Author Topic: My mom: Am I being unreasonable? UPDATE PAGE 2 AND 3  (Read 10589 times)

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NotCinderell

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My mom: Am I being unreasonable? UPDATE PAGE 2 AND 3
« on: December 31, 2012, 11:04:15 AM »
My mom lives in Chicago, and I live in the Providence, RI area.  She gets two weeks of vacation PLUS Jewish holidays (she works for a shul) every year.  My husband gets two weeks of vacation plus a couple of floating holidays, but that includes Jewish holidays, so our vacation time is either during Jewish holidays (and we celebrate all of them, including some you may not have heard of), or is very short.

My mom takes her two weeks every year as two week-long jaunts to the Dominican Republic.  This is one of those immutable truths, non-negotiable, blah blah blah.  My mom is planning on retiring in a couple of years and moving to the Dominican Republic for good. 

Now that the kids are big enough to need their own plane tickets, visiting my mom is expensive.  Also, she whines that she doesn't have enough room for the four of us (she has a 3-bedroom condo) and that we have to get a room in a hotel.  We also can't fit in her tiny car (comfortably seats four but not if two of those four are in carseats), so we need to rent a car when we visit her.  Of course, when she visits us, she can just stay with us, doesn't need to rent a car because our cars are big, etc.

She has decided that she wants to visit us over the last weekend of Passover.  Problem:  A friend of mine in Cincinnati has already invited me to visit HER and stay with her during the last weekend of Passover.  I have not seen this friend in a couple of years, and I really enjoy the Cincinnati community.  I'd stay with one friend, but I know I'd be invited to a few different friends' homes for meals, so it would be really fun and social for all of us.

Last summer, my mom was difficult with me while I was talking about making plans to visit her in Chicago.  We scrapped our plans and went to Seattle instead (our first big family vacation EVER that didn't involve visiting relatives out of obligation and wasn't just a quick weekend getaway) and had a blast.

Just now I'm talking to my mom about her possible visit and I said something about meeting in Cincinnati instead.  Mom's entire family is there.  She says she doesn't want to go to Cincinnati, that if I'm at my friend's house, she'll only get an hour or two with the children here and there.

Then she lays the guilt trip:  By the time this visit happens, it will have been OVER a YEAR since she's seen the children.  I remind her that she has the option of not going to the Caribbean two weeks out of the year, and she could instead use that time to see us.  She accuses me of "getting nasty." 

I tell her that we'll be going to Cincinnati those days and can't accommodate her, and I hang up.  She calls back a couple of minutes later and I ask if she's apologizing?  She says she is not and begins to yell at me.  I say we are going to go to Cincinnati, and I  hang up again.

Am I out of line?  I know it's wrong to hang up on my mother, but do I owe it to her to visit?
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 01:52:49 PM by NotCinderell »

kckgirl

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Re: My mom: Am I being unreasonable? (epic length)
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2012, 11:12:26 AM »
I don't think you're being unreasonable, but don't argue with her about it. If she calls and asks about a visit, just tell her you're sorry, but you've already told her you won't be home that weekend. Don't discuss her coming to Cincinnati, either. She wants to be the one in control of her time and travel, which is perfectly reasonable, so she can do what she wants when she wants, but you don't have to be there to accommodate her plans. It's her choice to not see her grandchildren in more than a year, but don't remind her of that either. Basically, I'd be a river and flow where it's easiest without argument.
Maryland

onyonryngs

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Re: My mom: Am I being unreasonable? (epic length)
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2012, 11:12:34 AM »
You don't owe her a visit, but hanging up the phone isn't going to help smooth the situation out any.  She may have felt that you were "getting nasty" - one doesn't normally hang up the phone when they're being polite and reasonable.  Maybe write her an email and review it a couple times so that you can be sure it isn't coming from anger, and set out your plan for Cincinnati so that she can see that she'll get more time with your kids.

MrTango

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Re: My mom: Am I being unreasonable? (epic length)
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2012, 11:15:14 AM »
I think you were okay.

There's no reason why you should have to listen to someone (even your mother) try to guilt-trip you.

The only suggestion is that, unless she's yelling at you (raised voice into the phone), you should try to say something to "close" the call rather than just hanging up.  For example, "I've got to go.  Bye."

If she's yelling, I think you're fine just hanging up the phone

NotCinderell

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Re: My mom: Am I being unreasonable? (epic length)
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2012, 11:17:36 AM »
Well, she hadn't started yelling, but the minute she starts calling me "nasty," I feel like the conversation is over.  I guess I feel like I can't have a discussion with someone who has effectively invalidated me as a reasonable and kind person.  If I'm such a horrible, mean person, then the discussion is already over.

I think it's a temper tantrum, actually,  If she doesn't get what she wants and is asked to compromise, I'm just a horrible person.

She used to call me the not-nice word for a female dog, so I think we've made progress in this direction.

MorgnsGrl

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Re: My mom: Am I being unreasonable? (epic length)
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2012, 11:20:53 AM »
Could you offer to pay part of her travel costs to come visit you? That might convince her that you DO want to see her, and you do want her to be able to spend time with her grandchildren. Given the costs of your entire family traveling to see her, and the fact that her home can't accommodate all of you, it seems easier and more sensible for her to visit you at your home than the other way around.

I don't think it's wrong to hang up on her if she's yelling at you or calling you names. You could say something like, "Mom, I'm not going to talk to you if you yell at me/call me names. I'm hanging up now. Bye."

bonyk

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Re: My mom: Am I being unreasonable? (epic length)
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2012, 11:21:27 AM »
You definitely don't need to stay on the phone with someone who is calling you names.

The bottom line is, if your mom wants to see the kids, she will make it happen.

onyonryngs

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Re: My mom: Am I being unreasonable? (epic length)
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2012, 11:22:46 AM »
Could you offer to pay part of her travel costs to come visit you? That might convince her that you DO want to see her, and you do want her to be able to spend time with her grandchildren. Given the costs of your entire family traveling to see her, and the fact that her home can't accommodate all of you, it seems easier and more sensible for her to visit you at your home than the other way around.

I don't think it's wrong to hang up on her if she's yelling at you or calling you names. You could say something like, "Mom, I'm not going to talk to you if you yell at me/call me names. I'm hanging up now. Bye."

I don't think it's hanging up if you preface it with a warning.  It's a training method - like with dogs - if you do it enough, they'll hopefully get the hint and quit that type of talk before it gets to the point of needing to get off the phone.

NotCinderell

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Re: My mom: Am I being unreasonable? (epic length)
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2012, 11:23:14 AM »
Could you offer to pay part of her travel costs to come visit you? That might convince her that you DO want to see her, and you do want her to be able to spend time with her grandchildren. Given the costs of your entire family traveling to see her, and the fact that her home can't accommodate all of you, it seems easier and more sensible for her to visit you at your home than the other way around.

I don't think it's wrong to hang up on her if she's yelling at you or calling you names. You could say something like, "Mom, I'm not going to talk to you if you yell at me/call me names. I'm hanging up now. Bye."

Well, she was already planning on visiting us at home.  The problem is, we don't want to be home that weekend.  And she has the money to visit us.  Money isn't an issue.

miranova

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Re: My mom: Am I being unreasonable? (epic length)
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2012, 11:24:21 AM »
I think sometimes people do need to be called out on the manipulation and guilt. 

My MIL pulls the guilt trip all the time, it means "so much to her" for the children to come up TO HER, 2000 miles away.  She therefore informed us of the particular 2 weeks that she was free in the summer for this to happen.  It doesn't work that way.  We could not travel during that time so the guilt poured on.  When we tried to suggest different times for her to come here, the truth came out that she was already busy with FIVE additional vacations that summer.  My husband calmly told her that if we were her 6th choice, it must not mean that much to her after all.  I don't think he was nasty, I think it was a much needed dose of honesty to stop the guilt trip. 

Everyone has priorities.  If a 2 week Carribean vacation is her first choice, then she doesn't get to complain about never seeing the kids.

NotCinderell

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Re: My mom: Am I being unreasonable? (epic length)
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2012, 11:24:40 AM »
Could you offer to pay part of her travel costs to come visit you? That might convince her that you DO want to see her, and you do want her to be able to spend time with her grandchildren. Given the costs of your entire family traveling to see her, and the fact that her home can't accommodate all of you, it seems easier and more sensible for her to visit you at your home than the other way around.

I don't think it's wrong to hang up on her if she's yelling at you or calling you names. You could say something like, "Mom, I'm not going to talk to you if you yell at me/call me names. I'm hanging up now. Bye."

I don't think it's hanging up if you preface it with a warning.  It's a training method - like with dogs - if you do it enough, they'll hopefully get the hint and quit that type of talk before it gets to the point of needing to get off the phone.

I'm definitely going to use this in the future.   This is one to practice in the shower.

SPuck

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Re: My mom: Am I being unreasonable? (epic length)
« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2012, 11:26:21 AM »
Sounds like as good as time as ever to spine up. You didn't do anything wrong by hanging up on her when she started calling you names. There was no reason for her to do that. She was wrong at that point and rude. I think at this point your plans have been made. Anytime she brings it up at this point just say "Our plans have been made. I am not talking about this subject any longer." Followed by. "I have to go bye." If she doesn't give up.

NotCinderell

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Re: My mom: Am I being unreasonable? (epic length)
« Reply #12 on: December 31, 2012, 11:26:21 AM »
I think sometimes people do need to be called out on the manipulation and guilt. 

My MIL pulls the guilt trip all the time, it means "so much to her" for the children to come up TO HER, 2000 miles away.  She therefore informed us of the particular 2 weeks that she was free in the summer for this to happen.  It doesn't work that way.  We could not travel during that time so the guilt poured on.  When we tried to suggest different times for her to come here, the truth came out that she was already busy with FIVE additional vacations that summer.  My husband calmly told her that if we were her 6th choice, it must not mean that much to her after all.  I don't think he was nasty, I think it was a much needed dose of honesty to stop the guilt trip. 

Everyone has priorities.  If a 2 week Carribean vacation is her first choice, then she doesn't get to complain about never seeing the kids.

Thanks.  I particularly needed to hear this.  If I said to my mother what your husband said to his, the fur would fly.  Not that I don't think that he was reasonable in saying it.

cheyne

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Re: My mom: Am I being unreasonable? (epic length)
« Reply #13 on: December 31, 2012, 11:28:38 AM »
No.just.no.  If grandma wants to see the kids she will make it happen.  You have spent enough of your time and money to make life easy for her.  I can't believe that she thinks it's OK to make a family of four with 2 small children travel to her when she won't return the favor.  How does your DH feel about all the money and time to go to visit your mother?

As for the phone calls, give her one warning then say "got to go, bye!" in as cheery of a voice as you can muster. 

She will either visit you, get mad or get over it.  Sometimes "the fur has to fly" for people to see that they are being unreasonable and they don't always get their own way.

JenJay

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Re: My mom: Am I being unreasonable? (epic length)
« Reply #14 on: December 31, 2012, 11:29:59 AM »
It sounds like your Mom expects you to drop everything and accommodate her when she chooses to come visit you. You've already made plans to go to Cincinnati and you even invited her to meet up with you there, she declined. You don't owe her any further accommodation.

You've invited her to come see you during her vacation, she chooses not to. You've offered to come see her during your vacation, that doesn't work either. Short of sitting at home all the time, just in case she feels like coming out, it sounds like there's not much you can do to please her so don't drive yourself crazy trying.

Personally, I think anyone who would resort to cursing at me deserves to be hung up on, but if it bothers you then maybe throw out a quick "Okay, this is getting ugly. gotta go!" before the click.