Gransnet forums


Any advice about my mum

(32 Posts)
Confused2019 Sun 18-Aug-19 15:12:46

Hello, I'm not really sure why I'm here tbh or what I'm expecting from anyone. I know that this is a site for grandparents but I'm desperate to understand my mum and her behaviour.

We have 3 beautiful children (the youngest still a baby.) My partner and I are not married so when our eldest was born I forgave my mum for not wanting him on the birth certificate or baby to have his surname (him being Irish she said he could jump on a plane and take the baby.)

11 years later she still makes remarks and is obsessed that the children have British Passports only. We moved last year - 45min/hour from them. I've been told we have devastated them and now my parents can depend on my cousin if they need anything as we are to far away. My mum insists my partners parents say horrid things about her and my dad (quite the opposite in fact) they always invite them to Ireland they have no idea what my mum has said about them. She has told me repeatedly that she is to old now to help - she is 68 and has been saying this the past ten years.

I have always ignored her comments, friends,job, life choices etc as I always had a good relationship with my dad and I wanted us to stick together - I'm an only child and after my mum fell out with one of her sisters and my mum for a long time it was just us.

Just before we had our regular summer trip over to Ireland to see my partners family my dad calls to ask what passports the children have, I said British and he said lovely! I don't know why but I snapped to me he had just validated all the years of my mum saying my partner will leave taking the children with him. I screamed at my dad at how just disrespectful they were being to us and did he think I would let anyone take my children - expecting him to say that's not why he was asking he said do i think he would let anyone take his grandchildren.

That comment has really hurt my partner he has helped my parents so much over the last 10/11 years.

Needless to say since that call the children have facetimed them, I sent her x2 birthday cards - 1 from the children and one from us with chocolates. I've had no call to explain the passport issue or apologies (My partner feels they either dislike him or hate the idea their grandchildren are half Irish??)

I can't sleep I have constant headaches I feel so guilty I have never not spoken to my parents but I cannot have her brake my family - she has never liked any of my friends and I lost a lot over the years after listening to her.

Sorry I have ranted on like an incoherent child I am supposed to be a 40 year old women - I'm just so hurt.

M0nica Sun 18-Aug-19 16:00:39

Your partner is quite right, they do, either dislike him or dislike having children who are half Irish, but we choose our partners for ourselves and not for our parents and, while it is nice if families can all be friends together over generations, your problem is quite common.

My grandmother did not want my father to marry my mother. Both families were Irish/English and catholic, so where could the problem be? Well, my mother was pretty vivvacious, liked the theatre nd the arts and my grandmother did not trust women like that 'no better than she ought to be'. She didn't like me either - too much like her mother.

Then thing to do is accept that while your situation is uncomfortable, how your parents feel is irrelevant. You are with the man you love and have his children, your parents do not like it, that is their problem, not yours. Ignore it, build your life with your partner and children and getting on with his parents.

It may well be that once your parents realise, that you are happy with your partner and have given up worrying about their lack of approval, they will tone their reactions down. Currently you are a puppet on a string in their hands. Every time they are nasty, you get upset. They can keep thinking that one day you will leave your partner and come back to them because you respond to all their hostility by getting upset an trying to curry their favour.

My mother left my grandmother to her hostility and I did the same. It could be difficult, but in the end it was my grandmother who was the loser, not my mother or I, my mother had a happy marriage with a husband she loved and loved her and her family and as part of their family, it would have been nice for me to have had a grandmother who was less critical, but I could live with her unpleasantness.

Your reaction must be the same, it would be nice to be on good terms with your parents, but since they are so hostile to your partner and children, leave them to it. Enjoy your family life, get Irish passsports for your children and enjoy your family life. When we marry we separate from our parents and turn to our partners to form a new household.
You have never done this. Now is the time to gently tell your parents to get lost and stick to your partner and family.

Sussexborn Sun 18-Aug-19 16:12:47

Your parents would most likely find something to object to whoever you married. Normal rational people just want their children to be happy but unfortunately there are also people who can’t bear to lose control and will go to any lengths to prove themselves right. My grandmother spent 25 years doing her utmost to destroy my parents marriage and the gloating that came about when she eventually succeeded was appalling. Keep your distance from these destructive people and focus on your lovely husband and children. Don’t let them sour your life!

Farmor15 Sun 18-Aug-19 16:17:15

Excellent reply from M0nica. I was trying to think of a reply, but I think she has expressed it very well. I’m Irish/English, but live in Ireland. My husband is from India and one son lives in Sweden with Swedish partner and so we have 2 half Swedish grandchildren.

In our extended family, multi-national partnerships seem to be the norm, but in other families, it seems that there can be prejudice against those from other countries or cultures. Unfortunately it’s hard to change people, so only solution is to ignore. Also, get Irish passports for children - very popular these days 😀

eilyann Sun 18-Aug-19 16:24:08

Confused I can sympathise. My mother spread the most malicious lies about my DH although he had done far more for her than my brother or sister- including giving her a home. I don't give advice freely but I would try (I know!) to remain calm and tell your parents that you are getting Irish Passports for the children = and yourself if that's possible - because after Brexit it will make travelling so much easier for them! Which is perfectly true!smile

paddyann Sun 18-Aug-19 16:27:19

My granny didn't want my mum and dad to marry ,but it was wartime and they got married when he had a 48 hour leave,in the manse of a (horror) protestant church .She continued to undermine him until my sister was school age and mum wanted to send her to a catholic school.It wasn't possible back then as she wasn't baptised catholic and to do that mum and dad had to remarry in a catholic church .So they did that and had both my sisters baptised at the same time
Granny did a 360 degree turn and all of a sudden he was lovely man .
I only have this story through my mum as it was before I was born.But granny came to live with us and she was there until she died when I was 18 .Maybe its as simple as the fact you're not married.Not that I think you should have to to keep them happy but it would make life simpler for them if they saw you had the same name .Ask them if thats the problem and let them know that he cant take the children nowadays simply because
he has the same name as them .Good luck with it all families can be a nightmare

Confused2019 Sun 18-Aug-19 16:42:44

Thank you all so much, for years now I've ignored it all - I've been there for my mum as like I said she has had a bitter falling out with her sister and my nan so for many years I lost contact with my nan. It's been hard at times as my dad pointed out to me when I was younger that mum came first and I was second - something I have always excepted but I knew he would keep her behaviour in check but when he called it was like he was validating everything she has ever said.

Again Thank you all I've been going over everything again and again, I feel so guilty for not calling them, I know they will say I have stopped them seeing the children but they can call them anytime and arrange a visit but unless I call them they will not. I feel terrible and think people will think I am wicked for standing up to them but I have to put my children and partner first.

Oh and regarding my surname mum wanted the children to have their surname and hinted if we were to get married to keep my surname.

Thank you again for all your kind words of wisdom I truly appreciate it

Confused2019 Sun 18-Aug-19 16:46:35

Thank you Monica it's as if you know me, I have always tried to be the loyal dutiful daughter but I've never reached the bar set so to speak.

hazel93 Sun 18-Aug-19 16:57:06

Oh, poor you, horrible, horrible situation.
Why, oh why some parents believe they somehow own their children is beyond me !
I totally understand your hurt but you are absolutely right to put your family first. Grandparents should be loving,
supportive and keep their mouths shut unless asked for advice !
I do so hope your relationship will improve but it really is down to them, definitely their loss if not.

PamelaJ1 Sun 18-Aug-19 17:16:42

I’m trying to get my head round this and try and understand why your mother is behaving like this. I can’t really but there may be an explanation.

My DD was 7months pregnant when her husband left. Long story short- she divorced him.
They got back together when GC was 18months old and now seem to be very happy. That is good, BUT, I am happy that they don’t seem to want /need to remarry. He has a fairly low paid job, so does she- nothing wrong with that BTW but if we die and she inherits then he will not have a strong case to claim her inheritance if he left her again.
Perhaps your parents are concerned for your future security?
Contrary to belief a common law wife does not have the same protection as one that is legally married.

Eloethan Sun 18-Aug-19 17:26:21

Confused I think your parents' behaviour is cruel and hurtful - to both you and your husband.

I get the feeling that you have spent your life feeling inadequate - perhaps because your parents have always been hyper-critical. I've noticed that children of parents who are very critical or who show little interest in their opinions or achievements tend to continually seek their parents' love and approval. I wonder if you can relate to this?

I think you would benefit from seeking some counselling sessions to unravel your feelings and to enable you to be more assertive in your dealings with your parents. They will then have less power to hurt you.

I wish you all the best.

Confused2019 Sun 18-Aug-19 17:51:09

I'm really not sure what my mum's motives are, she believes her mum was bad towards her - I've listened for years and it was only after she lied to my dad about her behaviour towards me regarding one of the children I realised she treats me like her mum treats her. As for financial stability my partner works and I am a stay at home mum. My dad talks about inheritance but tbh I have always had the impression my mum would rather I had nothing. I'm not interested in money or anything, I've told my dad this, I've held on to thinking for years that my dad knew deep down what she was like but ive now lost that hope.

I've just read all your replays to my partner and I've had a good cry, I won't go into all the years of side ways comments aimed at me as you lovely ladies seem to have a good idea of what's gone on. Yes I have always sort their approval much to the annoyance of my partner, but he has always supported me.

All I can do is vow never to treat my children this way and support each and all of their decisions.

PECS Sun 18-Aug-19 18:03:22

Gosh! What a funny attitude! I would be saying get dual nationality..get an Irish passport for your children! At least after UK is on its own, as the kids grow up they can travel in Europe more easily! Beyond that your parents seem to have rather traditional views on people not exactly like them. Keep all channels open but prioritise your own growing family. Your parents are the ones being awkward not you. There are consequences to being bigoted.

Luckygirl Sun 18-Aug-19 18:12:33

What business of your Mum's was it to interfere over whose name is on the birth certificate? That is out of order.

Alexa Sun 18-Aug-19 18:50:07

Confused, I am sorry you have these worries . Does your mother tend to distrust everyone, or only foreigners or people from another religion?If so I doubt you will change her attittude.

Is your mother worried about your financial security? If that's her problem can you tell her about your insurance or pension scheme?

I agree with Farmor and Eillyann an Irish passport is a good thing to own and will be very useful for your travelling abroad in the future.

No matter how upset your mother is all you can do is try to reassure her as well as you can, but she literally can't rule your life.
I wish you much happiness with your nice man and lovely babies.

Confused2019 Sun 18-Aug-19 19:04:50

My mum distrusts everyone tbh and she has never worried about our finances. It's hard to explain without going into to much detail, all she has is my dad - no friends as she picks holes in everyone. She wanted us to buy a bigger place some years back and all live together, she told my dad it was my idea and he got annoyed with me when I said no.

Confused2019 Sun 18-Aug-19 19:07:13

I agree Pecs dual passports seem to make so much sense!

Confused2019 Sun 18-Aug-19 19:09:31

Luckygirl thankyou I really have been starting to doubt myself and I cannot keep going on to my wonderful partner as he is just as hurt and cannot understand what he feels he has done wrong.

notanan2 Sun 18-Aug-19 19:28:18

Your kids arent any less Irish just because they dont have an Irish passport. Plenty of citizens never get any passport, they are still citizens.

I think it is wrong to encourage/condone your parents xenophobia against your children by adhering to their "british passport only" rule.

There are many parts of the world where the british are very unpopular and it is safer to travel on a more neutral passport.

Confused2019 Sun 18-Aug-19 19:37:50

I'm not encouraging or condoning any behaviour, I think you may have misread my post.

Bordersgirl57 Sun 18-Aug-19 20:10:44

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

hazel93 Sun 18-Aug-19 20:31:05

I'm sorry but I don't feel this has anything to do with passports at all, rather an excuse to still control.
You are an adult, you have made your choices and, if I were a member of your family I would be more than happy with the decisions you have made.
In fact I would find it somewhat of a relief to accept not all parents are nurturing as yours were so obviously not .Be proud of yourself - smile, despite them you are now fine.

Deedaa Sun 18-Aug-19 21:05:09

confused your mother comes over as a nasty, controlling woman. She seems to have driven away everyone who has been close to her. What name you take and what passports your children have is none of her business. I would have as little to do with her as possible. Don't risk the relationship you have trying to please this selfish woman, it's what she's hoping you will do.

Confused2019 Mon 19-Aug-19 10:46:17

Thank you all even though it has been very hard to read your replies these are not thoughts I have not had secretly at the back if my mind. It's very hard to think badly of your mum no matter what age you are.

I found myself reading some comments and wanting to jump to my mum's defence, I'll never understand her behaviour but after a night of sole searching as hard as it is to admit I don't believe my mum sees me as a daughter but just as someone to control for her own means. Before if I spoke up she screamed shouted even stamped her feet and said because I spoke better I made her look the 'bad guy' to my dad.

I'm sorry its all pooing out here - I know counselling has been suggested - I've never spoken to anyone it was drilled into me at a young age you get on with life, be strong etc. So in away writing here my shoulders feel lighter and I feel so much stronger in my convictions now.

No one wants to admit their mum only thinks of themselves, I'll always feel guilty but as my dad said I come second to her and they now unfortunately come second to my family. I'll never stop them seeing the children but they will have to call and so far they have not - I'm dreading the day my eldest asks where they are I don't know what to say, they love them so much I really don't want my children to resent me.

Sorry I'm rambling again, it's just I cannot bring myself to talk to friends in case they judge me as this horrid person who does not speak to their mum.

Confused2019 Mon 19-Aug-19 10:47:46

*pouring not pooing 🤣 first giggle I have had in weeks 😂