I have already posted this on mumsnet, I’m the Mum and my Mum is the Gran. I got lots of great advice and support on mumsnet but wondered if I might get a different perspective from Grans?
Since having my DS3 my parent’s behaviour has changed or perhaps they have always been this way and I have become less tolerant.
I’d like advice about how to repair our relationship before things breakdown any further.
I have always been very close to both of my parents. My son is their first grandchild and I was excited to tell them they were going to be grandparents. They were shocked (no idea why I was 39 and had been married for 5 years) and throughout my pregnancy they never asked about me or my son.
When DS3 was born they were happy and for a little while things were ok, but as he grew and needed nap and feed times they became difficult to be around. They would ‘accidentally’ wake him up, distract him from eating etc. If I said “he’s getting tired” they would scoff and roll their eyes. In fact they would scoff and roll their eyes at most things I said. To this day they have never told me I am a good mother - perhaps because they don’t think I am. I once got upset and told them about how they made me feel. It didn’t help, my dad shouted at me, said I’m ungrateful and how dare I say they upset me when they paid for my wedding, buy me nice presents and
helped me go to university. They did pay for some of it but I paid for a lot of my wedding and worked 3 jobs during my uni days. I thanked them so much for these things at the time that my dad told me off for thanking them too much. I tried to pay them back for this with a regular monthly payment but they refused. I have since asked them not to buy presents for me or my husband anymore. I can’t risk it being thrown back in my face again as it’s too hurtful. This conversation did stop the eye rolling but nothing else changed.
They are both poor communicators my mum lies a lot ( nothing major, I’m not sure she realises she’s doing it a lot of the time) and shouts or cries to deflect or get her own way and my dad won’t speak at all most of the time. I can’t remember the last time he spoke directly to me. He hasn’t wished me happy birthday for 3 years and neither of them have made any attempt to see me on my birthday for the past 3 years either. This year they came to my house when they knew I would be at work and dropped of an incredibly expensive pair of earrings for me. I now have to go to their house to take them back, which makes me feel very anxious.
They come for Christmas but make no attempt to enjoy themselves. I always cook the food they like, but mum will just pick at it and say she’s not hungry.
Since our relationship has started to breakdown, it’s made me think about the past more and the things my parents have done over the years that have made me feel bad that I’ve perhaps brushed under the carpet. I’m slowly letting go of these things/feelings and want to move on and make our relationship better. I know they won’t instigate this so I need to, but how? It would be easy to walk away but what good would that do. I saw a counsellor but she just kept telling me to tell my mum that I needed a hug from her, which I can’t do yet
In other respects my life is wonderful even in these difficult times, my son is amazing ( as all mums think of their children) my husband is too and is very supportive. I have a nice home and good job.
And yet, this issue with my parents consumes so much of me, of my time, my energy, my thoughts. How do I start carving a path to positive change?
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