Bad relation with my Mother. Any advice?

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I am a mother of a son and a daughter. I try my best to be a good mother and a good daughter, but very often I don't know if I have done the right thing. My pain come from my bad relation with my mother. I know I should love her but to be honest, I do not like her. I think she is mean, dishonest, partial and stubborn. She has a tongue of stagger, often hurting family members. My father got lung cancer and is in bad condition. He cannot speak, cannot eat with mouth, cannot hear anymore. Instead of understanding his agony and giving intensive care to him, she complained very often about my father' bad temper and doesn't want to do housework. My sister ( who has more time than me since her children are in universities in another city) gives most care to my father, cooking,washing, and feeding. I try my best to offer some help, but my help is limited and mostly is financial because I have two children to care, and my husband often goes out of town for business, and my workplace is very far away from the town center where my mother and I live. Last week my father sent me a text, asking me to ask leave from my work so as to help my sister and my mother with housework. To tell the truth, I was somewhat unhappy about this, because I think my sister and my mother can handle the housework, there is no need for me to ask leave from my work. So, I texted my father and told him about my difficulty. He is understanding. Anyhow, I do not want my parents and my sister think I am avoiding the responsibilities I should take. Before my father's text, I went to see them everyday after I have picked up my daughter and stayed for an hour. While I was there, I would talk to my father by writing, and gave some help. My sister would do the cooking, because most of the time she has come back from work and has begun cooking when I came there. After my father's text, I managed to go to my mother's in the afternoon earlier than before and helped to do cooking and some cleaning work. I went there at about 4:00.As soon I got there, I started to work. I cleaned the floor, and I prepared all the food for my father and cooked the meal for my mother, my sister, and her husband,who sometimes comes for dinner but not everyday. Then, I left at about 5:00 to pick up my daughter from kindergarten. While I was doing all these, my mother was sleeping. I could feel that she was pretending sleeping,because every time I got there and was unlocking the door, I could hear the sound she made when trying to go to bed quickly. She would sleep on bed and didn't get up until I left. However, I didn't say anything about this. Yesterday, I went there at about six after I have picked up my daughter.My mother has got up. My sister has not come back from work, and I started to cook as soon as I arrived. I was in a hurry because I had to go back home to cook for my son, who would be back home from school at 7:30. My mother told me not to cook too much because she was not sure whether my sister' husband would come for dinner. When I finished cooking, she came into the kitchen and said very angrily to me that I have cooked too much because my sister' husband would not come back for dinner ( while I was cooking my sister came back and told her that. I din't heard this. But I know my problem was I should have asked my sister when she came back about this but I didn't. ) I explained to her it was not too much. She wouldn't listen. She went on blaming me that I cooked too much on purpose. She said I cooked too much because I didn't want to cook for them. She said I was showing my unwillingness in this way. She said I cooked too much because I want them to eat leaf over tomorrow. She said I didn't want to cook for them because I seldom talked when I was there. She said she would not eat the meal and asked me to take the meal I have cooked home. I was very angry when I heard this and lost my control and yelled at her. I said she was doing too much to me. I said I was not as bad as she had thought. I said she has wronged me. I said I didin't talk because I didn't have time to talk. I was so angry that I shouted at her. I did all this in front of my four year old daughter, which put me into greater pain, because I have always wanted to set a good model to my daughter of being a good loving daughter. I failed again. Similar things like this happened several times.Whenever I am in such bad situation, I am on two minds, which is an indescribable torture. On one hand I am bothered by the sense of guilt. I think I should try my best to make my parents happy and take good care of them and tolerate everything. On the other hand, I do think my mother is too demanding, and too mean and unreasonable. Moreover, I am afraid my kids might think I am not a good daughter and will not respect me. Whenever I was in conflict with my mother, I need several days to recover, to forget all the painful feeling. I could not concentrate on my work, kids and husband. Please help me. Thanks.

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Why do you feel you need to "love" your mother? There is no law that requires you to love someone. Apparently, there are issues you two have with one another, but do not ever deny your feelings toward someone. Do what you want, speak your mind, and if others do not like it, it is THEIR problem. Live your life taking care of your family so you will be able to give them the love you missed with your own mother. Start learning to say, "No".
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Hello mother123,

First let me say that you can never make someone else happy. Never.

Also, there seems to be a disrespect of you by your mother. She seems to not appreciate what you are willingly doing to help her. Maybe your culture dictates you be at her beck and call but I see no respect for you.

My mother died 6 months ago and even in her last two months of life chose to disrespect my efforts to cook, clean and nurture her. She chose to be like your mother and talk about me behind my back. Everything wrong with her car, home and life in general was my fault.

I would see if there is some way you could hire more help or get more people on board to give a hand in this situation. Then I would have a big wake up moment to the more than likely life long abuse you have suffered. I have been in your shoes and can tell you your mother does not think about your feelings one bit. So you start thinking about them.

I agree with someone here who said to let your young daughter witness your mother's abuse and do nothing is harmful. Your daughter will pick up clues as to how she can expect to be treated in the world. I wouldn't allow my children around an abusive grandparent.

Stop feeling as if you are to blame. Your mother's behavior is to blame. My mother's behavior was to blame. And she went to her grave being a mean, vindictive old lady. Not my choice, hers.

Good luck to you and seek some professional help. Also don't let the "but it's our culture" be your excuse. All people deserve respect.
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You can't this vindictive person even though it's your mother. What you can do is get help for yourself with a trained psychiatrist.
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Your daughter was not only witness to your reaction to your mother's verbal attack, but to grandma's unacceptable behavior as well. The next time your mother acts that way in the presence of either of your children, calmly inform her that you will not allow your children to be subjected to her negativity and nastiness, and if she wants to see her grandchildren again she had better grow up and be a better example to them. You don't say how she treats your children or if she even cares much about seeing them, but if she gives a fig about them she'd better make an attitude adjustment!
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Your sister works? Even though her kids are grown, don't u think she would like not to have to cook everynight for ur Mom? You don't say how old ur parents are? Does Mom have health problems? Maybe a sit down with sister would be a good idea. See where parents need help. Have Dad evaluated for Hospice. He can have an aide. See if maybe you can cook meals at home and bring them over. Can you hire someone to clean and split the cost. The less ur in your around ur Mom the better.
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I don't have time to read your entire message. I just wanted to say that my mother was considered an impossible person. She was self-centered but at the same time liked to give out frivolous presents. She was emotionally, verbally, and slightly physically abusive. I was about the only family left that could tolerate her. I did this by not letting what she said or did get to me. I had no control over her; she had no filter. I took care of her at the end and was there with just her to watch her die. I can tell you, two years later, I would give almost anything to be able to spend time with her again even though she'd probably say, "Shut up, you make me sick." It wasn't all bad. Once your mom is dead, there's no going back.
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I may have missed something. I am just wondering if you are the younger daughter. My mother was the youngest in her family and it was assumed that she would automatically take the caregiver role. Mom and her mother didn't really get along sometimes. As a child I saw my mother lose her temper with her mother. My mom explained it to me afterward. I just saw it as my mother sticking up for herself and not letting her mother verbally abuse her.
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How on earth did we get it in our heads that to prove we are good daughters/sons/husbands/wives me must sacrifice our own well being? No answer needed - rhetorical question. I am as guilty of this as anyone. When my mom was more in control of her mind - and would start in on me I learned to wrap up what I was doing as fast as possible and politely say it was time for me to go. Eventually she got it and would be on better behavior - at least for the next couple of visits. Trying to point out her abusive ways or arguing with her was impossible as she was always right and I was always "too sensitive". Now that dementia has really kicked in I find it impossible to simply walk away. She's sick, right? I'm just beginning to figure out new coping skills - not having much success - but not giving up, my health and my own family are too important. I do think there are great ideas and thoughts for you in the previous posts. As for your outburst and your daughter - here's my two cents: she's very young and unless you repeat your behavior chances are that at best this is become a distant memory. You are teaching her that abuse isn't okay, even (especially) when it's from someone you love. I grew up and still am a "people pleaser". I felt that if I didn't to everything perfectly or made someone mad at me, they wouldn't love me any more. I've made mistakes along the way, trying to make everyone else happy - I mean mistakes that impacted my self esteem and well being - while everyone else in my life got what they wanted from me. Wouldn't it be better to show/teach your daughter that no one is perfect, no one can be perfect, and that we all make mistakes. And that by being imperfect and making mistakes - it doesn't make you any less worthy of being loved. You learn from your mistakes and try to be better from them.
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You might also take the initiative and tell your parents what you are willing to do for them and what you're not willing to do. Then stick to that plan. "Mom, I told you what I can do for you. I'm not able to clean your house every day. I'm not sure how you're going to get that taken care of, but I'm sure you'll figure something out." And stick to it.
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Your mother is very much into power and control from the sounds of it, and of using her anger to try and "punish" you or make you feel guilty so you'll do what she wants. She's being abusive. Abuse is not ok, from anyone, much less a parent!. No wonder you don't have many feelings of love or like for your mother. Who wants to be abused?!

Having said that, if you feel that you want to continue to help out your parents because of your value system, then maybe work on trying to distance yourself from your mom's remarks as much as possible. For example, when she yells at you about cooking too much and how that meant you want them to eat leftovers and that means you don't love them, etc, etc., nothing you say is going to convince her differently. Perhaps a simple response "I'm sorry you feel that way, Mom." And walk away. Don't get into arguing over what it "means".

Maybe consider "confronting" your mother. "Mom, I'm trying to help out the best I can. I'm sorry it doesn't match what you like. But, it's not ok for you to yell at me and criticize me. If you do that, then I'm going to leave, because I'm refuse to be treated this way. It's your choice. If you want my help then you need to stop being so critical of me. If you don't stop being so critical then I'm not willing to come over anymore and help. It's up to you to decide how it's going to be mom." (Hard to do after a lifetime pattern of dealing with your mom in a certain way, but you're an adult now and don't have to tolerate abuse from anyone. As others have said, you can say something to your child afterwards about how "Mom made a mistake and yelled at Grandma. I should have said have told her what I didn't like without yelling. Mom is going to keep working on doing better with that." This is a good role model for your children. How we all make mistakes, apologize when appropriate, and work on trying to do better.)
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