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Does my daughter need telling

(46 Posts)
morethan2 Tue 13-Dec-16 18:05:02

Over the years I've had countless problems with my daughter. She seems to move from one crises to another we've supported her throughout. We've been generous with birthdays and christmases and dropping our own lives at her many calls for help. She's almost forty and her boys are almost grown. She hasn't been a great mum. She wouldn't agree with that but her chaotic lifestyle has damaged them. There not awful teenagers but they argue and don't help much around the house. One is autistic and won't clean his room or help around the house. She or her past unsuitable partners haven't been the best role models . She keeps saying she's going to throw him out. I'm appalled by this and want to tell her she's partly to blame. She's in a better relationship now but I'm not sure he wants to commit. As usual she putting him and herself before the boys. There's lots of sadness going on here and she hasn't visited once. Oh she'll cry at the news but that's the limit of her sympathy and support. Due to the current changes in social payment system she's had to get a job. It's the first real work she's had. It's cleaning so fairly physical but she works less hours than me. She does nothing but moan about her lot and it's really pissing me off making me feel fed up. I now realise we have been far too helpful. All our efforts at supporting her have failed and we may have made a 'rod for our own backs' looking back I think we overcompensated because we were so hurt by the years of estrangement. I feel as if she needs to be told some home truths. I love her, I do but I'm worn out and disappointed with her. I'm not going to do anything as yet I've got enough to cope with and couldn't face the upset. Oh dear

Luckygirl Tue 13-Dec-16 18:13:44

I think it might help for you to stand back a bit for a short while - claim illness, go on holiday, anything - and give yourself a chance to think it all through. Probably best not to bring it all to a head just now when you are feeling so fed up. You don't want to say anything you might regret or indeed precipitate a situation that you might later regret too.

grannypiper Wed 14-Dec-16 07:46:21

tough love is the way to go, i have a son who expected to stay at home without paying his way or wash a cup whilst i worked 3 jobs, when he reached 25 i became ill, i explained to him what was wrong and that the treatment was going to make me feel awful, not one jot did he care so i told him to leave and make his own way in life. It was the best thing for both of us, i felt the 9 years of stress slip of my shoulders and he got a job. Us mum's are our own worst enemies, we need to realise that when the the get to 18 they ARE adults and are responsible for themselves, yes we should help out in an emergency but should not be at their beck and call when the are grown men and women.
morethan2 wait until the new year take a deep calming breath ( count to 1000) and write to your Daughter, no accusations just tell her that you love her very much and point out that over the years that you have done your best whilst working and running your own household to support her and that you are so glad that she now has a job and partner and doesnt need your help and that she has got her life together at just the right time for you as you as so worn out and stressed that you need a rest and peace.Then let her get on with it.It will be the best thing you ever do. We are only treated as we allow others to treat us.

Mumsy Wed 14-Dec-16 08:19:02

Thought Id read a similar post before and on checking I see theres a few very much the same from you Morethan2, there were also good supportive replies from gransnet members, just curious as to why you feel the need to keep posting on the same subject!?

Granny23 Wed 14-Dec-16 12:37:23

Mumsy I would have thought it was perfectly obvious why the OP has posted again. She is still grappling with a huge dilemma which no amount of sympathy or one sentence solutions is going to resolve for her. More than please keep on posting and using Gransnet as a sounding board and source of continuing support.

Judthepud2 Wed 14-Dec-16 14:30:24

This is not exclusively an advice forum Mumsy. If someone feels they need to sound off and get some supportive comments to help them cope, then this is a good place to do it. Many of us have done it from time to time. It does help to know that someone cares. You are welcome to do it too if you need to.

Morethan it is hard having to watch offspring make a mess of their lives especially when there are GCs involved. Easier said than done, but you really need to step back a bit. Your D is a grown woman and needs to learn strategies to cope with her own life, otherwise she will never change. I have learnt this from my own experience! Just be there as a stable point for your GCs as best you can.


jollyg Wed 14-Dec-16 15:18:40

Cant get the hang of who getting thrown out, and who is staying.

I know this site uses acronyms, which can be confusing , but so is He when there is more than one hes in the scenario.

Keep in the background, and be there to help in extremis.

Tis Christmas time, when the stress levels rise, try to be calm

sarahellenwhitney Wed 14-Dec-16 15:22:47

Been there read the book bought the tee shirt.
My eldest walked away five years ago.
Although we had chatted by phone once a week she lived a two hour drive away I had not seen her for two years before she decided not to call me any more.
Her father was very ill and her conversations were all about what I should do for him.My answer was would it not be kinder for him that you visit not tell me what I should do.
The shouting then started and I could not stand her abuse and put the phone down
That was it.She knew from another relative her father had passed away but she never contacted me or sent a card or letter.Was my putting the phone down what she wanted all along Not to be part of the family.?
She was not an easy child not turning up for school later not turning up for work whenever it took her fancy At fourteen met a boy a lot older than herself then had two failed marriages What did I do wrong.

mumofmadboys Wed 14-Dec-16 15:35:24

Don't feel it is all your fault sarahellen. You may well have done nothing wrong. Perhaps your daughter feels sorry things are as they are. Would it be possible to contact her by letter or Christmas card and try and make up. Perhaps she is very sad at losing her dad especially as she wasn't in contact at the end. I think there is always something we can do to try and make a relationship better. Wishing you well.

f77ms Thu 15-Dec-16 09:16:13

morethan I don`t think you are alone with the scenario you talk about . I see a lot of elderly parents in a similar position with adult `children` who continue to treat their parents as if they are still responsible for them well into their 40`s and beyond . I don`t think your daughter will ever change so I think it is a case of you setting limits on how much you are prepared to continue to put up with her drama (for want of a better word) . Your grandsons , on the other hand, are still children and if you have the energy would benefit from your continuing love and support . The idea of writing after Christmas and explaining how this has all impacted on you sounds like a good one . For now and while you are so upset I would not rock the boat but try to let it all go over your head and compose your letter ! flowers

GrandmaMoira Thu 15-Dec-16 12:42:26

I have two sons at home still aged around 40. The youngest who is the father of my DGDs also relies on me for a lot, especially childcare. I agree with f77ms that it's becoming more common that, as a pensioner, I have middle aged children at home and not taking responsibility to set up home themselves. The younger one at home plans to move in with his girlfriend soon so then I plan to sort out the house, sell up and tell the oldest to find his own place.

rosesarered Thu 15-Dec-16 14:40:26

I have a lot of sympathy for all you Grans in this situation, it must be so difficult.I think that GrannyPiper and f77ms say all the right things.

soop Thu 15-Dec-16 16:54:18

Granny23 Wise words.

morethan2 Thu 15-Dec-16 16:57:23

Your right mumsy I have posted about this before and I'll probably post about it again. I won't be offended if you don't read the post honest. So just ignore me, it's fine. I haven't been in contact with her for a while and she hadn't phoned me so I knew there was no crisis. I'd just come off the phone with her when I started the thread and what I wanted to say was "ffs shut up whining. At least you've got a life in front of you" I will go up and see her when things are more settled here and I will broach the subject of her constant misery. Until then I will just try avoiding her if I can. I just want her to be settled and reasonably happy.

soop Thu 15-Dec-16 17:21:59

morethan2 Your wish for your daughter, is one that we can all identify with. I wish her well. flowers

Mumsy Thu 15-Dec-16 17:58:15

morethan2, sorry if my post came across as a bit harsh, sometimes the written word can be mistaken for being uncaring but thats not the case. For me it stirred up bad memories, Ive not seen or spoken to my younger daughter in 7 years, her choice I might add not mine. Over the years Ive sent the odd email asking how she is and she never replies. When she wants something she would email, it was always money she asked for, I always said no then come the abusive emails. I dont bother emailing anymore and she hasnt emailed me for 3 months now, no doubt I will get one soon again asking for money and the answer will be no!
All the while we keep bailing the kids out they will keep coming back for more and not stand on their own two feet.

Sugarpufffairy Fri 16-Dec-16 00:22:16

I think this is something that happens a lot. Mum does not want to be a single parent so any man is better than no man at all. The mum has to be attentive to the man or they will go so kids are shunted to the back of the picture.
I don't know what can be done to get the mum om track but I am interested to read all other views.

SparklyGrandma Fri 16-Dec-16 01:40:45

morethan2 sorry to hear you are going through this, at this time of year.

My DS father who I have long been div from stopped working at age 32 and pestered his hard working mother for money until her death at 73. Nothing she did would get him to take responsibility for himself and there were DGC to consider from his second wife.

My DS and DiL borrowed money now and again from me and also I paid for petrol and rail tickets but when he reached 26 I said no more.
I was so afraid he was going to go the way of his father. My DiL had two jobs.

But it lead eventually to estrangement but I have to say my son from what I hear my DS has worked full time ever since and thank goodness.

After Christmas, maybe set some boundaries with a kindly worded letter.

flowers to everyone negotiating this minefield of adult children who dont want to ''launch''.

morethan2 Fri 16-Dec-16 06:36:53

I'm not too upset by it. I've been through far worse with her. That's what is causing me the frustration. If I'm honest I'm also starting to feel a little resentful at her attitude. All the decades of taking up most of my attention, draining me emotionally and financially and it still isn't good enough. Since the horror of my DiL diagnosis I've reflected on what's important in life. In one corner is my DiL with three young children and the uncertainty of how much longer she has left. She's making the most of every day while still setting boundaries, keeping their routines and making the children her priority so that they are settled and happy. In the other is my daughter who can't be arse bothered to do any of those things. I can hardly believe I'm saying these things about her. If gransnet had been about 20 years ago I'd have been on the estranged thread every day. Longing to see her,willing to sacrifice almost everything just for a telephone call from her. She not coming to see us over Christmas and do you know what I'm relieved. I never ever thought I'd say that. I think like you mumsy I've come to the end of a very long hard road. I have two other children who appreciate their parents and treat us with respect, consideration and love. So after all this time I realise that it's not my fault her life has turned out to be so difficult and disappointing it hers. I still love her though and that's why it hurts.

PamelaJ1 Fri 16-Dec-16 07:14:31

I have two daughters, one is lovely, the other is difficult.
The difficult one has had much more support from us and seems to begrudge time she has to spend with us and Her idea of hell on earth would be to spend 'quality ' time with me. She has one child who we look after quite a lot, he's just georgous and we love him to bits.
She seems to have a problem accepting that she was a wanted child, she is our second child so that wasn't true. I was pregnant with her sister when I got married so if there was an unwanted baby it wasn't her!
I try and try with her but have now accepted that ITS NOT MY FAULT. I now am much more relaxed about our relationship, we will continue to care and help her and her family but I won't be expecting much back. I do think that we are inclined to blame ourselves for our children's attitude, sometimes we maybe but most of the time it is down to them. They are adults, able to think and reason for themselves, let them get on with it but don't do anything that will end up making you feel worse or regretful.

Mumsy Fri 16-Dec-16 07:51:51

well put PamelaJ1, we MUST stop blaming ourselves for our kids behaviour.

Ankers Fri 16-Dec-16 08:01:01

This type of situation seems quite common. I am not in the same situation, but know someone who is.
I am thinking there must be books written about this type of thing that could help? Sort of?

radicalnan Fri 16-Dec-16 10:38:22

'Sharper than the serpent's tooth is the ungrateful child'paraphrasing wildy from poor old King Lear. I wouldn't tell her anything, I am pretty sure she knows but it works well for her.

So may young people seem to live on dramas and disasters let her do what pleases her. Take the course of least resistance for your own sake.

I see on Gransnet the constant stream of parents who are having to do more and more to support their kids who want to call all the shots and give little back. I have one estranged child and recently, when a fortune teller said she wants to come back to the family the rest of us were crestfallen, we missed her for ages then got used to the peace.

Try and absent yourself from traumas and save your money for yourself, you never know when you may need it, she doesn't sound the sort to drop everything to care for you. You are not to blame for her life choices and do not need to continually support them.

Young people now want things we never dreamed of having, child care on tap with rules and regulations laid down that would leave the EU speechless, weekends away, monetary support, over parenting them just leads to more demands.

We cannot make them happy no matter how much we want to, they have to do that for themselves.

Otw10413 Fri 16-Dec-16 10:46:31

I have been through estrangement, several times always at my daughter's insistence. I realise that adult children no longer have the same understanding of blood ties as many of us were brought up to believe in. Frankly , I could apologise, support and show caring every day for the rest of my life but it would not change her mind. The humiliation is not something I'm prepared to allow to happen to me or mine ever again. Following an acrimonious divorce my ex (a coercive controller) now lives in the next town and therefore there is no hope of her changing her mind . Estrangement can be the most painful torture imaginable until you realise that your love for them can never ever change, that you will always care about them, they cannot take away your love or memories and your loss is beyond your control. You wouldn't weep forever at any loss . Taking up the reins of your own life is what your own mothers would wish for and remember that you are not alone, there is a growing number of silently estranged parents . Keep sending messages of love and don't respond in anger , my biggest mistake !! They can ignore them, but at best they will be forced to confront your love and at worst they will be forced to confront your love . It just restates the obvious , that you love them and you wish them well ( without us where they will be anyway ) but we do not need to make ourselves into bullied, abused parents. You'll miss the growing up of your grandchildren but you watched your own grow up -enjoy your lives and tough love will endure that they grow up strong .

Mauriherb Fri 16-Dec-16 10:54:27

I totally agree with luckygirl. Take some time out to think this through as it would be unwise to take action while you are feeling so upset. Is there another family member who could mediate ?