers and mother in law there are agreeing with you and supporting you smile.

Good luck, let us know how things go.

Poppyred Sat 21-Apr-18 18:50:31

Wow, I wish you could see this scenario from the outside looking in. Your mother is very selfish and an absolute disgrace. Please move as far away as you can, I can understand that you love her ( children love their parents no matter what awful things they do to them - why is that??) Your father doesn't sound much better, making you feel guilty! Put yourself and your children first. You sound like a lovely person, the very best of luck to you. Xx

gummybears Sat 21-Apr-18 18:52:46

Firstly, may I thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your kind thoughts and wise advice here. Sometimes I fall into a hole in my thinking where I just blame myself for everything.

I badly need the reality check that I am not mum’s keeper. I care for her deeply despite how difficult our relationship has always been, but I can’t meet her needs and it is not my job - even though my parents might think it is - to be her stand in spouse.

I have been telling dad for years that she and I need him to do more. There is no point in me keeping saying this but still doing what he expects because nothing will ever change.

So, many many thanks. I needed that support. It has helped more than you probably realise.

Secondly, we went to visit the sellers today and shook hands on the prices. The formalities will be done on Monday smile

Situpstraight Sat 21-Apr-18 18:54:53

Well done Gummy I hope all goes well for you and your family. I suspect that your parents will try to make things difficult for you, but stay strong , if not for you then for your children ?

Moocow Sat 21-Apr-18 19:05:40

I was going to say what poppyred said. Hope 2 miles will be enough distance for you and your family. Trying to please her, and your father, is obviously not enough and maybe distance will make her cherish your contact more, perhaps not but you have to live your own family life. I cannot help wondering if she will make a habit of driving by if you move so close. Get an answering machine!

Moocow Sat 21-Apr-18 19:07:13

Sorry i take so long to type. Well done gummy

Chinesecrested Sat 21-Apr-18 19:13:43

I was astonished to read this - it's not as though you're moving away to the other side of the country! And I really can't see what your mother's problem is! It not as though she pops in every day, is it? Really, once you have children, they have to come first. If they need a bigger house then that's your priority. I can't believe how manipulative your mother is, nor how selfish your father is! It's called emotional blackmail. I think you have to stop allowing them to think they're entitled to make decisions for you - they should be supporting you not undermining you. Off you go, quickly, and buy that house, and best of luck to you and your family!

Hm999 Sat 21-Apr-18 20:46:26

You're a mum. Your responsibility is your little family, first and foremost, not to others.

Good luck with little one in August

Blinko Sun 22-Apr-18 07:41:25

Every good wish for your house move. Hope all goes well both with the move and with your parents. flowers

br0adwater Sun 22-Apr-18 08:56:45

Congratulations on getting a new home! It will be the start of a new chapter for all of you and you will soon wonder why you doubted it.

Next step is to fix your rock bottom self esteem. Make it a priority. You sound like you know how to do this, you just need permission. .. everyone on here gives you permission!

Start by listing all your achievements -
survived childhood with those parents
sorted your own mental health
survived the agony of potential childlessness
stayed married
raising children

Any one of these is a massive achievement; you've done them all.
Good luck.

trisher Sun 22-Apr-18 09:33:19

Well done gummybears having taken such a big step you may well find your mum and dad are more accommodating for a while. Just make sure that you decide how much contact you want, where and when, and once you have done that make it clear to your parents this is how things will be. I am sorry your mum has mental health issues but that doesn't excuse her behaviour or the way she has used you. You are building a family of your own so successfully, stay strong and keep going.

Apricity Sun 22-Apr-18 10:14:56

Congratulations Gummybears, this is for you to celebrate your new house. May the force be with you. ???

Witzend Sun 22-Apr-18 11:01:45

Well done, OP - good luck with the purchase.
I have to say I think your parents have both been monumentally selfish and self centred. At late 60s myself, I still look on my role as helper to grown up dds and Gdcs whenever possible, not the other way around!

Please just ignore any sulks/tantrums, stay calm and refuse to argue/discuss. They will accept it eventually.

NfkDumpling Sun 22-Apr-18 12:43:21

Well done Gummybears! New house and a new baby! Fantastic! I hope all goes well and smoothly with both and you can look forward to Christmas in a house which fits!
(Far too many !!!!s!)

I had a DM similar in some ways to yours. Her main problem was jealousy. She wanted what I had. My DF suffered from depression which he wouldn’t admit to and would go for days without speaking. Eventually I did make a stand and our relationship improved a lot - but she did still keep on pushing - very much a case of winning the battle but not the war. Incredibly we loved each other dearly and, four years after her death I still miss her terribly. I hope that your move will help you become more your own person and improve things with your DM and your MiL. Good Luck and stay strong.

Smileless2012 Sun 22-Apr-18 22:42:44

Just catching up on this thread. Well done gummybearssmile. I hope everything goes smoothly for you.

trisher Mon 23-Apr-18 10:38:15

Regarding those who advised you to go "no contact" we all know that as they grow our children question the decisions we have made when they were younger. Those who have gone no contact may find themselves being condemned by their own children for not allowing them to have GPs, by being as caring and balanced as you have been your children will know their GPs and will have a relationship with them. It may be a hard thing to do but it is the best way. Just make sure you have enough love and support from others to keep you going.