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We Look Like A Welfare Family?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
After my mom and I didn't talk for 3 days -she was mad and I was busy, I called her last night (we usually talk daily, 5-10 calls back and forth, mostly about kid stuff and her job hunting).

She was angry and bitter, absolutely not acting like herself (she was like that through my childhood though). she's mad about my partner forgetting to pick our 7-yr-old up from school (a long, long story) and starts to tell me that we look like we're poor (which we are!), that our kid has a dirty coat (which she usually does, she's an active kid and gets it dirty despite it's cleaning every 1-2 weeks) and that her hair is messy (and, it is probably 1 day/week, she picks up 2x/week). after complaining about my partner and my kid she said that we need to do something different.

I was hurt, and surprised, so I didn't respond, and she hung up. I mean, wtf was that all about?!

we are broke, as is she and everyone else we know, but we aren't that bad. that kitchen is usually messy but I clean it daily (cooking for five vegan people with allergies gets a bit time consuming and disorganized) and I really don't care what my daughter's hair/coat look like, though her hair is usually in braids, sometimes dyed pink or blue, and her coat is really not bad at all. Her clothes are clean, her teeth and brushed, she is fed, her shoes are fine, she is healthy!

I was considering writing a letter to my mom but she is the yuppy, OCD type who probably wouldn't take the time to read it (and her on/off cheating boyfriend of 11 years would most likely read/discuss it with her, which would be horrible for many reasons ).

we were both working toward building a positive relationship, which has never really existed, and now she's being such a uav!

I have a baby climbing all over me so I'vce got to run, thank you for letting me vent, any thoughts or ideas are welcome!
post #2 of 11
Ugh. It sounds to me like you've got your priorities in order, so WTH? If I had to guess, I would think that this is actually about something else entirely. You said she was acting different, that she says YOU need to do something different... wherever this is coming from, I doubt it's even about your family. YKWIM?

for having to deal with all of this.
post #3 of 11
ignore it. her problem not yours.
sounds like she's feeling bad about herself and projecting it in you.
post #4 of 11
Why does the way your family look have anything to do with her? Imagine looking poor when you are (I live their too). Your mom sounds like she has some issues (snobbery being one of them maybe?). She also sounds toxic for your family I might rethink your boundaries with her.
post #5 of 11
If I remember right, the school called her to pick your child up? So that is probably why she's actively upset about it.

I think this is where good boundaries come into play, in a mild way. You can just say that you think you are doing fine and leave it at that.
post #6 of 11
Check out the book Toxic Parents. You definately need to establish boundaries. I would not tolerate anyone, my mom included, insulting my family.
post #7 of 11
Wow, 5-10 phone calls daily is a lot of contact, especially with someone who bothers you! I'd cut that back so that there's less chance of either of you saying stuff to annoy the other.
post #8 of 11
It sounds like you are expecting an alligator to behave like a lap dog, and then getting mad when the critter opens it's jaws and bites you.

Sometimes relationships need a little distance in order to be healthy. It's a sad truth.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by cappuccinosmom View Post
It sounds like you are expecting an alligator to behave like a lap dog, and then getting mad when the critter opens it's jaws and bites you.

Never heard this before. Now I can't stop laughing. I am going to have to borrow it sometime.
post #10 of 11
At the same time, she has a point. (Yeah, I'm shallow. I'm also someone who has kids who look like that, and I notice the others.) Your washing machine's on more than once a week, isn't it? SO when the coat's dirty, toss it in. Don't let her out of the house in the morning with messy hair. Stuff like that. And frankly, it doesn't matter whether you're cooking for five or fifteen, vegan or what, a clean kitchen is still a clean kitchen, and it is possible to clean up and not yet have a Properly Clean Kitchen. This is, of course, all the stuff that my parents forgot to teach me when I was growing up, so I figure your mother might have overlooked this too.
And yeah, your DH heading off to the bar is not going to have helped matters at all. I think she's absolutely right, that now is a good time to Do Something Different.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you for all of the thoughtful insight..

I wanted to respond to everyone seperately, until she called and my plan no longer made sense...

So here's the news

It turns out that she had a seizure on Tuesday (picked Katie up the following Thursday) and fell in her bedroom, blacking out and scratching her nose/chin/cheek. She didn't want me to worry, but now she feels like we need to discuss it. She apologized, in a you still look poor sort of way, and mentioned that her hormonal changes from menopause are going crazy (coincidence?).

I feel horrible for her/me/everyone. I had no idea that she was going through so much- since we talk so much, and she usually tells me everything, I didn't think she would keep something so big from me..

She also went over her plans for re-writing her will, which is bringing on a whole new set of feelings (not for this board, though).

(and Helen , I do believe that we should live in an orderly household- which we usually do, but I also believe that there are times when 'everything'- or even two things- can't get done.. I am making a lot of progress though- should have seen me when the baby was a newborn.. Thank you though, it's helpful to hear a thought-out response that would be quite similar to my mom's, minus the loving parenting. I do love her and want her to be happy and am totally willing to brush K's hair/wash her coat for my mom's benefit when she's around )


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"I know why families were created with all their imperfections. They humanize you. They are made to make you forget yourself occasionally, so that the beautiful balance of life is not destroyed."
-- Anais Nin
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