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Issues with my Mom

I'm usually a lurker, but I've reached the point of needing advice on how to deal with my mom.  In some respects we have a great relationship- we like alot of the same things, and I know she means well & loves me & my kids.  With that said, there are issues that are starting to feel alot bigger to me & DF, I'd appreciate input on how to move forward.

We have two children, son B is 3, daughter C is 15 months.  Mom thinks that B walks on water.  She spoils him like crazy.  She takes him every Sunday for the day and buys him lots of gifts.  She has never taken C & does not buy her much.  I realize that people have favorites and that's just life, but I don't think I have to support my mother favoring one of my children over the other.  It is really starting to bother DF & I that she only spends time with B.

In regards to the gifts, I have talked to her in the past about buying him less, I think she is spoiling him & it's too much.  She says ok then does it anyway (he came home with 3 new toy sets today).  She also gets him birthday cake every week & sings happy birthday to him (her reason- b/c he likes it!), I don't know why it bothers me but I think it's a little weird and not right. 

Another issue with the gifts is that she will sometimes show up with stuff for all of us, it's not anything we need, but I feel like then it's rude of me to confront her on the other stuff that's bothering me, after receiving gifts from her.

My final major issue is that she still harbors major hostility towards my dad & his new wife (my parents have been divorced for 15 years).  My dad & I didn't have the best relationship when I was growing up, but we've both worked on it & gotten closer, this does not sit well with my mom.  I've learned to mention my dad as little as possible around her, but he & his wife are coming to visit in July & I know she will give me a hard time.

I feel like this is partially my fault b/c I've let it go on for so long.  My mom tends to just not talk to people that don't agree with her, so while I'm strong in most situations I'm a total wimp when it comes to her.  I know I need to put on my big girl panties & get over it, but how do I let her know that while these things have been ok in the past they are not any longer?  Also, do you think I should not let her see our son until she's more willing to follow our rules? 

Sorry this is so long.  Any & all advice is appreciated and I promise not to DD!

Re: Issues with my Mom

  • If you allow this behaviour to continue, your son will have a serious entitlement issue as he gets older.  A birthday cake every week?  Why should he get special treatment over your daughter?  This will translate into behaviour problems not just in your mother, but also in your son.

    It's never too late to put your foot down and do what is best for your family.  What would you rather have?  A mother that walks over you and a son that is a spoiled brat - or, control over your own family?

    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • This isn't magically going to get better on its own. YOU have to do something about her NOW!

    You need to set the rules and she must follow them. there must be consequences for her following the rules you make for YOUR children.

    1. limit the gifts

    2. no more birthday cakes(that is  bizarre)

    3. she must spend equal time with BOTH kids.

    YOU have created this monster, now you must stop it or you will have a little monster on your hands!



  • Your mom is almost identical to mine with her behavior.

    I don't have much advice as I do not have kids, however I agree with the above posters that you have to put an end to it.  Just knowing my mother, it sounds like a control issue of some sort from your mom.  I am sure that you can be prepared to have her "not talk to you" when you do put your foot down.  My mother does the same thing with people who do not agree with her and she has literally lost most of the good people in her life...including me.

    Just as a sidenote, I am coming from a grandmother who spoiled her oldest grandchild as well.  She had three grandkids total.  My cousin (who is the oldest), then me and my brother.  My grandother did EVERYTHING for my cousin.  Spent all of her time with him, bought him everything, including a car for his 16th birthday, among other things.  My brother and I only got a visit once a year on our birthdays, with a card and 40 bucks in it.  She to this day spoils my cousin who is close to 40 and HIS daughter!

    I share my story with you because my brother and I have become very resentful of my older cousin to the point we "hated" him and do not have a relationship with him.  Unfortuately he really never did anything to us for us to hate him so much except for our own jealousy.  It stinks, but we still do not have a good relationship with him or my grandparents.

    I would hate to see your youngest not have a relationship with your son over something so petty, and especially over something that someone else is creating.  For the sake of your children, do put an end to it ASAP.  Your mother sounds like she has control issues like my own and it will only get worse.

    Good Luck!!

    Visit The Nest!
  • Thanks for the responses. ShayLH our moms do sound alot alike.  My mom has an incredibily difficult time accepting that she is not my son's mother.  She thinks she gets a vote in all parenting decisions & it's a constant effort reminding her that he has two parents, neither of whom are her. 

    I've seen my mom cut so many people out of her life over disagreements and it makes me so hesitant to confront her.  I'm sure she will walk out or hang up on me and avoid us completely at least for a while.  I realize that I have to get over this and do it anyway, but I've always had such a hard time standing up to her.

  • It sounds like you have a pretty good idea of how your mom "works"- how she avoids being told no and how she generally gets her way. ?I'm sorry you have to deal with it at all, but in a way, being able to predict what she'll probably do (ignore you all at least for a while) will help prepare you so you can stay strong and focused on what boundaries and limits you need to set.

    Also- you are under no obligation to let your mom have one-on-one time with your son if you have reasons to believe that she will use that as an opportunity to override your rules for your child. ?If you tell her the rules and she nods and smiles and takes him out for another Sunday with birthday cake and five new toys and ignores your daughter- don't let her take him the next Sunday. ?If she can get away with taking your son and doing whatever she wants, she probably will. ?But you are his mom- YOU have control as to whether she gets to take him or not. ??

    As far as approach (both regarding your son and how she feels about your dad)- I think your best bet is to be very firm and very clear. ?"Mom, I know you have problems with Dad and I understand you don't want to be around him. ?However, I have my own relationship with Dad, and that is between the two of us- it is not an affront on you. If you cannot respect that, we need to end our visit for today and visit another day when you can." or "Mom, I'm glad you love spending time with our son B. ?However, as his Mom I will not allow him to get a birthday cake every week or be given lots of new toys every week. ?If you take him for the day, please do not play birthday or buy him new toys- otherwise, we will not let him spend the day with you without us present." ?And if she does it anyway, then "Mom, I explained that I did not want you to continue the weekly birthdays or giving the gifts. ?We will keep him with us on Sundays from now on- if you would like to visit with him, you will have to call and ask what time works for us to visit as a family."

    And truly, if she huffs off and won't speak to you or throws it in your face that she just bought you all x, y, and z- she's bullying. ?Don't fall for it. ?It is her choice to give gifts or to ignore you- it does not automatically give her the power to control you or your family unless you choose to give that power to her. ??

    Best of luck!?

  • What Mags and Ginger said. That's all you need to know.
    Hope is not a strategy.
  •  

    I've been through this almost exact situation. Here's my story in a paragraph:

    My ex-step-grandmother was just like this. She liked my cousin Sara most of all, then her younger brother Kyle. She bought the two of them gifts a plenty but nothing went to me, my brother nor my sister. Sometimes, when she'd take my older sister and cousin (Sara) out for the day, my mother would tell her that I had to go, too, because she was always leaving me out. And then suddenly something would come up and nobody could go. She was always spoiling one of us with awesome, elaborate gifts and giving the rest of us Hot Wheels or something like that. My cousin Sara would have trouble with math, so my ex-s-g'ma paid for a tutor-- but when my twin brother had trouble with reading, all she did was criticize and make fun of him, something I hate her for. 

    I resent her for how she treated Sara and Kyle like royalty and my siblings and I like ***. So unless you want the same resentment between siblings in your own family, I highly suggest you do something drastic to get your point across. My other four grandparents were great with treating us all equally-- there is NO REASON for your mother to play favorites.

    Your daughter is only 15 months old, but she should still be treated equally within the family. Make sure you take care of this, either by cutting her off to show you mean business or supervise their play dates. I'd do it. I'd also refuse any gift she gave my kid-- unless she had another stored away for your daughter.

    EDIT: I don't blame Sara or Kyle for any of that. We understood that they never asked for anything and it was all on ex-s-g'ma. But our cousins' mother DID put a stop to it once she found out what was going on, once she realized that the other three grandkids were getting nothing. I don't know what she said or how she did it, but that was the end of a lot of the gift-giving. But being the evil, evil woman she was, she found other ways to show favoritism.

    Be careful with people like your mother and my ex-s-g'ma. They're freaking toxic. 

  • image MrsGinger:

    Also- you are under no obligation to let your mom have one-on-one time with your son if you have reasons to believe that she will use that as an opportunity to override your rules for your child.  If you tell her the rules and she nods and smiles and takes him out for another Sunday with birthday cake and five new toys and ignores your daughter- don't let her take him the next Sunday.  If she can get away with taking your son and doing whatever she wants, she probably will. 



    Ditto this. She's not going to cut you out of her life if you control access to her grandkids.  It will be drama for a month or two and then she'll either accept it or else your lives will be better for her reduced presence.
    Lilypie First Birthday tickers
    DS1 born June 2008 | m/c at 9w March 2011 | DS2 born April 2012
  • I talked to my mom today, it wasn't fun but I'm glad I did it.

    I explained to her that it's not ok for her to only spend time with B.  She got super upset, said that she doesn't spend time with C b/c she's a baby, which I'm sorry is bull, she spent plenty of time with B when he was alot younger than C is now, that's just her excuse.  She also said that we can't expect the time from her that we have from DF's parents b/c they're retired & she's not.  I explained to her that she doesn't have to spend alot of time with either of them, but whatever time she does has to be equal, even if it's only an hour a month.  She said she doesn't have the time for C, so I told her that means she doesn't have time for B either, she was furious, but too bad.

    I also told her the spoiling had to end, both the gifts & 'birthday' cakes.  She wasn't happy about it either, but reluctantly acknowledged that we're the parents & it's up to us.

    She was pretty upset & 'couldn't believe my attitude'.  I told her the kids & I love her and I know she loves us, but I will no longer allow them to be spoiled or for her to favor my son.  That I hope this doesn't cause her to not want a relationship with us,  but if we're going to have one, it has to be fair to both kids.  She was angry when we hung up & I suggested that she take some time to think about everything I said.  I will wait & see when/ if she calls me. 

    I've been dreading this conversation with her for so long that it's a relief to finally have had it.  Thanks for the helpful advice!

  • Update us on how it goes!
  • Good for you! 

    Your mother will have to get over it.  I know how you feel about standing up to her...I always was "afraid" to confront my mother too.  She had so much control over me, even as a grown adult, and it took me forever to realize that!

    Best of luck to you!  You are doing the right thing for your family!

    Visit The Nest!
  • Wow, that situation sounds very similar to mine. I am so afraid of confronting my mom with anything! Anytime I have in the past, it turns into a complete nightmare and she twists most of what I say into something so much more. For example, this past weekend, I brought up something that was bothering me (nothing big) and she completely exploded and refused to speak to me or my husband. It has been 2 days with no communication. I feel bad because they were just in town visiting for the weekend. I normally never say anything just for fear of exactly what happened. My mom is very sensitive and has been depressed for many years (but won't seek treatment for it). The result is everyone walking on egg shells to avoid an explosion like what happened this weekend. I feel so bad when she gets upset like this, but hate the fact she plays the "victim" card and I always end up apologizing just to keep the peace and mend the relationship. I am so sick of it, I just don't know what to do?

    What have you done to overcome confronting your mom and having a "healthy" relationship?

  • She said she doesn't have the time for C, so I told her that means she doesn't have time for B either,

    You need to stick with this...its not fair to your daughter to be excluded.

    My grandmother did this with my older sister. She's always been the "golden child."  I still resent her for it, and resent the fact that my parents never really did anything about it.

  • You totally earned the gold star! I'm impressed with how you handled your mother. The follow-through will be tough, but hopefully she'll figure it out.
    image Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers
  • image Jenny&GregFan:

    Thanks for the responses.?ShayLH?our moms do sound alot alike.? My mom has an incredibily difficult time accepting that she is not my son's mother.? She thinks she gets a vote in all parenting decisions & it's a constant effort reminding her that he has two parents, neither of whom are her.?

    I've seen my mom cut so many people out of her life over disagreements and it makes me so hesitant to confront her.? I'm sure she will walk out or hang up on me and avoid us completely at least for a while.? I realize that I have to get over this and do it anyway, but I've always had such a hard time standing up to her.

    But why would eliminating the drama be so bad? ?Really? ?

    As for her thinking she is your son's mom, you have an obligation to HIM to nip this in the bud. ?YOU are the mommy. ?BE one.

  • image brandim2:

    Wow, that situation sounds very similar to mine. I am so afraid of confronting my mom with anything! Anytime I have in the past, it turns into a complete nightmare and she twists most of what I say into something so much more. For example, this past weekend, I brought up something that was bothering me (nothing big) and she completely exploded and refused to speak to me or my husband. It has been 2 days with no communication. I feel bad because they were just in town visiting for the weekend. I normally never say anything just for fear of exactly what happened. My mom is very sensitive and has been depressed for many years (but won't seek treatment for it). The result is everyone walking on egg shells to avoid an explosion like what happened this weekend. I feel so bad when she gets upset like this, but hate the fact she plays the "victim" card and I always end up apologizing just to keep the peace and mend the relationship. I am so sick of it, I just don't know what to do?

    What have you done to overcome confronting your mom and having a "healthy" relationship?

    brandim2:

    I just read your post and was like oh my I could of written that word for word.  Right down to the "walking on eggshells" and her playing the "victim".

    I am at the point right now where my mother has not spoken to me since November.  I am sick and tired of smoothing everything over all the time because she twisted something around in her mind and doesn't like what I have to say.  I always have to make the first move because in her head, she is always right. 

    My mom and dad are married, but she does the same thing to him.  The reason she has not talked to me since November was because I went out to eat with my dad without her.  Just a nice lunch.  But since she wasn't talking to him at that point, she wants me to hate him too, and that drives her crazy that I keep an normal relationship with him. 

    I am actually starting counseling next week to get an outsider's view on the whole situation and how to handle her.  I have told my mom she needs to get help in the many times in the past, but of course nothing is wrong in her mind. 

    Unfortunately our relatinship has twindled to pretty much nothing, which makes me sad, because I do love my mom, but I can't deal with being on an emotional roller coaster with her all the time.  It is making me crazy.

    This has been going on for years, she even didn't show up for my wedding pictures the morning of my wedding because she decided that day that I "didn't include her enough" in the wedding planning (even though I paid for everything and asked her several times to participate)  I really think that because she didn't hae control of the wedding, she was doing it out of spite.  And of course she never apologized for pretty much ruining that morning. 

    Best of luck to you.  I too am at a loss on what to do.  I'm hoping the counselor will give me some ideas.

     

     

    Visit The Nest!
  • ShayLH:

     I can't thank you enough for sharing your story - seriously. I've never joined a blog or anything like this, but I am litterally at my witts end on dealing with this and feeling horrible for something that is not my fault! I really hate to say this, but its at least a little comforting knowing that I am not alone in this (although, I wouldn't wish these feelings on anyone!).

    I feel like my relationship with my mom is heading the same way (not speaking for a while). She is not used to me speaking up at all - I have been very non-confrontational my entire life. However, the older I get, the harder it is to keep things bottled up inside. I find it very difficult to see my mom alienate all of the people around her and soon it will be her very own children!

     I know our little fight this weekend was just her lashing out from her built up anger and depression. But it seems like its always a ticking time bomb and God forbid anyone around her speak up and tell her she is doing something wrong or she will lash out and make you feel guilty for so many things.

     I am actually considering counseling myself - just like you - to get an outsiders opinion on everything. I come from a very loving family and we have not had much conflict in our lives. I am so tired of the walking on egg shells and pretending that everything is fine just so my mom won't get upset. She has admitted she has been and continues to be depressed. However, she will not change ANYTHING in her life to make it better - in fact she contstantly comes up with excuses on why she shouldn't see a doctor, or shouldn't be on medication, etc....

     I recently got married and your wedding story almost made me smile because I had a similar situation - and had to constantly make sure she was ok/having a good time so her feelings wouldn't get hurt. But of course, they did anyway.

     I love my mom very much, but it is hard to love her when she is so angry at the world and wants to blame other people for her unhappiness.

     I wish you the best of luck and am sorry your relationship with your mom is suffering. Again, thank you SOOOO much for sharing your story with me. I can only hope things will get better....but have no idea how!

  • I'm glad to hear someone else has this problem too!  I'm not confrontational either.  It really sucks!

    Best of luck to the original poster and to you!

     

    Visit The Nest!
  • Did you start counseling yet? If so, how did it go so far?
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