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My 78 year old mother lives with me and my daughter half the year. She can be quite controlling, but she's widowed and has suffered from shingles this year so I've done my best to help take care of her. She doesn't like it when people suggest she do things so that's been quite challenging. A few days ago, we got into a fight because she undermined me in front of my daughter, who I had gotten after for not doing something I'd asked her repeatedly to do. I'm a single mom. My mom went into my 5-year-old's room and helped her with the task in dispute and my daughter later came out to say she and Granny "were going to let me have time to cool down." I found this incredibly disrespectful and after my daughter went to bed, I told my mom that. I asked that in the future, if she didn't agree with my parenting, she talk to me about it privately. She said she was sorry I was upset but she felt it was appropriate to help my daughter and she did it knowing I would get mad and she didn't care. The conversation didn't improve and I gave up and went upstairs. Now, for the past two days she has been giving me the silent treatment.


I'm at a loss what to do. I don't think I asked her to do anything more than respect my decisions as a parent, but she refused. And how she's trying to punish me in my own home. She's used the silent treatment on me and other family members in the past.


Is it wrong to consider asking her to go home to her house, which is several states away? I'm wondering if there are other things I can do to try to alleviate the pressure in the house. Thank you.

Why does she live with you half the year.

I agree, your house your rules. I would have been mad too if my Mom had done this. Now your daughter thinks all she has to do is go to Grandma when she doesn't like what you say. Your Mom was wrong. Enjoy the silent treatment and don't apologize out of guilt.

What kind of things are you telling her she should be doing? Maybe instead of telling more like suggesting. Remember too, she is an adult and can do what she wants when it comes to her personally.

Maybe after the holidays it maybe a good to send her home. Or suggest she find an independent living or AL nearby. Selling her home to help with the cost. If she is controlling, leaving with her longterm is not a good idea. Your time should go to ur five year old.
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A few things in play here. It is very difficult for 2 grown women to live in one household. I’m assuming that when Mom goes back to her home, she is head of her house. She doesn’t leave that behind when she comes for her half-year with you. You are still 5 years old to her. She may feel there are 2 children in the house as well.

You aren't going to change her. She enjoying being a grandma and enlisting her grandbaby as a co-conspirator.

i would suggest that for her next visit, you cut the visit to 2 months. You don’t need help being a mother any more. Your kiddo is five and probably already in school. Time to go it alone. If Mom wants a getaway, send her on a trip to Vegas.
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JoAnn29 Nov 19, 2018
Sorry, I think 2 months is too long to have someone around trying to controll u. May a visit during the Holidays.
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I’m a grandma, and I also think that my daughter sometimes gets into a stand-off with her 4 year old that would be easier to defuse than fight. I think it would drive me around the bend to live with those dynamics for months, and I doubt if my relationship with my daughter would survive it. And I would have bitten my tongue off. However I would never never do the silent treatment, or tolerate it. ‘If you sulk, you’re out!’.
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Debbio Nov 23, 2018
I agree with "You sulk, you're out." The silent treatment is especially cruel and manipulative abuse.
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I was glad to read you are contacting therapists to help you sort through how to handle you and your mom's relationship. Power struggles occur in many families and it appears on paper that your mom likes using the passive aggressive approach to things. One is to feel she is better and more righteous than you. Trying to appear as though she is the better and kinder person in your daughter's eyes. And the other way is by the silent treatment...very passive aggressive and childish. Only you can decide what you will and will not tolerate and that means learning to set boundaries with her. Realize that what your daughter witnesses from you and or your mom is teaching her how to behave. This will affect her relationship with others. So being a parent is showing her what is and isn’t ok and modeling behavior whether it’s good or bad. You mother modeled inappropriate behavior and perhaps so did you. Being a single mom is hard, but with your therapist's help you can begin to reshape how you parent and how you deal with mom. I agree with others...six months is a bit much. Sounds like your mom might need to find a social life at her own home and maybe just come for a week here and there. Only you know what you get out of having her there for that long. Personally I don’t see the point of having the stress.
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Nope, wait a minute, back up, stop right there! It is your daughter, it is your home and yes you have the right to ask her to leave. The only reason for the question even being asked is that she is your mother, period. If a neighbor was at your home visiting and did the identical thing and said the identical thing, would we even have this question? So there is your answer. I learned the hard way. Please know I wasted DECADES not putting my foot down, turning the other cheek, forgive and forget, time heels, - Ya, its crap. Stand up for you.
Frankly with the beaten I have taken and the lesson I have been learning in this year alone- buy her the plane ticket and tell her Mom, your fight number is #___ leaving at ____ (within 48 or less). She will be floored, angry, furious and you will get every nasty thing thrown at you, but you let her know, I will not fight with you, But if you are that angry I will get someone to drop you at the air port- Or I will take you, your choice. FORCE! its the only way you will ever have your words mean a dam thing. There are no limits with some parents for various reasons, but your not a kid anymore, your are responsible for you, and your baby girl. All your daughter is learning is that you can be a victim IN YOUR OWN HOME to anybody and people can over rule you and you just go on up stairs.
Wait til your daughter is 15! and then tells YOU how it will be! Thats what you are setting in motion here.

BTW you'll get trashed big time to the rest of the family, just know when it gets back to you what an impact it made in her universe that she spends time on the subject.

Over the years, as an only child I got my emotions crushed, by decades of orders and venom- I learned the hard way...your younger than me ( my kids are in their 30's) Im begging you dont waste the years I wasted. I terminate calls when she gets nasty, and refuse the calls for a few days. When she leaves a pleasant message, I return the call. I do the same dam thing when at her home, as soon as she starts tearing at my throat, my kids, my husband, everything I dont DO for her...I tell her lets change the subject or tell me what you need OR I am leaving. Next nasty sentence, Im out the door, as she has been warned. It has change me, my world, I am happy and now somehow it is who I am now being her daughter. And the up side, it makes her nutz! I will respect her because of her title and age of 91, but I will not be beaten to an emotional pulp one more time. Stand your ground. Its not easy, but its is worth it. Good Luck.
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mommyskids Nov 24, 2018
agree
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Thanks so much for your response, JoAnn29. She started living with us part of the year about five years ago when my daughter was born. She wanted to come help and for a while it worked okay. Seems to me that she has changed, however, over the past few years as she's struggled with some relatively minor health issues (i.e., shingles, knee osteoarthritis). She says she wants to stay with us to help me out, but I find now that when she's here, it feels like I'm dealing with two kids, not just one.
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JoAnn29 Nov 19, 2018
Yes, when she undermines you then you will have to rethink.
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Have your Mom live out of a hotel for her visits. This way you maintain your boundaries, she doesn't undermine your authority and your daughter doesn't disrespect you as her Mom. If your Mom won't do that, put her in a home. She'll learn from there that respect is earned, not given.
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Reply to mmcmahon12000
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Thaisajs,
Ah, you are a softy.
Everyone knows the consequences of not speaking to you would be to not go to the craft fair. At any age.
Recommended: Respect is taken, not given.
Think: Rewards for good behavior.
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Thaisajs Nov 19, 2018
Fair. In my defense, the craft fair was in the a.m. before I realized I was in for the full-on silent treatment. But your point is spot on. I have a hard time standing up to her because the consequences are so unpleasant.
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I don't think *you* would end up feeling better if you sent her home in disgrace, is the thing.

How long does the sub-zero act usually last? And how is it usually overcome?

I so feel for you. My Dad didn't usually buy cards, just signed them at most, but one birthday I got a card addressed and written entirely in his handwriting, just my mother's signature added. The picture on the front was of a lady holding a baseball bat as her children sat at the kitchen table; and the caption was "Dot always gave the children a choice at dinner-time - fish fingers* or unimaginable violence." He'd obviously thought this hilarious.

The thing is. When you are already sore about one thing, e.g. a defiant five year old, then no matter how good the intentions of the person trying in his/her way to help, if they cross that fine line into undermining interference... SMH.

I suppose unimaginable violence towards your mother is out of the question?

* I gather these are known in the US as fish sticks, but that fish sticks are even cheaper fare.
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Thaisajs Nov 19, 2018
Ha, yes, we're a non-violent household. (Minus raised voices every so often — I have a naughty dog at home, too.)

Thanks for your thoughtful response. My mom isn't going to change. I just either need to find a better way of dealing with her and/or find a tactful way to make sure she spends less time in my home in the future.

I've started contacting therapists to see if I can get an appointment because I think I need professional help in coping with all this. I don't seem to be doing a great job on my own.
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Thaisajs:

No, it is not wrong to send her home. She is only seventy eight and she appears capable of surviving on her own.

Your mother's silent treatment, as well as the undermining, is a sign of a personality disorder.

You might want to research narcissistic personality disorder.

If your mother has this disorder, she will never change and things will only get worse.

Can your mother qualify for assisted living?
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mommyskids Nov 24, 2018
doesn't sound like a personality disorder, just mom's personality, she knows how to get her way
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