Post # 1
Let me begin by saying that I love my mom. She is one of my best friends now that I’m an adult. But damn, that woman can be difficult.
She’s upset that I’m not spending enough time with her during my winter break (I’m a teacher). I’m seeing her tomorrow for a half-day and the 29-31 for my grandma on my dad’s side’s funeral. It’s not as much time as I wanted but given the circumstances it just isn’t working out to be home longer than a few days.
For those that don’t know, my Father-In-Law died this past April, 5 weeks before I married my husband. I decided at that point that my Darling Husband gets to decide how we spend the next holidays given the fact that who knows how he will feel when it comes to his grief. I didn’t want to put him in an uncomfortable position being forced to celebrate when he is in another frame of mind.
My mom texted me this morning about staying longer for NYE instead of flying home that day to see his family. New Year is the biggest holiday in his culture and we used to spend each one with his dad. We are spending it with his dad’s sister instead. When I told my mom it wasn’t happening she asked me to ask my husband! Then she told me “I feel like chopped liver.” And “I didn’t get you for any holidays this year so you owe us”.
I feel like my mother’s comments are so distasteful and just for the purpose of making me feel guilty. Long story short, I’m just looking for support from other people that get Jewish mother guilted, or just other mother guilt.
Post # 2
I have a feeling I’m in for a similar guilt trip in the next few days. We spent last Christmas with my family so this year we drove 9 hours to spend Christmas with my husband’s family. I told my parents over and over again that we would not have time to make an additional 3 hour drive (after our 9 hour drive back home) to see them this year. So they said they would drive down the weekend after we got back. Okay, fine. But now my brother and sister-in-law have decided to stay with them a few extra days so my parents want us to make that 3 hour drive up to them.
And I really think we are just going to have to say no. I don’t want to set a precedent that we are willing to drive all over the damn country to see both of our families (who live nowhere near each other) for the holidays.
But yeah, I’m sure my mom will not be happy about this and lay on the guilt. It sucks. You should absolutely stick to your original plan though otherwise she will always try to emotionally manipulate you into giving into her.
Post # 3
hikingbride : you’re so right. It sucks, I hate being far away and not being able to spend more time there. But enough is enough! She will always be a manipulator. I have to keep holding my ground. I appreciate the support.
Post # 4
I get it, bee. My mom’s Chinese and not Jewish (but I’ve heard they tend to be strikingly similar!) and she does shit like this all the time. All. The. Time.
I used to feel guilty and give in to her, thinking “oh if I do it for her this time, the next time something comes up, she’ll remember and appreciate what I did and hold off on the next guilt trip.” But no, I realized that she’s never going to stop. So I stick to my guns unless it seems like she really, really, really has a legit reason for needing me to reschedule/replan/rearrange something for her.
I still feel guilty (and I doubt that’ll ever go away), but I’m an adult now and my decisions no longer affect me alone — they affect Darling Husband, his family (now mine too), and our son on the way. So I have to think of all of them too. I love her and I will do what I can to spend time with her or do favors for her (and I will of course be there in a heartbeat and move mountains if there is ever an emergency and she needs me), but I just can’t drop all the balls I’m juggling all the time to cater to her every wish. And if that’s not something she can wrap her head around, then that’s too bad.
Post # 5
teacher-bee-in-the-sea : if you hold your ground she will learn that bullying won’t work on you. Stay strong.
Post # 6
teacher-bee-in-the-sea : ((((hugs)))) I get the Irish Catholic mother guilt. You sound like a considerate partner to let your husband’s grief process set the pace for the holidays- and you have another funeral on top…..and your mom still wants to play the martyr because your efforts to see her aren’t all-about-her-enough to suit her. I’d say I can’t even….. but sigh, yeah I can totally relate. It sounds like you’re doing your best to do right by everyone and to support your husband with his first holiday season without his dad……but I don’t’ think any of our moms are likely to change anytime soon….sounds like you’re good to your mom without caving to any of her unreasonable demands, so it sounds like you’re already doing what I’d advise you to….just posting to sympathize and commiserate.
Post # 7
Ugh mom guilt is the worst. I understand her wanting to see you, but as kids grow up, they are not always going to be able to be at every single event. Could you invite her to come visit you for a few days during your winter break? Or you could make plans to go see her on spring break. That might appease her some. I just think figuring out a time for you to visit might make her feel a little better that she doesn’t get to see you during the holidays.
Post # 8
Thank you RobbieAndJuliahaha : I appreciate it. So what should I say to her last textof me owing her?! I already suggested a weekend in February to visit, idk what else to say.
Post # 9
teacher-bee-in-the-sea : I don’t have a Jewish mother, but my husband does. He gets guilted more often than his brother for the pure and simple fact that it works better on him! Over the years he’s been learning to have the relationship he wants not the one he is guilted into, but it takes conscience effort. Husband also knows I won’t put up with passive agressive manipulative bullshit and he is learning to do the same. We are both very social with lots of people that love and care about us without the guilt. So we don’t prioritize people that try to guilt us. The guilters catch on and cut it out or cut us out – either way we don’t have to deal with that negativity.
Post # 10
teacher-bee-in-the-sea : Sometimes I just stop responding to my mom. If I’ve already explained my position and offered alternative and she won’t stop pushing I just decide I’m done and ignore her texts.
Post # 11
teacher-bee-in-the-sea : You are being a good wifey 🙂 When your mom says you owe her say yeah that is why I am coming in february and leave it at that!
Post # 12
Boxerlover24 : thank you! I really am trying. She tells me now “I think I’ll make a New Year’s Eve party”. Okay mom. I said “Sounds fun.”
I just can’t with her. Ha!
Post # 13
She didn’t “get” you? Ick! I’m a child of divorce and was passed around a lot, so possessive terms regarding myself and my time make me feel icky.
But I totally get this. My mom (who I also love immensely) use to do this, but I’ve put my foot down. Any time she complained about “sharing” me with my fiance, I reminded her that I am a person, not a toy, and can not be shared.
People stop guilting when they see it doesn’t work. Keep responding in a friendly way like you are, and if she goes for more pitying comments, either change the topic or stop answering her for awhile! I’m sure she’s not trying to belittle your husband’s grief, but she needs to understand it’s not okay and you won’t be responding to that “technique” anymore.
Post # 14
Another Chinese mother here. Feeling guilty is a constant emotional presence for me. And being hungry.
Post # 15
teacher-bee-in-the-sea : I’ve got a typical Asian mom, her guilt-tripping ability is like a natural instinct which I suspect I’d have inherited *sigh* the latest joke was how surprised she sounded when I told her she’d have to arrange with my brother what she wants to do and where to go, etc., after our wedding because we’ll be going for honeymoon the next day. She made it sound like my brother is ditching her because of his family bla bla bla n so I’d have to discuss with him what will happen to her when I go on honeymoon.. another of her well-known divide+conquer+manipulating+guilt-tripping strategy. She’s also attempting to guilt-trip me into inviting my late uncle’s wife to my wedding in UK because “she’d have no one to accompany her”. A can of worms will be opened and then she can bitch about me to the relatives. Yay! I’ll have to remember not to mother my mother again. Sigh. I better re-read the Boundaries book again to remind myself why I decided to build boundaries with her.
Be firm, stand firm. You’ve done good so far. Stand by your husband, and be there for him. Hugs!!!