Mother not acknowledging pregnancy - AIBU to cancel family holiday?

(92 Posts)
Xiaoxiong Mon 29-Apr-13 17:27:06

My mother has ishoos with age and life transitional events - every time I've moved from one stage in my life to another she has caused some sort of drama or tension or has belittled or dismissed it. I think she feels these events signal to the world that she is getting older and hasn't accomplished what she wants (she is ambitious but self sabotages). So I always knew that having children of my own would cause ructions.

She also has lots of opinions of how I (and everyone else) should live their lives, which are always of course in their best interests in her eyes. She thought that for my health and family I should have a very big gap between children, if I should indeed have any more at all - I just brushed it off and told her we would have DC2 when it made sense for us.

I fell pregnant with DC2 in January - there will be a 22 month gap between DCs (gap between me and my brother: 19 months). Emailed my parents to tell them. My father emailed back and said he was overjoyed but that he would "break it to her". Since then I have heard nothing from her and she hasn't picked up any calls from me.

My dad says she is just extremely worried about my health, finances, and how I will cope with two etc and that she'll come round eventually. These worries are not unreasonable and DH and I have had the same worries, and have taken steps to plan ahead as much as possible. However she has not asked me any questions about our planning which might allay her concerns.

My dad is now asking for the dates we can come to the US for our annual family get-together in New England, staying in a cabin on an island in a lake. I've been there every year since I was born, as has my dad, so not going is a very big deal. I am really sad to think I might not go, but I can't imagine it under the circumstances.

My dad and brother (peacemaker quiet life at all costs types) think I'm the one being VVVU and prolonging the drama, because when she finally does come round we can all just let sleeping dogs lie. They also that I'm using my DS (16 months) as a weapon, threatening to withhold him from his GPs unless she apologises - something which I should apparently just accept she will never do. My dad is now saying if money is an issue he will buy our tickets as he is desperate to spend time with DS.

AIBU to not want to go on holiday with someone who has given me the silent treatment for months and still hasn't acknowledged I'm pregnant, even if that means it's terribly unfair on my dad not to see DS?

(Of course the other issue is that for the dates we are planning to fly, I'll be 31 weeks - I did go way overdue with DS though.)

wigglesrock Mon 29-Apr-13 18:42:02

Has she not spoken to you in 3 months? I wouldn't go anywhere near her, sorry this is not going to get any better whilst the rest of your family tiptoe around her selfishness. If she's afraid of missing out on seeing your eldest child she can feckin well pick up the phone and speak to you.

Yes it's not very nice for your Dad, but all this pussy footing about is as much his doing.

My mother is difficult, we didn't get on at all from when I was 15 until I was about 30. It was all walking on egg shells, trying to pick the right moments with her. The best thing I did for my 30th was just stop, I didn't ring her, she has a phone too, I just stopped caring as much. We worked hard, she worked harder at starting some kind of relationship. I'm almost 39 now and we have a good if at sometimes wary relationship.

I don't think your insurance will cover you anyway but I still think you need to at some point make a stand.

Xiaoxiong Mon 29-Apr-13 18:46:49

Ok so maybe the solution is:

Consultant v likely to say don't fly.
Insurance hard to get.
Will be v uncomfortable.
Email parents to say the above, so regretfully not making it to the island this year.

Then go on and live my life. Ball's been in her court for 4 months already so I will wait to hear from her.

kerala Mon 29-Apr-13 18:48:24

Are you flying out at 31 weeks? So presumably staying at least a week so flying back around 33 weeks? My second was born at 35 weeks no way would I go on this trip for that reason alone. Plus would an airline take you/insurance etc?

1charlie1 Mon 29-Apr-13 18:52:17

She is using her 'anxiety' as a stick to beat you all with. If she was truly anxious, surely she would - as you yourself have said - want to speak with you, so you could allay her fears?

Your DF is not an innocent victim in this. By not challenging your DM's bad behaviour over the years, he has actively created this situation, and others like it - it's not something into which he's now mysteriously been dropped. Your mother couldn't get away with what she does if he didn't passively acquiesce.

Your DF and DB are panicking because you're not following the family script.

The consultant may well decide the matter for you, but it's worth thinking about how you want things to be in your family in the future.

Xiaoxiong Mon 29-Apr-13 18:52:52

Kerala no it would be out at 28w, back at 31w. But still probably outside the recommendations.

Annie I called to tell them about my pregnancy with DS and got a very bad reaction from my mother. My dad then asked me to email in future so she wouldn't "react in the heat of the moment" and emailing would give her "time to process fully".

babyboomersrock Mon 29-Apr-13 18:56:14

"She won't pick up the phone or respond to texts or emails from me."

Then how can you contemplate spending time with her?

Your priorities at the moment need to be your health, the welfare of your child and of your unborn child. And if she's truly concerned about your health, your mother should understand.

She won't, of course, because this isn't about her anxiety - it's about control. Don't pander to it.

DontmindifIdo Mon 29-Apr-13 18:58:14

I think while airlines will take you, most will ask for a letter from your doctor if you are past 30 weeks to prove you are fit to fly, so you'd have to pay to see a doctor in the states if that's the case while you are there, and if they say no (after a few weeks of your mother raising your blood pressure, they might not!), you'd be stuck there.

I think you are right to stop pandering to her, in fact, I'd try saying to your dad that you are goign to send an e-mail he can show her with your formal excuses for not going, that being of being too far along to fly, but your real reason is you are sick of her sulking and bad behaviour, and you wish he and everyone else would stop enabling her to act in this childish and selfish manner. If he wants you to talk to her, you'll tell her a few words of truth, and she can process those in the heat of the moment if she wants.

Sometimes, families fall into a habit of protecting the 'emotionally fragile' one without thinking about the negative effect on everyone else. Calling htem out on it doesn't tend to change their behaviour, but does show everyone else that they don't have to put up with it either...

Hissy Mon 29-Apr-13 18:59:18

1charlie1 said everything I wanted to say.

Do what is right for YOU.

Your mother is a disgrace, and your DF/B are fools for allowing it.

She had her turn, she has No right to begrudge you yours.

1charlie1 Mon 29-Apr-13 18:59:19

I've just seen your post at 18:52:52. Please forgive me if you think this is a little OTT, but you may find this link helpful: www.daughtersofnarcissisticmothers.com/

thebody Mon 29-Apr-13 19:00:25

I think you need to grow up op( and I mean that nicely) I mean grow up and arrange your own life and holidays. Cut the cord.

Flying heavily pg with a toddler is sheer madness unless you need to.

Your dad is obviously like your brother. Anything for a quiet life and so enabling your mother to rule the roost.

Stay home. Book a nice holiday for the 4 of you later.

Just curious doesn't your dh want a holiday without your parents and brother year after year. Sounds like torture to me.

BasketzatDawn Mon 29-Apr-13 19:02:50

Thing is it's not just about what the relevant airline 'allows' - it isn't really good for you or the baby to fly long haul inlate pregnancy, witha toddler to boot! It doesn't meanayou won't be all fine, it jsut is (statistically) more risky, esp if family dynamics are more stressful too. And possibly not very pleasant.

Anyway, your dad and bro sound a bit clueless about this issue, and maybe jsut don't get this. Long haul in late pg, i mean. It does give you a genuine'get out' though. You could always suggest they, and your mum of course, come to see you and new baby and others - money isn't an issue obvs if your dad has offered ticket money. By next year your baby will be 'out', and things hopefully will have settled with your mother. I know it would disappoint you to not to go to the cabin etc, but maybe it's too much at mo anyway.

This way you are regaining control of a situation your mother has created, you are being the adult. i had similar from both my parents when I announced ds4 was due. Situation was different (geography was less an issue too, distance between Glasgow and Edinburgh grin, bt same worries about health, whether I'd cope, but not talking to me about it). i can't be bothered going inot it all - I'd be here all night!- but I ddi find, for my and the baby's sake, I had to distance myself. i was still friendly and approachable but I made it clear I would make up my own mind what I was prepared to do, for them, with them, etc. My parents di come round - a bit! - after baby was born. DPs boith died after that, i haven't wholly forgiven them, i think, but that's my problemo ... and I can hold my head high and know I didn't do naything wrong.

WildeRumpus Mon 29-Apr-13 19:06:22

Like baby said this is not about anxiety! Being anxious doesn't stop you being kind. Your dm is being very manipulative, and your df is allowing her to treat you like shit. You went against her 'advice' and she is punishing you by showing you how disposable you are to her sad

You seem to realise and I completely agree that it is time to challenge this particular script, for your own sense of self worth and also for how you are seen by your children. How will they react as they grow up, seeing you being treated this way?

Hope you ok op, this must be a hard time for you.

Oh, and why can't they come and see you for this holiday?

GreenEggsAndNichts Mon 29-Apr-13 19:13:17

Go, for your dad's sake. And your own, but that's more so you don't have regrets in the future over not going, iyswim. Yes your dad is enabling her, but presumably he's telling the truth about dying to spend time with his GS.

She's being ridiculous and I would feel the same way you do. I'd probably be a child and being very cool towards her if she's around.

If you don't go, have it be because you'll be very pregnant by that time (can you fly at that point? I forget...)

Xiaoxiong Mon 29-Apr-13 19:30:47

I suppose it's a bit misleading to call it a holiday in the sense that the location can be changed - it's just a summer cabin that's been in the family since my dad was little, so it kind of belongs to everyone. We always moved there (from China, where I grew up) for the month of August as do all the neighbours from various places so it's more like our home away from home (my uncle takes the month of July so no chance of going earlier). It's also where I vote, where my US drivers' licence is registered, etc. In response to your question thebody my DH absolutely adores it and is gutted that we might not go, but he says he will agree with what I want to do as per the consultant's advice.

Interesting that if you ignore the fact that it might not be safe or sensible to go, the thread is pretty evenly divided between whether I'm BU or not smile I thought I was going to get flamed out of here for being childish.

1charlie1 interestingly you're not the first person to send me that link...

YANBU. They are, your mother very obviously but also your father to put the pressure on you to fly at 31 weeks. Of course he wants to see your DS but it isn't fair to expect you to make the trip at that time for all the reasons that have already been said. But your mum sounds like a nightmare....

Callycat Mon 29-Apr-13 20:20:02

Since your dad is dying to see you, invite him to fly to the UK - plenty of nice log cabins up in Scotland, or Cumbria. Frankly, I'd tell your mother to take it or leave it.

Your mother is the one preventing the US holiday happening, not you. Time her behaviour was reflected back to her.

LiegeAndLief Mon 29-Apr-13 20:21:15

Aside from the mother issue, I wouldn't fly to the US at 28 weeks for 3 weeks. Although I might be slightly biased as ds was prem! Yes it's a very small chance you will have a prem baby and be stuck there for months, but for me it wouldn't be worth the risk.

Add in the mother issue - no. I definitely wouldn't be going. I would leave it to her to contact me. And I have a mother who can be a little similar, albeit on a much lower level.

Chunderella Mon 29-Apr-13 20:44:37

Even at 28 weeks a long haul flight will probably be pretty uncomfortable, unless you're absolutely teeny. But you might be massive and could possibly still be somewhat nauseous. You would also presumably be doing the flight with a toddler DS in tow. Could get extremely unpleasant and exhausting.

Dereksmalls Mon 29-Apr-13 21:08:12

My DM is like this, didn't acknowledge with my DB or I. Now, there is no way I'd have gone to the middle of lake to spend time with her but I'd have done it for my DF. Will be keep her views quiet and can you ignore? I find my DCs help, DM gets distracted by them and behaves better

Dereksmalls Mon 29-Apr-13 21:10:55

Read more - your DF shouldn't be pressurising you at 31 weeks. Please don't feel guilty

CheesyPoofs Mon 29-Apr-13 21:11:26

My dad did something similar for the first 4 months of my pregnancy. You have my sympathy OP it's awful to be let down by a parent so monumentally at a very vulnerable time in your life sad

Jengnr Mon 29-Apr-13 21:12:14

I can't believe all these people saying go.

Tell your Dad to come to you - you have no problem with them spending time with your kids but you're not making an effort for someone who won't acknowledge your existence.

I flew to Portugal at 27 weeks and back at 29. I needed a note from the midwife to confirm I was fit to fly on the way back (it also needed to confirm exactly how far gone I was as I was fucking massive). Even though it was a relatively short distance it was shit. I honestly wouldn't recommend you flying to America at 31 weeks. It will be awful.

Give yourself a break, you've done nowt wrong.

Viviennemary Mon 29-Apr-13 21:17:57

It seems your Mum is suffering from extreme anxiety regarding you. She probably can't help it though I understand why you are not happy about it all. YANBU not to want to go on holiday. So just give it a miss if you don't want to go.

Cosydressinggown Mon 29-Apr-13 21:22:39

I think you shouldn't go.

I would call (or e-mail if she really won't come to the phone) and say you don't want to be around someone who isn't prepared to be happy for you and not treat you like dirt. It isn't good for the toddler to witness that behaviour either.

And I wouldn't fly overseas at 31 weeks under any circumstances. You'll have to book flights now and then risk getting a 'fit to fly' letter closer to the time, too.

Xiaoxiong Mon 29-Apr-13 21:25:51

Ok after reading whole thread with DH we have taken advice of many but summed up by dontmindifido - emailed my dad to say not coming for medical reasons but that I am also still disappointed my mother is behaving this way and she needs to talk to me about her anxieties rather than fester.

Thanks so much for all the advice, even from people telling me to suck it up and deal with it grin

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