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I just moved my daughter to college and brought grandma along. Her super annoying behavior ruined what should have been a special time for my daughter and me. My daughter and I are just barely on the autism spectrum and we like silence and listening to music. My mom can’t stand silence or sitting still. Yesterday I asked her three times to stop making jokes by very KINDLY saying, “I think I’m in too serious a mood for any more jokes today." I’m sorry! I take all of the jokes seriously and try to figure them out literally and it makes my brain really tired. She laughed the first two times as though I was making a silly joke, then the third time said she would try. She also will not stop making suggestions when we are shopping for things. She brings us things my daughter does not want or need then tries to suggest why the rejected thing would work. I’ve pulled her aside and said things like “grand daughter is stressed out right now, let’s give her some space and let her look around on her own.” Or I send her if to find something on the other side of the store. WHY did I invite her on this trip?! Granddaughter is decorating her room and my mom will not stop giving decorating suggestions and tips. Grand daughter is on a zoom call and we need to be quiet. My mom will not stop whispering stupid things to me and I keep saying, What? I can’t hear you. Let’s just eat quietly until her zoom session is over," but she keeps whispering things to me such as observations in the room, something outside the window, my food is really yummy, how about yours? Mmmm this is so good! I knew she would be like this but I want to treat her the way I’d like to be treated when I’m her age. I can’t stand to travel with her. She is ridiculously overly helpful telling me things I either already know, I don’t care about, or I can easily figure out on my own. She gets her feelings hurt when I tell her yes, I know there’s a hair dryer in the bathroom and I could use it to dry my hair, I am storing all my toiletries beside it. Yes, I know that my leftovers are in the fridge and I can eat them if I’m hungry. Yes, I know that the light switch is on the wall in the bathroom, yes I know that there’s a grocery store 1 block away. No, grandchild said she does NOT want a picture for her wall, stop looking for one. No, I do not need a pillow for my back which is on the couch beside me which I would pick up and use if I wanted it. She just can not stop talking and suggesting and joking.


I don’t want her to feel left out and she is recently retired, but still works a few days a week. She lives by herself and constantly talks to herself. She talks to me while I’m leaving a room so I have to go back and ask what she said and 99% of the time it was something stupid or a little joke. It’s so frustrating.


I guess I need to stop feeling guilty and trying to include her. My daughter is resentful that grandma is here, and I’m spending time taking care of both of them instead of focusing on my daughter and enjoying myself a little.

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My father's behavior is similar. Talks incessantly because he is very uncomfortable with quiet. He gets in peoples faces and becomes a bully. Thinks it's funny. Social clues do not register with him. Attention seeking. Been like this my entire life. So...visits are short, outings are two hours max etc. All this to say...
It was very nice of you to invite your mother to participate in sending your daughter off to college. Dorm room shopping is fun and it is easy to just gush about everything. So much good stuff! However, my dorm room concept was very different than my child's concept. (Ha!). Don't do it again. No parent weekends, no future moves and possibly no graduation ceremony unless there is a change in behavior. It sounds mean and horrible but it isn't if you are unhappy and "just the way things are" doesn't work anymore. Your daughter needs to be your focus not Gma's behavior. It sounds like this scenario happens a lot. You could lose your child's love if your not careful. My relationship with my child improved when I started setting boundaries and separateness with my parents.
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Reply to velbowpat
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I, for one, totally understand. I have relatives like this and the constant talking and suggesting can make my brain implode. I love them to death, but can only tolerate so much. I don't think you're being fussy or selfish. 

By now you know that bringing her with you and daughter for college was a bad idea. Mom sounds like she has adult ADHD, but she thinks she is perfectly fine how she is. It's fine to include her, but do it only for short doses. Like having lunch somewhere for an hour. Definitely no more road trips or overnight stays! 

You were expecting a bonding time with all three of you. Mom, however, is Mom. She is not capable of adjusting to your level of quietude. No matter the occasion or circumstance, she will be chattering. 

Mom may like to exercise some control over you and your daughter. The only way she knows how to do this is acting like you need her. It's why she tells you inane things like a hair dryer being in the bathroom. Or why she took it upon herself to buy things for daughter's dorm. If you don't need her and granddaughter doesn't need her and her job barely needs her... then what does she do now?

As for the jokes? For one, she hates silence. Chatter may keep her from thinking about any problems in her life. She may indeed be lonely. Talking to you (and herself) fills the void. And it gets her attention, like when you have to ask her to repeat what she said. Forces you to engage. 

I have no idea how to deal with the noise. Can try to tune out the whispering, at least? Or just throw in a "mm hmm" here and there, like adults do with kids.
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Reply to LoopyLoo
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Your daughter is an adult, and she's going to have to deal with all sorts of personalities, including a roommate. I hope you haven't taught her that being "barely" on the spectrum is an excuse for not learning how to get along with all types.

I'll bet your mother has always been the way she is, and you've always been how you are. Everyone's nervous and excited about your daughter going off to college, and your mom is trying to keep things upbeat and positive. You're stressed and facing a kid leaving the nest. Neither is an inappropriate response, so get over it.
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BurntCaregiver Aug 19, 2022
Well stated, MJ1929.
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All those involved in this situation sound very draining to be around. The OP and her mom have polar opposite personalities so spending a full day together was not the best idea. But that is on the OP for inviting her. If this is how mom always is, then you can't expect to invite her and have her behave any differently. It is not your job to entertain her in her retirement. I just retired, I have to entertain myself. Spend shorter times with her. My father was an extrovert while I was more introverted. Being around him for long periods was very tiring. So I switched to shorter visits. He isn't going to change and I am not going to change. Problem solved. I do agree with Burnt tho...in the grand scheme of things, this is very minor.
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Reply to lkdrymom
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My Mom did this. And when her behavior was mean and she was called out on it, she always said "I was just Joking". As she got older it got worse. By the time she passed away she had two sisters, several nieces and nephews and all of her grandchildren who barely spoke to her. On my sons first day of college at his dorm, she told his just introduced roommate that his bedspread was ugly and that he had strange hair and said it was a joke. I never took her to anything involving my son's time in university again, including his gradation. At his wedding, she said the bridesmaid dresses were ugly. She told the bride she was only joking. One of the bridesmaids spoke up and told my mom she didn't know her a** from a hole in the ground.
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Reply to Becky04469
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With all due respect to you and your daughter, the two of you need to get over yourselves.
I'm going to assume that you're an adult if you have a child off in college. So as an adult you can CHOOSE how "seriously" you take your mother's jokes.
If the worst of your problems with your mom is that she's a positive senior citizen who doesn't complain continually, who tries to be friendly and lively by telling jokes, who wants to help all the time, and who tries to buy things that she thinks her daughter and granddaughter will like, then you're pretty lucky.

Oh! The HUMANITY!

Poor you and your daughter that this is what you have to put up with! Have you read any of the posts from the people on this forum?
You do know that you didn't have to take your mother with you to move your daughter into college.

Please, don't insult the many people out there who actually do have autism, by using the "spectrum" as an excuse for your own fussy and persnickety behavior.
What both you and your daughter would likely benefit most greatly from is a good swift kick in the a$$. You should be grateful for the kind of mother you have. Instead of the abusive, dysfunctional ones so many like myself have.
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Reply to BurntCaregiver
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You and your DD have your personalities and your mom has hers. Mom's likely not asking you 2 to become chatty and extroverted to suit her, yet you're expecting her to become quiet and introverted to suit you. Accept your mother, as is, warts and all, or stop inviting her places you know she'll be annoying you. I'll say this...there is NO WAY I ever would've invited my mother on such a trip with DD and I. She'd have driven us up a wall in short order!

Recognize things for what they are and accept it. That'll make your life a whole lot easier in the long run. Look after yourself and DD and take mom to lunch in your home town once in awhile, so you can leave when the irritating behavior ramps up.
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Reply to lealonnie1
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There are several points about your post that really jump out as problems of social interaction resulting directly or indirectly from hearing loss.

Has she had a recent audiological evaluation done by a formally trained audiologist?

Is she wearing hearing aids or amplifying devices?

If she has insurance that covers an audiological exam, see if you can encourage her to get it done. If a loss is identified find out if she’ll qualify for help after the new regs go into effect for hearing aid purchases.

The difference can be really amazing. It would be tragic if her problem(s) could be fixed and instead she was being isolated by her social incompetence.

I’m much older than she is, and I hope if I’m acting annoying around my kids and grands that they’d look for a fixable reason for my annoying behavior and try to get me help with fixing it.

Don’t feel guilty. Your feelings are totally understandable. Just take a look at a possible way to help.
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Reply to AnnReid
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If she weren’t your mother, would you and your daughter want to be with her? We can’t choose our family, but we can certainly choose when and how we wish to interact with them. Spending shorter times with your mother, like a two-hour lunch date or a movie where you don’t have to converse much, might be more fun.
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Fawnby Aug 18, 2022
I should have added that it’s not your responsibility to make your mom’s retirement perfect or to entertain her. She’d be perfectly fine and perhaps find new friends and hobbies if you’d back off a bit.
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It strikes me that there is a mismatch in temperament and expectations between you and your daughter, on the one hand, and your mother, on the other. You've tried to explain your (and your daughter's) needs and wishes to your mom, but because of her temperament she's unable to understand or act on them. It does sound as though she has a touch of adhd (but I'm certainly no clinician), or at the very least she has a much stronger need for constant social interaction than do you and your daughter, who you say are "barely on the autism spectrum." You and your daughter may also be introverts, who gain energy by being able to be alone to "recharge", while your mom gains energy from being with others and interacting. I think the solution is not to cut grandma off, but rather to not put all of you in a situation in the future where you are in each other's company for such a protracted period of time. Your mom may also be lonely because she's recently retired, though still working a few days a week. Maybe she could do some kind of volunteer work that involves a lot of talking and interaction. And, as others have suggested, possibly get a medical (neuropsych) work-up if this kind of behavior is new--or even if not new, perhaps get some medication if she does indeed have adult adhd. I've known of people who didn't get an adhd diagnosis until they were in their 50s and 60s who felt (and functioned) much better after starting on medication.
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Reply to newbiewife
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BurntCaregiver Aug 19, 2022
Or, the OP might just be a fussy knit-picker who enjoys being a victim and complaining about it.
She didn't have to take her mother to move the daughter into college.
For some reason people don't grasp the concept of not taking every phone call or jumping to fulfill for every demand.
If a person feels some guilt about saying no to someone, they just have to deal with it. Feeling guilt is a choice. People choose to feel guilty especially when it comes to our elderly parents and family. I don't. If I'm starting to feel guilty about something (I did since I was a little kid), I really think about it and ask myself one question:

Did I do anything wrong that I should feel guilty for?

If the answer is 'no' then I don't allow myself to have guilt.
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Has Mom always been like this or is this a new thing. If fairly new, I would get in to her Doctor for a good check up.. If lifetime behaviour, it maybe undiagnosed ADHD and she can be medicated. The medications will not dope her up but it will slow her mind down. My grandson has ADHD and the meds helped him to concentrate better. I really don't know how she has held down a job if she has always been like this. And then to ignore what you say.
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Reply to JoAnn29
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I don't understand why you invited her along, either.

I hope you don't plan on moving her in with you when she needs help, or vice versa. Just think having to be around her personality 24/7!
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BurntCaregiver Aug 18, 2022
I think it would be harder on the mother to have to be around the OP's personality 24/7 if they lived together.
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I guess I don't know how you expected this to be any different than it was. Stiffen up your spine for yourself and your daughter. You already know mom can't be fixed. Set a better example for your daughter on how to set boundaries to protect yourselves or she won't want to be around either you or grandma in the future.
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