I have a strained relationship with my mum, which I have learned to live with over the years.
She rarely calls me, and is often grumpy and difficult to talk to when I do call her. I call her about once a month because of this. I do all the usual daughter things and send pressies at the relevant time, often home-made, and flowers etc on Mother's Day. She doesn't seem to appreciate the homemade presents e.g. pulling one item apart as a joke; or sending her a plant 'kit' and her leaving the plants in the wrapping for over a week and having to be reminding they will die if not planted out in the compost and pots I'd provided in the kit, etc.. but I haven't had the budget to send more, or buy 'shop' items, which she knows.
In normal times, I invite her to come stay, which is nearly always declined (last time she visited was 3 years ago, and 3 years before that). She lives about 5 hours away from me, and both of us are in the UK. She has made a huge effort to have a closer relationship with my daughter and the grandchildren, after never really having much of a relationship with them while they were kids - which I find odd, but my daughter is happy with it.
I also suffer with mental health illness, and have done since post-natal depression 30 years ago, which she doesn't understand at all.
I have a sister - we drifted apart many many years ago, and have never really made any effort to see each other over time - no animosity, just send birthday/christmas presents/card each year and that's all. My mum has a very very good relationship with my sister - visiting several times a year etc. and going on holiday together. My mum doesn't speak to me very often about this situation - the last time was many years ago - and it feels like I am the one she blames for the lack of contact (which isn't the case). I'm not going to call it out - I get she needs to blame someone, and that's me. It doesn't bother me and I have never challenged it.
I called my mum on a Sunday a few weeks ago, to see how she was getting on. Call started with usual greetings, and I asked her about her current situation to which she snapped a rather rude reply, implying I should know the answer. I pulled her up as I genuinely didn't know - and that there was no need to be rude. She half-apologised.
She then proceeded to tell me, in very few words, that my sister had called her on the Friday before, to say she was very ill again and would need surgery. She then asked if I would phone my sister. After the grumpy comments of two minutes previously, I was caught off guard and responded that I would think about it. My mum hit the roof, and I ended up hanging up on her ranting at me. I have heard nothing since.
I'm considering allowing the gap to widen - I find dealing with the difficult relationship I have with my mum more tiresome as I get older and I don't feel inclined to try to fix it but I also know she is upset about my sister and is taking it out on me. If she had been that bothered about me calling my sister, I would have expected a call from her when she received the news, not two days later after I called her. I know she needs support but after years of a strained relationship, I'm not sure I can give her that to the level she wants.
I also don't really want more of a relationship with my sister than how it is now, but of course, I wish her a speedy recovery etc.. I do feel my mum wants to use this as an opportunity to put her daughters back together, when the reality is that that won't happen.
Has anyone else experienced a similar situation? I'd love to hear how others have moved forward with their relationship issues?
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