Author Topic: Polite Spine or Was I PA?  (Read 2467 times)

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Hollanda

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Polite Spine or Was I PA?
« on: December 27, 2012, 07:21:35 AM »
I really am not sure about this one.   :-[
 
DH and I went out together Christmas Eve and had a lovely time, seeing old friends of mine and socialising.  It is important to note that whilst we were imbibing, we were by no means drunk.  We were happy and looking forward to Christmas.
 
My Dad made us a cup of tea when we arrived back at my parent's house, where we were staying for Christmas.  Our DS was asleep (it was late, 10.30pm) and we were tired but wanted a warm drink before we went to bed.  My Dad has a terrible habit of over reacting.  My mother has a terrible habit of...well, following suit and making assumptions, thus driving everything out of all proportion.  This often leads to frustration (mine) and hurt feelings (hers).  I am making attempts to recognise the destructive behaviours as it occurs and just walk away from it before things can be said in the heat of the moment and regretted later.
 
Anyway.  My Dad handed me my cup with the handle facing the wrong way.  I made the (elementary) mistake of trying to grab hold of a very hot cup of tea.  This resulted in the tea jumping out and a small amount landed on my leg.  None was spilt, there was no mess to mop up, just a small amount landed on my leg.  Cue my Dad's wheeze of "Oh my God! I'll get a cloth! Now! You're soaked!" I rolled my eyes inwardly and smiled, protesting I was fine.  My Dad ignored me and went into the kitchen (taking said cup with him).  He came back with a cloth for me to wipe my leg, which I did, and gave him the cloth back.  He put my tea down very deliberately on the table with a coaster and said loudly (enough) "Now don't spill it this time!" I was just shocked.  I said nothing.
 
My mother came downstairs from sorting out DS who had woken (teething and a slight cough associated with it) and scowled at me, livid, telling me to "Just quit it, now." I tried explaining what had happened and she cut me off with a curt "I heard what happened. You've been drinking. Now shut up and go to bed."  DH was embarrassed, I was mortified and my Grandma who had seen the whole thing stayed quiet.  DH admitted to me that he was quite hurt for me.  Well I found it hurtful that neither of the two other people in the room chose to speak up for me, but didn't say anything.
 
When my mother started cutting me off mid-sentence, which she did a couple of times over Christmas, I tried once talking to her rationally and the next time she did it, I walked away from the situation totally.  It is literally the only way I can keep my sanity. Talking to her makes it worse and makes her more angry and I don't want to make her angry when she is the one looking after my DS.  Before anyone takes that to mean would she hurt him if angry, no, that is not what I mean.  I mean, she did us a huge favour looking after him over Christmas (it means the world to her to do so, but still) and I didn't want to come across as ungrateful.

Am I OK in doing this (walking away) or am I PA?
 
I would really appreciate advice on this, and only this matter.  Thanks.
 
« Last Edit: December 27, 2012, 07:34:06 AM by Hollanda »
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25wishes

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Re: Polite Spine or Was I PA?
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2012, 08:08:16 AM »
I think what you did was for the best. Sounds like everyone was tired and a bit cranky. Further talking would have probably escalated the situation.

Joeschmo

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Re: Polite Spine or Was I PA?
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2012, 08:11:48 AM »
You and you mother clash and it sounds like it is frequently related to your drinking but you continue to drink around your mother so continue having issues.  I think you've gotten really good suggestions in the past about similar situations.  Look at the strings attached before you agree to your mother watching your son and decide if you want to accept them because it seems that you keep doing the same things and expecting different results which just doesn't happen.

HyenaInPetticoats

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Re: Polite Spine or Was I PA?
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2012, 08:30:25 AM »
You and you mother clash and it sounds like it is frequently related to your drinking but you continue to drink around your mother so continue having issues.  I think you've gotten really good suggestions in the past about similar situations.  Look at the strings attached before you agree to your mother watching your son and decide if you want to accept them because it seems that you keep doing the same things and expecting different results which just doesn't happen.

She was drinking a cup of tea.

RubyCat

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Re: Polite Spine or Was I PA?
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2012, 08:57:43 AM »
I think you did fine walking away.  It seems like the best option.  I believe you when you say you're not worried about your mom being angry and taking it out on your son.  However, I think you need to consider how upsetting it must be for him to see his mother being treated so badly.  You say he's teething, so I'm guessing he's still really young, but just the same, even very young children pick up on tension between people.

Your mother was terribly rude and disrespectful to you.  Personally, I would limit the amount of time that I spent with someone who behaved in such a hostile manner.

bonyk

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Re: Polite Spine or Was I PA?
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2012, 09:06:55 AM »
Am I OK in doing this (walking away) or am I PA?
 
I would really appreciate advice on this, and only this matter.  Thanks.

I don't think it's a polite spine or PA.  I think it's just delaying the inevitable discussion about boundaries and treating adult children with respect.  That said, it is probably best not to have that discussion when tensions are already running high.

gramma dishes

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Re: Polite Spine or Was I PA?
« Reply #6 on: December 27, 2012, 09:15:03 AM »
I too would rethink letting your Mom take care of your son.  She's treating you very disrespectfully.  Do you really want your son to grow up thinking it's okay for people to treat Mommy disrespectfully?

If she is that quick to jump to strange conclusions based on something she didn't see or even 'correctly' hear, she doesn't sound like someone I'd trust with my child.

I think it's telling that neither your Dad nor the Grandmother attempted to stand up for you and shut her down.   Apparently they're afraid of her.  Why?  I think that's something you should consider before letting her take care of your child.

I think walking away was the best solution for the situation you told us.  You made a good choice.  But I'd rethink 'Mom as babysitter' for future events.  I'd be quite reluctant indeed to leave my child with a person who told me to "Shut up and go to bed".

Hmmmmm

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Re: Polite Spine or Was I PA?
« Reply #7 on: December 27, 2012, 09:15:43 AM »
I think walking away when she cuts you off mid sentence is fine.  Were you parents a little upset that you and your DH chose to go put with friends on Christmas Eve instead of staying in with them, your son, and your grandmother.  It sounded like your dad was already a little miffed about something when he brought you the tea to react the way he did.

weeblewobble

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Re: Polite Spine or Was I PA?
« Reply #8 on: December 27, 2012, 09:17:08 AM »
Didn't your parents (or just your mom) do this to you last Christmas/New Year's?  They encouraged you to go out and enjoy yourself.  They practically begged to babysit.  And then when you got home, somewhat tipsy, your mother accused you of being drunk and implied that you were unfit somehow to take care of your baby?

Why on earth would you set yourself up for this again?

Over and over, your parents have proven they can't be trusted.  They set you up to look bad so they can over-react and prove how "inept" and "immature" you are.  You cannot trust these people to treat you well.  Why would you leave your child with them, so they can repeat the pattern all over again with the baby?  No babysitting is worth the hoops they make you jump through.

The mere fact that they tend to over-react like this would make me not trust them not to take care of a baby.  What happens if the baby bumps his head?  Or has a loose diaper?  Will they rush him to the nearest hospital to demand a CAT scan and treatment for diptheria? 

When he gets older, DS will see how they speak to you.  Do you want him exposed to that kind of verbal poison?  What if they turn their "discerning" eyes on him?

And to answer your question:  Your dad was behaving like a drama king.  Your mother was rude and hateful (for the entire holiday, it sounds like.)  If you wanted to avoid a huge fight, which Mom seems to want so she can prove again how inept and immature you are, your only option was to walk away.  Of course, a better option would have been to pack everybody up and go home that night.  They have to learn that they can't treat you this way and have any sort of relationship with you.


Hollanda

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Re: Polite Spine or Was I PA?
« Reply #9 on: December 27, 2012, 09:22:21 AM »
I am limiting time with her as much as possible without trying to limit the time she spends with her DG.  I believe that would be counter productive.

The times DH and I get to go out together is rare, we just do not do it often. Babysitters are expensive and we just do not believe that spending a lot of money to go out for a couple of hours and have a couple of drinks is worth it.  Yes, my mum does it for free, but we rarely ask unless for a specific occasion (a birthday, meeting specific friends, Christmas etc.) 
 
I think insofar as how is it impacting on DS...well, she's careful enough to do it when he is asleep or in another room, so that he is not a party to it.  She also limits what she says to me in front of others, but mainly that is to keep up appearances, which are important to her.
 
My Dad apologised to me for overreacting on that occasion and just told me to "keep my chin up and try not to take it personally".  I try not to but it is still hurtful and still makes me question myself.  :( 
 
And weeblewobble, we have been out several times together this last year with literally no problems.  At all.  We had no reason to believe she would ever pull that one on us again.   The past few months, what with the wedding and all, they have been great with us and with DS. 
 
What you say is true, regardless of how upsetting it is for me to face. Thank you for your honesty. xxx
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Kiwichick

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Re: Polite Spine or Was I PA?
« Reply #10 on: December 27, 2012, 09:34:13 AM »
Not take it personally? It is personal, if I remember correctly most, if not all her nastiness is directed at you.  It seems everyone, including your dad, is scared of making her tantrums worse so I can understand no one else sticking up for you at the time. 

While walking away in the moment may be successful and not rude, long term you need to teach her that her behaviour is ugly and you won't tolerate it.

The second she said 'Now shut up and go to bed.' you should have quietly packed up your stuff and your son and caught a taxi home and refused to see her again until she made a sincere apology.

Why do you think it's counter productive to limit her time with your son? I bet she has a running monologue when she takes care of him describing your faults in minute detail.

Hollanda

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Re: Polite Spine or Was I PA?
« Reply #11 on: December 27, 2012, 09:49:52 AM »
Not take it personally? It is personal, if I remember correctly most, if not all her nastiness is directed at you.  It seems everyone, including your dad, is scared of making her tantrums worse so I can understand no one else sticking up for you at the time. 

While walking away in the moment may be successful and not rude, long term you need to teach her that her behaviour is ugly and you won't tolerate it.

The second she said 'Now shut up and go to bed.' you should have quietly packed up your stuff and your son and caught a taxi home and refused to see her again until she made a sincere apology.

Why do you think it's counter productive to limit her time with your son? I bet she has a running monologue when she takes care of him describing your faults in minute detail.

I wish I'd had the money to catch a taxi back home, but it's about 30 miles away and the fares Christmas night are triple rate.  It would have cost near enough 100.  Also, taxis don't have car seats for DS.
 
I think in future we will just turn down babysitting requests/commands.  I know it means DH and I don't get the time alone, but I really and truly don't see any other way forward.  I want DS to have a relationship with his Grandma, but not this way.
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Wordgeek

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Re: Polite Spine or Was I PA?
« Reply #12 on: December 27, 2012, 10:04:42 AM »
The issues you post about may be better addressed by a professional you consult with in real life.  Is this an etiquette matter or an interpersonal one?  I think the latter.