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PLEASE HELP!! Don't know what to do about my mum


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I don't know where to start! I am having so many problems at the moment. I'm sorry this is going to be a long long post, I am so desperate to talk to someone about all this stuff.

Since I got married & became a mum, my relationship with my mum has become more difficult because I feel she has not accepted that I am an adult and can make my own decisions. My husband & I feel she oversteps boundaries both with us and with our daughter. She is one to nurse grudges and always sees herself as a victim. Whenever I try to tell her how I feel she responds with tears & guilt trips and they have worked very well on me. I saw a social worker a couple of times and she has informed me that my mum is manipulating me to get what she wants, even if she does not realise she is doing it.

The latest things that have upset my husband & I have involved our daughter. I feel like she wants to be more than a grandparent to my daughter. Mum has been picking our 3 yo daughter up from daycare early without our permission, or when our daughter goes to my mum's house, mum will take her on outings while she is in her care without consulting us first. She is more laid back than we are when it comes to some things, so she allows our daughter to do things that she knows that we would disagree with and if I protest she brushes it off. She never asks, she just assumes. She makes decisions which aren't hers to make and just informs us afterward.

She also has an opinion about every aspect of our lives, what she thinks we should be doing and what is wrong with what we are currently doing. She tells me off for tiny things constantly and over time it builds up and it feels like she is trying to control and "barge in" on every tiny aspect of my life. It all makes me feel so incompetent! Like I'm a bad mum and everything I touch turns to trash!

Something that has caused a lot of contention in our relationship in the past is money. Mum & dad split for many reasons, financial stress being a major factor. Since their split she has been excessively miserly with money. I know that she does not have a lot of it and neither do we, however I find myself feeling angry at her because she always lets me know how hard done by she is, how little she gets off the government, etc. It makes me cross because I know that when her & dad split she got more than what she was entitled to, and now dad is really a lot more worse off than the rest of us. I also know that she gets her current payments because she got medical practitioners to embellish details on forms, which in turn allowed her to get a first priority housing commission home, and if this isn't enough she charges my brother who still lives at home extreme amounts for board (which I know isn't any of my business, their finances are between them, i do feel like she takes advantage of my brother though, and taxpayers for that matter)

We do owe her some money, but have never been in the financial position to pay her back. We have always intended to do so as soon as we are able. We regret borrowing money now and will never do it again as it has caused all of us so much pain. She counts every cent. One time she invited us to stay with her whilst my dad was visiting so we could spend more time with him (at the time we lived an hour away, dad was visiting from interstate, don't get to see him often). We stayed for 2 weeks, bought some groceries, did some cooking/dishes during our stay. After we left she demanded we pay her $400 board. I am just writing this as an example of what our history is with money & mum. I think she spends a lot of time thinking up & twisting what she believes she is entitled to.

Something happened a little while ago which was pretty bad luck for everyone. My husband's car was having problems so my brother offered his car for my husband to drive for 1 trip. On the way back my brother's car broke down basically without warning. My husband called my brother & the car was towed to the mechanic's. Turned out the car needed a LOT of work and it wasn't worth fixing. The mechanic told my husband that it was a mechanical problem and would have happened no matter who had been driving the car. But mum & my brother were a bit skeptical of this because they believe my husband is a bit of a hoon (but he is very careful when driving other people's cars) and they believe that my husband did not stop the car early enough to minimise the damage. My husband first noticed an odd sound about 3 minutes away from my mum's place and decided to try to get the car back to mum's so that no one would have to pay for a tow truck. No gages showed anything out of the ordinary. The car stopped completely 1 minute from mum's. In the end my brother told my husband that he did not blame him for what happened. He took his car to the wreckers and began saving for another car.

OK so back to present time - after talking with my social worker I decided that none of my relationships would be happy if I allowed things to continue as they were. So I sat down with mum and told her that as much as I love her and I know that she is just trying to help us, I feel that she needs to allow us to be the parents of our daughter & make the decisions regarding her. I also told her that I feel some of her advice and opinions are not necessary and I find them hurtful and it makes me feel like she does not trust me to live my own life. I said that we need some breathing space. I did my best to word things so that I was not attacking her in any way, just telling her how I feel & that I just want all of us to be happy. She got a little upset during our talk, and it became obvious to me immediately that she views the same situations very differently to how me & my husband view them. She kept saying that she is only trying to be a grandmother & she does what grandmothers do for their grandchildren. The thing that most upset her was that I don't want her taking my daughter around town without my knowledge. She thinks I am a stressed out worrier. She obviously thinks that I am overreacting a lot and she told me that I should discuss my overprotectiveness of my daughter with my social worker. She basically told me that all my problems with her are a result of my own psychological problems and something I should be working on with a professional. Her response how she turned all of what I said around on me basically saying that I'm the one with the problem, not her.

So I rang her the next morning because I was feeling horribly guilty because I felt like I'd asked her to be someone she's not. My bro answered and he sounded a bit annoyed with me so I know she's been in his ear & he blames me for upsetting her. And when I spoke to her she sounded so depressed and down and didn't really have a lot to say to me. I know that once again she is playing the victim and she has been this way with me since our talk, which was over a week ago now.

Although I felt guilty, I know that I did not do anything wrong by telling her in polite non aggressive tones how I felt. I also don't think I made any unreasonable demands of her. I had decided to let her play the victim, and just try not to pay any attention to it and go on as if things are normal. I did not want to make a big deal over the issues I had with her, but I feel like now she has made it a big deal by her reactions, because every interaction we have with her is strained.

Today my brother asked to meet with my husband for coffee to discuss something. So he went & my brother told my husband that he would like some money from us to put towards the car he is saving for. He says that he feels $1000 is fair and that he wants it within 8 weeks. My husband was in shock and said that he would discuss this with me and get back to my brother about it. I feel like mum has had a hand in this but I can't be sure. My husband & I don't know what to do because we are expecting a baby in 3 week's time, and my brother & mum know that we will be getting the baby bonus. We do feel awful about what happened to my brother's car but we do not feel that we should have to cough up for it. I know that this would be hard from my brother's point of view because he was not in the car when the problems happened so all he can do is take my husband's word for what happened. I also think that my brother dealing with the loss of his car would be easier for him (and mum) if they had someone to blame. I just WISH that my husband hadn't been driving when it happened.

My husband & I are very upset because we just feel like money is more important to them than family. We are so tired of having financial demands put on us. We had plans for the baby bonus, like paying off our car so we can afford to send our daughter to the school we want, and buying things for the baby. But now if we give my brother a grand and give mum what we owe we will be giving up half of the bonus and our dreams for our family.

I rang mum this afternoon to verify figures of what we owe her (so she can't say we didn't give her enough) and instead of being all depressed on the phone she was really nice and happy. This makes me feel like she had a hand in, or at least knew about what my brother was asking my husband for.

We feel like giving them the money and then ending our relationship with them. My husband and I are so tired of the relationship with my mother and now that my brother has decided to ask this of us I just feel like I can't bear it any more. I feel for my brother because I believe that mum controls him more than she controls me, but it is up to him to fight that battle.

I am worried about severing contact because my mum plays a big part in my daughter's life and she really does love her and I don't want to hurt my little girl. Any thoughts or advice on this matter? I'm sorry it was such a long post but I felt I needed to put all the background stuff in there so you would understand our present dilema.

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Not a whole lot of advice.... but number one ... do not borrow any more money!! Course you already figured that out....

You do not have to allow your mum to control or interfere with your life.... perhaps set some rules and bounderies up about your daughter ... and if she does not comply to them.. then perhaps take action... like only letting her come to your house to see the child.. or you bring her over there.

To be honest ... I would probiably pay them the money and say BYE!!! but I do not know if that is a good thing... Surely there is love there somewhere... and yes your daughter would get over it... but should she not have her grandma???

Probiably not any help... maybe someone else will come along...


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I agree with Just Trying...You gotta set some boundaries. But even more important, you have to stick to them. You can't allow your mum to run your life. And you definately are not responsable for her happiness or sadness.

Here's a couple of links to books that may help.



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