Mother is choosing grandmother over spouse, kids, grandchildren. What is going on here? -

Mother is choosing grandmother over spouse, kids, grandchildren. What is going on here?


Hi, newbie here. I could really use a range of opinions. My mother (in her 60s) is choosing her mother (in her 90s) over my dad, me, and her grandchildren. My grandmother is passing away, has hospice, and now resides in a nursing home. My mother has been her primary care giver for the last 8 years. My father and I and my son have come last in her life for all of those years. She proudly proclaims that her mother comes first. She quit working to take care of her mom, although I was always deeply concerned about how good that care actually was. My grandmother's home smelled of urine and feces. She was often unwashed. And my mother spent hours on the computer at her own home, not at my grandmas. I'm currently 38 weeks expecting with my second child and live out of state. She had initially offered to come and help me after the birth, since I'm having a c section and my husband is working 3 jobs. I also work full time and make a large salary. I have been there for her and my grandmother both emotionally and financially for these years. Grandma needs medicine, you got it! I'll send money! Can't pay your own bills because grandma needs depends, sending the money now! Now, we find out my mother cashed in my grandmother's whole life insurance policy (after my grandmother was over 85 years old) to cover bills, and she is expecting my dad to be HAPPY that he needs to pay for her cremation. My dad is NOT happy. He himself is 65, has worked his whole life, is still working full time so my mother will have health insurance. My mother has said things to me like, don't you dare have that baby early! Your grandmother is dying! Now, a week out of my c section, she's indicated she may not even be there for the birth. She may not stay to help me. She expects me to be okay with all of this, and she's angry my father, who of course will pay for the cremation, isn't doing so without some level of bitterness. I am flat out tired of her. Again, she is proud of the fact that she has chosen her mother over her spouse and only child. She says we all OWE grandmother. That it is US (dad and me) who are selfish. What is going on here??



Wishing you a wonderful life with your family - unfortunately your mother has problems that cannot be fixed (at least not by a non-professional) so keeping your distance from her chaos is very wise.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to rovana

Take good care of yourself, wishing you well through the birth 💐
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Countrymouse

Again, thank you all for taking your time to reply. It's been very helpful. I'll let this thread go now as its probably not good to dwell on this anymore at this point. Reflecting on some of the comments, yes, my mother has always been this way. Internet gambling has been an issue in years past, and unfortunately my parents lost my childhood home due to my mom playing blackjack with the mortgage. I remember as a child going home from school to a house with no electricity or water because the bills had not been paid. GMa is on Medicaid, which is why the policy was cashed, however mother didn't use that money to prepay any funeral expenses. No one knows where the money truly went, except my mom. Mom makes excuses for not returning to the workforce, too old, too small of a town, embarrassed to be a greeter at the Walmart, etc. although she's highly educated. Obviously there are decades worth of financial and trust issues here. My dad even had his wages garnished unexpectedly (to him, but my mother knew well in advance) by the IRS for failure to pay back taxes. Definitely the cycle stops with me; and thank you all for reminding me to focus on baby and not let my emotions get the better of me for the sake of my family. It's nice to have that reminder. So many of you have said such insightful things, without any prompting you got the full picture....thank-you all and have a blessed day.
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to KS2NM2

Yikes, has your mom always been so selfish or is that new, 8 yrs, with g'ma situation. If mom is on computer lots, could she be internet gambling, bad behaviour causes people to push others away and makes them very accusatory to take the focus off them and their actions. Just a thought.

If you are to your hairline with your mom, you definitely do not want her around your family at this precious time. Your toddler and new baby can feel the stress and it will cause confusion and fear in their little lives. You as a mom know that when you are upset you can't comfort the baby no matter what you do, they feel your emotions. So you are a capable strong woman and can deal with your family far better with out added B'S from GMA. Tell her that you know she needs to be there for her mom and you are so happy that she can do that, as you will be fine as frog hair, in fact we've already made the arraignments and will send lots of pictures.

Dad sounds like she has bulldozed him there entire marriage, God bless him for tolerating her and keeping his wedding vows in a day an age when marriage is taken so lightly. For better or worse, nobody ever tells you it can get worse and worse and worse.

Congratulations on your soon to be new family member and on being the one to stop the cycle of selfish insanity.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Isthisrealyreal

Is Gma on Medicaid? If so her policy had to be cashed in for her care...but...Medicaid allows for prepaying funerals so Mom could have used the cash in value for that. The cash in value is not even close to the face value. I got 3K on a 13K policy.

Sorry, but I wouldn't depend on Mom for much. Maybe caring for Gma was sort of an excuse to get away from family life. Tell Dad a cremation cost are low. Here its 2300. I just read on this forum, that a funeral home is not needed that u can go thru the crematory directly. He tell ur Mom he is willing to do this but there will be no service. If she wants one at a later time, then she can work and pay for it. I think ur Dad is a gem to put up with this. Yes, parents are important but when you marry your responsibility shifts to ur husband and children. I feel the responsibility to a parent is to keep them safe, warm, fed and clothed and loved. The same thing they were to do for us. If that means they live inca NH or AL because we can't care for them then so be it. You will need some help with the baby so try to find an agency.
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Reply to JoAnn29

It sounds as though you will be far better off if Mom is not around when the baby comes. She sounds as though she would only disrupt the essential bonding time between you and the new baby. So definitely tell her not to come. You will be fine and Gma obviously needs her now. Which is probably very true if Gma is really dieing this time, obviously hospice thinks she is.
If you can spare a little towards the funeral I think Dad would be very appreciative of that. He must be feeling very alone and abused right now. By the way he has absolutely no obligation to pay for Gma's cremation.
I think you are absolutely correct in not being prepared to fund your parents retirement. Mom obviously need to get motivated after Gma dies and start contributing. Does she have some skills she can fall back on. Is her health good enough for her to work again?
It is difficult but not impossiblle to get back into the workforce when you are nearing retirement but it can be done. Idid it myself at age 58 and worked for another ten years. It probably wont be possible to earn top dollar at that age but everything helps especially if there are some benefits. I talked to a friend last night who had been forced out of retirement and was able to find employment albeit at a much reduced salary. Even reduced pay is helpful if you are able to continue working in your chosen field.
Your parents are both grown up people so let them make their own decisions and take the consequences. There is some help out there for low income families. Not always easy to get but if you persevere and don't be put off by officious people it can be done.
Your first priority is to your hubby and the kids. Don't shortchange them because your parents are not managing their own affairs well. Your children will grow up with all kinds of problems if they are raised by stressed out parents. Make this a joyful time for your own family it will reap huge benefits in the long run. You have a good head on your shoulders so use it.
Not telling you to never lend a had to your parents if they really need it but don't let them become dependent on you financially.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Veronica91

Thank you all. I truly appreciate the insights and various perspectives. I have indeed explained that I won't be supporting my parents financially as they age, because I truly do not want to live my moms life and I wouldn't dream of redirecting funds that could be used to support my husband and I as we age, so we don't continue this cycle if placing the burden on our children. I love the answers about staying neutral; great advice and thank you! And yes , my grandmother's death has indeed been "imminent" for the last 8 years. To the poster who said that, you literally made me laugh because that was the justifications for her quitting her job. And I've visited her on her death bed at least 3 times, last minute, and "emergency". I finally had to stop going every time I got "the call" because I was looking like a nut to my employer!!!
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Reply to KS2NM2

Firstly. Do what you need to for yourself and your OWN family. If that means hiring a temp nurse/helper??? for yourself then do that. Tell your Mum not to worry about coming to you then, as you know how busy she is.

Keep in contact and stay neutral. Give your dad lots of supporting love. Explain to ALL that you will be very limited financially from now on, what with all the cost of a new baby and being off work.

Am I a bit harsh?? May be but you MUST remember, you do not like the way your mum is devoted to her mum. You do not want to be the same? Do you?

Yes we care for our parents but not to the extent of (for the want of a better word) undercutting our own family.
When grandma dies sent flowers, or money instead towards the funeral. Try NOT TO GO there or you will get sucked in.

I send you love and hugs. Have a great birth and a beautiful baby. :)
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Reply to BuzzyBee

You are getting a lot of answers that support a dutiful caregiver, but I tend to agree with Barb that your mother's priorities have been wrong for the last 8 years. While it was wonderful for her to devote time and attention to her mother it shouldn't have been done without balancing the needs of her husband, her children and herself.
As for grandmother dying, is it imminent? I bet you've heard that a lot in the last few years.
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Reply to cwillie

Your mother sounds enmeshed with her mother which is true of some women.

Each enmeshed person is not capable of having a normal, intimate (and I'm not talking about sex) relationship with their spouse because they are enmeshed with someone else. 
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Reply to cmagnum