To Heck With The Mil What About The Mom

9 Replies
kris A. - August 17

I am having issues with my mom, and need some advice. I left home at 17 due to a bad relationship with mom, joined the navy, and had three kids - now 15,13 and 13. I live over 1500 miles from her and other than christmas and a couple other phone calls, have no contact with her. She doesn't send cards on the girls bdays or anything and hasn't seen them in years. Now that new baby is on the way, and she's retired, suddenly everything is different, and she wants to come out and be 'SUPERGRANDMA' to make up for the other three. She wants to stay at our house, "help" with the baby, the whole nine yards. Only a few problems with that - #1, I am uncomfortable around her. #2, she is uncomfortable around kids, and #3, I dont even know her anymore. I have seen her once in 7 years, so the thought of her in the house while I am trying to recover and bond with dh and new baby is horrifying. I dont want to turn her down completely because I am hoping she may be sincere, but odds are that she has high expectations about being the center of attention as the new grandma, and when that doesn't happy all h__l will break loose. What would you do?

 

Alycia - August 17

Sadly, I have lots of experience with difficult parents. This is hard because some small part of you really wants to have your mommy give a sh*t about you and your kids. That's normal. BUT, your mom sounds like a narcissistic b*tch, so she'll probably never be the mommy/grandma you want. Regardless, you have an absolute right to politely, calmly tell her that you'd prefer to have the first few weeks (months, whatever) alone with your husband, kids, and new baby. If she throws a fit, the best thing to do is stay calm (SO hard, I know) and politely say, "I love you mom, but I'm hanging up now." Hopefully, when you finally do have her visit, she'll truly have turned her life around. But don't count on it. Hope this helps!

 

Lissi - August 17

That's a difficult question. I know what I would do, but it probably isn't the right thing to do. I would probably tell her to go to hell in the nicest possible way. She obviously hasn't been a great mother herself, so I wouldn't want her "helping" with the baby. I suppose I would let her visit just for the sake of the children, because I think every child has a right to know their grandparents if they want, but to have her stay? NO!!!!!

 

tiffani~77 days to go!! - August 17

Sounds to me like she's a day late and a dollar short. Shame on her for not being more involved with your other kids. Imagine how this will be perceived by your other children that Grandma wants to be there for the new baby, but wasn't there for them. That's just not fair. The other 3 are already going to have to adjust their lives to accomodate a newborn, they shouldn't have to do the same for their Grandma. I would explain clearly and matter of factly that you appreciate her intentions, but you want to focus on your family and the huge adjustment that you will all be going through. Tell her you don't think it's healthy for her other Grandchildren to be ignored all these years and then all of a sudden the new baby gets all the attention. I'm an all or nothing type of person, so a half a__sed Grandma just doesn't do it for me. May sound a bit harsh, but in my reality, it works. I also think that if you're not comfortable around her, then that's just one more good reason to make sure she doesn't interfere in your lives. Let her prove herself before you welcome her into your home. Tell her that she needs to make huge strides with her relationship with the other kids and maintain an equal realtionship with all of them before she can just prance back into your life. I wish you all the best, I know this is a difficult situation. :o)

 

kris A. - August 17

Thanks guys, I know you are all right. She called and I wasn't home, but she was talking to the twins (their bday was Aug 7) and she was "isn't your bday coming up" and they were like "yep, last week grandma..." and she started crying and saying what a bad grandma she has been, what a bad mom, etc... they were a little taken back by all the drama coming from an authority figure. When she called my oldest thought it was dh's mom - and it took her awhile to figure out it was my mom, and that set my mom off on drama trip #2. (second husband, not his kids, but his mom ADORES the girls and calls regularly to check on them and see what's happening in "her grandbabies" lives. Best MIL alive, in my opinion...) So my mom launches into the 'I'm the REAL grandma trip, not what I need from her -and both dh and his parents live in the 'perfect family' world, so it is difficult for them to understand how I really dont want my mom around, and I am very comfortable with my life the way it is - mom in Oregon, me in Colorado. Dh's family lives in Texas but the women are already planning to road trip up and surround us in this long awaited event (DH is 43 and is an only son and was a confirmed bachelor, so his having a child is a BIG DEAL) and although I love them, I am somewhat of a loner, and the thought of THAT is overwhelming, but the difference is that they actually are very thoughtful and know my personality, so are more than careful to not intrude on my space. It's really stressful and I have to call mom this weekend and let her know what I need for my sanity. SIGH.

 

tiffani~77 days to go!! - August 17

Your Mom wants a pity party because the other Grandma stepped up and took on her role. Tough s**t! I still say she has to prove herself to you and the kids before you let her in to your lives. She sounds to me like she's more concerned with her own feelings, than yours and your kids. She made the choice to alienate herself from you guys, now it's time for the consequence. I think your inlaws are wonderful for taking on your girls as if they were biologically related. While they may seem a bit overwhelming, I believe they have your families best interest at heart. Stand firm with your mother. You shouldn't have to deal with this stress when you're pregnant. The sooner you face the situation with her, the sooner you can relax and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy. Do you know what you're having? :o)

 

kris A. - August 17

tiffany - Hopefully I find out tomorrow, ultrasound at 3 pm! 26.4 weeks and counting. I want another girl, am hoping, hoping - but dh wants a son, so either way we will be completely thrilled. I think the reason I want a girl is because I know girls and am happy raising them, and boys seem so *FULL* of life - the little boys I am around EXUDE spirit and life, and little girls are softer and more gentle in nature. Although my 15 yr old is giving me a run for my money I am ever grateful for this spirited beautiful girl/woman in front of me, you know? And now we get another chance to all watch this little one grow. How blessed we are, huh?

 

Angela - August 17

Wow - what a difficult time for you. Hard to give advice because I haven't been in your shoes. I guess the only thing I can say is that she's sort of like the prodigal son, eh? Sometimes it takes people a long time to realize the mistakes they've made, but when they do, forgiveness can be a courageous and powerful thing. But if it makes you feel like you're sacrificing part of yourself, then that's another thing. Maybe ask yourself whether you and your children might be better off 5 years from now if you have some sort of relationship with her than if you don't. If the answer to that is Yes, then maybe it's worth trying. Good luck!

 

Angela - August 17

Kris - I just read your second note about her "I'm the real grandma" comments. Hmm... sounds like she may not really have your best interest or the baby's best interest in mind. Sheesh...

 

kris A. - August 17

Angela, yeah, it sucks. She was always a really unhappy woman and made everyone around her miserable. Screamed profanities, hit, threw things, etc. Growing up we lived in fear (me, bro, and sis), until I decided she was psycho and didn't let it affect me (about 13 at that point). Bro and Sis always thought it was their fault, so now Bro (age 32) never married and pot smoker - works in a bar. Sis (37) a very unhappy 400 lb woman - no kids (after terrible late m/c experience) and has had no contact with family in over 10 years. Dh and I both engineers with great jobs and pay, and sometimes I have a sneaking suspicion that she sees me as her caregiver later in life and is working towards that goal. Long ago I forgave her, and we talked about my abusive childhood, but also the gifts I got from her (in a wierd way) - the attention to detail, the ability to read people and respond accordingly, my work ethic and love of animals I got from her, and they have carried me well in my adult life. Like Alycia said, I really want my mom to love me and all the kids - but as Lissi said, she doesn't do kids well - they stress her out. And she is p__sed because dh's family is very close so we see them often but dont see her at all. To finish it off, I love my dad and talk to him regularly, so would love to see him - but mom scares me alittle.

 

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