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Family discord

(69 Posts)
jenpax Tue 21-May-19 17:38:18

This is a long story so I will try to make sure I cover all relevant parts
I have 3 adult DD.
Due to my poor health I have been living with eldest DD and SIL and 2 of my DGC since last June; this is not a permanent arrangement as I am selling my current home and downsizing and this is going through (slowly )
I have been in the habit of helping with drop off and pick up for a class the children of eldest DD and middle DD do after school one day per week mum is at work and dad although he will be at home from work likes to use the time to do chores, other DD doesn’t drive.
Youngest DD has 3 children all small and has recently moved to the area after a separation from SIL. She has been waiting for a course of CBT and the assessment appointment is tomorrow unfortunately clashing with the class, I had intended to ask middle DD to do the pick up and drop off for me as she has in the past with her father helping, but her DD is ill so she can’t this week
I asked eldest DD if SIL could maybe do the class this week but she was very angry and said that I should be ring fencing my time for her children for this class, that I am showing no regard to her or the children and that youngest DD should just cancel the appointment or try to rearrange it. I don’t agree with her as I felt that a medical appointment should take priority as it’s a one off and so difficult to get on these CBT courses.
Youngest DD and eldest DD don’t get on and have had several rows since DD3 moved i know DD 3 is very difficult and demanding but I felt that her getting mental health support would benefit everyone, eldest doesn’t agree
She has now accused me of perpetrating a form of emotional abuse in the situation and showing disregard for her and her husband who have done a lot to help me recover. I feel often that I can’t say no to any of their requests because they are putting me up so I try to do whatever they ask when it’s possible and they are inclined to accuse me of ingratitude if I don’t.
Am I being unreasonable here?

ReadyMeals Wed 22-May-19 11:33:32

Gah! oh dear! What a tricky bunch of daughters you have. I admire you for keeping your sense of direction in all this. Knock their heads together :D

Missiseff Wed 22-May-19 11:33:42

What's a DD?? And DH? And DGD?I don't get these abreviations!

Blinko Wed 22-May-19 11:55:28

Why don't people look at the list of acronyms??

Craicon Wed 22-May-19 11:56:07

The eldest daughter has no business relying on her mother to take permanent responsibility for ferrying HER children around when the father is lazing around at home.

Op, you are a grandparent helping her out, not her employee who she can dictate terms to. If SIL is at home, why isn’t he lifting a finger?
Lazy sod. They’re his kids too.

I think you need to be more assertive and start making plans to move out because the oldest daughter now has it in her mind that you owe her and you definitely don’t.

EmilyHarburn Wed 22-May-19 11:58:34

The CBT appointment takes priority. You would have thought that for the class you DD could have found a friend also attending with her children who would drop the children off.

Buffybee Wed 22-May-19 12:05:39

jenpax I would bypass your eldest daughter and tell your Sil that you are unable this week to undertake the drop off/pick up for his daughter, (I presume just her as you mentioned that middle Gd was ill).
Leave the ball in his court. Why should there be so much disruption to everyone else when he could quite easily take over?
Ignore any nastiness from eldest daughter, just tell her that it was unavoidable and you would do the same for her, if she continues bullying, walk away, telling her you've really had enough of all this.
Do not be a doormat

Mcrc Wed 22-May-19 13:15:06

I always have a problem when the term emotional abuse is bandied about. If it was used every time there is a disagreement I would never talk to my family or be married. Sounds like she is PO'd and need to realize how great you are and you are trying your best.

dizzygran Wed 22-May-19 13:18:42

you are not a paid nanny or slave, but in a difficult situation. It sounds as though you have reached a compromise - hope they appreciate you.

bingo12 Wed 22-May-19 13:22:10

You can tell them all how you are feeling and that you need to avoid stress because of your own health. It is none of their business how you spend your money (regarding renting elsewhere). You do not have to be grateful to them as you looked after them all when children. Do what pleases you and is the least stressful. Tell them YOU find the situation is getting you down and you want out. They can get a baby sitter to pick up children if it is arranged in advance with school.

Jinty44 Wed 22-May-19 13:28:15

"she was very angry and said ... youngest DD should just cancel the appointment or try to rearrange it. "
Selfish. Utterly selfish.

And from your posts, she does seem rather keen to insist on you showing gratitude. It is very difficult to feel grateful when it is insisted upon.

You need to be under NO OBLIGATION to your eldest daughter. Move out ASAP, and point out to them that their expectations of you, that you put their convenience above your other daughter's need is both unreasonable and cruel.

NotSpaghetti Wed 22-May-19 13:28:53

I agree with GoldenAge in that it will almost certainly be possible to re-arrange CBT and that, as these appointments come through often at short notice, it will not be a big issue.

It does sound to me that you have already decided what you intend to do. Initially you said you “didn’t agree” that your daughter should re-arrange the appointment (as it was more important than the pick-up) but later you say it’s “non-negotiable”. Although you clearly care for all your daughters, in this instance I think, in the interests of helping the youngest you have overlooked your prior agreement.

If you ask your daughter to choose an appointment time that you know you will be free, you can stick to this in future and provide the help you want to without inconveniencing the family you are living with. I don’t know what extra care you have required from them over your recovery period but they could feel upset that as soon as daughter 3 arrives on the scene, they don’t count.

Moving an appointment is such a little thing. I’m sure it will work out.
Good luck.

Elderlyfirsttimegran Wed 22-May-19 13:38:32

You’re in a very difficult position, being damned if you do and damned if you don’t. I would support your youngest on the occasion but she also needs to check with you over timings if she continues with CBT and wants you to go with her, which shouldn’t really be necessary.

sharon103 Wed 22-May-19 14:40:45

Buffybee I agree. jenpax I in your situation would be helping your youngest so that she can go to CBT. I don't think it would look good if she were to miss her first appointment. I don't like the attitude of your eldest and quite frankly I being me would tell her so. You're being taken for granted. I think that she should be asking her husband to leave the chores to pick up the children. You can't be in two places at once and to be honest if you were to be ill that day and couldn't oblige either of them what would they do?

Conker Wed 22-May-19 14:41:58

CBT comes first these appointments are so hard to get and the waiting times long . A lot of places offering say the initial CBT is not negotiable or you’ll be put to the bottom of the waiting list . In the circumstances your eldest Daughter is being unreasonable and her husband should cover the childcare as he is at home in this instance .

jenpax Wed 22-May-19 14:55:48

Hi all I can’t go home as my house is in another county and I can’t manage the stairs at the moment, hence the move.
Golden girl you have cited exactly the argument of eldest, ie support structure routine etc yes I agree that normally these appointments can be moved but as it took a lot of courage for youngest to seek help and this was the earliest appointment they could offer she was reluctant to cancel. Appointment was at quite short notice but I did warn the family of the appointment and did try to make alternative arrangements for the class with my other daughter who has done the class when I was ill, unfortunately her child was unwell so it didn’t work out. This is a one off as from going forward she will have more flexibility in appointment times

GrannyBeek Wed 22-May-19 16:10:38

I agree with other posters, you’ve got your priorities right. I might have missed something, but are the paternal GPs around to help? I’m one and I do feel sidelined. I’m sure they’d love to help if they can.

jenpax Wed 22-May-19 16:28:09

GrannyBeek Unfortunately not

Coyoacan Wed 22-May-19 16:35:12

Really if the children were to miss a class it is not the end of the world, whereas if your youngest misses her appointment that could have serious consequences.

I hope you are able to move out from living with your daughter asap, because she should not be expecting eternal gratitude and servility in return.

Grammaretto Wed 22-May-19 17:11:54

What monsters you make them sound!
I think you are trying to please everyone but pleasing no one.
How to extricate yourself?
You might have been too sick or disabled to help out at all so remind them of that.
My DF would have suggested you knock their heads together but that's not pc anymore.
Just do what you know you must which is to help out DD3 on this occasion and have the after school class cancelled or deputised.
The change of routine might just wake your DD1 up to the fact that she is holding you hostage - emotionally at least.

Glammy57 Wed 22-May-19 17:44:13

I think you should put your youngest daughter’s needs first, this time. One has to be brave to consider CBT and the initial session could cause your daughter some anxiety.
I do hope that the other family members remember to treat you with respect. If I were in your situation, I’d be checking into a nice B&B or looking for a short term let. Good luck for the future!

Tedber Wed 22-May-19 18:30:20 I sympathise with you Jenpax. All I can say is be assertive. I am sure you have had a lot of sound advice from here. Tell your eldest you cannot do that day and that is it! If she argues tell her it is not up for discussion. Just because you are living with her temporarily does not give her the right to dictate. She should still respect you as her mother - not an unpaid servant!

I think sometimes mother's feel unable to assert themselves as they are frightened of their children taking umbrage and cutting them out of their and GC lives! Some do I know but I would never ever be blackmailed by anybody least of all one of my kids as, personally, I wouldn't actually WANT a relationship with someone who tried to control and blackmail me - no matter who they were.

When you have several children and even more grandchildren you simply HAVE to spread yourself about and there are times when one of them will need you more than another. Please also do remember 'ME' time though as well - that is just as important.

Good luck - let us know how you get on (if it hasn't already happened yet)

Helenlouise3 Wed 22-May-19 18:55:10

A CBT appointment is so important, so if this was me, I'd definitely be helping your youngest daughter. I find it unbelievable that they think that sil's chores are more important than someone's mental health. What "chores" is your sil doing, that he can't postpone them to sort his own children out for once. I'm sorry, but they sound thoroughly spoilt and selfish. They may be helping you out, although I'm sure that the arrangement is putting a strain on your recovery, but like others have said, they don't own you. F
or once, do what your heart tells you is the priority here.

Tillybelle Wed 22-May-19 20:11:12

Dear jenpax
I am so sorry you are being torn apart by your three girls. I can identify with you. Try and keep strong.
I agree with Gonegirl – you have a lovely name!
It might have a bearing on this predicament.
You like to keep the peace, help everyone, be useful and keep everyone happy.
Of course most of us are similar. But I can’t help thinking this might be why Grammaretto says, “What monsters you make them sound!”
Growing up with such a giving and helpful mother, they have become people who expect to be able to get what they want easily. They may not be used to compromise or give and take or inconvenience or giving way to someone else because their needs are greater. They have got used to bullying you for what they want and they do not respect you. I know from Psychology studies that the authoritative parents who insist (with loving kindness) on certain rules are the ones whom the children respect. The gentle easy-going and kind parents who try to make all the children happy have children who do not respect them or Teachers and people in authority. Sad but true.

As Jaycee5 says about your being in their house “it is convenient to have a child minder on hand. You are letting them bully you.” and most importantly:
“*The current situation cannot be helping your recovery.*” Well said Jaycee5! Please take note of her words!

This is a decision of who takes Priority on getting mum to drive for them,

Make the girls decide between them thus:
Who is the priority?
1The daughter and her children you had initially arranged to pick up
2The daughter whose Mental Health appointment clashes with one week of picking up the above but could possibly ask for it to be changed for one soon.
3The father of the children needing picking up who is available at home but prefers to do chores
4The health and feelings of Granny. Who came to stay because she is recovering from Cancer and has housing needs.
They have to decide.

Then add underneath:
Regarding Granny’s place to stay: I would quote jaylucy
"if your DD says it's a waste of money, quite frankly, it is none of her business!"
Write to them on their ultimatum you are sorry. Not about the dilemma, not about being unable to be in two places at once, but sorry that you have not taught them that life means making compromises, not always getting your own way and sometimes giving in to the needs of others.
Also she (i.e. you) is sorry she did not teach them to respect their elders and realise that their mother knows what she is doing regarding her housing situation and that should she decide to stay somewhere more peaceful it is not their business. She is sorry she did not teach them that or that the term “emotional abuse” does not apply to an inconvenience such as requesting to change a pick-up arrangement for one day for the children.

add eazybee’s words
"Your oldest daughter is ridiculous in describing an alteration to her child-care arrangements as emotional abuse when all she is suffering is a minor inconvenience."

Give this to the girls and tell them to let you know what they would like you to do.

I agree too with eazybee: It may be that the “arrival of your youngest daughter on the scene is already causing family discord; perhaps her siblings have suffered from this in the past”

I have three daughters and my youngest is the strong-willed difficult one. I just have to cope. I try not to be a people-pleaser but they have upset me terribly in the past. I would hate you to be upset any more. Bless you my love, be firm, you are a wonderful mum and granny. They are amazingly lucky to have you. Make them decide between themselves and keep away from their arguments!
With lots of love, Elle flowers

Grandmama Wed 22-May-19 20:17:08

Jenpax you are not being unreasonable. There have been quite a few posts about demanding adult children and it puts me in mind of one occasion - one occasion only - when I failed to provide an activity for a small group of children that I had been doing once a week for years, voluntarily and with few if any thanks. One parent was quite cross even though she hadn't really been inconvenienced. Someone said of her "the ingratitude of someone who has come to expect something". So often we are taken for granted although I hasten to say my DDs always appreciate what I do.

Tillybelle Wed 22-May-19 20:25:35

Oh bingo12. What beautiful common sense! I do hope jenpax reduces the stress on herself.