Pregnancy and mum
ISOBEL - Mar 1 2017 at 16:13
I have never come onto the internet before to share any of my problems but thought I would give it a go and get some strangers prospectives, hopefully!
I'm in my late twenties, very happily married and just over three months pregnant with my first child, which I'm so excited about. To be a mum is something I have wanted since I was a small child.
My problem is with my mum. Throughtout the whole of my childhood she has controlled my older brother, my younger brother and myself, its hard to put into words what's she really like. She was very belittling and her mood could change in seconds and could be very spiteful and say horrible things and not care if we got upset. She always point scored, she used to love to rub it in on how much she used to do for us, i often did wonder why she became a parent. We weren't allowed to misbehave and if we did, on the rare occassion, all hell would break loose, my mum was not the type of person to sit us down and explain to us that what we did was wrong, she didn't have the patience, she just lashed out verbally and physically.
Having someone like her as a parent has always made me very anxious, I was scared of making mistakes because I feared my mums reaction, I've always cared about her opinion even though she can be very irrational and I would burst into tears at school for no reason. When someone asked what was wrong I could never give them a reason or find the words to express what it was like at home. I didn't think they'd believe me or I'd be told it was my fault. Outside of home she was very sociable, she had lots of friends and in front of them she was very different towards my brothers and I.
Both my brothers who are more confident than me managed to escape from home fairly early; my older brother moved out at nineteen and lived with a friend, because he and my mum clashed personality wise. My mum never forgave him and banned him from visiting the house, they still don't get along now and she and my dad didn't turn to his thirth birthday party last year. My younger brother escaped to university, became a teacher and went to japan to teach English there, hes only just returned. My dad has always been passivise aggressive and whenever we went to him about our mum all he would say is you know what she's like, but he never actually did anything or stood up for us and he's still the same now. I wasn't allowed to go to university apprently I 'simply wasnt bright enough' dispite having good grades GCSE's and A levels, which she ignored. I had to go to the local college and do a administration course and I didn't dare say no to her. No? you can't say no to me, was her favourite line. I left home at twenty four after managing to save enough money to go into rent, from my reallly dire office job, she didn't like me moving out and threatened me that if wasn't allowed to come back home if renting didn't work out, she made it very difficult for me but I left and went and enjoyed my indepencdance and meet my now husband.
Before falling pregnant I had not spoken to my mum for over a year because she thought she could dictate to me and my husband on how to live our lives. When it came to us looking for a house to buy together, she told us we were to look near to her and my dad. My husband and I had other ideas and moved an hour away. In the time of moving house, getting engaged and getting married, she was a nightmare and said and did some very unforgivable things towards us. After we got married I decided needed space from her, my mum wasn't actually talking to me but I wasn't going to make amends with her like I always did, instead i got a job I actually wanted to do, made friends and went to counselling.
When I got to three months pregnant, I knew l had to tell her because I had told other family members my brothers, mother in law and I was starting to feel guilty. I called her to tell her and my dad. They were 'delighted' with the news and thanked me for telling her by phone. My mum even got a bit emotional, but there was no mention of my husband, no congratulations towards him, which made me angry. There was only a snide comment that I had an 'unfortunate' surname fo find a first name for.
My mum and I now text most days and I'm finding myself being really nice to her and I know I should be being assertive but I go back to being a little girl with her which is pathetic I know and something I promised myself I wouldn't do. My husband really dislikes my mum, he gets on well with my dad , but he thinks I'm going to get hurt again because I'm being too nice and he will have nothing to do with her until she acknowledges him and applogises for the things she has said done in the time period when we moved house and got married. I don't think she ever will shes never said sorry before SO hubby won't visit not even when baby is born.
Since telling my mum she has forced my elderly grandmother to give my husband and I a lot of money, money that my husband and I dont really need and i dont like the fact that an eighty something year old has been possibly bullied into doing this but my gran is insistent I take the money from her, but I think its more fear of her own daughter.
My mum now wants to see me I have told her to wait till, I'm 4 months when hopefully I'll be feeling less sick and more energetic. I know she's going to want to spend my grans money, however I'm giving up work when I have this baby, my husband has a well paid job. At the moment we can afford anything I need and the baby needs by our selves. But in the long run I won't have much money so my grans money will eventually come in use. I know my mum is going to want to control how my gran money is spent because she would never part with her own money to help myself or my brothers.
My issue is I don't know how to talk to my mum or how to assert myself or even be myself with her I've changed since I've lived with her. I don't know how to tell her I disagree with her or that I'm not happy with how shes treated my gran without falling out with her again and I want my child to know it's grandparents. But I also don't want to be told how to raise my child. I don't know how to say any of this to her and it make me nervous to even think about it. She has always claimed she has only ever tried to help my brothers and I and turns herself into the victim. I'm terrified of being exactly like her when I do have the baby, and it will grow up to hate me. I know I have some of my mum traits in me, I know I can be bossy and a bit irrational sometimes but I realise quickly when I am like this. I never got this far with my counsellor because shes taken a break from counselling so any advice would be great. Thanks for reading!
You have listed your mother's shortcomings as a parent and as a person. She is still controlling you through fear. Regardless, for you to be able to prosper in life, there will come a time when you will need to stand up to her, get out from under her, and tell her where she stands with you. With concern to your Gran's money, you need to return it if your mother's only thought is to spend it through you.
It's all very well that you want your children to know their grandparents, but you mum is another story and she will quite likely exert pressure on your children which in turn, will cause further friction between you, not to mention possible conflict with your husband and within your marriage together. Your husband has every right to be concerned and so would any other normal loving man, given the circumstances.
Respectfully, you need to seek further counseling to assist you to be able to get on with your life without your mother's controlling influence hovering over it.
You have to put your child and your husband first here. Sounds like your mum hasnt changed (bullying gran for money) and she is going to cause lots of trouble for you all.
Before you meet her face to face, could you phone her and tell her your concerns/make it clear what you do/don't want in your adult relationship with her. Emphasise that you're not a child anymore and she can't control you. You are happy with your life etc. Be firm with her/stick to your guns. If she gets angry then save yourself the heartache of meeting her face to face.
If she genuinely wants to get to know her new grandchild and wants to make amends with you then she will listen to your concerns. If she starts trying to control you, ruling by fear etc then you know you're wasting everyone's time. Hang up and get on with your life. Your husband is right to be concerned- he has your best interests at heart (unlike your mother).
You have put up with her terrible, abusive behaviour all of your life and you certainly don't want your child or husband to be subjected to it either. You all deserve better.
Sounds to me like you have a perfect family already- you don't need your mum to ruin it. As hard as it is, some people just don't deserve our time and I fear that she is one of them. Your priority is your child and your husband.
It sounds like she's still trying to control your life (recently dictating where you should live, snide comments after announcing baby news) so honestly, I think some kind of argument/fall out is inevitable with her. You don't need that emotional stress for you or the baby.
Perhaps in time, once the baby is born, try again with your mother, maybe when you're feeling stronger.
I wish you all the best to you and your family. Sounds like you will be a fabulous mum!
It is commendable that you want to build a new relationship with your mum especially after everything she has put you through over the years. In order for any relationship to be a good one and last, it has to be built on truth and trust. You said you are in contact with your mum on a regular basis.
Are you being truthful with your mum, or are you just covering up the past with a thin bridge of ice? I don’t know if you are religious or not, but if you do pray, pray for strength to be honest with her. How is she positively supporting you now?
You are about to be a mum now yourself and a leader with your husband in your own family. Ask yourself what kind of role you would like to see your mum have as a grandmother and let her know.
I know about this website that has quite a few articles about grand- parenting that may help. Also, they offer on their home page a free counseling service you might want to try while you wait for your therapist to return. I am going to pray for you, your, husband, baby, and mum. What a joy to be bringing in a new life! https://search.focusonthefamily.com
Thanks for the comments everyone.
Finding another counsellor whilst being pregnant doesn't appeal for the moment, my emotions are high all the time, which is why I came online to vent, its a lot more calmer. My old counsellor was wonderful and gave me all the tools, I just needs to use them but when you have a controlling parent, as silly as it sounds considering what my mum has been like towards me and my brothers, there is still this big fear of upsetting/agrevating her because there are always consequences and leveredges and spiteful words to be said by her. she does very much control us out by fear. I'm currently trying to avoid a repeat of what she was like in the run up to me moving away and my wedding, as both were very stressful times. She doesn't have a good track record thats for sure.
Part of me is pleased my mum and I are talking again but the other part really does dislike her as a person and I feel she's just not a nice person. I'm finding this very hard, because at the same time, some form of relationship feels important to me, even if it's just very civil. People, such as my older brother, some close friends and husband ask me why and my reasons, are I dont not want to have a relationship with my father and I can't just cut them off. Even though I feel my dad could of stuck up for us a lot more sometimes and could of helped us or comforted us more. I feel like weak as a person for thinking this too but my older brother has a bad relationships it's both parents, which I do not want to happen with me because I can see how distressing for him. My mum very much controls my father and his relationships with me and other my brother, she tells him how long he allowed to spend with us. I want to know my parents and I don't want to feel parentless like my brother says he feels. I'm trying to learn to be one step ahead of her in her thinking, it very much feels like she plays a constant mind game not just with me but with most people.
I have found some coping methods, which are letting her ask me questions and I don't start a conversation with her, I don't know if this is right or wrong but it's feels comfortable and at the right pace for the moment. I make sure in nearly every conversation I'm mentioning my husband so that she gets the message that he is always going to be around and I don't feel so disloyal towards him now and when the time come I will ask her what her issues are with my husband. In my opinion he's only ever stood up to her in the correct manner. She will says things like you are going to have so much fun with this baby and I reply with yes we will.. She has also said to me that she is going to buy a pram for baby and I have said thank you but just to hold on as we haven't got that far yet, she didn't communicate with me for three days and I just waited for her to start a conversation again. I also don't answer any of her questions I feel uncomfortable with.
I'm still meeting her in a few weeks and again there is fear incase she's says something and turns, which she very capable of doing, it feels like she's just being on her best behaviour till she sees me..
I most certainly do not want my child subjected to my mothers behaviours and I feel very protective already and my husband won't put up with it either. . I know that when the baby is here she's is going to want to see him or her whenever she feels like it and some how I'm going to have to find a way to say no and tell her when is conviienant for us. But she needs to acknowledge my husband first.
I have spoken to my gran about the money and I have said to her that I hope she wasn't pushed into giving me money by my mum and she has said she wasn't he has given the same to my brothers and cousins and wants me to keep hold of it and doesn't want it back. So I've kept it to one side and it won't be available to spend on the day i meet with my mum.