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Like mother like daughter??

(68 Posts)
Falconbird Tue 01-Mar-16 09:22:02

My mother was a very difficult lady. She was widowed at 52 and depended on me for the rest of her life which was nearly 40 years.

If she had the slightest thing wrong such as a headcold I had to visit her and do shopping etc., although I was working part time and had 3 children.

Once, when I had a 3 month old baby she sent a friend in a car to pick me up and take me to her house saying that my dh could look after the baby.

She always said that if she fell really ill she would come straight to my house and I would have to look after her. Once when she was having medical tests in her seventies she made me buy a bed for my dining room in case she was terminally ill.

Now I'm a widow in my 70th year I don't want to be really needy, critical and demanding like mum, so I worry what the future will bring. I don't look like mum and our natures are very different.

I know my grown up children are "keeping an eye" on me in case I become like gran so I always try to stay positive, strong and independent.

Does anyone else have a difficult role model mum or dad for that matter and does it worry them.

annsixty Tue 01-Mar-16 10:24:04

My mother was very similar but I moved just far enough away (60 miles) to ensure that she didn't run my life as she thought was her right.
I came home once from a day out to my stressed out neighbour looking out of her window for me, my mother had turned up up uninvited and without warning to stay and my poor neighbour had had to entertain her for several hours no doubt being regaled with all my faults. She did turn up like that several times but I was in on the other occasions!!!
I had to work very hard to not let her spoil my life.

kittylester Tue 01-Mar-16 10:44:39

I have used my mother as a role model on how not to mother - so I think I'm ok! grin

It is a worry isn't it? But, as you are aware of her faults, you are unlikely to repeat them.

NanaandGrampy Tue 01-Mar-16 10:50:13

oh * kittylester* I know exactly what you mean.

If I am nothing like my Mother Im doing How sad is that?

Teetime Tue 01-Mar-16 10:58:59

Oh yes I'm in this gang. My mother 'enjoyed ill health' and had everything no bugger dies from. She loved nothing more than hospital visits and calling out the GP. She would ring me and in a little feeble voice tell me how bad everything was and guilt trip me into another visit and a spell of housework and shopping for her. She spoilt every family occasion by bringing on 'one of her turns' she could faint and vomit at will often at the same time and sometimes at the table I had slaved over especially Xmas it was her favourite time to play up. Sher spent so long at the GP he gave her more and more drugs for her real and imagined illnesses (she had arthritis - haven't we all) that she developed several drug induced illnesses and side effects which she loved. I have no good memories of this health tyrant - she started this malarkey when I was still in school frequently sending for me to look after her and spoiling my education and then job opportuntites. I feel sorry for all Gransnetters who endured this kind of abuse and I know none of us would visit it on our children. Many of us here have illnesses but are bearing them with good humour. I value all the support for each other on Gransnet Thank you all. flowers

Dee Tue 01-Mar-16 11:03:08

I am so sorry that you had such a difficult time with your mums.
Mine was very feisty and needed a lot of support towards the end as she had vascular dementia and was physically disabled but she was jolly and positive most of the time and we had a straightforward relationship where we called a spade a bloody shovel!
I feel grateful to have inherited her strength and determination but have always tried to be more measured and calm than she was.
I see my own daughter turning in to me and think that's pretty good on the whole.
We can't change the past but we do learn from it if we are wise.

annsixty Tue 01-Mar-16 11:07:07

My mother rang me one day to say her GP had told her her heart was very weak, we were taking her on holiday a few weeks later and every day she reminded us.
She was 73 and eventually succumbed to it at 101.

gillybob Tue 01-Mar-16 11:19:42

Oh Falconbird you are not going to let yourself be like your mother are you? You can see how she manipulated you and almost ran your life so you are conscious not to let history repeat itself. You have said that you are very different and you try to stay positive which is excellent. It's good to know that your grown up children are keeping an eye on you but none of can know what the future holds can we?

I am feeling a bit sorry for myself this morning (what's new?) I have had a hard few years looking after my late grandma, the grandchildren and my parents. When my grandma died at the end of last year I honestly thought that my DH and I might get a tiny bit of "us" time, sadly not to be it seems. My DH works very hard, mostly 7 days a week. About 4 weeks ago he booked us a weekend away as a suprise. It wasn't very far away (luckily) as before we arrived my sister was constantly texting and phoning to say mum really poorly. It got so bad that we ended up turning around and driving back home. We rescheduled for his weekend coming, but yes, you guessed, I have just come off the phone after cancelling again as mum has had another set back. My poor H is a saint (he really must be) and I have yet to tell him. He has been working away for a few days and I know he was desperate for this little break. I almost feel like crying for the time together( it seems) we will never have.

I would NEVER, EVER wish this on my 2 children.

So sorry for the long rant. Hope you do not think I am trying to hijack your thread Falconbird smile

PPP Tue 01-Mar-16 11:24:23

My mum was nothing like the horrors mentioned above, but when my dad died at the age of 60, she became very dependent on me. Looking back, I think I had three children - the two I bore and my mum!

annsixty Tue 01-Mar-16 11:24:54

Gillybob 😢 flowers

Nelliemaggs Tue 01-Mar-16 11:25:42

I feel really happy reading these posts. Gone is the guilt I have always felt that I found my mother too difficult to love. People would remind me how old she was (93 when she died) but she was like that as long as I could remember and controlled my poor father and all her children by acting out asthma attacks, falls and other pretend episodes. I even had to cut short a holiday when I was young and she was 50 by convincing my father to say she had pleurisy. We raced home to find her fighting fit. In her 80s she phoned round the four of us siblings saying she had fallen and couldn't breathe and I drove the two hour journey to her house only to find 5 of us including my 2 sisters in law had attended and mother was happily watching TV. We were able to turn back the sister who was setting off on the 5 hour drive from Wales. It sounds like loneliness but as I said, she did it all her life. She stayed with me following hip and knee surgeries and would phone my siblings to say how much she hated being here in spite of being waited on hand and foot by me, husband and three children. After two weeks one time I drove her home and stayed over to take her to the doctor. The doctor said she should remain with me a bit longer and she screamed 'No No, Not that. Don't send me back there'. I think the doctor knew the truth but I got accusing looks from nurses and patients in the waiting area outside.
As for becoming my mother - God forbid! I have voiced the fear and been told emphatically that I am nothing like Grandma smile

PPP Tue 01-Mar-16 11:30:16

Gillibob, I think you must put yourself first for once and go away whatever the situation with your mother.

Many years ago I was in a similar situation with my mum. A colleague said ' you must put yourself, your husband and your children first, your mother has had her life'. At the time, I thought that was extremely hard hearted advice, but it is true.

If you have a sister, can you not take it in turns to be 'on the front line' with your mum?

merlotgran Tue 01-Mar-16 11:30:19

I'm the same as kitty. My mother was the life and soul etc., when family members were around. Behind the scenes though she didn't give me a minute's peace and for seven years she was top of my agenda. I'll never get those years back so I make every effort I possibly can to be completely different with my own daughters.

DD1 lives next door but we sometimes only see eachother once a week. She says she will 'be there for us' when we need it but I won't hold her to anything.

flowers gillybob

inishowen Tue 01-Mar-16 11:33:47

My mum had my gran come to live with us when I was eleven and brother was 16,to be honest our family life was ruined from then on. My brother would stay in his room a lot. We lost our lounge as that was turned into gran's room. That meant we couldn't bring friends in any more unless it was to our bedrooms. Gran ruled the roost, she treated mum like a little girl, sending her to the shops several times a day. We lived in a very small house, so we were all on top of each other. My brother left home at 19, as he couldn't stick it any longer. When it was suggested that gran move into his bedroom she refused, saying she couldn't manage the stairs. Untrue, as she had to go upstairs to use the toilet. So, we didn't get our lounge back. Gran died when I was 20. To be honest it was a relief. At last my parents had a little time to themselves. Needless to say, I will never impose on my children when I'm too old to take care of myself!

annsixty Tue 01-Mar-16 11:42:02

I would never have inflicted that situation on my family, hard as that sounds. My children both said they would leave and I would have been divorced.

kittylester Tue 01-Mar-16 11:58:40

It's hard isn't it when your mother shows a different face to others. All the staff in Mum's nuring home absolutely love her which puts pressure on me (and my brothers) to go often and stay a longer time as no one believes she was so awful. confused

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 01-Mar-16 12:11:52

A lot of the things in this thread happened before the days of sheltered and very sheltered housing. We will have a lot more opportunity to not become a burden on our children. Things have changed. Thankfully.

mollie Tue 01-Mar-16 12:12:52

It is because I have a mum like yours falconbird that OH and I are selling up and moving well away. I did it once before but she followed when she retired and bought a house across the road. Life has been pretty miserable at times because of her demanding personality so we've decided that it's time for us to live our own lives. We think we are safe as she's declared herself too old to move now but who knows????

It would be too easy to become negative and sarcastic like my mum but I refuse. She would argue 'you are what you are and you can't change' but I disagree. We do have some control over how we view the world and how we behave. It might not be easy but no one likes a misery, do they, so that ought to be warning enough!

Stansgran Tue 01-Mar-16 12:14:53

Gillybob you must promise yourself that you won't tell anyone when you next plan to go away. Radio silence is the key. They are pulling your strings aren't they?

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 01-Mar-16 12:15:45

This is such a sad thread. Well, horrific really.

Falconbird Tue 01-Mar-16 12:16:12

I think that my major worry is that now I'm getting older and am a widow I might start having some of my mother's traits.

I try very hard not to but the nicest of people can change as they become older.

My auntie who was mum's sil was the nicest, most considerate person you could ever wish to meet but when she was widowed in her seventies she gradually became very difficult indeed which was a huge shock to all concerned. (She didn't have a dementia.)

As I'm talking about my mum and my fraternal aunt these are the things that bother me.

I think that as I am aware of it I will probably keep on the rails so to speak.

My mother always used to say "blood will out" but I try not to let her words bother me now she's been gone for 11 years.

Luckygirl Tue 01-Mar-16 12:27:38

"I found my mother too difficult to love." - gosh how that resonates! It was not that she was demanding - she was just embittered and this had a huge influence on her relationship with my Dad - boy, was it stressful! And she had, I think, severe PMT and there times when she was dreadful to be with. I ditched the guilt about it all a long time ago - there was nothing I could have done.

She was never widowed, and spent her last years in a care setting because of her severe dementia.

annsixty Tue 01-Mar-16 12:32:12

It is a sad thread jingl and sad is how I feel about all these relationships which could and should have been so different.
My D is having a major trauma with one of my GC it is heartbreaking for us all but if that had happened to me my mother would have known nothing about it because it would have been all my fault and she would have delighted in it. Now that is sad.

Tizliz Tue 01-Mar-16 12:36:35

I also found my mother difficult to love. She never needed me, ever. But she got on well with my husband, eventually! The grandchildren and great grandchildren loved her. When I went to her funeral I found all these great friends she had. She had been on holiday with them after my father died - I never even knew she had been away.

I did feel guilty when she died that we hadn't communicated very well, but my sister said I wasn't the only one and she felt the same. She had moved to be near her in her last years but found it was worse.

Unfortunately, for me, I look very like her and see her in the mirror every morning.

jinglbellsfrocks Tue 01-Mar-16 12:38:02

*Falconbird confused You are not your mum. Why would you be like her? You have probably lived a very different life to her. Perhaps you had a better education. And more experiences. And different troubles to overcome in your life than she did. Heredity is only a very small part of who we are. The things we live through have more influence on us. You are you. No one else. Stop worrying. Stop even thinking about it.