25 answers

Mom Cut Me Out of Her Life

This is hard for me to write about, but I am hoping for some good advice. About 2 weeks ago I wrote my mom an email telling her that it makes me sad and hurts my feelings when she criticizes my 6 year old son. I feel like she is judging me as a parent and it seems like she does not like him very much. What I would like is to be able to tell her about problems I may be having with him instead of holding back bc I feel judged. I sent her 5 links to read about "spirited children" with intense moods and then went on to talk about how he is doing great in school and better in being sensitive to loud noises. I told her that what she said about it being weird that he goes to bed in his clothes for the next day was not helpful and to please not say anything if it is going to be negative. Anyway, she wrote back saying "how sad" that she cannot make comments about her grandchild and that I feel judged. She said she is cutting me out of her life and I will not see her or hear from her again. This was such a blow and not at all what I was expecting. I wrote her apologies for hurting her and said I just wanted her to understand him and be more of a team with me. She wrote one last email saying I am too sensitive and it is not worth a relationship with me. She will not take my phone calls. I am devastated by this. I do think I am sensitive but I'm not a basket case or anything. I believe that mothers and daughters can drive each other crazy and that it is normal to talk about your problems and try to strengthen your relationship. I am so afraid that she means this and really will never talk to me again. She has cut 3 other people out of her life, her sister is one of them.

She has been distant to my son ever since he was 5 and was rude to her. she was watching him while I was in the hospital having my daughter and they had a "fight". He got angry and said mean things to her I guess. I had him apologize when I got home but she has always been cold to him since. She told me she no longer feels useful and welcome in my home. She has since then told me there is something wrong with my son, that she is sorry for me to have a kid like him and other such comments. Many times she only gives her love to my daughter after we are done speaking on the phone. After about a year of this is when I sent her the above mentioned email.

To tell you a bit about my mom: she always wants to be the center of attention. She can be very critical of other people. She seems to have a low self esteem but she is always talking about herself, telling stories of her popularity in high school, and all the things she has done. She is always spending too much money on things. She lives with her alcoholic boyfriend and it's not a very happy home life. She has no friends because she eventually drives people away. Growing older has been hard for her because her looks are very important to her. Before this she has been a doting grandmother and I was hoping our relationship was getting better. I am not ready to not have my mom in my life. Have any of you ever gone through this? Do you have any advice for me?

What can I do next?

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Denise P. hit the nail on the head (narcissism) imho.

My heart goes out to you . . . how painful. Hang in there.

1 mom found this helpful

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I'm sorry this happened to you.
Check out this website:
She may be a narcissist.
Best of luck.

10 moms found this helpful

Sounds like she is doing you a favor. Move on - get counseling for yourself if you need it to get over it and move on.
I will bet that if you ignore her "cutting you off" long enough she will come around eventually... sounds to me like it's just another ploy to be the center of attention.
Good luck!

8 moms found this helpful

Manipulation much? Let me hurt you or you're out of my life? Call her bluff and stand your ground. It may take several months, but my guess is it will be less.

"Cutting me out of you life is your choice, and not one that I would want, but I also will not accept your attacks on my son or belittling of myself. I would be very saddened to lose you from my life, but it's ultimately your choice if you would rather cut me out of your life than not be mean to your daughter and grandchild."

8 moms found this helpful

I'm so sorry this happened. This happened to me with my Dad. Sounds like they are very much alike in personalities.

I actually called him and told him how I felt about his constant judging and criticizing my daughter. He would say things right in front of her as if she wasn’t in the room. It hurt me so bad.

He said the same thing to me that if I could not handle his honest opinions then maybe it’s best he cut me out of his life.

Honestly, it was a blessing in disguise. I was really sad for awhile, but then I realized how less stressed I was and how much less I questioned my parenting.

Let her go for awhile. All her negativity cannot be good for you or your son.

5 moms found this helpful

You say you are not ready to not have your mom in your life, but maybe it would be best to give it a month and see what happens.

You were honest with her and you should not apologize for that. Don't back down and let her mistreat your son.

5 moms found this helpful

Your Mom has mental issues... she is not normal.

Go on with your life or she will damage you and your son, permanently. You will NOT ever... be... able.... to... satisfy.... her. Period.
And that is not your job... to please her.
She is mean and Toxic.

4 moms found this helpful

Only your mother knows what is going on in her head. But I will venture to say this - she evidently likes having control over you. Being unloving to your son is a way of having control. And saying the kind of things she has said to you is controlling as well.

If you fall all over yourself to get her to come back into your life, she will know that she can treat you and your son any old way she wants to. Is that what you want for your child?

You might not be ready for her to be out of your life, but the cost of having her in your life, especially if you cannot stand up for your child to keep him from being treated poorly, may be too high. Can you imagine how much worse your son will be when he really understands that your mom doesn't love him, but dotes on his sister? And your daughter could end up feeling terrible about herself because of the favoritism, or be mean to her brother because she is the "favored one".

You mother obviously has mental health problems, CT. As hard as this is, you might try to look at it as a blessing of a hard sort. You cannot "fix" her. But you can accept her not being in your life to damage your son (and daughter). They come before her now.

Good luck,

3 moms found this helpful

Advice - move on and don't look back. Your mother is being childish and pulling a guilt trip on you. Try not to engage in such banter. She will eventually come back around and if she doesn't, you don't need her in your life and especially not your son's life.

3 moms found this helpful

Wow CT, I feel for you. Your Mom sounds really difficult.

To be honest, she sounds like the "sensitive" one. By your description of events it sounds like you were very respectful about how you approached her regarding your son, and my guess is that she doesn't like being "criticized."

I wish I had some helpful advice. It sounds like a really tough relationship. I think some Family counseling might be a good idea if she would go... If she won't then I would go by myself. I bet that there are things that would feel good to talk to an objective listener about, while also getting some professional advice.

Good luck & blessings to you~

1 mom found this helpful

I am so sorry for you that she is treating you this way. I can understand how devastated you must be. There is nothing wrong with you voicing your opinion to your mother, that is what she should be there for. To support you, love you and give guidance or constructive criticism. If she is cold to a child because he said hurtful things then I think this is more of her issue than yours. At 5 years old children often have no idea what they are saying more less how an adult will interpret it. The fact that you explained to him what was inappropriate and had him apologize, shows what a good parent you are. If she is unable to accept his apology that is her problem. Perhaps give her some space, maybe her home life is hard for her to handle so she takes it out on others. Is there a chance she will come around? Is this truly and influence that you want on your children? Showing love to one child and not the other is not acceptable, either you love them both for who they are or don't be involved at all. It is a shame that she has put you in this situation, when you were trying to open lines of communication. Perhaps time will tell?
Good Luck

1 mom found this helpful

I have a question. Please don't take this the wrong way but is your mom an alcoholic? My mother is and they have some of the same traits. My counselor told me that alcoholics often push, either on purpose or not, people, things, jobs, etc. out of their lives. This could be because of the drinking, low self esteem etc.

I am sorry. Very hard to deal with.

1 mom found this helpful

I'm an older mom with grown kids and so I usually try to explain the grandmother perspective. But this time, I can't find it. It sounds like you were very respectful in what you said to her so the only thing I can figure out is that she's trying to manipulate you. I don't think you should let go of the very healthy boundaries you have set to protect your kids, especially your son. Wait her out. Or write back and say, "I love you, I want you in my life, but these are my boundaries. If you choose to cut me out of your life, I will miss you terribly but my boundaries aren't changing." It is NOT your mom's place to "make comments" on her grandson. You are the parent and she has to respect that. She should treat you as she would treat any other mother she knows (that is not her daughter). If you ask for an opinion or advice, she can give one as politely as she would give it to the mother next door. (And you can ignore it if you wish) Other than that, how you raise your children is none of her business. Grandchildren are simply ours to enjoy, not to raise. It sounds as though she is troubled, though, who could hold a grudge against a 5 year old? Good luck to you - such a terrible time of year for family drama, too - but good for you for putting your kids first. That's how it should be.

1 mom found this helpful

Denise P. hit the nail on the head (narcissism) imho.

My heart goes out to you . . . how painful. Hang in there.

1 mom found this helpful

I am so sorry this happened to you. It seems very extreme to react the way she did to your son when he was "rude" to her at 5 years old. Wow, the fact that she has "cut" 3 other people out of her life says something.

I know this isn't what you wanted at all and can only imagine how you feel. It seems like you will have to go through a grieving process which will be more complicated than if she had passed away. From what you've said, I hope you know that you in no way deserved this. You were trying to set some clear reasonable boundries as well as protect your children from her emotional manipulation. I hope others have more concrete advice for you but again I am so sorry.

We are not able to change the way other people are. You need to accept that this is the way your mother is - take it or leave it. If she has low self-esteem issues, puts others down to make herself look better, no friends, always talking about herself, cutting other relatives out of her life (this all sounds too familiar to me), then really think if this is someone you want to influence your child. Don't let her drag you down too. Give it a few months and see if she comes around, but I'd keep the relationship more distant. I argue with my mom too and she sounds a lot like yours. I have to keep reminding myself that that is just the way she'll always be and always has been and that I can't change her. Wishing you the best.

Your mom craves power. She "wins" by cutting others out of her life and behaving like the victim of your words, which makes you feel the need to apologize even though your feelings are warranted - again she "wins." It's how she subconsciously controls everyone else. Her behavior is extremely unhealthy for both her and those she interacts with. And you should not have to put up with it. So don't.

Why don't you do the cutting for once? Stop apologizing. Act as though the "cutting you out of her life" never happened. Show up at her house unannounced. Invite her to dinner. Instead of making a big drawn out deal of the ways she acts toward your son, just say it blatantly each time you hear it. "Mom, I don't like it when you put him down." And leave it at that. Then walk out of the room. Don't argue or let her start a fight. She will start to respect your "rules" soon enough.

As for her favoring your daughter. If you know your mom is coming over or if she has said she is going to drop by. Conveniently schedule a play date for your daughter so that she is not there when your mom shows up. And when your mom makes a fuss, just shrug it off. It'll force her to spend time with your son and grow to appreciate him again.

Best of luck!

This might not be what you want to hear, but it sounds like you're better off without that woman in your life. Or at the very least, your son is.

yes,I have gone through this in fact this disorder is so common in my family that "we" call it "The Luckette Deathlist" poe. seem to feel constantly wronged all the time and no matter how long or good the relationship seemed to be or how simple the disagreement was you are now on their deathlist - banned from their facebook and will start receiving threatening letters. It seems to me that she suffers from some kind of reality impairment
Clue #1 to me was that she was fighting w/a 5yr old
Let the miserable woman stew I am sure she loves this attention much like you mentioned about h.s & her popularity.
Do not give this woman control of your feelings she can't even control a 5 yr old
You'll be fine w/out her

It is hard to say what is in your Mom's mind. I can sympathize with the spirited child. I have a son with Asperger's Syndrome as well as Sensory Integration Disorder. It sounds exactly like what you described your son's behaviors. It isn't going to change how your Mom feels, as it seems to me she is over sensitive and can't take criticism very well. I'm so sorry you have to go through that. If your child is like mine, he will say things he doesn't mean in anger and yell and scream and carry on. Mine used to get violent along with it and I was taught how to properly restrain him without hurting him and let him go in a safe area where he could thrash about without hurting anyone or anything especially himself. He has since grown out of the violent episodes since I got him into Martial Arts which is something he can get his aggressions out in a safe way. It also has taught him a lot about respect. Anyhow, I think that as long as your son doesn't sweat profusely at night, it is fine to wear what he will wear the next day to bed. My youngest does that sometimes.

All you can really do with the Mom situation is go for a visit and reach out to her. If she really wants nothing to do with you or your family, then you have to move on. If she will see you and talk to you and you can hash things out in person, that would probably be the best way to go about it.

D. P.

I am sorry your mom has done this to you. I know how it feels to have a critical mother. I do tell my mom that it bothers me with the things she says. She also thinks I am way to sensitive. I am sensitive to someone always putting there two cents in when I did not ask for it. I used to let it go then get really mad at her comments. Now I just say mom that was uncalled for do not say that to me again I don't like it. She is better now that I told her how I feel. Your mom seems to go a little overboard cutting you out of her life just because you want her to stop being so negative. I am sorry but she is really self centered. I would let things blow over for a while before trying to mend anything. I would try reaching out to her in a few weeks. But you have to understand she will not change, you may just have to accept her the way she is and let things go. Then leave her presence when she upsets you.

Don't apologize for expressing your feelings to your mom, however, I do not think she means that she will cut you out of her life. She is obviously very sensitive as well and cannot take criticism. It is usually the case that someone who gives criticism and judgement can't take it themselves. Let your mom take some time to get over the feeling that you "hate her because she said something about your son". For the future, knowing that your mom cannot accept criticism, take it from her with a grain of salt whatever she says about you or your son, and do not tell her in the future how it bothers you. Tell someone else, because your mom cannot handle it. Try to build up your mom and fix the issue by saying positive things to her.

Your mom is just hurt and feeling down and out right now and so are you, so take a break from each other, don't worry about her cutting you off, and just try not to take it personally when she says stuff. All the best!

WOW, I know she is your mom, but seriously.... let her have her tantrum by herself. Do you really want her around you and your son if she is going to act the way she does? Stop trying to apologize to her for being honest with how you feel. She will either get over herself and decide to be part of your life or she will continue to live her life being miserable. YOU cannot change her, but if you go crawling back begging her to forgive you because you spoke your mind, she will make your life (and your sons) miserable.

well you have described my mother... (to some degree) in that she had low self-esteem (although blamed others for it) she herself was a drunk (rip) as were many of her partners.... She , however never raised any of kids (7 in all) and despite her shortcomings, which were many, never felt the need to apologize to any of us for her wrongdoings... She thought us kids were always the sensitive ones.. although I had some contact with her while in fostercare, later on in my early 20s , she cut me out of her life for expressing to her how I felt about something. Mind you, despite my mother giving me up, I always showed her respect so for her to "dis-0wn" me for as she put it, telling her off ... was just so ironic.. since.. she had already chose to give up all her kids earlier on... anyway.. point is.. I had to beg for a full year for her to speak to me... she refused.. she was cold as ice...all this for nonsense.. sounds like your mom is the one being stubborn and sensitive... you have already done what you can.... now the ball is in her court... I think she needs to grow up.. kids act up..that is a fact... what's bothersome is that she is taking a young child's behavior so personally...
at this juncture, you could send her a Christmas card, have your children sign it... and send it.... expect nothing in return..

thing is.. if your mom is hanging out with a drunk.. (I smell CO-DEPENDENT) and well... CDs don't think straight all the time.... I mean if they did, would they be with a drunk.. of course not. I speak bluntly because I grew up around drunks and was a HUGE co-dependent because of it....... until I got help.... you can't change mom... but you can change you... again, you have done what you can... try and stay positive.. send that card.... and let the dust settle for awhile.... she might come to her sense..
if not.. how sad.... she is missing out on a wonderful daughter and her grandchildren.. :(

My mom is weird and sort of mean and unsupportive in totally different ways. Because of that, we are not close at all. I sort of only keep in touch with her because I feel I should, and she means well (maybe, never sure) so I would feel guilty ditching her, but if she cut me out I would be so thankful. And you know what-she's not nearly as bad as your mom!!
Let her go! Honestly, someone speaking negatively of a grand child and holding grudges against a 5 year old and being cruel to her own daughter has psychological issues. You NEED to not want a relationship with her. She will not be a good influence on you or your son in the future. You need to spend your time and energy on good people, not crazy ones. I know it's hard that it's your mom...well actually...no, it's not that hard.. Let her go! If you can't, at the VERY least, do not EVER apologize again, and don't contact her anymore right now. She'll be back. Unfortunately.

I would respond by telling her how sorry you are that she feels the only way to deal with a disagreement is to pretend it never happened. It will be a long and lonely life for her with no grandkids to hang out with! i am sorry you have to deal with this, and most sorry for your kids. I hope you can work something out!

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