Mom (68) has expectations of my time and has an attitude. Help please.


Mom is 68, I divorced 4 years ago & she retired same time, she has expectations of my time & has attitude (compares me to her friends kids).

I live 45 minutes away and have been dating a great man (we do not live together)for 3 years w/children. I work full time and have made friends in my new community. I have a sister that lives 20 minutes from mom and spends VERY little time with her-she says it's because mom was not nice to her growing up which she wasn't. My parents are divorced, so I have my dad, stepmother, step siblings and nieces & nephews that I am very active with. **to make sure I spend time with mom and show her that I value that time, we set up an every other Monday schedule. However, this is not enough time or attention for her. She daily tells me about her one (new) girlfriend and how wonderful her children are to her and they stop by everyday...they live in the same city and, the daughter does not work. HELP! she's putting this guilt trip on me and I don't know how to handle this!

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LakeLady, I would be hesitant to believe what your mom is saying about her friends' kids. I know what I see with my parent's friends' adult children. It's rather shocking, but these adult children are not very involved with their senior parents. (Neither are the grandkids.) I actually end up doing things for my parent's senior friends, because their own children don't seem to have the time. (Doctor visits, holiday meals, grocery store, etc.)

I do a fair amount for my parents, but I am okay with it. I have my boundaries and we are all considerate of the other person's time and energy. I chip in to help their friends sometimes too. It's not a problem or inconvenience for me. Everyone is appreciative.

So, I would be quite surprised if all these reports from your mom are accurate.
I would explain what your time and commitment can be and leave it at that. If she keeps the talk up, I would say, that's nice, but I won't be phased by exaggeration or insulted by your insinuations. I'd let her know that you give what you can and that she should stop trying to manipulate you into doing more. If she persists, I'd shorten the phone calls and still stick with the schedule that works for you.

Pamtime22, you have reminded me not to give away anything. After reading many posts it becomes very obvious that gratitude will be absent, the recipients see the gift as some sort of entitlement.

I'm a 67 year old mother and grandmother. After giving a large chunk of inheritance money received from my mother and stepfather to both my daughters, I sometimes feel like a 5th wheel around them, as they don't want to include me in most of their family activities. I am also a widow and currently out of work due to a little bit of age discrimination going on. Yes it is alive and well in the job market. But getting back to your comment. Your Mom may have zillions of friends outside her family and go on about how other families want to have their children a part of their lives. Just visualize how it may be for you when you become a senior. Your mom evidently loves her children or she wouldn't be feeling lonely and left out. Give her hugs and kisses often!

Sandwich- I know this is an older post but your comment describes my situation to a capital T!!! It's so crazy that we think we are alone in our situations until we stumble across something as awesome as this website.

Just because mom says it, does not make it true. Welcome to Emotional Manipulation Island! We serve hot and cold running guilt and on Sundays, there's a resentment buffet.

You are a grown up who gets to decide where the hours of your life go. Honestly. There are thousands of people in that boat with you right now. We were too. I jumped ship on that cow manure.

I had to put up boundaries - big ones - with my mom. She would have me quit my job and leave my husband & kids to sit with her 24/7/365. But mom is a cluster B personality disorder poster child. This is narcissism.

If mom is bored, that is not your problem to solve. You can make suggestions, but you can't make her go to a day program, church activities, senior center field trips, or anything else that might cause joy. My mother was not willing to do anything that did not cause me great inconvenience. I finally told her that it's not my job to be her personal social secretary or cruise director. I have my own life obligations to deal with, thank you.

When my mom was in her early 40s, like I was at the time, she was NOT doing step & fetch with her parents at all. She was 45 minutes away doing her own thing every day of the week.

Boundaries - you get to decide, you get to determine, you get to direct.

Thanks ladies! This helps, apparently this guilt thing is not new.

Stick to every-other-Monday. That is what you are comfortable with. That is what you give willingly.

And perhaps cutting down on the phone calls would be a good idea. Who needs to be compared to other people daily? Maybe twice a week for phone calls?

You know, just because someone buys you the ticket for it, you really don't have to go on guilt trips! You have better destinations for your time and energy.

Get ready for more of the my kids vs your kids competition. They all lie to each other, they all exaggerate. My MIL said nobody ever came to see her. (guilt card). If you checked the sign in books, she had more visitors than anybody else.
Stick to once every other week. Where was she when she was your age? I'll bet she was living her own life, not yours.
MIL said she took care of her mother every day.(guilt card) Bullsnot! She was in Florida for the winter and Canada for the summer. She was on the FLA beach when both of her granddaughters were born.
When she whined her 60 year old daughter needed to do more for her, I said where were you at 60? You were in Florida! Who helped sis when her first baby was born? Not you, you were in Florida!

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