Help dealing with overbearing mother who doesnt understand. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 08-17-2015, 10:47 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Help dealing with overbearing mother who doesnt understand.

I'm having a really hard time dealing with my mother who is being very overbearing. I am 17 weeks and this will be her first grandchild. So, she is understandably excited. She knows I had a loss at 12 weeks last year but she does not know I had another loss at 7 weeks. She is giving me guilt trips about how I'm ruining her joy and not having the special fun time that should be happening between mother and daughter when the daughter is pregnant. I haven't talked to her about much because I just haven't wanted to. It's not that I'm not happy but I'm always worried thinking 'what if something goes wrong'. I'm sure most of you understand. I told her its different after you've had a loss but she just turns it back around on her saying she doesn't understand why we wouldn't be jumping for joy now. I don't even know how I could begin to help her understand. She is not being considerate for my feelings and takes everything personally and makes it all about her. We got in this big argument over it and now I just feel depressed and stressed. Any advice on how to deal would be great. I could keep going on and on but I'm trying to keep it short!
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#2 of 6 Old 08-19-2015, 10:20 PM
 
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I'm sorry your mother isn't being more supportive. I see a couple different issues here, but the main one is just that she's being really inconsiderate. I don't know if you could get her to understand how you feel if she hasn't been there herself, but you shouldn't have to. In your situation I think I would write a letter or email making it clear that her behavior is hurting your feelings and laying out some boundaries. Now is a really good time to build strong boundaries, so they're in place already during the post-partum/early childhood years. Something like, if she continues to ignore your wishes and hurt your feelings then you will limit your contact with her.

The flip side of that though is giving some guidance on what you DO want to hear from her. "It hurts my feelings when you say X, please keep it to yourself or say Y instead". It's also possible that she doesn't know how else to be involved in this major milestone of your life. Is there something fun (for you) that you could do together to pamper mama-to-be (you) or get ready for baby? Maybe suggesting an alternative bonding activity will take some of the sting out of refusing to do things her way and give her a framework for better ways to reach out to you in future.

Aside from that, try to let go of some of your anxiety if you can. (I know, easier said...) I just got a BFP after two losses earlier this year. My daughter asked why I didn't seem more excited, and I tried to explain about having mixed feelings and not getting my hopes up. She told me that if I spent my time worrying and feeling sad about what might happen, I'd miss the opportunity for joy right now and it would be better to wait and feel sad IF something did go wrong. I was kind of gobsmacked at the wisdom coming from my 11 year old! So I'm trying to put it into practice. Trying, with limited success so far, but trying all the same.
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#3 of 6 Old 08-20-2015, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks @LTurtle ! And congrats! I agree with what you said. I have been thinking about writing her a letter or email but I don't know. sometimes I don't like putting stuff in writing. And also she never interprets what I say correctly. ugh . It always seems whatever I try is a fail. But thanks for reaffirming that its mostly her and not me. She can really get to me and messes with my head making me think everything is my fault and I'm a horrible person. Ive even tried to confront her on that and she just gets upset and said 'well now you're making me upset and giving me a guilt trip'......ugh fail.
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#4 of 6 Old 08-20-2015, 09:58 AM
 
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Your mother sounds so much like my mother! And I am so sorry. Based on your response, it's clear that her overbearing and inconsiderate (selfish) behavior is not just related to your pregnancy. This is a longstanding pattern of toxic behavior, making you feel bad about yourself. At the risk of offending you, I'm going to suggest that you take a break from your mom for a while. You do not need that negative energy. Surround yourself with people who appreciate you and share your joy in a way that feels good to you. (Or are at least trying to)

The advantage of communicating in a letter, whether you are telling her to leave you alone or setting an ultimatum or whatever, is that it gives you time to collect your thoughts without speaking hastily. AND you don't have to deal with her reaction in person.

I stopped speaking to my dad for several months during my first pregnancy when he was being unsupportive and hurtful. He came around after my daughter was born and we have a great relationship now. My mom, who I suspect is a lot like yours, I had to cut off contact with completely for nearly a year. I have since reopened our relationship some, but it's still very limited. It has been amazing to me how much emotionally healthier and happier I am without the constant stress and guilt coming from my mom. When I say I cut off contact, I mean that I did not answer her calls or listen to her voicemails or read her emails - not at all.

Anyway, I hope that is somewhat helpful and not offensive. You really do have the right to put your needs first! You and your baby are more important than her selfish manipulations. Wishing you all the best for the rest of your pregnancy

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#5 of 6 Old 08-20-2015, 02:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LTurtle View Post
Your mother sounds so much like my mother! And I am so sorry. Based on your response, it's clear that her overbearing and inconsiderate (selfish) behavior is not just related to your pregnancy. This is a longstanding pattern of toxic behavior, making you feel bad about yourself. At the risk of offending you, I'm going to suggest that you take a break from your mom for a while. You do not need that negative energy. Surround yourself with people who appreciate you and share your joy in a way that feels good to you. (Or are at least trying to)

The advantage of communicating in a letter, whether you are telling her to leave you alone or setting an ultimatum or whatever, is that it gives you time to collect your thoughts without speaking hastily. AND you don't have to deal with her reaction in person.

I stopped speaking to my dad for several months during my first pregnancy when he was being unsupportive and hurtful. He came around after my daughter was born and we have a great relationship now. My mom, who I suspect is a lot like yours, I had to cut off contact with completely for nearly a year. I have since reopened our relationship some, but it's still very limited. It has been amazing to me how much emotionally healthier and happier I am without the constant stress and guilt coming from my mom. When I say I cut off contact, I mean that I did not answer her calls or listen to her voicemails or read her emails - not at all.

Anyway, I hope that is somewhat helpful and not offensive. You really do have the right to put your needs first! You and your baby are more important than her selfish manipulations. Wishing you all the best for the rest of your pregnancy
No offense at all!!! Thanks for your thoughts. It makes me feel better. Yes it is long standing. She has reacted this way also when I went away to college and when I got married. For her I think she probably needs somebody to talk to who is not me and not my Dad. She obviously has issues to be resolved on her end. She doesn't really have hobbies or do anything so her only interest is me (and my brother but he moved away) soooo that is just not good.


I haven't talked to her for a few days (she typically calls/emails/texts me 10 times a day) and it was helping but unfortunately I had to speak with her bc my grandma is sick. But, she didn't bring the argument up so it was okay.


I'm gonna go with it for a little now and see if she behaves but I will keep her at a distance. If not I think ill take your advice and do some kind of letter. I do think I shouldn't HAVE to explain myself because she doesn't have to understand she just has to accept. But maybe doing so would help.


Good luck and best wishes to you as well!!!
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#6 of 6 Old 08-26-2015, 01:52 PM
 
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No offense at all!!! Thanks for your thoughts. It makes me feel better. Yes it is long standing. She has reacted this way also when I went away to college and when I got married. For her I think she probably needs somebody to talk to who is not me and not my Dad. She obviously has issues to be resolved on her end. She doesn't really have hobbies or do anything so her only interest is me (and my brother but he moved away) soooo that is just not good.


I haven't talked to her for a few days (she typically calls/emails/texts me 10 times a day) and it was helping but unfortunately I had to speak with her bc my grandma is sick. But, she didn't bring the argument up so it was okay.


I'm gonna go with it for a little now and see if she behaves but I will keep her at a distance. If not I think ill take your advice and do some kind of letter. I do think I shouldn't HAVE to explain myself because she doesn't have to understand she just has to accept. But maybe doing so would help.


Good luck and best wishes to you as well!!!
Have you heard of Narcissistic Personality Disorder? My mother had NPD and yours sounds similar. They make everything about them. May I suggest doing some reading? I also "second" the boundaries. My mother did not abide by boundaries and I was estranged from her and my dad for 8 years before they passed away. Mine was an extreme case. Hopefully you can work out some understanding with your mom. Until then, relax and enjoy your pregnancy. For your sanity and your families well being you may have to keep her at arms length. This is YOUR baby and YOUR family.
Hope I didn't scare you but this is a real thing. Most of all know you will be OK. Pm if you need to.
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