Unrealistic expectations from uNmom

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marizabet

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Unrealistic expectations from uNmom
« on: November 04, 2018, 01:29:11 AM »
I had a baby almost 2 months ago and am breastfeeding mostly.

My mom lives in another state at least 2 hours away. She broke her ankle last week and will need 6 to 8 weeks to recover.

Today she said so when are you visiting me. And when I said I didn't know she asked "you're not going to visit me to see how I'm doing?" Said in a near whisper even though she usually sounds like she's yelling.

I'm not sleeping through the night. Some nights I get 3 hours and idn what she thinks I'm going to do with a newborn and my 3 year old if I were to visit her.

My aunt said she will just have to understand. It's just the way my mom said it, you could hear her trying to guilt and manipulate me.

Part of it is that she wants someone to check on the house, get her mail, and handle her banking while she stays with her friend. I don't know why she can't have her mail forwarded or do online banking or have her friend check on the house.

I could tell she was trying to frame it as her needing me. And it's unfortunate that she's hurt, but she's a grown woman and my child and baby need me a lot more than my mother does right now.
« Last Edit: November 04, 2018, 01:32:46 AM by marizabet »

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11JB68

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Re: Unrealistic expectations from uNmom
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2018, 01:46:37 AM »
It sounds like you've really thought this through, and I think you are on the right track with it. Sounds like your m is being taken care of and has options. Imo you are right to put yourself and your children first.

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: Unrealistic expectations from uNmom
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2018, 01:53:58 AM »
I agree - your mom is an adult, and if she needs help, she can ask a friend or other relative for help, or hire an aide.

Your FOC needs you more than your mom does - and you need to get as much sleep as possible, and take care of yourself, too. 

I don't have kids, by choice, but  having a baby isn't easy - even I know that.  :doh:   You're sore in places you didn't know you had, and it takes time to recover - the idea of driving for two hours and sitting on some of those places seems like a *really* bad idea - and one your doctor might discourage.

It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation - if you come, she'll be angry you if you bring the kids, angry  if you *don't* bring the kids, angry that you have to take care of them, or take breaks to pump.   :roll:

And if you don't go at all, well, she's just as angry.

But the bright side of that is you won't be around to see or hear it.   :evil2:

Your aunt is right - she'll just have to understand, and if she doesn't, *that's not your fault or responsibility.*   :yes:

Yes, that sad little voice, to guilt and shame you into putting *her* first - when you and your FOC come first - especially when  one of them is a newborn and is relying on you as a primary food source.

If I were in your shoes, I'd limit contact, as much as possible, under the guise of not wanting to wake the baby.    :ninja:

I'd call infrequently, at best, and keep it short and light - if she starts blaring the FOGhorn or getting angry, oh, gee - gotta go.  Baby is waking up or older child needs your help.   :ninja:

A broken ankle is just that - a broken ankle.  It's *not* the end of the world.  She'll be in a cast and have to use a crutch or  cane, but she'll be able to get around *just fine* - unless she *decides* not to and play Queen, sit on her duff, and try to coax somebody (you) into waiting on her. 

You don't want her getting a taste of that - she might decide she likes it TOO much to let it go, and then you have a real problem on your hands!   :aaauuugh:

But you've avoided that with good, solid  *boundaries* and the ability to prioritize the health and well-being of yourself and your FOC as being *more important* than what your mother *wants.*

Well done!   :worship:

 :hug:

 

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Spring Butterfly

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Re: Unrealistic expectations from uNmom
« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2018, 08:36:26 AM »
You did great! Said your boundary and there's no real reason to visit to "see how she's doing" at all new baby it not.

Quote
It's just the way my mom said it, you could hear her trying to guilt and manipulate me. 
usually when this happens I hold an intentionally detached view. There were some threads way back about stepping back as if you were wearing your lab coat, spectacles and carrying you clipboard checking off and taking notes on observed behaviors.

Once during a wellness check uPDm actually asked after a similar interaction as you had if she was able to make me feel obligated or guilty  :unsure:  I paused, thoughtfully, and just said nope not at all. There was just nothing there . . . and it felt good.

You don't need to feel one lick of Obligation or Guilt when the FOGhorn blows!
∑ Every interaction w/ PD persons results in damage-plan accordingly, make time to heal
∑ Individuation is one key to emotional freedom
∑ It's foolish to expect of others what they have no capacity to give
my Empowered Growth blog

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all4peace

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Re: Unrealistic expectations from uNmom
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2018, 09:39:07 AM »
I have found it very helpful to eventually accept that my parents and PD ILs are unlikely to ever see the world the way I do. Their belief system is so very different from mine (especially now that I've had almost 2 years of therapy) that they will behave from places that I will never share with them.

In your M's world, it appears that her needs and wishes are #1. Even though most others can see that you're a new mama, that you have 2 tiny lives depending on  you, that your M is an adult who can find helpers who aren't already so over-stretched, it's unlikely that your M is going to see if this way.

I think we often exhaust ourselves trying to get the PDs in our lives to see things our way, when instead we could do as SB suggests and create a detached (but loving) separation. This is what I believe is called differentiation. When we've had PD parents, no matter how badly we've been treated they expect us to see the world as they do, behave as they wish us to behave. When we differentiate ourselves (you are you, I am me, we are not the same person) they have no frame of reference for understanding or appreciating that. If they are PD or have PD behavior, they're often not growing or maturing emotionally, and our changes are simply threatening to the system that has worked well for them.

I find it very helpful to simply act from my own belief system (what other option do we have, right?!) and not try to change the anxiety in theirs, or get them to see the validity of mine. It might look like: "Mom, I'm so sorry you've hurt yourself. I wish this were a time in my life when I could visit, but having a newborn myself that is not going to be possible. Would you prefer I call or FaceTime X times per week/month to check in on you?"

Is it a possibility to gift her with some in-home housecleaning or send flowers, or something that takes the place of you being there while offering a symbol of love?

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marizabet

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Re: Unrealistic expectations from uNmom
« Reply #5 on: November 04, 2018, 10:03:50 AM »
I got her a card that we will send her this week. I can send her flowers too I guess.

It probably doesn't help that I don't fawn over her. I'm not very good with empathy, particularly when it comes to my parents.

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Psuedonym

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Re: Unrealistic expectations from uNmom
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2018, 12:22:29 PM »
Hey marizabet,

You probably learned not to be too empathetic to your parents because when you did, it blew up in your face in terms of expectations.  Seriously, you have a 3 year old and a two month old, your mother is already staying with a friend, and she wants you to show up and help her out?  As you wisely pointed out: I don't know why she can't have her mail forwarded or do online banking or have her friend check on the house.
Sheesh.   :doh:

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Iguanagos

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Re: Unrealistic expectations from uNmom
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2018, 02:44:40 PM »
I don't know the full backstory, but if you're like most of us, when you were little, her manipulations and guilt trips were much more effective at directing your behavior.  Now you're an adult, with your own LOs who truly need you, so you can more easily see how manipulative and inappropriate her request is. 

It's good you can push back on this now.  This may be a preview of coming attractions, a preview of how she will behave as she gets older and less able to do things for herself. By you resetting her expectations now, that your primary responsibility is to your own FOC, hopefully that will make things easier for you down the road.

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daughter

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Re: Unrealistic expectations from uNmom
« Reply #8 on: November 04, 2018, 02:55:02 PM »
We get to OOTF, our NMs don't.  So we hear the unreasonable expressed demands and implied expectations and go ugh.  Our NMs express those demands and imply those expectations with nary a concern, not a moment's pause, because they still think their wish is our command, just like it was in our childhoods.  Kudos for flagging the unreasonableness of your mother's expressed request, and for calmly declining to comply to expectation.

It's unreasonable for your NM to expect you to visit, given a newborn, given two small children, given 1+ drive, given her own infirmity, given that you're not ever to be her fall-back home healthcare provider, et al.

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marizabet

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Re: Unrealistic expectations from uNmom
« Reply #9 on: November 04, 2018, 03:45:55 PM »
Hey marizabet,

You probably learned not to be too empathetic to your parents because when you did, it blew up in your face in terms of expectations. 

I think it's more me mirroring my parents' lack of displaying empathy. I have a habit of what I'd describe as displaying a lack of an emotional response.

I honestly felt like a robot before I met my husband.


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marizabet

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Re: Unrealistic expectations from uNmom
« Reply #10 on: November 04, 2018, 03:52:06 PM »

I'd call infrequently, at best, and keep it short and light - if she starts blaring the FOGhorn or getting angry, oh, gee - gotta go.  Baby is waking up or older child needs your help.   :ninja:

A broken ankle is just that - a broken ankle. 

I already do this and keep my phone on vibrate. Even before the baby, it's really hard to be on the phone with a little kid always wanting something or talking over you.

She just doesn't get it and if I go long enough without calling then its, "why aren't you calling your mother?" Does she not realize how creepy and weird that sounds?

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Moxie890

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Re: Unrealistic expectations from uNmom
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2018, 07:14:34 PM »
As a Mama of a three year old, with another little one on the way, I can totally support you decision not to babysit a grown adult (especially one who is already receiving help from a friend for Peet's sake). You have more then enough on your plate and people who truly need you time and attention, not just someone who wants it.  When my daughter was young my mom tried to guilt trip me for not flying across the country when she had her hip replaced. Like your mom, she wasn't alone and had help.  Good for you putting you job as a Mama first!

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marizabet

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Re: Unrealistic expectations from uNmom
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2018, 11:37:26 AM »
So her surgery was today and I just got a voicemail from the doctor saying that she's ok and which room she's in.

"You'll probably get a call in about 20 minutes letting you know that you can visit."

Huh??? I'm not visiting and definitely not today.

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openskyblue

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Re: Unrealistic expectations from uNmom
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2018, 06:09:49 PM »
In my book, a mother with a breastfeeding 3 month old baby and a three year old is not expected to visit a parent who lives in town -- much less out of town -- or at the hospital. As the mom of adult kids, unless I'm having invasive, serious surgery I don't automatically expect any of them to be at my bedside at the hospital or at home. Part of getting older is maintaining your aging body and, frankly, a lot of it you just need to  buckle down and take care of drama-free.

I'm with the previous posters: Mute your phone, feed your baby, and read a book to your toddler. Then feel free to take a nap. Your first responsibility is to your little ones and yourself.

 :bighug:

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marizabet

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Re: Unrealistic expectations from uNmom
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2018, 11:17:42 PM »
When my daughter was young my mom tried to guilt trip me for not flying across the country when she had her hip replaced. Like your mom, she wasn't alone and had help.  Good for you putting you job as a Mama first!

She's still trying to guilt me! I know I should avoid her for a few days or a week but I felt bad.

I talked her out of basically me having to visit her this week to which she eventually said "it's okay..." but then on to her birthday in 2 weeks.

I told her we thought she was coming to us for her birthday and she said now I cant and I said I know that. So she says

"I had a major surgery. You just don't know how hard it is."

"If it wasn't for my friend, I'd have nobody. I don't know what I'd do."

"It's only a 2 hour drive."

"Can't you just feed the baby when you get here?"

 :stars:

I didn't have anything to say to that. She asked if she could call tomorrow morning and I said yes but I really need a break from her afterwards especially if she's going to try to guilt me which I'm fully expecting.

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Sojourner17

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Re: Unrealistic expectations from uNmom
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2018, 12:59:20 AM »
Marizabet, Iím sorry you are feeling guilted into going to visit your mom. I used to live two hours from my parents and remember what it was like to make the drive with my two year old and newborn. It was NOT fun.  I now live a 9 hour drive away and had our third baby 2 months ago. Congratulations by the way! My mom tried to get me to make the drive with three under 5. I said no. I did the 9 hour drive once by myself before our third came, it was not easy!

Anyways, good on you for stating and holding your boundary. It sounds like your mom has the resources she needs where she is, no need for you to be there. With two littles your hands are pretty full.  Youíve got this!
"Tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it..." - Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

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KeepONKeepingON

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Re: Unrealistic expectations from uNmom
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2018, 01:26:29 AM »
So she says

"I had a major surgery. You just don't know how hard it is."

"If it wasn't for my friend, I'd have nobody. I don't know what I'd do."

"It's only a 2 hour drive."

"Can't you just feed the baby when you get here?"

 :stars:

I didn't have anything to say to that. She asked if she could call tomorrow morning and I said yes but I really need a break from her afterwards especially if she's going to try to guilt me which I'm fully expecting.

Hi Marzibet,

Congratulations on your LO. Your mother sounds very demanding and waifish. It's interesting isn't it, that the PD parent's focus is always on them and their needs isn't it? I'm sorry she's being like that. You have 2 LOs, a newborn and pre-schooler yet in your mother's mind you should prioritize her first. Good for you, for sticking to your boundaries, you are right, you and your LOs come first.

Whenever I speak to members of my FOO, I have an emotional hangover afterwards. Sorry you have to go through this, it is no fun!
 
:bighug:



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WomanInterrupted

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Re: Unrealistic expectations from uNmom
« Reply #17 on: November 06, 2018, 02:39:18 AM »
Since your mom is being particularly waify and trying to pour on the guilt, I'd let her call go to voice and ignore it for a few days - then send a card for her birthday and *not* visit her.   :yes:

That's what I used to do with unBPD Didi - there was NO reward for bad behavior.  There was only less and less contact, and when she was finally able to get me, I was always "busy" - and wouldn't elaborate, since she'd only use information as a weapon against me.

Let's break this  down:

1.  An operation to repair a broken ankle is NOT major surgery.

2.  Whose fault is it that she has only ONE friend?

3.  I wouldn't call a 2-hour drive "only" - especially if kids are involved, and you've just had a baby yourself.

She is *minimizing* a two-hour drive, to make it seem like she's asking SO very little of you, when she's NOT.  She's asking for something *unreasonable* - and is NOT necessary, because she's got help. 

Your presence *is not required*.   :yes:

4.  YOU decide when and where you feed your baby -  not her.  YOU are the mom, so you call all the shots.

She is the *grandmother* - which makes her extended family, and she gets NO say in how you raise your kids, or when or how you feed them.

Personally, if she's going to act like it's all one big waify pity-party for her and you *owe* your poor old sick, sad mother a visit, I'd put off  *anything* until Spring - when you know the roads will be clear, cold and flu season will be over, holidays will be long past, her ankle will have healed, and your newest LO will *hopefully* start showing signs of preference (tiny ones, at least, because of the age involved) and she won't feel the *need* for the supply of  your infant, who is powerless, defenseless, and unable to get away from her or tell her to leave him/her alone.

I think that's what's really going on - she has a broken ankle, so you OWE her a fix in the form of your newborn.   :aaauuugh:

If at all possible, I wouldn't visit her until your newborn is at least a year old - she probably won't care so much, then.  As a generalization, PDs don't like when children start having personalities of their own, and at a year of age, your LO will definitely start to have a personality.

From this point on, I'd stonewall her only with being *busy.*  So busy!  Too much going on.  You know how it is.  SUPER busy.  Can't get away.  You'll see what you can do, but it's not looking good at all.

I'd do that for her birthday, Thanksgiving, the December holidays, all of it - BUSY.   :ninja:

And in reality, you ARE.  You've got a new LO and are *trying* to work out a schedule and stave of sleep deprivation, your older child needs to be kept occupied and made to feel a part of things, Thanksgiving is coming in a few scant weeks, then it's the Christmas/December Holiday season, which may mean shopping, cooking, baking, hiding presents when your older child isn't around, socializing - anything and everything, whatever you *want* to do - and visiting your mom doesn't HAVE or NEED to be a part of that plan.

In my mind, if she continues to act the way she's acting, visiting her might not be on the table until your newest LO turns 18.   :evil2:

You've GOT this.   :cheer: :cheer:

You don't HAVE to talk to her when she calls tomorrow.  You don't HAVE to do a thing.  You are *allowed* to take as long of a break as you need and process your emotional hangover - and longer still just because *you don't want to hear any more of it.*    :blahblahblah: :bawl: :dramaqueen: :violin: :bawl: :dramaqueen: :violin:

That is a perfectly good reason for not wanting to talk to her.

And the truth is, you don't even need a reason.  To quote Vivid Imagination, "If it feels yucky, it is."

And it sounds like this *definitely* feels yucky. 

 :hug:

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marizabet

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Re: Unrealistic expectations from uNmom
« Reply #18 on: November 06, 2018, 06:31:59 AM »
The funny thing is that she missed my birthday, but I can't remember why at this point. And she makes such a big deal out of birthdays.

I just remember being really annoyed at the time and knowing she'd want to celebrate a week later so she could take pics for facebook. And she's missed my birthday before. One time she flew home earlier because she needed to check her house due to chances of the basement flooding.

Another time she cancelled on us to watch her 10 year old godson for the weekend because his mom had to work. He already has a nanny. She has a habit of cancelling for something more important but then everyone else has to drop what they're doing for her.

So her reasons are valid but not mine I guess. In her head anyway.

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marizabet

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Re: Unrealistic expectations from uNmom
« Reply #19 on: November 06, 2018, 06:43:53 AM »
Since your mom is being particularly waify and trying to pour on the guilt, I'd let her call go to voice and ignore it for a few days - then send a card for her birthday and *not* visit her.   :yes:

That's what I used to do with unBPD Didi - there was NO reward for bad behavior.  There was only less and less contact, and when she was finally able to get me, I was always "busy" - and wouldn't elaborate, since she'd only use information as a weapon against me.

Let's break this  down:

1.  An operation to repair a broken ankle is NOT major surgery.

2.  Whose fault is it that she has only ONE friend?

3.  I wouldn't call a 2-hour drive "only" - especially if kids are involved, and you've just had a baby yourself.

She is *minimizing* a two-hour drive, to make it seem like she's asking SO very little of you, when she's NOT.  She's asking for something *unreasonable* - and is NOT necessary, because she's got help. 

Your presence *is not required*.   :yes:

4.  YOU decide when and where you feed your baby -  not her.  YOU are the mom, so you call all the shots.

She is the *grandmother* - which makes her extended family, and she gets NO say in how you raise your kids, or when or how you feed them.



I really am so busy all the time! She just doesn't get it. Even before if I'd go long enough without calling her or calling me back then I'd have to explain why I'm not call in my mother. Cue yucky feeling.

She does have another friend but the really interesting thing is that she has 2 siblings who live in her state maybe an hour max away from her friend. They avoid her calls a lot and you can tell she annoys them.

Also, I lost a liter of blood when I gave birth and needed stitches. So the whole surgery line was pretty funny to hear especially less than 2 months in. It's been 7 weeks today since I had the baby.

It also feels like my mom low key is advocating for baby/child abuse in the form of not feeding baby when she's hungry and "dragging the kids around everywhere" because of her "whims" as my aunt put it.

And regarding the drive, delays happen all the time. She lives near a major city so there are always issues on the bridges and so on. You're very lucky if it really is only 2 hours and 3 hours is more realistic. All it takes is too many people going the same way or an accident or two to back things up.

I'm just stuck between standing my ground and continuing to explain myself to her and standing my ground without offering further explanation.