If it isn't one thing it's your mother


#1

My mom is visiting and I am just struggling. It's been this way for ages, but everything she says and does just bugs the daylights out of me. I think the biggest thing is having her around makes me realize all the dumb stuff I say and do and all the things I don't like about myself. After she leaves, any self-confidence I have is just depleted and I want to hide under a rock and not burden anyone with my presence if I act anywhere near the way she does. I don't like people I know (esp my in-laws) to meet or be around her b/c it's just so embarrassing.

I'm sure the root of all of this is pride . . .Anyway, I asked mom to come help with the kids b/c DH's work schedule is wacky this week. I can't even get in the front door when I come home from work and mom is just telling me every minute detail about the goings-on of the day. I can hardly get a breath! I think she has a guilty conscience about silly stuff and just wants to get stuff off her chest so I don't think she's hiding anything from me. I wish she would just be like everyone else and say, 'yeah, we had a good day, we read some and played some and had a good time,' and leave it at that.

Whenever I know she is coming, I kill myself to get everything in order b/c she is easily distracted and gets tied up in tasks around the house rather than caring for the kids. Don't know why I bother, she will always find something to busy herself with besides the kids. I even have to hide the magazines and catalogs b/c she'll stick her nose in them and completely neglect the children. She'll get so caught up in a task of self-interest that she's actually kind of mean to the kids if they do anything to interrupt or annoy her (which isn't hard to do). Yet whenever I discipline the kids, she's quick to criticize how unkind I am if they are the least bit unhappy with me!

The other thing that bugs me (and I notice this about myself) is that she will argue on a subject that she knows nothing about. She presumes so much about people that she doesn't even know. Whenever we drive around, she has to tell me every little thing about everyone she knows who lived here or there, yet she doesn't know any of these people! She was telling me something the other day and I just had to stop her and say 'Do you know that for a fact? Ok, so you're just presuming.' She even flat-out lied to me just to win a dumb argument. And that's the thing, she has to win every verbal exchange and come out on top an any cost, even alienating someone. She gets so heated if you challenge her the least little bit, that she will just spat out the dumbest nonsense just to feel like she won. It's sad, it's like this is all she has to hang on to to feel important.

And she treats everything like it's a moral issue. I went to buy a garden tool and she asked me what I was using it for (challenge made). I told her and she gives the look and the tone like, 'you don't want to do that, I wouldn't recomment it.' I explain that I've had one and used in the past, but it got lost and I need a replacement. I'm the one using it in MY yard and this is what I want. To which she says 'Ok' in a way as if to say 'go ahead, but you're wrong and you'll see that I was right all along and you should listen to everything I say.' This from the woman who doesn't lift a finger at home, she's the expert on EVERYTHING. If you disagree with her, it's safe to assume that you will burn in hell b/c she knows better.

UGH! But in her defense, I can see how my stepping on her toes and treating her like she's incompetent actually causes her to ACT incompetant. If someone treated ME like I don't know what I'm doing, then I would probably just live down to their expectations. I just can't get outside of myself to begin to handle these visits better. I have tried countless times to sit down and talk to her, but she gets defensive and goes around pouting for days. I wish I knew how to act to make the situation better, but we are just too much alike.

On a side note, my brother called to say that he and his girlfriend are coming to visit this weekend. I know we're gonna go out to eat, which is fine b/c I never get to go out and it would just be too much for me to cook for all of us, but I just have to huff and puff. If dad were here, he'd pick up the tab, but mom on her own, no way. Either me or my brother will end up getting it. I just don't get it how she can be so stingy. Yeesh!

So then Sunday is the only day I have to go shopping for a bridal shower I have next weekend and I knew I'd be breaching a sensitive subject w/ mom b/c she has a thing (a very BIG thing) about doing 'unnecessary commerce' on Sundays. I would normally agree, but sometimes our schedules are off and it's going to happen. So anyway, in one breath she's thanking me for gassing up her car, and in the next breath she says it would be okay if I bought her lunch on Sunday, just so long as she didn't pay. Are we splitting hairs or what!!! Give me a break! I think I'll pack her a PB&J.

Ok, guess I'll be going to confession for this!


#2

Wow. Take a breath. If you get this upset when you ask your mother to come help you, don’t ask her to come help you.

I had a fuss budget aunt, same story just a different chapter, and I used to go out with her to please my mother. She was really a mean person, and would say terrible things about my mother. If I said anything to defend Mom, she’s call Grandma and cry about how mean I was. She had most of the family bullied for years. I finally started not being available when she wanted to do something, and one of my sisters took a turn hauling her around. We took care of her the last couple years when she was getting pretty old and sick, but nothing we did was enough.

There are just some people you have to avoid for both your sakes. It sounds like your mom for a week at a time is just too much. How about everybody pays for their own dinner? Or you and your brother could split the cost. You and he can work that out in advance, or order in Chinese for everyone.

The other thing is that this is a good opportunity for you to practice some charity. Your mother will be gone someday, and no matter how annoying she is now, you’re going to miss her. I’d give anything to hear my mother tell me to put on some make for crying out loud.


#3

Sad thing is, we don’t have a back-up person for childcare, mom is it. I don’t have any family in the area except my in-laws and all of them work. Yeah, we really need to find someone else who can fill in for us. She just needs to go stay with one of her girlfriends in town - it’s difficult for us to put her up b/c we have one bathroom and there’s never a good time for her to use it. Also, the room where she stays doesn’t have a door, so there’s no privacy either for us or her and she can’t grasp the concept of putting her things up where the kids can’t get to it.

She also insists on bringing her own food which she often times doesn’t end up eating, so it takes up all our fridge space and I don’t have enough room to put OUR food to feed OUR family. She always brings stuff to make cookies and then doesn’t end up making them. There’s little time or room with little ones needing to be fed or getting into things or my cooking going on. Don’t know why she doesn’t just make them at home ahead of time and bring them.

Oh well, just have to remind myself that it’s only for a week and then I can have my space back.


#4

It sound like you could really use some prayers for both your mother and yourself. Maybe you should ask the prayer warriors in the Prayer Intentions section for their prayers.

As for Sunday shopping, I agree with your mother, though restaurants can be open. See here. And as for simply planning to go to confession beforehand, that is not a good attitude to have, and may amount to the sin of presumption (itself a grave sin) if you commit a mortal sin; I read this in this examination of conscience. I do not know if shopping for stuff on Sunday is grave, but I thought I should let you know.


#5

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