Post # 1
I don’t get along with my mother. We see eachother at family functions, exchange hellos and thats about it. The last time we got along, I think I was 11. There are many reasons why I don’t have a great relationship with my mom. I suppose the root of it all would be, she has a gambling addiction. I have been “looking after” my mom since I was 17. She will spend every last dime that she has and then have no money left over for rent, or groceries or anything. Growing up, I honestly thought we were poor. I didn’t know that my mom actually made a decent amount of money. Our water, phone, electricity was cut off all the time. I didn’t find out about the gambling until I was 19. She has even gone so far as to steal money from my brother to support her addiction. I would just as soon have nothing to do with her, but I have two children. Whether I like it or not, she is their grandmother and I’m not going to keep them from her. Lately I have been really nervous about going over to my mom’s for a Christmas visit. I haven’t seen her since Thanksgiving, and the last time I was at her apartment was summertime. Which is another problem on top of a problem. She lives in a very small two bedroom apartment, one bedroom of which is stacked from floor to ceiling with boxes. I think she’s a hoarder on top of everything. Her apartment is literally disgusting and embarrassing. I have never seen her countertops, they are always stacked up with piles ofdirty dishes, coffee grounds, etc. The kitchen table and coffee table are always covered with stuff. I am having anxiety just typing this, not many people know what my mom is really like aside from my SO and my two best friends. I live an hour away from my hometown, we just moved this past summer. So considering she hasn’t seen her grandchildren in awhile I thought she would be excited to see them at christmas. My SO has very wonderful parents, who I love and adore and we are going to spend a couple days at their house. They live in the same town as my mother. My mom called yesterday to see if I was coming to town for christmas, where I was staying and then had the nerve to come right out and ask if I would be dropping her christmas present off. WTF. Don’t bother to ask about your grandchildren or anything. It seriously annoyed me, but I tried to forget about it. Then I logged into my facebook and noticed that before calling me, she had sent me a message. She didn’t mention her grandchildren AT ALL. All she did was say that she hadn’t received her christmas present and that it would be nice if I could drop it off when I come to town. My mom has always been the most selfish person I have ever met, but this disgusts me. She only calls me when she needs something, I can’t remember her ever calling just to chat. Sighhhh I don’t know what to do. I would really like to call her out on this bad behaviour, but I don’t know. I feel like that wouldn’t be in the spirit of christmas. I don’t know what to do, I suppose this was kind of a vent for me, but I would appreciate any advice. Sorry, I just wrote a novel but this is the first time I have admitted this stuff to anyone!!
Post # 3
I am sorry you are having to deal with this- especially at Christmas time.
We never stop being hurt by our parents’ actions. Our challenge as adults is to control our reactions .
Time to accept that your mother never was, and never will be the mother or grandmother in the fairy tales. Forgive her and move on.
You can control your children’s exposure to their grandma. Have her over to your place or meet her in the neighbourhood park for a play date with the kids.
Post # 4
That sucks, I’m sorry.
But I have a real problem with “I would just as soon have nothing to do with her, but I have two children”. WHY in God’s name would you allow your children to be with someone like this? It is not safe for them, just like it wasn’t safe for you growing up. YOU should not have been put through that, and now you have a choice, but are exposing your children to the same horrific, abusive behavior. Would you feel the same way if she were shooting drugs in front of them? What if she was phyiscally abusive? Where’s the line? ssut because she is their Grandmother biologically does not mean you have to, or should, allow her in your childrens lives.
By exposing your children to her, they are learning behaviors that they shouldn’t, and by continually acting as if her behavior is ok, you are enabling her, which is detrimental to her getting better, detrimental to YOUR mental health, and unsafe for your childre to be around. You couldn’t do much as a child, but you CAN and must protect your own children from someone who would allow her own children to go without heat or electicity so she could feed her addiction. While she might NOT be shooting up drugs, it’s obvious where her loyalty is. I’ve seen too many statistics where people have left children in cars so they can go gamble, and I’ve seen small children dragged through casinos. It’s disgusting behavior and you have to protect your kdis from that!
Post # 5
@menobride: I think I really needed to hear that! It’s weird, because my SO can’t stand when I bring our children around my mother and for awhile I didn’t understand it. I don’t think I’m in denial of how messed up my childhood was, but until I became apart of my SO’s functional family I didn’t realize how dysfunctional it was. I honestly thought it was normal. My mother is the best at putting me on a guilt trip, she is also very good at playing the victim. Nothing is ever her fault, so if I choose to not visit her on boxing day I will never hear the end of it. It’s very tempting to mail her gift and leave it at that. But then I end up asking myself, who does that to their mom at Christmas??? What kind of person doesn’t visit their own mother at the holidays?
Post # 6
@Bostonsmom: If it was my mom, I would just drop by her house really quick, give her the gifts, let her see her g-kids for a few minutes then jet! I wouldn’t stay long enough for you or the kids to be exposed too long to her living situation. In and out. That way you don’t feel too guilty about it since it’s Christmas! 🙂
Post # 7
You should make a donation in her name to a charity as her Christmas gift. 🙂
Post # 8
I would probably do what tomboypink suggested. Just drop in. That is a tough situation. I know what you mean about wanting your children to have their grandparent. They are probably excited to see her (? I assume, as they are children…) so I would probably just make it quick. Good luck.
Post # 9
thank you everyone for all the good advice. We ended up inviting my mom to my FI’s mom’s house for christmas dinner. It was weird and awkward, and somewhat embarrassing, but I got thru it.