Abusive mother - need help

I have been married for ten years and have three kids. Out of economic necessity, I have had to take a job in another city, which happened to be where my mother lives (86yo widow). So I’ve stayed with my mother for a month while working at the new job. (It is full time and pays well.) I had my 48th birthday today. I mentioned that my wife and kids could visit here this summer. Out of the blue, my mother said that she does not ever want to meet my children, and that it makes her cry when she sees other people’s kids because I should have better children. I have no idea where this hatred comes from. My children are good students, athletic, good looking, well dressed, etc. I had to tell my mother that I will remember this day forever, and I will start making choices that will not benefit her. What am I supposed to do here?

Is this a new change in your mother, or has she always been somewhat like this?

In either case I’d try to get your own place soon. Especially with kids involved.

If this is new behavior I might also suggest she get an evaluation. Sometimes the beginnings of dementia can manifest as saying mean things.

If it’s not new, well…not much you can do to make people change what they don’t want to.

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Has your mother had a medical check-up lately? If this is a major change in behavior, that’s a sign that there could be a medical/psychological issue. Not unheard of in the elderly.

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I felt hints of hostility before, but the full extent of it surprised me. She truly wants nothing to do with my children and thinks they are trash. She has been to plenty of doctors, it is not dementia.

Then I would second the suggestion to get your own place. Asap. And then you’ll need to keep some distance; I wouldn’t subject your children to that attitude.

She’s 86. It could be she is having mental issues. Has she ever said mean, out of character things before? You should take her to the doctor for evaluation if this is strange behavior for her.

Why hasn’t she ever seen her grandkids? That sounds odd to start with.


She’s never met her grandchildren, but she’s convinced they’re horrible? This seems really immature but is it possible she says this to herself to help her feel better about not seeing them?

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