Gransnet forums


Mum won’t listen to advice AIBU?

(110 Posts)
Mommabear45 Tue 02-Feb-21 12:13:07

85 year old mum lives away from me so I’m unable to visit. My sister lives nearby, forming her bubble,so she’s not totally isolated. I ring her every day, as does my eldest daughter who has a very close relationship with her. I’ve given her lots of advice about staying safe but she continues to do whatever she likes, whilst paying lip service to us by hiding just exactly what she is doing and always gets found out! My niece’s boyfriend came over from France at Christmas, had a test before he flew and was supposed to self isolate but didn’t. Mum spent Christmas Day and Boxing Day with them, also seeing other family members. My other nephew takes 3 kids to see her, even though he’s not in her bubble. Their excuse is that there’s not a high incidence of covid where they live, but their rate is currently 630 per 100,000. Things came to a head this weekend when we discovered she’d had a workman come to do something in the house, despite telling us she was cancelling him as it wasn’t essential. My daughter was distraught, probably the straw that broke the camel’s back, she has a high pressured job, is working from home and home schooling and rings her gran every day, gets her online shop sorted, sends treats every now and again, and she feels very let down and quite hurt by her behaviour. I am a bit further down the line with my anger, I felt angry after the Christmas incident and have decided that she will do whatever she wants anyway, so I can’t do anything. My sister and family don’t seem to see anything wrong with how they are all behaving. It’s sad that our relationship with my mum is being soured like this. I’ve told her that it’s people like her, who aren’t following the advice, who are prolonging this lockdown AIBU

Esspee Tue 02-Feb-21 12:54:26

You are not being unreasonable. I can understand your frustration.

Doodledog Tue 02-Feb-21 14:00:25

If it's any consolation, my mum is the same, but she makes it worse by complaining that young people aren't obeying the rules.

janeainsworth Tue 02-Feb-21 14:09:57

Momma the fault lies just as much if not more, with your nephew & niece as with your mother. If they think nothing of visiting your mother, they probably think nothing of mixing with their friends. Perhaps she finds it difficult to say no when they ask to visit.

But if your mother is 85 she will have had her first dose by now I would think, and although it takes 2 weeks for immunity to develop, after that she should have some protection and your young relatives will be more a danger to themselves and their friends than to her.

You could perhaps remind them all that the new variants are more infectious than the original one, so the risks are higher of becoming infected.

Nannarose Tue 02-Feb-21 14:25:19

You don't say if your mum might have early signs of dementia - it often begins by not being able to take on new advice or instructions.
You also don't say if she is fit and well. If she is, then your daughter could say 'nan, you seem to be getting out and about and not worrying about isolating, so you don't need me to arrange the shopping'.
I suspect your main anger may be with your sister & her family who are joining in with this. You may just have to think 'they are her support so between them they live by the rules they want, nothing to do with me'.
We are all dealing with friends / family who seem to think that the rues don't apply to them. I am gritting my teeth during every call with a friend whose family are manipulating 'key worker' rules because the child is 'so intelligent, we can't meet her needs at home' !!!!!!
This is a very good place to vent!

Mommabear45 Tue 02-Feb-21 14:28:25

I definitely blame my nice and nephew, as well as my brother to some extent. I thought, initially, it was all their doing. I have offered to phone them and explain the effect it’s having on other members of the family but she doesn’t want me to, so I would be the bad guy. I’ve realised that she is stubborn and will just do what she wants anyway, she can come across as a bit ditsy and dithery but she’s definitely neither. It’s almost like she’s acting like a spoilt child. Mums had her first dose so fingers crossed , but part of me feels they’ve got away with it.

keepingquiet Tue 02-Feb-21 15:26:57

this is the whole Covid dilemma in a nutshell isn't it? As a family I am really proud of the way we have all dealt with things and God willing, we will all get through this.
Ironically the family member who has been bending the rules the most is also the most vulnerable. After a short walk recently he wanted me to go in for a coffee.
I reminded him that we haven't all come this far to get Covid now, and he agreed. He is also the one who has been offered his vaccine first and has turned it down due to his allergies.
My younger sister, less vulnerable, has also become the most careful and is anxious and paranoid about catching it. She thinks she should be at the front of the vaccine queue!
I think you just have to let other people go their own way, hard though it is. Carry on ringing your mum and if anyone reveals rule breaking just go quiet... take a deep breath. It is their choice even though we may not agree.
This rule breaking has driven a wedge between myself and a close friend- her attitude completely bewilders me and I no longer ring her as hearing of her escapades just winds me up.
Do the right thing by your own self. Stay safe.

Mommabear45 Tue 02-Feb-21 16:14:21

Absolutely keepingquiet , and that’s what I’m doing now but I felt so sorry for my DD. She feels really let down by her gran. I’ve already told her to do exactly what you’ve advised. Just needed a sounding board I think. Be safe too smile

joanna12 Thu 04-Feb-21 18:43:47

My parents are exactly the same,dad 82 mum 76,they have been out everyday as normal shopping etc,and my mum blames the young for a the rises in covid.My son 37,his wife and 2 small under 3 age children have not left their house since march,my grandson was very ill the year before covid so they have decided to be as careful as they can be,working from home shopping delivered and us visiting before this lockdown in their garden with them indoors,we have not seen them since xmas day and my parents think they should be allowed to visit the great grandchildren other people seem too.I am finding it really hard being in the middle but other than a weekly shop at tesco,its a daily walk with my husband and will be until it is allowed to be anything else.

Ro60 Thu 04-Feb-21 21:06:19

Yes same here too! Mum 85 fit, healthy but getting a little forgetful.
During the first Lockdown I wore myself out shopping for her & my ECV (extremely critically vulnerable) DD. Though DD did have an on-line shop so only had to get the things that were missing.
Then one day in the summer I went to door-step Mum's shop only to find they were having their own mini party! - DD, DGD & Mum!
Ok DD had popped in to install Alexa so we could see Mum was alright.
Another time I couldn't get milk; ' No worries' says Mum; 'I've popped across to Waitrose for some'.
I'm still working so not that 'safe' but my main concern is to protect them yet - maybe just because they're not out & about they're not seeing the full picture despite the fact that she always watches the news.
Sorry, don't know the solution but you're not alone. Sympathy is all I can offer ❤

LucyLocket55 Thu 04-Feb-21 21:26:13

Full sympathy, I have a similar predicament with my mother aged 88. In the first lockdown she refused to isolate ‘no one is telling me what to do’ and went out shopping etc. My brother and I both remonstrated with her but she cried down the phone to my younger brother and sister who told us that dye is old enough to make her own decisions. So we backed off.
She is less able thus time round but insists on going to get bits of shopping. She has had both jabs and I am no longer bothering to talk to her about staying in

Washerwoman Thu 04-Feb-21 22:37:05

Oh dear.I feel your frustration.I've come home in tears tonight after another exasperating visit to mum's. Tbh she too old and frail now to go out independently but she declined the Covid jab initially when contacted.I have since got her to have it pointing out it's not all about her,but protecting me and the other family members who make it possible to stay in her own home.And who will look after her if she gets it. Undoubtedly now dementia is setting in,but she has been stubborn to the point of stupidity long before.Anything and everything we have done to help her able to stay in her own home is met with resistance.It has definitely soured my relationship with her.
Add to that another couple of family members and friends who throughout the pandemic have behaved as if the guidelines are for everyone else.As a previous poster said I simply don't want to hear anymore what they've been up to.I blame them and other like them for prolonging this situation.I hope you can find a way to cope with your mum without getting too wound up.I can some days, but finding it increasingly harder!

MissAdventure Thu 04-Feb-21 22:58:54

I remember you posting about your mum 2 or 3 years ago, washerwoman, and a few of us had been through the same.

My mum got stuck on the loo for 19 hours, because she wouldn't have a handle fitted to pull herself up with.

Soul destroying isn't it, watching someone make their problems worse?

Washerwoman Thu 04-Feb-21 23:49:37

Thanks Miss A.Kind of you remember.Think I'm having one of those days.Probably going to get her shopping in a supermarket with people wearing masks under their chins, talking on phones and leaning over me didn't help my mood this evening !

ElaineI Fri 05-Feb-21 00:04:54

It is really hard and I sympathise with all of you with these problems. My Mum is 85 and is blind and has short term memory loss though thinks it is a joke. I am classed as a carer, she has a cleaner and the church delivers 2 meals a week - socially distanced delivery. She lets her neighbour in and phones her to get things despite me and my brother telling her to ask me for things. She has asked the postman to help her bring pads in and the Sainsburys delivery man to do things like open a tin of salmon hmm - they all do it and I am grateful she has these helpful people around but I am fed up telling her she is NOT allowed to have anyone in her house and I am concerned she is putting me and my family at risk. She now lies about the neighbour but it is obvious she is not telling the truth. The neighbour - a very good neighbour - helps and takes her sister-in-law shopping and another friend shopping and my brother has emailed her to ask she wears a mask (she didn't and I caught her when I arrived!) I just can't understand and it gets me so frustrated though a lot of you have worse situations.

Sleepygran Fri 05-Feb-21 10:33:29

Well,I’m going to set a few folk into a flurry,but advice is just that, it’s advice and not instruction!
At85 she may not have many visits left from family abroad so she’s taking a chance,and at 85 can you honestly say you wouldn’t?
She’s not being that unreasonable,she stays home ,she’s not going out shopping,just has occasional visitors and sees it as worth the risk.
Don’t be too cross with her,it will make her unhappy with the time you have left interacting being by phone or otherwise.Life might not be worth living without these small personal interactions,but she won’t want to tell you how much she relies on them.

Maidmarion Fri 05-Feb-21 10:34:40

I, too, have distanced myself from a close relative and his wife (like you Keepingquiet, ) as just can’t stand to listen to their stories of rule breaking and “no-one is going to dictate to ME” attitude. It frustrates me terribly and even though we were in contact daily before Christmas I just can’t bear to be in touch ... which is causing me to worry, as don’t know how to deal with it long-term.
There are some people who just don’t want to listen and no matter what we say, it won’t make a jot of difference ... so no, you are not being unreasonable!!

GrandmaMia1 Fri 05-Feb-21 10:34:48

You are not being unreasonable, my mother (96) was the same at the beginning claiming that she’s ‘had her time’ , I emphasised that it’s not just her, Dr’s and nurses will be expected to look after her and that’s just not on. Think that hit a nerve.

Nannina Fri 05-Feb-21 10:37:10

Momma-I totally understand your feelings and agree that those aiding and abetting her should have a rethink. I have an 80 year old neighbour who, like me, should be shielding but has refused to or follow any lockdown restrictions. His take on it is that nobody is going to tell him what to do and, as he might not have long left he’s going do what he can to enjoy it.

Barmeyoldbat Fri 05-Feb-21 10:39:55

I am in the same position with my daughter, living on her own, disabled and learning problems.. I have now got to the point where I offer advice and leave her to get on with it.

timetogo2016 Fri 05-Feb-21 10:40:50

I would leave her to it tbh.
It will only cause you and your siblings stress and what for ?.
She`s clearly stubborn.

granbabies123 Fri 05-Feb-21 10:43:27

I've gone through this with my mum too. Decided to step away. My sister didn't disconnect a call and I overheard her saying to hubby I was becoming bitter.
I now ring mum but not every day, talk about mundane things not where she has been or who she has seen. I drop off cakes etc do all her paperwork and phone calls . I've realised I can't be blamed if she catches it. Hopefully vaccine will kick in and solve it.

Rosalyn69 Fri 05-Feb-21 10:46:29

We can’t police our parents. I would be thoroughly resentful if my son started interfering in my life even if he thought “he knew better what was good for me”.

jaylucy Fri 05-Feb-21 10:48:35

Whatever you say or tell her to do, there is something at the back of her mind that is telling her that she is the parent, you are her child and it is not your place to tell her what to do, however well intentioned.
As others have said, it is the "it'll never happen to me" attitude and the same attitude from others that I think has carried this whole pandemic beyond where it should be.
When all is said and done, people do not like being told - or even "advised" what to do unless they have asked for an opinion or advice in the first place and you and your daughter really will not win in the end, and make yourselves stressed out in the process.
Can only suggest that you both back off for a bit and try a different tactic - nagging obviously hasn't worked and I have often found that a bit of reverse psychology is the thing, or put it to your mum that what you see as the right way was her idea all along !

Gingergirl Fri 05-Feb-21 10:52:15

I don’t think you can do a thing. Each of us makes our own decisions. At her age, I might do the same. It is hard when close family think differently but I’d just try to let it be, if you’ve voiced your opinion and it still continues.