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Have you told your child how much they hurt you, and does it help?

(64 Posts)
flopen Thu 06-Aug-20 08:23:23

I feel very unhappy at the moment - tearful and not sleeping. It's about my relationship with my daughter but I don't know whether to talk directly about it to her, or just put up with it.
I've always had a problematic relationship with my mum, as I found her mood swings and controlling behaviour difficult. I have tried to not be that kind of mother, but don't know how to approach this with my dd without replicating the conversations I've had with my mum, which made the rift between us larger.
She lives a long way from us, so I can't choose the right time.
The problem is that I feel that she is pulling away from us. When we visit we try not to be invasive, as we appreciate they are tired with young children. We stay in a local hotel, and don't stay more than one night. I could deal with that, but what has upset me is that his family stayed recently, in the house, for several nights. When they were there, our gd stayed up late, which she never does when we're there.
There's several other things, but, ridiculous as it sounds, that is what has upset me more than anything. I feel we try our best, but will always be on the outside looking in.
Our dd is very loving, but on her terms. I just don't know how to deal with this, as I feel as though it's ruining my life.

BlueBelle Thu 06-Aug-20 08:40:15

Don’t let it ruin your life or your relationship
I can see where the differences are affecting your thoughts whose idea was it to stay at a hotel?b yours or hers if it was yours then obviously the in laws didn’t suggest it however if she asked you to stay in a hotel and didn’t ask the in,laws then that is strange and I d feel miffed too
I can’t personally understand this business of staying in hotels to visit a close family member, my children would think I was a nut if I went and stayed in a hotel when visiting them and even my extended family would be mortified, theyd rather sleep on the floor than have us stay in a hotel
You say your daughter is very loving so I d take that with both hands and try not to dwell on other things
are you sure you’re not projecting your own flawed relationship with your mum onto your mother/daughter relationship

Pantglas2 Thu 06-Aug-20 08:48:24

I think sometimes none of us know how much we hurt our own parents when we were younger and our own children won’t realise their own thoughtlessness until their children do it to them! Such is life!

Take it at her speed and intensity Florentine’s, and don’t be comparing what t’other side get/do - thereby madness lies!

Pantglas2 Thu 06-Aug-20 08:49:16

Apologies Flopen- autobluddywrongagain!

Grandmabatty Thu 06-Aug-20 09:03:08

The in laws may have been foisted on your dd and she had no choice. Have you asked her if she would like you to stay at their house? Maybe she would like it, maybe not. Again perhaps the in laws were instrumental in the children being up late. Maybe they wound them up and they were overtired. Maybe your dd was cursing the in laws! ☺ I understand you are feeling sore about this and it's occupying a big space in your mind and heart. However you do have to let it go as it is doing you no good.

flopen Thu 06-Aug-20 09:16:10

thank you all so much.
We actually bought an air bed, and slept on the floor once, but find it more comfortable to stay in a nearby hotel. So, yes, our choice.
I often think about the hurt I've caused my mother, and think this is karma. But she WAS unreasonable and demanding. And I still lose out when I'm bending over backwards to be the opposite.
Anyway, thanks everybody. Your responses do help.

Illte Thu 06-Aug-20 09:29:03

Can I ask, what is it that you would like to be different? Sometimes it's helpful to start from there rather than make comparisons, either with in laws or with your relationship with your mother.

Obviously not the staying in the house since the hotel is your choice.

So if I could wave a magic wand, what one thing would you change about how things are now 🤔

flopen Thu 06-Aug-20 09:40:16

Good thought. I'll go away and think about it

TillyWhiz Thu 06-Aug-20 10:00:12

flopen I have exactly the same type of upbringing so have behaved like you. Yes and got hurt by what I perceived. And that's it. When you hear the true story it is usually totally different to what you had heard and imagined.
You have been very considerate in your stay, it could well be the in laws weren't.

timetogo2016 Thu 06-Aug-20 10:03:37

Can`t add anything more than what`s been posted.
Well done all.

Bennydian Thu 06-Aug-20 10:06:19

It is all perception, when my parents would come and visit me and stay in a hotel instead of our home. I saw it as a type of rejection. They saw it as giving us the space we needed and not being a burden in a busy family home.
Next visit, ask what they would prefer, but do not take offence if the hotel is suggested as other things could be happening at their home.
Personally, I prefer not to stay with people as I feel uncomfortable. Not them.

polnan Thu 06-Aug-20 10:08:17

I think I am sort of the opposite Flopen.

I have two grown sons, the eldest has my 4 gks. (ie. younger no children,not their choice)
gks only live about 6 miles from us, so ,our choice, (when dh was alive) for us to go to them, they have large house/garden, so a break for us, now I try to continue that, being isolated, it gets me out etc.

now they ie. dh and and dil have suggested, in a sort of back handed way that they can`t have me visiting at weekends, I only ever stay a couple of hours, and told them and told them they don`t have to "entertain" me, ie. can get on with their many jobs to do... so yes, I can hear someone saying
well ask them! I can`t do that, I would be in tears, I am at a more than emotional stage than ever I was.

so I feel rejected, unloved, unwanted.

now my mum lived with me!!! when dad died, she came to live with me, and stayed, my choice, her choice... so slightly different to you Flopen

so praps many of us have these hangups,, as we get older...

weekends are the worst for me, and that is what I heard my ds and dil saying.. come during the week! dark nights coming, I can`t drive in the dark...

I think I am dwelling too much on all of this and have to let go and get on with something else.. but what? I am no chicken, ie. getting on in years.

Coconut Thu 06-Aug-20 10:09:58

Personally I would send her an email, explain exactly how you feel and ask what you can both so to make things better between you. She is not a mind reader so unless you are open, word it very non confrontational, things will not improve, I wish you well ....

Lin663 Thu 06-Aug-20 10:11:07

Have you thought about writing down your feelings and when it says exactly what you want it to say, sending it to your daughter? In that way you can edit and re-edit until it comes across exactly the way you want it to. The problem with directly talking is that it can lead to angry conversations and recriminations and ill feelings, which is exactly what you want to avoid. But I do think it’s important to let your daughter know how you feel. Relationships are really difficult at times but communication is the key. She may have no idea how bad it makes you feel and I know that if my mother felt like you do I would want to modify my behaviour because I really don’t want to hurt her.

northerngardener Thu 06-Aug-20 10:11:13

I real feel for you this must be so hard. Firstly I think you need to address your issues with your Mum through counselling or if that's not an option financially, by opening up to a suitable friend who will listen and guide you not preach. Through this you can find ways that will ensure past behaviours are not repeated. Secondly, I hardly dare suggest in case it makes you even more upset - be aware of coercive control. It may not be the reason, but keep your eyes and ears open. Do you speak to any of her school friends - are they still in touch with her, what is she posting on social media - any changes or has it stopped? I agree with @Grandmabatty as well - there's often two sides!! Good luck

Fleursgranny Thu 06-Aug-20 10:13:19

This is only a hunch and I don't want to hurt you but could your daughter feel that you are pulling away from her? My instinct would be for a gesture (or card, flowers whatever) that would tell her how much you love her. I have undertaken to always visit my children by staying in a nearby B & B for their sakes because I remember the stress my parents caused when they stayed in our small house. And they remember that too!

Grandmabeach Thu 06-Aug-20 10:15:43

There are positives with staying in a hotel - no children bounding in at 6am, a leisurely breakfast then feel refreshed when you join the family. We only live in a small flat and started booking our family (4 adults, 4 children under 10) into a nearby hotel when we all want to get together. The grandchildren love it especially the buffet breakfast. They love it if we join them for breakfast and they can explain the system to us.

Lesley60 Thu 06-Aug-20 10:15:58

When I visit my daughter I stay in a nearby hotel as my daughter has four children and it’s a busy house, therefore I find it easier (and I’m sure she does too) as I don’t want to disrupt their busy lives and we can arrange to see each other, that way I know she wants to spend time with me and I’m not in the way.

Kpnuts Thu 06-Aug-20 10:23:53

If you offered to stay for a couple of nights, maybe suggest you could babysit one of the nights to let your daughter have a night out. You get to see you GC and they get to relax.

Gingergirl Thu 06-Aug-20 10:24:52

It sounds like the other grandparents are more forthright in their wishes and that your own family dynamics are quite different. You want the closeness that you imagine they have with them but you don’t want to be overbearing and demanding to gain that, as you have bitter memories of that with your own mother. Every family is different and maybe it needn’t be that black and white. Perhaps you can find your own way to get a little closer....not like your mother...not like the other GPs. If you can, perhaps stay a little longer and maybe get a little more involved and don’t be frightened of that. You will I’m sure, come up with your own things to try but I’d aim to tread a middle path and just let them realise that yes, you are there, and yes, you do want to spend more time with them, and see where that takes you. Good luck.

Nannan2 Thu 06-Aug-20 10:31:49

When i visit most of my ac (only 1 lives nearby, & 2 youngest at home) we always stay in hotel overnight(well, before covid19) but because we want to(tried stay at sons/daughters once or twice but very cramped& on sofas etc. So not for us.(me& 2 youngest,17&21) but maybe if you suggest staying at theirs theyd think you want to, as in laws must do? Try it next time.but you may be reading too much into it maybe.

Ramblingrose22 Thu 06-Aug-20 10:34:14

flopen - I too had a problematic relationship with my mother and I too tried very hard not to be that kind of mother to my 2 DS's.

Even now, when they have moved out and are adults I sometimes wonder if I should have done things indifferently as the relationship with the older one is a bit tricky.

I would try not to read too much into the in-laws staying with them when you have chosen not to. You could always say to your DD next time you plan to visit "I know we normally stay in a hotel when we come to see you because we don't want to foist ourselves on you all. If you'd rather we stayed with you instead please tell me" or similar.

For all you know, she found the in-laws stayng an absilute nightmare but hasn't told you because she doesn't want to cause embarrassment.

jaylucy Thu 06-Aug-20 10:36:54

You say that it is your choice to stay in a nearby hotel. But for only one night.
It must seem like you fly in and fly out to your DD and family !
Maybe your DD has got the idea that because you spend so little time , that you don't really want to be there and it is just a courtesy visit.
Is there any way that you could stay for longer? Or would it be possible to spend the hotel cost on renting a caravan for a long weekend for you all to stay in ( your DD and family could be classed as your "bubble") .
Either way, nobody can read your mind and unless you explain your feelings to your daughter, she will never know. Begin by telling her about the relationship that you had with your own mother and that you don't want your relationship with DD to be the same.
Until then, you are just repeating history, whether you want to or not!

V3ra Thu 06-Aug-20 10:43:23

We stay in a hotel when we visit our daughter as well! There is physically no space in their house to even put an airbed down. We're not all tripping over each other to share the bathroom either. Much less stressful for all concerned.

Was your daughter actually happy about the in-laws staying several days and your granddaughter staying up late?
You say she's loving, but on her terms, so what aren't you happy about there?
Is she relaxed while you're there and does she enjoy your visits?

chris8888 Thu 06-Aug-20 10:49:35

It could be that she finds you only staying one night in a hotel, that you can`t be bothered staying longer. Communicate is the key but hard to do and not cause a further problem. Hope you sort it out.