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Younger generation, I just don't understand them anymore.

(49 Posts)
MagicWriter2016 Sat 09-Jun-18 21:00:21

My eldest daughter has four kids of her own, two grown up (22 & 19) and two younger (12 & 3). She is also a single mother who has a tempestuous relationship with her ex ( it's a can't live without you, can't live with you) scenario, at the moment they are apart. I try and help her where I can and still worry her even though she is a 'grown up' as she often reminds me. I do try to not interfere and try not to give any opinions on things unless she brings it up. But yesterday, she really hurt me.
She works part time as a manager of a shop in a local tourist attraction, but says she hates it now. She had just cut her hours so she only had to work four days a week, but her opposite number was on holiday so her days needed covering. Yesterday I had messaged her to see if she was at work or at home. When she eventually replied she said she had been at work. So I had said 'when are you getting a day off then, don't be over working yourself'. I do worry about her not getting proper time off, but I was told 'stop telling me what to do, I am an adult now'. To say I was shocked and a bit hurt at her response is an understatement.
Am I being unreasonable, worrying about my kids and wanting the best for them? Should I just keep away unless she approaches me? I feel a lot of them time, I can't do right for doing wrong!
My mother and mother in law were always happy to see us, but I feel as though nowadays, I have to make an appointment to see my kids.
We are moving to Spain soon and I am beginning to wonder if I will ever see/here from them again unless I am the one doing the running.
Anyone else have similar problems with their offspring?

sodapop Sat 09-Jun-18 21:35:12

Is your daughter worried about your upcoming move to Spain Magicwriter this may be the cause of her comments.
Don't take everything to heart We tend to take things out on our nearest and dearest not the best way but we all do it I think.
Have a quiet talk with her when she is more relaxed and reassure her about things.

paddyann Sat 09-Jun-18 21:59:37

I think it depends HOW you say it.Sometimes it can come accross as laying down the law and I daresay you wouldn't have wanted your mother to do that with you.Maybe some distance between you will make things better if she feels she has more freedom to live her life how she wants.Our kids dont always do things the way we did but that doesn't make their way wrong...just different.

agnurse Sun 10-Jun-18 03:28:03

She is a single parent and trying to cope with working as well. Frankly, I think you may have been out of line.

You have to remember that when you were growing up, most mums stayed at home. They had more time to visit family. She is trying to juggle parenting AND work AND life maintenance, on her own.

My parents see us once every few months and it has to be planned in advance due to our work schedules. That's common today. It's not wrong for her to want some time alone with her children, especially if they spend part of the time with their father.

Willow500 Sun 10-Jun-18 06:09:30

She was very probably tired and stressed having had a full week of work, being a single mum and coping with a 3 year old. Although your message meant well she might have taken it the wrong way and possibly upset that you will soon be leaving her to move to Spain. I wouldn't keep away from her - that won't help the situation at all and could cause a rift which will be difficult to heal from abroad. Of course you're worried about her as we all are about our adult children and no doubt as our parents worried about us but when you're young you don't want to feel your mother is watching your every move. Just carry on as normal and don't mention how upset you were by her thoughtless text.

Good luck with the move!

Joelsnan Sun 10-Jun-18 08:23:47

MagicWriter2016 I understand exactly what you are saying and sympathise.

Bathsheba Sun 10-Jun-18 09:22:03

I don't think you overstepped the mark in any way - but then again, that always depends on the kind of relationship you have with your DD. For instance, I know I could say this to my DD without fear of a negative reaction. She too is a single mum working 4 days a week, and sometimes she gets overtime. If I expressed concern that she should be careful not to overdo things, I am almost certain that she would take the comment in the spirit that it was intended - as genuine concern for her wellbeing, and not in any way 'telling her what to do'.
Then again, if something else was worrying her, she could possibly take it the wrong way and jump down my throat. But I would know then that there was more to it, because this would be completely out of character for her to react that way. So if your DD's reaction is out of character, then maybe she is tired, overworked, and stressed. Just give it time, don't mention it to her, but carry on as normal and I'm sure all will be well.

Marthajolly1 Sun 10-Jun-18 09:24:54

MagicWriter I think perhaps your DD was just having a stressful moment when she read your text and probably meant no hurt. She has four children to worry about, a difficult relationship, plus work, house, bills etc and all that goes with juggling life and it's no doubt on her mind that she will not be able to call on you for back-up if needed when you go to Spain. Good luck with your move, I hope it all goes well.

Nannykay Sun 10-Jun-18 09:30:34

There’s a saying - you hurt the ones you love. She is probably tired working extra hours and being a single mum is hard work especially with a 3 year old.

My father moved to Spain when my youngest was 6, I found it very hard to except that he could leave me and my children, that he wanted to go, to willing leave us, I felt so abandoned, and I had the support of my husband. Your daughter is on her own, I not saying you shouldn’t go, just try and remember, that even as an adult with her own family, she still needs her mum, and she’s loosing you, in her eyes anyway.

She will cope, just give her time and grow a thick skin xx

MagicWriter2016 Sun 10-Jun-18 11:20:57

Thanks For the advice Willow, I will just keep things as normal as possible. I know things are tough for her and if she asks for help, I am there like a shot. I think because I have a bad cold at the minute and feeling a bit sorry for myself, I just felt really hurt, when I thought I was showing that I cared. I know she is having a few problems with her own daughter, so that probably doesn't help.

MagicWriter2016 Sun 10-Jun-18 11:26:28

It was in a message on messenge Paddyann. If I try to phone, they never answer the house phone, unless I message first to say I am phoning. It's almost like they can't communicate unless its via an electronic device. The problem is, it's easier to take offence by the written word than the vocal word. Being a mother can be so hard sometimes, but the good times more than make up for the bad times!

MagicWriter2016 Sun 10-Jun-18 11:39:11

Hi Sodapop, I thought she had come to terms about us moving to Spain, as we have been talking about it for a few years now and she has gone from, refusing to acknowledge it, to now saying 'hurry up and get over there so we can come over for a holiday'.
I agree, we do take things out on our nearest and dearest and she knows that I always 'just suck it up' as her mother usually.
Think because I am feeling unwell, it just hurt a bit more than it should have.

mcem Sun 10-Jun-18 11:44:55

You're about to move to Spain so you have already decided that you are to a great extent moving out of their lives and therefore can't expect the same level of day-to-day involvement.
You'll no longer be able to 'be there like a shot' so she has no choice but to cope. Perhaps that's just becoming clear now to both of you.
Ongoing available support or move to Spain?
Can't have it both ways.

MagicWriter2016 Sun 10-Jun-18 11:44:56

Agnurse, not sure what you were getting at when you said it is not wrong for her to want to spend time alone with her family? I was concerned that she was working nonstop without a day off to be with her family!
I only see her nowadays once a week for a couple of hours unless she needs me to help her out with something or there is a special occasion.

MagicWriter2016 Sun 10-Jun-18 11:45:53

Thanks Joelsnan xx

MagicWriter2016 Sun 10-Jun-18 11:52:30

Thanks bathsheba, I know she is under a lot of stress at the moment as her own daughter is giving her a hard time. We usually have a good relationship and we do talk about most things and I do try not to say what I am really thinking about certain things, but just try to be supportive. It is so hard being a mother at times and without looking for any sympathy, I came from what would nowadays be called a very 'disfunctional' family, so never had anyone to learn from, I just try to 'not' do the things my own mum did.

MagicWriter2016 Sun 10-Jun-18 11:56:42

Marthajolly1, thanks for the reply. You are probably right, I caught her at a bad moment and have taken it to heart instead of seeing things as they probably are. I just felt the need to vent, otherwise I would keep it inside, then go over and over it until this little hill turned into a massive mountain! As adults, we are supposed to be the sensible ones, but it does get hard at times!

MagicWriter2016 Sun 10-Jun-18 12:09:31

Nannykay, I understand what you are saying and have gone over and over in my own mind, the idea that I am abandoning my own children, but how long do we have to let them rule our lives. Without trying to be nasty, I am always there if they need me, but when they don't need me, I sometimes wonder how long it would take them to contact me to see if I am okay? Not sure if I am putting this right as I know if I really needed them they would be there for me, but, they now have their own families to care for and are busy with their own lives. I understand how hard it is for her with having a three year old, he wears us out after an hour. But, even though she has split up from her ex, he helps her a lot with the kids. But that then causes rows with her daughter and her. It's funny really how, when the parents move away from their adult children, it's seen as shock horror, but if the adult children move away for a better life we just accept it. I hope you and your dad still kept in touch and you had/have some great times together.

MagicWriter2016 Sun 10-Jun-18 12:18:24

McEm, not sure what you mean about having it both ways ??? Yes, we are moving to Spain, but that doesn't mean I am abandoning my family. If the boot was on the other foot, I would be upset that they were moving away, but then I would be thinking 'good on them, go for it, have a better life' and then start saving for a holiday with them. And it is only a three hour flight from Spain to get back, if we moved somewhere like Cornwall it would take us a whole day minimum to get back. I would love to have both my kids and grandkids all living next door to me, like it would have been back in the day, but things gave changed, people move about more. Or is that only allowed if you are young?

jenpax Sun 10-Jun-18 12:38:40

You are entitled to do as you want including moving to Spain as you say you are an adult and not responsible for other people now. However you also can’t necessarily expect that your daughter will be relaxed and happy about that decision. We can’t control how others feel. It sounds as if your daughter knows that this is what you want and is trying to support you with it but to be honest it’s a huge wrench for her if she felt you were a helper with her family life, she’s probably more worried about it than she has said and this combined with the stress of her job and children probably led to a more abrupt text than normal. I feel you need to be a bit less sensitive about this text; you have made a decision and have decided to move abroad, you have prepared the family for a while and they are accepting of that decision, expecting them to be upbeat and cheerful may be a bit much.
Yes we aren’t responsible for our children once they are adults and yes you have every right to live where you like and make a life that will give you happiness and good luck with your move, just keep in the back of your mind that it might be harder for others than for you. You spoke of how you would feel if your daughter moved away but she hadn’t and so you don’t know for sure the complex feelings that arise in these scenarios.
I speak as a parent of adult children who decided to move pre grandchildren and still find that it’s an issue for them years later

MagicWriter2016 Sun 10-Jun-18 13:45:50

Thanks Jenna , I understand exactly what you are saying and have to admit that I secretly hope that they will all follow me, that would be my ideal scenario. But I am not stupid enough to know that is very unlikely as they have their own ties here. Can I ask where you moved to and would you do it again? I have spoken to quite a few folk who want to return to the UK because they miss their families so much and I may feel the same, but sometimes in life you have to take a risk. Our main reason for moving is my health problems, the mainly cold weather up in Scotland just makes me worse. The sunshine makes me feel so much better both physically and mentally. It's actually the middle grandchildren that are asking 'why do you want to leave your family', so it's not an easy decision for any of us. But to be honest, we can't afford to move down to England, where it would be warmer! Crazy world we live in.

mcem Sun 10-Jun-18 18:23:32

I did not mention abandoning your family but it clearly is impossible to both live in Spain and have the facility to 'be there like a shot'.

Telly Sun 10-Jun-18 19:57:32

From your original post it would seem that your daughter does feel that you are worrying too much. She is not only an adult but already has children old enough to make her a gran too! I think everyone has problems from time to time. It is a question of taking a step back and letting them run their lives as they see fit. I do wonder how long it would be before my children contacted me if I left them to it, but decided not to take the chance. I would guess about a month. Things are different now and I would say that many younger people do not have the sense of duty that was evident in our parents and therefore passed down to us. It is hurtful but there is not a lot you can do. Seems like your new life in Spain will give you lots of other things to think about so enjoy what you have. I know that's easier said than done, but you have to give it a go.

coast35 Mon 11-Jun-18 10:04:59

Can I just say that texts often come over as abrupt when the writer didn’t mean them to be. I have a close pal who sends what I consider to be very abrupt texts. When I see her all is absolutely fine. I don’t think she even realises what she is doing. Maybe just cut your daughter a bit of slack. She is not having an easy time.

sarahcyn Mon 11-Jun-18 10:14:47

Criticism is always heard above praise. Some mums and MILs seem to criticise everything their offspring/inlaws do because they can’t stop themselves from passing judgement, positive or negative.
For example I nowadays avoid telling my MIL anything I’m planning to do with my day when she calls, because she always makes some kind of judging remark. If I say I’m working one evening she’ll say “oh you work so hard” and it nettles me because I did not ask for her opinion, which anyway touches on my own guilt about not working hard enough. I wish she’d just stop judging altogether and instead accept the way I am. Maybe this is how your daughter feels.