Mothers and daughters

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Mothers and daughters
5
Tue, 03-18-2014 - 1:34pm

  I have come to the conclusion that the relationship between mothers and daughters is a complicated one.  I AM a daughter plus have 4 of my own (ages 22 - 30).  My own mother and I have not always gotten along and I have 2 that push MY buttons. My oldest and youngest I get along fine with...they are like their father (my ex)...don't talk about their feelings and won't speak up, but also remain respectful.  My middle 2 I have had more problems with.  They are disrespectful to me (talk down to me) and have quit talking to me from time to time when I tell THEM things they don't want to hear, but when THEY say something disrespectful to ME, I'm supposed to take it.  I, too, don't like confrontation, so, unfortunately, I DO tend to "take it" and not make waves.  My DD28 is getting married in October , lives in NYC and is getting married out east (making it a financial hardship on HER family as we live in the midwest).  I know she suffers some guilt in doing so, but her fiancee's family lives on the east coast and that's where they consider "home" which is fine.  I've told her I think it's great...she should get married where she wants.  We've been getting along fine...very excited about wedding plans over phone calls, but, last night, she called me back after I had called her on Sunday and left a voicemail:

So, I've been calling her "bride" since she got engaged and when I did that yesterday, she was like, "Are you going to call me that from now on?" and I said, "Well, when you get married I'll call you Mrs. X". (laughing while I said it)  She then said something like, "Well, I might take his name or I might hyphenate it or something.  It's not like YOUR day, Mom."  I felt by THAT point that I couldn't say anything right.  We went on to talk about her bridal shower which I will have to fly to this summer and she mentioned how she wishes I could bring her younger sisters (who are 26 and 22).  I told her I could barely afford it myself and she got all upset saying how I was making her feel guilty for getting married out there, etc...How I always bring up money when we talk about her wedding. Personally, I think her own guilt feelings might be causing this, but don't know.  I won't deny it...it's hard right now...my dh has been unemployed since November, so the timing of her wedding along with his unemployment is difficult.  I have assured her I will BE THERE for her shower even if I have to charge it on my credit card, but none of her sisters can afford to go. I want her wedding to be everything she ever dreamed of, but yesterday's call just left me feeling badly at how she talked to me.  This isn't a first time.  She and my third daughter have talked to me like I'M the child and THEY'RE the parent.  I guess my question is this:  Has anyone else ever had to deal with this from their adult children and how do you handle it? I just let it go, told her I needed to go eat dinner and to keep me updated as to the date of the shower.  I might also add that this is my daughter I've had to tell to "lighten up" before.  I enjoy joking around and she takes everything so seriously.  sigh My dh thinks I shouldn't "take it" and speak up and let her know I don't appreciate being talked down to.    Dh thinks I just "take it" because he knows my daughters will quit speaking to me if I speak up which I don't want. 

Any advice would be appreciated.

 

Avatar for elc11
Community Leader
Registered: 06-16-1998
Tue, 03-18-2014 - 10:03pm

My advice is something different from what you're asking: why don't you have a bridal shower for her in the hometown, then her sisters can attend, plus any other friends and relatives in the area. Much cheaper for just her to fly to the midwest than for numerous people to fly east and pay for hotels for that shower. She can ship the gifts via ground for not too much money, and probably some/many people will give cash or gift cards because of the distance. You would probably want to attend the shower in the east anyway, because you're mom and want to be involved where ever you can.

She probably does have some guilt about choosing to have her wedding far from the hometown, knowing that its a financial burden for some relatives to have to travel. Maybe in the future use a different wording when lack of money is the reason to decline something. Instead of "I can barely afford it myself" say something like "that's not in my budget". It sounds a little less "poor me" and she sounds very sensitive to any mention of your financial situation.

My kids went through a phase when they sometimes talked to me and dh like we didn't know anything. I vaguely remember talking to my parents like that too so I just let it go, but with my kids it wasn't with important issues. My situation was never as complicated as yours, with the problems with your dd's and the opinions of your dh...so I really don't know what to tell you regarding those issues.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Thu, 03-20-2014 - 11:03am

I think ELC has a good idea about another shower, if it's something you can do.  I actually think that what your DD said to you is not that bad although she could have been nicer about her phrasing.  Maybe you are overly sensitive to anything she says.  My kids tend to talk to me in kind of a joking sarcastic way sometimes, but I don't feel like they are putting me down because we have a good relationship now.  However in the past, my Dd managed to say some things to me that I considered hurtful and then when I got upset she would say that I was too sensitive, which only made me more frustrated.  I don't feel that we ever really got anywhere if I told her that she should be more sensitive to my feelings, but luckily I guess she has grown up while being on her own so now she is more considerate.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-13-2010
Fri, 03-21-2014 - 12:03pm

My daughter was not joking, I assure you.  As I said, she and DD#3 both have talked to me like I'm a child and I don't like it.  I keep quiet, but I think to myself NEVER, as an adult, did I speak to my mother that way, so where did I go wrong for them to speak to me so disrespectfully.  As a teenager...yes, but at 26 or 28 years old...no.  (Of course, at those ages, I was a married woman with 3 kids, a husband and a mortgage, so definitely was an adult.  My DDs have none of those things.) As for dh, his sons never have and never would speak to him like that which is why dh hates hearing me being spoken to like that.  So, it's harder for him to like my children when he hears that. He loves ME, not my children and and this never improves his opinion of them.  I don't blame him because I don't like it either, but they're my children, so I forgive them quickly and move on.  I do know though that if dh's sons ever talked to him that way, he'd definitely let them know of his displeasure and I doubt they'd ever do it again.  Admittedly, my dh has always had a firm hand and demanded respect...and gets it.  Lucky him.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2004
Sat, 03-22-2014 - 6:43pm

I feel for you, because I have been there.

DDs now a days seem to have no respect for their moms. It is a shame.She sounds controlling and doesn´t like to face the fact that you don´t have enough money, she might also be nervous because of her wedding, so she is acting worst. Part of being an adult it to face the fact that we don´t always get what we want. 

I unfortunately in my case, I have had learned to avoid my DD as much as possible and I have learned to lie, and give excuses when I don´t want to deal with her, or I  know she will get mad.

If you DD gets upset about money every time you mention it; you can give another excuses. "I´m not feeling well", or what ever works with her.

About her sisters, don´t give excuses for them and ask her to talk to them directly.(they are adults)

She might receive the same response, but she wont receive it from you.

So you won´t be the bad guy you always seem to be.

Another fact that is important to see is that you take all she says to you, and in one way or another you have to set some boundaries  with her, because she hurts you. Being a mom doesn´t mean you have to take evreything from your kids

I used to tell my DD what were real truths that she didn´t want to listen, but now I close my mouth, and to her eyes I find well all she does and say with her life; eventhough I clearly she she is making a big mistake. But trying to be listen caused a lot of confrontations, so i don´t do it anymore.

She can do what ever she pleases wit her life, but she can´t do that with mine.

There are books that help you learn how to set boundaries with adult children. Google the topic and read as much as you can about the subject.

Hope I have helped!



iVillage Member
Registered: 01-22-2004
Sat, 03-22-2014 - 6:45pm

I feel for you, because I have been there.

DDs now a days seem to have no respect for their moms. It is a shame.She sounds controlling and doesn´t like to face the fact that you don´t have enough money, she might also be nervous because of her wedding, so she is acting worst. Part of being an adult it to face the fact that we don´t always get what we want. 

I unfortunately in my case, I have had learned to avoid my DD as much as possible and I have learned to lie, and give excuses when I don´t want to deal with her, or I  know she will get mad.

If you DD gets upset about money every time you mention it; you can give another excuses. "I´m not feeling well", or what ever works with her.

About her sisters, don´t give excuses for them and ask her to talk to them directly.(they are adults)

She might receive the same response, but she wont receive it from you.

So you won´t be the bad guy you always seem to be.

Another fact that is important to see is that you take all she says to you, and in one way or another you have to set some boundaries  with her, because she hurts you. Being a mom doesn´t mean you have to take evreything from your kids

I used to tell my DD what were real truths that she didn´t want to listen, but now I close my mouth, and to her eyes I find well all she does and say with her life; eventhough I clearly she she is making a big mistake. But trying to be listen caused a lot of confrontations, so i don´t do it anymore.

She can do what ever she pleases wit her life, but she can´t do that with mine.

There are books that help you learn how to set boundaries with adult children. Google the topic and read as much as you can about the subject.

Hope I have helped!