Gransnet forums

Ask a gran

Should I meet my mum, 66yrs age and lives alone

(135 Posts)
Cplj Tue 21-Apr-20 10:59:27

She is really struggling- calling me every other day crying saying anxiety and blood pressure are up.. she wants to meet me and my 1.5 yr old son and go for a walk in the park, I feel the pressure massively - my brother lives in US and is saying he sees no problem meeting her - she has been to my sisters and stayed for one night also but seems more drawn to meeting me.. my husband has made it very clear he doesn’t want her staying at the house or seeing her.. she thinks he is being controlling- a few things going on here. I called age uk for advice but they can’t make the decision. My mum hardly has any interests and lays on the sofa most of the day. She infuriates me massively and yet I feel the responsibility.

FlyingHandbag Tue 21-Apr-20 11:06:10

No! You absolutely cannot! FaceTime her like the rest of the world has to do.

Hithere Tue 21-Apr-20 11:08:09

No!
Videochat instead

Blinko Tue 21-Apr-20 11:09:03

Seems to me you're sticking by the rules for your own and your child's safety but also for the safety of your Mum.

Is there emotional blackmail going on here?

I don't think you should beat yourself up over your Mum's evident lack of self reliance.

vampirequeen Tue 21-Apr-20 11:11:59

It sounds as if your mam is ill. Laying on the sofa all day is not normal behaviour. She sounds as if she needs help. You can't meet up for a walk in the park but you could have a conversation through the window. She can see you and your son without coming into contact with either of you. It may help her if she can see you in person. Do you live far from her?

grandMattie Tue 21-Apr-20 11:12:28

Don't go there. She is obviously very controlling. 66 is no age at all. Face time, call her, etc., but don't let her bully you into going against your husband, and let's face it, your own wishes. The fact that she has no hobbies or friends is absolutley not your fault. Believe me, i've been there with my own parents, and it really isn't worth it!

CherryCezzy Tue 21-Apr-20 11:12:42

Send her, or provide a link to, a virtual walk and talk to her on the phone whilst "doing" the walk together.

Hithere Tue 21-Apr-20 11:13:40

Btw, you have bigger problems than going on a walk with your mom now.

You feel responsible for her and she doesnt seem to have any hobbies or activities to fill up her life.
Are you and your sister her social life?

vampirequeen Tue 21-Apr-20 11:24:54

What was your mam like before lockdown? Was she controlling? If she was then maybe this is more controlling behaviour but if this is new then you have to take this change into account.

Eglantine21 Tue 21-Apr-20 11:33:11

Your mum sounds depressed and depressed people are often quite self-centred and demanding. Often doing as they want just leads to another demand because it doesn’t help the real, underlying problem.

You should only do what you feel comfortable with. In present circumstances your mum is asking you to do something that would endanger her and your family. I would be worried about going to the window because I think she will come out to you.

Having had a close relative with mental health problems one of the hardest things I had to do was admit that I could not help, it was beyond me and that she needed someone with much more expertise and understanding of her illness than me.

When people are ill they are not themselves and don’t always see things clearly.
💐

Cplj Tue 21-Apr-20 11:40:28

So she has been single for 25 years (has major issues with men) and lived alone since I moved out 12 years ago.. she doesn’t have any lust for life, no money ever and complains about the same things all the time, I do think she has major anxiety issues and shows traits of depression. She is going for a walk every other day (and makes a big deal of it too like she’s run a marathon) but the emotional blackmail is definitely a thing here.. I’m trying to get on with my life - there are definite elements of jealousy and envy from her toward me and it hurts so so much. She is on her way down and I’m trying to call to say stop and turn around. Although this could well start a mini ww3 in my family (siblings etc) she’ll go and play victim to them and say my husband is controlling (he has been at times in the past at times but not now and not due to this)

Hithere Tue 21-Apr-20 11:46:53

Let ww3 start.

Dont be scared.

Your brother, being so far away, can claim he would let your mom visit him - when he clearly knows it is just words as he is not the one making that commitment

Your mother needs counseling. She needs to fix her life before she is part of yours again.

Do not open the door when she reaches your place. Do not acknowledge her.
If she had a key, put the door vault and barricade it.

In a way, be glad you are going to stand up for yourself, your dh and LO.

Your mother is selfish and toxic.

Hithere Tue 21-Apr-20 11:47:43

Door bolt sorry

wildswan16 Tue 21-Apr-20 11:57:46

Actually, I am going to go against most of the other replies. I would meet your mother in the park - have a walk together - perfectly possible to stay apart (tell her that must happen before you meet). She is allowed out for exercise - you are allowed for exercise - so just exercise together (but 6ft apart).

If that works out then you could take the toddler in his pushchair with you another time - ensuring she knows contact is not allowed.

rosenoir Tue 21-Apr-20 12:40:09

I think if you give in to the walk in the park it will become a regular thing and may become a visit to the house and then visit in the house.

I think a bit of tough love is needed,she is not your responsibility, it does sound as though she is depressed but will not seek help herself.

Be guided by your husband,he is not emotionally involved.

Cplj Tue 21-Apr-20 12:43:02

I did consider meeting with her for a walk in the park and she was ready to leave her house to come here. I just called and cancelled it. With a young boy it is no way possible for there to be no contact, he is walking/talking and would not understand why he can't hug his Nanna or play with her. In fact he would throw a tantrum!

I considered being deceitful and going without telling my husband, but all of it feels wrong. I can't take my boy and keep him couped up in the pram, it's not fair.

I feel like sometimes my mum wants me to choose, she wants to see me choose her over my family and that makes my blood boil. She isn't a massive fan of my husband and makes it fairly clear to me.

She is quite manipulative as then all of a sudden seems to feel ok when I push back, like oh i'm fine now and telling me about her walk..?

I sometimes think moving to a different country would be the best thing, like my brother did!

vampirequeen Tue 21-Apr-20 12:46:35

Has your mam been diagnosed with depression? It sounds as if she may be suffering from it but she really needs to see/talk to a GP asap.

Susan56 Tue 21-Apr-20 12:54:17

I don’t think you should meet her.If you,your husband or little one caught the virus while out you wouldn’t forgive yourself.
Support your mum by phone or talk to her through the window but don’t let her in the house.Tell her it is your decision as well as your husbands to follow the government guidelines.Dont let her drive a wedge between you and your husband.
I lived the life you are living with your mum for many years,it took me becoming ill for anything to change.How I wish I had found the strength years earlier to stand up to her.
Be strong for your little family.

Cplj Tue 21-Apr-20 12:59:51

Thank you very much to everyone taken the time to reply, i really appreciate your input and personal advice/experiences... family dynamics can be so hard and really mess with your own sense of wellbeing..

she could come down and sit in the garden but my little boy wouldn't understand and for me that's harder! he would get upset and feel rejected if he couldn't see her? my husband is working so couldn't mind him while we chatted, he would be with me..

thank again for replies. x

Hithere Tue 21-Apr-20 13:03:17

Cplj

Have you ever considered talking to your mother about what to expect of your relationship with her and what rules to follow (boundaries)?
Do you even know what you want, not taking into account her expectations?

This is a very unhealthy relationship. Her expectations are unrealistic.

Your dh has very good reasons to be frustrated. Your mother needs professional help.

travelsafar Tue 21-Apr-20 13:06:15

Maybe call her GP surgery and say you have concerns about her wellbeing and MH. She sound like she may be depressed but unable to seek relevant help herself. The GP may then ring her and give her something to help her feel less anxious and more motivated. I feel for you it is a difficult time for so many without all this added stress about your poor mum.

25Avalon Tue 21-Apr-20 13:40:27

She knows which buttons to push! Govt rules are quite clear that one household should not meet another. Suppose you met up and you caught the virus and were seriously ill or worse - how would she feel then? She is only thinking of herself which could be part of depression. Talk to her GP or try Mind

Hithere Tue 21-Apr-20 13:45:58

I disafree OP calling her mother's GP.

Her mothers is an adult. She can call her GP if she feels she needs it.
OP is not responsible for her mother's health

yggdrasil Tue 21-Apr-20 14:02:54

I think she should talk to the GP. He/she may not be able to help, but the mother isn't going to do anything herself, and at least a record will exist at the surgery.
I once called my partner's surgery (we don't live in the same house) when I had a phone call from him that was quite incoherent. I thought it was pneumonia. The receptionist told the doctor who called him back very quickly.
He ended up in hospital for a couple of days, and it turned out to be glandular fever.

vampirequeen Tue 21-Apr-20 18:30:18

If she's suffering from depression she may not realise she needs professional help. I always feel least able to ask for help when I need it the most.