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My mom drives me nuts. Help.

I called my mom and asked her if I could come visit next weekend with my husband and my children. Even the fact that I have to "ask" and I don't feel welcome drives me crazy but that's another story. She answers, I don't know, I'm going to be getting a job, money is tight, I'll have to get back to you at some point in the future. Then I say, we'll pay for everything if that's the problem. She answers, I just don't know. Why do you want to come, you were just here a couple of weeks ago. I can't even fathom my children calling me, when they get older, and me getting the chance to see my grandchildren, and having a response like this. Sorry, thanks for letting me vent. It's just hurtful.

Wed. Apr 26, 11:52am

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Before rushing to conclusions, it could be one of two (based on my personal exp.):
a - she's got her own plans, and you are interfering; or
b (worse) - you may have hurt your Mom's feelings recently.

Play back you recent convos and your visits with your Mom and see if you have somehow unintentionally hurt her (we, children could be very selfish and cruel sometimes). Or your kids or hubby? Is your Mom depressed? If you live nearby, invite your Mom for lunch some place nice - just two of you, and maybe you get her to talk.

If all is ok, your Mom's got a life and I would leave her alone - as much as inconceivable it is our parents are also humans with their own private lives, which we have no control over the minute we leave their nests.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006, 12:12 PM

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You must be an older mom. Thanks but no thanks. Your post reveals that you are also a selfish human being.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006, 12:15 PM

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I'd be upset too if my mom didn't want me to visit. Sounds like there are deeper issues. Sorry she hurt your feelings.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006, 12:22 PM

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Parents can drive us crazy. Try not to take it personally. I don't think going over tapes of past conversations is very helpful. It's best to ask her directly what is up because you could make assumptions that aren't true. The only way you will really know what is up is if you ask her. If you don't feel comfortable doing that, just let it go and move on.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006, 12:22 PM

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To the 12:22 poster. Thank you for understandting. She's selfish and controlling and everything is all about her, all the time. I have to accept that she'll never change.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006, 12:25 PM

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if she's so selfish and controlling, why do you want to see her so often??

Sounds like you do need to get over it, and move on.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006, 12:39 PM

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to the 12:15 comment - I dont' even have kids, I wrote it from a daughter's perspective. My Mom is oceans away, and I wish I was that close (physical distance wise) like you. But at the time she was nearby, I know I've been selfish and cruel to her countless times.
If she's a B... like you describe, 12:39 poster is right, why hold on to her?...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006, 12:51 PM

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My mother died 14 years ago and I miss her eveyday. One day she won't be here for you or you for her. Don't give up on your mom she is all you got.

Maybe in a few weeks call her and see if she is busy. Invite her over to your place. Maybe she doesn't like having to clean up after you and your family are gone. Who know's.

My daughter lives over a thousand miles away from me and I would never turn her away. Good luck never give up.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006, 1:23 PM

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This is a generalization about all moms... they think... subconsiously I'm sure... that everything is about them. This plays into every aspect of their lives. She probably thinks that you just saw eachother and she doesn't need to see you as often because she probably thinks that -you- think she doesnt have a life. Just accept the time you can get and make things different for your potential children

Wednesday, April 26, 2006, 1:30 PM

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the the 12:15 poster- I faily to see how the post has made the OP selfish. Your comment was rude, this is a place to support one another not spit out poisen I would hope you would rethink your post next time.

12:39 poster- How can someone give up a realationship with their mother so easily? And why should she, just becuase maybe the realtionship you have with your mother is crappy doesnt mean you should tell the OP to move on.

To the OP- I'm sorry that your mom hurt your feelings. I think a deeper conversation with her on why she's so reserved could help. Only you and your mother know the history y'all have so please dont let these other posters get you down.

let us all remember this is a place to encurage each other and motivate each other!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006, 2:35 PM

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To the OP - have that conversation with your mom, but have it without your husband and children around. Find out what the problem is - maybe it's something minor, or maybe it's a bigger issue that needs to be addressed.

Why are you asking her now if you can visit this weekend? That's 3 days away. Your mother deserves the respect to be asked in advance, so that she can make plans of her own, and follow through with them. Also, are you asking to visit because you want to see her, or because you want to do something in her area and her house is a free hotel?

In the future, when/if you stay with her, bring her housewarming gifts, like you would if you were staying with a friend. Bring her a nice bottle of wine or send her flowers, to make her feel appreciated, or, if she's low on money, send her a fruit basket or an assortment of nuts or something a little bit luxurious that she can enjoy. Or, get her something pretty for her home. If you're short on cash yourself, bake something for her and bring it, or bring all of the ingredients for her favorite dish and cook everyone dinner while you're there (make sure it's okay with your mom, and that you clean up everything when you're finished - it's not her job to clean up your mess, even if it's to cook for her.) DO NOT let your children and/or your husband consume all or most of whatever you bring her. And make sure they know that grandma's house is just like any other friend's house - they are not to go through her fridge/cupboards and eat her food w/o asking, and they need to clean up after themselves.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006, 3:13 PM

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to the 2.35 pm poster: I think 12:15 is the OP responding to my 12.12 post...

Wednesday, April 26, 2006, 3:27 PM

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Sigh.... You know, the grass is always greener on the other side. I wish my parents could acknowledge that _I_ have a life. It's not that I don't want to see them, but that it always has to be on their schedule (and they are retired, so you would think their schedule would be more flexible than mine) no matter what my work responsibilities and other committments at the time.

But maybe that's it -- maybe you need to ask her about HER schedule and where you all could synch.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006, 3:40 PM

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Um....duh...

Why not just tell your mother that you would welcome the chance for another visit soon and what does her schedule look like?

Sometimes I find that if we treat our family/partners/loved ones with the same rules/respect we give our friends & acquaintainces, it can be easier.

Maybe your mom is just a bit funny about her space/schedule and just needs another approach. My mother can be funny about these things (she tends to be reclusive and depressive) and so it's important for our relationship that I respect her boundaries, even if I have a hard time understanding or don't agree with them.

Just because you want to visit now and it's good for you, doesn't mean she wants a visit or that it's good timing for her. No fault for anyone, I'm just suggesting that by "scheduling" the visit like you would a work meeting or night out with girlfriends, it takes the emotional part out of it (you each wanting your way) out of the equation and let's you just work something out amicably.

Then the entire family can enjoy each other's company without feeling pushed around.

Thursday, April 27, 2006, 11:29 AM

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I totally agree with the 11:29 poster - so often we treat our family like we can walk all over them when we treat our friends and colleagues with respect. Just because they are our family doesn't mean we shouldn't have to say "thank you" and "please" and figure out what works for both halves rather than just assuming that since they are family they are going to jump to do what ever it is that we want to do.

I also think that while peertrainer is an excellent forum for venting, we (obviously) are a bunch of strangers who don't know anything about the OP's situation other than the short paragraph of the original post. Everyone's family situation is different, and sometimes it reaches the point where it is healthiest for everyone if a relationship is sort of put on hold and there is minimal visiting or communicating, but in my experience, that is after years of hurtful and unhappy experiences like the one she just had.

If this is something that happened often to me, I would want to change it. But, as in all relationships, it is a two way street. One person can't force the other to change. So assuming that you do want the situation to change, my advice (worth exactly what you paid for it) is to be the bigger person. Start that hard conversation. Start treating your mom with the utmost respect and exactly how you'd like to be treated, and if she makes it clear that she wants to be treated some other way, treat her that way instead. This is not easy - I really don't think there is an easy fix to something like this - and it's going to take a ton of work and patience. But hopefully, when you've been the better person towards your mom for long enough, she will realize it and return the gesture in kind. Then, with both of you committed to improving your relationship, you can do so.


Thursday, April 27, 2006, 12:18 PM

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Wow, everyone's reading a lot in to a very simple sketch. Could be so many things. Lately I just dread going over to my parents because my dad is always yelling at my mom and putting her down. It seems to be getting worse - he's getting grouchier as he ages. Maybe your kids are loud and give her a headache. Maybe you argue with her or her husband and she's tired. Maybe she doesn't want to clean the house again. Maybe..........who knows? You guys will have to talk more. My mom won't open up so if something bothers her she won't say.

Friday, April 28, 2006, 5:57 AM

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perhaps she is suffering from the isolation sympton that comes with depression? when i feel depressed, i do not want company or to visit anyone or want to explain why-i just want to be alone. it's not even that i prefer to be with only myself-i just don't feel up to what goes into carrying on a conversation, entertaining guests, getting up and around because i have to-since people are around...it may have nothing to do with you personally.

Friday, April 28, 2006, 4:05 PM

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i think the dynamic of the mother-daughter relationship is very evident here. try to imagine that someone else responded to your request to visit in the same way your mother has. it's ok if you react to her as a fellow adult instead of just your mother all the time- that is, after all, who she is.

Friday, May 05, 2006, 1:04 PM

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I think it's natural for the OP to be upset that her mother doesn't want to see her. I believe it's impossible for an individual to see a mother as a fellow adult. After all, if she was "fellow adult" then there wouldn't be this problem. The OP obviously wants to be heard, and many of the posts here argue with her/him, which invalidate the simple feelings of being rejected by your mother. Who has an easy time with the feeling of being rejected?

Friday, May 05, 2006, 1:12 PM

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About isolation symptom of depression. You don't have to be depressed to want to be alone. I love being alone, with my thoughts, my books or other hobbies etc. Ok, maybe according to common belief, in the mother-child relationship, the mother should chose the company of their children over her solitude, then in common eyes, yes, she is as the OP says 'selfish'. dunno...

Friday, May 05, 2006, 1:47 PM

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I want to get away from my parents and thats what I plan on doing but neither one can imagine me moving away with my kids. I got into another college in another state. My mom knows but my dad doesn't. I hate it that I have to tell him eventually.

Friday, May 05, 2006, 7:29 PM

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Mother's are just weird sometimes

I find it very dificult to deal with my mother, we get along, because I make a supreme effort ... she is ornary, difficult, controlling, bossy, controlling, did I mention controlling. I can't even eat something wthout a whole diatribe on what it is, should I be eating it, what about my diet, is that allowed ... and on and on and on ... she is basically weird and I'm not happy when I'm around her so I have had to put some distance between us for my own health and sanity, and it's working.

She is very insulting to me and my sister .... she is rude to others, makes comments constantly about their appearance, their weight, sometimes she says it a bit too loud if we are in a restaurant etc., and it's downright embarrasing. She is obsessed with appearance and neatness and cleanliness etc., to the point of ridiculousness.

Not all moms are cute little old ladies baking cookies in the kitchen and making cocoa and good listeners and supportive .... they are who they are and if they are not nice people generally then we may not want to spend time with them. Nothing wrong with that ... we need healthy boundaries.

If your mom says things like that when you call ... and can't even be bothered to want to see her grandchildren for heavens sake ... I don't care whether she has no money ... she could be honest and ask you to bring some groceries etc., that's what family is all about, but she could at least be welcoming to you and your family.

If she feels that way, or says those things, I wouldn't bother phoning any more ... you have done your part, you have tried to visit, she doesn't want you there for some reason, and doesn't even need to see her grandchildren, so why bother?

I would wait now until she calls and makes the effort.

As a mother of two wonderful young men myself, I can't imagine not wanting to spend as much time with them as they would allow - ha ha! They are the most beautiful young men I have ever had the pleasure to know and they make my life wonderful just to be around them ... I'm there for them whenever they want or need me to be - I can't imagine it being any other way.

Good luck and keep your healthy boundaries in tact!! Our parents no longer have the power over us as we age and have our own families, and nor should they ... we should become more like equals and treat other with respect just as we would our friends. If she doesn't want the visits, don't go, but don't keep phoning either, leave the ball in her court now.

It may hurt, but it will be healthier for you .... sounds like you would be forcing the issue anyway - but I can see how it would be very painful for you to feel that she doesn't even want to see her grandchildren. My heart goes out to you .... but maybe the grandchildren wouldn't benefit from being with her anyway if she feels that way.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008, 11:11 PM

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i give my parents the same guidelines as my friends and such, yet my dad is completely put off by the fact that i have to check my schedule and they can't just "drop in" any time they want. my mom completely understands that we have jobs, commitments and lives. we live about 4 hours from each other and we come home pretty frequently to visit, but i never just "drop by" i always call to check their schedules for which weekend works best, is it too hard for them to do the same? my dad is very old school and "dropping in" was a normal practice, i remember doing it as a kid. random sunday drives, we'd drive by someone my parents knew and we'd pull in the driveway and wait in the car while dad went to the door to see if anyone was home. those are days gone by when people were home all the time, he just can't understand that i have to have at least two weeks notice. i can't understand why he'd take the time and chance to drive all the way here, only to find out we're out of town for the weekend or have other house guests. it just makes sense....

Wednesday, March 05, 2008, 12:13 AM

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My mom does too. The mother/daughter relationship is a complex one. Everyone tend to romaticize it but the reality is that the dynamic is fraught with competition, regret, resentment also combined with love and adoration. Best thing to remember is that it's natural and try to accept the relationship for what it is.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008, 9:44 AM

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Take a Deep Breath and Get Some Perspective

From your Mom's comments it sounds like maybe she feels like you are taking advantage of her ($$).
Moms behave in all sorts of different ways, mine is much older (she had me in her late 40's). We live far apart, she is getting older and sometimes I go out of my mind listenin to the same stories again and again ... however I love her dearly and one day she will be gone. I talk to her everyday and when I start to lose my marbles over something she says I bite my tongue and just let her be. I wish my Mom was in driving distance.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008, 9:55 AM

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Maybe Its Your Kids

I know if my grandchildren were our of control horrible creatures, I wouldn't want them around and would make excuses for them not to come.
Maybe she would be different if it was just you going instead of the family.
Or maybe do you use your mom as a babysitter so you and your hubby can go out .... it could be many things.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008, 9:58 AM

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11:11 poster
I have the same mom. She's kind-of both she can be the baking cookies mom that's like a girlfriend but can also be controlling and loud in restaurants and embarassing.
She also gets hurt easily and I love her anyways don't get me wrong but she also won't tell me if I've hurt her feelings she'll tell my siblings. The generation of passive-aggressiveness. I try to be direct with her if I think something is wrong or I've hurt her.
My advice would be as previous posters to ask when is good time for a visit.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008, 12:00 PM

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To the original comment: You will not like to cut your ties with your mom, nevertheless you have responsibilities to your new family. I hope you are not heavy on them when you are saddened by your mom. The best thing you can do is try to sort your life healty and be happy then your mom will come to you. She is basically playing with you emotionally which is very selfish but most probably she is doing this because she is not happy with her everyday life. She probably also assumes that she cant loose you no matter what she does Surely this is selfish but you are also bias by playing into this??

Friday, July 11, 2008, 5:53 AM

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I'll admit right away that I'm probably an "older mom" (my youngest is 8 but my eldest is 19) and also that I have a complicated relationship with my own mother. Make of all that what you all will, but here are my thoughts:

First, grandchildren don't have to be unruly and undisciplined to be exhausting for someone who isn't used to having small energetic curious noisy people around. I've already reached a point where a normal 2-year-old can wear me out in a couple of hours. For some older people, every other weekend is a lot; they may need more recovery time. This is not necessarily a reflection on how much they love their grandchildren.

Second, how many of us have close friends who would happily entertain us and our entire families every other weekend? How many of us would expect that? Why not? The same reasons apply to relatives. Getting a house ready for children; shopping for a large number of people when you are accustomed to shopping and cooking for two; preparing for keeping little hands and bodies busy; and then washing sheets and towels and everything else that comes in the aftermath of visitors--all of that is a lot of mental and physical work. And keeping a clear space in the schedule or clearing one--Maybe once every two or three months is more reasonable for long visits. As far as having to ask--why would mothers be exempt from courtesies like asking before coming to visit for a weekend?

Third, while grandparents often love their grandchildren, they may have been putting off a lot of things for a lot of years, and now they need some balance. My parents put many of their own interests on hold and dedicated all their time to raising us. Now that we are all grown, it seems to me they deserve some time to enjoy the things they set aside for the 25 years they had kids at home. Unfortunately, my mother's health restricts her activities, and my siblings depend on her a lot for babysitting and so on. She and Dad still try to make the grandkids' ballgames and such (just like they always did with us), but sometimes I think they would benefit from more quiet time. About the only way they get it is to go on a trip--which is tiring as well. I wonder when they ever get any down time.

I love my kids, and I love spending time with them--but I know that when they have all grown and flown, there are many things on hold that I will be anxious to get back to. I will need time for those things, and time for quiet, and time to enjoy my grandchildren to the fullest--in some balance.

Thanks for your post, OP. It was a good reminder to me that some of my frustrations with my own mother--who tends to make similar excuses, and who often doesn't live up to my expectations--are probably not quite what I often interpret them to be. I'm going to watch my tendency to interpret her actions as somehow selfish or uncaring or diffident, and try to take my own counsel here a bit better. She deserves a little breathing room after raising all of us, and her level of energy for my family is not automatically a measure of her level of love for us.

Friday, July 11, 2008, 11:05 AM

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Yes, it is hurtful, and part of what pt is about is venting. It helps us to get on with our lives. I had similar problems with my mom. She is controlling and manipulative and loving. She is in California and I am in Wisconsin. I was glad to be away from the controlling aspects, but I have called her and offered to pay for her to visit us. She wasnt sure she wanted to and I could never get a straight answer out of her as to why not. I would talk about coming out to visit (it had been 1-3 years since I last saw her) and she would go on and on about how broke everyone is. I told her that I was paying for the plane ticket and our own food, what else would she like? "Oh I dont know we're just so broke." Whenever I did visit, my first stop was at the market and bought enough food to last all of us the entire visit, I also left her freezer full of food for her and left her money to cover water, electricity, etc. I made sure that I gave her no excuses for regretting our visit. When my sister came to visit, that is exactly what she did. She sat down and never paid any attention to her children because she wanted to relax. Mom ended up stuck with them. I made sure that my comments to mom were kind and loving but that I was also straightforward honest. She always knew she could count on me. She also put so much of her life into raising her 3 daughters that she didnt have other friends. As she aged she became more and more depressed. We talked on the phone a lot and even though she told me how to think and what to do, I would tease her about how it was my turn to be an adult now. I let her know that I would take her suggestions under advisement and then make my own decisions. My mother is now in a nursing home and unable to talk or walk. I am glad that I never gave up on her. I didnt visit as often as I would have liked, but that was what she chose. I respected her opinions and because I was honest with her it taught her to be more honest with me. She also chose me to be her POA which (to me ) is the biggest honor of all. She trusted me to take care of her when she needed it the most.
As ornery, controlling, whatever that parents (and children) are, dont ever give up on them. They may need tough love, or to be left alone a bit, but please try to be kind and understanding and love them for no other reason then they are your parents.

Friday, July 11, 2008, 6:37 PM

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I'm sorry - I totally understand. It's good to see all the positive feedback on this thread. It helps me feel less bad about my mom. I really liked the post about letting the ball fall in her court. It's painful but you can't change it and you just have to know that it's not personal. That no matter who was her daughter, she would have done the same thing to them.

My mom just acted crazy at my house. I was getting frustrated and so I just wanted to talk sweetly and gently and without accusations. She lost it and immediately packed up and left. I was dumbfounded. It made me realize that there is a wall. She doesn't want to break it down and she doesn't want to get closer by working through some things. My whole family is a broken mess. I have to just stay away. I have tried a lot to say - no big deal and let it go. But I'm unhappy. It feels like I'm trapped in loving her and wanting to be done with our relationship all together.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010, 10:13 PM

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