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Please help me clear my head

(11 Posts)
HRHLadyG Mon 25-Feb-13 18:11:01

That's lovely to hear! How exciting! Love and luck for your new home! x

izzyizin Tue 19-Feb-13 10:59:13

Life's a learning curve, honey, and you could do no better than to learn from this situation that, as your dh has told you, worry and guilt are just wasted energy - resolve that in future you won't waste any more valuable time or energy overthinking matters that may never happen or may have an entirely different outcome to that which you may fear..

helpmeclearmyhead Tue 19-Feb-13 09:31:28

I just wanted to come back and update as people were so kind as to give me their advice.

Had the conversation. DH actually initiated it, which I'm thankful for, as it made it a much more casual conversation than if I'd spent hours gearing myself up for it and getting teary and so on. DF was great. Totally fine about us moving on, and he even said that even if we moved in next to my mum, he'd come and visit us. I really misjudged everything about this situation and made it much worse in my head than it needed to be.

Of course it will still be hard when we move on, but to know that he is quite alright with it, wherever we end up, is such a weight off.

Thank you again all, for your wise words. Take care.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 12-Feb-13 10:17:07

Hi again, 'worry' and 'coward' buttons, surely not helpme, sounds more like loving concern trying not to upset someone close to you.

When you feel the time is right, I hope you can talk to your dad and listen to any thoughts he has. Remember it gets harder not easier putting off some decisions. Your DB lives a short distance way and is within reach should anything untoward happen. You'll still be able to visit your dad and he can either drive over or take public transport to see you.

At some point you have to think of #1 - in fact you have to think about your DH and DS so it's not just you being 'selfish' or 'awkward'. There are others to think of, too. Your DM isn't getting any younger, either. I know what you mean about not being a disappointment to your father - but you're entitled to act in your own and your family's interest - how he views you, as a blessing, a joy or disappointment, is up to him, but it doesn't mean that is what defines you.

Later on there may even be a possibility of your DF moving closer to you so don't count that out. That's looking far ahead, for now concentrate on doing your sums, working out what's best for you and your child, planning for the future. No reasonable, fair parent would begrudge their grown up children the opportunity to do that.

helpmeclearmyhead Tue 12-Feb-13 09:23:53

Donkeys Thank you, and thanks again everyone that has taken the time to reply. I will talk to him about it at some point soon. DH and I have lived about an hour and a half away before in one of our previous rentals, but that was a years ago, pre-DS, and it does feel harder this time around.

There is so much I worry about that I think I could fill this whole board with threads. DH says worry and guilt are just wasted energy and that i need to sit down and talk to my dad. Just wish I could turn off my 'worry' and 'coward' buttons and do that.

Perhaps once we know its a definite possibility financially and so on, then I'll bring it up. He always says we can stay as long as we like, which is so lovely. But it will do my family (and my marriage) good to have a place of our own.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 11-Feb-13 20:30:54

Don't feel pressured by fear of hints or outright accusations that you are somehow 'choosing sides'. You're not - this is a decision based on what your family of 3 needs - your mum and dad's failed marriage shouldn't mean you or your brother should have to weigh up every life choice and try to keep them both happy. Until you talk things over with your dad, you may be anticipating trouble where there is none. If he is upset, he may need time to think things over. Giving him fair warning doesn't mean you are running out on him, a 2 hour distance is not impossible to cover for a day visit.

The accommodation situation whereby you were forced to accept his kind offer wasn't of your making, and he will have had company and seen lots of his grandson. It was always a temporary measure for which you are grateful. You're not doing a moonlight flit, you are being adult and making grown up decisions.

helpmeclearmyhead Mon 11-Feb-13 18:15:48

Thank you for your replies, it really means a lot to get this stuff out. DH is very supportive but I know he craves our own space as much as I am.

Cailin This might seem a bit silly but it's only been recently that it dawned on me that there was 'another' way for my dad to have dealt with the divorce where us kids were concerned that wouldn't have been full of anger and upset. I had just accepted that this was how divorced parents acted, particularly the wronged one. I don't think I feel resentment as such - or at least not full-on. It's just now that I realise that he could have chosen to not bring us into it the way he did but didn't, and I wonder if its affected my personality/character in a negative way.

I always want my dad's approval, I hate to be a disappointment. Not sure really what that means. But I always feel slightly childlike around him and my opinions are often not given as much weight as, say, my brother's. I think maybe I remind him a lot of my mum - I do look a lot like her. Hmm. Not sure where I'm going now really. Thinking out loud...

thepixiefrog Mon 11-Feb-13 14:50:34

What a difficult decision this must be!

Your DF did you and your brother a disservice when he spoke negatively about your DM. Kids should not be their parents agony aunts! How he behaved when your DM left has programmed you to pick up all the bad feelings he has and carry the burden, when really he should carry and process it himself. Try to let go of the guilt, it is not your job to 'protect' him from feeling bad.

You have an opportunity to be closer to your DM, and have a lovely life with your little family in a nice place. No parent should begrudge their child that, and if you df does then he is not thinking of your best interests.

It's really really hard to not feel guilty when it comes to ones parents, but don't block this opportunity because you feel obligated to df.

CailinDana Mon 11-Feb-13 14:01:29

Oh wow tough situation. I do feel sorry for your dad, he seems to have had a tough time and now he's been very generous towards you in terms of letting you live with him. In your shoes I think I would feel the same guilt at moving away.

I'm sensing that you have some resentment towards him for how he behaved after your mother left - am I right?

HRHLadyG Mon 11-Feb-13 13:58:53

Poor you. You are a grown up and so is your Dad. It seems that you are carrying a lot of guilt and burden associated to the end of your parents marriage....their marriage, not yours. Your Dad has to be responsible for dealing with his feelings about your Mum, which he has clearly not done, finding it easier to spend years blaming her instead.
You now have your own family and the opportunity to build the kind of life you want for you, your Husband and Son. You live once and don't want to look back on your life with "If only's.....". Perhaps if you go to look at the development and feel it's right for you then you could let your Dad know that this is something you are considering. It may be easier for him to deal with if plans seem more certain than vague.....Then you could involve hime ie visisting the development, making plans for visits etc.
It's difficult for some parents to let go but surely we have children in hope that we guide and prepare them well until they are ready to spread their wings and build the life they have hoped for. Deep breathes! x

helpmeclearmyhead Mon 11-Feb-13 13:42:31

Any thoughts welcome… I feel so mixed up. I sort of know what I want, but the guilt is crippling me. It might be long, so I apologise now if I miss anything out or ramble too much. Or if I'm in the wrong place entirely...

I guess I’ll just start with the background: my mum and dad split up in a horrendous divorce when I was 13. Undoubtedly it was horrific for him (he’d lost his mum the day before mum’s affair came out) to the extent that it has taken years to get over – and even now mum is referred to as ‘her’ or ‘your mother’ - (I suppose that’s an improvement on ‘bitch’…) I think having a grandson has mellowed him out a little bit as he now sometimes mentions her as ‘nanny’ when he’s talking to my DS.

My brother and I, I now believe, were quite badly affected with how DF coped with the marriage breakdown – we used to lie to my dad about seeing my mum as we were worried about upsetting him. He used to say ‘if your mother hadn’t left, we could have afforded to buy you XYZ but as she’s left, we can’t’, or ‘because of your mother, we might lose the house because she wants money out of it’ and so on. That felt horrible. I don’t really want to go into the details (as I’m still not sure of them myself really) but the affair was with a friend of my dad’s and there was an amount of ‘knowledge’ that it was going on between the three of them, if that makes sense… I suppose it was supposed to be a bit of ‘fun’ that went wrong when feelings got too serious. I don’t know.

I never lost touch with my mum, and we are closer than ever now. I think that hurt my dad a little, but she’s my mum. She was with me when I gave birth (not intentionally, but it’s how it happened!) and she was an amazing help to my husband and I when I was struggling so much emotionally after DS was born. She now lives on the south coast and I only see her once a month or so. I miss her.

My dad, who took up smoking again after my mum left, now has a bad chest and struggles with his breathing sometimes. He’s able to get around just fine and goes out and meets up with friends and whatnot, but when he gets a cold/cough, it hits him quite hard. He needed to go to hospital a few times a couple of years ago, but he’s not needed to go in recently.

Anyway, that’s the background.

We currently live with my dad (it’s me, my husband and our 19-month-old DS). He let us move in with him a year and a half ago after the landlord of our rented house put our rent up and we could no longer comfortably afford to stay while I was on maternity leave (statutory pay) – for which we are eternally grateful. We pay a small rent and do the cleaning and upkeep of the house, with the idea that we would save up for a house deposit.

My DH is a SAHD, as DS had some trouble settling in at nursery. I work full time, but four days a week I work from home. So we’ve had one wage coming in, but have managed to put away a bit of money thanks to my dad making things so affordable for us.

We’re looking at moving this year and have seen a flat on a lovely development in a city that is 20 minutes away from where my mum lives. It would be a chance to move to a wonderful place for DS to grow up (where my dad is - my old family house - was lovely when I was growing up, but has gone downhill), be closer to my mum, and (selfishly maybe) get some baby-free time with DH while mum looks after him. We’ve not had a night out together since he was born – because of my dad’s health trouble he can’t manage the lifting, carrying, bum-changing and playing on the floor, and there’s no one else we can ask really.

On a practical level, my mum has said she could look after DS for us a couple of days a week when DH goes back to work, which would save us a chunk of money on childcare that we could save towards moving to a larger home in the future.

My heart and head both yearn for some space of our own. My dad is great in that he pretty much leaves us to our own devices, popping in to play with DS or make a cuppa and then retiring to his own little sitting room, but we are all craving a space we can call our ‘own’. My dad is also the messy, hoarder type and we constantly have to clear up after him (not a problem, but it gets a bit soul destroying when something that could just be put straight in the recycling bin in the kitchen is left on the draining board and so on – petty things really, but there are so many like this that it builds up and up). He’s really stuck in his ways and I often wonder if he’s perhaps suffering from depression but for some reason I can’t bring myself to talk to him about it.

I think my guilt stems from the fact that we will be moving away from him, and closer to my mum. I’m in my 30s, so not a child, but when I think about talking to my dad about this whole thing I just don’t know where to begin. My brother lives about 20 minutes from DF and visits really regularly. I don’t know if it’s because there’s a grandchild involved that I feel more guilty, or if it’s because I partly feel that as dad put us up it would be really horrid of us to up sticks and move a 2-hour drive away.

I wonder sometimes if I’m making everything worse in my own head. Maybe he’ll be absolutely fine with the move and understand (while obviously being a bit sad). I think I just need to grow up. I am meant to be a grown up!
I really don’t know where a good place to end this is, so I’ll draw a line here and hope that there’s enough information! Thank you for reading and for any advice you might have…

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